RAISING THE CADAVALIER - many, many thoughts on the Cleveland Cavaliers by ROBERT ATTENWEILER

NBA Basketball

2011/12/30

Suspicions and Absolute Certainties after two games…

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-Someone needs to tell Boobie Gibson that his license has been revoked, that he’s no longer allowed to drive.  When Boobie puts the ball on the floor, things generally just don’t work out.  In a perfect world, he would model his game after Bruce Bowen: defend and take nothing but 3-point shots.  I’m not saying Boobie is as good (or dirty) of a defender as Bowen was, but he does good work on that end of the floor for a team that still struggles locking down the perimeter.  Maybe Bowen-Lite … Bowen-Lite-&-Short.  BLS, Boobie.  BLS.

-Is it just me or do none of Antawn Jamison’s odd array of floaters and flip shots work anymore.  I was watching the Pistons’ broadcast of Wednesday’s game and the commentators actually called Antawn “unguardable.”  I think those of us who have been watching him in a Cavs uniform for the last year + might beg to differ.  Yes, we all remember Antawn in a Wizards uniform wrecking all kinds of havoc with all kinds of unorthodox shots, but for whatever reason (the shots look weaker and flatter than they did, so I’m going to go with older legs/knees) they only serve to drag down Antawn’s field goal percentage and, with it, the number of quality possessions the Cavs get (which, we should all remember, ain’t all that many to begin with…).  Against the Pistons, Antawn scored the way he should score with this team: 3-pointers (though, that should not be his go-to, as it often was last year … He’s gonna take ‘em, people … We might as well just accept it…) and driving cuts to the basket.  He clearly gets the offense Byron Scott wants to run and showed against the Pistons that he can still have success as other than just a “stretch” guy.
-Remember last year when the Cavs led the league (at the start of the season, anyway) in bench scoring, with the reserves regularly outscoring the starters.  Well, we’re back.  The starters have been outscored by the bench in both of the first two games, but they’re doing it differently than last year.  First, when your bench is as (or more) competitive than your starters, it generally points to the lack of high-end talent in your starting line-up and that’s very true with the Cavs.  But where last year’s bench production was largely due to Byron Scott bringing Antawn Jamison off the bench, where Antawn would play starter’s minutes and take a starter’s number of shots, this year’s unit is just a good unit of high-energy, athletic players who can defend and are being led by a point guard who, given his early-season production, is a starting-quality NBA 1.  I don’t know that any of the second unit bump the starters from their spots (they’re not that much better), not this year anyway.  But it’s good to know that there will be players on the court for all 48 minutes who can help the Cavs win basketball games (though, yes, still clearly not many…).

-Two games (1 preseason, 1 regular) is all I need.  Samardo Samuels is our back-up to Anderson Varejao.  Look, I like the fact that Ryan Hollins is 7-feet tall as much as the next person, but what I like MORE is how Samardo seems to be able to score, rebound and generally look like he knows that he is one of ten players on the court when he’s out there and, as such, is free to participate in this game of basketball.  Is Samardo undersized?  Sure.  But, with the current state of quality bigs in the NBA, how many back-up centers are there who are going to torch this guy?  Probably not 30.  Okay, now, Samardo, you are released to go 1-14 for 3 points and a rebound tonight…

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