It's been a strange enough week, so apart from my ominous subtitle for this week's notes, I'm going to keep things positive. I am basically going to lie to you by omission. I'm also going to keep this one short. Let's get started!
- I don't care about Dion Waiters' stats right now because they're kind of beside the point. I love what I've seen out of Waiters, this week especially. He has filled up the stat sheet some nights, yes, but what is important with him and his role off the bench is that he stays aggressive. That, he has done.
- What Waiters did so well off the bench last year and what he's started to do this year is change the energy of the game when he plays. He doesn't need to play flawlessly, and he's probably incapable of playing flawlessly anyway. He needs to attack fearlessly on both offense and defense. When he's doing this and playing passionately, I can feel the tone of the game change. That's what I want most out of a sixth man. Stability is for the starting unit. Tone shifts is for the bench.
- Sucks that Anderson Varejao went down, but he was also the team's third best big man after Kevin Love and Tristan Thompson. I was hoping Thompson would start anyway. His four man +/- numbers playing with Kyrie Irving, LeBron James and Love are simply breathtaking. He should get more minutes with that group even though he's apparently not starting (yet, at least). That's a silver lining of sorts.
- Obviously, the Cavs need to make a move for a center. They're going to get more aggressive doing that, I would assume. On one hand, I'm okay with the concept of trading Dion Waiters to accomplish that because his value is rising lately. Sell high, right? On the other hand, his value is rising lately, which means he's finally figuring out how to play on this team. I also don't want to give up on that.
- The key is that David Griffin cannot overpay for a replacement center even though he NEEDS to be more aggressive. Seems contradictory, I know. But Waiters is the Cavs last big trade asset. They cannot afford to trade him if it's for a big man who has no chance of being part of the Cavs future core and/or won't move the championship needle. Being aggressive in obtaining a big man is a must. Being overly aggressive is how a team becomes the Brooklyn Nets.
- Nobody can accuse David Blatt of not being creative with his lineups. I'll be interested to see if the lineup that he used in Miami will stick. I suppose it will only stick for as long as it takes for Griffin to get a new big. I can imagine him tinkering with the starting lineup until then.
- With few exceptions, I always know there's a run in the Cavs no matter how far they get down. The ability of this team to focus and destroy a deficit in minutes hints at the potential of this team. Keep reminding yourself of that when things don't seem perfect just yet. It's what helps me sleep at night. That and the sleeping pills I take for my insomnia. Okay, mostly the sleeping pills.
- If all else fails, at least Matthew Dellavedova is on our side. Yes, I'm pandering to our substantial Australian readership here. For our American readership: if all else fails, at least Dion Waiters is on our side.
Happy holidays, ladies and gents and everyone else!