Friday, April 09, 2010

So THAT'S why LeBron goes 1-on-5 all the time

Really? An Anderson Varejao 15 footer? That's what was drawn up? And Andy, the Cavs get the offensive board and you decide to shoot another one? Seriously?

The Cavs had their chances to win (the Bulls missed four free throws in the last 30 seconds) but the failure to drawn up an offensive play bit 'em in the ass. In the possession before Andy's ill advised jumper, the Cavs called timeout and ran a play for Mo (who was having a great night). They ran a play where no one moved and Mo ends up taking a 12 foot fadeaway with Kirk Hinrich draped all over him. Then the Cavs follow it up with a Varejao pick-and-pop.

Awesome.

On one hand, none of this means anything. The Cavs have clinched home court throughout the playoffs and they sat LeBron against the Bulls (Delonte West was out as well). The Bulls had something to play for and the Cavs didn't. Who cares?

On the other hand, there's still things to work on. It was nice to see the Cavs play well without LeBron. Mo Williams had 35 points and 10 assists and Antawn Jamison had 26 and 6 (Jamison rolled his ankle late it the game) and the Cavs put up 108 points without the NBA's second leading scorer. I was glad to see Williams play well, especially down the stretch. He hit some big time threes in the fourth quarter and you can tell he had his confidence. The whole team played hard (Jamario Moon sighting!) and they gave a strong effort in a game that meant practically nothing.

But I'm not gonna lie, the lack of imagination during the final 30 seconds bothers me. Just a tad. I mean, odds are, barring injury or fouls, LeBron is on the court for these last second plays come playoffs, hopefully they won't be in this exact scenario. Watching Mo take a bad fade-away over Hinrich (while the Cavs stood and watched) only to follow it up with Andy bricking a game winner really dredges some bad playoff memories.

I was really interested to see what kind of play they would call with LeBron in street clothes (and Jamison on the bench with a bum ankle). A pick and pop with Mo and Z? Pick and roll with Mo and Hickson? Maybe something really cool that I don't even know about.

I know this game means next to nothing. No LeBron, no Shaq, no Delonte and even no Jamison at the end. I get that. If the Cavs and Bulls met in the playoffs, I doubt the Bulls would even win a game. But twice the Cavs called timeout to set up a potential game winning play and twice they failed to get a good shot. Those two timeouts yielded a play where four Cavs stood around while someone forced a bad jumper and Varejao hoisting a shot he did not want to take. So the results weren't exactly encouraging, especially considering that they got two cracks at it.

*deep breath*

This game doesn't matter. This game doesn't matter. This game doesn't matter. Three more games til playoffs. Three more games til playoffs. Three more games til playoffs.

1 comment:

davemanddd said...

i don't blame anderson at all. he wasn't the one who put himself in that position to fail, not once, but twice. it was first mo money williams and then anthony parker who for some dumb reason thought they either couldn't dribble out of trouble, shoot it themselves or find other more better options that were available (z was calling for the ball on the wing on the first shot and jamario moon was all alone in the lane after having just got his hands on the rebound before it was slapped away and into the waiting hands of parker) but they instead decided to pass off to an obviously uncomfortable varejao 18 feet away from the basket. i can understand when everyone stands around and just watches lebron because he's, well, he's lebron. but to just stand around and watch anderson was just outright stupid. they deserved to lose with that sort of piss-poor execution down the stretch. and don't give me any of the bowl-shit about this being a "meaningless game". if it wasn't a meaningless game, there wouldn't have been any reason to play it. you must first strive to win each and every game you play. otherwise, what's the point in even playing??? this isn't politically correct kiddie soccer where they don't keep score (don't wanna hurt their precious self-esteem) and just let the kids play. this is big boys playing a game for millions of dollars. and don't even get me started on the betting angle. i can understand not playing your best players to avoid an injury just prior to the playoffs, but i think there are other ways you can go about doing that. simply limit their minutes to about half of what they would normally play so they at least get an opportunity to stay in "game shape" and not develop any rust by just sitting on the bench for the whole time. sorry but i can't help being pessimistic about this, especially if it does come back to haunt them. i would hate to say "i told you so".