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Cleveland Cavaliers

Upon further review...the call stands!

By admin Published: March 3, 2006

So aside from the shots in the comments section in my previous post, I've gotten a load of e-mail about my stating that Flip Murray should, as I quote from below, "never attempt another 3-pointer under any circumstance."

Now hear this, I firmly stand by it.

Despite the fact that he was the hero last night, making a game-winning 3-pointer to beat the Bulls.   Having a guy who is a 20 percent 3-point shooter taking that shot down by two points is not a good play.  Most of the time, that is not going to work out for the wine and gold.  LeBron James was in traffic and he made the smart play at that second.  Flip was open and once the ball came to him he had to take it, the Cavs are fortunate that he made it and they won.

The way this team goes, I expect them to run off four or five straight wins now.  The major props I give to Flip for last night had nothing to do with the 3, it was the way he wasn't afraid to attack the basket in the fourth quarter.

Whether it is the double teams or that he's just tired at the end of games, LeBron is just settling for long jumpers these days.  He's perhaps the greatest player on his generation, but right now that's a black mark on his game and his team, because it is largely the scheme's fault.  Flip attacked the glass and scored 11 points in the fourth quarter and he scored the Cavs last seven points.  He wasn't being double-teamed like LeBron, so it was easier.  But he also showed the nerve to try to make it happen.

As for my other comments:

--I never said Eric Snow was Ben Wallace.  I said Snow, like Wallace, can be effective even though he's usually not a danger to score.  Gary Payton circa 1995 isn't sitting on the bench to come in, people.  Eric is the only true point guard the Cavs have and he's the only perimeter player who truly cares about defense right now, so he must play more down the stretch.  I'm not just making this up.  I've talked to scouts and other league executives not to mention I've watched all but one game this season in person.  LeBron isn't a point guard, he shouldn't be running the point more than a few times a game because it makes it too easy to get the ball out of his hands. And he sure shouldn't be leading a break, he should be finishing them.  Damon Jones has been playing harder, but he's at his best when playing alongside Snow if you haven't noticed.

--LeBron went 11-of-13 at the free-throw line last night.  He missed his last two at a bad time in the fourth quarter.  That is another issue.  He's been on a bad free-throw track of late as have a the Cavs.  But last night when he was 11-of-11 they were still in danger of losing.  On the list of worries for this team and LeBron, free throws are way down the list.

--I do regret saying the Cavs are in the bottom third of the league defensively.  In some stats, such as field goal percentage defense and 3-point defense, they are.  The points per game they are in the upper half.  So I'll say that as a whole, they are an average defensive team right now.

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