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Cleveland Cavaliers

Final thoughts: Bulls 112, Cavs 91

By Jason Lloyd Published: March 3, 2012

Byron Scott has remained steadfast for weeks that his goal is to make the playoffs. If that's the case, the Cavs just let a tremendous opportunity slip away.

They had three consecutive games against Eastern Conference opponents all likely heading to the postseason and they lost all three. Their defense has been so abysmal over the last two games that Scott is now threatening to make lineup changes.

The most obvious candidates would be Semih Erden and Omri Casspi, neither of which has contributed much at either end of the floor. But Scott thinks Alonzo Gee is perfectly suited to be a bench player, so Casspi is probably safe.

That leaves Erden as the most vulnerable, but instead of recycling guys like Samardo Samuels and Ryan Hollins at the center position, now is a great time to toss Tristan Thompson in there and see what he does.

Anderson Varejao is due back from his fractured wrist within a few weeks, so it's not as if the Cavs have to commit to Thompson as their center the rest of the season. He has produced three double-doubles in his last six games, and frankly the Cavs can't get much less out of the position than they're presently receiving with Erden.

A darkhorse to be replaced might be Anthony Parker, although it's doubtful Scott would make that move now and embarrass one of his veterans. But the Cavs simply aren't getting enough out of Parker to warrant starting him. As the Cavs begin to slide farther and farther down the standings, now would be a good time to expand Manny Harris' role and find out how much he has improved from last season and decide whether or not he has a future in Cleveland.

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