Though the Cleveland Cavaliers are just four games into their young season, there has already been plenty of talk regarding new head coach David Blatt's rotations and lineups. I'd like to see Kyrie Irving and LeBron James get their minutes staggered, and I'd like to see them both play less minutes. I'd like to see a deeper bench utilized. On Wednesday in Utah, just eight players saw minutes on the second night of a back to back. One of them, Dion Waiters, played just 13 minutes.
Matthew Dellavedova's knee sprain could have him out for four to six weeks. In the Cavaliers' first three games he averaged 20 minutes a night. Blatt opted to go without a traditional backup point guard against the Jazz. We don't know how much Dellavedova's injury had to do with it, but Dion Waiters was moved to the bench in favor of Shawn Marion and his defense.
The other option at shooting guard, Mike Miller, hasn't seen consistent minutes either. It's normal for a coach like Blatt to mix and match early on and try to search for what works. Perhaps the biggest problem is that regardless who has played at shooting guard, they aren't getting catch and shoot opportunities.
Are the Cavs just not creating catch-and-shoot opps? Dion avg 1.7 3PA per 36 (5.1 career) Mike Miller 1.5 (5.1) Shawn Marion .5 (2.2)— Nominataur (@Nominataur) November 7, 2014
This is both a problem of mindset and of the fact that the Cavaliers are still learning an offensive system. Matt Moore of CBS asked Kyrie Irving about this today:
I asked Kyrie about the fact the Cavs' are 14th in passes but dead last in assist opportunities. His answer: pic.twitter.com/4BAtGQkbiH— Hardwood Paroxysm (@HPbasketball) November 7, 2014
So what do I think? It's going to be interesting to see who gets minutes and where and when. Irving and LeBron James have to get guys more spot up opportunities. Kevin Love is getting them, but he needs to get opportunities as he's moving towards the basket. Blatt has time to figure out who should get the lion's share of minutes in the backcourt. Until a consistent rotation is in place though, it might be difficult for guys to get a firm grasp of their role. For Mike Miller, it might not be that hard. He's a shooter.
For Waiters, though, it might be another situation where he ends up running some offense even as we hear that the Cavaliers want him to merely spot up and defend. We will see how it goes.
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