So let’s take a look at the 1st quarter of the NBA season, in terms of the Cleveland Cavaliers.
From a stats point of view, lets look at team leaders in terms of averages per game:
Points: LeBron James 28.8
Rebounds: Anderson Varejao 8.2
Assists: LeBron James 8.0
Blocks: Shaquille O’Neal 1.33
Steal: Mo Williams 1.42
If one were to look at the Cleveland Cavaliers, in terms of minutes per game, by each individual player, you would notice two things: (if you want to look at them http://www.nba.com/cavaliers/stats/ )
1. Anthony Parker, should get more minutes. It is my opinion that if he got as many minutes as Mo Williams, he would average at least 3 points more per game, up to roughly 10.
2. Shaq, should have less minutes. He averages 23.4 minutes a game. I feel that number should be roughly 20-22. You might be thinking, having him off the floor for 1-3 minutes more than we currently do, what difference would that make? A big one. Especially if we are trying to save him for Dwight Howard come playoff time. Give those minutes to Z. He deserves to play more than he currently gets to. These guys are essentially splitting minutes, but we are gonna need Shaq for 30+ for 4-7 games in a little over a week later this year, and Z can give 25 a night every game for the entire year, including the playoffs. And I don’t want this to sound like a stop playing Shaq type thing. I mean it more as a “save him for the reason we brought him in for”. I just want him to still be upright come time to take on the Magic.
So far, the Cavs are 17-7. Which is by no means a bad record. But if you look at the teams we lost to, it is a little upsetting.
Boston, Toronto, Chicago, Washington, Charlotte, Memphis, and Houston.
Really? Look at those teams! Memphis is below .500. As are Charlotte, Washington, Chicago, and Toronto.
But it hasn’t been all bad. At time the Cavs have looked fantastic. Like the other night when we beat a very good OKC team, quite convincingly in the end. And beating the Suns by 17 earlier this month.
I will say, I am very pleased with the production of some new faces, Jamario Moon is playing well in a limited role. The whole bench is producing at a level we haven’t had since the arrival of LeBron James. For my money I would say that Hickson has been by far the biggest surprise for the Cavs, his play has sort of evened out but he was an explosive kick when he first broke into the starting line-up. Varejao has been great, and has proved his worth to the team. Mo Williams is doing very well, as the only other real scoring option. LeBron has been LeBron. And in general the team seems to be clicking.
Delonte West’s off-court problems have affected his playing time, but he has shown when he is feeling it he really can be a great help off the bench. And I hope that he can get past some of his issues and get back onto the court to help get a “Ring for the King!”