The DEFEND Cleveland Show

5 Days Till Tip Off – A DC Show Cavs Preview


There’s a lot of days in the Holiday Season. There’s the 8 days of Hanukkah, Christmas Day, the 7 days of Kwanzaa, New Years Day, and so on, and so on, and so on, and… Seemingly, this Season has more and more days each year, and thanks to a fun little wrinkle of a prolonged NBA Lockout added to the mix, we also have the opening day of the NBA thrown in this year too. What a day of it though. It’s a star studded 5 game Christmas Day launch to the NBA year made up of 10 of the NBA’s best teams pitted against each other that’s almost a literal preview of what the playoffs will be in the end. The Cavs aren’t one of these teams. They do however open their schedule at home the next day and though they won’t be great, they’ll be far better than what was their last go of it. So to build an anticipation for your Cleveland Cavaliers 2011-2012 Season, the DC Show is offering you, the 5 Days of Cavalier Count Down.

For this heap o’ fun that doesn’t require you having to buy the perfect gift for people you hardly know, each day I’ll break down 3 items all Cavs related, and will thus count down to the DC Show “Big Cavalier Preview” Show that airs next Monday the 26th. The show that will give you everything you’ll need to know to go and root your Cavs on opening day, and then every day of the year. So let’s get started. Go Cavs!

5 days till open…


1 – Kyrie Irving is good, folks. He’s real good, there’s no sense in waiting on this one. Right out the gate, know that Kyrie Irving, the 19 year old Duke point guard the Cavaliers got as the number 1 overall pick in the 2011 NBA Draft, is the real deal. If there’s any knock beyond his considerable youth, maybe it’s that you’ve been hearing he’s more of a pure point guard than the likes of the scoring ones of late such as Derrick Rose. True. However, his ability to get through to the paint with either hand combined with an innate ability to keep defenders off balance will not only mean a lot of open looks for his teammates (the “pure point guard” aspect), but it will also mean a lot of shots at close range as wel as trips to the foul line for Kyrie, who’s also really good from the charity stripe (oops, scoring). Add a better than decent jump shot and perimeter game that will only improve, and you know what you got? A point guard who’s an all around star in the making. A point guard who can distribute and score. And a point guard who already has Cavs beaters writing such things as, “Irving is the type of good player that the casual fan, or maybe somebody who doesn’t even watch basketball all that much, just knows is good from watching him for a few minutes.” This is so true. Best part? You don’t just get to watch him for a few minutes to know he’s good, you get to watch him be your Cavs future for the foreseeable, and that future looks real good.


2 – Omri Casspi. Remember Sasha Pavlovic? Remember how he couldn’t play defense for more than a few trips down the court a game? Remember how this lack of consistency is what can essentially define his overall game? Sasha’s in Boston now, you can stop thinking about him. Omri is the opposite of Sasha, is better in almost every category, and is in many ways who the Cavs had always hoped Sasha could be. A better shooter, inside and out. And though maybe not necessarily faster than Sasha, he actually runs the court much better. He also rebounds way better (as in he actually does rebound the ball), and though most quick scoring SF’s around the league will be able to beat him off the dribble, his size (6’9) and length matched with his motor and relentlessness makes him quite a solid player. What did he cost? A J.J. Hickson. Like J.J., but it had become obvious last season that he’d run his course here, and since we’ve needed a small forward more than anything with the loss of Lebron, giving up a guy who’s a slow learner with bad hands, and at times had a bad attitude, is a small price to pay. Omri is a small forward, and though he’s lean, he can even give you a few moments as a 4 out there when coach Scott decides he wants to go small. He’s also coming into his own as an NBA player and its timing makes for a real nice addition to the Cavs, and one that makes them instantly better.


3 – Youth. Just told you about Kyrie who’s 19, and Casspi is only 23, add 20 year old Tristan Thompson and you’re starting to see what your Cavs are, much younger. Yes they will still have 35 year old Antawn Jamison and 36 year old Anthony Parker anchoring the veteran status of the club, but along with Anderson Varejao at 29 those three guys make up the only Cavaliers on the roster over the age of 25 to start the season. With key roles now falling to the young, this team will of course show more as they go along than they will right out the gate. Now as Cleveland fans who have had to suffer a football year with the Browns where they were one of the youngest teams in the NFL, and an Indians team that’s been one the youngest in the MLB the last 2 years, seeing those teams struggle often because of their youth and inexperience is certainly some of what you’ll see with the Cavs too this year. Sorry. No way around it. Where the difference is though is there isn’t as many glaring holes on the roster as there was a year ago for the Cavs. There’s no strong equivalent with this youthful Cavs team to a Browns squad that fielded about half a roster of NFL starting talent this year, and an Indians team that still needs help at the corners and some semblance of a right handed bat. Mind you, the Cavs are far from a complete roster full of enough talent to compete for a title, but some of those pieces to do so are certainly in place, and their overall design and depth (yes, depth, which we’ll talk more about here later), will mean you’re in for a far more competitive team in Cleveland Cavalier uniforms than most will give them credit for going into the year.


That’s your 3 facts of Cavs basketball for Day 5 in the countdown. See you back here tomorrow for Day 4 when we’ll look at what role Anderson Varejao will play this year, just how good Tristan Thompson is and how he’ll fit nicely, and what the most exciting thing of the season might turn out to be aside from all the highlight reels created by Kryie Irving.
-Mike James

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Posted by on Dec 22 2011. Filed under Featured, Show Reports. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can leave a response or trackback to this entry

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