Mailing it In: Quick Takes

August 8th, 2014 by Nate Smith

Yesterday’s Kevin Love Wojbomb caught us unawares. We were timing our responses for August 23rd. With the CtB staff scattered across the globe: on vacation, moving, or working we sadly had no one on hand to give this monumental development the hard hitting response it deserves. Instead of sounding the conch call, and resounding the words “CtB Staff, assemble!“, we jumped in the air and then chipped in to give you some #HotSportsTakes and maybe a roster move or two.

Tom: if the details are true then this moves makes sense even as I think Wiggins will be a monster. I do find it premature that so many folks think Waiters doesn’t fit and should be moved. The Cavs must complement LeBron Love and Irving with youth and athleticism. Dion could fit quite well. A guy the Cavs could add? Kevin Love clone beta release .78:  Josh Harrelson (profile courtesy of CtB alum, Kevin Hetrick).

Ben: Blatt has something up his sleeve, defensively. He has been known to play a bit of matchup zone. I think we will see that a lot more than we would have otherwise. A rim protector erases a lot of mistakes in PnR D but if the offense is facing a zone, PnR is obviously less effective. We have spent a lot of time focusing on the downside of trading Wiggins, but the upside is pretty ridiculous. I continue to believe Andy’s injury issues are overblown. It wasn’t particularly advantageous for him to push through in recent seasons. Assuming he is healthy, we should have the best rebounding team in the NBA by far. Especially if Love gets back into the paint some more. I can’t wait to see this lineup: Andy, Love, Bron, Miller, Dion. Huge with shooting. In a match up zone, the length and basketball IQ makes up for some quickness issues. Offensively, holy scheiße!

Robert: I get it, Cavs fans. There’s an adjustment period whenever you go from expecting your team to fair poorly to expecting to cheer for a winner — when you trade incremental change for seismic, league-altering improvement. But here we are. I’ll paraphrase Mike Miller (God, who would have expected I’d be doing THAT): championship or bust aspirations make the game less fun than it should be. We’ve got a team now that can give some good game. For a moment, let’s enjoy that prospect.

Now, with what little room the team has left, they should bring in Emeka Okafor for a spin around the court. I say this based entirely on him being the one-dimensional player that lacks everything-but-that-dimension Cavs need most.

Nate: I’ll always have a soft spot for Andrew Wiggins. I’ve not been this excited about a rookie since Paul Pierce fell to the Celtics. So I really hope ‘Drew lives up to his potential. Flushing lobs from Love’s setup man, Ricky Rubio, will help. Flip Saunders may not (though he did guide Garnett…). Anyway, back to the Cavs. They’re certainly going to rebound well, and if the Cavs start Delly (which they should), they may be the best passing team I’ve ever seen. Think about it this way: Kyrie might be the worst passer in the lineup with floormates LeBron, Andy, Love, and Delly. That’s a bit of an exaggeration, but you get my drift. The sets available on offense are limitless: hi/lows, pick and roll, post-ups, drive and kick, back door cuts, and outlet pass alley-oops galore.

Defensively, I totally buy what Ben is selling: the defense was really extending in summer league. If that continues, lots of aggressive play on the perimeter with ‘Bron, Kyrie, Dion, and SuperDova will pressure the ball. Love, Andy, TT, and the geriatric crew will lay in the weeds for blocks charges. A couple more defensive playmakers are definitely called for, though. E’Twaun Moore was rumored yesterday. He’s had a solid uptick in his three years as an NBA player, posts a dRAPM of .25, and shot .354 from three last year. Personally, I’d rather have Wayne Ellington, if he’s released by Sacramento, as rumored. Ellington has career shooting splits of .418/.386/.855, and we all remember his turn with the Herculoids, but Moore is probably a better defender.

Everyone knows the Cavs need another big, especially one who can protect the rim. And the pickings here are slim. If you’re going to take a flyer on someone, why not take a flyer on six year Air Force vet, Bernard James, who was a Maverick for the last two seasons. James had a very solid summer league, has low miles for his 29 years of age, and still appears to be improving. James looked like a vet in Vegas, averaging 13.5 points, 7.8 rebounds, 1.5 blocks, and 1.8 steals in only 25.5 minutes a night over the course of four games. He also shot .625/.000/.778. The free throw number was a big jump from his career .596. Aside from possibly confusing Austin Carr, there’s no downside to adding an older, high character prospect with some growth potential.

David: Lying in bed this morning I just realized that the Cavs adjustment period to becoming a super team is going to be so much easier than it was with the Heat. It was the perfect realization to start my day.

The Heat had to train Chris Bosh do things he didn’t excel at like shooting the deep ball and moving out of the post. The Cavs need Kevin Love to be in the post, which is going to work amazingly. Love played in the post recently in his career and early on he played there exclusively. There will be plenty of operating space for outside players to use for drives or threes. Kevin may not like it but he’s going to take a lot fewer threes and get elbowed in the back by the David Wests of the league a lot more. The Cavs are going to be like watching the Spurs; only they’ll be using innate basketball ability to move the ball fluidly instead of the laws and regulations of Pop’s offensive system.

Defensively, hopefully the Cavs can get in their zone while playing the zone because they need a way to stop people from even approaching the rim off of pick and rolls and drives. If the team can do that, they’ll be decent defensively as rebounds will be sucked in by the Love Vacuum and Andy’s Afro. There won’t be many second chances for opposing teams, so the Cavs just need to focus on making the first shot of other teams reasonably poor. That should simplify the defense enough to be functional.

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