Which Player Can Best Fit The Enforcer Role The Cavs Are Looking To Fill?
Throughout the past couple of weeks, the Cleveland Cavaliers have suffered a few tough losses. Most notably, a 106-103 loss to the Memphis Grizzlies on March 7th at Quicken Loans Arena and a 104-95 loss to the Nets, in Brooklyn. In these losses, and even some of the wins, the Cavs have lacked a spark of passion and toughness. This brings up the question, who is best suited to be the enforcer for the Cavs?
Although some players do not show massive amounts of passion and a tough attitude for the Cavs, some do. Players like: Tristan Thompson, Matthew Dellavedova, Channing Frye, and LeBron James. Now, being an enforcer does not mean you need to lay people out like we saw Kendrick Perkins do last year, but it does entail a good amount of “sending a message”, whether that is through physical contact or not. With that being said, that would eliminate LeBron from the conversation. He is far too valuable to be ejected from a game or hurt in an altercation. That leaves three other options: Frye, Dellavedova, and Thompson.
Delly showed enough grit last year in the playoffs and deep into the finals to show that he is worthy of consideration. His game is based off of hustle and effort. Although this is all true, Dellavedova may not make a good enforcer because of his size. There is no doubt he is the best irritant and an important member of the Cavs, but his stature and game are less than intimidating.
Channing Frye showed some passion recently in a halftime interview when he was visibly upset about his play. That is the kind of leadership the Cavs have lacked throughout the season. One of the most important components of good team chemistry is accountability. Frye was definitely a good addition to the Cavs and will serve the team well in the postseason. But, his play style and role do not make him the best fit as enforcer for the Cavs.
The player who is the ideal enforcer for the Cavs is Tristan Thompson. He has shown the passion and toughness on the court all season and in last years playoffs. He plays the center and power forward position like a true big man. Tristan meets slashers at the rim and crashes the glass relentlessly. His effort, grit, and stature serve him to be the perfect enforcer for the Cavs. TT has a knack for improving his game and giving that extra effort when it comes playoff time. The Cavs will really need that extra push this year if they are going to repeat as Eastern Conference champs and give themselves a good shot in the Finals.