The Cleveland Cavaliers have completed 13 games so far and have only won two. The Cavs are downright awful but have some bright side to them in some type of way. Some of the players are playing well and it showed Tuesday night against the Charlotte Hornets. Here are my player power rankings so far into the young NBA season.
The Cleveland Cavaliers have completed 13 games so far and have only won two. The Cavs are downright awful but have some bright side to them in some type of way. Here are my player power rankings so far into the young NBA season.
Apr 29, 2018; Cleveland, OH, USA; Cleveland Cavaliers center Tristan Thompson (13) shoots over the defense of Indiana Pacers center Myles Turner (33) during the second half in game seven of the first round of the 2018 NBA Playoffs at Quicken Loans Arena. Mandatory Credit: Ken Blaze-USA TODAY Sports
Tristan Thompson has easily been the voice and heart of the Cavs this past week. Over the last week, Thompson has been a monster on the boards averaging 16 rebounds in those three games as well as just around 14 points per game. Thompson has been the best player on this Cavs team over the last week and it has been easy to see.
The injury to George Hill has been a blessing in disguise. It has allowed Sexton to grab control of the Cavs point guard spot and the offense. In the three games that the 19-year-old has started, he is averaging 17 points per game on about 46.3 percent shooting. While his playmaking and overall decision making need to improve it can be easily seen why he was the eighth overall pick in the 2018 draft. Sexton has the chance to be really good and he should remain the starting point guard for the rest of the season and beyond.
Larry Nance Jr.
Since coming back from injury, Nance has been improving his game including a three-point shot. Nance is arguably the top overall defender on the Cavs roster to this point. Nance has always been a team player for the Cavs and will continue to thrive in the Larry Drew offense. Nance has been pushing the ball more and more over the last week and for this and his play on both the offensive and defensive side of the ball, Nance has earned the third spot in this weeks power rankings.
The only reason that Clarkson is this high on the list is that now that both Sexton and Nance are starting, he is the only Cavs player that can score the ball off the bench. Clarkson is putting up 16 points per game over the last week and is throwing in some assists as well, (4.6 per game). Clarkson is pesky at the defensive end and can get some steals if he really wants to. He would be higher if he was more efficient in his shooting. Over the last week, Clarkson has shot over 50 percent once and 29 percent once. If Clarkson can tone down his shot selection and take the good ones and then he will rise in these rankings.
Rodney Hood could be the best player on this basketball team and at times he is, but for a majority of the times, Hood is far too inconsistent. Hood will go from putting up 25-26 points in a night and then the next game he will score 10 points or less. Hood has to be more consistent or he will never rise in these rankings, nor will he get the contract that he is looking for this offseason.
J.R. Smith has wanted out of Cleveland probably as soon as LeBron James announced he was signing in L.A. Especially after the up-and-down of not playing all the time under Ty Lue. Since Larry Drew took over, Smith has been on fire from deep and played extremely well on the defensive side of the ball. I thought the team was going to go young and “tank” this season to ensure they would get their draft pick and regardless of if they’re tanking or not this team is not going to be good. Smith has been playing extremely well over the last week and I hope he can continue to play well over the rest of the season or the rest of the time he is with the Cleveland Cavaliers.
Many people were surprised David Nwaba was not signed by a contending team looking for some high energy off the bench. Under Lue, Nwaba was not getting a ton of playing time and nobody could figure out why. Now under Drew, Nwaba has gotten consistent playing time and ran with it. Nwaba has shot the three well over the last couple games and been extremely scrappy on the defensive side of the ball. He surprised me a little with his play this past week and hopefully, he can continue this in the future.
Korver was one of the veterans that were told he wasn’t going to play and then told he was going to play and then told that he wasn’t gonna play again. Under Larry Drew though, Korver has been playing and playing well. With his name in trade discussions, who knows how much longer he will be a Cav but like so many Korver has missed the last three games due to being sick/injured. Korver is a stand-still dead-eye shooter that spaces the floor extremely well, but him being out the last few games drops him in the rankings.
Cedi Osman was one of the lone bright spots on the Cavs roster for the last couple of weeks, but he too like so many on the Cavs had succumbed to an injury. Osman endured some back spasms during a game last week and has been out since. Osman showed the ability to handle and pass the ball as well as an improving jumper. Osman is only in the middle of the pack in these rankings because of his injury to his back, otherwise, he would be near the top of the rankings.
George Hill was playing particularly well until his shoulder injury at the beginning of the week. Hill put up 22 against the Magic in his last game played and was handling the starting point guard spot and mentoring of a young player very well. Hill will be out at least another week and because of his injury, he dropped significantly from the prior weeks player rankings.
Ante Zizic had an extremely rough start to the season and for the most part that hasn’t changed. Zizic’s style of play does not really fit the run and gun style that Larry Drew has. If you can get the ball down low to the man, then he is an absolute machine but the struggle is getting him the ball that low without many stand-still shooters around him. Zizic does not get a lot of run on the court so that does contribute to him being down this low, but his turnovers at times also keeps him lower in the player rankings.
Andrew Harrison was recently signed to a two-way contract because of the injuries to the Cavs’ roster. Harrison has only played in two games for the team and has not really done much of anything. He is averaging one point and 13 minutes in those two games, but because of the fact that he has only played two games, Harrison arrives at the bottom of the rankings.
While Channing Frye does not play a ton, he is still an absolute fan favorite. In the last game against the Hornets, Channing received an ovation when he checked into the game and proceeded to knock down two three-point shots, much to the crowd’s liking. Because Frye does not play a lot, he remains in the bottom third of the Cavs power rankings.
Dekker was thrown into the starting lineup when Kevin Love got injured and played alright at best. Dekker plays with high energy but unfortunately for Cavs fans, that’s about all he brings to the table. Dekker recently sprained his ankle pretty bad so because of this, he slips down to the bottom of the list.
Kevin has been out for the past couple of weeks so he remains at the bottom of the list until he comes back.
The Cavs have been riddled with injuries the past few weeks and that has hindered the player rankings extremely. Check back next week for the Player Power Rankings for week 5 of the NBA season.