Mo Williams has been crowded out of the rotation since Kyrie Irving's return to action, and took to Twitter Tuesday night to lash out at a report that suggested that he wasn't happy with his minutes being cut. The original report came from ESPN's Dave McMenamin after the Cavaliers thumped the Magic on January 3rd.
To James' point, if there was anything to be concerned about with Saturday's outing, it was seeing Mo Williams report to the locker room just 63 minutes before tipoff and then being late to join his teammates, if he joined them at all, as they got up off the bench and onto their feet to cheer several plays as Cleveland built its big lead.
Williams clearly took exception, and after a few cryptic Instagram posts, he tweeted (well, TwitLonger'd) this response.
Dan Feldman there are to many positive things going on our team for you to write about than searching for a story about me. A story that you have wrote from assuming how I'm feeling or thinking without even consulting with me. Being that I'm not playing, I get my extra work in for 45 min after shootaround when everyone has left to get prepared for the game. You are more than welcomed to come to shootaround and see for yourself so you shouldn't have to assume anymore. With that being said, I wasn't late. There is no particular time we have been at the arena. My routine has just changed that's all. Now to answer the not cheering thing, that's funny. I've been in this league 13yrs and I'm not sure how long you have been covering the NBA, but anybody that knows me knows I show no emotion whatsoever. I was the same way when I was starting and playing 30 min. I help my teammates. Im 33 yrs old not 23 Thanks for listening.
So, there's that. First of all, you might be confused as to why Williams would be calling out Dan Feldman, writer at Pro Basketball Talk. I certainly was.
It seems that Mr. Williams saw the report on PBT's blog, and went after the aggregator instead of the source. Then, weirdly enough, he seemed to notice his mistake, and then tweeted an apology to Dan Feldman at Dave McMenamin.
@mcten sorry Dan feldman— Mo Williams (@mowilliams) January 6, 2016
So, basically, this is all very weird and dramatic for a Cavs season that's actually been kind of light on drama (fingers crossed!).
None of us are privvy to behind the scenes info that Dave or Mo are, so we can't really speculate as to who's on the right end of this, but it is unfortunate to see another example of a divide between the media and a player this season.
If Williams is upset, it sort of makes sense. He took a pretty cheap contract to come back to Cleveland to try to help the team win a title, and it's got to be a bummer to be getting DNP-CDs, even in winning efforts. Matthew Dellavedova's emergence into a useful offensive player and Williams's limitations defensively have made it hard for him to find minutes.
That said, I don't think Mo necessarily deserves to be relegated to garbage time duty on a healthy Cavaliers team, depending on the matchups. He's probably the ninth best player on the team at this point, but he should be in the rotation in some way. David Blatt could achieve this by sliding Delly over to a two-guard spot, J.R. Smith or Iman Shumpert to the three while giving Richard Jefferson some of James Jones' minutes at the four.
In the modern NBA, adding Mo's shooting and playmaking ability would be a boon to the Cavaliers' bench-heavy units, and it might help keep the former Cavalier All-Star engaged and happy. I mentioned it on the last FTS Podcast with Justin (subscribe on iTunes, nerds!) that the Warriors don't always play their very best lineups. They find minutes for just about everyone in their rotation, and they're good enough to do so. That keeps morale high, and I'm okay with sacrificing short-term gains for overall emotional health of the roster.
That said, Mo's homecoming hasn't gone exactly how he has hoped, and to some extent, he's just going to have to suck up the fact that there's not a ton of minutes to be picked up. It's not easy to ride the pine, but it's a blessing, not a curse for the Cavaliers that they have the options they do littered across their roster.