Monday, February 22, 2010

That seemed entirely too familar

Some days just aren't conducive to blogging, yesterday was one of those days. I saw the most of the game but had to be out the door immediately upon its conclusion.

Quick and dirty thoughts:

There's going to be an adjustment period. Mike Brown is still figuring out his rotations (J.J. started the game, Jamison started the second half) and the teams they're facing post-All-Star break aren't the teams you want to be experimenting against. For instance, Brown sat Jamison for four minutes in the fourth and the Cavs scored a total of four point over that time (the offense was full on LeIso and yes, I know Antawn picked up his 5th foul). What makes Jamison such a nice pickup is that he doesn't have to stand around and wait for LeBron to make a move in order to be effective (*waves at Anthony Parker*), so the Cavs should take advantage of that.

The Cavs are going to need Mo Williams. Williams was a dismal 1-9. He hasn't looked right since his return from his shoulder injury but that isn't exactly surprising. I'll give Mo a pass on Sunday's performance, simply due to the injury and the circumstances of the team, but the Cavs if expect to reach the NBA Finals, Mo Williams has to play well.

This may be the bias of a Cavs fan, but I though the Magic got a lot of calls yesterday. I know this evens out over time and LeBron gets his fair share but some of those calls... wow. The block on Jamison in the fourth really changed the outcome, he was clearly set, he was clearly outside the circle and Dwight Howard bowled him over. It's a foul when LeBron does it.

That being said, it's not fair to say the refs decided the game. The Cavs starting guards shot a combined 2-13 and LeBron scored a total of 3 points in the fourth (and the basket came once the outcome was decided). It's feels weird to say this, but they need more from LeBron. He turned it over 5 times, went 1-6 from downtown and shot just 8-12 from the line. Since the All-Star break, James shooting 71% from the stripe (28-39) and is an abysmal 4-21 from behind the arc. Ouch.

Would Jamario Moon do a better job on Vince Carter? The Magic torched the Cavs guards in the fourth with Carter and Nelson pick and rolls. They isolated Carter on Jawad Williams and Anthony Parker and Vince killed them. Moon looks to be the odd man out and I know AP is the starter... but at the end the day, Parker gave them 4 points, 1 board and 1 assist. You're gonna need more than that from your starting two guard. Moon isn't the shooter that Parker is but he's got younger legs...

I liked the energy J.J. Hickson showed in the second half. He was flying to every offensive board and made himself a nuisance. If Jamison ends up starting (and he should), the Cavs will need Hickson to continue to bring that energy off the bench.

Don't get too upset at this loss. I don't know if you can remember this, but the Cavs just beat Orlando less than two weeks ago. Orlando is a good team. The Cavs are in flux right now but they're a long way away from the playoffs. They'll right this ship.


Papa Cass said...

Mo just can't shoot against the Magic for whatever reason. He sees the blue/white jerseys and immediate goes myopic.

That's what makes Jamo even more valuable. He might need to replace Mo's offensive output in a playoff series against Orlando.

I don't care who is supplementing LBJ with 18-20 PPG. But somebody needs to.

I'll chalk Delonte's peformance up to just plain having a bad game.

John said...

Is it only me, but does it seem that all of James's jump shots are fading away from the basket? It seems that he is rimming out everything now.

Earlier this season he was going straight up and nailing the jumpers.

Time to go back and look at some film.

Geoffrey said...

I want to credit Mike Brown for his decision to start Jamison. They got down early since they weren't guarding JJ and he was struggling (not surprising that a 21 year old would struggle on the road against an elite team). And the game was pretty even after that. Then in the second half Jamison starts, gets hot and puts us in the lead and changes the game. Good move.

But at the same time, I disagree with how he dealt with Mo. Later in the 3rd, after he got his first couple points on tech free throws, Mo finally nails a 3. I would have liked to have Mike Brown keep him in there cuz he is somewhat of a streaky shooter, and coming back from injury it was probably good for him to knock one down, and then stay warm. but instead he took him out for Boobie Gibson, and Mo didn't come back in until midway through the 4th. No wonder Mo wasn't in rhythm.

I hate to say this, but Mo being back effectively makes Boobie Gibson obsolete. Anything he can do, Mo does and probably does better.

Granted, the Cavs weren't all out for this game. Brown gave Lebron his rest (39 mins) and maybe Mo is on a little bit of a minutes limit (33 mins), while Dwight played 44 minutes.

Vince Carter doesn't concern me one iota. Rashard Lewis doesn't scare me if Lebron is on him. Dwight Howard doesn't scare me if we get Z back. And one of these times Peitrus isn't going to play like a 6th man of the year when we play them. But what does concern me is we were in a position to win (85-80) late in the 4th). We couldn't execute down the stretch and Lebron hoisted jumpers

Ben said...

Ya, throughout the game I kept wondering why Gibson was in when they have Mo Williams available. Boobie played great when Mo and Delonte missed time, but he's not needed once they came back.