Friday, June 09, 2006

Z Trades

Don't count on it says Danny Ferry.

I'm not really surprised at this. If the Cavs do trade Z, they're not going to get much in return, especially not a center who, at his worst (the playoffs) scores 10 points a game. Remember, people are loving Drew Gooden for averaging 10 ppg, Z did this on his worst series (Detroit).

Now, that being said, how should the Cavs attack their offensive problem. Scouts everywhere have said that they misuse Z. Part of the problem is NBA teams don't really know how to use post up/back to the basket.

Now hear me out. Last night Shaq only got 11 shots. 11! What the hell is that? He started off the game nicely; had his baseline jump hook working. You know he could take Diop or Dampier. Yet Miami didn't get him the ball nearly enough.

Same thing happens in Houston. Ever watch a Rockets game? There are large chunks of time where Yao doesn't even touch the ball, let alone shoot it. Maybe guys don't know how to throw an entry pass (thus thinking the passing lane isn't there). I don't know, but I do know that the Cavs are guilty of ignoring their center as well.

I'm not saying Z is as good as Yao or Shaq, but he's better than Diop or Dampier. Or any number of other centers in this league. Sure he has his faults, but the Cavs don't utilize his abilities (much the same way they turned the slasher-scorer Larry Hughes into a jump shooter).

This goes back to the Cavs woeful offense. Brown admitted last year preseason that he didn't focus on offense at all. All defense. You can't really blame the guy can you? I mean seriously, the Cavs defense was awful the past few years (and didn't really gel until the playoffs this year). The Cavs needed to work on defense more than offense. I'm okay with that. But now they need to work on offense. It doesn't look like the Cavs will be hiring that offensive assistant we've all been dreaming about, but all is not lost.

The only guy the Cavs have that is really bad on offense is Eric Snow. They have 3 guys who are big time NBA scorers and one guy (Gooden, assuming he returns) who can A) hit an open jump shot and B) get some garbage points; they should be able to score points. If Brown can figure out that an offense that uses LeBron, Hughes and Z to the best of their abilities, the Cavs should be in pretty good shape.

The problem is this: are the Cavs a running team? If so, Z won't be too much help (though to be fair, name me a good 'running' center). How about a half court offense? Snow won't do much there and neither will Hughes if he's used like he was last year.

I think the Cavs go one more year with Z in the middle. They'll let Brown design an offense that can use his three scorers and see what happens. If not, look for some trades NEXT offseason. (Of course, if a trade involving Z occurs, I wouldn't exactly be shocked).

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