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Preview Part 2: The Wings

October 8, 2009

Last week I took a look at the bigs for the Cavs this year and shared a few of my thoughts on each of them, today I look at the wings.

LeBron James: There is not enough hyperbole to describe LeBron, and I mean that literally. He's the best basketball player in the world. There's nothing I can tell you about him that you don't already know. Just don't ever look away when he is playing basketball.

Jamario Moon: Great addition by the Cavs here. Athletic and long, Moon can finish around the hoop. He has enough talent to warrant significant playing time but the ego to always put the team first. We are going to see Moon spell LeBron, play the 3 when the Cavs go small and play LeBron at the 4 and, in my crazy mind, see Jamario at the 2 when the Cavs want to go HUGE. I don't know how practical such a lineup would be, or a situation where it would really work for any extended period of time, but wouldn't it be cool to see the Cavs come out of a time out with LeBron at point (6'9") Jamario at 2 (6'8") Andy as the de facto 3 (6'11") and Z (7'3") and Shaq (7'1") up front. C'mon, that'd be kinda cool to see once. I have no idea how they would defend the outside. I don't know how they would space the floor. The lineup probably has no practical purpose, but it'd be kinda sweet.
Anyway, Jamario. His athleticism and defensive ability will help the Cavs counter tough and unusual matchups other teams can present. One major problem against Orlando last year was the lack of guys, other than LeBron, with size and athleticism to defend on the perimeter. Subtract Sasha Pavlovic and Wally Szczerbiak and add Jamario Moon, Anthony Parker, and Danny Green and on paper at least it looks like you not only remedied that problem, but actually added better all around players at a fraction of the price. Disregarding matchups, aren't Moon and Parker better basketball players right now in 2009 than Sasha and Wally? I think so.

Jawad Williams: He may have trouble sticking, although I think he makes the team out of camp. He may not be on the roster the whole year, but he also may surprise you. Jawad has good size. He can play the 4 if needed. He's been around long enough to know his strengths and weaknesses and know he can't make a team (let alone help at all on the floor) if he doesn't maximize his strengths and minimize his weaknesses on the court. As a result, he has to play really smart basketball. It's never a bad thing when a guy plays smart basketball.

Danny Green: In addition to sharing a name (minus the "e") with a notorious Cleveland gangster, and a college with a Cleveland High School legend and current Cavalier (Jawad), Danny shares a similar game with free agent pickups Jamario Moon and Anthony Parker. It's hard to say when, or if, Green will crack the rotation this year. I am guessing he doesn't. The team is too good. However, I think Green has the potential to be a very good rotation player in his career. He is athletic with good size and has a rep as being a good perimeter defender with a solid outside shot. If he translates those two skills into the NBA, he's going to have a place on some very good teams in his career. He comes out of a winning college program with a NCAA title on his resume. Don't underestimate the fact he comes from a winning program after a four year NCAA career. Guys like that are willing to put in work and fit in with the team, which can lead to playing time sooner than you would think and more production than you might expect. Green is like Darnell Jackson was last year, except I think Green has more natural ability and therefore, more upside.

Rob Kurz: I know he's a stretch 4 (although lists him as a SF) and not really a wing, and I know he's here without a guaranteed deal, but I need to balance these previews somehow. Kurz is a lanky guy with a good outside shot. If he has a reputation for athleticism, I am unaware of it. I kind of see him as similar to Jawad Williams. The difference is, Jawad has a better overall game, but Kurz has one skill where he is far superior to Jawad: outside shooting. Still, that doesn't mean both can't make the team. However, if the Cavs bring in a veteran point guard as an insurance policy as the PD recently speculated they may, the final roster spot could come down to Williams v. Kurz. It could be an interesting battle to watch for October, which we can all quickly forget about come October 27th.

I'll continue the preview with a look at the guards soon, stay tuned...

Jack Bacevice


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