LeBron vs. Dilfer? No contest

So how jacked up am I for the upcoming Cavs season? Apparently, even more than I thought.

Last weekend, I went out to buy Madden ’06 for PS2, but while I was at the store I saw NBA Live ’06 sitting on the shelf.


The Cavaliers vs. the Browns…LeBron vs. Dilfer…Z vs. Droughns…Hughes vs. Braylon…Donyell vs. Bryant….

My conclusion, standing in the store with Madden in one hand and NBA Live in the other: the Browns = boring, the Cavs = exciting. So I decided to take the Cavaliers for a test drive.

Man, these guys are gonna be fun to watch. And dangerous. I’ve mentioned it before, but one of the team’s biggest strengths is going to be its flexibility. I still think Eric Snow is the best option as the starting PG, since the starting lineup already features four scorers (LBJ, Hughes, Gooden and Z) and Snow off the bench isn’t nearly as productive as Damon Jones off the bench. But there are actually four guys capable of running the point: Snow, Jones, Hughes and LeBron. Jones, Hughes, LeBron, Newble, Pavlovic and Luke Jackson (who’s looked great so far this preseason) can all play the two. LeBron, Marshall, Newble, Pavlovic and Jackson can all play SF. Gooden, Marshall, Alan Henderson and, when he comes back, Anderson Varejao can all play the four. We’ve got some depth issues behind Z (which will hopefully be filled by Tractor Traylor before the season starts), but this kind of interchangability, as I found out while playing NBA Live, is invaluable.

If you need points: Jones, Hughes, LeBron, Gooden, Z. Or you can slide Hughes to the point, LeBron to SG and bring in Marshall as the small forward. Jackson and Pavlovic will also be counted on for some outside scoring.

If you need defense: Snow, Hughes, LeBron, Marshall, Z. Or sub out Snow for Newble and let Hughes or LeBron run the point.

Instant offense off the bench? Jones and Marshall will provide that no problem, and the way Jackson’s playing right now, he’ll be a potent scorer off the bench as well.

Mike Brown will have the luxury of adjusting his roster on the fly, depending on what he needs at any particular point of any particular game. That’s a big luxury, and just one of the reasons the Cavaliers will be one of the best teams in the East. Not to mention a much more exciting video game choice than the Browns.

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