-- NBA insider
Those words, uttered moments after the Cavaliers acquired Mo Williams from the Milwaukee Bucks in one of those wild-and-crazy three-team trades on Aug. 13, may have some validity.
Think about it. Two seasons ago, thanks to one of the greatest playoffs series in history by LeBron James, the Cavs knocked off the Pistons and made their way into The Finals, where they promptly got a four-game beatdown from the Spurs. As brilliant as LeBron was against the Pistons, the Spurs put him on lockdown. The Cavs, lacking no other consistent option on offense against the Spurs, sputtered.
Williams instantly becomes option No. 2. Last season, Williams averaged 17.2 points and 6.3 assists for the Milwaukee Bucks. In the season before that, Williams averaged 17.3 points per game and 6.1 assists. For a team who has had only one man (take a wild guess) average more points and more assists than that the past two seasons, those numbers look like manna from heaven to Cavs fans.
After all, everyone knows the Cavs can play defense, but they didn't have the balance or firepower on offense to compete with the elite teams. Sure, you'll get a great game from Zydrunas Ilgauskas or a big three from Daniel Gibson, but consistency with the rock has been the Cavs' biggest concern. Cavs General Manager Danny Ferry knew this, and hence, the move for Williams.
"Mo is a player that excels as a traditional point guard, but also brings an extra dimension with his scoring and versatility. His ability to push the tempo, get inside the lane, shoot from the perimeter and distribute the ball will be very valuable for us."
That he does. As Cavs.com's Joe Gabriele notes, Cleveland hasn't had a consistent offensive threat that can take the heat off LeBron in his five years on the Cavs. LeBron, who learned of the trade as he was helping lead Team USA to gold at the Olympics, went all Fonzie on the trade, giving it an Ayyyyy.
''It can help us. I think Mo is a very good point guard,'' James said.
''He can create for himself and create for others, so it's a great move. I think it's an 'A.' ''
Williams' A-game wasn't always on display in Milwaukee, as he has missed 54 games in the past three seasons with a variety of maladies including a strained shoulder, a sprained thumb and something called pubic symphysis (you really don't want to know, but it sounds painful). If Williams misses his average of one month of games again, it could be the Cavs' offense that is painful to watch.
By re-signing Delonte West, the Cavs have a capable point to back up Williams or start alongside him if the Cavs don't mind moving Williams to shooting guard. They also have Daniel Gibson to provide firepower off the bench. Besides staying healthy, another thing Williams doesn't do particularly well is play D. But for a team that led the NBA with a +4.15 rebounding differential and was seventh in blocked shots at 5.2 per game, the Cavs' guards can have perimeter mistakes on defense erased by the front line of Ilgauskas, Ben Wallace and the Gumby-like Anderson Varejao.
And then there's Wally Szczerbiak, who could be an important part of the Cavs plans this year, ironically, if he's not a part of the Cavs' plans this season. Szczerbiak is in the final year of a six-year deal. His expiring contract could be used as a valuable trade chip if the Cavs feel they need a final piece to make a run for the Finals. Heck, the Cavs offered Szczerbiak for Vince Carter just before the 2008 Draft. So, it's out there.
Of course, the whole thing still revolves around LeBron, who will be a sure-fire MVP candidate. If he and Williams can sync quickly, the Cavs should be a major handful for the rest of the NBA.
-- Rob Peterson