Cavs ’10-11 Preview
30 teams in 30 days.
It’s hard to part with a significant other sometimes, especially one of the good ones.
You invest your time, your energy and your love into him/her, you’re dedicated…and for whatever number of reasons, you and/or the partner swallows an entire FAIL cocktail and things may start wither. And it’s difficult, because if that person leaves the situation, a set-up that you may have had high hopes for, you are the one left with the clean-up. You have to process the failure and then figure out how to go on with a diligent spirit.
Tell me the city of Cleveland isn’t going through this.
In spite of the setback and the change of future plans, the Cleveland Cavaliers do have some hope, but it shouldn’t be about the good times of the past. The past, for whatever reason, is there, and the Cavs have to live here. Now. In the moment. And they’re equipped to do some good things for the present and maintain some hope for the future.
Now don’t get it twisted — the Cavs have to reconcile with the recent past, and the wine and gold updates don’t exactly conjure up images of winners (in fact, the Cavaliers were horrid in these colors back in the 1970s), but the better-than-average mix youth and veteran presence should make up for what could be a devastatingly poor 82-game campaign.
Among the present positives are that JJ Hickson is the starting power forward for the team; his increased rep time were the things that kept Cleveland alive in the past when injuries abounded in the prior two seasons, and now he can release himself the way that he was meant to be. Also, the team can use a lot of different athletic wings to increase the defensive intensity and overall tempo, should head coach Byron Scott allow it; Christian Eyenga, Daniel Gibson, Joey Graham, the former high-scoring Michigan product in rookie Manny Harris, Jamario Moon and a dutiful Anthony Parker will be able to play more passing lanes and fill good space for some positive disruptive play.
And whether he’s really truly an upper-echelon player or not, Mo Williams is here and the Cavs will be thankful for him; Williams will get even more time and freedom to take advantage of this ability to shoot, dribble and drive, and he can really steer the team in a way that can empower the Cavs and himself — with the newly acquired Ramon Sessions, they’ll be able to wreak some havoc as combo guards capable of setting up offense or shooting the rock with relative ease.
Of course, there are some deficiencies that lie at rest with Cleveland. Antawn Jamison is a starter, and, if being a reserve player is in the plans, he may take issue with that, considering where the Cavaliers are starting from; he’s not a disrupting force, but he’s so good and professional, starting him or trading him would be the best ways to have him (or not have him). Anderson Varejao is really good, but he was best playing off of “He Who Shall Not Be Named,” so his effectiveness will be something to gauge, and overall, the talent of the players is average — not bad, but not at all great or even really good. There will be blood…and some of it will be Cleveland’s.
All in all, the best way to look at the Cavaliers is with the idea in mind that they are getting over a rough time in the relationship. When the T-800 Terminator (Arnold Schwarzenegger) shot a street tough that was trying to rough up John Connor (Edward Furlong) in T2: Judgement Day, Connor accosted Ahhhh-nold about it — do you remember the Terminator’s reply? “He’ll live.”
The Cavs are going to live. They may not be skipping along in bliss, but thank God for new beginnings after sad days.
Previous Season Previews can be found in the archive.
Sandy Dover is a novelist/writer, artist, and fitness enthusiast, whose work has been featured in Robert Atwan’s “America Now,” USA Today’s UWire, and Yahoo!’s Associated Content, and is a senior writer for Buckets magazine. You can find Sandy frequently here at SLAMonline, as well as at Facebook and Twitter.