The DEFEND Cleveland Show

4 Days Till Tip Off – A DC Show Cavs Preview


With this now being obviously late, know I do see the irony of the Defend Cleveland sports guy getting food poisoning from a Cleveland sports bar. How’s the saying go again? Give me food poisoning once, shame on you. Give it to me twice, shame on me. Give it to me a 3rd time at the same lame ass bar that considers itself a “Sports Bar” just because it has ESPN on 8 televisions, then why the hell was it that I was even still going there?!

Well, all I can say is that I’m apparently more hard headed than I am resistant to rancid food prep.

That said, let’s continue to count the ways the Cavs will be in 2011-2012:

4 days till open…

1 – Anderson Varejao. Last year upon hearing the news of Andy going down on this play in an International exhibition game for Brazil, Cavs fans held their breath. With the loss of Lebron already an insurmountable loss to a team that built everything around the former King, a loss of Andy too would likely spell unprecedented NBA levels of doom. And it did. Amid a 6 game losing streak already,Varejao went down again aggravating the same injury suffered in Brazil while running a non-contact exercise in practice. This also lead directly to the losing streak once he was out stretching an additional 20 more games which set an NBA all-time record in futility. Said doom. Of course the Cavs would later admit to wanting Andy to take care of the injury in the offseason. And he did not. They also were pretty clear in not wanting him to play in Brazil over the fear of injury in the first place. Which he ignored.

But what’s done with last year’s Cavs decapitated by its head taking its talents to “Souf Beach”, can stay done and in the past. This year though with a fully healthy return from Sir Big Hair Andy, you can expect a double-double year from him leading to much speculation on whether or not he’ll remain a Cav. Last year also featured this debate with Varejao still in his furthered pre-injury injured days, and he was widely regarded as a possible trade deadline target for the Cavs to send off. An educated guess suggests Andy stays this year though (more on this later), and coupled with a defensive boon by the highly athletic play of Tristan Thompson, and the undervalued play of Samardo Samuels, you can mostly expect a career year out of the fan favorite Brazilian, and with it, a few more wins than this young team would have otherwise.


2 – Tristan Thompson. Check this out:


Pretty awesome, right. Not only do I love Sports Science and how it puts the extraordinary into a much more manageable perspective , I also love that among lengthy and legitimate discussions and justifications of this past NBA draft class being one of the weakest ever (a draft where the Cavs had the #1 and the #4 pick), that this #4 pick in Thompson not only looks like a strong pick, but he also looks like the type of player that might change the overall look of this team almost as much as the #1 pick of Kyrie is seen as doing.

How you might ask, as the face of the franchise in Kyrie is properly being sculpted as his alone? By matching Tristan’s athleticism and energy on the defensive end and in rebounding, while side-by-side with Varejao. Yes, as the all agreed truest trade bait on the roster of Jamison likely sees a lot of minutes in the PF position to start the year, in part to raise his stock value (more on this in a moment too, as you now can tell where I’m headed), as the season goes on, this is and will be Tristan’s role with the Cavs for many years to come. Fact: Yes, Tristan looks bad shooting the ball, and even worse when doing it from the line. His only real knock. Bigger fact though: If he gets double digits in rebounds and a couple blocked shots a game (both very likely even in this his rookie year), you’ll clearly see why such NBA scouts and scribes like ESPN Insider David Thorpe just penned that “Thompson is a classic stat-stuffer who combines great length and athleticism with a beastly work ethic. Rebounds and garbage buckets just find him.”

In this statement, Thorpe also has Thompson as the #1 rookie to watch to get off to the fastest start this NBA year, even ahead of Kyrie. And even with Jamison still on the team.

The Cavs drafted very well with the number 4 pick. It’s after that pick is where critics must think the draft was a weak one as far as Cleveland fans are concerned.


3 – In a year of rebuilding and youth (no misleading you here, folks, rebuilding is and will be your 2011-2012 Cavs season), know that the build up and anticipation of the March 14th Trade Deadline is what’s going to make it the biggest day to circle on your Cavs calendar. The only way it’s not is if they make their expected trade of Antawn Jamison actually happen before March 14th.

This trade of Jamison is seemingly a foregone conclusion, but there will also be a lot of suspicion as to who else will be on the blocks and Andy V. will likely top this discussion as the only other big name next to Jamison’s on this roster that’s not a rookie who’s susceptible . Unless the get is a center though, how does this team trade Varejao? Even undersized for the position, Andy is the only thing keeping you away from another year of Ryan Hollins at center. That is bad. Hollins may be a good guy in the locker room, but no team needing serious minutes from him will ever be a team that’s at all serious about contending. This is why the Cavs relied on Hollin’s services last year as a need was more placed on trying to look marginally competitive at times over that of competing seriously. And this will continue to be their need in him this year too. Just hopefully in a much lesser role.

So, Varejao is going nowhere this year. Jamison however, and how he represents an expiring contract that’s still a heavily valued aspect even in this new CBA agreed NBA world, and that he can still readily score, should be a big bargaining chip for this Cavs team as they look to add a shooting guard, an aforementioned true center, or, at worst, even more picks for next years draft. Make no mistake, having waived Baron Davis with the amnesty clause and having not used the 14.5 million dollar trade exception received from the Lebron “trade”, added to the biggest ruling  factor that Cleveland is not expected to all of a sudden change into being a desired location for free agents; all poises this team well in thinking that making a huge deal to fill out the roster via a trade is most likely over any other scenario.

Whatever it is or turns out to be, this year’s trade possibility for the Cavs will be the move(s) that makes them a playoff team next year. And this team, your Cleveland Cavaliers, as stated before the end of last year by the DC Show, will be a playoff team by next year. Bank on it. Or at least start looking into season tix for 2012-2013.

Up next, Day 3 in this Cavs countdown and Antawn Jamison, Anthony Parker and Boobie.

-Mike James

Short URL:

Posted by on Dec 24 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

Leave a Reply

Log in | Designed by Gabfire themes