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“The reality is veteran Eric Snow is in the chair and the Cavs and Brown are starting to realize they need to attempt to maximize his talents and stop looking elsewhere for the time being.” Brian Windhorst from the Akron Beacon Journal says.
At least that has been the plan the past two games as Brown has put the ball in Snow’s hands in the fourth quarter.
Averaging less than 30 minutes per game this year, Snow has played 36 and 40 minutes in the past two games, both victories over the Chicago Bulls. In those two games he’s averaged 9.5 points on 50 percent shooting and has piled up 15 assists and just two turnovers as the Cavs’ offense has been effective enough in the fourth quarters to clinch the victories.
Whether this strategy will last or remain worthwhile is yet to be seen, but it has cured some of the ills that plagued the Cavs during the recent five-game losing streak.
“One of the things I’ve needed to do playing LeBron so many minutes is take the ball out of his hands a little down the stretch,” Brown said after practice Tuesday. “Eric has been great getting us into the right spot offensively. Defensively he’s been making winning plays and a guy like Eric is going to be hard to keep off the floor.”
It has become clear that Brown often coaches on feel. Monday night was a prime example. After a smaller, quicker lineup went on a huge run to take the lead for good, he sat center Zydrunas Ilgauskas for the entire fourth quarter.
Snow knows that delivering in his recent extended minutes doesn’t guarantee they will continue. But he’s hopeful the trend of letting him set up James and others in the fourth quarter continues.
“I think we need to be in a position where LeBron is still you’re No. 1 guy and you have to get him the ball in places where he’s most effective,” Snow said. “I think there are times when he can bring it up and parts when he gets winded or they change their defense it is better for other people to handle the ball.”
Brown has sometimes been reluctant to play Snow because of his offensive limitations, a common cry from some fans as well. But as the past two games illustrate, when the system is working Snow can be efficient.
“There’s more to the offensive side than just making a shot. You don’t have to score a great deal of points to be effective,” Snow said. “You have guys in this league where the box score doesn’t tell the whole story and I’ve always considered myself one of those guys.”