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After the game last night, Byron Scott talked about making line-up changes again. This inevitably led to me staring at my computer this afternoon for about an hour trying to think of what line-up changes could possibly better the Cavs chances of winning their next game. I came up with nothing, outside of maybe taking Anderson Varejao and his broken wrist to one of those miraculous touch you and your healed preachers parading around at 3 am on televisions everywhere.
That might not work though, and Anderson might not come back for another couple weeks at the earliest. He said yesterday that he feels better, but he still can't grip a basketball. I could never grip a basketball, but I'm not a seven foot NBA post player. The two other seven footers the Cavaliers currently employ can grip basketballs, but they are not NBA post players who deserve NBA minutes though unfortunately. Unless of course you're related to Ryan Hollins and/or Semih Erden and therefore think they do. So what's left is the gaping hole at the Center position, that both Ryan and Semih couldn't combine to fill even if the Cavs petitioned for 6-man starting five and announced them both at Center to start the next game.
The best options for the Cavaliers to currently to fill that role are Samardo Samuels and Tristan Thompson. They are both Power Forwards however. You could insert Tristan into the starting line-up at Center, but I don't see how playing him out of position helps his development long-term so I wouldn't bother doing that. You can also start Samardo at Center, but Byron is obviously not the fan of his that I am for whatever reason, so he probably won't do that either. Even if he did, you'd then be forced to back Samardo up with either Hollins or Semih, and you're right back to where you started basically.
The Cavaliers have no answer at shooting guard either really. You can start Boobie there, or maybe Sessions, but then you take the only guards who've been giving you any type of points off the bench with that second unit and lose that scoring punch - I guess - there too. Moving Anthony Parker into the second unit simply then puts Anthony Parker on the floor with the second unit, so I don't see how that helps you either. You're just kinda shuffling the same pieces around and having them play the same minutes at different times. I guess you could start Sessions, move Boobie to the one with the second team, and bring AP in with him there, but then your second unit is just worse is essentially what I'm getting at. This is all news to nobody reading along with me here though, and I apologize for that.
So what do the Cavaliers then do here moving forward in the short-term? I'm afraid nothing, except wait for Anderson Varejao to get back whenever he does. That playoff ship has long since sailed. With Andy in that starting five - as evidenced early on - these Cavaliers had a puncher's chance to compete every night. A puncher's chance is like not a good chance, but still kinda like a chance, I think. Without Anderson however, as evidenced by the last six losses in a row, they really don't have a chance at all.
But I guess if you want to do something, maybe then start Tristan Thompson at the four. Why not? Move Alonzo Gee to the two, push Antawn up to the three - he can't guard three's just as much as he can't guard four's - and go with that group I think. Start Samardo too, and play Manny Harris, Christian Eyenga when he gets back, and any other young player you got. Maybe it works, maybe it doesn't, but I don't think the Cavs can win until Andy gets back anyways.
Again, the schedule was set up to create good games up front, and mismatches in the middle.
Cavs are in an impossible position, right now, and are shopping Parker, Jamison, Sessions, as well as Hollins, Erden, Samuels, & maybe a few others.
Will they receive takers? Doubtful in most cases.
After the trade deadline, there is no excuse to not de-emphasize the playing role of AP, no excuse for not using several combinations in the game with Kyrie & Tristan playing together, no excuse for not using Tristan at center part of the time (Maybe draft Davis if they get lucky in the lottery again), no excuse for not playing Manny Harris who played as well in the D league as Alonzo Gee did.
There's also no excuse for any coach to state the players didn't play hard enough when they played frantically hard against the Jazz.
And there's no excuse to bench players who are playing as well as they can because of one or two plays.
Many of these young players have seen an opposing player once or twice, previously, and don't know all the player's moves (Al Jefferson).
Cavs should wind up with a 1-8 pick, and 1-10 should bring excellent players.
It's time to start practicing for next year.
Varajao, Irving, Thompson, Gee, give you a solid, playoff-possible, nucleus.
Erden, Casspi, Harris, Samuels need to be developed as options off the bench.
Sessions is an excellent player, Gibson is good, Jamison is brilliant.
We know, however, what they can do, and the three may not be back.
AP is a great young man, and he will make a great coach.
I don't like the looks I am seeing on the faces of the young players.