It’s time to focus our attention on what we do have. And somewhere, buried under all of that distaste for our former King, there’s a Cavalier Fanatic that believes this team can still compete this season. I’m not claiming that we have what it takes to win a championship right now because, as optimistic as I am, I don’t even believe that. But the Cavs have some very steady pieces that, if they work together, could finish the regular season in the top eight in the Eastern Conference. (For those of you that don’t follow me, that means they’ll make the playoffs).
So I am going to take the next couple weeks to break down our current team so that, by the end of this series, maybe we can all see just how dangerous this team can be.
Remember: We’re Clevelanders. There is no counting us out!
Some of these guys are fairly new so it’s hard to tell what to expect. We’ll give it a go, though, and see how it goes during the preseason game on Tuesday.
Christian Eyenga – Guard (6’6”, 210)
Eyenga is a very talented, long guard from Congo. He played very well in the summer league games but his talent is still extremely raw.
At six feet-six inches, Eyenga combines length with athleticism. His ability to run the floor and score the basketball may prove to be extremely valuable in a system run by new coach Byron Scott.
The biggest question mark surrounding Eyenga, however, is on the defensive side. His build is relatively similar to that of Anthony Parker’s but can he defend opposing guards the way Anthony Parker can?
Joey Graham – Forward (6’7”, 225)
In five years in the NBA, Graham has the game experience equivalent to half the regular season. Yet, he still is still a seasoned vet when compared to many of the guys on this list.
Graham probably will not see much time on the floor this season. He hasn’t shown the ability to run the floor and he’s just not tall and/or fast enough to play the three for the Cavaliers. And he’s not athletic enough to run the two.
Ryan Hollins – Center (7’0”, 230)
Ryan Hollins may be an exciting young kid to watch this season. He brings a different dynamic to the center position than Cavs fans have seen in a long time because of his athleticism. Shaq wasn’t all that athletic. And we all know Z wasn’t much of an athlete.
Hollins may be extremely dangerous in transition, as the big guy has the ability to get up and down the floor with the guards. He will likely be one of the quickest centers – and I don’t mean to say he’ll be the best – and he will be a much more dominant force inside than most fans expect.
He is one of the guys that I’m looking forward to watching over the next few months.
Samardo Samuels – Forward (6’9”, 260)
Samuels is one of those guys that might surprise you this season. He comes from a great college program (Louisville), under a very good coach (Rick Pitino), and I think he may be an excellent addition to this Cavaliers front court.
At six feet-nine inches, Samuels has grown accustomed to running the floor and finding holes in the defense to get his points. He’s a hard working, hard nosed forward that brings a lot of energy to the floor.
While I don’t expect him to play that much right from the start, Samuels should earn his minutes as the season progresses. He’s an excellent compliment to a guy like Hollins but he brings the same kind of game that JJ Hickson brings to the table. That could be a main reason why he doesn’t get as much time on t he floor as I’d like to see.
Ramon Sessions – Guard (6’3”, 190)
Sessions is an exciting, young point guard. His game is extremely quick and should excel in Scott’s new system.
His defensive ability is an upgrade from Mo Williams (sorry Mo) and he may be a better natural point guard than anyone on a roster. He’s long; he’s quick. And he seems to have an excellent sense of what is going on around him on the floor.
I expect him to be a key piece to this season’s playoff push though he will likely spend most of that time coming off the bench in favor of Williams.
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