Eddy Jansen is one of the contributing writers at SBNationCleveland.com and sport director of WBWC at Baldwin Wallace College. Today he attempts to bring a positive spin on the disappointing Cavaliers season to FearTheSword.
It can be difficult, perhaps near impossible to gaze up the numbers 19 coupled with 63, and even more specifically, 26, for the Cavaliers and discover something assenting to take with them into the off season and onto next year. But Coach Byron Scott, in this case, has twenty-twenty vision.
He knew what he wanted from his team, yet sometimes, his message wasn't clear enough. But one thing that was clear as a whistle was Scott's consistent buoyancy; Without it, who knows how far the Cavaliers would have fallen. The players, though it took them awhile to understand exactly what coach Scott expected of them, showed immediate respect for Scott and his drive to win with what he was given.
He was able to find a great deal of pluses about him team's makeup that he will keep fresh in his mind for when practice starts up again. These were pluses of character, occasionally a bit more important than on court capabilities. The dedication and perseverance will pay off sooner or later, and it will finally start to feel good when the roster returns to full strength.
That is one of a few reasons to look forward to the fall of 2011, and why is poses an intriguing scenario. The Cav's will no longer be recovering from the loss of a superstar, and other veteran contributors. Forward Anderson Varejao barely had a 2010-11 season, appearing in just 31 games, and Antawn Jamison will get his first playing time with new point guard Baron Davis. Jamison led the team in points per game. With his post presence in the line up towards the tail end of the year, the Cavaliers could have perked up their last fifteen games from 6-9 to over something over five-hundred.
Not only were the Cavaliers injury depleted last year, they were plentiful with rookies and new faces in general. The wine and gold have only five players from the 2009-10 season on their current roster, and were packed to the brim with five rookies. All having been thrown into the fire at age 23 or younger, Christian Eyenga, Alonzo Gee, Luke Harangody, Manny Harris, andSamardo Samuels responded to the their first crack at the NBA with a sense of professionalism. Much was asked of each one of them individually, as they put their impressively mature character on exhibit through rough and jagged times. Just take a look at how Boston's Glen David handled himself in a 2008 game against Portland; a towel was thrown on his face in mortification by teammate Kevin Garnett, and rightfully so.
The Cavalier experienced the hiring of a new coach and GM, a pair of season-ending injuries to perhaps their two best players, and an NBA record 26-game loosing streak all in one season. Yeah; my sentiments exactly. Saying this season was rough is an understatement. But if they put the season that was, or the season that wasn't behind them, and maintain Byron Scott's same level of commitment, the Cavaliers could fight their way back to legitimacy sooner than most think. By the way, of couple of top ten draft picks won't be too shabby either.