Editor’s note: Hey, Mo Williams was traded! Feel free to discuss this topic over here or wait for Andrew’s upcoming analysis. This post, however, is about last night’s game. Do enjoy.
It has become a bit of an inside joke within the media that, following a Cavaliers loss, Antawn Jamison is the “‘Twan-man Show.”
Taking the role of Papa Bear, Jamison is the veteran who takes the time to given his take on the last 48 minutes of play, discusses the faults and sheds light on what the team needs to do to get better. Sure, a lot of it may be rhetoric and redundant, but when a team loses approximately nine of every 10 games, what else can be expected?
Well, following the Cavaliers 124-119 loss to the Houston Rockets, the media circle of cameras and voice recorders was on the familiar far wall of the locker room, the same one where one LeBron James would command the entire room for 10-15 minutes of postgame questioning. But this time, said circle was around none other than…
Hollins, on the evening, was 0-for-4 from the floor, and finished with 0 points, two rebounds and three personal fouls. He’s the lone seven-footer on the Cavaliers roster.
The Rockets center, Chuck Hayes, is all of six-feet-five inches tall and pulled down three different arena records with regard to rebounding the basketball. Arena. Records. Think of the players who have suited up inside of Quicken Loans/Gund Arena since its erection back in the mid-1990s. And Chuck Hayes now has the record for rebounds in a quarter (12), offensive rebounds in a quarter (9) and total offensive rebounds in a game (13).
Who is to blame for the fact that the Cavaliers were outrebounded 57-37 by a team that is without their seven-foot-six-inch center?
“It’s not just boxing out,” Hollins told the glazed-over crowd which stood decidedly beneath him. “It’s a team effort because we will get in situations where we have to rotate or scramble and the guards have to come in and take the bigs off of the glass. It’s a team effort. It wasn’t just a one-on-one matchup between Chuck and me or J.J. [Hickson] or Samardo [Samuels]. It was a team effort and we have to get better as a whole.”
After the night the Cavaliers had, the fact that Hollins had any face time, to speak for his team – let alone the backcourt – was absolutely surreal. The Cavaliers’ leading rebounder on the night was the six-foot-five-inch undrafted rookie Manny Harris, who provided 21 points, nine rebounds and five assists off of the bench. Hickson (who had yet another fallout with Scott during the game), Hollins and Samuels combined to pull down six rebounds in a combined 60 minutes of basketball.
Head coach Byron Scott says that one of the team mantras is “completing the play,” which is a phrase which is frequently found on the giant dry erase board inside of the locker room. On this night, his team did everything but. Their offensive work (119 points on 94 possessions, 13-of-22 from three-point range) should have been enough to get the job done.
Following the game, all that dry erase board said was “11 AM PRACTICE.”