2013 CB Draft Cleveland Cavaliers
a.k.a. the Cleveland Bar-Fighters
GM: AB_Celtic | co-GM: airbelinelli | HC: Lionel Hollins
Team Motto: No superstar, no problem.
PG: Ty Lawson / Steve Blake
SG: Tony Allen / Jamal Crawford
SF: Caron Butler / Gerald Wallace
PF: Al Horford / Carl Landry
C: Kevin Garnett / Timofey Mozgov
Young fellers: Terrence Ross (SG/SF), Bernard James (C)
Inactive: Lamar Odom (PF/SF)
STARTERS AND OTHER KEY PLAYERS
Al Horford - #15 PF/C (starter)
27 years old | 6'10", 250 lbs | Florida
Nickname: Da Boss
Quote: "The most versatile true big man in the league." - Roy H.
Role: Whatever we ask him to do (incl. rebounding, scoring, and defending)
Key stats: 17.4 ppg, 10.2 rpg, 3.2 apg, 8.9 total win shares
Cavsong: "How You Like Me Now" by The Heavy
Al Horford is one of the most versatile players in the entire NBA. The two-time All Star can operate down low and he can hit a 20 foot jumper. He can rebound and he can pass. He can run the floor and he can work off screens in the half-court. He is strong enough and quick enough to defend any PF or C in the league, and he does it well. There isn't a weakness to be found in his game. Some on the forum were surprised we chose him ahead of other defensive Cs, but there's the magic of it: Al won't be playing C.
Al's natural position in this league is PF. Why, then, has he started at C for the Hawks nearly every game during his six-year career? Because of a guy named Josh Smith, a tweener forward who really can't shoot well enough to be considered a SF. So while Smith flails around and takes ill-advised midrange jumpers (don't worry DKCers, Thibs will take care of that behavior), Al has to be prudent and do the dirty work for his team. Because of this, and because he plays in Atlanta, Horford often gets much less attention than his frontcourtmate. But that doesn't mean he isn't a brilliant player.
Last season, returning from an injury-riddled 2011 campaign, Al didn't miss a beat. In 37 minutes per game and 74 games, Al averaged 17.4 pts on .543 shooting, 10.2 trb, 3.2 ast, 1.1 stl, and 1.1 blk. As you can see, he scored comfortably
from anywhere inside the 3pt line. This versatility of scoring options means that teams can't leave Al alone no matter where he is on the court. This is a huge asset on the offensive end, as it means that Al's teammates will be that much more open to take their own shots.
On the other side of the court, Al is elite as well. His 7'1" wingspan is disruptive to say the least, and he is extremely quick for his size. Additionally, Al is an extremely intelligent player, and knows where to position himself for a rebound, a block, etc.
Dat reach, tho.
In summation, Al's the whole package at PF. If only he could play alongside a defensive-minded, jump-shooting center that would allow him to play to his own strengths. Oh, wait...
Kevin Garnett - #5 C/PF (starter)
37 years old | 6'11", 253 lbs | Farragut H.S.
Nickname: The Big Ticket
Quote: "Anything is possible." - Kevin Garnett
Role: Heart and soul of the team, rebounding, scoring, defending
Key stats: 14.8 ppg, 7.8 rpg, 2.3 apg, 3.8 defensive win shares
Cavsong: "Who Gon Stop Me" by Jay Z and Kanye West
Make no mistakes, while Al was our first-round pick and arguably the best player on the team, the heart and soul of the CB Draft Cavs is Kevin Garnett. Throughout his 18-year NBA career, Kevin has been the most intense player in the league
. He's a 15-time All-Star, with 12-time all-defensive selection, a 9-time all-NBA selection, a league MVP, and a Defensive Player of the Year award. He's gotten inside other players' heads, made his own teammates cry, and led a team to a championship. There are few players in the league with the desire
and know-how to win like Kevin. And if his record doesn't scare you, then this should:
Jokes aside, there are those around the league who are concerned about Kevin's durability as he continues to climb in age. There are question marks about whether he's still effective offensively, as his body can't take the abuse that comes with operating down low in the NBA. I'll tell you this much, though: Kevin's midrange jumper is still as good as ever. Like, freaky good.
This combined with Al's ability to work near the basket means that Kevin will by no means be a liability on offense, and will be able to work his magic on defense.
But while Kevin's true strength his his defense, you can never discount his ability to come up big in the clutch. Search "Kevin Garnett game winner" on YouTube and you'll see there are too many videos for me to post. But I will post my favorite clutch play by Kevin
during his Celtics tenure. Who's got goosebumps after watching that? I get them every time. Kevin will come up big when it matters most, and that can vault a team to contention more than any statistic.
On the subject of statistics and clutchness, though, I'd like to quickly mention last year's playoffs. In the six games the Rondo-less Celtics played, Kevin played 35 minutes and averaged 12.7 pts on .500 shooting, a league-leading 13.7 trb, 3.5 ast, 0.8 stl and 1.0 blk. This was after playing only 30 minutes per game during the regular season and missing 14 games. So while Kevin might not be around for the entire regular season, you can expect him to be coming full force during the playoffs. He'll be there shouting nonsense at Melo, sacrificing his body for the team
, and making his teammates better with his passion and intelligence.
In case you can't tell, I love KG.
Ty Lawson - #3 PG (starter)
25 years old | 5'11", 195 lbs | North Carolina
Quote: Height is a blessing, but speed kills.
Role: Volume scorer, facilitator, clutch shot taker
Key stats: 16.7 ppg, 6.9 apg, .366 3PT
Cavsong: "Little Weapon" by Lupe Fiasco
Ty Lawson is a criminally underrated point guard by a great number of fans around the league. Last season, he led the third-seed Nuggets in scoring to the tune of 16.7 pts on .461 shooting (.366 3pt and .549 TS%). He is one of the fastest players in the league, and can finish at the rim or dish it out with ease and finesse (6.9 ast last season). He came up huge in the playoffs, upping his numbers to 19.5 pts, 7.3 ast, 1.5 stl, and even 3.1 trb. Heck, he put up 35 and 10
in one game against the Warriors. So why is Ty so underrated?
Is it his height? Being under 6 feet in the NBA isn't ideal...
He's adorable. I'd hug him if he weren't holding two pickaxes.
...but why should that make him fall to nearly a full round after other extremely similar PGs?
If you pay attention to that link, you'll notice that Ty scored the second most points per 36 on the best FG%, averaged the second most assists, and had the second most win shares, but he's still considered a tier below the other three.
I've concluded it must be because Ty hasn't gotten much exposure as a member of the Nuggets before this last season. This dude is good. Really good. And clutch. Really clutch.
(Tell me a part of you giggled when he did the bernie after making that shot). Ty Lawson is an elite PG in this league; top 10 by many people's rankings. He will operate beautifully with Kevin and Al, and that trio will lead the Cavs to victory on more than one night.
Tony Allen - #9 SG (starter)
31 years old | 6'4", 213 lbs | Oklahoma State
Quote: The best offense is a good defense.
Role: Defensive specialist, tough guy, cutter
Key stats: 4.1 defensive win shares, 1.5 STL
Tony Allen is a defensive monster. He has shut down Kobe Bryant, Russell Westbrook, Kevin Durant
, and even contained LeBron James (as best as anyone can). He's been called the best wing defender in the league outside LeBron by a good number of people (one particularly good article here).
Tony's a 3-time all-defensive selection. He has 19.2 total defensive win shares throughout his career (4.1 DWS last season alone) while never playing over 27 minutes per game. He's a strong rebounder for his position and a very intelligent player, in addition to his toughness. Along with Marc Gasol, he set the tone for an elite Memphis defense night in and night out last season. There isn't much else to say about Tony besides his defense, but that's the nature of defense
in this league, and not Tony.
Along with KG and Horford, Tony will help make the CB Cavs the best defensive team in the league.
Jamal Crawford - #11 SG
33 years old | 6'6", 200 lbs | Michigan
Quote: “The real sixth man of the year.” - BigAlTheFuture
Role: Volume scorer off the bench, three point shooter, clutch shot taker
Key stats: 16.5 ppg, .376 3PT, .871 FT%
After a largely disappointing campaign with the Blazers in 2011, Jamal regained the effectiveness of his younger days by becoming the sixth man for the Clippers. His shot creation, 3pt shooting (.376), and efficiency (.558 TS%) were all excellent with the Clips as he settled into his role as the primary scorer in the second unit. Jamal was on the court for many end-of-game situations, replacing 3-and-D guy and starter Willie Green. Many teams have adopted the philosophy of starting a defending wing and bringing the scorer (and better player) off the bench. The Clippers did it and the Thunder have done it. Well, now the Cavs will do it. Along with Tony, Jamal completes the playoff SG rotation, forming a strong defense-offense duo that can be subbed out given the situation.
For a team with many defensive studs, it seemed only right to add a guy whose true forte is offense. Jamal is gonna make your guy look like a fool
this season, so be prepared.
Oh, no, Ray!
Carl Landry - #7 PF
29 years old | 6'9", 248 lbs | Purdue
Nickname: And 1
Role: Rebounding, scoring, replacement starter for KG
Key stats: 10.8 ppg, 6.0 rpg, .605 TS%
Cavsong: "Stronger" by Kanye West
Carl Landry is just a beautiful scorer. Dude had a .605 TS% last season, and could put it in the net from anywhere on the floor
. Add in some strong defense and rebounding and you have yourself the perfect backup PF and third big man after Al and Kevin. Like Ty, Carl came up huge in last years playoffs, averaging 11.8 pts on .520 shooting and 5.2 trb in just 20 minutes. With the Cavs, Carl will certainly see more than 20 minutes per game, averaging somewhere around 30 in the regular season and post-season. His efficiency isn't expected to decline with this change
, as he's been highly effective in around 10 minutes (Feb 20) and upwards of 30 minutes (Feb 24). In fact, with an increase in minutes per game, we expect Carl to put up bigger numbers than last season; 13 pts and 8 trb is the prediction.
Gerald Wallace - #45 SF/PF
31 years old | 6'7", 220 lbs | Alabama
Role: Skilled SF and speedy PF defender, tough guy
Key stats: 2.5 defensive win shares, 1.4 STL
Cavsong: "Testify" by Rage Against the Machine
Gerald is tough. Like, really tough. He's not much to write home about on the offensive end anymore, but he can still defend the best 3s and 4s of the league. Like Tony and Kevin, he'll put his body in harm's way for the sake of the team - whether it's the smart play or not
. He'll function primarily as an energy guy and enforcer off the bench, but will start in select match ups against stronger SFs and quicker PFs. Also worth mentioning is his significant improvement offensively during last year's playoffs, where he averaged 12 pts on .463 shooting (.379 3PT), 4.0 trb, and 2.4 ast in 35 minutes. Gerald may or may not be cooked, but if he can continue that type of production into this year's regular season, he'll likely earn the starting SF job from Caron.
Melo: I'm scared. If I just look away, maybe he won't hurt me.
Caron Butler - #6 SF (starter)
33 years old | 6'7", 228 lbs | Connecticut
Nickname: Tough Juice
Role: Three-point shooter, tough guy, glue guy
Key stats: .388 3PT
Caron was brought in for his excellent 3pt shooting (especially from the corners), which he will bring to the starting lineup. Along with Ty (and Al and Kevin) he will spread the floor for the big guys to operate and for Ty and Tony to slash. He is the 4th offensive option of the starters, and he knows and is used to this from his time with the Clippers. However, that doesn't mean he can't go off
at any given time, even in this late stage of his career. Caron's shooting will be invaluable in certain situations, and he's no slouch on the defensive end either, earning the nickname Tough Juice for his tough style of play.
Scola ain't gonna even try.
Steve Blake - #2 PG | 33 years old | 6'3", 172 lbs | Maryland
Blurb: Steve will be the primary backup ball-handler during the regular season, and will supply some much-needed 3pt shooting in certain situations.
Timofey Mozgov - #25 C | 27 years old | 7'1", 250 lbs | Russia
Blurb: Timofey will be used as a backup C to Kevin and Al, with his minutes increased on nights that Kevin rests. His size and rebounding will be assets to the team.
Terrence Ross - #31 SG/SF | 22 years old | 6'6", 195 lbs | Washington
Blurb: Terrence will be an energy guy in certain situations, but will only see major minutes in the case of an injury or in garbage minutes.
Bernard James - #4 C | 28 years old | 6'10", 240 lbs | Florida State
Blurb: Bernie has the opportunity to surpass Timofey on the depth chart. As a 27-year-old rookie last season, he was a shot-blocking presence in his limited minutes with the Mavs.
Lamar Odom - #8 PF/SF | 33 years old | 6'10", 230 lbs | Rhode Island
Blurb: Lamar will likely not see the court with the Cavs due to his troubles during the offseason. Cavs management wishes him the best of luck with his personal endeavors.
2012-2013 COMPLETE PLAYER STATISTICSLink to statistics for picks 1 thru 6
- Horford, Garnett, Lawson, Allen, Crawford, LandryLink to statistics for picks 7 thru 12
- Wallace, Butler, Blake, Mozgov, Ross, James
ROTATIONS AND SITUATIONALS
Regular season rotation (approximate) ...
PG: Ty Lawson (33) / Steve Blake (15)
SG: Tony Allen (20) / Jamal Crawford (28)
SF: Caron Butler (25) / Gerald Wallace (15) / [Allen (8.)]
PF: Al Horford (18) / Carl Landry (25) / [Wallace (5)]
C: Kevin Garnett (28) / [Horford (15)] / Timofey Mozgov (5)
Notes: Gerald Wallace will start in place of Caron Butler (or at PF alongside Al Horford at C) to guard elite SFs and more mobile PFs (LeBron James, Carmelo Anthony, Josh Smith, etc.). Injury and garbage minutes will be given to Terrence Ross and Bernard James.
Back-to-back rotation (approximate) ...
PG: Ty Lawson (33) / Steve Blake (15)
SG: Tony Allen (20) / Jamal Crawford (28)
SF: Caron Butler (30) / Gerald Wallace (10) / [Allen (8.)]
PF: Carl Landry (33) / [Wallace (15)]
C: Al Horford (36) / Timofey Mozgov (12) /// Kevin Garnett (0)
PLAYOFF ROTATION (approximate) ...
PG: Ty Lawson (36) / Steve Blake (12)
SG: Tony Allen (15) / Jamal Crawford (33)
SF: Caron Butler (25) / [Allen (15)] / Gerald Wallace (8.)
PF: Al Horford (20) / Carl Landry (28)
C: Kevin Garnett (33) / [Horford (15)]
Back-to-back: Lawson - Allen - Butler - [Wallace/Landry] - Horford
3PT Shooting: Lawson - Crawford - Butler - Horford - Garnett
Lock-down D: Lawson - Allen - Wallace - Horford - Garnett
Kevin Garnett isn't getting any younger, and will not only need to further reduce his minutes this upcoming season but likely sit out the second game of back-to-backs. How will you adjust to this?
Say hello to Carl Landry. We not only have confidence in Carl as our third big man, but we believe he is more than capable in taking over the starting PF job when Kevin rests, with Al [Horford] sliding over to the C spot. We will monitor Carl's minutes so that there isn't too much variation from a bench night to a starting night, but he should be looking at roughly 30 minutes on any given night. Gerald [Wallace], Tim [Mozgov], and Bernie [James] will also see increased minutes when Kevin takes a night off, but nothing they can't handle.
Many considered Jamal Crawford to be the true Sixth Man of the Year last year for the Clippers. How will you ensure that he gets enough minutes to be effective?
Jamal will continue to see a sixth man role with Cleveland, and he will see starters minutes. Tony [Allen] has always played slightly less minutes than the average starter, so that alone would ensure Jamal plays enough, but we also plan on letting Jamal run the offense as somewhat of a PG, and Tony will get a good helping of minutes at the SF spot as well. All of this combines to mean that Jamal will get around 30 minutes a night, same as our other key bench player, Carl.
Gerald Wallace has seen a severe decline in offensive efficiency these last few years. Are you at all worried about him being a major bench player on your team?
While we agree with the first statement, we aren't worried. Quite the opposite: we see Gerald as a perfect fit on our team. We are confident in the amount of scoring that Ty [Lawson], Al, Kevin, Jamal, Carl, and even Caron [Butler] will give us; we do not expect scoring from Gerald at all. Gerald will be used purely as a defensive stopper against more skilled SFs and quicker PFs in the league, such as LeBron James, Carmelo Anthony, and Josh Smith. Gerald will start select games at SF or PF where the matchup makes sense, but even in that role we won't be expecting offense from him. Anything he can give us on that end of the floor is found money.
It seems you have the pieces to create a formidable defensive lineup with Lawson, Allen, Wallace, Horford, and Garnett. However, the floor spacing here could be quite poor. Do you agree?
In short, no. But I'll go into detail. The obvious source of worry here is Tony on the floor with Gerald as the two wings, and the lack of three point shooting that combo brings. While both are certainly subpar at that aspect of the game, there are several reasons that we are not concerned. First, Kevin and Al (and Carl) are excellent long-range jump shooters for their positions, which will create some floor spacing on its own. Second, Gerald himself saw a significant improvement in three point shooting during the playoffs last season, something he could certainly continue into this season. And third, the lineup you mentioned would soon be rotated out to accommodate Jamal, Caron, Steve [Blake] or even Terrence [Ross], who can all shoot the three ball. The only time you would see that lineup playing significant minutes together is in the case that we absolutely need a stop.
Can you comment on your coaching selection, or was Lionel Hollins chosen somewhat at random?
Lionel was absolutely not chosen at random. Aside from most recently coaching AB_Celtic’s second-favorite NBA team (the Grizzlies), Lionel is an excellent defensive coach; last year, he helped the Grizz become the best defensive team in the league in terms of opponent points per game (89.3). He was crucial in the development of last year’s Defensive Player of the Year, Marc Gasol. He has a rapport with defensive specialist and new CB Cavalier Tony Allen. He has playoff experience. He is humble, supportive, and has a great basketball mind. He will undoubtedly mesh with the mindset of the CB Draft Cavs.
THE DRAFT PROCESS
Drafting philosophy: build around two elite big men and a dynamic PG and contend for a title
Toughest decision: to forgo picking a starting SF in favor of a sixth man and third big man
Best move: pairing Horford and Garnett
Worst move: drafting Lamar Odom, but he just won’t play
Main strengths of the CB Draft Cavs:
1. An imposing and versatile frontcourt (Horford, Garnett, Landry)
2. Three of the game's best defenders (Garnett, Allen, Wallace)
3. Clutch and efficient scorers (Lawson, Crawford, Horford, Landry, Garnett)
4. The Ticket Factor
Kevin Garnett and his CB Cavs expect nothing less than a title.