The DEFEND Cleveland Show

Drafting Season Part 6: All Good Things Must Come to an End

Drafting Season Part 6 - All Good Things Must Come to an End

 

I tuned into the NBA Draft on Thursday and when the Cavs were about to make their selection I got a pop up on my computer…

“Would you like to update your CPF?”  

Yes! Go away, who the hell are we picking?  If we don’t get Noel well I’m going to….

“You’ve successfully upgraded from Canadian Power Forward 1.0 to version 2.0…enjoy!” 

Wut?  Whatever, we’re about to make the pick.

“With the first pick in the 2013 Draft the Cavaliers select…” 

Stern, normally I’d find you hilarious but cut the shtick, this is important.

WHO THE HELL ARE WE PICKING!

“Anthony Bennett of Toronto, Canada and the University of Nevada Las Vegas”

 WUT!?

 

Bill Simmons’, love him or hate him, reactionary “WHOA!” summed up most of NBA’s fans feelings perfectly.  After a month of endless speculation the Cavs selected the 6th seed in the media’s six horse race for the #1 pick and yet I wasn’t angry.  Shocked, yes, but not angry.  I was angry when the Cavs selected Tristan Thompson, but it wasn’t shocking.  Waiters would have been more shocking perhaps except that there is more drama over the #1 overall and there were reports emerging the day before last years draft that the Cavs loved Waiters.  Bennett was the last player of the consensus top 6 I expected them to select.  He was my favorite player in college this season along with Porter, but he was clearly a power forward at the next level and despite hating the Tristan pick I have slowly fallen in love with the guy.

Said love had begun to blossom around the mid point of last season and was sealed the day Tristan came out and vehemently defended Byron Scott amidst speculation that Scott should be fired.1 Maybe Scott was the major factor in this teams poor defense; we’ll find out this season.  Regardless, what Tristan showed here was what psychology nuts love to call an “internal locus of control” which essentially means he takes responsibility for what happens in his life and doesn’t blame others.  In other words, he isn’t Dwight Howard. Why take the time to point this out?  Because, Tristan might never be an All-Star, but showing this kind of attitude at such a young age means he can fill a role just as important, a leader.

Yet the Cavs just selected another power forward?  Why?  Are they planning on trading Tristan?  Is Tristan going to be our sixth man?  What is going on?

I believe the Cavs when they say they think Bennett and Thompson can play together in spurts.  Thompson is an adequate post defender against most of the centers in this league and this young Cavs team should look to push the pace if utilized properly.  Still at some point this teams should look to develop a legit starting five and I’m not sure that can involve Bennett and Thompson.  Neither are going to be great at deterring shots around the rim and against the better teams in the league it is going to be a problem.

Mike Brown joked at the post-draft press conference that if he could get a team with Damon Jones and Donyell Marshall to defend well then he could get this team to defend as well regardless of what people think of Bennett’s defensive skills.  I believe  him…to an extent.  In the regular season when in game match-ups and game plans aren’t as important Brown’s defensive scheme with these two in the court should work fine in the majority of games, but in the playoffs it can be abused.  Particularly if Kyrie doesn’t learn to defend better and continues to hand out free all-day access passes to the paint.

I’m okay with Tristan eventually becoming a sixth man.  I wouldn’t be shocked to see if that was what his NBA destiny was, but it seems a little early to be setting that in stone considering the improvements he has made already.  Yet, it is hard to see how drafting Bennett doesn’t cement Tristan to a bench role or to the trading block.  The Cavs feel Bennett is the perfect pick n’ roll partner for Kyrie going forward which says to me they expect him to start.  Maybe the Cavs did draft Bennett because he was the best talent available without a serious health concern, but they also created an conundrum going forward with this roster that will be at the top of my “things to watch” going into next season.  I hope it works out and both players can thrive together, but I’m skeptical.

 

-Joe Mastrantoni

 This is Part 6 of Joe Mastrantoni’s ongoing series covering the 2013 Cavaliers ‘Drafting Season’

Click here for Drafting Season Part 1

Click here for Drafting Season part 2 

Click here for Drafting Season Part 3

Click here for Drafting Season Part 4

Click here for Drafting Season Part 5

Follow Joe on Twitter here.

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  1. The actual quote was, “All the rumors about Coach Scott and hot seat and all that crap, that’s bogus,” Thompson said following Thursday’s practice. “It’s up to us to come out and compete and play hard because we’re the ones out there. When he was out there playing, he won championships. So it’s up to us to come out there and play.” []

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Posted by on Jun 30 2013. Filed under Featured, Hands Down, Man's Down. 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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