E-Mailing with the Enemy: Cleveland Cavaliers

David Richard-USA TODAY Sports

Dennis Velasco is back in the new year and he asks Conrad Kaczmarek from Fear The Sword five questions about the Cleveland Cavaliers. Kaczmarek gives us some solid 411 into the team from Cleveland, so don't be scared to read his words!


1) Both the Cleveland Cavaliers and Brooklyn Nets head into their match-up at Barclays Center at 11-21. While both are surely disappointing for each respective team's fanbase, it's likely more humbling and infuriating for Nets fans. Yet, coming into the season, there was a lot of hope for the Cavs being legit playoff contenders, which in the pathetic Eastern Conference, both teams still are. That said, what has been the most disappointing aspect of the Cavs' season thus far?


The most disappointing aspect of the Cavs’ season is probably just the lack of chemistry and development as a team. We know that this is one of the youngest teams in the league, but there seems to be a decent amount of talent on the roster. It just doesn’t fit. You don’t seem them working together well as a team and creating an effective offense. I’m not sure if it’s because the pieces don’t fit or because of poor coaching or because they’re just young players — but it doesn’t seem like anybody makes each other better. When you watch the Cavs, it’s hard to figure out if they have any sort of plan or identity. It frequently looks like a pick-up game at the YMCA with everybody just doing their own thing. It’s really frustrating, but at the same time, there’s a lot of time left. Maybe we’ll see some improvement as the year goes on.

2) Andrew Bynum is likely to be moved either by trade or release in a few days. What happened? Was it strictly off-court situations or was his performance on the court also lacking to a degree that was to the team's dislike?

We’re not getting any clear answers about what happened with Bynum. He hasn’t been good on the court at all and the team has been significantly better when he’s on the bench. Maybe the team decided that he was just hurting them too much and wanted to scale back his involvement and that upset him. I’m not sure. The Cavs made a gamble and they knew it was a gamble. For whatever reason, it didn’t work out and they’re moving on.

3) Will Kyrie Irving ever be healthy? Sorry, that was a question that could never be answered with certainty, just speculation, so let me rephrase - Why can't Kyrie Irving stay healthy?!?! I'm a big fan and he just seems like he'll never play a full season! That all said, I heard some critics say that he's taking too many shots - a category he's averaging a career-high (19.1 FGA) - but also a career-low 42.8 percent shooting from the field. What's your take on Irving's play when he's on the deck?

You might think I’m crazy for saying this, but assuming that Kyrie’s current knee issue is just a bruise, I’m actually pretty encouraged by his health situation. You look around the league and see so many really high usage guards dropping like flies. Kyrie’s had his share of injuries, but he hasn’t had anything as serious as a torn ACL or meniscus. All of his injuries have been pretty flukey things that appear to be unrelated. None of the injuries that he has sustained figure to bother him longterm, so I think Kyrie’s actually doing okay.

His play was bad for the first month of the season. I’m not sure why, but his shots just weren’t falling. In December, he was right back to doing normal Kyrie Irving things. He averaged 24.1 points on 46% shooting and 40.8% from three with 6.2 assists. That’s the Kyrie Irving that we’re used to seeing. It seems like he just had a slow start to the season.

4) If Irving keeps missing time, would it be wise to give more burn to the youngsters, such as Anthony Bennett and Tyler Zeller, in order to, dare I say, tank? It's a hell of a draft class. One, the Nets will not come close to touching (sad face).

If Kyrie’s injury was serious, I would have fully embraced just playing guys like Anthony Bennett for 30 minutes each night. At 11-21, the Cavs have relatively little chance of being meaningful players by the time the playoffs roll around. But if Kyrie is out, then they have absolutely zero chance. So yeah, if Kyrie were to suffer a serious injury, then it’d be time to completely bottom-up, get the young guys some experience, and grab a top-5 pick.

5) What are three to five other things that Nets fans should know about the Cavs and give us a final score to the game!

Hmm….what are some things that you need to know about the Cavs? Well for one, they’re atrocious on the road. There’s a decent chance that the team just doesn’t show up tonight. They’ve won two road games all year and the Nets could easily cruise to a victory if Cleveland just doesn’t put forth any effort. Another thing worth noting is that Earl Clark has really improved his shooting. He’s a big long defender, which is why Mike Brown likes him, but he’s also establishing himself as a very good outside shooter. If the guy guarding him doesn’t respect his range, Clark can punish teams with some three-pointers. And finally, there’s Matthew Dellavedova. It’s never a good thing when an undrafted free agent is outplaying the #1 overall pick, but Delly’s been pretty great. He’s a super energetic guy and really annoying defender. I’m pretty sure every opponent wants to punch him in the face, but those are the things that he has to do to make up for his lack of length and athleticism. He’s a solid shooter, always plays hard, and won’t back down from anybody. There’s a pretty good chance that Kevin Garnett tries to fight him tonight.

DV's Prediction: Cavaliers 87, Nets 108. What's your prediction?

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