Byron Scott’s biggest challenge… let me rephrase that because Scott has a multitude of challenges taking over the post-LeBron Cavaliers.
One of Scott’s biggest challenges is the four spot — the proven veteran Antawn Jamison or the future of the team at the position, JJ Hickson? While it is not a totally either/or situation, the fact is it will be hard to play those two at the same time so Scott needs to figure out a rotation that works.
Round one goes to Hickson. Barely.
Coming off the bench in the Cavaliers preseason opener Hickson put up 17 and 9, pretty nice numbers. Much better than the starter Jamison, who had 4 points and 8 rebounds in 21 minutes.
Jamison struggled, he was 1 of 9 from the floor, 0-2 from three. It was not pretty at all.
But this was not a clear win for Hickson, who was just 5 of 13 from the floor (38 percent), which is doubly bad because Hickson cannot stretch the floor. If you’re shooting close to the basket only, you have to do better. His midrange game improved some last season, but his money is made getting points in the lane. An off-season spent working on post moves did not show itself in the Cavaliers first game.
If the Cavaliers really are going to get out and run as Scott has promised, Hickson should benefit because of his athleticism and ability to finish around the rim. Should. But Jamison is a veteran who is not going to be 1-9 most nights, and when you need to stretch the floor he has to be your guy.
The idea of playing them together may get tried but likely is a defensive disaster — neither is going to be able to guard threes in this league well. You’d need a very specific matchup for it to work.
Byron Scott, I do not envy your choices here. We’ll see what he throws out on Thursday as a starting lineup. He is allowed to go mad scientist with his experimenting, he has nothing to lose.
What legal system overburdened with frivolous lawsuits are you talking about?
From Courthouse News (via Ben Maller):
A man sued the Cleveland Cavaliers and the Quicken Loans Arena to discover the identity of the NBA team’s mascot, Moondog, who allegedly struck his arm to make him drop a sign, rupturing a tendon in the process, in Cuyahoga County Court.
The Cavaliers legal response to this suit was written in Comic Sans.
Maybe as part of this lawsuit we can find out why the Cleveland Cavaliers have a dog mascot. Named Moondog. Just curious.
When LeBron James announced his decision, Dan Gilbert lashed out.
It was an emotional response, a public letter that called James decision a “cowardly betrayal” and insulted James. It earned Gilbert a $100,000 fine and a rebuke from David Stern.
Gilbert now says he has moved on. So the Detroit Free Press asked him if he had any regrets.
“No, not really,” Gilbert said. “I just expressed what the Cleveland people were feeling. Unless you’re from Cleveland and experienced what they have experienced since 1964, it’s hard for the rest of the country to grasp.”
This echoes what we’ve said about the letter from the start — it played well with the Cavaliers core fans. Clevelanders loved it, and the good will generated was well worth the fines. Gilbert spoke for a fan base.
So now it’s on from the big words to see if Gilbert can help rebuild his team. No angry letters can do that.
Jawad Williams was a big deal for a little over a week last season. He really was. He scored 12 points on January 31st. He had 9 points and 5 rebounds on January 29th. And then he really broke out and scored 17 points on February 9th. It wasn’t so much a revelation, as a grassroots groundswell, really.
Anyway the young forward full of promise has signed the Cavs’ qualifying offer for $1.02 million this season and will return to the Cavaliers to compete for the starting small forward spot, so sayeth the Windhorst. The Cavs have an opening at that position as you may have heard when a small-time player took his talents elsewhere
Williams will battle with Jamario Moon and Joey Graham for the role. So he’s pretty much got an even chance of getting it, especially if the Cavs decide to hold a firesale. Williams can contribute. The question will be how much and in what capacity.
David Griffin has signed on for some rebuilding.
Former Suns executive Griffin has been hired as the new Vice President of Basketball Operations for the Cleveland Cavaliers, according to ESPN.
Griffin left Phoenix with Steve Kerr. He had been the frontrunner to take over as general manager in Denver, when talks reportedly hit a snag over money. Griffin wanted the going rate of about $1 million a year for the GM job, the Nuggets were offering less. Terms of his deal in Cleveland have not been made public.
Griffin will team with General Manager Chris Grant and coach Byron Scott to rebuild the Cavaliers franchise. While there will be a pecking order, what really matters is that all three are on the same page in terms of the kind of team they are trying to build.
Griffin and Grant are both bootstrap guys, people whose first job in an organization was as an intern and they worked their way up the ladder. In theory, that should bode well for what they are trying to build. But rebuilding there is going to take time.