A lot of the time when a free agent signs with a team, I give my opinion on it. Now for todays post I am not just going to be talking about my opinion, I will be talking on how this move impacts the series vs the Warriors. This could end up being one of the best signings this Summer, but because of the 1 year 2.1 mil salary, if Rose gets injured the contract is not so large. So today I will be giving an insight on the Cavaliers depth chart, the numbers of Derrick Rose, and also my predictions in a 7 game series against the Warriors.
Each Position Breakdown:
For the Cavaliers, the point guard position is going to be interesting. If Kyrie does end up staying, he is for sure your #1 point guard. Backup point guard is very interesting. Your options come down to Kay Felder, Derrick Rose, Jose Calderon and Iman Shumpert. Let’s talk about each of these players.
Kay Felder averaged 4 points and 1.4 assists a game, also grabbing a board per game. Felder is a project, being only 5’9 he has a hard time seeing over the defense and he struggles with his athleticism. Felder has only been in the league for 1 year, and coming out of his rookie year I don’t see him playing more than 10 minutes for the Cavaliers team.
Next you have Derrick Rose who may end up being the guy. Derrick Rose is a former MVP, and calling him a backup at the age of 28 is bizarre. For the Knicks he averaged 18 points and 4.4 assists. Yes those are good numbers however for the Cavaliers, they need a pass first point guard to help the stars around him. I see Rose as a Dwayne Wade type player, someone who is a talented shooting guard because they slash to the basket. What I would want is Rose to play about 25 minutes as a shooting guard, and about 5 minutes as a point guard for the Cavs.
The same thing about Derrick Rose happens with Jose Calderon, where I see him as a shooting guard. There is no way I would have Calderon in the Cavs lineup, even as a backup. What I think the Cavs will do is play him as a 3rd string shooting guard. Because NBA players lose their physical abilities, however they never lose their jump shot. Just don’t have him trying to guard Curry or Thompson in the finals, please don’t do that to NBA fans.
Then you have the guy I think should run majority backup point, Iman Shumpert. Shumpert averaged 7.5 points and 1.4 assists, and you can look beyond that. Iman Shumpert is one of the best defenders on this Cavaliers team. If you are playing the stacked Warriors team, you need someone to shut down the 3 point shooters. Shumpert can play defense on Curry, being 2 inches taller than Curry. We also see how Shumpert steps up in the playoffs, playing about 9 less minutes than the regular season, however shooting .417% rather than .411% and also .385% from 3 instead of .360%. When the times comes to shut down Curry and Thompson in the backcourt, Shumpert can definitely do a better job then Rose, Felder and especially Calderon. That is why he plays back up in my rotation.
The Cavaliers shooting guard is very similar to the point guard position, almost every player in the lineup can play combo guard. I will go through each of the shooting guards on the team, telling you what I think of Derrick Rose, J.R. Smith and Jose Calderon.
If the Cavs want Irving and Rose in the same lineup, then Rose has got to play the shooting guard position. Derrick Rose has always been known for slashing to the basket, as that is what won him the MVP award. Rose for any NBA team is a risk for his age, however not for 2.1 mil. The problem with Rose is that injuries took over his whole career. He really should now be in his prime, however when he went down with the injuries, never got back to his heights. That doesn’t mean he can’t turn things around. At the age of 28, he still has years left in his tank. In fact he has many years left in his tank. Rose hasn’t been in a 60 win team since the 2010-11 season. I mean, just imagine playing on the Knicks team last year. So him coming to the Cavaliers could possibly resurrect his career. I hope so, as I want another MVP type season from Derrick Rose, or at least a 20 point, 10 assist season.
As backup shooting guard you have to play J.R. Smith. With Rose coming in, I don’t see Kyle Korver playing the shooting guard position. If you move him up to small forward, it gives more opportunities for him and J.R. Smith. J.R. Smith is a great 3 point shooter, averaging 8.6 points and shooting .351% from the 3. But when he was given more minutes in the 2015-16 season, he averaged 12.4 points and shot exactly .400% from the 3. I believe that J.R. Smith is a solid backup for any team, especially since he is a shooter playing as a backup behind a slasher. If the slasher doesn’t get it done, bring in the shooter.
And if that shooter doesn’t work, bring in Jose Calderon. Hopefully it doesn’t come to that, however Calderon is still a good player in case someone gets injured. Last season Calderon played for the Hawks and the Lakers. He played 41 games, averaging about 3.5 points and 2.2 assists. Every 36 minutes, Calderon averages 9.4 points, 5.9 assists and 4.9 rebounds. The number seem great, however watching him is very hard. He is one of the worst defenders in the NBA and I don’t see him in the rotation because defending Klay Thompson with his defense is not going to be fun for Cavaliers fans. However if the Cavs play the Thunder, I could see Calderon matching up against Andre Roberson because of the fact that Roberson has terrible offense and Calderon won’t need to play defense. But against the Warriors, I see him not playing any minutes.
Small Forward is simple, you have Lebron James and a backup of Lebron James. On a serious note, Richard Jefferson could possibly be the 4th stringer as I think Cedi Osman could surprise people, making him become a 3rd stringer if not the backup. Here is my view of the Cavaliers backup small forward position.
As Lebron James is your starter, you need a backup. If you think Kyle Korver should play shooting guard, who plays small forward? Does Osman, Jefferson or Jeff Green play backup small forward. Green and Jefferson are aging and backing up Lebron, you need good shooting. With one of the greatest players ever, you still need a backup. You need someone who can come into the game for 15 minutes, maybe 20 minutes during the regular season and provide the job. Osman is not proven and do you really want Green/Jefferson backing James up? Personally, I think Korver is the best option, he is a great shooter and I would want him as a backup. There isn’t much evidence to show why he is the best option, it is just, would you rather have him or him. Maybe Osman gets the spot after the all star break, we just have to see. So, Cavaliers small forward is simple and is up to you.
Like Small Forward, you have an obvious starter. That has got to be Kevin Love. For backup, Jeff Green is the best option because of the defense he provides. Let me tell you exactly what I believe should happen for the power forward position.
Jeff Green is a great option if you want defense. He is 30 years old, meaning he still has years in his tank. In 2014 for the Celtics, he did average 17.6 points. That means he still has offense inside of him. The great thing about Green is that he isn’t a stretch 4. The Cavs have Love and Frye, 2 players known for the 3 point shot. To have a player that isn’t a stretch 4 is a great idea, so that if you don’t need long range shooting or if the other team is using the right game plan, you can do a 360 on them and run a different offense with Jeff Green in the game.
Then you have a player by the name of Channing Frye. The question really is, what do you do with Channing Frye? He is a valuable player for any team, and I really do see the Cavaliers trading him for a rebounding power forward. A team like the Celtics, 76ers, or Raptors really could use a stretch 4 to help contend and get far in the playoffs. A possible trade could be Frye for Okafor, not including picks and cash considerations. The 76ers can stretch their team out considering Embiid, Simmons, and Fultz are not the best of 3 point shooters. Overall, I just don’t see Frye fitting into the Cavalier system.
The center position is very interesting. You have a rebounding center in Tristan Thompson, however backup could be a concern for the Cavaliers. Right now it seems like it will be Edy Tavares who has the height of a center at 7’3, and has a great efficiency rating of 21.30. He averaged 4 points but had 5.5 rebounds which is what the Cavaliers need. Tavares could end up being the starting center and for me is one of the few players I think can win most improved player of the year. I think Tavares could end up slotting into the starting rotation if he has the break out season, or on the other hand he could be sent down to the D-League in a rather disappointing season. We just have to see what happens with the Cavaliers not just in this center position but in the whole team. There are many questions based on who is going to start and who is going to be the backups. Maybe they can contend with the Warriors, for now let me predict a 7 game series.
7 Game Series:
Because I believe the Warriors will have home court advantage since Lebron is going to rest a lot, that is the reason why the Warriors take game 1. In each of the last 3 years where the Warriors have faced the Cavaliers, Golden State has always taken Game 1. Because Derrick Rose has been waiting for a good playoff team for some time, he doesn’t do so well in Game 1. In this game I only see him scoring 10 points, while Klay Thompson the shooting guard he is facing goes for 30, with an insane 3rd quarter where he goes for 20. I also predict Lebron is just shy of his triple double, only about 2 maybe 3 rebounds shy. I do end up seeing the Warriors close this game out by about 10 points. Hopefully we see improvement from the Cavaliers.
Game 2 goes in favor of the Cavaliers. After the 1st game, Rose didn’t get nervous in game 2. As we know, it can take more than 1 game to kind of break in to the system. Rose gets 20 points and 10 assists, which is great considering he is indeed the shooting guard. An addition to this is that Lebron James gets a triple double. The major surprise on the Cavaliers side is how well Shumpert played. He was able to keep Curry quiet, while also scoring 15 points, shooting 6/6 from the field and 3/4 from the free throw line. On the Warriors side of things, Kevin Durant and Stephen Curry have a slow game. Iman Shumpert was able to shut Curry down, while Durant struggled against the King. In the end the Cavaliers clinch this game, 100 to 98.
The Warriors were furious by how they played in Game 2, so they went and scored 40 points in the 1st quarter of Game 3. Yes, that did end up leading to a Warriors win. Stephen Curry was for sure the player of the game, making sure that Irving, Felder and Shumpert couldn’t stop him. Curry ended up with 40 points, shooting 7/10 from the 3. On the Cavaliers side, Lebron did get his 2nd triple double of the series, but that wasn’t enough as he was the only player to get over 20 points on the Cavaliers. This game was all Warriors, as the final score was 125 to 100.
This series is once again, absurd. Lebron James had 30, 15, and 15, with his 3rd triple double of this series. Yes, that does mean that the Cavaliers took this one over the Warriors. As for Derrick Rose, 20 points which includes 5/5 from the free throw line. Channing Frye had a game of his lifetime, grabbing 10 boards and shooting the rock for a total of 15 points. Javale McGee had a surprise 25 points, grabbing 9 boards just shy of a double double. All 5 starters on the Warriors got over 10 points, how ever that wasn’t enough as the bench top scorer was Livingston with 6. If the bench played better, the Warriors would of won this game and taken a 3-1 lead. Turns out, it is tied up 2-2. Maybe that is a good thing, but I won’t get in to 3-1 lead jokes.
The series is 3-2, to the super team in the blue and yellow jerseys. Draymond Green took the player of the game, only scoring 10 points but grabbed 14 boards and passed for 10 assists. He also got an outstanding 5 blocks, which is the reason why he got the defensive player of the year in the 2016-17 NBA season. The Warriors bench did step up, as Andre Iguodala isn’t having the best series however this game he went for 11 points. For the Cavaliers, Lebron James had 20, 9 and 8 while Derrick Rose went for a measly 10 points. Irving scored a respectable 20 points however it can’t just be Lebron and Kyrie. I mean, even Love struggled with 15 points and 6 boards. The Cavs are down 3-2 and unless the Warriors blow the lead again, I think the Cavaliers with Derrick Rose are not in good shape.
Remember when Kyrie hit that shot in Game 7 of the NBA finals, yes that iconic shot. Guess who hit that shot in Game 6 of the 2018 NBA finals!? Yea no, it isn’t Kyrie. It was actually Derrick Rose. He hit a 3 with 10 seconds left on the clock, which sealed the deal. If we go play, by play, the score was 99-98 Cavaliers. Everyone in Quicken Loans Arena is standing anxiously, and then instead of giving the ball to Kyrie or Lebron, the Cavaliers give it to a washed up MVP. Except for in this exact moment, Rose feels the MVP season he had with the Bulls. He feels when he shot the game winning shot in the playoffs against the Cavaliers in 2015. And with 15 seconds left, the Cavs inbounded the ball to Rose. As the ball was blocked by Draymond Green the possession before, the Cavaliers had 8 seconds left on the shot clock. And he steps up and shoots the ball, watching in soar into the basket. It goes in, making sure that is the dagger, as with 9 seconds on the clock the Warriors have to score 4 points to tie the game. Curry puts a quick shot up, misses and Kyrie shoots the final free throws. The final score is 104-98 to the Cavaliers, all because of Derrick Rose. And because of that, Game 7 here we come
So much for that intense game 6. Turns out Game 7 was a blow out. It is like when Mayweather faced Pacquiao and the whole world was watching to not see entertainment. Kevin Durant and Curry combine for 70 points, leading the Warriors to their 3rd Finals in 4 years. Meanwhile, the Cavs big 3 combine for 90 points. Derrick Rose has a pretty good game, 20 points but no assists. Tristan Thompson choked, having 6 rebounds and 8 points. No one on the Cavaliers bench had a good game, and nothing really was that notable. Meanwhile you never thought Swaggy P was useful, but he scored 15 points. Overall this game was nothing more than a blow out.
Derrick Rose is going to help the Cavs massively. He could be the one piece to the puzzle that the Cavaliers needed. I think that the Cavaliers can make the Warriors series interesting, however unless Rose is an all star, I still see the Warriors taking the Finals. It will be interesting to see how Rose does on the Cavaliers, and if he can perform anything close to what he did in his MVP season. We have to see what happens but for now, I am signing of. Thank you for reading todays post.