Found April 01, 2012 on Waiting For Next Year:

Injuries. Trade. Inconsistency. Three words that sum up what’s happened to the Cavaliers bench in the past month. Once a strength of the team in the early season, these three factors have relegated the bench to a shell of its former shelf. It’s no coincidence that the Cavaliers are spiraling downward as a result. Let’s take a trip down memory lane at what the bench was at the outset and other relevant Cavalier news items.

  • Ramon Sessions, Daniel Gibson, Alonzo Gee, Tristan Thompson, and the revolving door of Ryan Hollins, Samardo Samuels, and Semih Erden formed one of the highest scoring benches in the league. Before you knew it, the Varejao injury eventually pulled Thompson out of the second unit, Gibson is likely lost for the season, Sessions was traded to the Lakers, and Gee was promoted due to the ineffectiveness of Omri Casspi. A few weeks later and with Kyrie Irving out of last night’s game against the Knicks, the Cavaliers brought ten-day contractor Lester Hudson, Casspi, trade acquisition Luke Walton, midseason signee Manny Harris, Samuels, and Erden off the bench with recently signed Donald Sloan starting for the injured Irving.
  • Couple the bench’s dropoff with the recent struggles of Antawn Jamison (12.9 points per game in the last ten) and the repeated poor performances from Anthony Parker (under 40% shooting on the season, just three double digit scoring games since returning from injury at the end of February), and you essentially have three players producing and keeping the team afloat. Irving, Gee, and Thompson are the three who have increased their production and stepped into the key roles on this team. One point, one wing, and one big man, hopefully all in the wine and gold for the foreseeable future.

  • Remember when everyone was in a fit about the Cavalier competing too much, pushing for a playoff spot, and ruining their chances at a high lottery pick? Do you remember what I kept saying to anyone that would listen? “Things would take care of themselves”. By that, I meant that the Cavaliers were undeniably playing over their heads when they were in the playoff picture. I also believed that trading Sessions and a key injury (like Varejao’s) would have this type of effect on a team that lacked depth.
  • To me, this has been far from a disappointing season. The Cavaliers and their key young players had some early season success, grabbed several banner victories against playoff teams, and now they’re in a position to add another key piece around Kyrie Irving. The overwhelming negativity regarding how things have played still boggles my mind. Four picks in the Top 40 of the upcoming draft, four keepers from the current team, and no bad longterm contracts? To borrow Nick Gilbert’s line, “What’s Not To Like?”
  • The Cavaliers are currently fifth and within one game of fourth best odds in the draft lottery. At that slot, they should be able to get one of the dynamic wings in Florida guard Bradley Beal, North Carolina forward Harrison Barnes, or Kentucky forward Michael Kidd-Gilchrist. If the Cavaliers can pair one of those three with Kyrie and Tristan, I like the odds of the team’s dynamic changing next season.

(Photo: Frank Franklin II/AP)


Kyrie Irving wins Eastern Conference Rookie of the Month for March

Just as he has during every other month of the 2011-12 season, Cleveland Cavaliers point guard Kyrie Irving has won NBA Rookie of the Month for March. Through 15 games, Irving averaged a season-best splits of 19.9 points, 5.0 rebounds and 6.7 assists. On March 7, Irving scored or assisted on the Cavs final 12 points in the last 2:36 of the game, including making the game-winning...

Cavaliers' Parker uncertain about his future

Anthony Parker is an eight-year veteran who will turn 37 years old in June -- ancient by NBA standards. The Cleveland Cavaliers are undergoing a youth movement and likely will try to find a suitable replacement for him in the draft. A wing scorer is probably their biggest need. Also, Parker's 2.25 million contract expires after this season. All those things will contribute...

Daniel Gibson to undergo season-ending surgery

Cleveland Cavaliers guard Daniel Gibson is scheduled to undergo surgery to repair a torn tendon in his left foot and ankle. The surgery will be performed by Dr. Richard Ferkel and is scheduled to take place at the Southern Orthopedic Institute in Van Nuys, California per the recommendation of Head Team Physician Dr. Richard Parker. The surgery will effectively end Gibson’s season...

Cavaliers' Daniel Gibson has surgery

Cavaliers guard Daniel Gibson is having surgery to repair a torn tendon in his left foot and ankle. Gibson was injured in a game against New Jersey on March 19. After consulting with an outside specialist, the Cavs' team doctors decided on the operation, which will likely end Gibson's season. The Cavs said Monday that a timetable for Gibson's recovery will be updated...

Cavaliers G Irving still slowed by shoulder

INDEPENDENCE, Ohio (AP) -- Cavaliers rookie guard Kyrie Irving did not take part in any contact drills in practice as he continues to recover from a sprained shoulder. Irving wore an elastic brace Monday on his right shoulder, which he injured in Friday's loss to Milwaukee. The NBA's presumptive rookie of the year sat out Saturday's game in New York, and coach Byron...

Irving Questionable For Tonight’s Game vs. Knicks

The Cavaliers announced this afternoon that rookie point guard Kyrie Irving is listed as questionable for tonight’s game at Madison Square Garden against the New York Knicks. Irving, the Cavaliers leading scorer, sprained his right shoulder last night at home versus Milwaukee in the second quarter. He continued to play for the third quarter and finished with 29 points, then left... My Interview with Cavs Legend Mark Price

I was able to get in touch with Cleveland Cavaliers legend Mark Price over the weekend, and thoroughly enjoyed my time speaking with him by phone. We talked about his current role as Shooting and Development Coach for the Orlando Magic, his thoughts on Kyrie Irving and the current direction of the Cavaliers organization, as well as recalling his playing days in Cleveland. We also...

Cavaliers G Irving out with sprained shoulder

Cleveland Cavaliers franchise guard Kyrie Irving missed Saturday night's contest against the New York Knicks because of a sprained right shoulder. Irving suffered the injury during the second quarter of Friday's 121-84 loss to the Milwaukee Bucks. The top overall pick of the 2011 draft, Irving finished with a game-high 29 points. "I’m in pain right now, but...

Cavaliers Guard Kyrie Irving Should Be A Lock For NBA Rookie Of The Year

The Association announced its selection for NBA Rookies Of The Month on Monday and to the surprise of nobody Cleveland Cavaliers rookie point guard Kyrie Irving once again received the honor in the Eastern Conference. Irving has shut out all competition in the East this season; winning the award all three times. Inserted into the Cleveland starting lineup as the point guard at the...

Cavaliers G Irving sprains shoulder, iffy vs. Knicks

Cleveland Cavaliers franchise guard Kyrie Irving sprained his right shoulder during the second quarter of Friday's 121-84 loss to the Milwaukee Bucks. The top overall pick of the 2011 draft, Irving finished with a game-high 29 points. He is expected to undergo additional evaluation before the team decides if he'll play in Saturday's tilt versus the New York Knicks. ...

Insult to Injury: Bucks Blast Cavs, Irving Injures Shoulder

Last night will go down as one of the more difficult evenings to swallow in this condensed 66-game campaign. The Cavaliers chipped paint off the rim at their end while they were helpless to stop the onslaught that was the Milwaukee Bucks offense. Milwaukee overwhelmed the Cavaliers right out of the gate, and other than Kyrie Irving, the Cavaliers were unable to get anything going...

Cavs' Irving doubtful for game vs. Spurs

Tomorrow night, the San Antonio Spurs will face the Cleveland Cavaliers and could face a Cavs team without star rookie Kyrie Irving. Irving did not take part in any contact drills in a Cavs' practice recently, due to a sprained shoulder. Irving wore an elastic brace Monday on his right shoulder, which he injured in Friday's loss to Milwaukee. The NBA's presumptive...

Scouting the Cavaliers: If Irving doesn’t play, Spurs have big advantage

Tonight, two teams headed in opposite directions square off as the San Antonio Spurs (36-14) travel to Cleveland, Ohio to face the Cleveland Cavaliers. The Spurs come in with a seven-game winning streak, while the Cavaliers also have a 7-game streak, a 7-game losing streak that is. The Spurs are coming off a fresh nine-point win over the Indiana Pacers on Saturday in which the Spurs’...

Box Score: Knicks 91, Cavaliers 75

After finding out Kyrie Irving was going to sit this one out, I set the over/under for Cavs points at 73. I was pretty close. Take note: Manny Harris only got in the game for the last minute. Sloan played 34 minutes and Hudson (signed 2 days ago) played 24 minutes. Message sent. Cleveland Starters Pos Min FG 3Pt FT +/- Off Reb Ast TO Stl BS BA PF Pts A. Parker G 36:06 4-10...
NBA News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

Today's Best Stuff
For Bloggers

Join the Yardbarker Network for more promotion, traffic, and money.

Company Info
What is Yardbarker?

Yardbarker is the largest network of sports blogs and pro athlete blogs on the web. This site is the hub of the Yardbarker Network, where our editors and algorithms curate the best sports content from our network and beyond.