From Distance: An Introduction

four point play….

1. A few years from now, we will look back at the 2018 playoffs as the beginning of the Jayson Tatum era. The 20 year-old already plays with a pace and technical skill that far exceeds his years. Like Dwyane Wade in the 2004 Playoffs, Tatum is showing a superstar level talent that only needs some time to marinate.

It’s easy to look at this Celtics team and think of them as a bunch of role players that are playing above their heads. Yes, it is true that had Gordon Hayward not been injured in the first game of the season, Tatum likely wouldn’t have had to shoulder his current responsibility. Regardless, the rookie’s mature floor game and budding offensive mastery were going to be on display at some point in the season.

Tatum already has a polished offensive game, great length, and a great head on his shoulders. He’s stronger than his wiry frame would indicate. He has a competitive streak.

Without a great coach, that skill-set might not see the light of day. Skill-set and talent or not, a rookie hasn’t had the time to see the NBA Xs and Os. Tatum is incredibly lucky to have Brad Stevens as his coach (and yes, Stevens is lucky to have Tatum as a player).

Stevens’s preparation and demeanor have given Tatum a chance to capitalize on his talent earlier than expected. Stevens has made the game easier for his players, allowing them to trust each other and “not think too much”.

Toss in Terry Rozier, and the Celtics are relying on three young perimeter players far more than they anticipated when the season began. Rozier’s confidence and spectacular ability to get around picks on the defensive end are more surprising than Brown’s and Tatum’s early development. But, he too is a gifted player that has the right mentality with which to succeed in the playoffs.

Long story short, the Cavs are playing an incredibly talented group of young players. Even without Kyrie Irving and Gordon Hayward, the Celtics have superstar talent in Jayson Tatum, and All-Star talent in Jaylon Brown and Al Horford. This isn’t some “ragtag” group playing over their talent level. They are simply playing beyond their experience. That is due to their work as individuals and their coaching staff.

2. Contrast that to the Cavaliers’ coaching staff, and one gets a good idea of why Cleveland trails the series two games to none. Instead of building chemistry and confidence during the regular season, Ty Lue continued to experiment with limited veterans.

You can’t have it both ways. If regular season wins were mostly meaningless to the Cavs’ coaching staff, then why didn’t they “sacrifice” more potential victories by playing their young guys heavy minutes? We saw the team succeed when Cedi Osman and Ante Zizic got regular burn. Would it really have been a disaster to prepare them for potential playoff minutes by letting them play more during the “meaningless” regular season?

No, instead, Ty Lue applied the logic differently. He literally sacrificed wins and repetitions for talented young players by tossing out variations of old and/or bad. Jeff Green, J.R. Smith, Jordan Clarkson, Derrick Rose and Tristan Thompson continued to get minutes over potentially better players in Cedi, Ante, and Larry Nance Jr. The Cavs lost in the regular season because of Lue’s choice. They will probably lose in the Playoffs because of it as well.

It’s likely too late. Cedi has always been the tool in the toolbox that is most needed for this team. He can guard two to four positions depending on matchup. He plays hard at all times, pushing pace, moving bodies and dictating flow. Osman is also a talented Pick and Roll initiator if ever given a chance.

Dear Ty Lue, may I introduce you to Cedi Osman?

Before anyone says things like “it’s different in the NBA. Who’s he finishing over against Latvia?”, I’ll offer you the answer.

That would be Kristaps Porzingis. Thanks for playing.

Like I said, it is likely too late. You can’t expect guys to come in off the bench and save seasons after they have been jacked around all year. I believe in Osman as a player, but he is human and would need time to adjust. He needed regular reps before the Eastern Conference Finals.

Still, a potentially rusty Cedi Osman wouldn’t be worse than Rodney Hood or Jeff Green.

3. It’s now or never, Lue. Play the right guys or lose. Here, let me help you. Clearly you are incapable of constructing a rotation that makes sense.

Starting Five: 

Love, Bron, Cedi, Korver, Hill.

With that starting unit, the Love/Korver two man game is still intact from the jump. Hill and Osman can pop or dive on the weakside. Osman’s general activity and willingness to move the ball from side to side gives the Cavs more action to start the game.

The Celtics’ scouting report gets a little hazy because they don’t know exactly how much damage Osman can do off the bounce or as a cutter.

Defensively, Love checks Morris, LeBron guards Al Horford, Korver fights with Jaylon Brown, Cedi checks Tatum, and Hill hounds Rozier.

It will take some of LeBron’s offensive energy, but by checking Horford, the Celtics Pick and Roll game is cut off at the head. James doesn’t enjoy playing big man defense, but he has shown the ability to effectively guard screen-setters.

Brown would probably get it going a bit against Korver, but I still prefer that potential one-on-one damage to the constant four on three advantage that the Celtics have been playing with. Bron could shut down Horford at the start of the action instead of playing free-safety on the backend.

Cedi can guard everyone in the Celtics’ starting five except for Horford post plays. He might not shut those guys down, but he will make them work. Osman’s lateral quickness as been used this season on opposing point guards. That’s not where he is best suited, but that same quickness is necessary against a guy like Tatum.

Reserves:

Larry Nance, J.R Smith, Tristan Thompson/Jose Calderon

That’s it. I’m going Mike D’Antoni style and playing seven guys real minutes and maybe tossing a couple spare minutes to Jose Calderon.

End of 1st Quarter: Larry Nance, Kevin Love, Korver, Smith, Hill

2nd Quarter starters: Larry Nance, LeBron, Cedi, Smith, Calderon

Sub in Tristan for Larry if Larry isn’t playing with enough force.

Hill comes in for Calderon a few minutes into the second.

Kyle and Kevin come back a bit later.

LeBron and George Hill are going to have to play huge minutes unless J.R. can get it going from deep. There isn’t really a way around it.

Still, Cedi is a far better ball-handler than people realize. He is absolutely a more stable offensive player overall than Clarkson, Green, and Hood.

4. It’s always interesting how differently the national media looks at a coach’s reputation versus the home fanbase. I don’t know how many actual Cavs fans still believe in Ty Lue. The national media doesn’t put him in a good light necessarily, but he certainly has more respect around the country than he has in Cleveland.

I chalk that up to ignorance. The common fan still thinks guys like Derrick Rose, Jeff Green, Jordan Clarkson, and Iman Shumpert are serviceable NBA rotation players, thus Lue’s decisions don’t seem ridiculous. The problem, of course, is those guys aren’t winning rotation players anymore. Oh my. I just realized Ty Lue is a common fan.

Prove me wrong, Coach Lue.

 

 

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Ray
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Ray
27 days 21 hours ago
I do agree that Osman needs to play, but Hill-Smith-James-Love-Thompson is absolutely the starting unit. This lineup puts so much rebounding out that they force the Celtics to play two bigs. When this happens, Horford is less effective (he’s best as a 5 and Tristan Thompson has been his father in the playoffs for years). They also have to play Monroe more than they want, and we have a chance to get one of our best players, Larry Nance Jr., on the floor more. These Cavs are much more like the 2015 iteration, with a banged-up Irving that eventually went down, and a focus on defense. They do, however, have potential to continue to cause fits with LeBron at the 4 and Korver firing bombs. They will win this series if they keep it simple and EXPLOIT THE MISMATCH. Going back to Osman, he needs 100% of Rodney Hood’s minutes. While he should also get Clarkson’s minutes, I think Lue would be far too concerned about crushing two of his shakiest players’ confidence. Minutes breakdown ftw…. PG/ Hill 28, Clarkson 15, Osman 5 SG/ Smith 30, Korver 18 SF/ James 30, Korver 8, Osman 10 PF/ Love 20, James 10,… Read more »
Right Down Euclid
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Right Down Euclid
29 days 21 hours ago

Is anyone actually looking forward to the game? I think there’s actually a decent chance we win but I’m dreading turning it on

Nate Smith
Admin
30 days 1 hour ago

If the Cavs trade the pick I’d love to see them get a later first rounder to get jalen brunson.

JOHN B
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JOHN B
29 days 23 hours ago
Might as well take Young if he is there with the eighth pick if you are even considering Brunson, a junior, who is a half inch taller and is similarly of average athleticism. Why bother? Nice college player and maybe a not terrible bench guard that might provide some ok, if undersized defense at the point position. Point being, I doubt the eighth pick will return any player of value AND a first round pick. Might as well use it, because trading it just gets you a role player who will in no way help you get over the top against the warriors. Using could get you a guy like Porter, who could be something. Even Young could get better at finishing over length like Curry did. If he does, he will be a star. If he doesn’t he will be a great quick release shooter who has tremendous handles and court vision. Basically an ok bench guard who is a problem defensively. He wouldn’t be my first choice, but I might consider him and roll the dice on him with the eighth pick if available. People forget he is a freshmen, two years younger than Curry when he came… Read more »
JOHN B
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JOHN B
29 days 23 hours ago

Not high on either Bridges after watching scouting videos. Both struggled in ISO defense. Miles is a tweener and is super slow laterally for a three with almost no ballhandling. Mikal, as a junior, has a thinner frame than Young at 200 pounds at 6’7″. Guy similarly can’t shoot off the dribble, nor has great handles, has an inconsistent release, and is also not the quickest laterally. Good shot blocking guard though.

p00dcast
Guest
p00dcast
30 days 2 hours ago
In the likely event that we don’t win the championship this year, I’m certainly in favor of firing Lue regardless of whether we think LeBron may stay or not. You know who would be a good guy to replace him? Frank Vogel. Proven playoff success with a superstar and a bunch of role players, but not a hardliner like Pop or Carlisle that might rub LeBron the wrong way. Someone who understands LeBron’s game very well from experience and had success with Hill. Eminently available. Could contribute to the case they’ll make to LeBron that he should re-up. And if LeBron leaves you have a Clippers-like team that can play decent ball and has assets, so you can see how far they go together and then make adjustments – trying to reload on the fly before just blowing it up. Yeah, this team without LeBron isn’t great, and losing Kyrie still blows, but they’re in much better shape than the team he left behind the first time (#8, Love, and some young talent still with upside potential). And if that doesn’t work then you just hire Sam Hinkie and do The Process 2.0! (Haha, yeah like Gilbert would be willing… Read more »
Nate Smith
Admin
30 days 1 hour ago

There’s better choices than vogel. Hammond and messina come to mind.

p00dcast
Guest
p00dcast
30 days 1 hour ago

Sure, in a vacuum. But how would the relationship between Messina and James be different than it was with Blatt? I’m very pro-Hammon and hope she gets a head coach job soon, but considering the history with LeBron and first-time coaches (i.e. Mike Brown, Ty Lue) and the fact that he’s more win-NOW than any player in the league, why roll the dice on an unproven coach when you could roll with someone who has a proven track record?

JOHN B
Guest
JOHN B
30 days 27 minutes ago

Neither of those guys has anywhere near the pedigree of Messina. The guy was as good as Blatt in Europe and has spent four years as Pop’s head assistant. Not only was Blatt never the right hand man in Pop’s staff, he was never an assistant at all in the nba. As for Lue, being an assistant for Doc Rivers is not the same as being an assistant for Pop as evidenced by the coaching tree Pop has generated. Mike Brown was on the Spurs but was never a lead assistant, nor did he ever have the championship experience and head coaching experience Messina brings from Europe.

To be honest I wouldn’t be surprised if Pop considers retirement this year with his wife’s passing and if the Kawhi relationship isn’t repaired. At that point, it will be Messina’s team and he probably won’t go anywhere else if given the chance to take over the Spurs organization.

p00dcast
Guest
p00dcast
30 days 7 minutes ago

I have very similar thoughts on this. I think Pop may well retire from the NBA and focus on Team USA. Messina would no doubt be the perfect successor – I just don’t presume he’s the right fit for LeBron, who’s not much of a “team concept” guy (like Spurs and the best Euro coaches tend to be).

JOHN B
Guest
JOHN B
29 days 23 hours ago

Fair, but then again, what coach is the right fit for LBJ? Kind of never has been answered. I really don’t know.

p00dcast
Guest
p00dcast
29 days 22 hours ago

Yah, I dunno. He was obviously most successful with Spo. I feel like not a Pop/Stevens/Carlisle/Thibs type. I bet he’d love to play for Doc… but that would drive us all bonkers for the same reasons as Lue.

JOHN B
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JOHN B
29 days 21 hours ago

Yeah. Though Doc maybe has a bit more credibility to hold him accountable, though I don’t love him as a coach. He would likely be fine with Pop given the team USA connection and admiration he has shown. But yeah, everyone else, and yeah it is probably for all intents and purposes LBJ’s team/system.

p00dcast
Guest
p00dcast
29 days 21 hours ago

Yeah, agreed… I’d happily settle for him having a coach who sits players when they don’t have it and tries energy guys when the team is weak on defense and keeps running bad isos. That’d be nice!

JOHN B
Guest
JOHN B
30 days 1 hour ago

I do wonder if Hammond would get a fair chance from a lot of players. I hate to say it but I would be afraid of sexism in the ultra macho male professional sports world.

Nate Smith
Admin
30 days 1 hour ago

If LeBron is around she will

p00dcast
Guest
p00dcast
30 days 2 hours ago

Good analysis, Ben!

If I were Lue for a day, here are the minutes I’d allot tonight:

Starters:
40 LeBron
35 Love
30 TT
25 Korver
25 Hill

Bench:
25 Cedi
20 Nance
20 JR
20 Green

Play James and/or Love at all times. Give Cedi the Hood minutes and Nance the Clarkson minutes – get energy and defense, if not more offensive production. Play only one of TT, Green, and Nance at a time usually – plus 4 outside shooters. Try JR as a microwave guy off the bench to spell Kyle and maybe have more energy left to play some D in the fourth (he’s 32 after all). Let Cedi help James with making plays when Hill is out – I agree with everyone who says he can’t be worse than Hood and Clarkson have consistently been!

Chris K
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Chris K
30 days 3 hours ago

Just read this now–thanks, Ben. Spot on about how Lue tried to have one’s cake and eat it too. though I do not have enough fingers to point in all the directions of those who have helped mess up the post-championship Cavs, Lue suffices for now.

Concerning your suggested rotations: sharing dreams of what will never be is what the internet is all about…

Mike Podracky
Guest
Mike Podracky
30 days 5 hours ago

Did EG rage quit us !! Need him for game three.

Nate Smith
Admin
30 days 1 hour ago

He’s out of town for a bit. He’ll be back.

MJ 45
Guest
MJ 45
30 days 5 hours ago

Cavs in 6

I love how everyone becomes an expert around draft time, and so strident in their beliefs. Even for people who study this stuff year-round, there is still high levels of uncertainty with how a player will translate

JOHN B
Guest
JOHN B
30 days 5 hours ago

Yeah pretty much a crapshoot for most of the top ten and rest of the first round. Every year there is usually one or two guys at the top of the mock draft boards who seem like sure things as far as the ability to make an all star games if healthy. Dunno about this one. Maybe Doncic and Bagley. I would say Ayton but he is in the wrong era so who knows. I think for most years you are hoping there is a top three guy who looks like they are at minimum make a couple all star games in their career.

Sometimes there are guys at the top of every mock draft for obvious reasons like KD, Shaq, LBJ, Davis, etc. who pretty much appear to be destined to be superstars. That is pretty rare though.

Nate Smith
Admin
30 days 6 hours ago

Take the best wing available. That is all.

running jumper
Guest
running jumper
30 days 5 hours ago

One of the Bridges.

JOHN B
Guest
JOHN B
30 days 5 hours ago

Depends on if you want to roll the dice on somewhat unknown potential in MPJr or get a guy you know will come in based off everything they showed college and compete as a defensive 3 and D role player guy with likely a more limited ceiling in the Bridges.

Nate Smith
Admin
30 days 6 hours ago

Anyone advocating not playing cedi has to have blunders on about how putrid Smith, Clarkson, Hood, Green have been.

Jason
Guest
Jason
29 days 23 hours ago

Green had some very good games vs Toronto and had some big moments vs Indy. I know you are anti-Jeff, but he has been decent.

Nate Smith
Admin
30 days 6 hours ago

I meant to say “blinders” but this works too.

Nate Smith
Admin
30 days 7 hours ago

In case anyone is interested.
See this Instagram photo by @boobygang https://www.instagram.com/p/Bi7Qiudl3qZ/?utm_source=ig_web_share

running jumper
Guest
running jumper
30 days 6 hours ago

ahh man game 6.

JRL
Guest
JRL
30 days 6 hours ago

I’m surprised he isn’t still playing.

Mike Podracky
Guest
Mike Podracky
30 days 8 hours ago

Good analysis on the vanquishing of just a 31 year old Roy Hibbert and the diminished importance of big men in the paint in general in the NBA. Guess who the only players are that played more inside the free throw line than Hibbert from 2013-2016: Tristan Thompson and Timo.

Why The NBA Abandoned Roy Hibbert

running jumper
Guest
running jumper
30 days 16 hours ago

What’s the scouting report on Bamba offensively? I hope he can finish inside and make his freebies to be useful in crunch time.

believeLAND
Guest
believeLAND
30 days 15 hours ago

Capela energy/athleticism in a Gobert body with a jumper.

JOHN B
Guest
JOHN B
30 days 11 hours ago

Not a good jumper by any definition.

Jason
Guest
Jason
29 days 23 hours ago

There is the video of him hitting like 10 threes in a row.

JOHN B
Guest
JOHN B
29 days 23 hours ago

In practice. He shot 27.5% from three.

MikeO
Guest
MikeO
30 days 15 hours ago

Needs work, althoug his shot looks surprisingly good. I see no reason why he can’t have a good 15-17 foor shot (something TT hasn’t developed in years in the league) pretty quickly. His posts moves look raw to me in the limited time I’ve watched him.

running jumper
Guest
running jumper
30 days 15 hours ago

That’s good news. We won’t need his post moves anyway.

MikeO
Guest
MikeO
30 days 14 hours ago

Yeah, I’d be okay getting him, I’m pretty sure he’ll be gone, though. He has insane measureables, and he’s a smart guy, which I’m sure will impress people.

blip
Guest
blip
30 days 7 hours ago

Indeed. Bamba will most certainly be picked before we get a chance.

running jumper
Guest
running jumper
30 days 16 hours ago

There isn’t much depth in this draft. Outside of Doncic, who I don’t think is transcendent but still really good, non of the guys are really franchise cornerstone worthy. Even the media isn’t hyped on any of them. That’s why it’s tough to fool other franchise to give up an asset in exchange of the eight pick. Heck, Phoenix are “willing” to listen to offers. I’d be happy if we could land a McCollum/Beal type of player for the 8th pick and unload either TT/JR/Clarkson.

blip
Guest
blip
30 days 7 hours ago

The top 6 picks look really promising. After that, things drop off a bit, so our pick doesn’t have too much value.

Cjef
Guest
Cjef
30 days 10 hours ago

This draft is really good with a number of potentially transcendent players and there is depth down to the 10th spot. For instance Marvin Bagley could turn out to be Tatum Level good and he will probably go no. 4. Bamba could be NBA defensive player of the year and he will probably go 3-6. Next years draft looks poor to me.

running jumper
Guest
running jumper
30 days 6 hours ago

A number of potentially transcendent players? What’s the ballpark where looking at? 3-5? Hell then this is the greatest draft ever if that’s the case!!!

Ayton is no Tim Duncan. Dwight Howard has more noise coming in the draft than this guy. I absolutely like Doncic, but he ain’t Ben Simmons hype nor Magic Johnson hype coming out. Badgely isn’t compared to Lebron, he is projected as a Bosh lite. No hate but they say all the potential of incoming guys every year but no media, gm, scouts, analysts are hyped in this batch.

There are really good players in this draft. High floor but Mid ceiling players.
I’m just saying what all the writings are all about. No one is transcendent in this draft dude.

JOHN B
Guest
JOHN B
30 days 5 hours ago

Yep all the top picks have weaknesses. No one seems like a sure thing super star in the vein of a KD, Davis, LBJ coming out.

Jason
Guest
Jason
29 days 23 hours ago

MJ had no outside shot. Duncan was not a winner (no Final Fours for Wake). Curry wasn’t athletic enough. KD was too skinny to be a forward & too tall to play guard.

Ayton is WAAAAAY more talented than Howard. Doncic is the best player to come out since Duncan. Meaning, on draft day. Bamba has the largest wingspan in draft history and is mobile. Young led the NCAA in PTS & Assists. Jackson is more mobile even than Bamba & shot 40% from 3 and 80% on FTs. Porter is a coach’s son with a KD-lite game & length. Bagley can pass & is the best athlete of the bunch & the first 20/10 Dukie. Sexton almost won a game 3 on 5. Bridges won a title (or two?) and has insane wing length and a 40%+ three stroke.

These are 18/19 year old kids. Of course there are flaws. There is also a lot of production, talent, & titles. Do not kid yourself, this draft is loaded.

JOHN B
Guest
JOHN B
29 days 21 hours ago

But despite my reservations about all these guys, I wouldn’t trade the pick because of the amount of guys that have potential. Sure things, not so many, but certainly there is enough potential in those guys to justify keeping it.

JOHN B
Guest
JOHN B
29 days 22 hours ago
Crazy talk. Duncan was consensus number one and plenty of teams tanked for him specifically. MJ had a midrange shot coming out of college. No one shot threes when he came out save for maybe like one a game. KD was a sure thing and everyone knew it, except I guess the blazers. The guy averaged 24 ppg as a freshmen on like 48 percent shooting with zero holes in his offensive game. Could post, handle like a guard, shoot step back 25 footers, block shots, rebound in college as a freshmen. The guy was as sure a thing as there has been since Shaq. The fact you consider Doncic to be the best player to come out since Duncan leads me to believe you are crazy. Lebron, KD, Davis were all far better prospects. Far, far better. Not even in the same universe in terms of their potential at the time they came out and their floor. Davis was one of the best defensive players to come out since Olajuwon and showed massive, startling offensive improvements from the beginning of his freshmen year to the end. Lebron was rightly considered the best high school player ever and most teams… Read more »
JOHN B
Guest
JOHN B
29 days 22 hours ago

Bagley has potential offensively (jumpshot work in progress, no post game, spoon fed at duke) but I am not sure he has the tools on defense (awareness, rim protection). Bamba has potential, but has a long long ways to go on offense. Jackson is a prototype stretch big with a funky slower release and slightly above average explosiveness. I think he could be a nice player on a championship team, not a star. Young could be a superstar, an ok bench guard, or a complete bust. Doncic has handles, vision, and size, but has some limitations.

But I don’t disagree that there is depth in the sense that a lot of these guys could make an all star game in their career but few are sure things to do so. None, save maybe Ayton to me are likely guaranteed to be all stars. Ayton has basically no weaknesses besides motor and focus. Freak athlete 7 footer with a David Robinson body and a jumpshot.

JB225
Guest
JB225
30 days 19 hours ago

To me it doesn’t matter who the Cavs pick or trade for what matters is that the Cavs find a great coach that can’t get the most out of each player in the roster on both sides of the court like Brad Steven’s does with the Celtics.

\"new\"nomad
Guest
\"new\"nomad
30 days 19 hours ago

#1 ) –yes I am a fan of sexton—plays with “an edge—competitor “—we need more players like him—-the shot WILL COME IN TIME / REPS ———

2)—-SUNS ARE WILLING TO POSSIBLY TRADE #1 PICK—–ANY INTEREST—IF SO WHO WOULD WE OFFER TO INTICE THEM TO TRADE

3)—DONIC —threatens to possibly stay in Europe– if other teams before the cavs shy away from him —should the cavs draft him ————————just some thoughts

Jason
Guest
Jason
29 days 23 hours ago

If Doncic telks everyone he will stay in Europe unless he gets to play with LeBron. That would be awesome.

running jumper
Guest
running jumper
30 days 16 hours ago

1. Sexton isn’t really a point guard and needs the ball on his hands. A lil small to be a SG too….. Yeah so as Kyrie Irving. But Kyrie is already waaaay more polished offensively when he got with Lebron. Sexton’s got an edge too for sure, but in a Dion Waiters kinda way. I don’t like that imo.

2. I don’t think this crop is as good as advertised except for Doncic. In which…

3. The Cavs absolutely don’t have anything to offer that #1 pick lol.

MikeO
Guest
MikeO
30 days 22 hours ago

I am not really high on Michael Porter, honestly…going on limited info, obviously. Most of his highlights I’ve seen are of him finishing alley oops on overmatched opposition. In my barely informed view, I am reminded of Jabari Parker in high school, and I didn’t and don’t love him. Porter may be a better shooter than Parker.

Then there is the back, which apparently was bothering him for a couple of years prior to the surgery. I do think it’s possible, if unlikely, that he drops to the Cavs, and I don’t know how I’d feel about that.

I kind of like Sexton – he’s a competitor and a gamer. One wonders about his shot, but I like everything else.

John B
Guest
John B
30 days 18 hours ago

He is a better athlete. I worry about his frame , durability, and ability to create for himself at the next level. But he has the physical tools and a good jumper for a guy coming out of high school.

believeLAND
Guest
believeLAND
30 days 15 hours ago

He seems really awkward and stiff the way he moves. I don’t see crazy off the charts athleticism.

JOHN B
Guest
JOHN B
30 days 5 hours ago

He has pretty great hops and a god jumpshot. But yeah he doesn’t have much shiftiness. Ball handling isn’t really going to get him far as a slasher.

running jumper
Guest
running jumper
30 days 16 hours ago

He’s KD-lite but not so..

If not for his health, he might be number 1 on the charts. But that injury history is really concerning. If someone told me he will be the best player in this draft in five years not named Doncic, I might believe him.

Jason
Guest
Jason
30 days 23 hours ago

Some mocks:

NBADraft.net = Young
Bleacher Report = Porter
Consensus = Carter (though Porter & Mikal Bridges were the two most common).

Nate Smith
Admin
30 days 7 hours ago

Why Carter. I don’t get it. That dude had mediocrity written all over him. Take the best wing available.

John B
Guest
John B
30 days 7 hours ago

Yeah no thanks on Carter. MPJ should be the target. He won’t be there though.

Jason
Guest
Jason
30 days 23 hours ago

IDK how the draft will pan out. Ayton & Doncic are almost certainly 1-2.

After that: Bagley, Jackson, Bamba, Porter, Carter, & Young are a pretty consensus 3-8. I think anyone besides Bagley/Jackson could tumble to us at #8. And I could see someone falling in love with Sexton. Including us.

John B
Guest
John B
30 days 18 hours ago

Bagley and Jackson will almost certainly be top 5.

believeLAND
Guest
believeLAND
1 month 2 hours ago

We need to draft Bamba and add Paul George. Need to get rid of JR, TT, Hood, Clarkson. Need to hire a good coach.

MikeO
Guest
MikeO
1 month 1 hour ago

I actually like Bamba, but he will be gone before the Cavs pick, I have little doubt of that. I bet he goes to Chicago, worst case. I look forward to Nate’s write-up of Trae Young.

Nate Smith
Admin
30 days 22 hours ago

Thank God. And thank god young will be gone too.

MikeO
Guest
MikeO
30 days 22 hours ago

You will grow to love Young! He’s 6’0″ in socks! 6’2″ wing span! DanG adores him!!

John B
Guest
John B
1 month 1 hour ago

Trae young going to Orlando. MPJr gone too likely. Probably get one of Wendell Carter, or the bridges.

JMay
Member
1 month 2 hours ago

I usually like David Zavac but in his article for the Athletic he is far too lenient on Lue and classifies Cedi Osman as a “rookie who can’t shoot”. Cedi misses a few shots at the end of the regular season after being yanked around and having zero rhythm and suddenly he is a rookie who can’t shoot? He’s shooting almost 37% from three… 36.8% to be exact. In case you don’t already know, that puts him just behind JR Smith who is shooting 37.5%… Where did this stigma that Cedi can’t shoot come from?

Here’s the source – https://theathletic.com/358446/2018/05/18/ty-lue-deserves-the-criticism-but-hes-also-running-out-of-options/?source=email

Charlie E
Guest
Charlie E
30 days 22 hours ago

Agree that Cedi can shoot fine. He’s smart and moves well and he’ll be open even against playoff defense.

MikeO
Guest
MikeO
1 month 2 hours ago

I’m not knocking Cedi at all, but most of his threes this season were of the wide open variety…I wouldn’t trust his three shooting against playoff defense too much. I still think he should be getting playing time, though. I also think he should work on his catch and shoot threes every waking minute this offseason.

JB225
Guest
JB225
30 days 18 hours ago

I agree with Mike, Cedi is a great energy guy but he is not a good enough to play him consistently.

Nate Smith
Admin
30 days 7 hours ago

And Rodney Hood and. Jeff Green are?

JMay
Member
1 month 1 hour ago

The reason you don’t trust his shooting is probably because you’ve seen so little of it. By that I mean he hasn’t gotten enough opportunities to convince those who are down on him that he is a capable shooter…

Joeyb
Guest
Joeyb
1 month 3 hours ago

The destruction of the 2016 title team has been epic. They became terrible AND blew all their assets. Which is hard to do.

believeLAND
Guest
believeLAND
1 month 2 hours ago

Honestly, when were they really actually good? Always were inconsistent and horrible defensively. Only played hard when they were really pushed.

JMay
Member
1 month 1 hour ago

They were good when they were coached by Blatt… Ungalvanized, but good…

NickNevers
Guest
NickNevers
1 month 1 hour ago

The March and April in 2015 – we were scorching. I think we had an insane record during that stretch. Unless, you’re talking since we won, I’d say playoffs last year. Our offense was ridiculously good.

believeLAND
Guest
believeLAND
30 days 23 hours ago

He mentioned “2016 title team”. I loved the 2015 March and April team. They played tremendous ball. Blatt got robbed by Love and Kyrie’s injury. Would have won the finals and gone a long way in earning Lebron’s trust.

Simmo
Guest
Simmo
30 days 6 hours ago

Yep. They win that one, the whole timeline changes. We might be talking about a four-peat right now….then again, maybe Kyrie would have left in 2016 if he won a chip…

Nate Smith
Admin
1 month 4 hours ago

Mike Podracky
Guest
Mike Podracky
1 month 5 hours ago

I meant to quote a glaring bad stat on George Hill in the playoffs. Hill’s vaunted wing span and defensive abilities have produced exactly one steal not just against Boston, but the entire playoffs. That is just so inexcusable when you aren’t scoring, rebounding or making assists like the last two games. Against Boston, Hill has played more like a $2 million vet minimum guy than his $20 million contract. How about some fire, George.

CLF
Guest
CLF
1 month 6 hours ago

30% of the Cavs’ total cap space is tied up in Clarkson, TT, and JR…. that’s insane.

believeLAND
Guest
believeLAND
1 month 2 hours ago

It’s unbelievable man. The contracts on this team are insane.

CLF
Guest
CLF
1 month 6 hours ago

And all 3 contracts run until 2020.

JRL
Guest
JRL
1 month 5 hours ago

Wow what a disaster. Although I gotta be honest and say I can see Clarkson improving under a better coach/system.

CLF
Guest
CLF
1 month 5 hours ago

He’s the youngest by a good 3 or 4 years…. also not a head-case like JR and more skilled at basketball than TT. Agreed, limited bench role as SG… Clarkson could be great at that. Not sure it’s worth 11m/yr but that’d crying over spilled milk.

MikeO
Guest
MikeO
1 month 3 hours ago

He has this really awkward looking, mechanical jump shot, too…it’s worked well enough for him to get to the NBA, but it’s a pretty ugly shot…

Mike Podracky
Guest
Mike Podracky
1 month 6 hours ago

In case you didn’t read this, Lue actually admitted he messed up on the rotations in Game Two. Of course the start of the 4th quarter is highlighted as we all ranted about on the live thread. Lue called out LeBron for actually needing a blow for screwing up his rotations. Yeah, he can’t play 48 minutes, Ty. Most of us on CtB would say he has messed up most of the year by not developing the younger players as Ben points out.

In the article’s accompanying picture, Lue looks like he hasn’t slept in three days. Wish he had never come back from his medical leave. The appalling realization to me is that virtually no player that comes to Cleveland improves under Lue: Crowder, Hood, Clarkson, Nance and even our no assist point guard George Hill. Only some long time veterans like DWade or pure shooters like Channing Frye have not went backwards under Lue.
https://www.cleveland.com/cavs/index.ssf/2018/05/tyronn_lue_made_costly_mistake.html#incart_river_index

Nate Smith
Admin
1 month 4 hours ago

he looks exhausted

Mike Podracky
Guest
Mike Podracky
1 month 4 hours ago

BTW, sorry about my comment on your prediction of Cavs in 6. I took out my frustration on you.

JRL
Guest
JRL
1 month 5 hours ago

Good article. Thanks for the link.

Charlie E
Guest
Charlie E
1 month 6 hours ago

So good. Thanks, Ben. If ever we should meet I am buying you an infinity number of beers.

The problem with the Celtics is that they play a full 4 quarters of intense ball, and the old guys on the Cavs (JR, TT, Korver, Hill) basically cannot play a full game unless the stars align. Even LBJ, though his offense is the best its ever been thanks to his improved shooting, doesn’t give you a full game of D. So what tends to happen is that they are cruising along and then the bottom falls out.

One thing is that the key Celtics players, though young, have been playing together for quite a while in Steven’s system. Horford, Brown, Rozier, and Smart now have two full years plus playoffs.

LeBron is a mighty smart ball player. I hope we see some new ideas tonight that give us some advantage.

JRL
Guest
JRL
1 month 5 hours ago

You mean tomorrow?

Charlie E
Guest
Charlie E
30 days 22 hours ago

Oops. Yeah.

Matt from Mentor
Guest
Matt from Mentor
1 month 7 hours ago

I had to begrudgingly give respect to the Celtics in game 2 – being a casual fan and all – and acknowledge Tatum, Rozier, and Brown as ballers. And Stevens as a genuine MVP coach. If the Cavs pull off one win, I’ll be impressed. And then I’ll have to accept that Jeff van Gundy (who called it Celtics in 5, but also said Lue is a great coach, so …) is a basketball genius. ;-)

In Lue’s slight defense, the roster has been anything but stable all year long, and shouldn’t we be slightly impressed that he got the team this far? Probably not; cause, you know, LeBron.

JRL
Guest
JRL
1 month 6 hours ago

How many games did Cedi and Zz play meaningful minutes – 5-6 games? Wasn’t obvious right then and there that he had something really nice to work with? Why not continue to use them as oppose to benching Zz the moment TT came back and then replacing Cedi with Hood.

I’ll give you the Hood situation. Sure, we needed to see what he could do. But hasn’t it been obvious since the playoffs started that Hood doesn’t have anything at the moment. Maybe the stage is too big and being a new parent is taking his toll, but Lue knew what he had with Cedi. No way he forgot about it. So why continue to play Hood?

Lue is a moron, as I’ve said plenty times before. He got lucky the Cavs won in ’16. He is the worst coach of the playoffs by far. A total waste of a season and a horrible ending with not only losing to Boston but losing LeBron in the process.

JMay
Member
1 month 5 hours ago

I said this below but ya, the problem is that we are all trying to apply logic to Lue’s decisions and he doesn’t use it. Yes, it was painfully obvious that Zizic could be a really useful piece. I mean he shot better that 70% in the short time he was on the court. He showed competent PnR skills, decent decision making skills, he was a bit slow footed on defense especially when defending the PnR. Still, I don’t know how many times I’ve seen our guys get totally lost on a simple PnR so he fits right in on that account. He was a good screener and a big, tough body down low when he needed to be though not particularly a “shot-blocker”. Still, certainly worth some minutes when going up against a bruiser like Baynes.

JRL
Guest
JRL
1 month 5 hours ago

Zz’s game stats. Look at games #63-72. How can Lue not see those numbers as I (we all?) see them??? The guy is a solid bench player, getting ready to be a solid(good/great) starter.

https://www.basketball-reference.com/players/z/zizican01/gamelog/2018/

Absolutely no talent recognition or development from this coaching staff. And it starts with Lue.

JRL
Guest
JRL
1 month 7 hours ago

Great article Ben.

The biggest issue with Lue is the lack of trust of his young guys. He would rather stick by JR and Green and hope for the best.

What usually happens is that they have a good game, every fourth game or so, and Lue can then say, “You see. I told you guys they were going to come around.” Then it all repeats itself.

Cavs will lose. Maybe even get swept. I hope Lue is fired instantly after.

As I said in the comments before, a competent (not even great) coach will turn Zz into a B+ version of Paul Gasol. No doubt in my mind. Lue is a f’ing idiot and will cost us LeBron leaving a second time.

matt tag
Guest
matt tag
1 month 7 hours ago

fantastic article

Leo
Guest
Leo
1 month 8 hours ago

Lue is too bent on 2016 being down 3-1….he thinks the veterans would better handle the situation or any tense situations and remedy the result. But Jeff Green doesn’t have this experience, JR is turning into a clown show, and TT is hit or miss and doesn’t provide any offensive game beyond two feet of basket. Unlike Stevens and even Kerr, Lue won’t go to young guys for some energy or different looks. Stevens friggen played Greg Monroe who is three levels washed up for many minutes last game. Is Zicic that worse or is Lue ignorant? The Celtics aren’t doing anything fancy, they are just executing very well and playing with tons of energy no matter what has transpired. Thats good coaching.

JMay
Member
1 month 8 hours ago

I think the problem is that we are trying to apply logic where there isn’t any. Lue is not making logic based decisions.

John B
Guest
John B
1 month 7 hours ago

Yep I think you nailed it. I think he is a gut feeling guy on his rotations. Probably explains why they are so wonky and why he rides certain lineups so hard. I don’t think he keeps track of minutes in games.

JMay
Member
1 month 8 hours ago

Can we start a kickstarter to get Ben installed as the coach for the final portion of the series? Ben, are you willing to fly back from Germany to coach this Cavs team to victory? To be fair, I’d trust my wife to coach this team more than I would Lue. She only has a cursory knowledge of basketball that started when we started dating, but at least she listens to me screaming things at the TV during games…

Boogieeels
Guest
Boogieeels
1 month 10 hours ago

Jayson Tatum and Rodney Hood are almost identical basketball palyers. Only clear difference I see is that Tatum is right handed and Hood is left handed. And also, that Rodney Hood sucks.

MikeO
Guest
MikeO
1 month 9 hours ago

This made me laff.

BobbyNachos
Guest
BobbyNachos
1 month 9 hours ago

And Tatum scores and plays better defense. He doesn’t dribble off his foot all the time. He’s a better driver. So yeah, ummm, same player…

Nate Smith
Admin
1 month 9 hours ago

This made me question your sanity till the last sentence. Though I bet Tatum would be similarly befuddled under this coach.

John B
Guest
John B
1 month 8 hours ago

He probably wouldn’t play.

JRL
Guest
JRL
1 month 7 hours ago

I needed that laugh Boogieeels. Very nice.

MikeO
Guest
MikeO
1 month 10 hours ago

Definitely agree that Cedi is a ‘more stable’ offensive player than Clarkson, Green, or Hood. Green has more potential upside (but that’s the story of his career, right), although he has sucked in this series.

I like your starting lineup, but you probably realize that Clarkson, Green, or Hood are all much more likely to start than Osman. If Lue pulls JR (unlikely), I bet Hood will start.

Not all his fault, some of it is the endless roster churn, but this has been Lue’s worst season.

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