Pickled Prunes wrote: Hoopzilla wrote:
I never understood this criticism. Melo is taking less shots and deferring to Westbrook and George. The main problem is Westbrook is scoring less this year than last and they never addressed the issue with the bench. Felton is a good backup guard but they need a 6th man to supplement the scoring. It's bad enough that when Roberson is on the floor it's like playing 5 on 4 offensively and throws off the spacing.
Did you not see the laugh from Melo when a reporter asked if he would consider coming off the bench? It is that type of arrogance and over inflated sense of self that has plagued Melo his entire career. A lot of people always thought Melo should have been a 6th man for this team to be successful and they are still saying that is what may help fix this mess. Melo's reluctance to embrace that role, the same way D Wade has, would go a long way towards helping the Thunder. D Wade would have had a much better argument to continue starting, he has always been a starter on good teams, Melo is the one that thinks he is a juggernaut while playing for teams that can't make the playoffs. Melo is and always will be his own worst enemy, the fans, his teams and teammates are just victims to his arrogance.
I saw the laugh... and I also laughed. Because like it or not, Melo is still one of their 3 best players. And to be fair, all three of those guys are shooting like crap. A lot of that goes back to the offense as a whole; A lot of that goes to whether Westbrook is capable of running a less predictable offense. (Can someone please move without the ball?) And of course, Rollie was on point about Roberson. It blew my mind when he signed that contract! Melo, George and Russ should start and finish games together and get staggered throughout. But the only way they start and finish strong is to get Roberson off the floor.
And Wade is coming off the bench because he wasn't getting his touches with the starting unit. It was more self-serving than sacrifice. Let's not pin a medal on him.
Wade gets the medal for moving to the bench when everyone agreed it was the right move. The massive winning streak the Cavs have gone on prove that point. Whether it was sacrifice or not, his ego was set aside for the better of the team, something Melo will never agree to do, let's not pretend this isn't true.
Just because you are a top three player on the team does not mean you have to start. This is not a playmaker, a scorer and a defensive ace all sharing the floor, this is three scorers, so spreading them out a bit makes more sense, even if someone's ego has to take a hit.
I would argue that D Wade is a top three player for the Cavs and coming off the bench to let him get his game going with the bench has been a godsend for them. It's almost like the Cavs realised they were letting D Wade's playmaking skills go to waste with the starters, so they made the logical move and gave him some minutes with the bench. Melo could do the same for OKC's bench, but with more of a scorers mentality of course, he is not much of a playmaker for others.
I can agree that Melo finishing games makes sense, but there is no need for him to start the games, he would be a great boost to the offense when the starters hit the bench and would be given plenty of touches to get his game going while not affecting the other two from getting going as well. Then you can stagger them from there and let them finish the game together.