Seriously, why doesn't Clarkson start?

Seriously, why doesn't Clarkson start?

  • First, I am not that smart, so I am coming at you all humbly with this question. I love the NBA and the Cavs, but I have a lot of gaps in my knowledge of why rotations are set up the way they are, so I am not being snarky ... I honestly want to be informed so that I am not ignorant. When I watch him, he seems like a solid starter to me. A legit 2-guard who can defend and make plays. Why has he always been relegated to being a sixth-man? Would this team be in games if he got minutes and Garland had to earn his by playing as a reserve? Please advise.

  • Discussion
  • For the record, I understand why Brandon Knight is not getting minutes, as we obtained him to get picks and he is on an expiring contract. He is also better than both Sexton and Garland to my eyes, but again I know they are the future and he is on his way out. I just don't see how going 12-60 or similar is good for anybody.

  • ANGDawg said... (original post) First, I am not that smart, so I am coming at you all humbly with this question. I love the NBA and the Cavs, but I have a lot of gaps in my knowle...

    You're a lot smarter than you think. This is from Chris Fedor's column this morning:

    "Over the last 14 games, the Cavs have stalled quickly, tied with the struggling Atlanta Hawks as the league’s worst first quarter team, being outscored by an average of 6.5 points. Their first quarter offensive rating during this brutal stretch is a ghastly 92.6. The defensive rating is 117.6. The lineup isn’t working and it’s forced the Cavs to fight uphill the rest of the way -- a tedious task.

    It hasn’t just been the last few weeks either. They rank 28th in first quarter net rating on the season, being outscored by 13.3 points per 100 possessions. That marks leads just two teams: the Hawks and Warriors.

    The Cavs need energy early. They need more length in the starting lineup. Need more juice.

    That all points to either Matthew Dellavedova or Porter. One of them needs to take the spot belonging to Sexton or Garland."

    Clarkson has been assigned a role to provide scoring off the bench. All teams have their best scorers in the starting lineup so they need a guy coming off the bench who can create his own shot and shots for teammates. The Cavs have Sexton, Love, and Cedi starting so they have some scorers. Guys like Delly, Henson, Ante, McKinnie - they aren't shot creators so you need a guy like Clarkson or Porter who can break down the defense and either get a shot or pass.

    So my answer is that having Clarkson coming off the bench balances out the scorers between the first and second units. But I agree, he could easily be starting, especially on a bad team like this.

    Right now the Cavs are trying to determine if Sexton and Garland can be their starting guards long term so they're playing them together in an ongoing experiment. At this point I agree with Fedor that it's time to back off for a while, at least until Garland gets more physical and improves his decision making and shooting percentage.

  • There's a lot of things the Cavs could be doing (or at least trying) if they were hunting wins, but this season is about player development. If there's going to be pressure on the starting unit, I suspect it will come from the other young players like Porter Jr and Windler.

    I suspect the reason Knight isn't playing is because when he's gotten minutes, he's tried to be a one man scoring machine and that's not what Beilein wants as an example for the rooks. Delly's the opposite and is always looking for ways to help setup other players.