NBA Roundtable

Magic vs Cavs Thoughts

In General NBA on February 11, 2010 at 11:32 pm

Orlando vs Cavs

Does Cleveland beat Orlando in the playoffs this time round?

The Cavs still look vulnerable to Orlando’s four in one out offense + their heavy use of the pick and roll/pop play.

But I’m not convinced that Jameer + Vince are playing well enough to match what Hedo + Rafer did to Cleveland last season.

Whenever Orlando get some penetration either one-on-one or off the pick and roll, they’re able to pick Cleveland’s defense apart. The Cavs are not comfortable defending a power forward out on the three point line and their whole team defense is out of whack as result. Each time Orlando forces a defensive rotation, then makes a few simple passes, they end up getting a good look for one of their shooters.

However, the Magic are not getting as much penetration as they were last season. Jameer Nelson and Vince Carter continue to under-perform and so long as that continues, Orlando will continue to put less pressure on opposing defenses than they did last season.

As a result, I think the Cavs have gained a slight advantage against the Magic but that the the matchup is still very close.

Is Jawad Williams a player?

Not impressed by Jawad Williams, he’s not a player. A weak rebounder, a very poor offensive player and a below average defender. He shouldn’t be in anyone’s rotation. Only a borderline 14th/15th man.

It does show us, however, just how much of a positive influence having a quality combo forward role player could have for Cleveland. That player could help hide so many matchup issues. Unfortunately for Cleveland, it doesn’t appear that they’re going to land that type of a player prior to the trading deadline. So this is an issue to be revisited in the future.

For the time being, Williams can do a decent enough job for Cleveland so long as the opposition doesn’t attack him. If the opposing team has a talented scoring forward they could limit Cleveland’s ability to get serviceable minutes out of Williams. On a non-offensive threat, Jawad Williams can float through a game and not hurt Cleveland.

Mike Brown’s Late Substitution

I like that Mike Brown brought Anthony Parker back in but I would have liked to have seen Brown take out the small backcourt instead of subbing him for Williams. Either bring Parker + Moon in for Williams + Gibson or bring Parker in for Gibson.

I didn’t like Brown leaving a small guard out there once Orlando took JJ Redick out of the game and brought back in Vince Carter.

Cavs Scoring Droughts

Cleveland still looks vulnerable to scoring droughts against the Magic. They got some good fortune today with big scoring efforts from Hickson + Varejao and some timely three pointers from their supporting cast to keep them in control of the game. But they were clearly stretched offensively.

The Cavs still need to a true second scoring option to push themselves comfortably out of the Magic’s reach.

The big lineup …

The Cavs lineup with LeBron at the point alongside two big wings (Parker + Williams/Moon) and two big men looks highly effective defensively + on the glass. Very difficult to play against.

That is a big weapon for Cleveland. They don’t use it much due to their talent at the point with Mo Williams, Delonte West and Daniel Gibson but it’s one heck of a game changing weapon to be able to throw at teams.

Superman vs Superman

Dwight Howard hasn’t been able to dominate the Cavs offensively like he has in the past.

The addition of Shaquille O’Neal has helped neutralized the threat. He has worn Howard down while in the game and helped make him less effective during and after his own minutes on the court.

Howard is still going to be able to score against Cleveland but the Cavs are effectively able to contain/limit him.

Vince Carter and Jameer Nelson

The only reason I think the Cavs are a slight favourite is their poor form.

If they can get their act together, then the Magic become the favourites again.

The Frontrunner

Cleveland has emerged as the clear frontrunner in the Eastern Conference. They’re the team to beat.

I’m very much looking forward to the Celtics vs Cavs matchup later this month. At the moment, due to Vince’s + Jameer’s continued poor play, those two teams look the main challengers in the East.

  1. Cavs and Lakers in the final dont think you can argue that unless an injury lasts/happens to either team closer to playoff time

  2. Hey twobudsoneblog,

    I think that is the most likely Finals outcome right now.

    I’m thinking the Cavs over LA in five or six games.

  3. It would be amazing for the Cleveland area to finally bring home a championship so i hope your right!

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