As the 2013-2014 NBA Season finally approaches, it’s time to take a look at each player on the Cleveland Cavaliers roster. Up until opening night, the entire RDE staff will breakdown the entire Cavaliers roster. This profile looks at Alonzo Gee.
Tale of the Tape:
Name: Alonzo Gee
Position: Small Forward
School: University of Alabama
Years Experience: 4 years (2009 to present)
Years with Cavaliers: 3 years (December 28, 2010 to present)
Height: 6 foot 6 inches
Weight: 219 pounds
Contract: 2013-14 $3.25 million, 2014-15 $3.0 million
Alonso Gee blew a big opportunity last season, even though he started all 82 games for the team. It was his big opportunity to seize the position and make it his own. However, his production simply did not wow the Cavs or anyone else for that matter. This is the primary reason that he is embroiled in a battle with newly signed Earl Clark and holdover C.J. Miles for the starting job. A sore right hamstrings puts him at a disadvantage early in camp.
At 6’6, Gee has the size to be effective. He has proven to be a durable player, starting all 82 games for the Cavs last season. He is not a leaper, by any means, but does possess good lateral quickness which is quite helpful in defending quick shooting guards and small forwards.
Gee played college ball for the University of Alabama making the All-SEC freshman team and being twice named to the All-SEC conference team. After failing to be drafted in 2009, he was named the MVP of the D-League for 2009-10 season. Gee’s primary intangible has been to be just good enough to stay in the Cavs starting lineup, without being replaced. This is primarily due to the Cavs lack of a suitable small forward candidate to run out there every game instead of Gee. Hopefully, the team addressed this in the off season by bringing in Clark and drafting Karasev.
In 82 games for the Cavs, Gee scored 10.3 points per game on 41 percent shooting from the field and 31.2 percent from behind the arc. His 3.9 rebounds per game and had 1.6 APG were equally disappointing, given that he was on the floor an average of 31 minutes per game. The reality is that Gee didn’t do anything well for the Cavs, but did just enough to maintain his minutes. The guy doesn’t shoot particularly well from beyond 15 feet and he is at times timid about taking the ball to the hoop. Probably the best thing that you can say about his offensive game is that he protects the ball, 1.6 turnovers per game, but he also doesn’t take chances to make the tough pass either, which his low 1.6 assists per game average reflects.
Gee played swing man for the Cavs covering both shooting guards and small forwards for the Cavs. Gee, as mentioned earlier, has good lateral quickness to stay in front of lightning quick opponents playing the 2 and 3 spots. His 2.4 fouls per game shows that he moves his feet well laterally to stay in front of opponents, and doesn’t have to rely upon his hands and arms to coral them. He is effective in playing passing lanes, as his 1.3 steals per game indicates, but his 0.4 blocks show his lack of leaping ability or be able to anticipate an opponent’s shot. Defensive skills that do not show up in a box score is his understanding of help defense, court spacing and his hustle to get back on missed shots to prevent or defend against fast breaks.
How does Gee fit in on the Cavaliers?
The best thing you can say about Gee is that he is barely adequate as a starter. He hasn’t shown much, in spite of being handed a grand opportunity last season. When you read his fantasy basketball profile, nearly all major fantasy sites advise against drafting him for the upcoming season. He is widely underestimated by the basketball world. This is a pivotal season for the young forward. If he is going to be anything more than a bench player in the NBA, the time for him to show what he is made of is now.
I look for Gee to share the position in the early going, as coach Mike Brown plays the match up game based on who the team is playing next. Eventually, you would hope that someone will step up to the forefront and secure the starting role, but given the list of candidates, it’s possible it could last all season. I give a slight edge to Clark because of his size, but Karasev is more than likely the long term solution, as the team stands today.