The Cavaliers are essentially down to a 7-man rotation for the NBA Finals, with LeBron James and Matthew Dellavedova in particular logging extended minutes. Delly had to be hospitalized for dehydration last week, and while LeBron has yet to show any visible signs of fatigue, he’s getting beaten up just about every night as he tries to carry the Cavs to a series victory.
ESPN‘s Brian Windhorst penned a story this weekend suggesting that several Cavs sources wish that head coach David Blatt would lean more on veterans he has on the bench, like Mike Miller and Shawn Marion for depth. Marion, in particular, is “itching” to get on the court, according to the story. Marion has yet to play a single minute through four games against the Warriors. Here’s more:
The Cavs are indeed playing with a lot of grit in these Finals — that the series is tied 2-2 despite their decimating injuries is a statement. But there is also a strong feeling within the team, multiple sources said, that coach David Blatt could rely more on the veterans he’s been leaving unused on the bench.
Blatt played only seven players in Game 4 before clearing the bench in the fourth quarter when the game turned into a blowout. He played eight in the first three games with Mike Miller getting a few minutes in Games 2 and 3. With several players, James and Dellavedova especially, looking worn down from the demands in the playoffs, players have begun to privately grumble that Blatt needs to use his whole roster.
With Warriors coach Steve Kerr going to a perimeter-heavy offense with Andre Iguodala in for Andrew Bogut, the feel is Blatt could take another look at Miller and perhaps give veteran Shawn Marion, who has yet to play in the series, a look. With the Warriors’ depth on the wing, the Cavs ended up being stretched exceedingly thin.
Several sources said Marion, who already has announced he’ll retire following the season, is especially itching to get a chance. He’s recently been bothered by a calf injury and also dealt with a hip injury in the regular season but is healthy and able to go.