43 games, 1534 minutes (35.7/g), 253-557 FG (45.4%), 97-226 3FG (42.9%), 122-136 FT (89.7%), 145 rebounds (3.4/g), 225 assists (5.2/g), 52 steals (1.21/g), 734 points (17.1/g) and 1.32 points per shot.
11 games, 330 minutes (30.0/g), 44-126 FG (34.9%), 25-68 3FG (36.8%), 13-15 FT (86.7%), 23 rebounds (2.1/g), 50 assists (4.5/g), 6 steals (0.55/g), 117 points (10.6/g) and 0.93 points per shot.
Behind the Numbers:
These are significant drops in every major category. Some of this can be chalked up to Jamison arrival, but his drop in FGA is only 1.4 per game, which can account for a 1.8 point drop in his average (1.32 PPS x 1.4 FGA). Additionally, he is actually shooting more three pointers post injury (6.2/g compared to 5.2/g). So, while Jamison’s arrival can account for a small part of his scoring average drop, it is not even near the whole story. The scary stat right now is his drop in points per shot, which has dropped to a very Larry Hughes like 0.93 (For reference, LeBron James is currently at 1.49 for this season).
What concerns me the most is the fact that his FTA/G have dropped from 3.16 to 1.36. With Maurice’s free throw shooting ability, this is 2 points he is giving up. He is playing tentative and is not driving to the basket shooting his “Mo-Flow’s” as AC would say. Plus, I am a big believer of the theory that if you are struggling shooting, seeing the ball go through the basket is a way to break the slump. Despite his recent struggles, Maurice has still made his free throws, and getting to the line could be a solution to his current shooting struggles.
On top of all this, Maurice has never been a great defender, but when he is scoring 17+ per game and hitting clutch three pointers, we can handle the occasional lapse. The problem comes when he is scoring 10 points a game and letting up 17.
Let’s look at the opponent's starting point guard over the last 11 games:
Billups, Den: 18p, 8a, 1r
Felton, Cha: 16p, 6a, 2r
Nelson, Orl: 18p, 5a, 4r
Collison, NO: 22p, 10a, 4r
Rondo, Bos: 19p, 11a, 4r
Jack, Tor: 24p, 3a, 3r
Rodriquez, NY: 9p, 5a, 0r
Harris, NJ: 11p, 1a, 0r
Stuckey, Det: 8p, 10a, 2r
Jennings, Mil: 25p, 6a, 2r
Hill, SA: 23p, 4a, 3r
On average that is 17.5 points, 6.3 assists and 2.3 rebounds per game for the opposing PG over the last 11. This is not a murderer’s row of Steve Nash, Deron Williams, Chris Paul, Derrick Rose and Tony Parker we are talking about either. Billups and Rondo are legit All-Stars but other than that, this has been a group of average point guards
Here’s hoping Mo resurfaces soon, we will not make it far with him scoring only 10 points per game.
* Kyle Whitling was the first to suggest this name “demotion” and I will give credit where credit is due.
In an attempt to shamelessly self-promote my basketball writing endeavors humbly notifiy Stepien Rules readers of my basketball blogging/writing efforts posted elsewhere on the web, below are a couple of my latest links...
CollegeHoops.net - MAC Tournament: Game by Game Preview:
I will be posting my credentialed coverage of the MAC Men's Basketball Tournament on CollegeHoops.net as play gets underway this Thursday at Quicken Loans Arena in Cleveland. As a primer, my previews and predictions for the tournament went up this morning, and can be found here. There will be more to follow, so check back with me at CollegeHoops.net over the weekend if you get a chance.
NBA Base Line - Shaq's still out, Antawn's day-to-day, and LBJ's coming back:
Our ever expanding Bloguin Basketball squad launched a new all inclusive NBA Blog yesterday - NBA Base Line.com - and I chimed in with a short update on the Cavaliers injury situation, highlighting the news of Antawn Jamison's MRI results specifically. For a look at that, click here. Also, feel free to add NBA Base Line to your book mark tab, and look for that to become the hub of the Bloguin Basketball wheel over the weeks to come.
Stepien Rules: I look at Ginobili and part of me sees a guy who's bald spot's bigger ever time I watch him, while the other part sees a guy that blocks a Durant dunk straight-up, and explodes for almost 40 tonight in Cleveland. How much does Manu have left in the tank, and what's he capable of down the stretch here?
SR: Popovich talked about the importance of getting Parker back 'in rhythm' come playoff time earlier tonight. Assuming he's out 6 weeks, how long do you think it'd take him to get in that rhythm?
PS: Good thing Parker is still young and can bounce back rather quickly from the hand injury. Hopefully. Also he has been under the Pop system since he was 19 years old as a rookie from France. Not to mention this could be a blessing in disguise. He needed rest. Two ankle injuries, a bout with plantar fasciitis, stomach ailments, and now this recent hand injury. The time away from the court will do him wonders and he should get back in playoff rhythm with ease. Besides, his injury will not require surgery.
SR: As the Spurs jockey for position in the West, what is a likely first round match-up your hoping for?
PS: You know, I just don't trust this team taking on any team from the upper crust of the West teams. Right now the Spurs are matched up with the Mavs. But the Jazz swept us, Lakers are the Lakers, Blazers are too athletic, Mavs recent additions of Butler and Haywood scare me which leaves the Nuggets which the Spurs have beaten in Denver. If any team I'd pick it be the Suns for obvious reason. You know, the Spurs dominance of the Suns in the playoffs. So you know Spurs nation is pushing for the sixth seed.
SR: Were you surprised a bit to see the Spurs not get this one considering LeBron was out - even without Parker - after playing it close all night? Where did the Spurs go wrong in your opinion tonight?
PS: No. I am not surprised. Let me put it this way, the Spurs lost to a Blazers team without half their squad earlier this season, lost to the Lakers without Bynum and a hobbled Bryant. I could go on and on but basically it appears if the opposing team is without their star players, the Spurs most likely will lose. Tonight the Spurs went wrong on both ends of the court. Offensively it was all Ginobili and Hill. No one else stepped up to contribute. The Spurs had three players in double digits scoring. Cavs had six. Which leads me to the defensive end. Again, the Spurs allowed six Cavs players to score in double digits. Their defense was porous and Richard Jefferson and DeJuan Blair got the Pop "treatment" after defensive lapses. Pop benched them for replaced them with Ian Mahinmi and Malik Hairston.
SR: If you saw these Cavaliers in the Finals, could they win it against whoever comes out of the West?
PS: Good question. If they go up against the Lakers, they got a shot. Gasol is softer than Jefferson's defense, and their bench is suspect. Guys like Shaq, Big Z, Varajao will take it to Lakers' Gasol, Odom, and Bynum. Artest will deal with Jamison but Lakers do not have anyone to contend with James but who really does? Lakers would expose the Cavs weak perimeter defense with Bryant running wild. Seven games, Cavs win. Against the Nuggets, it be tough for the Cavs. The Nuggs bigs are not soft. Birdman, Nene, Keyon Martin won't back down. I don't see anyone slowing down Melo from the Cavs and Chauncey Billups will be a handful. Nuggets in six. If it's the Mavs then on behalf of Spurs nation. Please sweep the f#@K out of them!
Brandon Jennings took the court Saturday night looking like Simon Phoenix from Demolition Man, and not only went for 25 and the win, but he also felt it necessary to go 'goosey' - as evidenced below at the 29 second mark.
Now, for me, if you're gonna try to show the Cavs up with a dose of their own shimmy's and shenanigans, you should probably do it when LeBron James isn't in street clothes. That said, even without LBJ active, there's no way this could have gone over well in the Cavaliers locker room. Especially not if you're Mo Williams.
Mo looked like someone shot his dog last night in the post game interview, and maybe its more like someone shot his 'goose.' He did nothing to slow Jennings - the guy who's subsequently replaced him in Milwaukee - all night, and he didn't make the rookie work on the defensive end either. And by the time he saw the guy he was guarding flash that goosey signal right past him over towards his bench, there wasn't much he could do about that either.
In response to his performance on Saturday night, Mo Williams posted the following three tweets on his twitter account...
"I apologize to all my fans and Cavs fans for a shitty performance to say the least. I will get past this a get better, stay with me pls"
"Woke up this morning, and I feel great. Mentally I'm strong. It's hard for things to effect me. Thx to all my Twitter fam for all the love"
"On to the next one, all black everythin"
Besides being a catchy twitter handle, I see no other reason for Mo Williams to refer to himself as a guy that once headed the organized crime underworld of New York City. Meaning, he seems to me more like that nice friendly neighbor you have down the street than he does in any way resemble John Gotti. That said, I think he's a genuine guy who wouldn't have tweeted that apology if he didn't mean it. I'm sure he's sorry, and I'm sure he cares about the fans in Cleveland. However, I do think its possible he might care a little too much. I think he wants to be a guy that LeBron wants to play alongside of, and help bring a title to this town soo bad, that I think it sometimes rattles him. Like it did last year in the ECF. If I could post a tweet in response to Mo's, that he would read, it would simply say this:
"You have game for days...just relax, and do your thing. If you play your game, your tough to stop, and so are your Cavaliers."
And ps, I counted, its less than 140 characters, so it would work...just hope he hears me.
Here are some more observations from the past 6 games:
Comparing some significant stats in Wins/Losses:
Team PPG: 105.2
Team PPG: 94.1
I can almost hear the collective voices of each team's front office: "Listen, Lebron (followed by the awkward car salesman laugh) we know we're horrible. But we did this all for you."
Photo Credit: The News-Herald
You have two great players and to quote Bill the butcher in Gangs of New York "a handful of rag tags?" They play zero defense and D'antoni's teams never have. Lebron has developed a love for defense and knows how vital it is to winning. He comes from a culture in which his coach didn't even install an offense until his team could defend. The Nets.....well they're 6-54!!!! Not one time have they won more than one game in a calendar week. The Cavs are on a 5 game winning streak. You have to go back to January of last season for the last time they won more than 5 games in a month. The culture of losing in these places is running rampant and pretty much has been deemed acceptable by their front offices because they believe the end will justify the means.
Earlier this evening, Mary Schmitt Boyer of the Plain Dearler reported that "Former teammates Anderson Varejao and Anthony Parker were in a group, along with strength and conditioning coach Stan Kellers, that visited with Ilgauskas after the team arrived here [New Jeresey] Tuesday night. Ilgauskas has a place in New York City and has been spending time there since his release by the Wizards."
And according to a couple follow-up reports I've also stumbled across, it appears the Cavs found a group of guys who referred to themselves as the 'Nets' to work out with at the IZOD center on Wednesday night while in town visiting Z. I didn't get a chance to talk to any of the Cavaliers players about that work-out, but I heard it went well, and most of the players were pleased with the opportunity to both break a sweat, and work through some offensive sets without the interruption of defense.
With six minutes left in the fourth quarter Bill Walker hit a three to give the Knicks their 74th point of the night. That basket cut the lead to 36, and matched the total (74) the Cavaliers scored in the first half. Part of me wants to stop right there. There's no real point in belaboring the fact that the Knicks are a god-awful team. We all know by now that they're allergic to defense, and continue to insist on shooting jumpers every 7 seconds despite the fact that they don't have all that many jump-shooters on the roster. They're an embarrasing group that has to come back in the fourth quarter (down by upwards of 40 points) to lose by 31 (124-93), and I can't see how anybody would make the choice to join them next season. With that said, I will stop there, and speak on the Cavs moving forward.As much as I was discouraged to hear the reports that Shaq will be out for 6-8 weeks earlier in the day,
The Cavaliers came out atop the latest Bloguin BlogPoll Power Rankings for the second straight time, and if you missed the complete rankings and commentary from the esteemed bloggers of this network, go here.The primary reason the Cavs were able to maintain their top spot is due to the fact that LeBron is no longer forced to hang out with these guys pictured below... no comments