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Cleveland Cavaliers

Notes from the preseason

By admin Published: October 31, 2005

  • Eric Snow is going to start at PG.  As I explained in my Sunday column, Snow is gets the edge because he's a better defender and Mike Brown always thinks defense first.  But I expect him to split minutes with Damon Jones, almost evenly.

  • Injuries and a new system will mean a slow start.  After starting 0-5 in 2003 and 0-3 last year, the hope is that the Cavs could get going a little quicker this year.  But the team only played about two or three quarters with its full roster in the preseason and missed a lot of practice time.  Considering they're all learning new systems and after the cup cake opener they have a three-game road trip, I don't expect a hot start this season either.

  • The early word going around the league is that the Cavs might be greatly improved.  From what I've heard, scouts that have been watching in the preseason have been impressed.  Mostly with how much deeper the Cavs are and how they are more dedicated to defense.   

  • Zydrunas Ilgauskas and Drew Gooden both had excellent preseasons.  But don't watch the offensive numbers, watch them at the defensive end.  How they help and recover, as called for in Brown's system, is what they're going to be judged on.  Teams will test them, especially Ilgauskas on the pick-and-roll.

  • Luke Jackson and Sasha Pavlovic haven't separated from each other.  Both have looked good and bad.  Sasha was slowed by an injury and Jackson looked good early, but Sasha has been better recently.  Neither seem to have their complete game working yet.

  • Damon Jones and Donyell Marshall will only be as effective as their teammates allow them.  I'd prefer the Cavs to run more inside-out.  Like throw the ball to Z, wait for the defense to help and then throw it out.  But with Larry Hughes and LeBron, they run more of a drive and kick.  So far that has meant more turnovers than open 3's.  Plus I don't think Z's thrown the ball out of the post yet.

  • Mike Brown has been up and down with in-game decisions. Right now, he's probably at his best teaching on the practice floor, like most assistants.  The Cavs have emerged from timeouts and run excellent drawn up plays and made adjustments at times.  But they've also been lost on offense and failed at times, despite numerous timeouts, to break the press.

On a personal note, sorry for the absence.  First, it was technical issues here and then I was down with a bad cold.

Keep an eye out for my first podcast, which will debut here and on on Wednesday.  I'll be making my prediction on where the Cavs will finish and what they're record will be.

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