Recap: Mo Williams!

January 27th, 2009 by John Krolik

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MoTown!

Mo Domination!

Mo Better Blues!

I want some Mo!

Eat at Mo’s!

Just say Mo!

Overview:

Taking advantage of a ridiculously porous Sacramento Kings defense, LeBron James’ triple-double wasn’t even close to being the line of the night as Mo Williams posted an unworldly 43/8/11 to lead the Cavs to a win in a shootout against a surprisingly feisty Kings team that hung around into the fourth quarter. 

Cavs-Related Bullets:

Question: What did Mo Williams and the Kings have in common tonight?

Answer: They both spent the entire game in the zone! Hey-Oh!

Let’s get into some Mo Williams superlatives.

43/8/11 is, without a question, the best line posted by a Cavalier not named “LeBron” in the LeBron era, and is probably top-5 in lines that include LeBron. I mean, if Mo snags two more measly boards and hits two of the icing-on-the cake heat-check threes in the final minutes, he’d have LBJ’s iconic 50/10/10 line plus another assist. And Mo did it with only 24 shots.

Scottie Pippen’s career high? 47.

Mo’s True Shooting? 79.6%. Look at that. And if you count the two technical free throws he took as a bonus and not as a shot attempt, that number bumps up to 82.6%. That is absolutely ridiculous. 

A look at the shot chart will tell you that Mo, who came into this game as perhaps the best midrange shooter in the game, put on an absolute perimeter game CLINIC that you should absolutely show to your kids if you want them to learn how to score from outside effectively. (Even, maybe especially, if your name is Gloria James)

A breakdown:

Free throws from shooting fouls: 4 points

Technical free throws: 2 points

Layups: 2-3, 4 points

Jumpers <10 feet: 0 (Close enough to the basket so that the big alters the shot)

Jumpers 13-18 feet: 5-7, 10 points (Happy Zone)

Jumpers >18 feet, inside three-point line: 1-1, 2 points (Far enough away from the big to get a clean shot, but too far from the basket)

3-pointers: 7-12, 21 points

Now, layups are good, and the fact that Mo scored a combined 8 of his 43 points on drives to the basket is actually a little troubling, especially when he almost literally does not miss free throws. But when Mo put it on the deck, he didn’t settle for the deep jumper-he took it to his spots on the floor. 

A big thing were the three-pointers, and he was just unconscious from that area, catching and shooting open jumpers all night long. It should be noticed here that the Kings were playing a zone that has no business in the NBA all night and were esentially giving away jumpers all night, but shooting performances like Mo’s would be impressive against a team of semi-dextrous trained bears. Actually, that would probably be more impressive.

I love that All-Star coaches’ voting closed a few hours before this game tipped off. 

-At word 470, it’s time to talk about LeBron James’ triple-double. Bit of a yawner. The rebounds are pretty easy for him with Z out and the Kings unable to rebound, and it’s not all that hard getting assists when you’re feeding it to a guy who’s just not missing from the outside. 

As for the points, he was more or less able to do what he wanted out there, with 4 of his 10 shots coming from outside the paint. 

In the “Things that are not coincidences” file: Saturday, LeBron got hacked all game and ended up with 6 free throws, and a video of him getting SLAPPED IN THE FACE during a dunk during a no-call circulated. Tonight, 15 free throws for LeBron. Also, it’s not a coincidence that the nights LeBron seems to be hitting his free throws also seem to be the nights he gets himself back there over and over. 

Whatever. Ho-hum night from the man well on his way to a unanimous MVP season. Let’s talk about a player who I actually am excited about:

TARENCE KINSEY!!! THE REPORT IS IN, BABY!! This guy may be my favorite wing in the LeBron era. He’s clearly our second-best perimeter defender, he WANTS TO FAST BREAK and runs the floor like a gazelle, he’s disruptive as all hell, and-get this-on a team where defenses load up the strong-side more than any other team, he’s active and making cuts on the weak side and getting layups! Who woulda thunk it?

How this guy didn’t get in the rotation over a Euro who plays like a bad American and an American who plays like a bad Euro is completely beyond me. 

Kinsey play of awesomeness of the night: Kinsey runs the floor on the fast-break and gets by everybody, LeBron rewards him with a lob, he catches it but can’t finish, pulls it down and finds a wide-open Wally in the corner for three, Wally misses, but since the Cavs have numbers and pushed the ball effectively LeBron gets a highlight-reel tip slam because Kinsey was doing the little things. Kinsey is what Larry Hughes was supposed to be when we signed him. Finally, proof that slashers can play with LeBron James if they’re not terrible. Oh, Kinsey had a +13 in 18 minutes tonight. And he hit a three! I love you, TK. 

Another great game for JJ, who’s taking that one extra patience dribble at the basket and getting finishes. He’s becoming a monster. JJ and Kinsey are like the silver lining club-they should definitely be in the rotation when Z and Delonte get back. ‘

Report on the backup guard troika: Pavs solid, Wally and Boobie terrible, with Boobie failing to see a guy looking for a wide-open dunk on a fast break twice. There are absolutely 18 minutes for TK between these three guys every night. 

Your leader in +/- on the Cavs tonight: Ben Wallace and his crushing line of 1/5/0. Say it with me: good things happen when Ben Wallace is on the floor. 

Bullets of Randomness:

I’m not sure if we played uncharacteristically bad defense or if Sacramento is just the best team at firing threes with no set-up dribbles at all ever. They’re like a bracket-buster. And that zone was laughably terrible.

I have no idea how Kevin Martin shoots over people, or how a guy without elite explosiveness and a jump shot he would seem to be unable to get off off the dribble got to the line 17 times and dropped 7 dimes. I saw it happen and I’m confused. 

Play of the Game:

The previously described Kinsey-aided tip slam. I wanted to use a Mo play, but the great thing about his midrange game is that the shots all look the game. Improvisation does not belong on the perimeter. 

Song of the Game:

Street Lights” by Kanye West. Styles switch up, awesomeness ensues. These take too much time to choose and I just learned that I stole this bit from KnickerBlogger, so this is probably going to just turn into me putting a random song on here or just stopping it altogether. If you like this feature, plead for its stay of execution in the comments.