It appears to be well known by now that the Cavs are gauging Anderson Varejao’s trade value around the league, and that he has great value. It seems like this has gone to another level, and that the Timberwolves are seriously interested. How much can Grant get them to offer? Nikola Pekovic, a pick and Derrick Williams would be a hell of a package. Maybe we could add Boobie and grab Luke Ridnour as a backup PG, also. The may seem unlikely, but remember- this is David Khan we’re talking about. I know I’m in the minority on this, but I’m crossing my fingers for a deal to get done.
Archive for December, 2012
This article is based on the on-court / off-court data for the Cavaliers this season, provided by basketball-reference.com. Several interesting items of note will be mentioned and then discussed.
Cleveland’s effective field goal percentage when Dion Waiters plays is 48.4%, the highest on the team. Their offensive rating of 109.5 far exceeds all other players, and amounts to nearly 15 points per 100 possesions better than his bench-time.
This could mean two things (or likely, partially both things). The sample size is small, and the results relatively random. Or, despite his ineffiency, Dion’s high-usage, dynamic offensive style provides intangible benefits. A few points in this regards:
- Ideally, Gee and Thompson are 15% usage players; probably lower for Tristan. For better or worse, Andy plays at 18% usage. So unless the plan is for Kyrie to shoot as often as Kobe (maybe this should be), someone needs to take shots to allow the ‘role players’ to function at their most efficient usage.
- The Cavs offensive rebound rate of 35.9% is highest during his on-court stints. You thought it was when Varejao played? Dion’s shooting from deep actually resides around league average. He has been horrible finishing. You know what happens though, when he gets to the basket, draws the opposing big, and misses? Andy or Tristan get an easy tip-in. This has happened quite a bit this season.
- Finally, his frequent and relatively effective three point attempts spread the floor.
Of course, I am an obnoxious Dion apologist.
To balance that, I will note that the offense results in assisted baskets on nearly eight-percent less makes when Dion plays.
Team defense has been 9 points per 100 possesions better when Tristan suits-up, thanks to a dramatic 5.5% decrease in opponent effective field goal percentage.
Looking at my favorite defensive stat, RAPM, Tristan ranks 83rd of the 300+ players with 500 or more possessions; better than three-quarters of the league. A solid start from a 21 year old. Like everyone else, it would be nice to not see all of his shots blocked, but credit must be given where due.
Defense rates 9 points per 100 worse with Gee on-court, while being 10 points per 100 better with Casspi. RAPM picks Casspi as among the four Cavs (of 15) to play above average defense this season.
Cleveland’s rebounding rate is 6.6% higher when Andy plays. No elaborate discussion needed there.
The offense is 13 points per 100 possessions worse when Donald Sloan plays. I would say “ah, the perils of backing up Kyrie”, but the offense does not drop nearly as precipitously with Pargo at the helm.
At least the offense isn’t 27 points per 100 possessions worse when Mr. Sloan plays. That honor belongs to Luke Walton.
Team offense improves by eight points per hundred when Kyrie plays. It is also much more fun to watch. According to RAPM, he is the league’s 20th best offensive player. Not shabby for a 20-year old.
Of the Cavs with over 200 minutes, only Kyrie and Tristan show better results for both offense and defense when on-court. That’s right, team defense is slightly better when Kyrie plays. And the team offense overcomes Tristan’s struggles. I guess they help offset each other’s deficiencies. Now, if they can both figure out the other end.
Only Daniel Gibson and Jeremy Pargo show worse results at both ends. The team is 14 points worse per hundred during Boobie’s time. The coaching staff occassionally gives him credit for solid defense, but there is no tangible evidence. It’s probably veteran leadership that they are referring to.
Well, I am done. You have the link; what other ‘fun’ results are there?
The Mid Tier Guys:
In Monday’s segment, we covered the premiere free agents available in 2013. In this installment we cover the guys that will be available for less than $10 million dollars a year, in some cases MUCH less. These are the guys who should be filling out our bench: spot starters and role playing starters. They should provide veteran leadership, identifiable skills, and should be able to help us win ball games. Either that, or they should be young players who might still have room to develop. Some of these guys I like a great deal, and some I wouldn’t want wearing a Moondog suit.
I watched this game at a deserted bar with fellow NBA blogger Eric Maroun. To my recent surprise, Eric is a Clevelander, transplanted to the northside of Indianapolis, who writes for Hardwood Paroxysm. We met tonight and quaffed a few brews. So…this recap includes the insights of your favorite, intrepid, half-attentive, dive-bar viewing blogger.
The first half featured an irregular dose of CJ Miles, who tallied 23 points. Remember how Dion Waiters looked during the Clippers game earlier this season? That was CJ during the early portion tonight, and it was awesome. Cleveland forged to a 58 – 43 lead midway through the second quarter.
Unfortunately, over a 3 minute and 39 second stretch spanning the second the third quarters, Indiana punished the Cavs with eighteen unanswered points. Prorated to forty-eight minutes, that’s a 237 to nothing ballgame, folks. The Pacers have struggled this year without Danny Granger, but the core of George Hill, Paul George, Roy Hibbert and veteran David West can still resemble the unit that caused Miami playoff struggles last year.
The Pacers lead progressively extended from there, and they won by fifteen. It was a good night to watch the game at a bar.
A few notes:
I certainly noticed that Varejao and Gee were underperforming, but had no idea that they shot 0 for 16. That is embarrassing for them, and potentially for me.
I knew CJ Miles was streaky, but has he spent his entire career bouncing between ten game stretches of -6 PER and 30 PER?
Only nine points and four assists from Kyrie, but it is major fun seeing him on-court again. I am looking forward to Dion returning also, as there is a definite dynamism to each of their playing styles.
Jeremy Pargo only played three minutes tonight, with Sloan otherwise taking his minutes. His twenty minutes resulted in five points and two assists on 43% true shooting. Did I miss the back-story behind Pargo’s benching?
Ben Hansborough attempted to rake Tristan’s eyes out. Tristan defensively swung an elbow in his direction, to which Tyler Hansborough flipped out and did a tough guy, big brother thing. TT received the T, which from my seat seemed ridiculous.
Samardo Samuels and Luke Walton combined to play 39 minutes. I can not begin to fathom this. They both did things that they do; but why couldn’t Jon Leuer get minutes this season? Luke Walton is nearing 33 and obviously has nothing to do with the Cavs’ future. Heading into the season, I figured a legal-name-change to “Luke Walton’s retiring contract” was in order. Samardo has played 105 games…we know what he is now; barely an NBA player. Jon Leuer, after offering 555 fairly useful minutes to Milwaukee last year, received a three game chance? I know those were ugly outings, but why were neither Walton or Samuels playing, and then the exact day that Leuer gets sent to Canton, suddenly a plethora of minutes open up for Kevin Jones and the aforementioned duo? Curious roster decisions…Leuer posted 15 points, 13 rebounds, and 3 steals in his second game with Canton.
Yeah, so it was that type of game; the type where one-third of a recap is spent writing about a role player on the D-League team. Friday night will be better.
PHEW! What…a…game! MAN is it good to have Kyrie back!
The Cavs came out FIRING in the first half thanks, in large part, to Kyrie’s 7 assists and a crazy first half from Miles, and lead by 15 going into the 3rd quarter. After only scoring 14 (to LA’s 23) in the third, the Cavs held off the comeback, winning the game 100-94.
Kyrie Irving – THANK YOU BASKETBALL GODS, FOR RETURNING KYRIE! Kyrie had a ridiculous night – 28 points (on 11-21 shooting, including 4-6 from downtown), 11 Assists, and 6 rebounds, along with a steal. Not only did he clearly not miss a beat during his four weeks off, he looked invigorated and confident. What’s more, Kyrie’s D was actually passable in this game – he still got beat once in a while, but instead of just watching, tried to catch his loose man. Really, Kyrie was playing with more intensity than I’ve ever seen him on the D end. This was probably his best showing of the season. Man am I glad he’s back!
Andy – With all due respect to Kyrie and his absurd game, it was Andy who played the clutch role in the fourth quarter, snagging a beautiful rebound, hitting a clutch 12 footer and sinking two HUGE free throws. He and Kyrie picked up where they left off on the pick and roll and, after a few lackluster games (for him), Andy finally looked back in his comfort zone on O. As always his D was great, getting into Dwight’s head and disrupting all the action under the rim (even causing a bunch of Dwight turnovers.) Unfortunately, Andy fell short of a double double, partially due to the fact that Howard had 20(!) rebounds. Oh yeah, Andy had a RIDICULOUS dunk on Jordan Hill after faking out Dwight Howard. FUN!
CJ Miles – Despite Kyrie’s return and despite Andy’s phenomenal game, the biggest story of the night is probably the fact that Miles absolutely WENT OFF for 28 points (a team high) on 10-18 shooting (including 5-10 from downtown) and chipped in 5 rebounds to boot. If Miles keeps playing like this, we might have ourselves something, here.
Tyler Zeller’s D – I KNOW Tom noticed but, did anyone else? Zeller was disrupting an inordinate number of Dwight Howard shots. He was physical and fearless in defending someone much bigger and stronger than he. His long twos weren’t falling, but it didn’t matter, Zeller’s impact on D was enough to make him very valuable in this game.
Alonzo Gee – Yeah, he had 17 points (on 6-14 shooting, which isn’t great) and yeah he was playing a Kobe Bryant who was clearly channeling his younger self, but it’s not supposed to look this bad. While Kobe’s shooting was absurd, Gee got beat far too many times, missed some key switches (letting Kyrie pick up Kobe far too much) and bit on pretty much all of Kobe’s fakes. He’s allowed to have off nights, but to the tune of 42 points? When he’s our best defender? C’mon!
Jeremy Pargo – OUCH. Seriously…Ouch. We may have spoken too soon on the Pargo = backup discussion. Keep an eye on this in the future. (Side note: Pargo was the only Cavalier who was – in +/-)
The Cavs Bench in General, Minus Tyler Zeller – I mean…Minus Zeller, they didn’t score a point.
The Lakers Traveling Plans – Apparently extensive. I definitely saw them walk more than a few times (so did the refs). What’s up with that?
Andy’s Rebounding – Obviously Dwight played a huge role in Andy’s ability to rebound, but isn’t it amazing how Kryie’s impact on dictating offense leads to better scoring, which, in turn leads to fewer Andy rebounds? Varejao only had 2 O boards, by far his lowest since we lost Kyrie to injury. Hmmmm….
Note how I didn’t mention Tristan? That’s because he was a complete non-factor, minus some very good rebounding numbers. He looked fine and all, but definitely didn’t wow anyone. And 1 point? Really?
Tomorrow the Cavs face off against the Pacers @ Indianapolis. After tonight, there’s hope again. As always…GO CAVS!
Five Cavs questions for the writers – all in one place.
Question 1: Have you noticed any silver linings for the Cavs with both Kyrie Irving and Dion Waiters injured?
Question 2: Which Cavalier role player has exceeded expectations the most?
Question 3: During the upcoming off-season, should the Cavaliers sign a household name with a max or near-max offer or take a flier on someone for around the mid-level amount?
Question 4: Is there another NBA team besides the Cavaliers that you enjoy following?
Question 5: Has the poor start made you more supportive of keeping or trading Varejao?