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Cavaliers Continue to Improve in Second Year of Rebuild
Posted By Eric Kastner On Mar 23 2012 @ 1:54 pm In Cleveland Cavaliers | No Comments
With Cleveland heading into tonight’s matchup against the Orlando Magic, they stand at (17-27) and 4 1/2 back of the suddenly surging New York Knicks. However, Cleveland has to be feeling pretty good with the way they have played this year. The Cavs are one win shy of there total of a season ago (18), in which they’re playing in a much shortened season with less games. Recently, Byron Scott has inserted Tristan Thompson into the starting lineup at the Center position. Thompson, who is a bit undersized at (6’9″), has provided a spark at the beginning of ballgames in which just two games ago fellow rookie teammate Kyrie Irving and himself combined for 53 points in a Cavs victory over the Nets. Before Thompson took over at the Center position, the Cavs auditioned Semih Erden, and Ryan Hollins who is no longer with the Cavs. It was safe to say that neither of these guys showed any consistency at the position and that’s why Coach Scott went with the rookie as the big down-low.
Along with Tristan Thompson developing as a rookie, the Cavaliers recently assigned Alonze Gee the starting small forward spot, in a current lineup that features a mix of youth and experience (PG Irving, SG Parker, SF Gee, PF Jamison, C Thompson). Gee, who was apart of the Spurs and Wizards before landing with the Cavaliers, has made a name for himself in Cleveland with his hard finishes and stellar defensive play. Alonzo, is averaging near 11 ppg in his first full season in the NBA. Chris Grant, the Cavaliers General Manager, recently said they want to build the team through the draft and would also love to find a gem in the rough every now in then as they did with Gee. Donald Sloan, who has also found himself with his third nba team has shown early signs with the Cleveland Cavaliers, after being signed to the Varsity club for the remainder of the season, with Sessions being shipped out to Los Angelos. Sloan scored 11 points in his first major minutes as a Cavaliers in New Jersey as he shot 4-6 from the field this past Monday.
The biggest thing with the Cavaliers right now is consistency, but when you have the youngest team in the NBA, you will have moments where your scratching your head. The best medicine right now for Cavs fans is to stay patient and believe that Chris Grant and Dan Gilbert are doing the right thing. Cleveland has already said they wont try and make a big splash in free agency, even though they have a good lump of money to spend this upcoming off-season. One thing the Cavs front office should do, is try to find players who are young and hungry to win. Someone who understands the Cavs situation, a situation sort of similar to the Oklahoma City club when they moved from there old home in Seattle. Cleveland’s biggest off-season needs would be finding a starting two guard and center whether its through the draft or free-agency. The Cavaliers would also like to resign there own players like Gee, Samuels in the off-season, and don’t rule out Jamison who could be had for a cheaper price and Donald Sloan who is the current backup point guard.
Cleveland owns two first round picks this upcoming draft, as well as two second round picks.
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