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Dunk History Ė Larry Hughes

Welcome to the first ever Dunk History, where I pore through the annals of ancient Cavaliers shot chart history, perhaps while enjoying a pint or two of lager beer. Tonightís edition features combo guard Larry Hughes. Remember him? Of course you do. ďBig Shot LarryĒ, as we definitely didnít call him back then, arrived in Cleveland in the fall of 2005 on the heels of a 22 PER season in Washington, on 27% Usage and a 46% effective field goal percentage. If those metrics didnít tip off the front office to something fishy, perhaps they could have consulted his previous four eFG%ís of 43%, 49%, 44%, and 39%. Iíll try and take it easy with on the 20/20 hindsight, but I guess Ferry and company thought the 6í5 slasher was turning a corner in his career.

Historians will write that the Larry Hughes era in Cleveland took place between November 4th, 2005 to February 20th, 2008. During this period he played more than six thousand minutes in the Wine and Gold, and approximately 11,433 offensive and defensive possessions combined. You can see in the chart below that Larry took quite a few shots from quite a few places. His shot selection by itself was not unlike Kobe Bryant's, willing to chuck the ball from any spot. The results were decidedly not Black Mambian.

At a usage rate down to 22% from 26% & 28% for the Wizards, you might have expected a guy with this kind of range to stay selective and really flourish next to LBJ. He didnít. As a ďslasherĒ you might have expected him to finish at the rim; he converted less than 50% of his shots in the restricted area, so he definitely didnít. He shot miserably from the most important areas of the floor (corner 3 and at the rim) on a modest usage rate, and more than half of his makes were assisted, so Larry wasnít exactly creating his own shots. The result of sharing so much credit on his buckets, combined with very few assists to his teammates, results in a total offensive rating of 93 points produced per 100 possessions. With Larry on the floor, the Cavs as a team produced 106 points per 100 possessionsóand allowed 105 per 100 possessions on defense. In summary, he was a tremendous sandbag on an otherwise efficient offense. We also paid him lots of money.

Those who fail to understand history are destined to repeat it. Big Shot Larry is currently 34 years old and an unrestricted free agent. The Cavs probably wonít sign him again.

The Cavs are Back, now with 7% more Canadian!

Year #4 of interregnum basketball is upon us. Judging how the roster is shaping up, I might have the stomach to make Wine & Gold colored charts and write about it for a whole season. At this point in the rebuild, the Cavs have cast off the last of their D-League flotsam and replaced it with characters I expect to care about. No more Pargos, Sloans, Moons, Coach Scotts, Jawads, or Samardos; I never wanted to ďanalyzeĒ those guys because the whole point of having them was to bottom out, and then draft talent we donít have to lie to ourselves about in order to be optimistic.

After several quarters of watchable preseason action, I donít feel like I have to lie myself into optimism for Tristan Thompson. He shows confidence on both ends of the floor that I didnít see twelve months ago. On offense, Iím buying the rumors of Tristanís work-ethic and hype surrounding his brand new right-handedness. Why? Besides my eyeballs seeing him grow more competent on the court in two years, Tristanís shot charts spell out the same story of development. More...

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