With less stuff going on during the summer I'm going to take a page out of the great Terry Pluto's book and give you some points on the Cavaliers or NBA related stuff each Sunday throughout the off season and maybe even during next season.
Pluto's column each Sunday talking about the Indians, Browns and Cavaliers has long been a highlight of my dad, brothers and myself.
Take a look after the jump to see some of my latest thoughts.
1. The Cavaliers were actually a little bit worse than their 21-45 record showed. Based on how much they were outscored by, the expected win total they had was just 17. When digging through some data on 82games.com, I found quite a few things which backed up that lower number.
2. Cavaliers shooting guards and small forwards had PER's of just 11.1 and 11.9 last season. During various points of the season the team really didn't even have a shooting guard they trusted and then with no above average small forward on the roster these positions were very deprived for Coach Byron Scott. The eFG% of these positions were just .451 and .473 while they allowed eFG%'s of .514 and .492 to opposing wing players. Whether it is the lottery or 24th pick, Chris Grant will be taking one or two wing players in the first round of the upcoming draft.
3. While Tristan Thompson has a nice future ahead of him and Anderson Varejao is a stalwart on defense, the Cavs were absolutely hammered by opposing big men. The difference in net PER at the PF position was -4.1 and at center it was -4.4. I blame plenty of this to having Varejao out for much of the year, thrusting either Thompson or the worthless Ryan Hollins or Semih Erden into too many minutes in the middle.
4. Basically, however you put it, the Cavaliers need serious help on the wings and in the middle. Getting a big such as Andre Drummond and then a wing at 24 or Bradley Beal or Michael Kidd-Gilchrist in the lottery and a big at 24 is something I'm looking for Grant to do.
5. Only two Cavaliers played over 50% of the minutes on the season. The much maligned Antawn Jamison played 67% of the minutes this season and Alonzo Gee played 57%. Jamison definitely doesn't get his due for the work he did here. Without him the team would have won closer to 12-14 games (and that actually would have been a good thing.)
6. Games missed by key Cavs this season:
Not a single player played in all 66 games. More health and more talent are going to be a huge key in the rise for the Cavaliers next year.
7. For all the praise he has gotten, and will get, during his Rookie of the Year season Kyrie Irving had an even better season than just about everybody realizes.
In just over 30 minutes per game he shot .469/.399/.872 while playing much of the year at 19. He was very efficiently offensively, fantastic under pressure and in general carried the weight of the team on his rookie shoulders without complaint. He's a true superstar and I think he'll be an MVP candidate pretty soon.
Taking the next step defensively is something he needs to do during the next 2-3 seasons while also continuing to be the natural leader he is all year round.