I saw this awesome tidbit on TrueHoop the other day. I think it hits the nail on the head about the Magic series last year, but does so with data to back it up. The comments on West are quite relieving, as well. If he's really not much above average then his personal instability can't hurt the Cavs that much, and it means his contributions are not irreplaceable. The thoughts on Anthony Parker's value are very exciting as well.
They have a stat guy who does this kind of work.
They used to have Dan Rosenbaum.
They still have Dan Rosenbaum.
Then ask Dan Rosenbaum why he let this happen. I would never let his happen.
The 57 minutes when Ben Wallace played, and they didn't have Joe Smith in there, they lost by 58 points.
How could they let that happen? Ben Wallace didn't have to play. He totally sucked. The rest of the series, the Cavaliers won by 43 points.
Didn't you feel like Cleveland sunk into Lake Erie when the Cavaliers lost that series? It didn't have to happen. The 57 minutes they lost by 58 points ... you didn't have to play Ben Wallace. They had Joe Smith. When Joe Smith played instead of Ben Wallace they did OK.
How could they not know that?
Maybe they knew it and the coach didn't listen. I mean, I should be fair here. But I mean, we would have definitely told that to the coach. When I send the analysis to the coaching staff, I'll put little tidbits in like that.
But I'll tell you what, the Cavaliers are going to be good this year, and it's not because of Shaq. It's because of Parker. Anthony Parker is really good. What happens with Delonte West with this thing ... I don't know.
Do they need Delonte West?
I can tell you that Anthony Parker was really good for Toronto. Not every year is he really good in our system, but he's usually really good.
Delonte West was an average player who plays a lot of minutes. If he can't play, and Anthony Parker plays ... well, they're OK.
Everybody used to think you had to play a five [center], a four [power forward], a three [small forward], a two [shooting guard] and a one [point guard]. But Mike D'Antoni changed all that. He made Boris Diaw play every position. And I think that's ingenious. I mean, people make these stupid molds.
Who cares? I mean, the two guys are on the court. I don't care. They don't know they're supposed to be the five or the four. They just know they're supposed to play basketball. But people always think that way, and D'Antoni did a nice job of changing that, I thought.
The bolded comments are from the TrueHoop author, and the rest are from interviewee Wayne Winston, who is one of Mark Cuban's stats experts. He's quite open about some of the more advanced metrics some teams use to evaluate players. It's very interesting reading his thoughts on a lot of the NBA, of course especially about the Cavs. To know that the biggest reason we weren't in the Finals has been traded for Shaq is, quite simply, AWESOME.