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Lineup changes coming for Cavs?

Posted By Paul Flannery On May 13, 2010 @ 2:04 pm In General | 1 Comment

Reports out of the Cavaliers shootaround this morning indicate that Mike Brown is considering lineup changes for Game 6 tonight at the Garden. Plain Dealer beat writer Brian Windhorst noted that Brown is unlikely to change his starting five [1], but he brings up the one radical move that Brown has left: playing LeBron James at point guard.

The Cavs lineup would look like this: James at the point, Anthony Parker at off-guard and Antawn Jamison at small forward. The big men would be some cobination of J.J. Hickson, Anderson Varejao and Shaquille O’Neal, but probably the former to try to speed up play.

That would do a number of things: First, It would take Jamison away from Kevin Garnett where he is getting worked in the post and it would also remove Mo Williams out of the equation where he is getting worked against everyone. It would also set up James to match up directly with Rajon Rondo.

Brown tried a number of personnel adjustments in Game 5 including playing Zydrunas Ilgauskus ahead of Hickson, and calling on Daniel Gibson who hasn’t been in his rotation since March. Ilgauskus actually played well, but the moves had a feel of desperation about them.

This might be a desperate move, but it’s not necessarily a panic move. Taking Williams out of the lineup is addition by subtraction at this point and James has been successful guarding Rondo in small doses.

On the other hand, it could also open up Paul Pierce. The Celtics are going to keep pounding the ball to Garnett on the post regardless of who’s guarding him and there’s no reason to believe they wouldn’t keep attacking Jamison in whatever matchup he finds himself.

The Celtics have been able to come up with effective counters for whatever the Cavs have thrown at them and it would be surprising if they haven’t planned for this scenario as well.


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[1] Brown is unlikely to change his starting five: http://www.cleveland.com/cavs/index.ssf/2010/05/cleveland_cavaliers_at_boston_4.html

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