CLEVELAND: Mike Brown has shuffled through so many lineups through the first one-third of the season that he is now going back and recycling some of the old ones. Earl Clark is back as the starting small forward and Alonzo Gee is out of the lineup.
Clark began the year as the starting small forward, but was removed after six unproductive games.
Clark’s days as a small forward seemed over. He was eventually moved into the backup role at power forward, where he admittedly felt more comfortable after playing there most of his career, and Anthony Bennett was transitioned to small forward.
But given Gee’s lack of offensive production, coupled with the Cavs’ recent slump, Brown felt he needed to make another change. Brown had been mulling changes since the Cavs were embarrassed Monday at home against the Detroit Pistons.
“I just want to try to find a way to make us better,” Brown said. “If we were sitting in the fourth or fifth spot [in the playoff race] and playing really good basketball, I wouldn’t be thinking about it as much.”
The Cavs have used eight different starting lineups in their first 28 games. This marked the third time Brown went with this lineup and has warned this may not be the last change.
“Until I feel like we really have a stranglehold on every position, it could be like this,” he said.
Gee is averaging 3.9 points and 2.9 rebounds, but went scoreless in four starts this season and only once has cracked double figures. He is considered the team’s best perimeter defender, but is clearly limited offensively.
Brown hinted at shootaround Thursday morning more changes could be coming to the rotation because guys are playing well in practice who haven’t gotten many minutes in games. That group would seem to include guys like Sergey Karasev, Bennett, Tyler Zeller and Matthew Dellavedova.
The Cavs followed their three-game winning streak by losing four of five, prompting Brown to shuffle the lineup.
“Whenever I do make a change, I will always try to give it a handful of games. I’ve done some stuff I may go back to,” he said. “To just sit back and keep watching us play the way we’re playing, for me I don’t think it’s good. For the team, it’s not good.”
Fox Sports Ohio cameras caught C.J. Miles heading back to the court after Monday’s bad loss to the Pistons. Miles only played 20 minutes in the loss and shot 1-of-6 with three turnovers.
“I want to be better. There’s only one way to do it,” Miles said. “I didn’t want to wait until the next day, I wanted to start right then.”
Miles has tried re-entering the court following home games previously, but couldn’t because they had already started breaking down the floor for hockey or else the floor was covered in confetti following a victory.
There is an upstairs practice court available at Quicken Loans Arena, where the Cavs used to practice and now occasionally still hold walkthroughs prior to home games, but Miles prefers the arena floor.
“I’d reached my point. I wanted to get back out there,” Miles said. “It was a little bit of frustration, a little bit of wanting to shoot the basketball and see it go in and be able to do it in the arena.”
Votes are in
Kyrie Irving remains second in voting among guards and remains in line to start February’s All-Star game.
Irving has 524,000 votes, the league announced Thursday, behind only Dwyane Wade (565,455). The injured Derrick Rose is a distant third (299,950) and John Wall is fourth (210,988).
LeBron James is the overall leader in voting with 854,105 votes. Voting continues through Jan. 20.
Jason Lloyd can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. Read the Cavs blog at https://ohio.com/cavs. Follow him on Twitter http://www.twitter.com/JasonLloydABJ. Follow ABJ sports on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/sports.abj.