Friday, March 3, 2017

Krunch Time With Katelin: Potential of the New Look Cavaliers

By Katelin Marshall, @KatelinKnowsCLE

Its kinda crazy how deep this roster is considering where they started this year. David Griffin turned Mo Williams' contract, Chris "Birdman" Anderson, Mike Dunleavy, Jordan McRae and a first round pick into Kyle Korver, Derrick Williams, Deron Williams, and Andrew Bogut. The Cavs now can easily go 12-deep once Kevin Love and JR Smith are healthy. And that still leaves out rookie Kay Felder, DeAndre Liggins (who's played in 47 games, starting 19) and "Champ" James Jones, who is only shooting 59% from three in his 37 games he's played. This Cavs team might be one of the deepest teams in league history. What other team has seven players who were taken in the top five in the draft (including three former first overall picks).  But how will they all fit? That's the question going into the postseason.

That question is going to be a difficult one to answer right now because as of right now everything fits. Deron Williams can run the point guard for the second unit with Richard Jefferson, Korver, Derrick Williams and Andrew Bogut but here is were it gets interesting. Ty Lue will need to balance giving guys like LeBron and Kyrie rest and using the games as a way to find rotations that work. We seen it against Boston. Lue went with a lineup of Kyrie, Deron Williams, LeBron, Derrick Williams, and Thompson to end the game. It gave them three players who can get their own shot and create for each other, and the Williams/Thompson front-court that can attack the boards but still have the ability to switch on the pick and rolls.

The Bogut signing gives the Cavs another rim-protector just-in-case Thompson gets into foul trouble. Bogut has only played in 26 games this year for Dallas (21 starts) so its not like Bogut will play in every game, but his situation is a lot like the situation with Jefferson and Derrick Williams once Smith and Love gets back. Bogut's playing time will depend on the matchup and if the Cavaliers want to give Thompson rest before the playoffs. But the majority of the time it will depend on the type of team the Cavs play. For example a team like Milwaukee, they'll play small with Greg Monroe off the bench (we seen Lue Start Jefferson at power forward instead of Channing Frye), but when the Cavs play Toronto its a different story will the amount of big men they have.

The Cavs will still have their three point shooting lineup in Kyrie, Smith, Korver, James, and Love/Frye or their ability to go "big" with their LeBron, Korver, Jefferson, Derrick Williams, Frye lineup. Its pretty ridiculous the amount of mixing and matching Ty Lue can do. Its like having different formations in football, it will depend on the matchup and how each individual game is going.

All in all, the Cavaliers have a ton of options at their disposal and its going to fun and frustrating at times while they fine who they are. But they should have enough time before the playoffs get started because in reality we know the nine players who will play in every game its the extra one or two where there are questions.

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