Kevin Kraczkowski (Hot Hot Hoops): What's going on with Jarrett Jack?
Conrad Kaczmarek (Fear the Sword): He’s not very good right now. Over the years, he’s been a tremendous midrange shooter and quite good in the pick and pop. Currently, he doesn’t really have any chemistry with any of the big men on the roster and his shots aren’t really falling. There’s also the whole problem with the entire offense being a mess right now. I think once they get more familiar with each other and work things out, Jack will be fine. Oddly, I’m not that concerned about Jarrett Jack.
KK: Kyrie Irving is clearly the best player on the club, but I think that CJ Miles isn't that far behind in his performance this season. Is there any reason why he isn't also playing 40 minutes per game?
CK: We actually we just discussing this over at Fear the Sword in the wake of Bradley Beal’s newest injury. We noticed that Beal was leading the league in minutes per game and were wondering why our young players weren’t doing something similar. Considering the fact that Beal is now sidelined with another "stress injury," it may actually be smart to limit the minutes on these really young players.
Obviously we don’t completely know why Kyrie isn’t playing 40 minutes per game, but there are probably a few factors. The first factor is that the Cavs have been on the receiving end of a few blowout losses. That means Kyrie and the rest of the starters were probably sitting on the bench for most of the 4th quarter. Another factor is probably Mike Brown’s coaching style. He’s made it very clear that he’s teaching all of the players on the roster right now. If a guy messes up, he gets yanked and Brown corrects him on what he messed up. Kyrie isn’t immune to that just because he’s the best player.
Personally, I’d like to see Kyrie play some more. But at the same time, I have no problem with Mike Brown taking the time to coach him up. I think as the season goes on and the rotation becomes more consistent, Kyrie will play more minutes.
CK: Carrick Felix just got back from a sports hernia injury and has barely played, so we don’t know much about him. He’ll likely spend some time with the Canton Charge. Sergey Karasev is a young guy with a sweet shooting stroke. He’s look decent in very limited minutes, but I think we’re a few years away from him being a significant contributor.
And finally there’s Matthew Dellavedova. He’s a scrappy little guy who’s been thrown into the starting lineup following some injuries, illness, and off the court issues with Dion Waiters. He was an undrafted free agent and is obviously a little lacking in physical abilities. But he plays hard, knows his limits, and can shoot a little bit. Mike Brown really appreciates the fact that he plays super hard and responds well to coaching. In the long run, the Cavs are probably better off if Dellavedova is just a practice guy and emergency point guard. But for now, he’s injected some energy into the team and it’s hard not to root for him.
KK: The Cavaliers main weaknesses this season revolve around the offense, with a bottom five performance in PPG, at 93.2, turnovers, with 16.6 per game, and shooting percentage, at 44.5%. If you were in charge, what personnel would you rotate to fix this?
CK: I’m not sure that I’d really change the rotation all that much. The main thing is just learning how to play with one another. The Cavs are all over the place out there and there’s no real rhythm to what they’re trying to do on offense. Mike Brown is in a tricky situation of trying to provide some sort of consistency while searching for the optimal lineup. I don’t think there’s much to be done other than continue tinkering with the lineup and hope you find something that works. As we get further into the season, there will be more continuity and the offense should improve — we hope.
KK: The Eastern Conference isn't very strong this season. Do you see the Cavs making a run and getting into contention?
In contention for the playoffs? Yeah, I do. As you said, the East is horrible. The Cavs have some talent on this roster and I think Mike Brown will get things together eventually. It’s looking more and more like a sub-.500 record will get you into the playoffs in the East this year, so I think the Cavs are going to be in that race for a while.
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