Foul or no foul? It doesn’t really matter. I blame Larry Hughes for missing the easy 6-foot jumper. But not all of the blame can go on Hughes. He gets some. Mike Brown gets the rest. Why is Hughes in the game anyway? What has he brought to the table in any of the last four games besides a lot of miss jumpers, very few assists, the occasional steal, the whole head-bead on, head-band off thing, new tattoos, more missed free throws and less playing time for Daniel Gibson.
In the first half, the Cavs struggled to get the offense going (surprise, surprise). In the second quarter, Brown goes to the bench and brings in Damon Jones, Gibson,. Jones hits a three. Gibson hits two. Donyell doesn’t hit any, doesn’t miss any, but spreads the floor. Before you know it, the Cavs are hitting open shots and have built a 12 point lead.
To start the second half, Brown brings the starters back in. Fine. Then the Pistons do what they always do, or I should say, the Cavs do what they always do. Blow their lead and let the Pistons back in the game. The Cavs scored only 7 points in the quarter until Marshall and Gibson hit back-to-back three’s in the final minute. My question is, why does Brown insist on playing Sasha (who did have a pretty good game last night) and Hughes so much? I have more of a problem with Hughes but it never seems Gibson plays with Sasha. And why can’t they play good basketball in the third quarter?
The Cavs didn’t lose the game on the last play of the game. They didn’t lose because there was no foul call (let’s be honest, how confident would you have been with LeBron on the line with two shots to win the game. Not very. I say he would have only made one and then we would have lost in overtime). The Cavs didn’t lose because Hughes missed an easy, short jumper (although he should have made and because he didn’t, we lost). They lost that game in third quarter. A 12-point lead was wasted away to nothing as quick as the Cavs miss jumpers. The same thing happened in Game 1. The same thing happened in most of the
one or both of them? Especially when Hughes is playing as bad as he is playing. If it’s defensive reason, come on, let’s get serious. The game is played in the 70’s. The defense will be there. Plus, each has played good defense when they are in. I’d rather see the quicker Gibson running around with Hamilton than Sasha. Jones has done a good job on Billups too. And he knows he isn’t a good enough defender to wonder away from Billups to try and get in passing lanes. Hughes thinks he is. Jones stays right with Billups the whole time.
Also, the runs the Pistons made in the third quarter forced Brown to call several time-outs. This left them with one time-out for the entire fourth quarter. With one time out (and no technical foul, thanks Mike) the Cavs can advance the ball to half court, down only two points, and get off a decent shot. Chances are they wouldn’t have made it but at least they would have had a chance. The same thing happened in Game 1. With a time-out left, they could have advance the ball with over two seconds left and plenty of time to get a good shot off. Instead, those time-outs are wasted in the third quarter because Brown and LeBron can’t get the team up to play after halftime.
In the fourth quarter, all the starters were back in until the end when
Marshall made an appearance. No one was making shots and the Pistons
were trapping LeBron again because they knew no one could make a
jumper. I would have loved to see Gibson or Jones out there in crunch time.
The Cavs aren’t going to win any games against the Pistons until they learn to come out of halftime with the same intensity they do to start the game. The Pistons have their way with them every third quarter and it has to stop. If it’s not working with the starters, why not try the bench. They spread the floor, make shots and play adequate defense. That’s more than Hughes has done.