Pretty sure all you Cavs fans out there read ESPN's 5-on-5 analysis of our team, hopes and ambitions for the upcoming "NBA Season". The article was originally published on the 26th of August, I had intended to post my response on the 27th of August but here's why that never happened:
27th August - It's a Saturday, Saurdays are spent by me watching football - that's soccer for you guys in America. I rarely spend a Saturday at home, let alone on my laptop typing up a blog that nobody (bar you, loyal reader) cares about.
28th August - Was spent in my local pub - that's bar for you guys in America - watching my beloved Man United trounce Arsenal 8-2 in a 90-minute spectacle that was so awesome (first time I've whipped out that word this "season" in a blog) it left me dumbfounded, ecstatic and very, very drunk.
29th August - 5th September - My Kids football (soccer) teams respective seasons began, my girls football team's season came to a heartbreaking end - beaten on penalties in our cup final - and I worked a little bit, so no time was really free to dedicate the time required to react to ESPN's summary of the Cavs.
I'm sure Brendan is thrilled with my dedication to Stepien Rules, so this might just be my last blog as I expect my marching orders via email in around an hours time. Oh well, it was fun while it lasted eh? For those of you still reading this, here's my take on what the experts had to say on the five questions they were asked.
Question One - Who should start at PG for the Cavs?
This is quite simple for me, it's gotta be Kyrie - that's also the first line of my being-composed-soon-to-be-available-on-iTunes Cavs rap song. Reason why I would start Irving over Baron Davis and Ramon Sessions is easy - he's the future. He's our guy for the next decade, so why not hand him the keys to the team while we have no expectations whatsoever? I'd rather have him turning the ball over 4 times a game when we don't have a chance of winning then doing it when we have a roster in place that will push for the playoffs.
Another reason I'd start Irving is because we don't really have a shooting guard as such, so we just shift Davis or Sessions over there and hope for the best. If Davis comes back in shape - IF - he can easliy play the two spot and score 20-plus points a game. Well, maybe not easily but you get my drift. A backcourt of Irving-Davis gives us extra ball handling abilities while providing a constant threat of one of them going off for 25 points on a given night. Having Davis on the court alongside Irving would also allow Kyrie to get in-game coaching from Davis, which might not be the worst thing in the world for the rookie.
Question Two - Who should start at the SF and PF for the Cavs?
Omri Casspi and Tristan Thompson please, Coach. Why? Same reason you start Irving - the future. Casspi is only 23, and by taking Thompson 4th overall we're kinda two feet in with our committment to him long term spefically. Let Thompson figure things out as a rookie, let him take his bumps and bruises and it will stand to him in the long run. He's already going to be a great rebounder if tuned in, and his athleticism should get him at least 10 points a night off alley-opps and putbacks alone.
Casspi is intriguing. He's a streaky long range shooter but can get hot from outside. He's got a great work ethic and ideal size for his position, but he's pretty skinny and won't ever win any ballhadling competitions. If he comes in and averages somewhere between 12-15 points a game with around 5 rebounds I'd be thrilled. Antawn Jamison being able to play both these spots is a plus, and I'd bet he'll finish more games than Casspi will.
Question Three - JJ Hickson for Omri Casspi and a draft pick: Good trade or Bad trade?
I loved JJ. Loved him to bits. I loved his hops, how he had no fear on the court and how he could excite the crowd like no other player (except Skyenga) with a dunk or block. But I was never 100% certain that he was our power forward of the future. Hickson has got upside, but was kinda taking his time showing it. He should have been grabbing double-digit rebounds every single game, after all the guy can jump out of the gym. Adding another first round pick (we now own 312 first round picks over the next three seasons) was a smart move, plus it filled a gap (small forward) while paving the way for Tristan to start. I'd give the move a B-, simply because I shudder to think that JJ taps into his potential and he combines with DeMarcus Cosuins to lead Sacramento to an NBA title in 2017. Right around the same year that Minnesota don't draft a point guard.
Question Four - Are the Cavs on the right of the wrong track?
Right one, no question. I believe in Scott. I believe in Gilbert and all our front office guys. We're getting younger, and have three very attractive trading blocks in Tawn, Baron and Varejao - all attractive for different reasons. If we land a top-5 pick in 2012, with the talent that could potentially be coming out of college that summer, we'll be on the right track and building speed. Adding a Harrison Barnes/Andre Drummond type guy next year will give us a very young, promising core. I'd strongly explore trades for the three guys I mentioned above, contending teams will all want a piece of Varejao, maybe the same could apply to Tawn. Davis is an expiring deal worth almost $15million in 2013, somebody somewhere will have an eye on that, especially if Davis performs - IF - between now and then. You know, if the lockout ever ends.
Question Five - Can we talk about the Cavaliers without talking about LeBron James?
Yup, we just did until now. All feelings towards LeBron have diminished, we despise him, but are no longer obsessed with him or the rest of the cast of Two and a Half Men that play down in South Beach. He is who he is and we are who we were before and will continue to be without him, the Cavaliers. You either roll with us, or roll against us. i just hope he enjoys the love and adoration he continues to get from all those "fans" filling the stadium for home games. Wait, how many games did the Heat sell out last season?
Follow us on Twitter @StepienRules or myself @DOL17.