With Jarrett Jack, Cleveland Cavaliers Shouldn’t Hesitate to Use Three-Guard Lineup
The Cleveland Cavaliers made some fantastic moves this off-season that are really going to pay off for them in the 2013-2014 NBA season. Andrew Bynum, if healthy, has the chance to be a force of reckoning in the post for the Cavs and Anthony Bennett, Sergey Karasev and Earl Clark will be valuable role players for Cleveland this season.
However, it was another signing that really is going to boost the Cavaliers’ chances of making the playoffs this year, specifically the signing of Jarrett Jack.
Jack is coming off an extremely successful run with the Golden State Warriors as their sixth man last season, likely the same role that he will playing in Cleveland. In 79 games in the regular season for the Warriors last season, Jack averaged 12.9 points, 5.6 assists and 3.1 boards in 29.7 minutes per game while shooting a solid 45.2 percent from the field and an even more solid 40.4 percent from long-range.
Obviously Jack is going to be huge for the Cavs for the simple reason that they now have a solid backup to put behind Kyrie Irving. However, that’s not the only reason he really makes this team more dangerous and interesting. The fact that he gives the Cavs the flexibility to run three-guard lineups onto the floor is going to be huge for Cleveland.
Last season in Golden State, the Warriors often ran lineups with Stephen Curry, Klay Thompson and Jack all on the floor at the same time. In fact, two five man units that including that three-guard look were actually the two best units for the Warriors in terms of total plus-minus.
While the Cavs can’t exactly replicate the sharpshooting of Thompson and Curry, largely because Dion Waiters is an average-at-best shooter, they can still give teams fits if they were to run three guards onto the floor. Having Jack on the floor with Irving and Waiters would really cause opponents problems for the simple fact of that lineup has so many ways that it can attack you.
Another positive thing that a three-guard unit would bring to the Cavs is that it would eliminate one of their rosters biggest deficiencies at the small forward position. Though they signed Clark and have Alonzo Gee still on their roster, neither of those players are going to really be able to affect the game like any of the three Cleveland guards. Playing Irving, Waiters and Jack would eliminate that flaw in their roster to some degree and likely improve the Cavs’ chances.
Until there is a chance to get it on the floor in NBA competition, there’s no way of knowing how an Irving, Jack, Waiters set would work. In theory, though, that could be a lethal strategy from the Cavs if they choose to employ it.