Byron’s Problems: Edition #1

This year’s Cavaliers average 22.7 years of age. The oldest player on the roster is Anderson Varejao, and he’s only 30. Admittedly, Luke Walton is 32, but I’m doing my best to pretend he isn’t on this team. Regardless, the Cavs are a young team. Young teams make mistakes. Enter Byron Scott. Occupation: coach. Favorite mode of communication: yelling. Byron Scott is not known for going easy on his players, and he’s going to have plenty to get angry about this year. Just five games in, Coach Scott has seen it all: bad inbounds defense that leads to a game-winner, myriad turnovers, and Tristan Thompson’s insatiable desire to block mid-range jumpers, to name a few. In honor and respect of Byron’s ability to mold this young squad to his will, we’ll be highlighting the most debilitating issue this team faces semi-weekly, and speculating on what Coach will do about it.

Through five games, the Cavs’ biggest problem has been free throws. As a team, they’re shooting 61. 2 percent (74-of-121). That’s last in the NBA. Unsurprisingly, the main contributor to this debauchery of basketball fundamentals is the much-maligned Tristan Thompson, who’s hit on exactly 50 percent of his free throws this year. (The positive outlook on this: Shaq never hit his free throws either! The negative: Tristan doesn’t do anything effectively other than rebound on offense, and hasn’t improved from last year.) But to be fair, this is to be expected from Tristan. More alarmingly, Dion Waiters has hit only 6-11 free throws so far. As a player with a reputation as a shooter, that isn’t good enough, especially for someone who figures to be on the floor at the end of close games quite often. Even Kyrie Irving, the Anointed Son, is only hitting on 78 percent of his free throws so far. The average free throw percentage in the NBA usually hovers around 75 percent. If the Cavs had hit on 75 percent of their free throws this year, 16 more points would have been scored. That’s 16 points left on the table.

It’s safe to assume that approximately 10,000 free throws will be attempted in practice this week. Allen Iverson’s emotions on the subject notwithstanding (yes, I’m aware that reference is about three years past its expiration date), Coach Scott knows practice makes perfect. There isn’t much else to do, anyways, when it comes to free throws. As opposed to defensive rotations or the pick-and-roll, repetition is really the only path to improvement. Let’s hope things pick up. In the meantime, it makes me smile to imagine Dion Waiters shooting free throw after free throw while Byron stands and screams in his ear about FIFTY FOUR PERCENT. Practice is supposed to make perfect, but let’s just hope practice makes three of four.

(Stats from:

http://www.cleveland.com/cavs/index.ssf/2012/11/cleveland_cavaliers_free-throw.html)

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rodney mac
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rodney mac
5 years 11 months ago

I’m convinced thats what Morey did to Presti after harden refused to sign his contract Morley called him said lets cool off at the Bar. Morley after a few drinks brought up what a tool Tracy Mcgrady was and how he wished he coulda traded him before his big contract. Presti already being drunk forgets that Houston didn’t have him before he signed the big contract. Then he brings up Yao Ming was the leagues most valuable player (in terms of money making) and they lost him for nothing. Presti starts thinking of Lebron Melo and Dwight forgetting how they all signed there first extensions. Then Morey changes the subject to the 3 girls at the bar talikng to 2 guys. Later Morey starts complaint about not landing Pau or Dwight and how underrated Kevin Martin is. 20 minutes later Morey has an assistant run in with a trade proposal drawn up hours ago in his office and has presti sign it and sends it to stern.

Nate Smith
Admin
5 years 11 months ago

Thatguy, The Lakers problem is that they tried to solve their inability to guard quick guards by hiring a center with a bad back and the worst defensive point guard in the league. Oh, and that Kobe Bryant is a child. All this talk of the Princeton offense is idiocy.

Jon
Guest
5 years 11 months ago

Chris Grant should get whoever the GM of the Spurs is filthy drunk and trade him Miles for Leonard.

Jon
Guest
5 years 11 months ago

I couldn’t watch the game, so I just followed the play-by-play online. Was CJ Miles as bad as his box score looked? Was Waiters as awesome as his?

Good to see Boobie raining threes again now that he doesn’t have too many other responsibilities.

Jelly
Guest
Jelly
5 years 11 months ago

The Immortal Sasha Pavlovic said that.

Can they bring in Mike Brown as a Defensive Assistant/Consultant?

Thatguy
Guest
Thatguy
5 years 11 months ago

Off topic, Mike Brown lasted 5 more games than I thought he would when he was first hired. Nice guy but way over his head coaching a championship caliber team or any superstars, let alone 2 of which who have huge egos.

The NUPE
Guest
5 years 11 months ago

Who said “my defense is my offense”?

Tom Pestak
Admin
5 years 11 months ago

rodney – I will never forget “my defense is my offense”

J Hill
Guest
J Hill
5 years 11 months ago

The Byron Scott interview posted today on cavs.com said that as long as a player is below 75 percent he has to make 100 freethrows in practice before he is allowed to leave.

Cols714
Guest
Cols714
5 years 11 months ago

I really doubt that free throw shooting is high on Byron Scott’s list of problems right now. This is a 30-35 win team, free throw shooting is not going to change that.

rodney mac
Guest
rodney mac
5 years 11 months ago

I was of the belief that there are certain references that come without expiration dates but am starting to doubt that. I thought that Sheen’s “Winning” “Tiger Blood” and “I’m bi-winning” would have had a much longer shelf life. Monica Lewinski references even have hit there expiration date recently. I was in college last year and realized that maybe half the freshman had no idea who she was. On the other hand Star Wars and Harry Potter references sadly may not die for another 30 years. Has “my offense is my defense” by an average white guy died without me knowing it? Its sad to see so many friends no longer remembered

Tom Pestak
Admin
5 years 11 months ago

Kyrie and Dion will start hitting at a higher clip. 6/11 is a tiny sample size.

trespin
Guest
trespin
5 years 11 months ago

Practicing free throws is a great way to get better. But what about those that need work on there shot? There are glaring issue with TT’s free throw shot, period. Someone like TT needs to have a higher free throw percentage, as it would discourage other teams from fouling him to get the ball back without giving up points.

and not that Tristan is the only one, but he is the only one that has a free throw shot that makes me feel like i have gastroenteritis. Hey, maybe that is what happened to Irving and Miles the last few days…

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