"It's fun to get up and down and throw lobs," James said. "I've caught two lobs [so far] this year, and that's a career low. We need to get into our offense quicker instead of waiting until the shot clock is coming down. We've had zero fast-break points in multiple games, and that's kind of unbelievable with the type of athletes we have."I can't really disagree with that. The players, like everyone else, don't exactly love this 'offense':
``You can hold a team to 42 percent shooting, but if they make enough offensive plays and we don't, you're going to lose ballgames.
``We don't get easy buckets. I don't get easy buckets like I used to in the past. Easy buckets can always help, it doesn't hurt. At times it's fun to get up and down and throw lobs, I've probably caught two lobs this year, that's a career low.''
Brown has attempted to make changes to help his offense. Four games ago, he inserted rookie Daniel Gibson into the starting lineup and has given chunks of Damon Jones and Eric Snow's minutes to Sasha Pavlovic. While no one is looking for radical change, at this point in the season, some don't think it's enough.
``I still don't think it is time to panic, we need to keep an even keel,'' said Larry Hughes, whose scoring average is also down this season. ``I definitely think we should run more, it suits our team. Somewhat, we're trying. I think that we're a much better running team than we've showed.''
The offense the Cavs run now, which often starts out of a 1-4 set, takes time to develop. It can take a while for plays to be run and 41 percent of the time the Cavs don't take a shot until the final eight seconds of the 24-second shot clock. James feels like it often takes too long to develop plays and that it allows the defense to set up to defend him better.
``I think we do a lot of dribbling, when the time is running down, we can't attack, you have to settle for a jump shot,'' James said. ``For the most part, we want to play a half-court basketball game. I'm not saying it's a negative, because we are at times a good half-court team.''
Alright, here's the thing, sure the offense stinks, but I can't imagine Brown drawing up plays that call for LeBron (or Snow or Hughes) to just stand there and dribble for 10 seconds while no one moves. That's on the players. When LeBron was out the ball moved from side to side and the Cavs ran the offense. Too often James holds the ball and stagnates the offense. I don't know if you can really blame the offense on that.However, getting James some easy buckets isn't a bad thing. I'm not sure what I make of him knowing his alley-oop stats, but he's right when he says he needs more lobs. It seems every time I turn on Denver highlights I see a 'Melo backdoor alley-oop. The Cavs never run a play like that for James, they rarely run anything that involves James moving without the ball.
I'm not sure if the Cavs becoming a 'running team' is the answer (I know everyone loves the Suns, but go look up their record this season against San Antonio, Dallas and Utah). Do they need to run more? Yes. But what they really need is easier baskets. Of course, this involves LeBron going to the post (I always find a way to bring it back around to post play, don't I?) and actually moving without the ball. James can be just as guilty of the 'statue offense' as the rest of them (but he doesn't have an excuse, the other guys are watching a superstar, he's watching an Larry Hughes).
A big part of this whole thing is LeBron's minutes. When he plays 42 minutes a game, there's no way he's going to be running around picks and fighting down low; he's saving himself, he may not say it, but you can tell he's rationing his energy. If the Cavs want LeBron running and jumping, moving without the ball and crashing the boards (I'd like to see him get 8 boards a game, he's 6-8 and strong like bull) then they should be cutting his minutes (under 40 a game is imperative
but you'd like him to be somewhere between 35-38). With Sasha Pavlovic emerging, it should be a little bit easier to find James some rest.