Cavaliers Outsider: Re
Terry Pluto's Talkin' ... about Kyrie Irving's fans
My response to the blog posted by Terry Pluto (The Plain Dealer)
About the Cavaliers...
1. Mike Wallace of ESPN's Heat Index, on LeBron James toying with a return to Cleveland, is probably one of the best I've heard. Kyrie Irving is the clear face of the franchise, who's base begins with a TOTAL TEAM concept. It's disrespectful on both sides, but attention whores have no concept of that. James is just being LeBron, doing with Cleveland, what he did to Cleveland, I guess in the case of local media, being on the receiving end of his empty affections, is in some manner rewarding.
CHEATERS are REPEATERS... What I've noticed most about Miami, even though they have the reputation of not being a "sports town", their media members ask the tough questions, they hold James accountable for not only his words, but his lack of actions. The pressure to win, went 3 fold when James took his talents to South Beach. But when he points fingers in failure now, tough questions, harsh words, and or criticism go right back in his direction.
2. How can fans not like this team? They play hard every night, they clearly support each other, and the pieces seem to fit. Irving, while living up to early season expectations, has never separated himself from TEAM. With James, its always been he, and everyone else, now in Miami, it the 3 Kings, and the rest of the team.
The Cavaliers have an opportunity to put this TEAM together in the right manner, built for long term success, while maintaining flexibility. Anderson Varejao is not a superstar, in any right, but he puts on his hard hat, packs his lunch, even though at times, he appears to play right through his lunch break. This is my TOWN, and this is my TEAM...
3. Yes, the Cavs have a losing record, some of the losses have even been downright disappointing. For me it started on opening night vs Toronto. Realistically speaking, this team could very easily have 4-6 more wins. :James is no longer a part of this team, he made a conscious choice not to be here, there's no need to converse about him further...until of course he has another Heat-failure in the playoffs. Even then...I'll leave that to the national media.
4. James' scorched-earth exit is perfect for General Manager Chris Grant and Coach Byron Scott. I thought losing 26 games in a row last year was unacceptable. At times, Scott seemed to coach as if he had a free pass on the season. They may not be fair to him, but I expected more from this tea than 19 wins. The best part of the "Decision" in my opinion, is it afforded the Cavs an opportunity to get meaningful floor time to others. The end result...Alonzo Gee, Ramon Sessions, Samardo Samuels, and at times Ryan Hollins.
It also allowed Hickson to show what he was truly capable of, when given a true OPPORTUNITY, unfortunately, he apparently didn't show the Cavs enough, or he showed enough to pry Omri Casspi from the Sacramento bench.
5. Scott is very upbeat. and he should be... He has an UNSELFISH, potential superstar, who at only 19 years of age, displays the leadership of a 4 year veteran. Tristan Thompson is 20, Alonzo Gee is 24, Samardo Samuels is 23, and both Daniel Gibson, and Ramon Sessions are 25. That's a very young core base, moving forward. The only thing missing in my mind, is J.J. Hickson, who's also ONLY 23.
Thompson is becoming more comfortable, and aware, with more time on the floor. Its quite possible he hasn't finished growing yet, and could very well grow a couple more inches. He plays bigger than he is, and could very well be a C on the floor, preferably with an elbow down, scoring PF. I think the energy, and hustle of Varejao, has rubbed off on the team, and they all follow his example when on the floor.
6. Scott on Varejao being out for 4-6 weeks with a broken wrist: "There aren't five guys who play as hard as he does ... maybe not even two." I'm not sure what game Scott is watching, unless he's just throwing Varejao a bone. I've yet to see a guy take the floor, and not give maximum effort. I think Thompson should start at C, with Varejao coming off the bench when he returns. If Varejao, somehow gets moved at the deadline, his production, can be replaced, and I don't think TEAM energy, effort, or hustle, leaves with him. I like the sense of direction this team has, moving forward.
7. Big men are like pitchers in baseball, teams want a lot of them -- and good ones are rare in a league increasingly ruled by point guards and wing players. Dwight Howard is the last of the dominant big men. After Howard, I'd say Andrew Bynum is next, followed by Roy Hibbert, then everyone else, is just tall. With Howard, you defend him best, by crowding him, making him uncomfortable, pushing him to the bring of frustration, not by hacking, or fouling him, which only angers him, and motivates him to take his level of play, to the next plateau.
8. Most teams are playing 6-10 power forwards such as Varejao at center. Varejao is 6'11" 260lbs. C is by far, his most EFFECTIVE position on the floor. Most teams, don't have dominant big men in the middle, it isn't a position of strength league wide. PF is more so that position. Anderson Varejao doesn't have a favorable match-up, on either end of the floor vs most starting NBA starters, at the PF position. On the other hand, as was mentioned, at the C position, there's Dwight Howard, and everyone else.
The NBA landscape is changing, its more up tempo, more athletic, but if you have a solid big, its an advantage. Semih Erden is very intriguing in that regards. He's a true C, but when's he's on the court, you have to go through him, utilize him at his strengths. It makes no sense of running him up, and down the court, without so much as a look, let alone touches in the post. You put defensive pressure on the opposition, by going to him there.
The Cavs made the same mistake with Shaq. The one thing no other team in the NBA could account for, was Shaq's size, and presence. Instead of utilizing him as a source of strength, they used him as a matter of convenience. He was here to provide the Cavs with what they lacked most, and yet he struggled to get shots, as James, and Mo Williams shot more.
9. Remember the Delonte West deal with Minnesota? After all the pieces landed, the Cavs have Ramon Sessions, Ryan Hollins and Erden to show for it. I thought they FINALLY found a PG in Sessions, the February he had last season, as well as how he performed, when given true opportunities, were enough for me. From the moment the Cavs acquired him, I said he was the best PG on the roster. He was saddled behind Mo Williams, until he was eventually traded.
I would like to see better floor combinations, Scott make better adjustments. The injury to Varejao, has forced some to be made, with good results. I'd like to see Hollins om the floor more with Samuels, or Samuels o the floor with Thompson. I don;t particularly like Casspi, and Jamison on the floor together, especially starting games. Both are for the most part, jump shooters, who defend poorly. You can't function with 2/3 of the front court, playing on the perimeter.
I'm glad to finally see Scott playing Sessions, and Irving more together. I've been high on Sessions from the moment they made the acquisition to get him. Sessions has been nothing but a team player, all things considered. They can co-exist together. They both bring different elements to the floor, but they both can play off the ball, and get to the basket, on just about anyone.
Its media or so called experts, that want Sessions moved. The Cavs are in a position to pay him, and keep him, it could be a situation that's win/win for all involved parties. In that regards, the ball is clearly in the Cavs hands. I look forward to seeing more of Thompson, and Samuels on the floor. I've also wondered why Eyenga hasn't been used on the defensive end more. I'd rather have him defending in key situations, than Casspi.
10. The Cavs talked about bringing up Manny Harris from Canton, but Scott likes Irving and Sessions playing together in the backcourt -- and they want to look at Ben Uzoh during this time when Daniel Gibson and Anthony Parker are hurt. Well Ben Uzoh, didn't get a look. I thought vs Sacramento would have been the perfect opportunity, to play him, as a more physical PG on Tyreke Evens.
At times, fatigue seemed to set in, or the Cavs just simply just got careless with the ball, and settled for jump shots. It was Milwaukee waiting to happen, all over again. I'm glad to see Manny Harris back with the team, hopefully he will get the opportunity to show his value, and that he belongs here.
What I like most about Harris, is his versatility on both ends of the floor. He rebounds well, has range, length, can create his own shot, and he handles the ball well.
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