From Distance: Lasting First Impressions

four point play….

1. With Game 1 of the 2018-2019 NBA season in the books, it is time to make some sweeping conclusions.

The Cavs will not make the Playoffs.

-assertion confidence  70%

This is somewhat of a 180 for me. I’m not sold and the 30% could grow considerably if Koby Altman is able to pull off a deal that would send Tristan Thompson, J.R. Smith and Jordan Clarkson packing.

The reason I am leaning towards the Cavs not making the playoffs mostly has to do with the somewhat necessary plan to play Collin Sexton heavy minutes.

I am slightly on an island in the NBA blogosphere as someone who doesn’t foresee big things for the Young Bull. I have said a few times that his ceiling is Darren Collison type production. Collison is quite underrated so it isn’t as though I think Sexton will be a bad player.

I simply don’t see a natural ability in Sexton to turn the corner, get a defender on his hip, all the while maintaining his dribble. He has a good first step, but doesn’t have a good “last step”. Or shall I say, a defender can always tell when Sexton’s last dribble and step will be.

Yes, he can get better at “Nashing” it with practice, but we should at least see some evidence of elite secondary burst if we are to crown the kid a future All-Star.

So far, his most impressive finishes in summer league and preseason have featured Collin taking off from one dribble too far away from the rim and flinging his body and ball high into the air with no fallback plan.

Even those have been few and far between. Great guard finishers all realize that one has to get under a defender before exploding directly into his chest to create space. If one launches from too far away, it may look graceful when wide open, but mostly gets rejected against a longer defender.

In my film study of Sexton, he doesn’t have that feel. Both Collison and Patrick Beverely learned to become good outside shooters and solid to great defenders. Again, it isn’t the shooting that I worry about with Sexton. One can improve a shot. I also expect Collin to continue to improve his lateral footwork making himself similar to those guys on the defensive end.

But like Beverley and Collison, Sexton’s lack of natural ability to drive and maintain dribble or finish through contact will limit his overall effectiveness. Perhaps he will become serviceable, if somewhat mechanical, like Beverley. Maybe he will go the Collison route and just refine his speed drives by adding that extra last dribble.

Whichever route or combination of routes he takes, it is asking a lot of him and the coaching staff to turn Sexton’s miserable paint game into anything approaching “decent” in year one.

Normally an elite player has the drive and finish game from the start. They usually aren’t very efficient early in their careers, but they have their flashes. Show me a single flash Collin. Impressive or not, that drive into Kawhi Leonard is exactly my point. He took off too early and didn’t get into Leonard’s body. It was a nice tear-drop, but it was also a particularly poor effort from a normally great defender. Guards need to create space, not hope a guy won’t time their jump.

2. With Tristan’s stunted offensive skill-set and Jordan Clarkson’s inability to play team ball, too many rotation minutes will be given to negatively producing players for the Cavs to win the roughly 44 games necessary to secure a playoff seed.

If Lue were a better coach, I might be able to convince myself that he could manage the rotation to maximize winning. Let’s be real. We are all hoping that is the case, but few of us truly believe it to be true.

In a much improved Eastern Conference, a coach can’t waste 20 games searching for a rotation. Only the Knicks, Hawks, and Bulls are locks to be worse than the Cavs. I am pleased Lue started Cedi Osman, but nothing else has instilled much confidence in his new era coaching.

For example, that mid-range jumper was in full effect in game one. Whether it is Lue, or Mr. Cavalier Austin Carr himself, encouraging the mid-range jumper isn’t the best way to promote player freedom. Unfortunately, the Cavs’ mostly lateral offensive attack didn’t make it particularly difficult for the Raptors to wall off the Cavs’ weak playaction. It led to many mid-range jumpers off the bounce from guards who are not named Chris Paul or DeMarr DeRozan.

The Weave, in and of itself, isn’t a bad way to get downhill towards the goal. But it does require players to wish to make that extra effort. It all comes back to the same issue. Collin can’t get all the way to the cup with a live dribble and Clarkson doesn’t pass up any chance to shoot from anywhere. Pull-up Js result.

I actually don’t have a problem with Rodney Hood’s perchance for the 18-footer, but he should be the exception. Sexton has to do better and Clarkson needs to play for another team.

3. Fortunately the Cavs’ championship aspirations aren’t being held hostage by Sexton’s or Clarkson’s weaknesses. The Cavs are only a second round playoff team if everything goes absolutely perfectly (I am talking Cedi winning Most Improved Player and Love going for 26, 14 and 5).

I don’t see that happening except for when I have just finished a particularly nice Scotch and am feeling jolly. It’s all unlikely. I’d like the team to make the playoffs and develop, but really these issues are mere annoyances in a season completely lacking pressure.

Not true in Philly. I am a huge fan of the Sixers’ hire of Elton Brand and a long time supporter of Brett Brown. That being said, the Sixers would be wise to deal Markelle Fultz as soon as possible. There is a strong chance that Fultz may soon replace Anthony Bennett as worst number one overall pick of all time.

I know it is early. That is also what we said about Bennett. Like Bennett, Fultz has shown zero basketball acumen or heart in his short time in the league. Brown was smart to yank him in last year’s playoffs as Fultz got routinely killed on the defensive end.

In year two, there has been little progress. I, like a lot of NBA junkies, have been incredibly curious to see the basketball flashes from Fultz. I hoped in the offseason that he would completely conquer his case of the YIPs. I envisioned T.J. McConnell’s brain and heart somehow jumping into Fultz’s body. I want him to be good!

Sidenote: that rarely happens. I remember wishing for the same with with Bernie Kosar’s brain and Vinny Testaverde’s body. What was weird about those two guys was Vinny was actually twelve days older than Bernie. Crazy right?

At the time, it felt as though Bernie had 10 years on Testaverde. To Vinny’s credit, he learned, improved greatly, and had a solid career. Oops. I am disproving my point. Back to 2018 basketball. 

Sadly, Fultz’s shot is still atrocious. He gets horribly lost both on and off ball defensively, and aside from the occasional cut to the hole, he walks around all peak Cavs Kyrie or John Wall style on both ends of the floor. Those guys do love to walk.

I get that Brown is trying to rebuild the kid’s confidence, but from all visual cues, there just isn’t a real basketball player in there. There is a casual hooper, not a fire of basketball.

If the Sixers are going to win the East, Fultz will have to make me look a fool, or Brand will have to make a HUGELY courageous move early. If the Cavs help that move along via Kyle Korver, I hope they don’t somehow snag Fultz in return.

As much as Collin Sexton has to work on, at least he has the fire. He isn’t hard to root for. Though again, Sexton has NOWHERE near the physical talent of Fultz or even Wall. That is the primary misconception.

Oh no. Now I’m a picturing Fultz getting into that spin move of his before… no I’m not falling victim to it again. Mentality matters. The Sixers already bombed two drafts by not taking Porzingis and Tatum. They need to abort on Fultz now while the NBA still thinks he could be good.

4. I watched the Lakers/Blazers game. I happily saw that the Lakers lost. I still have them making the playoffs. They have more shooting than people realize, a decent coach, and a likely trade in there somewhere. That is all on them.

Zach Collins looks like he is about to be a real player. His defense was fantastic in Game 1. Between Jusuf Nurkic and Collins, the Blazers have a nice balance at the center position. Portland might have something there if their big men truly blossom.

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John B
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John B
3 months 3 days ago

I agree on most points though after a single game it may be a little early to make predictions on Sexton. After this year we will have a pretty good idea. Didn’t hate the pick. Didn’t love it, but it was a safe one as far as consensus in draft circles. Of the guys who went after him, Kevin Knox is intriguing, Shai is intriguing, and both the bridges are, though I am more down on Mikal than I was before summer league and preseason. I think I was dead wrong on Miles though. If his shooting holds at a decent clip like it did in preseason, I predict what he will be the steal of the draft (steal as in star outside the top 10). He really impressed me more than anyone outside the top 6.

Bamba could end up being Gobert with a jumpshot and handles though. He is way way way way farther along than I thought he was even though he flashed a bit of a j in college.

John B
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John B
3 months 3 days ago

In all since, I think Ayton and Doncic are going to be guaranteed superstars (if healthy), Bamba will be an all star and dpoy candidate, Miles B could be an all star, Knox could be an all star someday, and if Bagley develops skills to go along with his athleticism he will be an all star (not guaranteed), and if young learns to finish over size (def not near a sure thing) he will be a good offensive player. you could have one of the greatest drafts in history as far as top tier talent.

Anonymous
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Anonymous
3 months 3 days ago

It sure would be nice if people gave Lue some credit for developing Cedi and the way they played all out against the top team in the east the other night. Not to mention getting this Cavs team to four straight finals. But no. CtB will continually overlook all the good things Lue does because it doesn’t fit their narrative. And texting or tweeting players your analysis is so arrogant and wrong that I cannot believe you actually did it.

EvilGenius
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3 months 3 days ago

If this is a certain banned commenter from Colorado… please go elsewhere. If this is not him, then put a name on your takes…

John B
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John B
3 months 3 days ago

Sounds like one of his takes. I don’t mind having him around, knowing he blindly loves certain types (“stars” based on old school criteria) of players.

EvilGenius
Admin
3 months 3 days ago

The blind love isn’t the problem… his incessant bashing of writers here along with anyone who has a contrary opinion from him is…

JOHN B
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JOHN B
3 months 3 days ago

Yeah. I get that. I have done enough cols bashing (when I feel something he says is utterly ludicrous) that I don’t mind when he comes at me. After all, it is like debating with a child sometimes and I just keep that in mind. He is much better suited for a blog like FTS. There are commenters over there that fit his style and base level of analysis. Plus they don’t mind trolling since every thread seemingly degenerates into a flame war on sb nation sites.

MikeO
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MikeO
3 months 3 days ago

+18 billion

MikeO
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MikeO
3 months 3 days ago

Lue got the Cavs to 4 straight Finals? Guess I should be giving him a lot more credit, since he wasn’t the coach for one of those.

John B
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John B
3 months 3 days ago
Hmm. There has been no word or indications Lue was doing individual workouts or any work with Cedi over the summer and he likely slowed his development last year by not playing him. He performed better in limited minutes in the regular season than a host of other Cavs wings ahead of him in the rotation. Also the path to the finals was so weak until last year I don’t think it took much. Even last year he made some questionable decisions in the playoffs that likely made it more difficult. Though he eventually did adjust to things happening in the tougher series, it took him two to three games usually. Hope he proves he is a good coach, but in no way have we seen any evidence of that over 4 years. Took Phil Handy to motivate the team in 2016. His rotations have hurt his teams performance many times. “All the good things.” He is pretty good at out of time outs on offense, but the Cavs have been unprepared on defense during a lot of timeouts. If you think Lue has been good, name some specifics. There is no evidence he has developed Cedi. Hope he hows… Read more »
MikeO
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MikeO
3 months 3 days ago

Sixers may well have costs themselves a future championship with the Okafor and Fultz picks. Sixer fans can only blame Colangelo for one of those.

NOMAD
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NOMAD
3 months 3 days ago

BROWNS TRADE HYDE FOR A 5TH ROUND PICK—????—-DON’T UNDERSTAND THE LOGIC IN THAT —OH WELL IT IS THE BROWNS ISN’T IT

grover13
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grover13
3 months 3 days ago

Think Billy Beane trading Carlos Pena in Moneyball.

JoeyB
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JoeyB
3 months 3 days ago

I like the deal. Hyde wasn’t going to be the starter next year. We basically bought a fifth round pick by giving him a contract, and we have the space, so why not? No different than buying the second with Osweiler like we did last year.

Arch Stanton
Member
Arch Stanton
3 months 3 days ago

Ugh!!!!

Scotch
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Scotch
3 months 3 days ago

Fair conention haha. on the other hand, Hyde wasn’t producing anything as a receiver and our line can’t block anyone yet, so might as well pick up something if its on the table?

EvilGenius
Admin
3 months 3 days ago

I get it since it’ll give Chubb and Duke more touches, but seems like a low pick for someone as productive as Hyde…

Scotch
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Scotch
3 months 3 days ago

lol did we just say the opposite of each other? Where has he been productive this season?

John B
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John B
3 months 3 days ago

He has been decent in the red zone.

EvilGenius
Admin
3 months 3 days ago

382 yards and five TDs is nothing to sneeze at… sure he doesn’t have a great average, but he got a number of key short yardage plays… including the one he got robbed of in Oakland…

Jason
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Jason
3 months 3 days ago

Sometimes you need a guy to get 1-2 yards. Hyde is good at that. Good deal for the Jags.

Scotch
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Scotch
3 months 3 days ago

I think Chubb and Duke are just better, Duke especially as a receiver. 5 tds in 6 games is solid for sure…but I’m not sure Chubb doesn’t get those scores anyway as they are of the short yardage variety. And Duke is just more dangerous all around.

EvilGenius
Admin
3 months 3 days ago

Hard to say until we see them have to fill Hyde’s role… It’s one thing to be a change of pace back… quite another to be the workhorse, especially as a rookie. Neither are very good at pass blocking either btw…

Scotch
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Scotch
3 months 3 days ago

I’ll definitely give you that availability is an ability and Hyde isnt injury prone. But pass blocking is a learned skill not a talent, and up til now the reps for pass blocking have been near nothing for Chubb. I suppose the future isnt likely dependent on this conversation though :)

NOMAD
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NOMAD
3 months 3 days ago

EVIL —VERY WELL PUT—DESCRIBED MY EMOTIONS / OPINION EXACTLY —-GO CAVS !!

Nate Smith
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3 months 3 days ago

Arch Stanton
Member
Arch Stanton
3 months 3 days ago

And up to C:tb to inform them too!

JRL
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JRL
3 months 3 days ago

It will be great if Sexton reads it.

EvilGenius
Admin
3 months 3 days ago
Look… we can all agree this team isn’t going to compete for championships… not now… not anytime soon. So, what do we root for in the interim? My vote is for progress and an entertaining product. I honestly don’t care for tanking. Shrewd teams don’t need to rely on that. And, even when you decide to tank, it’s a crap shoot anyway… now more than ever with the new lottery format. Is Lue the best coach? No. Is he the worst? The jury is out depending on what he can do with this mish-mash of youngsters and vets. Is the front office competent enough to accurately identify talent in a post-LBJ world? Again, the jury is out. We’ll have to see how Koby acquits himself with decisions leading up to the trade deadline. None of us liked the change for a dollar Kyrie trade, and maybe they should have gone the Jimmy Butler route of forcing him to play or miss paychecks, but it is what it is now. It’s not like Altman has ever had a blank slate to work with. He inherited cumbersome contracts that Griff made at gunpoint, and has been trying to trade vets for youth… Read more »
grover13
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grover13
3 months 3 days ago

I generally agree with you EG….except there’s a top 10 pick at stake. There has to come a point where if the playoffs become a reach, it’s a lost season if that pick goes to Atlanta.

JoeyB
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JoeyB
3 months 3 days ago

This is well reasoned and I agree with it. I just want to say in defense of myself, I enjoy nitpicking and am pessimistic by nature. I see where things are going to go wrong. My wife, thank god, is the opposite. I apologize if I’m coming across as trying to ruin everyone’s hopes and fun. That’s not my intent.

Nate Smith
Admin
3 months 3 days ago

Absolutely, man! Sorry if I seemed negative.

EvilGenius
Admin
3 months 3 days ago

All good! Just think it’s better to focus on the future with this team… it’ll just make for a more enjoyable season…

MikeO
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MikeO
3 months 3 days ago

Good piece, Ben, as usual. I think Lakers make the playoffs, but I don’t think they are really any good. They look about Cavs level 2017 to me, at best, and that wasn’t a very good team. If Lebron gets injured, that team just sucks. It was interesting that Lebron really did play more off ball last night, but I don’t expect that to stick. In order to beat good teams, Lebron will need to Lebron.

I don’t have sky high expectations for Sextons, but I will enjoy the process. He’s a guy I can root for.

I an hopeful that the Cas can trade TT and Clarkson to the Lakers. Magic has to know Lebron needs these guys.

NOMAD
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NOMAD
3 months 3 days ago

I AM WITH EVIL —( ON SEXTON )——MAYBE NOT A FAIR COMPARISON –( GOING TO THROW IT OUT THERE ANYWAYS )—–OLADIPO WAS 22 YRS OLD WHEN DRAFTED —–GRANTED I WILL SAY HE WAS A BETTER FINISHER AT THE RIM—-BUT AS FAR AS– “HANDLES ” —“OUTSIDE SHOOTING “—CAN’T SAY HE HAS / HAD AN ADVANTAGE ON THE “YOUNG BULL “———-WOULD WE ALL TAKE OLADIPO RIGHT NOW —( ALOT OF US WANTED HIM DRAFTED )—-LET’S GIVE SEXTON TIME TO MATURE / GROW —–SEE WHERE HE IS WHEN HE TURNS 25——JUST MY OPINION —-GO CAVS !!!

Nate Smith
Admin
3 months 3 days ago

I’m with Ben. I’d love to play at peak, but Lue’s not competent enough to do that and make the offs anyway, and Korby saddled them with a lot of bad players.

EvilGenius
Admin
3 months 3 days ago

Can we stop calling him “Korby”?

JoeyB
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JoeyB
3 months 3 days ago

I find it endearing. But if we must get rid of it, can we please at least keep Duck Fan Gilbert?

Nate Smith
Admin
3 months 3 days ago

Yes.

EvilGenius
Admin
3 months 3 days ago

Congrats Ben on publishing our 4,000th post in C:tB history!

That said, nothing rankles me as much as sweeping conclusions made after one game… The new Cavs just played on the road against probably one of the top two teams in the East, got a horrific shooting night from their All Star, were down by 20 at one point, and still fought back to be in the game with under three minutes to go… if they can bring that type of effort and resiliency to games against lesser opponents, they still have a decent chance to win half of their games. Might not be enough for the playoffs, but they’ve got a fighting chance…

I understand your criticisms of Sexton, yet think you’re wrong about his potential. We’ve sparred on this subject frequently, so I’ll just agree to disagree with you. I also think Clarkson is valuable if deployed correctly.

I’ll agree with you on Fultz… I’m about to cut him from my C:tFL team…

Joeyb
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Joeyb
3 months 3 days ago

I don’t think these are sweeping conclusions after one game. I think they are well thought out conclusions based on over a year of data on these particular players. And three years of data on coaching and management.

EvilGenius
Admin
3 months 3 days ago

How much data on Sexton exactly?

JoeyB
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JoeyB
3 months 3 days ago

College

Scotch
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Scotch
3 months 3 days ago

toronto might end up being a top 2 team in the east although I don’t understand how that isn’t also a sweeping conclusion after 1 game, but there is such a thing as competing without a closer and losing a ton of close games. This seems to be the case with a lot of young teams as they develop.

Joeyb
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Joeyb
3 months 3 days ago

My hope is that korby is pretendin to want to make the playoffs but knows he’s keeping the bottom ten pick. Luckily he has Lue, i.e. we won’t accidentally win too many games. I think we will once again have the eighth pick in the draft and will get a decent rotation player.

Nate Smith
Admin
3 months 3 days ago

So if you think sexton is bad, then why on earth would you want korby drafting for you? He basically turned Kyrie into George Hill, Clarkson, Nance, Sexton, Hood. It’s your classic one quarter and four nickels for a dollar trade.

Joeyb
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Joeyb
3 months 3 days ago

I don’t think sexton is bad. He’ll be a good rotation player. I think that’s what we can fairly expect from the 8th pick. If sexton is your fourth best player and starting point, you can contend. He’s not going to be kyrie or curry or chris paul, but Patrick Beverely is a good player you can win with. I think we’ll get another one of those types from another draft.

EvilGenius
Admin
3 months 3 days ago

The 2019 draft class looks fairly bleak… so probably not…

danz
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danz
3 months 3 days ago

With the amount of young guys on this team and the lack of play makers, Lue really needs to implement an offense to get some easy baskets. I have not seen that from him ever, besides some great inbounds plays. Granted I have as much basketball knowledge as the next clueless commentor, but Lue has not yet shown he is up to the task of coaching a team without needing the best player in the world to cover up the flaws.

Arch Stanton
Member
Arch Stanton
3 months 3 days ago

I think the next 4 games are toss up games for the Cavs:

1. @ Minny should beat CLE, but since they are in dysfunction with the Butler situation, that it’s more of a toss up that probably leans TWovles
2. Versus TankLanta at Home. This game should lean in the Cavs favor, but a Jordan Clarkson Iso-Mutiny could help to secure an Atlanta victory
3. Another game at home vs. Brooklyn, a feisty team the Cavs struggled to beat with LABron. If the Cavs are focused they can beat the Nets.
4. @ Detroit and the Blake Griffin Experience. Nuff said.

Nate Smith
Admin
3 months 3 days ago

All winnable. Toronto is very very good, especially against a team still getting its bearings.

Joeyb
Guest
Joeyb
3 months 3 days ago

Winnable. But if we’re better than 2-3 ill eat my shoe.

Nate Smith
Admin
3 months 3 days ago

Identifying these things early is a key to improvement, hopefully. I’m not as optimistic about the Cavs’ new player development regime. They seemed to have cheaped out and/or dumped Bron’s guys (Phil handy).

Scotch
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Scotch
3 months 3 days ago

Genuinely asking…who is it that cavs actually developed when that regime was in place anyway? We barely kept enough young guys to make paying any player development worth it. All I have on that list is Zizic got a lot of help playing in the G league and with potapenko. Cedi didnt get developed…he was this player before last year riding the bench too much.

Nate Smith
Admin
3 months 3 days ago

Cedi Osman. Ante Zizic.

Scotch
Guest
Scotch
3 months 3 days ago

And that’s it for 4 years?

Nate Smith
Admin
3 months 3 days ago

They didn’t have any decent young guys. The one guy they had was Waiters who they moved for timo, Shump, and JR (and gave up two firsts for timo!). The next pick they had? Joe Harris, passing on Dinwiddie, Jerian Grant, Powell, Clarkson, and Jokic (oof). Then they grabbed freaking Killer Shrimp Oakland Jesus. The next decent player? Cedi. The front office gave player development very little to work with.

Scotch
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Scotch
3 months 3 days ago

good point. I forgot about Joe.

JRL
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JRL
3 months 3 days ago

Completely correct Scotch.

Kyrie didn’t get better.
Waiters got better in Miami.
Danny Green got better in SA.

Ahhh that’s about it.
Zz got better playing overseas.

Arch Stanton
Member
Arch Stanton
3 months 3 days ago

Jason Lloyd said the pick was only top ten protected next year, then it would convert to a second round pick in 2020. But I think he’s wrong on that.

… the pick would turn into two second-round selections (2021 and 2022) if Cleveland does not convey the first round pick to Atlanta in either 2019 or 2020. In short, the Hawks’ return in the Korver trade (and the future asset, in general) diminishes greatly if the Cavaliers somehow manage to stay within the top 10 of both the 2019 and 2020 NBA Drafts…

https://www.peachtreehoops.com/2018/6/25/17442348/lebron-james-free-agency-nba-decision-atlanta-hawks-cleveland-cavaliers-2018-2019-draft-pick

Arch Stanton
Member
Arch Stanton
3 months 3 days ago

I pretty much agree with everything Ben noted here. Except I’m maybe not as low on Sexton as Ben is. But that could just be that I’m hoping he turns into something special.

Jason
Guest
Jason
3 months 4 days ago

FWIW, I do not think we make the POs either: Raptors, Celtics, Pacers, 76ers, Bucks + Miami, Detroit, & Washington.

We win around 35 & keep the pick.

grover13
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grover13
3 months 2 days ago

Winning 35 will not keep the pick. They need to be under 30.

Jason
Guest
Jason
3 months 4 days ago

Good piece.

Still not convinced LAL make the POs: GSW, Hou, OKC, Utah + Portland, Denver, NO (upgrade after one game/overteaction).

That leaves one spot amongst LAL, SA, Minny, & the Clippers. Spurs injuries will help LA, but Pop will win a lot of games with Aldridge & DeRozan.

John B
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John B
3 months 3 days ago

Don’t think SA makes it. Too much midranging. Not enough d without Murray. Minny won’t with or without Butler. Kat and Wiggins are likely not going to put the effort forth unless Butler is traded, but unfortunately he is the main reason they made the playoffs last year. Clippers aren’t going to be better than the Lakers.

JRL
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JRL
3 months 4 days ago

It’ll be phenomenal if LA doesn’t make the playoffs.

Leo
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Leo
3 months 4 days ago

Even though Clarkson is an enigma, he basically kept the Cavs in the game on multiple occasions, especially late. Maybe that type of play won’t happen all the time, but team defense is pretty lazy in regular season, where Clarkson will get his shots even with tunnel vision. We don’t know what we will get from JR, and I agree about TT. His contract though is a hot mess and Cavs probably can’t move him due to that alone. AT the quarter mark of season, we will get a decent look into what this team really is…injuries to Nance and JR haven’t helped with rotation minutes.

JRL
Guest
JRL
3 months 4 days ago

True. Clarkson can be effective if used/coached properly. He and Zz seemed to have a good thing going and I remember he was a willing passer to Nance last season. He’s not the problem.

bobb
Guest
bobb
3 months 4 days ago

Just a couple of comments:
1. The East is improved, but it was mostly the same playoff teams from last year getting better. On the lower end, saying it’ll take 44 games to make the Eastern Conference playoffs seems pessimistic. I can see 40, or even 39, wins getting a team an 8th seed.
2. Fultz has played fewer than 20 regular season games in his career. I agree it looks bad now, but rookie point guards almost always struggle in the transition to the NBA and Fultz is, for all intents and purposes, still a rookie.

Arch Stanton
Member
Arch Stanton
3 months 3 days ago

Last year the 8th seed Wizards won 43 games.

JRL
Guest
JRL
3 months 4 days ago
*I don’t think the Cavs make the playoffs either for the same reasons. In order to maximize Sexton’s (and Cedi/Zz) growth, they all need to play and learn from their mistakes. I much rather have them all play 20+ mpg and not make the playoffs than for the minutes to go to the vets and get bounced in the first round against Toronto. As posted on the live thread (forgot the commenter, sorry), this team needs to place Cedi as their nucleus from which to grow. The kid has the talent and IQ. The few times he played the point he made the right passes and/or made the correct play himself. I would love to see Cedi running point with KK, Nance, Love and Zz/Frye. Their defense will struggle but their offense should be fun. *90% of TT&s minutes should go to Zz. He’s a legit center/thread against everyone besides A. Davis, (healthy) Cousins or Jokic. With everyone else he can keep up. Considering the NBA rankings (before the season started) had Andre Drummond as the 10th best center on the league, I think we have one of the top ten centers since I would take Zz over him. He… Read more »
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