The games have been more fun lately (even if the other teams were a) bad b) injured or c) not taking us seriously), but some tidbits I noticed from all the guys that played tonight:
Zizic didn't stand out early on, but I guess seeing Thompson and Nance's work from the first 3 quarters motivated him (6 offensive boards in the 4th).
Love was doing alright until the mutual headbutt he got from Bledsoe in the late 1st half. Probably gave him a concussion (he looked sluggish in the 3rd quarter, so his night ended early).
It wasn't Osman's night. Getting Tristan and Nance Jr back tonight might've contributed to it (more plus guys on the court). He also had to guard the best opposing scorer on the court (Middleton).
Knight looked decent. Without Delly out there, he's been the primary facilitator (even moreso than Sexton, who's been the primary scorer out there). He got some good assists when Sexton cut a few times.
Sexton's come a long way as a scorer and a shooter. He's also come pretty far as a decision-maker (though he had some sloppy turnovers early on). And he's become a clutch player (kinda hard to tell when you lose 50+ games in a season, but whatever).
But something that needs to be said is that he doesn't need the ball in his hands to be effective (as he knows how to cut and how to be open behind the three-point line). But watching Clarkson throw up some of that junk makes me prefer the ball in Sexton's hands late...
I missed Thompson's activity. And he only played 12 minutes in the first half. He still has it. But I hope he's not a shell of his former self (or whatever the Kardashian curse took from him). And I kinda like the new headband look.
I don't think the point-forward role is for Larry, but I've seen much worse (from guys with half of Nance's b-ball IQ). He's still a plus defender that can alter shots at the rim. And he is able to shoot threes (somewhat). He's trying to do too much, but it was the first game back in a while. He sure can fill the stat sheet, though (7-7-5-2-2).
Nwaba has some damn good defense. He was primarily seeing minutes at power forward by necessity, but with TT/Nance back, he can finally get his minutes at the swingman positions. He benefitted heavily (+11 in 16 minutes).
I'm not seeing it from Stauskas... While he earned minutes tonight thanks to the hot night vs the Pistons on Monday, it's really a crackpot to know what to expect from him game-to-game (I'm not expecting much for now)...
2 things I'd like to point out about Clarkson: 1) He is NOT a point guard, nor a facilitator in any aspect and 2) He has a lot of chemistry with Nance Jr (good or bad).
Sexton let him take the ball up the court with a minute left and it nearly killed us (the play before Sexton hit the three late). The coaches cannot allow him to have any point guard duties (this game helped me make the final decision). This is where I miss Delly playing (so he can get the minutes that Sexton sits for the sake of having a real point guard out there without forcing Knight to play all those minutes instead).
As for the chemistry with Larry, it's a good and bad thing. He can get the ball in the right spots for a quick score, but it can be considered "buddy ball." But that's what happens when you've gotten used to playing with a teammate for 3-5 years straight. The problem will solve itself when the Cavs move either guy (but I'd prefer Clarkson to be the first to go, even if he's a good microwave man off the bench).
And good 'ol Chriss, yep... He's about to be irrelevant now that our big men are back. He was awful and it's clear as day the difference between him and TT/Nance Jr. He's up there with Drew Gooden, but it's probably worse because no one can mask his deficiencies like LeBron could.
He could go into the summer and get a veteran minimum from a team willing to give him a shot based on his athleticism and size, but then whether he gets anything more is on him. Or he'd end up in G-League (or maybe China at worst). Sometimes it clicks (like it did for DeSagana Diop maybe?), but it probably won't work here.
Last thing: 2 guys get healthy, Love gets a concussion (maybe?)... will our injury luck ever get on track the rest of the damn year?!