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Section 109: Stan Van Disses J.J. and Parker Looks Tired

February 12, 2010
Joe Bo wrote and asked me if I caught Stan Van Gundy’s in-game interview in last night’s game. Stan was asked at halftime, ”What are you going to do about J.J. Hickson?“ and he sounded incredibly condescending when he replied, ”We don’t worry about J.J. Hickson.“ Joe’s response to the TV — “Well, maybe you should.”
This is real bulletin board material for the Cavs’ next game against the Magic. However, I don’t like these TNT in-game interviews, because the coaches are so distracted and they just want to get back to the bench and coach. This doesn’t really add anything to the broadcast. Stephanie Ready and Craig Sager are unlikely to get more than the usual cliches, no matter what they ask.
I believe what Stan Van meant was the Magic had to focus their game plan on stopping Shaq and slowing down LeBron, and if J.J. was going to hurt them with easy scores, he still probably wasn’t going to beat them. Van Gundy was right — that was a reasonable plan, but he probably didn’t want to take the time to spell this out with Stephanie while his team was playing a ball game behind his back.
Nevertheless, Hickson shot 64% and scored 20 in a game that the Magic lost by nine. I don’t think the Magic will use quite the same defensive strategy when these teams meet again on February 21, and I don’t think Van Gundy will give the same quote to Craig Sager, no matter how clownish Sager’s outfit is.
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BTW, does anyone have video of Stan Van Gundy smiling during a game? Those would be some rare frames. Stan stalks, sweats, grimaces, swears, yells and throws up his hands so much, I have nominated him for the NBA’s Most Likely To Suffer A Stroke While Coaching A Game award.
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Can the Cavs get past the Magic in the playoffs now? I’d say Cleveland did a much better job revamping its roster. Giving up Hedo Turkoglu and Courtney Lee was a big gamble by Orlando, and all they got in return was non-finisher Vince Carter. Who would you rather hand the ball to for your team to win, Vince or LeBron? The Magic have been lucky to get good minutes out of the unretired Jason Williams. The Magic can’t really count on Williams to jack up threes like he did last night, though.
On the other hand, the Cavs unleashed Delonte West and he showed immediate results, even after a 10-game layoff. They still have Mo Williams and Leon Powe in the bullpen, too.
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My big concern right now with the Cavs’ rotation is Anthony Parker. He’s pretty much useless on defense, never seems to keep up with his man when defending motion offense. He’s OK if he gets set in front of a guy. Offensively, even when the Cavs run plays for him, he’s not sinking shots. He was 1-6 in 28 minutes last night, 1-3 from three-point land. It’s interesting that in the plus-minus column, the Cavs were a +20 with Parker on the floor, but I think it’s deceptive because he’s starting and his minutes are with Hickson, Shaq and LeBron.
One of the reasons the Cavs got Parker was to get a bigger defender on the opposing team’s shooting guard, and it’s not working. Now the PD’s Brian Windhorst says the Cavs are talking to the Pistons and Houston about a three-way deal that would get them Rip Hamilton. But who do the Cavs give up? What would the Cavs get from Rip, who is 32 and is having a mediocre season in Detroit? Not to mention he’s due $12.6m for THREE more years.
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