Notes and errata: March 23rd, 2010

March 24th, 2010 by John Krolik

Wow, I thought I posted this before I went to bed last night. Whoops.

-The ides of March are upon us, and I admit that I don’t have a full column on tap for tonight. Instead, here are some notes regarding the Cavs and from the league in general:

-Z’s coming back! Yay! This is Cavs: The Blog’s official position on this issue.

-Finishing up my nit-picking of LeBron, which was supposed to be done before the season but has taken me until now to complete:

-I’d still like to see LeBron shore up his man-to-man defensive fundamentals. He’s a lock-down man defender in crunch time thanks to his size and quickness, but his defensive stance isn’t quite perfect. This means he has to expend a lot of energy to play effective lock-down D, which hurts him in the first parts of the game. If LeBron was more on the balls of his feet defensively and did a better job positioning himself to keep his man from getting the corner on him, he could keep his man out of the paint much more effectively.

-Ball-handling. I call some BS on this, because the important part of ballhandling isn’t being able to keep your handle on fancy crossovers. It’s being able to go either direction with confidence at any time, which LeBron does as well as anybody. AI had all the shake-and-bake moves on tap, but he still couldn’t go left very well. Also, LeBron doesn’t have any more ball handling turnovers than most other high-volume perimeter players, according to 82games.com. This is particularly impressive when you consider how big LeBron is and how often he drives in traffic. Also, it’s impossible to see the court like LeBron does if you’re looking down to keep your handle. Still, LeBron doesn’t look quite as confident making audacious dribble moves as some other superstars do.

-Shot selection. LeBron’s isn’t as bad as people say, but I shouldn’t have to scream at my TV so much because a player as talented and smart as LeBron is forcing deep jumpers with time on the clock.

-Not sure how I feel about Darnell getting cut over Bassy. Darnell clearly wasn’t going to make this rotation, and Telfair has much more potential to contribute something over the next year or two. Still, D-Block has an excellent pedigree, and he’s been with the team a while, never doing anything stupid. Part of me thinks that should have been rewarded, even though I’m a big Telfair fan. Hopefully the team votes D-Block a ring if the Cavs do manage to pull it off this summer.

-Even though he plays for the Wizards, I am very happy Shaun Livingston dunked the other day.

-Drew Gooden with a 26-20. In a loss to a Dirk-less Mavericks team, of course.

-The Thunder have absolutely become my second-favorite team. (The Magic would be right up there if they didn’t beat the Cavs last year and represent the biggest threat to the Cavs this year. I feel deeply conflicted about liking that team.) But here’s why I’m not quite sold on them: their three main supporting cast members (Westbrook, Harden, Green) are all capable of going 2-10 from the field in a given game, and Kevin Durant can get one assist while scoring 45 points. I feel these phenomena are not entirely unrelated. Although KD might be the best freaking pure scorer I’ve ever seen. He scored 45 against the Spurs on 15-24 shooting, and his jumper was off. (LeBron’s capable of doing the same, but he’s not a pure scorer.)

-Toronto and Charlotte fighting for the 8th spot. Crap. I would really like to see a team the Cavs outclass on both ends of the floor in the first round, but the Raptors are a great offensive team and the Bobcats play stifling D. If it’s the Raptors, the question of whether or not to bring back Shaq also gets more complicated.