The DEFEND Cleveland Show

3 Days Till Tip Off – A DC Show Cavs Preview

 

1 day till Cavs Tip Off and 3 days of catch-up to get done. Santa’s here and there’s 5 games to start the NBA year today, so no stalling.

3 days till open…

1 – Antawn Jamison. As stated in point 3 of “Day 4 Till”, don’t expect Antawn Jamison to be a Cavalier all season. His work here this year with a $15 million expiring contract is most likely to be nothing more than an audition for whatever trade lands him elsewhere. It’s sort of like the Cavs are sponsoring Jamison and each stop he’ll be showcased in hopes it drives up sales. And he has a chance to do just that as the Cavs team he’s now on is going to be better than the one he played on last year when he led all scorers by averaging 18 a game. He did this however by shooting the ball a lot more than usual forcing many of them, and his career low in field goal percentages illustrates this. This year with the newcomers of Kyrie, Omri and Tristan, some of those looks are sure to be more open and therefor are sure to have Jamison once again tops in Cavs scoring.

Scoring of course is what the Cavs will need out of Antawn if they hope to be competitive, but what they’re asking most of him is at the other end of the court. Last year, defensively, Jamison who has always been regarded as a poor defender at best, became a terrible defender. With slow rotation on the perimeter as a defender to nearly no rotation at all sometimes, opponents turned into all-stars against him last year. When defending at Power Forward his opponent’s PER according to 82games.com was 17.4. At Small Forward, which you might see him at frequently his opponents PER was 26.0. In other words, he made all Power Forwards into All-Stars when he guarded them, and he made Small Forwards into Hall of Famers. This has to improve. I mean it couldn’t get much worse, but when headlines like this one that ran the other day in the PD, “Jamison decides to give defense a shot”, you begin to fully know why most every scribe and scout around the league greeted that article with a chuckle.

Antawn will need to play better defense, and I believe he will. He won’t be great, hell, he won’t even be good, but as long as he’s not terrible and he focuses on rotating with perimeter help, he’ll do alright on this lineup that’s going to rely on the big guys in the middle to keep the interior in check.

I hope we get a shooting guard or at least a decent pick for him.

2 – Anthony Parker. I love that the Cavs were able to resign Parker for another year. He’s someone I don’t know how you can’t love if you truly love this game. The main thing about A.P. is that even given last year’s difficulty of a team nowhere near capable of competing, he competed every night. And this is what he brings, even as he’s a veteran going on 37 years old, he’s all heart and determination. He won’t beat anyone off the dribble, he won’t high fly it to the rim, but contrary to what I described with Antawn, he will defend the ball fairly well on the perimeter and he certainly isn’t afraid to be physical when he’s defending guards who like to post up. The biggest positive about Parker’s game though is that fun word of intangibles. Yes, he’s a savvy veteran who can still very much catch and shoot out to the 3 point line, and he sees the court and controls the ball exceptionally well. It’s his assist to turnover ratio, which was the best in the league for his position last season, and then his leadership that this young Cavs team needs more than anything. Basically, get the ball and his teammates in the right position, and don’t turn it over.

Anthony Parker resigned by the Cavs may not have been seen as a huge deal by the Cavs, but it was, and this team, specifically this young team, is made far better with him on the roster than most casual fans of the game will even notice. Love me some A.P., you should too.

3 – Boobie. Remember how he played back in 2007-2008 back when all of Cleveland fell in love with him and he seemed like he would be Lebron’s sought after number 2? How long ago does that seem right now? Well how about this, last year, was Gibson’s best statistical year ever in scoring, rebounding and assists. Yes, even better than the year we all fell for him that eternity ago it may seem. However this was of course masked by the fact that his season last year represented more that of a looter in a riot (my favorite Mark Jackson quote ever), than anything that had an impact on making his team win more games.

His biggest problem of course is that he’s a shooting guard in a point guard’s body. At 6’2″ there’s simply no way he can cover the league’s shooters and his opponents PER defending that position last year of  18.3 illustrates this as clear as day (thanks again to 82games.com). With the upgrade in the paint the Cavs have made by adding Omri and Tristan, and a return of a healthy Varejao, this might not be as bad this year for Boobie as perimeter defense will be the key to his efforts (just like what’s being asked of Jamison), and his quickness and grit might just be enough to make him a legitimate option for the Cavs off the bench for another year of 25-30 minutes a game.

He of course still brings offense, and it’s this shooting that has it so he’s even in the league. The guy can flat out knock it down, and with the ball movement and play that should surface with having the talents of Kyrie added to the team, it should mean that Gibson’s open looks could be a more frequent occurrence over last year when no one Cavalier commanded attention and so no one Cavalier ever had many open looks. Boobie will always be a defensive liability and he needs to keep fighting, but leave the guy open, and he’ll kill you all day.

 

Day 2 up next, with Samuals, Sessions and Defense.

 

-Mike James

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Posted by on Dec 25 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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