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Section 109: NBA Shootaround, including things I’m sick of reading about.

February 3, 2010
Let me close my book on two topics I’m sick of reading about and talking about — the All-Star selections and the Cavs’ trade deadline situation.
Define “All-Star”
The All-Star voting by both the fans and the coaches is so skewed it’s hardly worth commenting on it. Unfortunately, it’s made the concept of an “all-star” player more meaningless by the year. What is the criteria for being an 2010 All-Star? Is it defined by having a great first half of the 2010 season, or is it being one of the best players in the league in the last five or six years, regardless of your performance this season. Let’s all agree that it’s the latter, and it has been for many years.
Maybe in the future, the NBA will realize that there is sufficient fan interest in the league, and it doesn’t have to pander to the casual basketball viewer by allowing them to stuff the All-Star ballot boxes with ill-advised choices. Maybe the NBA will wake up and choose the All-Star rosters by letting people (players, coaches, scouts, beat writers) who know what they’re doing reward that season’s top performers. Or if that makes too much sense for this meaningless game, the league can just put all the players’ names in a hopper, spin it around, pick 24 names at random and make two teams. It would probably be more interesting than the game we get now.
Trade Talk Tiresome
My bottom line if I was the Cavs GM: I’m not making a trade that involves Z, JJ, LeBron (ha ha), Shaq, or Andy. Our frontline rotation is playing so well now, and the Cavs are so deep, there is no reason to make a big move like this that would involve integrating new players and losing that depth. One of the reasons Shaq is so effective is that Z is backing him up. Shaq said so himself. One of the reasons Z is so effective is he’s got Andy on the wing. Ilgauskas, J.J. and a 1st round pick (or any combination of those three) for Iguodala or Murphy is too much. I like Iguodala a lot, and I agree he’s underrated, but the Cavs are aiming for a championship and he would not add enough net value this year to make it worthwhile. Sure, I would love to see A.I. replace Parker on the defensive end, but not if it means taking a chance on not getting Z back and losing JJ. Same thing with Jamison — Washington is not going to trade him straight up for an older player like Z, and if we have to throw in another player the net value is not there.
In response to all the bloggers and comment posters who feel that the Cavs need “one more piece” to get past where they were last year, they got him. His name is Shaquille O’Neal. check out basketball-reference.com and see if he’s good enough for you. Hey wait, Parker wasn’t here last year. Neither was Moon. Hmm, Jawad Williams only played 20 minutes last season…
Speaking of Jawad Williams, I think we will see Mike Brown experimenting with Williams’s minutes in different lineups. He can match up capably with big guards and small forwards on defense, plus he can post up and shoot threes. I love the “Quintuple Towers” lineup of LeBron, Jawad, Jamario, Andy and Z (or Shaq), where the “little” guy is Moon at 6-8. As I watched this team run seamlessly against the Clippers on Sunday, I thought “What other team in the league can put a big team on the floor like this one?” I still haven’t come up with a lineup yet.
Grizzlies Grilled
Yesterday, the Cavs took a good Memphis team and did the same thing they did to a bad Clippers team on Sunday — jump on them early and hard at both ends of the floor, and make it virtually impossible for the visiting Grizzlies to come back in the second quarter, or second half. One reason it worked was Memphis did not have any energy to fight back after playing and traveling the night before.
The way the Cavs have executed these two wins reminds me of another top team from a couple years ago, namely the Boston Celtics. As much as it pains me to compliment a Boston team, they did the same thing over and over in 2007-08, simply taking their opponents out of the game by about the middle of the second quarter with great defense and inside-out scoring. The difference? The 09-10 Cavs have more and better scoring options inside and a deeper bench.
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One Comment leave one →
  1. February 4, 2010 8:11 pm

    Good comment about depth Daniel. Remember the Cavs have been beating some pretty good NBA teams with Mo and Delonte out. They will both be back after the All Star break, along with Leon Powe! talk about depth. I think Danny Ferry is doing the right thing. He may as well inquire about Jamison, A.I. etc… but if the Cavs stay pat, they have as good as chance to win it all as any other team in the NBA.

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