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Zydrunas Ilgauskas has a history of starting seasons slowly before playing his way into a groove. His doctors won’t allow him to play much basketball in the offseason, meaning Zydrunas always plays himself into the swing of things. The season is early, too early to hit the panic button and sound the alarm. However, if the status quo doesn’t change, the team will be faced with serious questions. With Ilgauskas struggling at times, small ball has been the team’s most effective strategy. The Gooden/Marshall combination has often looked superior to the Gooden/Ilgauskas combo. With Anderson Varejao recovering from shoulder injury, his arrival may further complicate things if Zydrunas doesn’t elevate his level of play soon. If Ilgauskas hits his form sooner rather than later, Varejao probably won’t be able to pick off many minutes from Z. But if Z continues playing the way he is right now, AV could easily take minutes from a subpar Ilgauskas.

I’m not bashing Ilgauskas because I believe he’s vital to the team. He’s a great player to have against certain teams when he can be active on the offensive glass and impose. That said, there are other match ups against teams where it’s difficult for Zydrunas to get going. While Ilgauskas has always been more on the finesse side of things, he seems even more passive and reluctant to go straight to the basket these days. Instead of the usual 2 or 3 fakes, we're often looking at complex sequences upwards of 3 fakes per possession. Zydrunas is almost "self-checking" himself when he does this because by the time he finally shoots, it's very difficult to finish the play.

Thoughts?
 

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Z is the solution to teams forcing the Cavs into the halfcourt. So my stance is to ride it out. Neither Detroit or Indiana have a Z. Once he gets going, he gives us a big advantage. Teams have to single coverage him this year.

Verejao will take all of Henderson's minutes, and some of Luke Jackson's. Don't be shocked to see Donyell Marshall playing some 3 late in the season.
 

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^ If Marshall is the "3," does that shift LBJ to the 2, with Hughes at the 1, Gooden at the 4 and AV/Z at the 5? Interesting.
 

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remy23 said:
^ If Marshall is the "3," does that shift LBJ to the 2, with Hughes at the 1, Gooden at the 4 and AV/Z at the 5? Interesting.
Or Damon Jones at the 2, and Hughes at the one.
I doubt it'll be a long time lineup, but it's something they'll probably use. Instead of bringing Luke in, they'll bring Verejao in.
 

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I think it's a little too early to get worried. He's having a good season for a center based on the current standards of the NBA. Even if he's like this all season, the positive side of it is that AV gets more minutes, and that'll be key to his development. Here's hoping.

And I hope Marshall doesn't go to the 3 too often, he has looked slow as a 4 at times this season.
 

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I like Z. When he is on his game he is a huge threat with his post moves and his face up jumper. He hasnt played amazing yet but I think part of that is he is working harder on D. I see having to step out on pick and rolls then hustle back to his guy alot. I think Z can get going and when he does it will really help this team.
 
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