I have a confession to make. I wasn’t able to watch last night’s game, because my cable package doesn’t include the NBA network, and LeaguePass blocks out games on their TV station. I realized that last night, but was already on the schedule…I apologize profusely. If Colin hasn’t already returned your subscription fee, let me know, and we’ll get it taken care of. In an effort of appeasement, despite not being able to tune in, I offer 1000 words on the team & game.
The Cavs played really competitively last night, on the road, against a playoff team, on the second night of a back-to-back. Irving scored 25, Jamison netted an efficient 17, and TT ended one rebound short of a double-double (with four blocks). Cleveland may have been trying to lose at the end however. They lead 78 – 77 heading to the fourth. Then Tristan sat for the first six minutes of the quarter, Jamison the first seven, and Kyrie didn’t check in until four minutes left to go. By that time, the Wine & Gold were down five and did not recover, largely due to missing five of six free throws down the stretch. I assume many fans are OK with that outcome; at least the team fought hard.
Instead of a highly informative recap of yesterday’s action, I offer a random factoid on each Cav player, in the form of a question, along with a brief synopsis of their performance last night. Let’s get into those.
Did you know that in four times as many minutes, Anthony Parker has taken fewer shots at the rim this year than Lester Hudson?
Last night, AP didn’t shoot inside of 18 feet and finished with 5 points, 3 boards and 3 assists. I had never completely hopped on the Hudsanity bandwagon, but Lester did score 9 points in 12 minutes for the Grizzlies.
Did you know that Alonzo Gee is second on the Cavs in minutes with nearly 1800, which is 600 more than he played in his previous NBA season? Also, his usage rate is 4% higher than last year?
It appears that Mr. Gee hit a wall a few weeks ago. He’s shooting 36% in April and only 20% from long range. Don’t worry, Alonzo; next year, you shouldn’t need to be a focal point of the offense, and there won’t be five games a week. Last night, AG continued his late-season tail spin, with 8 points, 2 boards, 2 assists and 3 turnovers.
Did you know that Kyrie Irving is freaking ridiculous?
That’s a fact…I’ve researched it. Cleveland’s offensive rating is 106.03 when he’s on the court, but only 96.33 otherwise. Kyrie scored 25 last night in 29 minutes on 69% True Shooting, as he continues his “remember me when you cast your ROY ballots!” tour.
Did you know that players guarded by Antawn Jamison average a 19.2 PER?
Jamison finished with 17 points, 9 rebounds and 0 turnovers last night, pacing the Cavs in plus / minus with a plus-6. It’s been a complicated relationship that Cavs fans had with Antawn for 2.5 years. Wednesday night could be his last time donning a Cleveland jersey, so make sure to fill up the Q for a going-away party. Oh, and Marreese Speights, the Grizzlies starting power forward, ended up with 17 points on 9 shots. Keep being you, Antawn!
Did you know that Tristan Thompson ranks top ten in the NBA for offensive rebound rate? Also, he’s shooting 65% on free throws in April?
You probably knew these things, but I wanted to call attention to some positive numbers for TT. I’m upset about not seeing Tristan last night, as he had an action packed game; shooting ten free throws, blocking 4 shots and grabbing 4 offensive rebounds. He did foul out, however, and only shot 3 of 10. He was the only starter with a negative plus/minus.
Did you know that entering last night, Manny Harris possessed the 3rd highest defensive rebounding rate of all NBA shooting guards?
Statistically, it was another solid game for Manny; 11 points (61% TS), 3 rebounds, 2 assists, 3 steals and only 1 turnover. What’s it mean? I don’t even know anymore. Sign him to be the 12th man next year.
Did you know that Samardo Samuels has the second highest adjusted plus/minus on the Cavs?
Is 5 years, $50 million too much for Samardo? Adjusted plus-minus is a pretty “noisy” stat, so take this number with a grain of salt. Maybe Samuels was better this year than Varejao and Irving though…
He finished with 6 points, 1 rebound and 2 assists in 18 minutes last night. Cleveland was minus-4.
Did you know that Donald Sloan connected on less than 9% of his three pointers this year?
He can’t possibly be that bad. If he knocked down 32%, would we see him as a piece for the future? Ummm, no, but let’s invite him to Summer League. Last night, he contributed 9 points on 6 shots with 2 assists in 19 minutes (0 for 1 on threes).
Did you know that there is nothing interesting to say about Omri Casspi’s performance this year?
That may be a lie, but I’m running out of steam here. There is also nothing interesting about his box score line from last night.
Did you know that Luke Walton is the son of 2-time NBA champion Bill Walton?
Seriously, it’s true. Look it up. Of course, Luke is also a two time NBA champ. The way some count legacies; that probably makes them equals. The younger Walton’s quest to pass dad will need to wait until next year; last night, his minus-16 served as worst differential of the game.
Well, two games to go. A home tilt against the Wizards and the season-ending road finale against Chicago. Washington has nothing left to tank for, as they’re pretty well locked into the league’s second worst record. Chicago should still be playing to win in order to lock up home-court through the NBA finals. In the “race” for ping-pong balls, Cleveland can still finish as “high” as 3rd and as “low” as tied for seventh. With two games to go, and those stakes…we’ll see what happens.