CLEVELAND – Scribbles in my Cavaliers notebook as they head into the All-Star crack with a 12-46 report:
1. The Cavs did not count on to have a person of the NBA’s worst documents, at the very least not at the commence of the year. A team committed to shedding as a lot of online games as possible does not signal Kevin Really like to a 4-calendar year, $120 million extension. Nor does it keep veterans these kinds of as George Hill and Kyle Korver on the roster.
2. From a striving-to-make-the-playoffs standpoint, anything went erroneous. Really like was hurt right after four online games. No make any difference what Tyronn Lue may perhaps declare, he was not emotionally or bodily geared up to mentor the team in the submit-LeBron James Period.
3. I do believe the Cavs would have been much better off to have fired Lue and authorized Larry Drew to be the head mentor from the commence of instruction camp. That would have place Drew in a great deal much better situation than using over as head mentor right after 6 online games. The Cavs missing all 6 of all those online games and did not have a direct right after halftime in any of them.
4. Shedding early authorized the Koby Altman entrance workplace to trade off veterans and pile up two to start with-spherical picks and 6 far more in the 2nd spherical over the subsequent many decades. It also established the agenda to enjoy some of the younger players.
5. This year often has been a nightmare for Drew, who has utilized 24 distinctive starting up lineups. His most effective a few players – Larry Nance Jr., Tristan Thompson and Really like – have all skipped large chunks of the year due to accidents. And the Cavs have been trading and trading. They have utilized 27 distinctive players.
6. Drew’s psychological stability and internal toughness have been great for a team in this circumstance. There have been handful of self-control issues with the players, not a great deal “internal discord” in basic. Drew is an exceptional captain on a ship in stormy seas.
7. Collin Sexton took a lot of criticism early in the year. Some was deserved, as he experienced so a lot of times when he seemed clueless as a point guard. But he was a 19-calendar year-previous rookie tossed into a chaotic roster circumstance. He is a tricky employee. He’s escalating. In February, he’s averaging 21.2 details on .414 capturing (.433 from 3-point range), together with 3.7 rebounds and 3.5 helps.
8. Sexton is averaging 15.1 details for each recreation this year, fourth among the rookies. You can glimpse at the stats. The only rookie building a major influence in conditions of increasing his team in the standings is Luka Doncic. His Dallas Mavericks team went into the crack with a 26-31 report. A calendar year ago, the Mavs have been 24-58.
9. The teams keep drafting these adolescents right after a person calendar year of college. They enjoy like young ones in a man’s league. It can take a handful of decades to figure out what the player will turn out to be in the NBA. If I experienced to guess right now, I see the 6-foot-2 Sexton as a Jordan Clarkson-kind scorer off the bench. But which is right now he’s nevertheless a rookie.
10. Fans often listen to “lottery pick” and imagine the player ought to be a great player quickly. Sexton was the No. 8 decide in the 2018 draft. The Cavs have a different No. 8 decide on their team. It is recently obtained Nik Stauskas, who has been a major disappointment with a handful of teams. One more is Marquese Chriss, who may perhaps be just starting up to figure out the NBA in his 3rd year.
11. Chriss was the No. 8 decide in 2016 by Sacramento. He was traded to Phoenix on draft night time. After two mediocre seasons with the Suns, he was traded to Houston ahead of this year. He rarely performed with the Rockets. The Cavs obtained Brandon Knight, Chriss and a 2019 to start with-spherical decide from Houston in a deal for Alec Burks.
12. In four online games with the Cavs, the 6-foot-10 Chriss is averaging 14.3 details, 6.3 rebounds in 24 minutes. He’s capturing .537 from the industry, .563 on 3-ideas. At the age of 21, he could be locating his NBA position. He previously has experienced some monster dunks and shown the skill to make 3-ideas from the corner.
13. Drew on Chriss: “He’s a talent, a wonderful athlete. He plays over the rim. He demands enjoying time and to get in much better form.”
14. Since of all the accidents, Drew has not experienced a possibility to use a massive person rotation of Really like, Nance and Thompson. Really like has performed 22 minutes considering the fact that he returned from foot surgical treatment, scoring 18 details with 10 rebounds. In all those 22 minutes, the Cavs have outscored their opponents by 11 details.
15. Drew on Really like: “When he’s on the flooring, we have a great rhythm. He is our go-to male. He would make lifestyle easier for a lot of men (on his team).”
16. Nance is an emerging player many thanks to his rebounding, passing, hustle and enhanced capturing. In February, he’s averaging 13.8 rebounds, 11.8 details and capturing .448 from the industry. He turned 26 on New Year’s Working day. He signed a 5-calendar year extension. He ought to be a main player for this team in the long run.
17. Thompson was enjoying effectively till he experienced a foot harm. He’s intended to be again right after the All-Star crack. But health has to be a issue. He arrived again after from the harm, then was sidelined. The same with Really like. Both equally players have to discover a way to stay healthful. Cedi Osman (12.6 details) is emerging as viable starter, but he’s skipped 6 online games with a sprained ankle.
18. I love Clarkson because he’s so relentless, so strong and finds so a lot of distinctive ways to score. The 2018 deadline deal with the Lakers bringing Nance and Clarkson to Cleveland is a quite great a person for the Cavs heading into subsequent year.
19. A tricky section of coaching this team is players on minutes-restriction because of accidents. Recently obtained Brandon Knight is only intended to enjoy about 15 minutes. He is coming again from major ACL knee surgical treatment. Really like has been quite constrained. Thompson will be constrained when he returns right after the All-Star crack.
20. The Cavs (12-46) are competing with the Knicks (10-47), the Suns (11-48) and Bulls (14-44) for the worst report in the league. Lottery policies have improved. The teams with the A few worst documents have the same 14 % possibility for the top decide. The fourth worst report is 12.5 %. So it’s not vital to have the poorest report in quest of the top decide.