While the Cavaliers use the All-Star break to rest up (well most of them anyways) we thought it would be a good time to reflect on the season so far, and issue some grades. In addition, we will detail what the Cavaliers will need from each player in order to hoist some team hardware this summer. Next up? Darnell Jackson
First, a full disclosure. I am fully in the tank for Darnell. I am a Kansas grad and a die-hard Jayhawk basketball supporter. On top of that, in my 16 years as a fan, Darnell may be my all time-favorite Jayhawk. When he was brought to the Cavaliers, I was beyond ecstatic because I know what he is all about. So we are in year two of the D-Block era, and what do we have?
G Min/G PPG RPG APG SPG BPG FG% FT% PER
23 4.0 0.8 0.8 0.1 0.1 0.2 .348 .500 9.60
Role on the team
Does cheerleader count as a role? That was harsh. My boy Darnell is essentially just keeping the seat warm for Leon Powe until he is healthy. At that point, either he, or Danny Green, will be inactive and in street clothes regularly. I still think D-Block has value. Last year, when pressed into spot duty when JJ Hickson fell out of favor/injured his back, Jackson showed some value.
Darnell hustles, plays smart basketball, and if called upon, would not hurt the team. The hope is that he can develop into what Powe was for the Celtics – an energetic, solid defender, and energy guy at the four. However, Jackson won’t be getting that chance anytime this year as the Cavaliers go for a title.
How can Darnell help the Cavaliers hoist the hardware this summer?
By being a 2010 version of M.L. Carr, waving that towel on the sidelines and cheering on his team. In all seriousness, his best value will be as a practice player and doing scout team duty to prepare the rotation bigs for what they will see in the playoffs. If a rash of injuries happens and he is called upon, D-Block will have to play the same type of game he played during the Kansas National Championship run two years ago, when he was the ultimate glue guy, doing the little things to help his team win.
How can I really give Darnell anything other than an Incomplete, considering the fact that he has rarely played. He only has played more than 14 minutes twice this season (back to back games on November 17th and 18th), peaking with a 21 minute, 10 point, seven rebound performance in a loss to Washington.