CANTON, Ohio- The Cavaliers may be playing better, but they still have moves to be made.
We’re only in the middle of November, and the Cleveland Cavaliers are sitting just above .500 at 8-7.
For the record, Boston has won 14 straight and Kyrie Irving is loving life. The Celtics hold a 14-2 record. I, for the record, do not think that this is the right time to be playing your best basketball. Boston better hope the best is yet to come.
Cleveland hasn’t even played close to its best basketball. Unfortunately, they haven’t always wanted to either. The Cavs have made it pretty obvious, early in this season, that they’re just not all that interested in these first 20 or so games. Especially when it comes to defense and assists.
I wrote a few weeks back, about how it’s important for any team, not just Cleveland, to start forming good quality habits. That goes for both ends of the floor. I also wrote that, to be fair, Cleveland brought in 8 new players. One of which won’t be back until around late December or January. That would be Isaiah Thomas. Even when Thomas makes his debut, Cleveland won’t get any better defensively. They will, however become a better offensive team. And if all goes well, the return to the court of Thomas should help reduce James’ minutes.
The last time I wrote about the Cavs, Lebron was second in the NBA in minutes played per game. James is now first in minutes played per game at 38. That definitely cannot continue.
Derrick Rose will miss another 2 weeks with a sprained left ankle. This is no shocker to anyone. Rose has already missed 7 games out of 15. I do not see this situation getting any better. In fact, I think it’ll only get worse.
It’s time for the Cavaliers to cut ties with Rose.
At the beginning of the season, I tried being optimistic, but deep down, I wasn’t excited about this signing like I was when I found out Cleveland resigned Kyle Korver and brought in Jeff Green. I was feeling alright when Wade decided to come to Cleveland, but felt, even before Lue and Wade decided it was best for him to come off the bench, that Dwayne would be better off leading the second team. The main reason being when James is on the floor, he needs shooters/spacers. Wade wasn’t going to do that.
Getting back to the main point. I still think it was dumb for Cleveland to let go of both Richard Jefferson and even to an extent, Kay Felder.
Jefferson was sort of the glue guy, both on the court and off. Jefferson, along with Channing Frye and Kyle Korver kept the locker room loose.
Cleveland, for some odd reason, elected to let go of RJ and kept Jose Calderon.
I would’ve cut Calderon. He’s way past his prime and even with Rose missing games, the Cavs aren’t using him. Instead, James is forced to run the point. Iman Shumpert gets used, but he’s nowhere near capable of running the point.
Now, I brought up Felder for a reason.
Was Kay Felder impressive while he was with Cleveland? I’d say no. But Felder knew the system and now that he’s getting playing time with Chicago, he’s shown the ability to play. Not at a high level, but surely Cleveland could use him to take a few minutes away from Lebron.
Right now, Cleveland could have James start at point, then bring in Felder to run the second team. Again, Shumpert is no point guard. And honestly, Shumpert isn’t a shooting guard either.
My bottom line with the PG situation is this. Rose needs to go. The Cavs need to get someone who is far more durable and dependable right now. If Felder was still on this team, he wouldn’t have been asked to do much on the second team. Plus, Felder is only 22.
Don’t misunderstand me. I don’t want people to think Felder would be the savior to the Cavs need at PG. But he would’ve been a better option than Rose.
Speaking of Iman Shumpert. I think it would be a great idea if Cleveland could find a way to trade “Shump”. Cleveland needs two things right now, a rim protector and a backup point guard.
Tristan Thompson won’t be back for a few more weeks.
Why am I bringing up Thompson? Since the day he signed that huge 5-year $82 million contract, I thought the Cavs were absolutely insane.
I understand that Thompson is a good rebounder and gives Cleveland second chance buckets, but Thompson is what you call a one trick pony. Tristan is a good rebounder. For his career, Thompson averages 8.6 rebounds per game. So far, in the 2017-2018 season, his rebounds per game are down to 6.4. Now grant, he’s missed some time, Thompson is not a threat at all offensively and is a liability at the free-throw line. That means you don’t want him out on the floor late in games when the games are close and it comes down to a game of free-throws.
If you guessed that I think Cleveland should look to trade Thompson, you would be correct. The only problem, and yes, it’ll be a big problem, is his massive contract.
Cleveland will get better just from the return of Isaiah Thomas, but there are still moves to be made.
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Credit all authors of images used in both article and as cover image : Nick Broulis