Links to the Present: Seeing Wins Editions

August 18th, 2014 by David Wood


Shawn Marion is coming to the Cavs.  It’s old news now.  However, people are still weighing in on what he will bring to the team.  Jimmy Cook of King James Gospel kept his take on Marion very short. The Matrix brings durability, playoff experience, and great shooting.  Cook also mentions that Marion played 31.7 minutes per game last season.  That number will go down and his effectiveness will go up.  The Cavs have hit title run Miami Heat status in that regard.

The team keeps getting guys like Mike Miller and Shawn Marion that could still be starters and big contributors for a less talented team.  On the Cavs though, these guys will be role players looking to post the most efficient seasons of their entire careers.

The gravitational pull of LeBron James is helping the Cavs to become one of the most stacked teams in the league.  It’s no wonder that when ESPN talks about the best NBA games in the upcoming season the Cavs have a ton of games on the list along with the Thunder.  The Cavs are involved in eight out of the thirty-five games mentioned while the Thunder are in eleven of the games mentioned.  People have seen LeBron dominate the league for years and are ready to see Durant LeBroninate (dominate)  the league, so it makes perfect sense ESPN voted so many Oklahoma games as must watches.  Thankfully, Durant won’t start his domination against the Cavs.  Check out this stat:

Interesting sidenote: Durant is 0-5 against LeBron the Cavalier, losing by an average of 15.2 points

Durant will be 0-6 after his next match against the Cavs when LeBron locks him down on defense and is whipping passes to an open Kevin Love .  It feels awesome to type statements like that and to again have so much bravado as a Cavs fan.

LeBron is also likely to be MVP.  Don’t take my word for it though.  Take the word of the ESPN forecast and sports fans.

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Andy Varejao may end up being the MVP in terms of defense for the Cavs.  Trevor Magnotti of Fear The Sword thinks that Andy will be going back to doing what made him great on defense over the years.  Trevor is reasonable and talks about how Andy over commits on pick and roll defense and has trouble defending on the perimeter before he reminds everyone of Andy’s true skill set.

indexVarejao’s size can raise concerns about how well he can handle the bigger centers of the league, but in post ups, Varejao can be a very frustrating defender for even the best post-up threats of the league. Varejao rarely gets backed down in the post, and most of the time opponents have to settle for fall-aways, jump hooks, or turn-around jumpers from outside the paint.

Conventionally, we think of the modern defensive center as one that protects the rim, defends the PNR, and covers for mistakes by letting the mistakes come to them and bailing their teammates out by blocking shots at the rim. Varejao accomplishes the same goal through a different means. Varejao doesn’t let the mistakes come to him; he attacks the mistakes by flying around the floor like a crazed piranha that’s smelled blood in the water. And that might be more useful to the Cavs’ overall team defense than someone who can just block shots.

Trevor goes on to mention that Varejao will probably get to utilize his post defending skills more this year because Kevin Love, Shawn Marion, and Tristan Thompson are all capable pick and roll defenders.  Andy and the Cavs are experiencing what Warren G. Harding would call a “return to LeBronacy.”  Instead of players doing all sorts of things they are uncomfortable with, players will be playing to their skills under LeBron just like the old 60 win teams did.