Making shots, small ball and more
Just finished up with practice and I wanted to drop in with some info. The first issue of the day was the lousy shooting by DeShawn, Jarvis and, to a lesser extent, AD in what was a very winnable game last night. Those three combined to go 9 for 35 and one for nine from three-point range. Jarvis, who had been consistent dating back to the start of April, finished 2 for 13, DeShawn was 3 for 12 and is 6 for 24 in two games and AD was 4 for 10 despite the fact that Cleveland defenders are laying back and practically begging him to take the outside jumper.
DeShawn put in some extra shooting work after practice and said he's confident he can regain the stroke he had basically all season. Then again, ever since Gilbert and Caron went down, his shooting percentage and overall "swag" have dipped.
He's not making excuses.
"I'm not shooting the ball well and the only way to fix that is to come out and shoot. I have to get it going though."
On not having Gil and Caron around him: "It's different when you have an All-Star point guard who draws so much attention and you can just spot up. Now it's more of a situation where I have to create for myself and Antawn and other guys so it's tough but there are no excuses. I have to come out here and get extra shots up."
And, in a Q and A I know some folks on this blog are dying to read, I asked Eddie Jordan about his decision to go with a smaller lineup in the fourth quarter of Games 1 and 2. For the record, the Cavs held a 23-15 scoring edge and a 10-9 rebounding edge in the fourth quarter of Game 1. In Game 2, the Wiz held a 39-34 scoring edge but were outboarded 17-10 in the fourth quarter.
Me: "Eddie, why have you gone to smaller lineup and by that I mean a lineup without a center in the fourth quarter so far in this series?"
Eddie: "Because we've been in situations where we need to score and our centers aren't scoring - We've tried to establish Etan early in the post and Brendan scored 13 points (in Game 2) - he got it out of pure hustle and some dives, but for the most part, we're looking for Darius to be a scorer, Antawn to be a scorer, Jarvis...so we've played Darius at center. It's always good when you have a center like that and a four-man like that who can make shots from the perimeter."
Me: "But isn't their a trade-off with that? Don't you give up something in rebounding when you go small if those guys don't make shots?" (That's what happened in Game 1 when Antawn went 1 for 7 in the fourth, Jarvis went 1 for 3 and Songaila went 0 for 2. Bottom line and I've said it about this team for two years now even when Gil and Caron were healthy, it comes down to making shots with this team, pure and simple).
Eddie: "Well, yeah, if our centers are rebounding at a high level, then that can help us but if our centers are not rebounding at a high level then we have to go to something else."
I asked Brendan if he's suddenly selling a bunch of jerseys in Cleveland now that he's so popular (joking of course). His answer was classic. "I'm not selling any jerseys in Washington so I'm sure I won't be selling any in Cleveland."
I asked him what Varajeo said to tick him off so badly. Was it in English?
Brendan: "It was in English and it was profane."
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