Amico: High time for Cavs to find a big

Well-traveled and oft-injured center Andrew Bogut remains available in free agency.

Would it kill the Cavaliers to sign another big man?

With two available roster spots and lots of pain down low, the answer is the Cavs should have done so already.

Granted, the pickings are slim. And yes, another contract means paying even more luxury tax — and the huge financial penalties that will come for a team that’s already exceeded the salary cap.

But the Cavs can’t continue to play so small.

They were hammered on the boards in Friday’s loss to the Los Angeles Clippers by a 52-40 count. They could do nothing to slow down Clippers big man DeAndre Jordan — who scored 20 points and collected a whopping 23 of those rebounds.

It’s true that Cavs starting center Larry Nance Jr. is doing an admirable job of trying to pester the likes of Jordan and Detroit’s Andre Drummond. But Cavs center Tristan Thompson and All-Star power forward Kevin Love are out with injuries, and Nance can’t be expected to do the job alone.

It’s also true coach Tyronn Lue has started to use 6-foot-11 big man Ante Zizic — but Zizic very clearly isn’t ready for prime time.

So other than Nance, the Cavs’ best options to defend the paint are forwards Jeff Green and, you guessed it, LeBron James.

While James can truly do it all, and even had a nasty block of a Jordan shot, he has too many other things on his plate already. For starters, James has to carry the offense. He also usually finds himself defending the opponent’s best wing scorer, at least for a little while, for portions of most games. And battling opposing bigs has never been Green’s forte.

Translation: No one on the current roster is a rim-protector. There are some who are available. It’s time for the Cavs to give at least one of them a shot.

GETTING BIG

Keep in mind that whoever the Cavs might sign isn’t going to be a 40-minute guy, or anything even close. We’re talking about someone to come in, use his length, strength and know-how to keep opponents from going nuts inside.

We’re talking about someone who is playing around 10 minutes a night. We’re talking about an end-of-the-bench big man, someone who could be had for cheap, or maybe on a 10-day deal.

Most of the options are player who are near the end of the basketball road. Most are names you know, and wouldn’t really want — names such as Andrew Bogut (remember him?) or Roy Hibbert (many try to forget).

But most still want to play and compete for a championship. Most could at least come in and stick their large bodies between opposing centers and the basket, alter some shots and deliver some hard fouls.

Oh, and not mess things up too much otherwise.

Along with Bogut and Hibbert, the list of basketball towers sitting at home includes Festus Ezeli, Justin Hamilton and Jeff Withey.

And in the event the Cavs want to go for strength or energy in the paint (or both), veteran journeyman such as Josh Smith, Kevin Seraphin and Jordan Hill are also waiting for a team to call.

The possibilities of available large bodies go on: Donatas Motiejunas, Willie Reed, Ryan Kelly, Johnny O’Bryant, Adriean Payne.

Would any of these men completely heal what ails the Cavs underneath? No, of course not. Could any of them be serviceable when it comes to making opposing centers think twice before dunking in the Cavs’ mugs?

Maybe.

You never know until you try, and with about a month left in the regular season, try and try again is precisely what the Cavs should do.

8 Comments on "Amico: High time for Cavs to find a big"

  1. I wonder what the hold up is… we have needed a legit 7 foot center all year. It’s very clear the Cavs have no plans to play Zizic, even when they need him the most. Why? I have no idea. They threw Osman into the fire, so why not Zizic? Would it kill them to sign Bogut, Pekovic or Ezeli? Sure seems like it. We need someone who can keep Thompson in street clothes, where he belongs, injured or not.

  2. YES BEN ! You GO Guy. It’s the TT needs to be in Street Clothes comment that Right on target !
    I would go Bogut for starter & Ezeli for bench. Then we would actually have real center personnel. The power forwards Nance for now & K-GLove for when he returns would both in their familiar positions NOT playing OUT of positions. Let TT ride on out to Cal. His mind is in Hoollywood… Yes Hoolly.
    All that would stop or slow down a lot of penetrators(rim protection) and garner a lot more rebounds. Would also be able to absorb 12 fouls if trying to stop KD.

  3. I still believe the Cavs should have brought in Nerlens Noel before the deadline.

  4. Tyronn lue is obsessed with small lineups and repudiated frye and derrick williams in the finals last year to play nonsensical four and five guard sets at times against much larger players such as shumpert guarding durrand and deron williams guarding clay thompson or shaun livingston. Lue started 6’5” jae crowder at power forward with kevin love at center and thomas at point guard for the smallest unit of 5 in the nba. Of course adding players more productive than john holland and london perrentes is helpful.

  5. Well it’s been rumored the Cavs are looking at 3 centers (Bogut, Willie Reed and Amida Brimah). Would it kill us to bring in 2 of those guys for 10 day contracts? We need all the help we can get defensively, especially with size. It’s pretty insane that an average sized power forward like Julius Randle dominated and man-handled us as badly as he did. Randle destoyed the cavs all by himself because we didn’t have 1 player, besides LeBron, who could match up strength with him. Yet LeBron chose not to guard him at all. Yet it shouldn;t be LeBron’s job to get beat up by centers abnd power forwards. That’s why you sign a guy like Bogut. You need an enforcer to throw his weight around so you don;t get bullied and destroyed down low. We got bullied and man-handled by Julius freaking Randle? I’m still trying to allow that to sink in. Give me a freakin break, Cavs! Sign a center! Sign 2 centers! We need size and strength. We are loaded with skinny guards and undersized bigs. Nance is good, but he’s not big enough to defend centers. Love and Thompson are no bigger than Nance, so we need to add some size and versatility down low. Signing Bogut is a must, but as badly as we have been getting beat down low, I would consider adding a sencond big just for insurance. Bogut and Reed, or Bogut and Brimah? If those are the 3 centers we are looking at, then sign 2 of them to 10-days ASAP.

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