1. Thaddeus Young has been on tear of late. How should the Cavaliers go about defending the stretch forward?
Chris Manning, Right Down Euclid Co-EIC: The Cavaliers would be best served to use a combination of Tristan Thompson and Earl Clark to defend Young. Clark may be best suited to defend him since he’s a little more mobile defending on the wing than Thompson and he can also defend him in the post. Thompson, who has spent time this season defending other stretch fours, is fully capable of bodying up Young on the block, letting him take jumpers and crashing hard when he gets an angle on a rim. The issue here will come when both of these two are out of hte game and the Cavaliers have Anthony Bennett and Alonzo Gee on the floor at the same time or the Cavaliers run on their three-guard lineups. That’s where Young will be able to do lots of damage.
Trevor Magnotti, Right Down Euclid Staff Writer: I’m all for letting Thad shoot ad infinitum. He’s kinda like Josh Smith in that he absolutely has no understanding of what his most effective use would be on the floor. I think Tristan Thompson will be alright on defense against Young, because Thompson can keep Young from establishing position in the post, and when that happens, that’s when Young starts jacking up midrange shots and being a non-factor. The biggest issue will be stopping him in transition, which the Cavs are going to struggle with, but honestly Young isn’t going to just put up 20 points on fast breaks, and I don’t think he’s going to be limited by Thompson inside, and that should be enough.
Drew Corrigan, The Sixer Sense EIC: You have to pick your poison with Thad. Best way to defend him? Stand back and let him shoot, honestly. I’m aware he’s shooting 41 percent from deep, but he still doesn’t have a true position or area he’s best at. He’s still not a lethal shooter at any range and anyone involved with the Sixers will tell you that we don’t feel comfortable with him taking more than two or three three-pointers per game. To be honest, it’s hard to defend a player that averages close to 18 points per game, that doesn’t have any plays ran for him. He’s a hustle and energy guy. The only way to contain him is to put someone on him that can match his energy and hustle, which is hard to do.
2. The Cavs perimeter D has been solid of late – especially against high usage wings. Can the Cavs do the same against Evan Turner?
CM: I think so. Earl Clark, C.J. Miles and others have done a really job of limiting the effectiveness of other teams wings, most recently Indiana’s Paul George. Turner, however, has one major thing working against him: He’s an awful three-point shooter and, at 28.9 percent from deep this season, is shooting below his career average. This means the Cavaliers can focus on limiting Turner’s drives to the basket and his midrange game and take him out as a weapon. The only thing working in Turner’s favor here is that the Sixers are so dependent on him to score that he may get his by a byproduct of taking the shots he essentially has to take.
TM: Whether it takes 10 shots or 30, Turner will score. However, I think the Cavs will be able to limit Turner’s effectiveness because he won’t be able to drive as effectively on Earl Clark and Dion Waiters. The Cavs kept Paul George from getting to the rim off the dribble in both games last week, and that forced George into shooting a ton of threes. That same thing should happen with Turner, with worse results for Philly. As mentioned above, Turner is shooting 28.9 percent from three, and chucking a hair under three per game, and he’s hit more than two threes twice this year. If he’s settling for outside shots, he’s absolutely not going to be an effective weapon for the Sixers, and there’s disaster potential here if that happens, as occured in the Sixers’ game against the Bucks two weeks ago (10 points, 2-15 shooting).
DC: You know, Philadelphia isn’t high on Evan Turner as the rest of the NBA is. He’s simply the product of an average player producing on a bad team. Regardless, Turner is most likely going to get his points. He only has 10 games this season scoring less than 20 points, compared to 22 games this season where he’s scored 20 points or more. The last time he scored less than 20 points in a game was back on December 15th also. He’s not a threat from deep, shooting less than 30 percent from beyond-the-arc. He does get to the line close to five times per game also. Most likely, Evan Turner is going to get his points night in and night out, regardless of opponent. There simply isn’t enough scoring on this team for me to say otherwise, his light is extremely grene.
3. Everyone is aware of the Dion Waiters trade rumors – specifically the report about Waiters wanting to come to Philly so he could be “the man”. Will he come into this game and try to dominate?
CM: He probably will at times – especially if Kyrie Irving is out again – and that’s perfectly okay. Now that he’s the Cavaliers sixth man, he is more free to dominate the ball and be the primary scorer in certain lineups. He’s also fully capable of carrying the load, as proven by his recent fourth quarter burst against the Indiana Pacers. It’s often dependent on whether or not his jumper is falling, but it doesn’t take much more him to get going. All in all, Waiters is basically on his way to being Jamal Crawford with a lesser handle and better defensive habits.
TM: If there’s anyone who got more angry about the “Waiters for Turner!” trade rumors than me, it was Dion. Waiters takes these things personally, and I think there’s a little part of him that just wants to destroy Philly and Turner. He should be coming out firing, and considering that James Anderson and Hollis Thompson might be guarding him for the most part in this game, Waiters might explode for a huge game tonight. If he does, the Cavs should have an easy time tonight. I’d expect angry Waiters to shoot like 20 times tonight, and come away with about 20-24 points.
DC: Dion Waiters is a gunner, lets not mistake that. He’s a prototype of Monta Ellis, Lou Williams, Nate Robinson, guys like that. With that being said, he has a gunners mentality. Especially against a Sixers defense that is last in the league in opponents points per game, at 110.6 per game. So yes, I think he’s going to try and dominate this game. Waiters is from Philly also and there’s always something about playing in front of your hometown, no matter what the name on the front of that jersey said. With that being said, we will gladly take Dion Waiters off your hands if you guys would like Evan Turner.