Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Talking Off-Season With Cavs: The Blog

Now that the off-season is upon us, it's time to start talking to some team specific bloggers on where their teams are going. The plan is to get the conversationg going about every team, with another blogger joining in. John Krolik of Cavs: The Blog took some time to talk about what the Cavs are doing this off-season.

1. Everyone is talking about the Shaq to Cleveland rumors. On your site you sounded mixed on the whole idea (saying he could help with some of the Cavs weaknesses, but also take away some of their strengths). So what player do you want to come to Cleveland? Is there any player that could fit in quickly?

John: I'd like a guy who can fit into what the Cavs like to do defensively in terms of being able to cover a lot of ground and show hard while rotating back to their man who would also provide a true playmaking threat, a guy who's really comfortable creating for himself and others rather than playing off of LeBron-as much as I love Delonte and Mo, Mo's really best offensively when he's catching and shooting and Delonte is best on secondary drives.

2. To get all the rumors out there early, people also questioned Mike Brown's status with the Cavs next year. Rumors aside, I feel like now is certainly not the time to make a change there. What's your thought on that situation? Why mess with chemistry now when they were a couple wins from getting to the finals?

John: My thought on the situation is that it's an idiotic one if it exists. Maybe in prior years MB had legitimate flaws, but refer to the post above: this team has one real playmaker. How is that lineup going to get people the offensive creativity they seem to think MB should be able to provide? Pretty much everything a coach can give you, MB gave you this season.

3. In a recent interview with Blog Talk BayHawk, you mentioned the Cavs will most likely target guards with the 30th and 46th selections in draft. If a guy like Patrick Mills slips down to 30, would he be the guy to pull the trigger on? Today I heard the Hornets have interest at #21, but anything can happen. Also, I see it's a true PG you want. Talk a little about the true PG's available there.

John: Mills is far from a sure thing, but he fits the need and at 30 he's just too talented to pick up in my opinion. Collison is probably going in the 20s, and in my opinion he'll be a steal there-he's a pipe dream for me, but stranger things have happened. As far as true PGs, Collison is really the best chance, or maybe A.J. Price in the second round-true points with starting talent do not slip very far in drafts.

4. LeBron James had a great season. He was the MVP, the team leader and improved his jump shot. What's the next step for him? Is it more posting up, an even more consistent jump shot? Can he really get a lot better? What's his window?

John: The scary thing about LeBron James is it feels like he could always get a lot better, even when he's playing at an almost incomprehensibly high level. This is generally one of my big summer posts, but the cliff notes would be Free Throws to 85%, Post Game, Mid-range footwork. And at this point for him, he needs a championship, plain and simple, before we can talk about him raising a level, because in every other aspect of the game he had one of the best years in history this year, which is of course a bit of a compliment and an insult all in one.

5. Guys like Charles Barkley always talk about how the Cavs need to play faster. How do you feel about that? Is the offense in place now good enough? I feel like their defense is where it needs to be, but their offensive sets could improve.

John: You want to play fast, you need a push guard. Mo's an improvement in that regard, but he's not a transition point. Other ways to get out would be to do things like ball-hawk or cheat out on the break, both of which would compromise their defense and rebounding philosophies. Ultimately, it would be wonderful if they could get LeBron in the open-court more, but playing slow is the best way to win basketball games with the personnel they have.

6. With all the NBA players using Twitter now (here they are), who would be the best Tweeter from the Cavs? Andy Varejao maybe?

John: Full disclosure-I don't Twitter. I have a vague moral opposition to it-I think it's the opposite of what a journalist, especially one working without access like 99% of bloggers, is supposed to provide. I'll probably cave at some point because it does have benefits, but for now I'm holding off. I'm sure Andy would be a fabulous Twitterer.

7. It's not a hot topic right now, but lots of talk about LeBron and 2010 always seems to be floating around. Do you ever let yourself think about that, or do you try to focus on what's going on with the team this off-season, rather than just projecting the future?

John: It's in the back of my mind. There's a lot of pressure on this season. There's no doubt about that. If the season ends again with the Cavs going out without a championship in a series where LeBron plays out of his mind but gets no help, that's a situation where you realistically have to say LeBron would be a fool to not give leaving serious consideration. Everything this off-season is linked to what could happen in the summer of 2010.

It's not focus to not point out if a guy we're looking at's contract could cut into our flexibility in the summer of 2010. It's just stupidity.

8. Everyone also talked about how LeBron didn't shake anyone's hand and didn't talk to the media after being taken out of the playoffs by the Magic. I didn't like it, but it doesn't ruin my perception of him. How did you feel about that whole ordeal?

John: I didn't like it at all, both the action and the non-apology. I wrote about it for SLAM here. But in 6 years, it's really his first misstep. Hopefully he learns from it.

9. Looking at the Cavs unrestricted free agents (Zydrunas Ilgauskas (ETO), Wally Szczerbiak, Anderson Varejao (P), Lorenzen Wright), how would you rank these guys in order of must keep and why?

John: Well, I don't expect Z to opt out, and Wally and Lorenzen are worthless. So I'd say Andy would be the priority. He's extremely crucial to everything this team does on both ends of the floor.

10. If you had to word in one sentence what the Cavs have to do to win it all next year, how would that sentence read?

John: You know the big games are coming-win them.

Our thanks to John! Make sure you check out Cavs: The Blog. You won't be dissapointed.