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Friday, February 19, 2010

Jamison Could be Final Championship Piece--If Big Z Rejoins Cavs

The Cleveland Cavaliers already owned a very deep and talented roster even before the the addition of two-time All-Star Antawn Jamison. I've been saying all along that the Cavs are the best team in the East and that is certainly the case now--especially if the Cavs are able to re-sign center Zydrunas Ilgauskas in 30 days, as I discuss in my newest CavsNews article:

Jamison Could be Final Championship Piece--If Big Z Rejoins Cavs

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posted by David Friedman @ 3:00 PM


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At Sunday, February 21, 2010 1:47:00 PM, Anonymous J said...

It will be interesting to see what happens with Big Z, but I think you're right that whether he comes back could wind up determining whether this was a good move or not. Jamison is an excellent player, but the Cavs had a very good thing going with their 3-headed frontcourt rotation of Shaq, Sideshow Varejao, and Big Z.

On another topic, here is a reasonably appropriate and measured use of statistics to discuss the Lakers' play without Kobe recently:


At Monday, February 22, 2010 4:21:00 AM, Blogger David Friedman said...


As I indicated in my article, I only like the trade for the Cavs if Z in fact returns to Cleveland. If Z does not come back then the Cavs have improved themselves at power forward but hurt themselves at center and I am not certain that overall this would be a plus, even though Jamison is statistically a much more productive player than Z at this point; the issue is not about individual talent but the functioning of the team as a whole (which is why I have never bought the argument that the Lakers are deeper than the Cavs).

While I can honestly admit that I would not have expected the Lakers to go 4-1 without Kobe, both the numbers and the "eyeball test" of those five games show several things:

1) The Lakers had good fortune in terms of who they played and when they played them (Portland without Roy, G.S. without Ellis, Spurs in state of turmoil defensively).

2) In a small sample size anything can happen; Vujacic has played dreadfully for quite some time but he hit a bit of a hot streak for this small stretch.

3) As Coach Phil Jackson noted several times, even though the Lakers won four games they did not play particularly well overall (but their opponents played even worse).

It is worth mentioning that although the Lakers have a good record overall without Kobe that statistic includes the time period when Shaq was on the team and the offense was built around the Diesel; since Shaq departed, the Lakers are a sub.-500 team without Kobe (they may be exactly .500 thanks to the current 4-1 run; I don't have the exact numbers handy).


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