I had decided to give the team two more games before I considered a significant shakeup. Who knows what I could get out of Atlanta but its pretty clear they would like Stuckey to replace Joe Johnson there but before we can get to them it was time to welcome last year's rookie of the year, Kyrie Irving, and the rest of the Cavs (it turns out the team name was always Cavaliers and not LeBrons as once thought).
Game #11 DETROIT 107, Cleveland 86
|Another case of Michigan|
beating up on Ohio
I was excited to get Kyle Singler on the floor tonight - as mentioned early on I think he's a valuable piece of the puzzle going forward and with Maggette going down it was a chance to see what he could do. Turns out he did pretty much what I thought he would do. 14 minutes, 3 points, 2 rebounds, 2 assists, 1 steal, 0 turnovers. But Singler wasn't the only future star that was on display tonight.
Apparently the talk of Drummond belonging in a bench role may have inspired the youngster. He still only managed 24 minutes because of foul trouble but what an inspired 24 minutes! 11 points, 7 rebounds, 5 blocks and 4 steals to earn his first ever player of the game honors. We need to work with him about cutting down the fouls and staying on the floor but the energy out of him was phenomenal tonight.
Drummond wasn't the leading scorer of the night though - that honor belonged to another one of our core young players...Kim English. Yup, English was 3/3 from long range on his way to 19 points off the bench (and oddly enough zero other stats) but it was good enough to outscore everyone else on the floor tonight. The bench has really come alive - we got 14 out of Jerebko and even 9 out of Max. Monroe finished with a respectable 17 but only 8 for Stuckey. If English is the real deal then there is certainly less reason to think about paying Rodney 8.5 million next year.
Irving led the Cavs with 18 while #4 overall pick Dion Waiters added a grand total of 2 points. Varejao had a typical Andy V game - 14 points, 11 rebounds, 3 steals, 2 blocks...that guy belongs on a contender.
Player of the Game
Apparently an 8-3 start hasn't given the city enough to talk about - one of the local beat writers decided to shoot me an email in regards to a rumor he had heard. What dirt could he have on me yet? I just took over this gig. Turns out he heard that Charlie Villanueva was being shopped around and wanted my confirmation. Many amusing quips ran through my head but I decided to play along with the green beat writer and confirmed what everyone else already knows that yes, I would trade Charlie. I would also give Charlie away or even auction off his services for a local rec team if they wanted him. Apparently my reply sat well with CV31 though - I kind of think he would like to be traded to a city that doesn't know much about basketball and wouldn't realize that even the Dominican Republic team didn't want him.
Game #12 Detroit 88, BOSTON 122
|They're still bitter|
Lots of questions going into this game. Was our first win against them a fluke? Can English prove he can play a big role and allow me to move Stuckey? Will Darko see the floor this time???
We came out firing - taking a 28-23 lead after one but the wheels quickly fell off from there. Apparently the C's decided this time to try and coax Rodney Stuckey into shooting as much as possible in an attempt to disrupt our offense and it worked. Stuckey fired up 20 shots - 3 more than Monroe and 5 more than the other 3 starters combined. Stuckey led all scorers with 24 points but completely took everyone else out of their rhythm.
The whole game was a train wreck. Paul Pierce scored at will on Prince leading all scorers with 25. Monroe countered with 22 points but that was it scoring wise for us. KG and Terry had 19 a piece and Rondo did his thing with 13 and 9 assists. Worst of all...Darko played. He played 5 statless minutes but still - when Doc put him in the game you knew it was closed out.
Player of the Game
12 games in and we are 8-4 with all four losses being road losses and two of them being to Boston and LA so I can't complain there. My biggest question lies with the Tayshaun/Stuckey situation. Did I make the situation worse than it is by giving Jerebko and English more minutes? Am I looking at them as the problems with the old team and unfairly scapegoating them? They do have the 3rd and 4th highest NET on the team and Rodney is second in EFF and 3rd on the team in PER. Is it worth it to trade those guys in what amounts to basically an attempt to dump salary above all else and jeopardize making the playoffs this year? If we make the playoffs are we good enough to beat anyone? At the very least I owned Atlanta a return phone call...would I know what to say when they answered?