Byron Scott decided to enter the New Year with a new starting lineup, Adding CJ Miles to the starting lineup and benching Dion Waiters.
Asked the reason for the change, Scott said: "Balance. I think our first unit seemed to move the ball a little bit more."
"I just want to see how that dynamic works as far as him coming off the bench and putting the ball in his hands a little more."
I don't necessarily agree with that statement that more balance comes from the first unit. The Cavs still only had a season average of 19 assists tonight, which is good for 24th place in the league. The offense looked to me more disorganized and un-cohesive than before, granted this is a 1 game sample. The offense consisted of a lot of 1 on 1...example: Player A gets the ball this time down the floor and tries to get a shot, then Player B gets the ball next time...etc. In the closing moments of the game there was still 1 on 4 with Kyrie. Coach Scott at some point in time has to have some sets for late game situations to run, too much standing around. I don't care who is starting that will not works all the time, sometimes it will because Kyrie is very good but not every time.
Ultimately Waiters, the #4 pick in last year's draft is supposed to join with Kyrie to make a dynamic duo backcourt. I think even at this current point in time they are top 3 or 4 for backcourt scoring.
Scott's Response to this notion: "I still want that," Scott said. "Like I told Dion, this is not permanent." Scott said he would let the results determine how long the change lasts.
"Might be a month, might be two, might be a week," the coach said. "It kind of depends how it goes."
Ok I can't knock Scott for wanting to try something different, it lets us know that he knows everything is not peachy and he is willing to try things to fix it. I just don't know if this is the answer. Yes Dion had a pretty solid game bringing in 20 points and 3 assists, but I would argue that he could have easily had those numbers starting and still had the same result.
Now I am not saying this move is not logical. CJ is averaging about 20 points, 4 rebounds as a starter, shooting 45% from trey and 43% overall. In comparison to 9 points, 2 rebounds coming off the bench with a shooting percentage of 37 from beyond the arc and 39% overall. So the stats actually back him up, but the product on the floor tonight, did not necessarily prove that. Don't let Fred and AC fool you...that's if you tune in via Fox Sports Ohio. It looked like the same ol' Cavs to me.
I personally think that they just need a lot more movement on offense, for the first and second unit and, more commitment and a better understanding of how to play efficient defense. In my amateur opinion I really feel the best way to accomplish this would be to start Kyrie and Dion in the backcourt and run more of a motion style offense where there is constant movement without the ball.
This just leads me to asking a ton of questions like...Wasn't CJ brought in to be a spark off the bench?...why can't he do that? Do you really want your #4 pick being a bench player? You could have moved down in the draft and took someone later for all that; why waste the #4 pick on a bench player? I know that was his role in college, but this is the NBA, and you could be taking a chance on losing him pending how long this lasts, hopefully if it does not go so well Scott sticks to his word and ends it. Also what is going to happen when Gibson and Andy return? Maybe it's not meant for me to understand, heck I'm just a guy watching from the couch anyway...time will tell.
The results from this game showed nothing changed. CJ ended the game with 12 points, 2 rebounds and shot 1-7 from 3...he could have done that coming off the bench right? My final thought on this, is I will give Scott credit for acknowledging something needs to be changed and can't wait to see how the next couple games goes, maybe it will work out for the best.