The Cleveland Cavaliers began the season 5-7 and were struggling to find any rhythm and looked completely disjointed.
After losing Kyrie Irving to the Boston Celtics, they were attempting to integrate several new faces and it was proving to be difficult in the early stages.
But the Cavs have a veteran roster and eventually figured things out. They've won 19 of their last 21 games and are second behind the Boston Celtics in the east.
The Cavaliers have one of the deepest teams in the league and they've had to rely on this with multiple players out injured.
Head coach Tyronn Lue has often mixed his rotations and used up all of his assets to good effect.
Here are the player grades for the Cavs so far this season:
LeBron James: A*
The King has often been accused of coasting through the regular season in order to keep himself as fresh as possible for the playoffs where he does his damage. But that definitely hasn’t been the case this year as he’s arguably having the best campaign of his career.
He’s averaging career-highs across the board with astonishing numbers of 28.2 points, 8.3 rebounds and 9.3 assists per game. The three-time champion has also posted six triple-doubles and is a leading candidate for the MVP award.
Kevin Love: B
The power forward had a slow start to the campaign after he was switched to the center position but he has adjusted extremely well and is having the impact that head coach Tyronn Lue envisaged at that spot.
He’s been a walking double-double as usual in recent games and has flourished as a second option behind LeBron putting up 19.5 points and 10.2 rebounds. When he plays well they usually win which shows how vital he is.
J.R. Smith: D
The shooting guard is not having a good year so far and has struggled shooting the ball. His outside threat is so important to the Cavs but he hasn’t been as prolific as they need.
They will definitely require Smith to be putting up multiple threes a night in order to compete with the top teams as he’s their x-factor.
Jae Crowder: D
Crowder has struggled to find his feet in Cleveland and is still figuring it out as he goes along. He has been a solid defender as you would expect but has not been a major factor offensively despite benefiting from open looks on a regular basis.
Playing with James has afforded him many opportunities to knock down wide open threes but his shot has been inconsistent as he's hitting just 30 percent. Also playing at the power forward position has been an adjustment but he’s slowly getting more comfortable in the Cavs system.
Jose Calderon: C+
With the Cavaliers shorthanded at the point guard position, the veteran was thrust into the starting lineup and has played more games than he could’ve imagined with 24 appearances. But the Spaniard has been a positive influence on the team and may have played his way into a bigger role for the remainder of the campaign even when the likes of Isaiah Thomas and Derrick Rose return.
He has been a perfect fit in the lineup and his savviness and playmaking have been a pleasant bonus for the team.
Dwyane Wade: B
After beginning the season in the starting lineup, Wade made the ultimate sacrifice when he volunteered to come off the bench for the good of the team and it has been an inspired decision.
The shooting guard has led the second unit superbly and has even filled in as the backup point guard. His experience has been important and he could be in the conversation for Sixth Man of the Year.
Kyle Korver: B
He’s been given the nickname “Mr. Fourth Korver” in Cleveland as he's often come up with big shots in the final period of games. His production off the bench has been impressive and has been a huge reason why the Wine and Gold have one of the best reserve units in the league.
Jeff Green: C
Green was certainly one of the most underrated pickups of the offseason but he has made a huge impact. He has bounced around the league in recent years but he may have found his perfect fit in The Land. His length, athleticism, and defensive skills have been big for the Cavs and he is proving to be a smart acquisition.
Channing Frye: D
The stretch four didn’t play much in the early stages when the team was struggling but has now found a role with the second unit and has been his usual threat from beyond the arc. His minutes are normally limited but he has rarely disappointed when he’s been called upon. The only criticism would be his shooting numbers haven’t been as high as they were last year as he's averaging 31 percent.