Can They Make The Playoffs

While it is way too early based on 3 games to answer this question, I thought an article written by Charley Rosen, FoxSports.Com is worth sharing.

“Like San Antonio and Miami, the Cavaliers sought to add several impact players during the off-season.

After King James failed once more to lead Cleveland into the playoffs, the team’s most glaring needs became apparent: A couple of reliable perimeter shooters, at least one more big-time scorer capable of creating his own shots, and — above all — Cleveland needed a host of defensive stoppers.

What the former general manager, Jim Paxson, and the current one, Danny Ferry, came up with were Larry Hughes, Donyell Marshall and Damon Jones. After thumping the Hornets at home in their season opener, the new and hopefully improved Cavs faced a much sterner test Friday night in San Antonio and were simply annihilated 102-76.

Larry Hughes
Just because Hughes led the NBA in steals (2.89 per game) last season doesn’t necessarily make him an outstanding defender. Excessive gambling on defense, no matter how many times it may succeed, is no substitute for playing solid position defense. Indeed, his being voted to the All-NBA Defensive Team (by the league’s coaches!) was an instance of style being valued more than substance. Given that the Spurs are arguably the most fundamentally sound team in the league, Hughes was nevertheless repeatedly embarrassed when the champs ran their offense.

Donyell Marshall
Marshall rotated well when the Spurs’ guards penetrated into the lane, climbed the boards, hustled on the break, made a couple of nifty reversal passes and played poor defense on several screen/rolls. In all, he was intent on going with the flow and letting the game come to him — but it never really did. Coach Brown only called Marshall’s number once — for a post up that led to a traveling violation.

In short, Marshall’s considerable offensive skills were wasted. For the Cavs to be a serious contender, he must get more involved in the offense.

Damon Jones
This guy is strictly a one-dimensional player. When he played the point on offense, the Cavs were slow getting into their sets because Jones over-handled the ball. He also took four bad shots (and made one).

But Jones’ defense was downright atrocious. Both Ginobili and Tony Parker simply destroyed him with the most elementary fake-and-take maneuvers. On one first-quarter play, Parker began a move to the basket from 20-feet, and by the time he scored an unobstructed lay-up, Jones still trailed TP by 15-feet. Jones’ off-the-ball defense was even worse.

There’s no way that Jones can play the point in what’s supposed to be a quick-hitting offense. At 6-foot-3, 185 pounds, he’s a No. 2 guy transplanted into a No. 1’s body. But wherever he plays, Jones’ defense is a distinct liability.

Sure, the Cavs have only taken two steps in this long marathon of a season. But, even with their highly touted newcomers, King James dominates every aspect of the offense. The trouble here is that it’s too easy for the NBA’s elite teams (like the Spurs) to commit regicide.” Click HERE for a complete review of his story.