Cleveland Cavaliers Need To Make The Regular Season Fun Again
The Cleveland Cavaliers need to make the regular season fun again.
LeBron James is right to preach trusting the process, however, isn’t part of that process having fun in the process of getting better?
There are times when you look on the court and you see that the Cavs look like they’re playing with energy but like they’re uptight at the same time. Players like Iman Shumpert seem to be trying harder to not make the wrong play than to take advantage of their basketball skills and make a play. Veterans such as Mike Dunleavy Jr., Richard Jefferson and Channing Frye are often on the court together at the same time and for the same reason.
That does nothing but make the Cleveland Cavaliers a predictable offense. As the Cavs let games slip due to inactive defense and predictable offense, perhaps what the Cavs need is to infuse youth and energy into the rotation.
A young and energetic player like Jordan McRae taking some of the minutes of Dunleavy Jr. or Jefferson (who both turned 36 this year), would enhance the Cavs ability to score within the arc.
The Cavs currently rank last in the league in two-point field goal attempts and makes and it’s largely because the team is heavily dependent on James’ drive-and-kicks to the perimeter.
It’s an intriguing concept to space the floor with so mane shooters because while it gives James what are supposed to be passing options, it turns James into a passive player who’d rather kick the ball out to the perimeter than attempt a shot at the rim when he’s staring right at it.
McRae, who is a capable scorer from anywhere on the court, would be a catch-and-shoot option. However, he’d also be an effective player off-the-dribble on drives and shot attempts from the midrange. The midrange is an area of the floor the Cavs have struggled to score this season, as they rely on James, Kyrie Irving and Kevin Love to score from the midrange. Those are great options, nonetheless, Cavs can’t rely on the Big Three to do everything for them every game.
Felder will make some mistakes and have some turnovers because of his size and inexperience. He’ll also get more of his shot attempts inside blocked from others. However, both Felder and Andersen have found their hot spots from the midrange area and while Felder gets his from off-the-dribble, Andersen is a viable option on pick-and-pops.
Felder is also a focused and determined facilitator who is a true floor general. Perhaps his nickname for the Cavs should be “Napoleon”.
Felder is able to hit his teammates on drive-and-kicks and using the pick-and-roll at a much higher rate than Shumpert. As a result, he’s the type of player that can put the other members of the Big Three in scoring position.
Felder’s size is a concern defensively. However, the Cavs knew that when they spent $2.4 million to buy the 54th pick in the NBA draft from the Atlanta Hawks to select Felder. It’s time for the rook to see some burn.
As an additive, Andersen is a player who infuses his team with energy. Andersen is a hustle player who pumps the crowd with offensive rebounds, putbacks and charismatic play. If there’s any player on the Cavs that can make the regular season fun, it’s Andersen.
The Cleveland Cavaliers rank 26th in the NBA with 4.0 blocks per game this season. They’re in the middle of the pack in total rebounds, currently tied at 13th with the San Antonio Spurs. An extra block or three extra rebounds per game would cause the Cavaliers to make double-digit jumps in those rankings. Andersen can provide one block and three rebounds per game in limited minutes.
In talking about making the regular season an enjoyable experience, the Cavs team isn’t the only party that matters. Fans are watching a team on the court that isn’t making the game as enjoyable as possible. Irving, Love and James are sensational, still that’s not all there is to their team.
The Cavs are sitting two players especially able to attack off-the-dribble on the bench. Two young players that already are fan favorites in Cleveland. The Cavs are also sitting Andersen on the bench despite the team’s inability to protect the rim or secure rebounds.
What do you think of how the Cleveland Cavaliers have performed on the court so far. Do you think they need to play some of their young players to infuse energy into the tea? Let us know in the comments section or Twitter @KJG_NBA.