Cavaliers Season Preview: Part 3
“Who will be the Cavaliers’ second leading scorer?”
If it isn’t Dion Waiters then either Bynum has been playing significant minutes, Tristan Thompson has gone bonkers with his right hand, or Andy has become one of the best mid-range shooters in the league. The key for Dion isn’t so much the raw points, but increasing his efficiency. If he only increases his scoring marginally that is fine by me as long as we see an increase in his shooting percentages. He’ll always take some bad shots. I have to, quite grudgingly, accept that, but he can at least cut down out the egregiously bad shots that induce me yell at my television.
“How many games should I expect the Cavaliers to win?”
I expect them to be around .500 when it is all said and down. On the show I officially predicted them to win 43 games, but anything around there is about right. If they win less than 37 games either everyone has severely overestimated how talented this team is or the injury bug has struck again.
“Who is Henry Sims and is he better than Tyler Zeller?”
Henry Sims is the Cavaliers’ 14th or 15th man on the roster, is the same age as Zeller (23 years old), and plays the center position as well. I was high on Tyler Zeller when the Cavaliers drafted him, but he has shown very little that could be deemed promising since then. Sims on the other hand seemed capable of *in preseason* doing all the same jobs Zeller had been asked to last year, but better. He looks tougher than Zeller, his jump shot looks better than Zeller’s, his positioning is better on defense, and he looks less timid. I haven’t seen enough of Sims to say I think he is definitely better than Zeller, but he just might be.
I can’t answer the second part of the question definitively. Zeller needs a chance to get on the court this year and show me how much he has developed from his rookie season. The transition for him to the pros has not been easy. He is being asked to be more of a jump shooter in the pros, which was not his strong suit in the college where he used his size down low to score in the post as well as running the floor for easy baskets in transition. One problem, besides the fact that his shot is flatter than a witch’s titty, is that the majority of his jump shots came from the 16-23 foot range. Big men generally should be taking their jumpers from the 10-15 foot range, especially when they are not known shooters. Tyler clearly had trouble with his new role and the physicality of the NBA last season, he looked mediocre in Summer League, and hasn’t had a chance to show us anything in preseason due to injury, but I would not be shocked if at some point Sims takes his minutes even when he comes back.
“Do the Cavaliers have the best backup point guard in the NBA in Jarret Jack?”
Yes and I have to say it is pretty neat especially considering where our bench was at this time last season. Here’s Jarret Jack’s playoff shot chart from last year’s playoffs.
As much as everyone raved about Steph Curry and Klay Thompson due to them being up and coming players, Jack was a huge part of their playoff success. He averaged 17 points per game and shot above 50% from the field and almost 90% from the free throw line throughout the playoffs. Now he won’t be doing that in the regular season, but he doesn’t need to. If he can reproduce his regular season form from last year then I will be quite content. The fact that his offensive game is mainly predicated on his mid-range jumper can be frustrating at times, but also bodes well for him being able to maintain his current level of play for the duration of his four year contract due to it being a skill that won’t decline as much with fading athleticism.
“What is this team’s most glaring flaw?”
They don’t have a legitimate starting small forward. I still have some hope for Earl Clark to prove me wrong, but I’m less optimistic then I was when we signed him in the offseason. He should provide very good defense with his size and length, but his shooting is just not going to be up to snuff for a team that is going to have floor spacing issues regardless. Brown is going to be doing a lot of juggling at this position depending on the opposition and which of his prospective small forwards is hot. CJ Miles will surely see time at small forward, but he has the opposite problem of Clark in that his defense is lacking to say the least despite being a legitimate offensive threat. I don’t think Alonzo Gee is a legitimate rotation player on a playoff team and am waiting for him to prove me wrong. I believe Karasev, while having the size to play small forward, will eventually be a shooting guard in this league. Despite projecting him there, there are more minutes up for grabs at the SF position this season and I think Karasev will be put on Mike Brown’s small forward carousel at some point this year joining Gee, Miles, and Clark.
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