Coast To Coast is your bi-weekly (as in, twice a week, not every other week…or does that mean it’s semi-weekly?) look at the NBA outside of Cleveland through the perspective of the Cavaliers. Because Daequan Cook is playing better than we thought he would.
I like keeping tabs on some of the guys I was hoping the Cavaliers would draft. The player I was really hoping the Cavaliers would pick was Courtney Lee, and he’s having a pretty solid year for the Magic right now, as he finds a supporting role on one of the best teams in the NBA. The other guy I was praying for, though, was Chris Douglas-Roberts. Neither Lee nor CDR is playing as well (in my opinion) as the guy the Cavs ended up taking, JJ Hickson, but CDR seems to especially be hitting the rookie wall, so to speak, writes Dave D’Alessandro:
But the Nets’ fourth guard from Memphis did share this revelation when the subject of the rookie wall was raised Saturday night: He didn’t know there was a game Saturday night against the Grizzlies.
“We just talked about it,” Douglas-Roberts said, referring to fellow rookies Ryan Anderson and Brook Lopez. “We didn’t even know we had a game (Saturday). I know we were going to Memphis, but I didn’t know the game was (Saturday). I thought it was (Sunday). That’s the rookie wall right there.
“You don’t even know where you’re playing, you wake up in some hotel room, you don’t know where you are or where you’re going. That’s what it is — that’s the rookie wall. It’s tough, even for me.”
On the season, CDR is playing 10.1 minutes per game and is averaging 2.5 points and 0.7 assists, with a PER of 5.20. I still think once he adjusts to the NBA he’s going to be a very good player, but I couldn’t be happier with what the Cavaliers found in Hickson.
[Chris Douglas-Roberts Hits New Jersey Nets’ ‘Rookie Wall’]
Michael Redd is done for the season. He tore both his ACL and MCL against Sacramento on Saturday night. This is a tough loss for the Bucks on multiple levels. Brew Hoop’s Frank Madden talks about the impact on the Bucks’ directly:
There’s no silver lining here–whether you wanted to ride the season out with Redd or trade him for cap relief and picks, a major knee injury makes either scenario irrelevant. So how good can the Bucks realistically be, and what are their options from here on out?
This season the Bucks are 17-16 with Redd and 5-9 without him. However, it’s worth mentioning that the Bucks played nine of those 14 games one the road and 10 of those games came against teams currently in the playoffs. So they probably weren’t quite as bad as their 5-9 record indicates. Last season the Bucks were a respectable 5-5 without Redd, but the year before that they lost 23 of 29.
He goes on in that piece to talk about how this impacts the Bucks in the trade market as well:
Of course, this also raises the question of what the Bucks should be looking to do with the trade deadline approaching in four weeks. Trading Redd is no longer an option, so to me the idea of trading Jefferson becomes the primary question. I know the Bucks don’t want to go into an all-out rebuild, but hanging on to Jefferson at the risk of losing Villanueva and Sessions just doesn’t really add up.
First of all, not just as my favorite OSU basketball player of all time, but even more as the outstanding person he is, I hope Michael is able to have the speediest recovery possible and is able to come back the same player he has been. I wish him nothing but the best. Secondly, if Richard Jefferson really does become a trade commodity for someone, that is a major acquisition for somebody, and he could tilt the balance of power if a team just off the top tier gets him.
I’m not sure if the Cavs would be interested or not. The problem is, Richard Jefferson is a 3, and he’s not really an option to play elsewhere. Sure, he can play 2, but do you really want to remove Delonte West’s perimeter defense from the starting lineup? Yes, Jefferson is a supremely gifted basketball player, but he’s not the defensive player that West is, and furthermore, you know LeBron and Delonte make up the Cavaliers’ best two man unit, as Scott pointed out a while back. It’s not always the smartest idea to change that dynamic up. Could you start Jefferson at the 3 and make LeBron start at the 4? You certainly could, but then you’re giving up the backbone of what makes the Cavaliers such a dominant defensive team in Ben Wallace. It’s a tough question, and there’s no official indication the Bucks will even really look to trade RJ, but this is something to really keep a close eye on.
[Redd Done For The Season]
Joe Dumars is a genius, remember. Now look, I have absolutely nothing but respect for Dumars and the tremendous job he has done as a Pistons executive. But when the Iverson trade went down, we were fed a bunch of news stories about what a brilliant move it was by Dumars and how he had made the Pistons simultaneously an NBA contender and a player in the LeBron 2010 sweepstakes. Here we are today, and the Cavaliers are 34-8 and have a 10.5 game lead over the Pistons in the Central. Are the Pistons a contender? Are they really set up to lure LeBron in 2010? Tough to say ‘yes’ to either of those. Now rumors are that Dumars wants to trade The Answer already. Detroit Bad Boys’ Matt Watson gives his take:
It’s safer to treat Peter Vecsey’s columns as entertainment than fact, but for what it’s worth, he dropped this today: “Don’t be surprised if Pistons president Joe Dumars trades A.I. before the Feb. 19 deadline, the same team executive e-mailed. ‘But only if he can get back a similar expiring contract.’ “ (via DBB reader Bill Higgins)
Here’s the thing, though: Iverson is cap space, and most teams with a similar expiring contract won’t be looking to make a lateral move. Unless, of course, Dumars has his eye on the summer of 2010 instead of 2009 and is willing to take on a guy with one year left.
We’ll see what happens, but if Dumars really does manage to make an expiring-for-expiring trade, then I really will give him the ‘genius’ status he was given upon making the trade in the first place.
[Will Joe Trade AI?]
Who knew Daequan Cook would be good in the NBA? I felt that his potential was higher in the NBA than in the college game, but I didn’t expect him to ve ready to start making such a strong impact this quickly. Could he be Miami’s 2nd best player? Ira Winderman gives his answer:
My response has been that there are actually two distinct questions:
1.) Who has been the second-most productive player thus far beyond Dwyane Wade?
2.) Who has been the second-most important player thus far beyond Dwyane Wade?
1.) Daequan Cook. He has come up with the next greatest total of “important plays” through the first half of the season.
2.) Shawn Marion. No player on the roster puts together as strong a mix of statistics, intangibles and defense.
Not Michael Beasley? Interesting. Granted, Beasley is just a rookie and Daequan is in his 2nd year, but to be thought of as possibly the 2nd best player, behind only a superstar like Wade, on a middle of the road playoff contender is a really nice accomplishment by Cook. The Cavaliers found out what he’s capable of first hand when he torched them in the 4th quarter by drilling shot after shot to beat them.
[And The 2nd Best Is…?]
The Cavaliers like to run a lot of 2-man game with the pick and roll. You know what player is pretty good at playing in that scheme? David Lee. Courtesy of KnickerBlogger’s Gian Casimiro:
Now, nobody is going to confuse the Suns with a good defensive team any time soon, but just watching Lee thrive off the pick and roll makes me want the Cavaliers to try to get him even more. There’s been plenty of speculation that Lee is available for the right deal. Not sure what that entails and if Ferry is willing to give up what the Knicks will want, but I sure hope he’s at least calling them up and asking.
[Seven Seconds or Mess: Webisode 15]
I’m not convinced Amare Stoudamire is on the trade block. But Ken Berger of CBS Sports says that is, indeed the case. He writes:
At various times this season, the Suns have conveyed a willingness to move backup point guard Leandro Barbosa — another D’Antoni favorite — if the right deal came along. Given Phoenix’s lackluster play of late, CBSSports.com has learned that the organization might now be open to considering a much bigger deal — one involving Stoudemire.
Having played five games in seven nights including two sets of back-to-backs, the Suns’ elder statesmen — Shaq, Nash and Grant Hill — wouldn’t admit it, but they were tired. One might have expected a pick-me-up from Stoudemire, the team’s youngest star at 26. Instead, Stoudemire gave the Suns nothing in consecutive losses at Boston and New York, shooting a combined 6-for-24 — including 0-for-7 against the Celtics.
Stoudemire has made no attempt to hide his frustration with the 180-degree change in offensive approach from D’Antoni to Terry Porter, who has had little choice but to run the offense through O’Neal in the post. As the high pick-and-roll man with Nash in the D’Antoni system, Stoudemire put up massive numbers last season — his second full year since returning from microfracture surgery — averaging 25.2 points and 9.1 rebounds while shooting 59 percent.
It was not lost on Stoudemire that David Lee — a power forward with modest offensive skills — had 25 points and 16 rebounds Wednesday night while punishing Phoenix in the high pick-and-roll.
I have a couple thoughts about this. First of all, Amare is an absolute beast, and his presence on the Cavaliers would give LeBron a kind of scoring presence in the paint he’s never had before. But I see no way for Amare to be dealt to Cleveland. First of all, the Suns aren’t trading him just for an expiring contract. They’re going to want a really good young player back along with Wally’s expiring deal. They might ask for both Varejao and Hickson, and even that wouldn’t be enough talent coming back their way. Secondly, I worry a lot about chemistry. Amare has been a nightmare in the locker room for the Suns this year. He’s not playing defense and he’s constantly complaining about the style of basketball in Phoenix. Well, I doubt he would be thrilled to play in the Cavs’ system either, then. So I wouldn’t hold your breath on this having any bearing on the Cavaliers. But you can dream, if you want to. And I can think of no finer way of ending this edition of Coast To Coast than that.
[Suns Trying To Find Selves—And Might Consider Losing Stoudemire]