While the team was on its way to such a poor record they also proved to be equally as bad on both ends of the court. The Cavs finished the season ranked 29th on both offense and defense based on their points scored and allowed per 100 possessions. They ended up scoring 102.2 points (ahead of only Milwaukee) per 100 possessions and surrendered 111.8 (ahead of only Toronto).
In doing more deep research on the team, I found the something that they actually did well was get to the free throw line and keep their opponents off the stripe. Today, we'll take a look at the offensive end of that.
In some important offensive statistical categories, the team finished 25th in offensive rebound %, 15th in turnover %, and a lowly 28th in effective Field Goal percentage. For those of you who are new to those statistics, ORB% is the percentage of your own misses that your team grabs, TO% is the percentage of your possessions which end in turnovers and eFG% is a percentage that adjusts to show that a 3-pt FG is worth more than a 2-pt one.
But, the Cavaliers did finish above the league average in something! They ended up 11th in FT/FGA at .233 when the league average was .229.
Let's take a look at the players who got decent court time and see how they contributed to the team finishing so high in this category. (After the jump)
(Free throw / Field Goal Attempts)
Ryan Hollins = .744
Ramon Sessions = .545
Samardo Samuels = .456
J.J. Hickson = .392
Alonzo Gee = .342
Manny Harris = .322
Antawn Jamison = .267
Daniel Gibson = .247
Mo Williams = .221
Anthony Parker = .172
Baron Davis = .152
Christian Eyenga = .092
Jamario Moon = .058
A couple things struck me right away about the list. First off, Moon and Eyenga are terrible at drawing fouls. And for being so poor at shooting to begin with they should have been better at this because that would have been a great way for them to actually contribute offensively. Obviously Moon is irrelevant now but Eyenga needs to develop this into his game because he's not going to stick in the rotation due to his outside shooting.
I wonder how much some of the players who were simply fantastic in this are going to play a role in the 2011-2012 Cavaliers. Ramon Sessions, one of the true elite in the NBA at getting to the line, is consistently linked with a move away from Quicken Loans Arena. It looks like Samuels should be able to stick on the roster now that Hickson has been shipped out of town. I also find it hard to see Gee and Harris sticking in the rotation all year.
Here's how the prominent Cavalier newcomers did in this department last season.
Omri Casspi = .185
Kyrie Irving (at Duke) = .683
Tristan Thompson (at Texas) = .829
With Parker and Casspi likely to get significant minutes at the wing spot, Sessions losing minutes to Irving and Hickson out of the picture the team could slip significantly in this department this season.
It's hard to forecast it though. Veterans like Jamison, Parker, Varejao, Davis and Sessions could easily find themselves on new teams before the trade deadling.
If GM Chris Grant uses the Amnesty Clause on Davis and Sessions sticks around that would be beneficial in this department. Certainly, if Irving and Thompson can put up solid numbers in this department the team can garner some easy points even though there's no way they'll even approach the rate they earned in the NCAA. Lastly, a full season of Varejao in the starting lineup can also keep the team afloat here.
For a team that struggles to score and is often plagued by prolonged scoring droughts, getting to the line can be quite the respite on many nights over the season.
What do you think Cavs fans? While it is by no means a predictor of future success, can the team keep up their above average ability to get to the line? What other departments does the team have the potential to be above average in this season?