The Disappointment Zone

Musings from a Cleveland sports fan

I’ve figured it out

Posted by disappointmentzone on 22 December 2006

I’ve studied the game tape, taken the notes, done the reading, everything. The Cavs’ offense is no longer a mystery to me. It’s no longer a complex symphony of five pieces moving in such a way as to baffle defenders, fans, scouts, and occasionally Damon Jones and/or Anderson Varejao. I hold the key and it came to me last night during the Pistons game. Frankly, I’m a bit surprised it took me so long to unravel the tangled web of genius that is the Cavs’ offense — everything is really so simple — but therein lies the genius: looks like chaos, plays like simple math. At the risk of spoiling coach Mike Brown’s current playbook — but really, how many NBA players/coaches read this blog? — I have diagrammed the two most frequently run plays. I hope these diagrams provide you with a little insight into the workings of one of the worst most impenetrable offenses in the league.

Play #1

Any time you see the Cavs jog down the court to set up the offense, more often than not they are about to run this play. “Motion” has two important pieces: 1) one person holds the ball out on the perimeter (usually LBJ) and 2) everyone else runs around. As demonstrated over the past month, at no point does the person holding the ball have to commit to passing it. Anecdotal evidence suggests that the desired action undertaken by the ball-holder is no action followed by a 22-foot jump shot. When LeBron is the ball-holder he will occasionally defy dictates and instead drive to the basket. When Snow is the ball-holder little children weep. When Varejao is the ball-holder grown men laugh. Also, whenever Hughes gets the ball in a game — no matter what offense is being run — he often reverts to running a one-man “Motion”, which is to say that he will hold the ball on the perimeter and then shoot jumpers. Here is a diagram:


Play #2
“Tired From Running ‘Motion'”

Since instituting the “Motion” offense over the summer, Mike Brown has insisted that the Cavs run it frequently — this is why you see the Cavs jog up the court so much. But running around almost aimlessly with great ferocity can wear a person out. So in addition to “Motion” the Cavs run a complimentary play called “Tired From Running ‘Motion'”. This play consists of no one doing anything except Ilgauskas and can best be understood as the exact opposite of “Motion”. In the fourth quarter of close games this play will not be run. Here is a diagram:


With these two plays it’s almost hard to believe that last night the Cavs mustered only 24, 17, 14, and 16 points in each respective quarter.


4 Responses to “I’ve figured it out”

  1. Josh said

    funniest thing ever

  2. Ryan A said

    I agree Josh.

  3. Thanks.

  4. Rick said

    LOL! Best analysis of the Cavs offense I’ve seen this year.

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