Here's some stuff I've been shouting into thin air for the last two weeks. Now I'm going to shout it in the direction of the internet because I love you guys. You know I do.
- In my Buddy Ball post two weeks ago, I said I miss Dellavedova. Well, he's back! I hope someone at this site who isn't me looks into this more in depth, but Delly seems to make Dion Waiters "work" as a player. This is a small sample size, I know, but before even including the game against the Thunder (Basketball Reference isn't updated yet as I write this), Dion's two-man lineups with Delly look encouraging.
- He has his third best eFG% playing with Delly (first and second are with Haywood and Amundson, so I'm willing to disregard those if you are). His net points are second most with Delly at +14 (first is with Thompson at +26 and third is with Irving, tied at +14). Dion's 3P% is by far the best with Delly if we throw out the 8.1 minutes Waiters has played with Haywood. EVERYTHING IS BETTER! DELLY FIXES EVERYTHING FOREVER!
- What isn't a small sample size are Waiter's two man units with Delly from last season where everything points to Waiters playing better with Delly. Play around with these stats. Come to your own conclusions. This isn't the place to linger on the Dion and Delly love fest, but I'm so pumped Dion has played well since Delly's return that I had to spend three bullet points talking about.
- Okay, fine. One more point about Delly. He keeps the ball moving. He tries extremely hard even if he isn't the most talented. He's been shooting .368 on threes, which is about all I can ask from him. Those consist of over half his shot attempts. That also makes me happy. He isn't the most talented guy, and I think too many people are obsessed with him way too much, but having players who play to their roles is pretty cool.
- And one more thing about Dion. He started playing well as soon as trade rumors started to surface around him. Whether he's staying or going, we should thank Dion for helping the team out!
- Funny that it took Blatt so long to figure out that maybe he wanted to play proven three point shooters a few minutes off his bench. First it was Mike Miller. Now it's James Jones. Soon it will be Mike Miller again. If anything, LeBron seems a lot happier when he has more dudes spacing the floor. Plus, I think the more wings they play, the more potential rest they can give LeBron.
- I'm taking this straight from a thing I said in a Fear the Sword e-mail thread: LeBron's minutes per game are around the same as his Miami days at 38 per. MUCH better, though, in the 13 games since that overloaded first 7 at 36.7 per. I expect his minutes per to go down as the season goes on, the Cavs play more bottom feeders and just get better as a team, blowing teams out. Oh, and LeBron was average 40.4 MPG in the first seven games, for reference sake. So I'm not too worried about LeBron's minutes.
- Here's a reason to start Thompson over Varejao -- I'm tired of the bench unit going to those Thompson post ups. If he's with the starting unit, maybe he will stop posting up altogether. Stop posting up.
- I feel like I've been the resident pessimist here, so I'm going to say something two negative things followed by two positive things. That should balance things out. Here goes:
- First negative: The Cavs still don't have an impressive win this year. How do I define an impressive win? Beating an elite team that is fully healthy. Cavs haven't done that, and I'm still waiting. I'll keep mentioning that until they do it because it's worth mentioning. It just is. They have to beat an elite team that is playing at full strength eventually. If you define impressive wins differently then me, that's fine, too, but you are wrong.
- Second negative: I realize that, as I'm writing this Thursday night, the Cavs have the hardest strength of schedule of any team with a record over .500, but that's skewed. The Cavs have played the injured Raptors twice and the injured Wizards once. Those are two teams that are driving the Cavs' strength of schedule up significantly even though the strength of schedule isn't adjusted properly for those injuries.
- First positive: The Cavs' can only play the schedule they're given. They haven't played an elite team when both teams were healthy since that Spurs/Wizards back-to-back in late November. Before then, the only shot they had at a fully healthy elite team was when they played the Trailblazers in the third game of the season, but that Cavs team was almost a completely different team. The Cavs can only play their schedule, and they've played it pretty well the last few weeks.
- Second positive: 8.5 straight wins for the Cavs! That's eight wins and a moral victory, which I'm counting as half a win! I love watching a Cavs team that, win or lose, I know always has a run in them to at least make it a game. Sure, they'll get blown out again at some point this season, but they are capable of turning any deficit around. They are capable, and lately they've been good at putting in the energy to make massive runs when they've needed to do it. I love it.
That's all I have for you this week. I said on Twitter earlier this week that I'd buy a book of Austin Carr poetry. What do you guys think?