Around these parts we've come to describe the Cavaliers games by which Delonte West shows up - Good Delonte or Bad Delointe. We're not poking fun at West, far from it. We are trying to keep the attention on West's emotional issues and how difficult it can be to play in the NBA when your mental state of mind is far from 100%.
An example of a Bad-Delonte moment happened during the 4th quarter of today's game against the Nets. Brian Windhorst explains -
West was struggling during the Cavaliers' 94-86 victory over the New Jersey Nets, another reminder of his constant battle with a mood disorder. But in the fourth quarter, West essentially took himself out of the game and the results ended up having a negative effect on the team.
Midway through the fourth quarter, coach Mike Brown sent LeBron James into the game, wanting to take out Mo Williams for a short break. This is the team's standard rotation, though Brown on Saturday was playing a bit smaller and had Daniel Gibson on the floor instead of Jamario Moon.
But West came to the bench instead and when Brown appeared to signal to West that he wanted him to stay in the game, West went and sat on the end of the bench. So Williams stayed in the game and James subbed in for West.
Within a minute, Williams had picked up his fifth foul and had to be taken out. Instead of going to West as the backup point guard, Brown instead turned to Anthony Parker and shifted the point guard duties to James with the second option being Gibson.
The Nets then cut the lead down to four points and were making a run. As it turned out the Cavs were able to stem the tide. Gibson knocked down a 3-pointer and Parker made a hustle play by diving for a loose ball that led to a 3-point play from James.
This is a constant battle for Mike Brown. Not only does he have to try and juggle his roster based on matchups, but he has to juggle the day-to-day battle West as with his emotions, never really knowing if or when 'Bad-Delonte' will show up regardless of how well Delonte might be playing.
Another reason we should take a few moments here and there to give Brown some respect.