Monday, May 19, 2008
Because me being right so rarely seems to happen recently, I would like to harp on correct analysis from a couple of months ago. After the Cavs made their big 4 person trade I said that everybody was completely overrating Ben Wallace and that if anything the only improvements the Cavs got in that trade were Joe Smith and Delonte West. I said that Ben Wallace was not a very good basketball player and would do little to improve the Cavs, and I was completely right.
In 7 games against the Celtics Ben Wallace never cracked double digits in anything. In 7 games he only had two 9 rebound games and only totaled 41 rebounds in the 7 games. He additionally never scored 10 or more points in a game. He scored 9 once and only scored 22 points the entire series. In game 7 he scored 3 points and grabbed 4 rebounds in nearly 30 minutes on the court. These are pitiful numbers. Does anybody honestly think Drew Gooden would have done worse? In the 2007 Finals in which the Cavs were swept Gooden had double digit points in all 4 games and double digit rebounds in 2 of the 4 games. He's a better basketball player than Ben Wallace.
The next highly spoke of player in the deal was Wally Szczerbiak, he scored in double figures in 5 of the 7 games and played some solid defense against Ray Allen. But what did he do in the most crucial game of the season? He laid a massive goose egg. Zero points, nada, nothing. 0-3 with 1 rebound and 2 turnovers. He played tremendous.
And the next player Joe Smith? He didn't do much in the series either. He had one game of double figures, game 3 when he scored 17 points in a Cavs blowout. He never grabbed more than a six rebounds in a game and never had more than a single assist in a game. In game 7 Smith had 6 points and 6 rebounds, not exactly game altering numbers.
The only player who had real impact on this series from the trade was the biggest after thought in the media Delonte West. West put together two 20+ point games and played over 40 minutes in each of the last three games. In the final game he had 15 points and 5 assists, both numbers were better than all the combined totals of Smith, Wally and Ben.
The biggest problem with this trade is that is was really a win now trade. Ben Wallace is not going to get any better. He will never be good on offense and his defense and rebounding are on the decline and he's signed for two more years at 14+ million dollars per. Wally only has the 08-09 season on the books but that is for 13 million dollars. Thus, the Cavs have absolutely no flexibility once again when it comes to roster maneuverability, meaning for two more seasons the Cavs roster will be the piano on Lebron's back weighing him down.