Spotlighting and Breaking Down Cleveland Cavaliers' Point Guard Position

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Spotlighting and Breaking Down Cleveland Cavaliers' Point Guard Position
Jennifer Stewart-USA TODAY Sport

After looking at the Cavaliers' power and small forward positions previously, we now turn our attention to point guard.

The Cavs currently run three deep at the floor general position, with newly-signed Matthew Dellavedova set to compete for minutes behind Jarrett Jack and Kyrie Irving.

Irving enters his third season in Cleveland, while both Jack and Dellavedova were acquired through free agency this offseason.

Here's what kind of role and stats we can expect from each point guard in 2013-14.

 

Backup: Matthew Dellavedova

Although his signing hasn't been officially announced by the team yet, multiple reports have surfaced that Dellavedova has inked a partially-guaranteed deal with the club.

Australia's Herald Sun first reported Dellavedova was going to Cleveland, with the Akron Beacon Journal's Jason Lloyd reporting the deal is for two years and $1.3 million.

Ed Szczepanski-USA TODAY Sports

In an interview with the Herald Sun, Dellavedova said, "Cleveland is looking for a third point guard and I have a shot at it."

Indeed he does.

Although Irving will get his minutes exclusively at point guard, Jarrett Jack will likely be splitting time at both guard positions.

This could open up some playing time for the former St. Mary's Colllege star.

Dellavedova, 23, started at point guard all four years while at St. Mary's and finished as the school's all-time leader in games, points and assists.

He played on the Cavs' Summer League team, averaging 2.8 points and 3.0 assists in five games.

The knock on Dellavedova playing at the NBA level has been his defense.  Mike Brown and company must have been confident enough in his D during the summer to offer him a contract, even if it's not fully guaranteed.

This signing can be looked at as a security measure for now, and it's unlikely with a healthy Irving and Jack that we see a whole lot out of Dellavedova this coming season.

Projected Stats: 1.6 points, 0.2 rebounds, 1.3 assists, 0.3 steals, 40.0 FG%, 5 minutes per game

 

Primary Backup: Jarrett Jack

Jack is now a member of the Cavaliers after agreeing to a four-year, $25 million contract this summer.

A proven veteran who helped transform the Golden State Warriors from lottery team to second-round playoff squad in one season, Jack is well respected around the league.

Last season, the eight-year veteran averaged 12.9 points and 5.6 assists in just under 30 minutes a night for the Warriors.  What was especially impressive was his mentorship and influence on Stephen Curry and Klay Thompson, while accepting a reserve role behind them.

His role in Cleveland should be nearly identical.

Now helping out Kyrie Irving and Dion Waiters, Jack looks to take another team from lottery dweller to playoff contender.

At 6'3", Jack can play either guard position.  While not great, Jack is a good defender who held opposing point guards to a 15.9 PER per 48 minutes, according to 82games.com.  He was even better when matched up against shooting guards, stifling them to the tune of an 11.9 PER.

Jack was also huge for Golden State in the playoffs last season.  He averaged 18.8 points, 5.2 rebounds and 7.0 assists in a first-round series win against the Denver Nuggets.  In the next series against the eventual Western Conference champion San Antonio Spurs, Jack chipped in 15.5 points while Golden State pushed the Spurs to six games.

Not only is his experience and leadership critical, but so is his durability.

Kyrie Irving, while a spectacular talent, hasn't exactly been injury-free in his young career.

Jack is capable of coming in and keeping the team afloat should something happen to Irving.  He's proven he can step up in big moments when the team needs him, and the Cavs should feel confident Jack can run the offense when called upon.

While his ideal role is the team's sixth man, Jack is fully capable of starting if needed, and will hopefully do for the Cavs what he did for the W's last season.

Projected Stats: 11.5 points, 3.0 rebounds, 5.5 assists, 0.8 steals, 47.5 FG%, 25 minutes per game

 

Starter: Kyrie Irving

Irving is entering year three with the Cavaliers.

This is also the first season Cleveland has held serious playoff aspirations since Irving's been around.  Putting up 20 points a night is great, but ultimately worthless if the team doesn't come away with the W.

Irving's leadership will be critical for this young Cavs team.  Anderson Varejao is the only current player on the roster in his 30's, and nine players are 25 years of age or younger.  Irving must continue to assert himself as a leader on a winning team to truly be considered one of the NBA's best point guards.

With Andrew Bynum, Anthony Bennett and Jack added to a core of Dion Waiters, Tristan Thompson and Anderson Varejao, we should finally see a rise in Irving's assist numbers.

Through two seasons, Irving is collecting just 5.7 assists per game.  By comparison, Chris Paul was at 8.3 assists after his first two years.

Part of this isn't Irving's fault, as he's been relied on as more of a scorer and less of a facilitator to date.

Steve Mitchell-USA TODAY Sports
Irving must prove be can now be the leader of a winning team.

Now with so many other pieces, Irving must focus more on setting up teammates for scores and not just himself.  Playing against Jack in practice everyday will only help Irving improve as a point guard, and help to speed up his development.

Expect a slight jump in scoring for Irving, but his main improvement should be as a passer.

The Cavs will need a little more Chris Paul and a little less Allen Iverson from Irving if they want to make the playoffs next spring.

Projected Stats: 23.1 points, 3.4 rebounds, 7.2 assists, 1.8 steals, 50.0 FG%, 35 minutes per game

 

Conclusion

Unlike last season, the Cavs enter 2013-14 with a proven backup to Irving.

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Cavs fans should rest easy knowing that when Irving needs a breather, it won't be Donald Sloan coming in to save the day.

Jack is as good of a backup point guard as there is in the NBA.  He brings playoff experience, the ability to play either guard position and a ton of knowledge to bestow upon the young Cavaliers.

Dellavedova is an intriguing prospect, and should see some time in Canton with the Charge if nothing else.  The Cavs liked what they saw from him in the summer league, and Dellavedova certainly has some talented players to learn from.

Overall, the Cavs' point guard situation is very, very strong.  Irving and Jack make a terrific combo that should have Cleveland in playoff contention all season long.

 

 

 

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