Brother Ferry's Travelling Salvation Show
by: Sham
February 2, 2009
Danny Ferry has gotten it wrong for a while now. In trying to surround the most awe-inspiring player in twenty years with enough talent to compete for a title, Ferry has waddled into a bevy of anti-climactic and ill-founded moves, which somehow saw the Cavaliers land an NBA Finals appearance, yet never really saw them as feared competitors. These retreads and nobodies have included such seminal names as Larry Hughes, Donyell Marshall, Eric Snow, Ira Newble, Damon Jones, Scot Pollard, Alan Henderson, David Wesley, Martynas Andriuskevicius, Shannon Brown, Cedric Simmons.....and so on. Armed with max cap room only four summers ago, only one of the players that it was used on (Zydrunas Ilgauskas) is still with the Cavaliers, or even still in an NBA rotation. The others - Marshall, Hughes and Jones - now wave towels for a living.

This time last year, on January 30th 2008 versus the Portland Trail Blazers, the Cavaliers "boasted" a starting lineup of Larry Hughes, Ira Newble, LeBron James, Drew Gooden and Zydrunas Ilgauskas. Devin Brown and Daniel Gibson were the main contributors off the bench, with Anderson Varejao inactive and Sasha Pavlovic disinterested. Somehow, this supporting cast was supposed to propel one of the finest talents in the sports history in a championship winner. Perhaps unsurprisingly, it didn't. Not even close.

However, Ferry did something I wasn't expecting - he got it right. In the three-way trade with Chicago and Seattle at the last trade deadline, Ferry turned unwanted parts into Delonte West and Wally Szczerbiak, giving the Cavaliers a starting guard and an offensive focus for the second unit. They also got an anchor for their interior defense, in Ben Wallace, and all it cost them were parts they didn't want anyway. After this, Ferry turned more unwanted spare parts into Maurice Williams, giving the Cavaliers a brand new starting backcourt, while giving up nothing of any significant value. To put it into perspective, the Cavaliers upgraded their backcourt about tenfold in those two deals, with the best outgoing player being Joe Smith. Joe freakin' Smith.

The moves didn't end there. On draft night, Ferry addressed his weakest position (power forward) with both of his draft picks, selecting J.J. Hickson in the first round and Darnell Jackson in the second, both of whom provide some interior offense and defense from the frontcourt positions. Ferry also brought in the consistently overlooked Tarence Kinsey, who is due for a Von Wafer-like breakout one of these days. (Note: for argument's sake, discount the one he's already had.)

Cleveland has also been bolstered by internal improvement, as Ben Wallace decided to start trying again, and Anderson Varejao has gone on to become the player that he would have been last year, if only he could have been bothered. Even Sasha Pavlovic is effective again, as long as he's starting. On the flip side, Lorenzen Wright is more valuable to the team when he doesn't play, Jawad Williams is insignificant, and Daniel Gibson has forgotten that he is any good. But in spite of that, the Cavaliers can conceivably go twelve deep every night, with the kind of depth and supporting cast (particularly the perimeter shooting) that they simply never had before.

More importantly, they have James, partway through completing one of the best seasons in the sports history. James would be leading his team in every statistical category, were it not for the 0.3 blocks per game that he trails Ben Wallace by, and he is also on course for the second highest PER for a single season in NBA history. He's even hit some buzzer beaters, finally. LeBron is also an integral part of the Cavaliers defense, which currently ranks 2nd in the NBA, up from 11th last year. This comes in spite of some of the Cavaliers's recent imports (Williams, Szczerbiak) being regarded as poor defensive players, yet somehow they have fashioned a system that sees a pesky, frustrating brand of defense, one that denies too much penetration and which sees a terrific individual defensive player (Delonte West, Ben Wallace, LeBron James) for every conceivable matchup on the court. If they didn't keep losing to the Bulls, this Cavs team would be relatively flawless.

It pains me to admit it, because I don't like him very much (it's the chalk thing, definitely the chalk thing), but LeBron James is the best player on the best team in the best league in the world. If he wins the MVP award, it won't be debatable. If he wins a championship ring, it will no longer be a surprise.
 


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Danny Ferry
Full Profile | Player Stats
Physicals
Height: 6' 10"
Weight: 230 lbs.
Birthday: 10/17/1966
49 Years Old
Teams:
High School: DeMatha Catholic
Previous Team: , PRO
Drafted: Rnd 1, Pick #2 in 1989 Draft
by the Clippers
Positions:
Current: F,
NBA: F,
Possible: F
Quick Stats:
1.9 Pts, 1.2 Rebs, 0.3 Asts


Larry Hughes
Full Profile | Player Stats
Physicals
Height: 6' 5"
Weight: 183 lbs.
Birthday: 01/23/1979
37 Years Old
Teams:
High School: Christian Brothers
Previous Team: , PRO
Drafted: Rnd 1, Pick #8 in 1998 Draft
by the 76ers
Positions:
Current: SG,
NBA: SG,
Possible: SG
Quick Stats:
1.3 Pts, 0.6 Rebs, 0.8 Asts


Donyell Marshall
Full Profile | Player Stats
Physicals
Height: 6' 9"
Weight: 218 lbs.
Birthday: 05/18/1973
43 Years Old
Teams:
High School: Reading
Previous Team: Connecticut , PRO
Drafted: Rnd 1, Pick #4 in 1994 Draft
by the Timberwolves
Positions:
Current: PF,
NBA: PF,
Possible: PF
Quick Stats:
3.8 Pts, 1.6 Rebs, 0.6 Asts


Eric Snow
Full Profile | Player Stats
Physicals
Height: 6' 3"
Weight: 198 lbs.
Birthday: 04/24/1973
43 Years Old
Teams:
High School: Canton McKinley
Previous Team: Michigan St , PRO
Drafted: Rnd 2, Pick #14 in 1995 Draft
by the Bucks
Positions:
Current: PG,
NBA: PG,
Possible: PG
Quick Stats:
1.0 Pts, 0.9 Rebs, 1.9 Asts


Ira Newble
Full Profile | Player Stats
Physicals
Height: 6' 7"
Weight: 240 lbs.
Birthday: 01/20/1975
41 Years Old
Teams:
High School: Southfield
Previous Team: Miami OH , PRO
Drafted: Undrafted in Draft
Positions:
Current: SF/PF,
NBA: SF/PF,
Possible: SF/PF
Quick Stats:
14.3 Pts, 2.7 Rebs, 0.3 Asts


Damon Jones
Full Profile | Player Stats
Physicals
Height: 6' 3"
Weight: 185 lbs.
Birthday: 08/25/1976
39 Years Old
Teams:
High School: Ball
Previous Team: Houston , PRO
Drafted: Undrafted in Draft
Positions:
Current: PG/SG,
NBA: PG/SG,
Possible: PG/SG
Quick Stats:
1.6 Pts, 0.4 Rebs, 0.7 Asts


Scot Pollard
Full Profile | Player Stats
Physicals
Height: 6' 11"
Weight: 265 lbs.
Birthday: 02/12/1975
41 Years Old
Teams:
High School: Torrey Pines
Previous Team: Kansas , PRO
Drafted: Rnd 1, Pick #19 in 1997 Draft
by the Pistons
Positions:
Current: C,
NBA: C,
Possible: C
Quick Stats:
1.8 Pts, 1.7 Rebs, 0.1 Asts


Alan Henderson
Full Profile | Player Stats
Physicals
Height: 6' 9"
Weight: 235 lbs.
Birthday: 12/02/1972
43 Years Old
Teams:
High School: Brebeuf Jesuit
Previous Team: Indiana , PRO
Drafted: Rnd 1, Pick #16 in 1995 Draft
by the Hawks
Positions:
Current: PF,
NBA: PF,
Possible: PF
Quick Stats:
3.1 Pts, 2.8 Rebs, 0.3 Asts


David Wesley
Full Profile | Player Stats
Physicals
Height: 6' 0"
Weight: 190 lbs.
Birthday: 11/14/1970
45 Years Old
Teams:
High School: Longview
Previous Team: Baylor , PRO
Drafted: Undrafted in Draft
Positions:
Current: SG,
NBA: SG,
Possible: SG
Quick Stats:
2.1 Pts, 1.0 Rebs, 1.1 Asts


Martynas Andriuskevicius
Full Profile | Player Stats
Physicals
Height: 7' 3"
Weight: 228 lbs.
Birthday: 03/12/1986
30 Years Old
Teams:
High School:
Previous Team: Domzale , PRO
Drafted: Rnd 2, Pick #14 in 2005 Draft
by the Magic
Positions:
Current: C,
NBA: C,
Possible: C
Quick Stats:
3.3 Pts, 2.7 Rebs, 0.2 Asts


Shannon Brown
Full Profile | Player Stats
Physicals
Height: 6' 3"
Weight: 200 lbs.
Birthday: 11/30/1985
30 Years Old
Teams:
High School: Proviso East
Previous Team: Heat , PRO
Drafted: Rnd 1, Pick #25 in 2006 Draft
by the Cavaliers
Positions:
Current: SG,
NBA: SG,
Possible: SG
Quick Stats:
4.3 Pts, 1.8 Rebs, 0.3 Asts


Cedric Simmons
Full Profile | Player Stats
Physicals
Height: 6' 9"
Weight: 223 lbs.
Birthday: 01/03/1986
30 Years Old
Teams:
High School: Brunswick West
Previous Team: Maccabi Tel Aviv , PRO
Drafted: Rnd 1, Pick #15 in 2006 Draft
by the Hornets
Positions:
Current: PF/C,
NBA: PF,
Possible: PF/C
Quick Stats:
0.0 Pts, 0.0 Rebs, 1.0 Asts


Zydrunas Ilgauskas
Full Profile | Player Stats
Physicals
Height: 7' 3"
Weight: 258 lbs.
Birthday: 06/05/1975
40 Years Old
Teams:
High School: Kauno Stepono Dariaus ir Stasio Gireno g
Previous Team: , PRO
Drafted: Rnd 1, Pick #20 in 1996 Draft
by the Cavaliers
Positions:
Current: C,
NBA: C,
Possible: C
Quick Stats:
5.0 Pts, 4.0 Rebs, 0.4 Asts


LeBron James
Full Profile | Player Stats
Physicals
Height: 6' 8"
Weight: 245 lbs.
Birthday: 12/30/1984
31 Years Old
Teams:
High School: St. Vincent-St. Mary
Previous Team: Cavaliers , PRO
Drafted: Rnd 1, Pick #1 in 2003 Draft
by the Cavaliers
Positions:
Current: SF,
NBA: SF,
Possible: SF
Quick Stats:
25.3 Pts, 7.4 Rebs, 6.7 Asts