GAME 1 WIN VS THE NETS: Joe Johnson 3-10 FG, 0-3 3PT
GAME 2 LOSS VS THE BOBCATS: Gerald Henderson 2-10 FG, 0-0 3PT
GAME 3 LOSS VS THE PACERS: Lance Stephenson 7-13 FG, 5-7 3PT
GAME 4 WIN VS THE TIMBERWOLVES: Kevin Martin 7-16 FG, 5-8 3PT
GAME 5 LOSS VS THE BUCKS: O.J. Mayo 9-19 FG, 1-3 3PT
GAME 6 LOSS VS THE SIXERS: James Anderson 5-7 FG, 1-3 3PT
GAME 7 WIN VS THE SIXERS: James Anderson 2-5 FG, 1-4 3PT (2OT)
GAME 8 LOSS VS THE BULLS: Jimmy Butler 4-13 FG, 1-4 3PT
GAME 9 LOSS VS THE TIMBERWOLVES: Corey Brewer 10-17 FG, 5-5 3PT
THIS IS THE CAVALIER DESTROYER, 6 FOOT 9 INCH COREY BREWER.
(David Sherman and Jordan Johnson NBAE/Getty images)
The disclaimer is that it’s hard to determine the significance of these numbers, also, it's not happening every game, so we're really just talking about a handful out of a handful of games. It’s just a thought experiment, and given the players involved and their relative importance to their teams, it may mean nothing or it may be highly significant other than that when it gets ugly, it gets really really ugly at shooting guard, and that maybe there's an answer to preventing Corey Brewers from ringing up 27 points with relative ease.
The above is a very basic way of looking at these numbers. Also it’s important to remember, always, when looking at any statistics this early in the season, that not only is sample size an issue, but also that systems are not in place and many roles on teams are not yet solidified.
We know that Dion Waiters is the starting shooting guard for the Cavs. Also that, as the games have progressed, Waiters, Kyrie Irving and Jarrett Jack have all spent time guarding opposing teams shooting guards. So while it would appear that the primary responsibility for what follows is on Dion Waiters, that may not be a completely fair assessment.
After playing only 14 minutes in that second game versus the Bobcats, that it appeared that Dion Waiters offensive game turned a corner, that he was much more aggressive. It paid off over the next week albeit with mixed outcomes and increased turnovers, but Waiters again, along with most of the rest of the Cavs, disappeared in the Timberwolves loss.
Rick Adelman, the Timberwolves coach, selected Corey Brewer to play because he wanted a bigger option at the SG against the Cavaliers. The Cavaliers also have a taller option in Karasev, who is 6’7” with wirey strength.
There’s not much of a reason to discuss changing the starting role of shooting guard in these games, or a serious redistribution of minutes given the thin basis of information. However, Karasev may be an underutilized tool in some of these matchups where three additional inches of energetic height could be helpful.
Karasev has played in 3 games so far this season, including his 1:05 debut at the end of the Pacers game. His 17 minutes last night against the Timberwolves were a career high, but he has not really been put in a position to influence the outcome of a game. It takes time for the coaching staff and for the players themselves to develop the roles they will play most effectively for this team, and perhaps no one, even Mike Brown himself, is familiar enough with Karasev to make this decision at this point.
There is a perception that despite his extensive international resume, and what he has accomplished on the court in the microscopic and inconsequential minutes that he's been given by Brown that Karasev is not ready to play in the NBA. Perhaps this speaks more to the relative unfamiliarity of international basketball players as opposed to domestic players who play televised college games. It might just take more time to happen as this process works itself out. One which we look back on as a function of the small, now nine game, sample size.