Who Are These Cavaliers?

It is a season to remember thus far, that’s for sure.  Terry Pluto thinks this could be the greatest Cavs team ever.  Now this quote comes from CNN/SI’s latest power rankings (the Cavs are number 2 this week.)

“Cleveland has been so good, they haven’t needed LeBron in the fourth quarter,” an advance scout told me recently.  “That’s going to help them in the playoffs.”  Indeed, the Cavaliers have been downright lethal in the third quarter this season; on average, only the Celtics and Lakers outscore the opposition by more in that period than Cleveland does.

I am sure there is some statistical mining to do in this area, but off the top of my head here’s what I am thinking.  Typically the Cavaliers could come out playing strong in the first half in the past.  Then, when they got to halftime the other team would make adjustments (usually to stop LeBron) and the Cavs would be cooked for a quarter only to leave fans desperately wondering if the Cavs would be able to take care of business in the 4th quarter.  

The Cavs must now have more options than the other team now has adjustments.  This means Mo Williams, of course, but it also means guys like Ben Wallace and Andy diving to the hoop.  It means Delonte showing both inside and outside games.  It means that Sasha and Wally actually step up on certain nights.  I will try not to jinx it, but it actually looks like this team is (gasp) deep for once.

It makes sense, too.  There is no Eric Snow.  There is no Damon Jones or Donyell Marshall.  Those guys couldn’t sniff the floor on this team.  Doesn’t it feel good?

  • Harv 21

    There is much better depth but the biggest improvement is all about Mo. Not just in initiating the offense, but he appears to have accepted that it’s LeBron’s team. That should be obvious, but not necessarily to an NBA ego – just ask Larry Hughes and Boozer. In Cleveland Mo seems to be all about the team, blending well with Delonte, getting his shots within the flow and trying to play defense. He seems to be using his strong personality to be a team co-leader of the team agenda. It didn’t have to be this way, and may not always be this way. But so far, so good.

  • Josh

    They are 23-4…Last Year they didn’t win game number 23 until January 23rd! They are a month ahead of last year’s win pace. at that point they were 23-18!

    It took them 41 games to win 23!!!!

  • Nicko

    A team I am actually proud I own season tickets for…

  • david

    delonte has looked realll good, i dont understand why his PER is lagging

  • MadCowz99

    It couldn’t hurt them to get one more guy though to really help this team. Another scorer would always be nice. But they certainly shouldn’t force anything at this point.

  • http://www.ohmygodihateblogger.blogspot.com kiddicus maximus

    if I’m Danny Ferry, I don’t make a move at all this season. When your team posts an .800 win percentage or better, you don’t try to add pieces or change things.

    as the old adage goes, if it isn’t broke, don’t fix it.

  • kevin

    Don’t forget guys, come playoff time we will be adding a player even if we don’t make a trade. That’s because lebron will start playing 45 minutes a game again and be fresh doing it. that’s like adding another superstar in and of itself.

    I’m sure the lakers and celtics will have a similar effect, but I don’t think there big guns have been sitting as much as lebron in the 4th quarter this year.