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What is Cal basketball capable of with their bad run of health?

Cal still hasn't played a full game with their entire unit, and sometimes the Bears have missed as many as two starters. What do you believe our strengths and weaknesses are with an unhealthy Cal squad?

St Mary's v California Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images


Strengths - Point guard and Power Forward. We have two plus plus players. I think Mullins has been better than expected too. Even if the numbers aren't there yet, I think we're going to be an elite defensive team yet again too - although Kam being out will hurt us in this regard.

Weaknesses - Aside from just missing Bird and Kam - it also means more minutes for guys who are more likely to make mistakes, miss plays and not be as ready to play big minutes. It also means that once you lose two regular rotation players, if you lose players in a game (foul trouble) - you're that much closer to giving meaningful minutes to deep rotation guys - like we saw Brandon Chauca against Hawaii. Dude played hard and was scrapping and completing out there, but he was over-matched.

boomtho: Our strengths? They're named Ivan Rabb and Charlie Moore, and they're spectacular. Rabb, while not making the leap some expected, remains a great rebounder, solid finisher, and good defender (though teams have had a bit more success going straight at him than I would have thought). Moore has been nothing short of a revelation - he's got the offensive IQ of a much more experienced player, knowing how to play off screeners and how to set up his defenders. He seamlessly mixes the flashy (crossovers, hanging layups, step back 3's) with the little things (pocket passes, reversing direction to set up his defender on the screen). He's been AWESOME and I forgot how much fun it is to have a PG like this. Also, a shoutout to Roger who has really come to play this year - he's always going to be limited, but if he's defending at full intensity, rebounding, and even a half-threat from 3, he's a big plus for us.

Weaknesses? Pretty much the rest of the roster, especially when pieces are missing. King and Kam are great for 15-20 minutes each - but with Kam out, how much longer can King go to anchor our D? Mullins has shown flashes, but he's struggling to put it all together and looks like he's adjusting to the athleticism in the Pac-12. MIngo has just struggled, full stop - and without any kind of shooting from Mullins or Mingo, the offense is going to struggle. Coleman's ready to contribute defensively but can't help much offensively, and our spacing is cramped enough as it is without Bird.

Nick Kranz: When we're talking injuries, it's pretty much all about what we're taking off the table. Right now, that means we have to ask what Jabari and Kam bring, and how Cal can adapt.

Kam brings elite interior defense, above-average rebounding on both ends, and enough offense/sheer size that opponents have to account for him as an offensive threat. Jabari shoots and attacks the basket better than any other wing option on the roster.

In theory Kingsley can replace much of Kam's production. The problem is twofold: Kingsley isn't quite as good on either end (positionally weaker on defense, more turnover prone and less refined on offense), and it means that we have to play significant minutes with Ivan at the 5 because Kingsley obviously isn't going 40 minutes. Cal can get away without their bigs on offense, but the downgrade from Kam to Kingsley (and Kingsley to a small-ball lineup) really hurts our defense.

Meanwhile, Jabari can be replaced on defense - Cal's various wing options are all competent defenders. But none of them have remotely his level of offensive output - as shooters, as slashers, as ball-handlers, as spacers for everybody else.

So we've lost (hopefully temporarily) one guy who is critical to our defense and another guy (hopefully temporarily) who is critical for our offense. I don't want to imagine a world where both are lost for the season. It wouldn't be pretty.

Nik Jam: Depth is scary. In the UC Irvine game Charlie Moore singlehandedly saved us. Need some of the other players to step up while Jabari and Rooks are out.

But one strength is Rabb and Moore are stepping up and winning these patsy games for us and our defense has been solid.

Kevin Wu: Guard play has been great, particularly with Moore running the show.  Rabb has also shown flashes of greatness, so I'm quite hopeful with him busting out this year.  The main weakness appears to be supporting play from the bigs, which was totally expected.  Rabb can't do it all down low on both ends of the floor, he needs help in order to dominate.