Welcome to the fifth installment of Right Down Euclid’s “Weekly Roundtable.” Every Friday Chris Manning and I, along with our newest Roundtable member Dan Pilar, sit down and discuss the latest trending topics concerning your Cleveland Cavaliers and the NBA. We answer three questions concerning the hometown Wine and Gold and two questions surrounding the league.
Today we will be discussing the Cavaliers most recent free agency signing (hint: C.J. Miles), what to think of Byron Scott’s job as a head coach through two seasons, what preseason game will garner the most attention, the most impressive stat in Team USA’s demolition of Nigeria and which U.S. player has been the most impressive through the first three preliminary games.
First Question: What do you think of small forward C.J. Miles being signed to the Cavaliers?
Zachary Kolesar: A roster that is lacking the most depth at the traditional small forward position is now finally starting to come together, as the Cavaliers made their move and signed former Utah Jazz small forward C.J. Miles to a two-year deal according to sources. Miles will compete for the starting three spot in Cleveland, as Omri Casspi and Alonzo Gee (Gee has still not signed his qualifying offer from the Cavaliers) are potential candidates for the same spot. Having signed Miles, who has career averages of 9.1 points and 2.1 rebounds, will pressure Gee into signing a deal of his own and will make for great competition for the starting role. Solid pick up by the Cleveland front office.
Chris Manning: I like the C.J. Miles signing. If Gee leaves, he’s a good replacement. But now, I think the Cavs should stand pat. They aren’t going to be title contenders this season no matter who they add, so why not stand pat? This way, all their youngsters can get playing time, and at the same time, save money. Standing pat is a win-win situation in my book.
Dan Pilar: It has been reported by Utah Jazz beat writer Brian Smith that C.J. Miles will sign with the Cavaliers. This is a great pick up by the Cavs. He has seven years of NBA experience and he is still only 25 years young. Now the pressure falls on Alonzo Gee. I believe the only place Gee will end up is with the Cavs. The signing of Miles puts pressure on Gee to sign his $2.7 million offer. If the Cavs are able to sign both of these guys, it gives them size at the SG/SF position.
Second Question: How do you think of Byron Scott has fared as head coach of the Cavaliers through two seasons?
ZK: Considering the situation that Byron Scott was handed upon being named head coach of the Cavaliers, it is not really fair to evaluate how he has done in his first two years in Cleveland. The organization is very pleased with the work that the former NBA player has put in, and that is shown by players dreading his insane training camp workouts. He has developed a long-lasting relationship with Kyrie Irving, and as shown by his play on the court, helped the 2011-12 NBA Rookie of the Year excel on the court. Ignore the record as of right now because Scott is here to stay, and winning seasons are a work in progress.
CM: I like Scott’s work thus far. He hasn’t had overly talented groups to work with, and he has them playing hard. He’s a coach who has his team play hard every game, and that’s a mentality you want installed on a young basketball team. Overall he gets a B+.
DP: Although his record doesn’t show it, Byron Scott has done a great job. Scott was brought in two seasons ago not knowing if this Cavalier team would have had LeBron James on the roster. Scott did not mourn over this loss, and began the rebuilding process with Dan Gilbert and Chris Grant. Scott takes great pride in teaching these young players. He is a former player himself, so he can relate to some of the young guards he has on his team. He is certainly a player’s coach. He may be a little harder on some players than others, but for the most part they all listen and look up to him.
Third Question: Which preseason game are you most looking forward to?
ZK: Chris Manning wrote a short article on the Cavaliers preseason schedule, and although meaningless, the October 13 matchup against the Washington Wizards caught my eye. The Cavaliers open the NBA season against the Wizards at home, so I’m excited to see a preview of a possibly budding rivalry between the backcourts of Kyire Irving/Dion Waiters and John Wall/Bradley Beal.
CM: As I mentioned in my article on the preseason schedule, I’m looking forward to the game against Indiana. The team will be set by then, thus giving Cavs fans their first real look at the 2012-2013 Cleveland Cavaliers. Indiana is also a very good team, so it’ll a gauge of what kind of team the Cavs will be in the Kyrie Irving era.
DP: I don’t think looking forward to a preseason game is possible because in the end, the result doesn’t matter. Win or lose, coming out of the game better than you came in is what’s most important. I am looking forward to seeing Kyrie Irving and Dion Waiters in the same backcourt. In basketball, it always isn’t about picking or signing the most talented players, but finding players who can gel together nicely. Grant obviously took a gamble and reached to grab Waiters in the draft, but he believes that Irving and Waiters in the backcourt can be a dangerous combo. So looking for some kind of chemistry between those two is what I’m looking for in preseason play.
ZK: The Nigerians completed 28 of their 68 attempts from the field, shooting at a 41.2 percent clip. Team USA completed 29 of their 46 attempts from three, shooting at an incredible 63.0 percent from long range. Many records were broken, but I was most impressed by Team USA’s resilient attack from three-point land even when the game was already decided. That’s a scary percentage to shoot unguarded. This was done in the Olympics.
CM: The amount of points that the Americans scored blew my mind. Team USA was essentially playing street ball against Nigeria, and no stat proves that better than that. That performance was simply outstanding.
DP: Most impressive stat that comes across my mind is that Carmelo Anthony was 10-12 from three-point range. Hitting that percentage in PRACTICE is amazing, and he did it in an Olympic game. Another notable stat I came across was that LeBron James and Kobe Bryant logged zero minutes in the second half.
ZK: I said it at the very beginning that Carmelo Anthony would be a big reason why Team USA would come away with a gold medal at the Olympics. In his first three games Anthony has surpassed the high expectations I had for him. He has averaged 20.7 points while shooting 68.7 percent from the field and 85.7 percent from three. If I were the New York Knicks I don’t know whether I would be mad or not. Will this Carmelo show up in the 2012-13 NBA season?
CM: The team as a whole has impressed me. Not one single player has been dominating over everyone else, and it has been fun to watch. If I had to pick one player though, it would have to be Anthony Davis. The soon to be NBA rookie has looked good, & I think it bodes well for his NBA campaign & status as a “can’t miss” prospect.
DP: Our own Chris Manning wrote about Tyson Chandler, the center of Team USA, and said he is the most important piece to the team’s success. And if that is true, then that makes the backup center the second most important piece; that would be Kevin Love. Love has impressed through the first three games, averaging 15 points. His real test of strength will come when Team USA eventually plays Spain. Spain is not on the U.S. schedule, but experts believe that Spain is the only thing standing in the way of the U.S. and the gold medal. If he can contain the Gasol brothers on defense while Tyson Chandler is off the court, then he would have successfully completed his job.
Make sure to check back next week to see what Chris Manning and Zachary Kolesar have to discuss at the “Weekly Roundtable.”
Topics: 2012 Olympics, Alonzo Gee, Bradley Beal, Byron Scott, C.J. Miles, Carmelo Anthony, Cleveland Cavaliers, Dion Waiters, John Wall, Kevin Love, Kobe Bryant, Kyrie Irving, Lebron James, Utah Jazz, Washington Wizards