The Cavs have no second best

Matt Yglesias helpfully dismisses the ludicrous argument that Mo Williams should be in the All-Star Game. But then he veers off:

But beyond that, the focus on Williams seems myopic. Williams, it seems, is Cleveland’s second All-Star because he scores the second-most points. But everyone knows that there’s more to the game than scoring. And unlike your average overrated one-dimensional scorer, Williams isn’t even scoring that much. 17 points per game is nothing to sneer at, but it doesn’t exactly leap off the page and scream “All-Star season!” In terms of scoring efficiency Delonte West, Wally Szczerbiak, and LeBron James are all doing better (my stats are coming from here). Rebounding-wise, James, Ilgauskas, Varejao, and Ben Wallace are all contributing more in raw numbers, and Szczerbiak and Sasha Pavlovic contribute more on a per-minute basis.

…And Ben Wallace’s rebound rate has edged back up from last year’s low point, and his shooting efficiency is the best it’s been since the 2005-2006 season.

Speaking as someone who followed B.Ben for a long time, I think his decline has been remarkable. He’s always been frightening to his own teammates on the offensive end, but now his defense is totally unremarkable. This was my comment on the post:

Love the argument against Mo Williams, but you’re insane for bringing BWall into the discussion (arguing that Big Ben’s scoring efficiency has gotten back on track is like hoping for Matchbox 20 to get back to its artistic roots. You’re still screwed if you’re paying them.)

I think the Cavs last three losses (Lakers, Magic, Lakers) have shown that the Cavs’ biggest weakness is their interior defense—Odom, Howard and Pau ate them alive in those three games. Despite being king of the helpside, Wallace’s on-the-ball defense was never good, and as he’s slowed down a bit that’s become a lot more apparent.

As I’ve said, I think the Cavs have a better chance at beating Boston than beating the Magic and the Lakers, who bruise them on the interior. I hate Cleveland’s bench too—they need a James Posey/DeShawn Stevenson type.

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4 Responses to “The Cavs have no second best”

  1. Kenny Says:

    I have been arguing that scoring stats are the most overrated in basketball. Everybody in the NBA can score. Virtually every one of these guys was a scorer before they got to the NBA with a few exceptions (guys like ben wallace). So if you put them on a team where they are the first or second option they are going to put up points, especially on bad teams. Somebody has to do the scoring, even if a team is horrible. In 2005-2006 Mike James scored 20 ppg playing for Toronto. Seriously?, Mike James! Really?

    I like Mike James, he had a valuable role for the Stones in their championship season, bringing energy off the bench, playing defense and scoring. But he’s not a lead guard in this league, Seriously.

    So I don’t really care how many points you score. How are you scoring them? Do you get other people involved, do you shoot a good percentage? Do you get your points within the confines of the offense? Do you turn the ball over or take awful shots which might as well be turnovers?

    I think that’s what I miss the most about Chauncey. Obviously he had games where he would catch fire and take a game over shooting the 3, but for the most part he was giving us 18 a game without you even noticing. Just getting points within the offense or at the line, and he never turned the ball over.

    The pistons waste so many more possessions now, it makes it difficult for me to even watch sometimes.

  2. indeedindeed Says:

    yeah, i don’t what to say about the wasting possessions. when you’re right you’re right. even a broke clock, you know.

  3. indeedindeed Says:

    i was talking to a stones fan friend about this last night, about the ivo deal. and i said, does it pain you watching chauncey fit so perfectly on the nuggets while ivo’s stones are an inconsistent mess? and he said: we weren’t going to win a title with the chauncey-led core. which was always my point.

  4. indeedindeed Says:

    you think about how little the grizzle were able to get for pau gasol (who’s a legitimate inside scoring threat, the rarest commodity in the league) and what we were able to turn chauncey into, i think we did alright.

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