Nearly every game you can find me sharing my thoughts (running commentary style) on twitter. Inevitably, at some point in the game one of the people I follow will tweet something like this-
Why is Anthony Parker still in this game?? Get Delonte in there!
Before we attack the issue, let’s go back to the beginning. When Anthony Parker was signed to join the Cavs it was before Delonte’s Mad Max motorcycle run. It is my belief that Danny ferry didn’t bring Parker in to supplant Delonte as a starter. I think they wanted Parker’s shooting ability, and a little more height at the 2 for match-ups. Even though Parker had started in Toronto, I really think he was viewed as a nice scorer coming off the bench. Then we all know what happened with Delonte at the end of the summer.
Without Delonte Parker was thrust into the starting role. Truthfully he wasn’t bad at the beginning of the season. He was knocking down open shots. He was leading the league in 3 point percentage for a spell, and went into the all star break in the top five. Since then, he’s dropped to 11th. For March, he shot 31.6% from behind the arc, 38.% overall. Delonte on the other hand is playing his best ball of the season. Though he isn’t shooting consistently from three point territory, Delonte is most certainly finding ways to score. Unlike Anthony Parker, Delonte can create for himself or his teammates off the dribble. He has been driving and attacking the rim. The ball is moving when Delonte is in the game. It seems at times that Delonte is even the antidote for the LeBron James dribble at the top of the key for 20 seconds play, by grabbing the ball at the other end of the floor and setting up the offense himself. And Delonte’s defense is at least twice as good as Parker’s.
Personally, I don’t care if Parker starts. I actually think that bringing Delonte off the bench is working, and there is no reason to mess with it. The bigger issue there is who gets the bulk of the minutes, and who plays in crunch time. At times Mike Brown tends to forget that there is someone on the bench aside from Andy Varejao. But what really worries me is what happens on April 26th.
On April 26th Delonte West has a hearing on his weapons charges. A quick look at the schedule and you may notice that will be approximately the second round of the playoffs. I don’t know what’s going to take place during those hearings. I am concerned about Delonte’s state of mind for the week or two leading up to and right after that date.
Photo Courtesy of Gear Live