Didn’t make it in studio this week but had a chance to chat on the phone with Mark about the Cavs. I got to drop an interesting take: playing so much with defensive-sieve Jose Calderon is going to make the Cavs that much more prepared for Isaiah Thomas at PG. It’s nice to see they can succeed giving 20ish minutes a night to Calderon. The Cavs are actually -0.1 with him on the court this season and +0.4 during the last 17 games (in which they’ve gone 16-1). In those 17 games, with Calderon on the court, the Cavs are posting a 112.0 Offensive Rating and a 111.8 defensive rating. So, he’s been serviceable, which is honestly way above my (or most people’s) expectations. Replace his minutes with IT and it’s not inconceivable to think the offensive rating jumps and the defensive rating stays about the same.
Had the Cavs employed the services of a defensive minded PG with a spotty outside shot like Patrick Beverly, or (thinking: is it bad to be thankful for injuries?) spent the last month getting used to Derrick Rose, integrating IT might have been more traumatizing than I think it will be. There could be growing pains, but I can see a future where his defensive deficiencies are in some ways already being addressed and his offensive firepower and shooting abilities could unlock the Cavs offense to a whole new level of dominance.