Stepien Rules Writer Nick Mancini checks in with his third of five questions as Cavs training camp continues…
3. What will Cavs find at small forward from Alonzo Gee, C.J. Miles and Omri Casspi?
With the season approaching, there are questions about the Cavs starting lineup. No, it is not Dion Waiters; he is going to be the starting two guard. But when it comes to the small forward position, it becomes a little muddy.
Alonzo Gee, C.J. Miles and to a lesser extent Omri Casspi are all vying for the starting spot. I believe this is a two-horse race between Miles and Gee. These last two games will be more of what we can expect to see in the regular season with regards to the starting lineup. Miles has started with Gee and Casspi coming off the bench and that’s how I think it should be.
Gee proved his worth last season for the Cavs, but I love him in the 6th man role for this team. First guy off the bench, he can spell either Miles or Waiters. He provides that athleticism that is needed to bring that spark every team looks for off their bench.
All three of these guys have played pretty well in five preseason games. Casspi has only played three, as Byron Scott gets a look at reserves alternately each game, but he has played well in each. He has showed a nice shooting touch and ability to score. The reasons Cleveland traded J.J. Hickson to the Kings for him in the first place. Casspi connected on all seven of the Cavaliers points in overtime against Orlando and finished that last game with 12 points and 5 rebounds.
Gee has also played well, but his scoring numbers aren’t where I would like to see them. At the SF position, we need scoring, plain and simple. Gee is not, and he probably will never be, a great scorer. But he has the shooting ability and athleticism to be able to put up some numbers. On the break he is a great finisher and he can also impact the game defensively.
Which bring us to our starter, CJ Miles.
This was a very under the radar offseason move that I think will pay huge dividends. Miles spent his first seven seasons in Utah, where you know he was well coached by the legendary Jerry Sloan. He was an off and on starter for them, but always a solid player. In his short time with Cleveland, he has really impressed me with the range on his jumper. He will also bring some much needed athleticism to this offense that was lacking so much last season (sorry Anthony Parker fans).
Miles will have no problem fitting in with this team and he could prove to be a fan- favorite. He may even be one of the best offseason acquisitions this team has made in the last few seasons.
Photo: The Chronicle Telegram