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Old 08-22-2013, 05:46 AM   #31
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Default Re: ISH's FIVE QUESTIONS: Cleveland Cavaliers Edition

Originally Posted by RedBlackAttack
From a pure talent standpoint, this is the deepest frontcourt in the league. I believe that.

Andrew Bynum has an argument as best center in the NBA when he's healthy. I think it was a strong argument in the last season he played (2011-12). Can he get back there? Only time will tell, but there's no question the talent/skill is there for him to be a dominant force offensively and a very good defensive big.

Anderson Varejao
has been playing at an All-Star level the last two seasons prior to his injuries. Last year, the guy was averaging 14/14+ and seemed to be getting stronger just before he went down. He was averaging more offensive rebounds per game than anyone has in over 15 years. The last guy to average more was a prime Dennis Rodman.

How many teams have two potential All-Star centers on their roster? Injuries are a question for both, but assuming good health, this is the best 1-2 center punch in the league and the great thing is their skillsets should compliment each other quite well if/when Brown wants to pair them up on the floor.

Tristan Thompson was one of the most improved players in the league last year. He very quietly basically averaged a double-double and played in all 82 games. In the 50 games he played without Anderson Varejao (thus giving him more minutes/responsibility), his play improved dramatically. He averaged 13+/10 in those 50 games. Very young guys can go one of two ways when having more responsibility dumped on them... respond or shrink. Thompson's response is a great sign for the future of this franchise. And, he's still only 22. He can also play either PF or center.

Tyler Zeller had a rough rookie season, but it wasn't until Varejao went down that his weaknesses began to get really exposed. Prior to that, he had been a nice rotational big off of the bench. Like I said about Thompson, when a young player is given the opportunity for more minutes/responsibility, he can respond or shrink. Zeller shrank, but I'm cutting him a lot of slack. He was forced into a situation as a rookie where he was playing 30+ minutes a night and anyone could see he just wasn't ready for that. On the bright side, I thought he looked much improved during Summer League and the Blue/White Olympic scrimmage. I'm still confident he's going to be a good player in this league that will have a long career. Not an All-Star, but a solid big man ideally off the bench on a good team.

Anthony Bennett was as surprising a pick for me as it was for everyone else... maybe even moreso, because I watched Tristan Thompson grow into a potential rock solid option as the PF going forward last season. That's really the main reason I never considered Bennett, but it has become clear that the NBA is going away from conventional 1-5 spots and more toward complimentary skillsets regardless of size/position. In that respect, Bennett fits in quite well. He has a very nice perimeter game and was arguably the best pure scorer in the draft. The Cavs needed a scorer in the frontcourt who can stretch the floor and get out and run. We'll see how AB turns out, but the pick was a very interesting and intriguing one. Obviously, Chris Grant and Mike Brown believed he was the best player in the draft. That tells me really all I need to know. He also looks like another versatile player who can play either the 3 or the 4.

Earl Clark was maybe the lone bright spot in a dismal season for the Lakers last year. I don't expect him to be a star, but on this team with this kind of depth? Yeah, I think he can provide production at both the 3 and 4 spots. He seems like a very nice utility tool. His shooting has improved over his career, he's athletic around the basket and he defends/rebounds well.

I'm sorry, that's a damn nice frontcourt *if* healthy. Basically all of the Cavs' scoring production last season had to come from the backcourt with Kyrie/Dion. That is no longer the case and making Jarrett Jack arguably the best backup guard in the league? I'd say this has been a successful offseason and I think this is a playoff team regardless of Bynum's status. Even just Varejao/Thompson/Bennett/Zeller/Clark is a good frontcourt rotation. Bynum would make it the best rotation in the league.

Great post.

As the newest member of the Cavs bandwagon and a blatant Canada Basketball homer who is trading in my Steve Nash card for an Anthony Bennett card I couldn't agree more.

This kid is going to be good, he is talented, a natural leader and although people are concerned about his size (bit heavy, bit short) lets not forget he has dunk contest winnable hops (39" vert) and long arms (7'1" wingspan).

Also, he shoots the three well, handles the rock well, and has a knack for the game. He is a basketball player first and foremost, and I think that gets lost in the shuffle.

Another thing is he played the 2nd half of his college season hurt. He had a lot of games where he played sparingly. Had he chocked full minutes the whole season he'd have been nearing 20/10 territory.

And, rebounding (especially offensive) is a transferable NCAA to NBA stat and Bennett looks good here.

Most importantly though I think a lot of the talking heads let him slip a bit because he was hurt and not accessible. They need interviews and reports for content and when it is not there, they need to focus on what is. AB wasn't providing any content for the prognosticators up to draft day.

ROY in my opinion.
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