Quantcast 2009-2010 Cleveland Cavaliers: Fixing the Cavs

 

Fixing the Cleveland Cavaliers

 

 

14 games into the season, the Cavs have a respectable 10-4 record. LeBron is doing his usual, scoring around 30 a game, but more importantly he is keeping this team afloat. If the Cavs expect to win it all and throw a monkey wrench into the “Summer of LeBron”, they have to shape up and shape up in a hurry.

When the Cavs were streaking the last 2 weeks, winning 5 in a row, Anthony Parker, Mo Williams, JaMario Moon and Daniel Gibson were all shooting the lights out, shooting near 55% as a group, tops in the league. But Mike Browns infamous and recently ineffective 8 man rotation has been exploited around the league, and if something isn’t done about it soon, it could be a 7 man rotation, minus a 23 in the middle.

Fixing the Cavaliers can be done without any drastic signings (although I would have welcomed Antonio Daniels, because we could use all the depth we can get, and he is a veteran and can hit shots). Remember back to the Eastern Conference Finals. Delonte West averaged 42 minutes a game, but played 8 minutes against the 76ers and 22 against the Wizards. The Cavs need his gritty defense (see the 20-4 lead blown against the 76ers in the 1 st quarter). If I were coaching, this would be my lineup without shaq.

C Zydrunas Ilgauskas
F JJ Hickson
F LeBron James
G Delonte West
G Mo Williams

 

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That makes the second unit:

C Zydrunas Ilgauskas
F JJ Hickson
F LeBron James
G Delonte West
G Mo Williams

Insert Shaq and you magically have:
C Shaq C Zydrunas Ilgauskas
F JJ Hickson F Anderson Varejao/JJ/Lebron
F LeBron James F Jamario Moon
G Delonte West G Anthony Parker
G Mo Williams G Daniel Gibson

 

Magically that’s a 10 man, healthy rotation, and both lineups are fully capable of winning games. I understand that Mike Brown wants to rest Lebron, but look at Lebron. He is in the best shape of any player in the league, and he is capable of going 48 if needed. So why not play him 35 to 40 on nights that aren’t back to back. Get him some experience in the post, because if the Cavs got the opportunity to trade for a Shawn Marion, or a Trevor Ariza, or another SF, they could throw LeBron at the 4, and that my friend is a disaster for other teams waiting to happen. Not only that, although he has made great strides as of late, I am not totally sold on JJ Hickson guarding Kevin Garnett and your Amar’e Stoudamire. Playing Lebron at the 4 would shore this problem up.

One thing that the Cavs do, and it drives me nuts is they dribble up and stop. When the Cavs are at their best, they are driving to the basket, drawing fouls, getting the other teams bigs into foul trouble early. When they stray from this path (Washington, Toronto, Chicago) they come up short in the end. If LeBron stops and holds the ball, the other perimeter players need to move without the ball, creating a weak side for Lebron to attack, or they can get an open shot instead of Lebron hoisting up from 30 feet and hoping for a miracle. The Cavs have a better chance of getting free throws to go in than Lebron does of having those long jumpers fall.

With all this being said, I have no doubts in my mind that Mike Brown is aware of this. Hopefully he will do something about it soon, because if the Cavs fall short this season, Coach Brown could be the next coach to be fired after winning the Coach of the Year award, but that wouldn’t be the biggest loss for the Cavs.


 

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By: Joe Goodale
Pro Basketball Fans Staff Writer


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