Yesterday, Rick wrote a piece examining the options at PG to fill the void created by injuries to Mo Williams and Delonte West. The seriousness of Delonte’s finger injury is still unknown. In the interim, the Cavs, due to the broken finger, have ruled him out of tonight’s challenging match-up against the Thunder and categorized him day-to-day going forward. That specific injury status is particularly nebulous and cause for anxiety in some instances as David Halberstam articulated in Breaks of the Game where Bill Walton’s distaste for the possibly misleading day-to-day status was evident. Delonte is obviously a different case in a different time. He is one of the toughest players on the team and in the league when it comes to playing with pain. Cavs fans, however, should not expect to see him on the floor for at least the next two games with the potential for an extended hiatus.
Rick wrote that immediate help would most likely be sought in the form of a 10 day contract for a worthy D-leaguer. He linked to D-League authority Scott Schroeder at Ridiculous Upside. In his piece examining the Cavs’ options for a D league PG, Schroeder nailed his analysis and prediction and called former CSU Viking Cedric Jackson a darkhorse among the group of potential call ups. Many Cavs fans should be familiar with Jackson’s work on the collegiate level at CSU. He was the sparkplug leader of the Viking team last year that upset Butler in the Horizon Conference tournament and dominated fourth seeded Wake Forest in the NCAA tournament. Jackson was tremendous all season but his play in that Wake game garnered national attention. How has he been doing so far at the pro level?
Jackson has been a productive D-League point guard averaging 16.5 ppg and just over 8 apg as a starter with the Erie Bayhawks. On the other end of the floor, he should have the quickness to guard NBA level point guards and provide sound defense. Schroeder’s in-depth analysis:
With the Cavs D-League affiliate, the Erie BayHawks, he’s recently earned himself his spot in the rotation as a full-time starter – Since January 6th, the 10-13 BayHawks have won six of their past eight games, all Jackson starts. Jackson doesn’t really have a jump shot (the numbers aren’t lying), but he does very well at working off the pick-and-roll and getting to the bucket, either finishing below the rim or getting to the free-throw line. The Cavs’ brass should be very familiar with him as he played right underneath their nose at Cleveland State and is now playing for their affiliate in Erie. While this is probably a long shot, I’d welcome this call-up because, if nothing else, it’d be a nice way to reward the rookie’s solid play with a 10-day contract and see how he does on the big stage. He’s also a pure point in the same way Williams is a pure point, if you catch my drift.”
Jackson was in town last night at the Wolstein Center for the CSU game where the excellent blog Stepien Rules caught up with him and also took down coach Gary Waters’ take on the news of the promotion.
Daniel Gibson will get the start at PG tonight but I would expect Jackson to see minutes against the Thunder. The only true guards on the team right now, aside from the called up Jackson, are Gibson and Anthony Parker. I expect Lebron to take an even greater role in handling the ball throughout the game and not just in the 4Q where he typically takes over. I will have a full preview later but the Thunder will be a tough matchup with quick young guards so I imagine Jackson, however limited, will get some time on the floor. It will be fun for local CSU fans to see him out there and hopefully he can hold his own and prove his worth both in practice and when he gets his chances on the big show.
Brendan is a weekend editor at WaitingForNextYear. He has been writing for the site since March of 2009. He went to college in Boston during a run of insufferable Beantown championships that only served to reinforce his Cleveland allegiance and fandom which he transcribes to you here at WFNY.