Cavs Midterm Awards

By: T.J. Zuppe

  • Team Grade: F

If only there was something lower than a failing grade. If it existed, the Cavs could achieve it. There is without question a number of factors that have contributed to the 8-33 record in the first half of basketball in Cleveland. But not a single team around the league will feel sorry for the Cavaliers, based on injuries or young players not adapting to a new system. To go from 60-win seasons to a possible 60-loss season deserves nothing less.

  • Team MVP: Forward / Center Anderson Varejao

Cavs Forward Anderson Varejao

Before his injury, Anderson Varejao was playing at arguably the highest peak of his career. Playing out of position, starting and racking up the minutes, the fan favorite was actually quietly putting together a really good defensive season. Averaging nearly a double-double, at 9.1 points and 9.7 rebounds per game, in addition to just over a block per contest, he was certainly one of the most consistent Cavaliers. This award will change by seasons end, but to this point, Varejao was certainly the most valuable member of the team.

  • Midterm Top Offensive Player: Forward Antawn Jamison

Though he leads the team in scoring, forward Antawn Jamison has not exactly had an all-star season. Despite that, his 16.6 points per contest are the best on the Cavs, and Jamison takes home the award almost by default. To his credit, since being reinserted into the starting lineup, Jamison has been one of the few rumors of an offense on a night-in, night-out basis.

  • Midterm Top Defensive Player: Forward / Center Anderson Varejao

Defense has been a bad word in Cleveland this season, thus far. But Varejao’s endless heart and hustle once again nets him a midterm award. Since Varejao went down for the season, all whispers of a presence on the interior have disappeared.

  • Most Surprising Player Award: Guard Daniel Gibson

Surprise is based on perception. I expected big things from Gibson this season, and he certainly has not disappointed. Getting the minutes and the opportunity has done wonders for the maturing guard. He is averaging 13.7 points per game, and his three-point percentage is back up to an impressive 45%. Forced into starting, Gibson has continued to shine and show areas his game has made improvement, since his first couple years with the team. The unfortunate part for the Cavs is just how much they now expect from him.

  • Most Disappointing Player Award: Forward J.J. Hickson

Cavs Forward J.J. Hickson

Many had envisioned this season as one that Hickson could make huge strides into becoming an excellent big man. He came out of the gate quickly and got several fans excited, even getting dubbed “The Hickson.” But, he seemingly fell quickly out of favor with head coach Byron Scott because of his lapses in defense, getting lost on the court with more regularity. He was benched, DNP’ed and then reinserted due to injury. Hickson still has another half to improve on his rebounding consistency, floor spacing and offensive repertoire.

  • The “Man Can That Guy Jump High” Award: Forward Christian Eyenga
  • The “Hey, at least you’re employed in the NBA now” Award: Forward / Guard Alonzo Gee
  • The “Okay, maybe this guy has staying power” Award: Guard Manny Harris
  • The “Side of a Milk Carton” Award: Forward Jamario Moon
  • Worst Shoes Ever Award: J.J. Hickson’s Gold Shoes
  • The “Get Healthy So The Team Can Showcase You” Award: Guard Mo Williams
  • Byron Scott Midterm Grade: D
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