Mo Williams Leads Cleveland Cavaliers Backcourt Logjam
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Seven players. Two positions.
The biggest dilemma facing the Cleveland Cavaliers on the court is not how to best get revenge against that man whose talents are now in South Beach, it's not their transition into a new offensive system, it's not even their lack of height.
The biggest problem facing the Wine and Gold heading into training camp is how to fill the Point and Shooting Guard positions.
The Cavs currently have seven players capable of playing the One or Two spot; Mo Williams, Anthony Parker, Daniel Gibson, Ramon Sessoins, Joey Graham, Danny Green, and Christian Eyenga.
With that many bodies to fill just two positions, the question that will inevitably arise is who is going to go where, and when will they play.
So let's take a look at how each guard can help the Cavs' cause this season.
Mo is potentially the most valuable player to the Cavaliers this season. He could be an effective point guard and a good veteran influence on the young guards of the team, or he could even be one of the team's most valuable trading pieces come February.
We have all seen what Mo is capable of. He can be a frustrating player when he is not clicking, but when he is on, he can be hot.
Williams would be relatively easily moved at the trade deadline if the Cavs are stumbling when the All-Star Break comes.
Mo doesn't have a great contract to move ($9.2 million this season, player option for 11-12 and 12-13) but it isn't that difficult to imagine a team looking to put themselves over the top by strengthening their point (I'm talking to you, Atlanta, Mike Bibby has been a shell of himself for two seasons) looking to acquire the hot hand of Williams.
While he has obvious holes in his game on defense and hasn't run the point much in the past few years, he is still one of the best shooters in the league and can easily put up 15-20 points a night, while shooting 45% and 40% from downtown and 90% from the stripe.
With those numbers, you can see why he is valuable asset to the Cavs. I see him easily reasserting himself in the starting Point Guard role as long as he is here this season.
A highlight of the past off-season was the acquisition of Sessions, a skilled point guard who has shown he has the ability to be a scoring threat.
Sessions is without a doubt more skilled in the traditional point guard qualities than Mo Williams. He is a better dribbler, a more skilled passer and possibly a better floor general.
Unfortunately for Sessions, Mo is a proven scorer, which will, in all likelihood, allow Mo to be the starter while he is sporting a Cleveland jersey this year.
If Mo is sent packing at some point this year, the starting job will, without question, go to Sessions.
I have to start by saying that I love Boobie's game. He can shoot with the best of 'em, he can throw up some tough defense, and he can run the point good enough to get by.
Unfortunately for him, he has both Mo Williams and Ramon Sessions above him, both of which have qualities that make them a more valuable player than Gibson.
They also don't have the streaky-ness in their games that Gibson has tended to have in the beginning of his career.
Those two things don't bode well for the hopes of getting Boobie valuable playing time if the one-two punch of Williams-Sessions is successful.
Gibson will be inserted into the lineup when they need shooters, and will rack up junk time.
This bothers me in so many ways. The fact that the third point guard scored 21 points in game four of the 2007 Eastern Conference Finals and then 31 in game six is confusing.
Gibson has shown he can play, but he has not gotten the minutes in order to show what he is made of.
It seems though, that the only way Gibson sees meaningful time is if the team stumbles out of the gate and a change is needed, and if that doesn't happen, then Boobie will stay mired as the third point guard on this team.
Parker is another valuable man to this team. He can easily hit over 40% from beyond the arc, topping out at 44.1% in 06-07. He has done even better in the postseason.
Because of his insatiable ability to drain the long-range ball, Parker should easily win his starting job back at the end of October.
Depending on how the season starts, and where Parker's three-point percentage is during that first stretch of games, Anthony should stay put as the team's starting shooting guard unless someone else makes a name for themselves during the preseason.
If the summer is at all a valuable gauge of a player's season (and it never is) then Danny Green is still as good as he was at North Carolina.
During the Summer League, Green showed off his shooting ability and his great all-around game that he displayed nightly at Chapel Hill.
Green will finally get a chance to get valuable minutes behind Anthony Parker and show the fans if he is legit or not.
Not only do I believe that it is possible that Green could take on the role as a strong number two shooting guard, I could conceive him taking over the starting role.
If Parker becomes a struggling starting shooting guard on a struggling team, then the job is Green's for the taking.
Graham is an "on the fence" guy right now. He could play in the two-spot, but will probably spend more of his time somewhere in the Small Forward mishmash.
He has shown in the past that he can shoot a high percentage and be a legitimate scoring threat, and he has shown that he can be underwhelming with much left to be desired in his game.
With two guys settled in the shooting guard spot, and four guys able to play in the shooting guard role (Jamario Moon, Antawn Jamison, Leon Powe and Jawad Williams, if he is eventually resigned) Graham finds himself in as an emergency player for either position.
I don't see Joey logging major minutes this season unless there is an injury to someone or someone is struggling.
My favorite storyline as the season nears that probably won't even end up being played out is centered around Christian Eyenga.
He is unlike most of the other players to come from Africa in the past two decades. His counterparts have been big defensive specialists who can block shots and who can't shoot from outside of the paint.
Eyenga, in comparison, is an athlete. He can jump out of the arena given the chance, and is for sure able to surprise many people if he can adapt to the NBA game.
He is possibly the most raw talent in the NBA and could become a good player if everything goes right.
It is too bad that none of this will be on display this season. Eyenga is buried in the depth chart, and the only way he will be able to see meaningful minutes this year is if the Cavs decide to have a fire sale at the trade deadline, and even then he is likely the 12th man.
Watch him during his garbage time though, as he is liable to do something impressive.
So, barring an impressive preseason from someone, the depth for the one and two-guard positions should look like this:
Point Guard: 1. Mo Williams 2. Ramon Sessions 3. Boobie Gibson
Shooting Guard: 1. Anthony Parker 2. Danny Green 3. Joey Graham (here and there) 4. Christian Eyenga
So look for those familiar faces near the beginnings of games when the Cavs take the floor in October, and above all else, hope for the best.
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