I have been in denial. I took it to Matt Bonner. I hated Ian Mahinmi. I attacked Keith Bogans. But through it all, I kept quiet about Richard Jefferson. I was holding onto the hope that he would eventually contribute in a positive way, but I give up. In the Spurs' first game without injured Tony Parker, it was understood that everyone of San Antonio's players had to step up against the Cavs. Manu did this; he was simply amazing. He plays with undeniable passion. On the opposite end of the spectrum, RJ greatly hid on both ends of the floor, contributing what can best be described as a cowardly 3 points in 28 minutes. After the jump, a retro diary with RJ in the cross-hairs and the return of FARS, (Fred's Arbitrary Rating System.)
Let's begin by making it clear that RJ was demoted to the bench. This is in no way similar to what happened to Manu years ago. Popovich realized that our bench was not competitive so he asked Manu to be the sixth man. He asked nicely and said 'please.' RJ is now coming off the bench because he has been a huge disappointment. Popovich is basically saying to RJ, "I think that short, old, slow guy by the name of Keith Bogans brings more to the table than you do."
-10 for giving me what will be an 82 game headache.
Two minutes have past and RJ has not made a contribution. He touched the ball twice on the offensive end and was scored upon on the defensive end. Other than that, he has been wandering around, looking around. Where is the immediate impact? As a career starter turned bench player, one would think that Jefferson would take this situation as a challenge. One would expect him to enter the game, demand the ball, and take it to the rim with authority. RJ has been in the game for 120 seconds and has not made one positive contribution. Hell, I'd take a negative contribution. Just show a pulse, RJ!
-5 for tying Joey Crawford with 0 positive contributions, (in this game and life in general.)
Manu was just replaced by Roger Mason Jr and Bill Land announced that Richard Jefferson entered the game. RJ has been so passive that Bill Land did not notice RJ has been in the game for more than two minutes now.
-5 for already having me dumbfounded.
Pop runs a play for RJ because you have to force-feed this guy the ball if he is to have any impact whatsoever. RJ catches the ball in the corner just inside the three point line and squares up. He drives to his left and into the paint. He is met by Varejao and I guess RJ lost his balance. I've watched this several times in slow motion and really cannot pinpoint what caused RJ to throw the ball straight up in the air. Maybe the ball slipped? Regardless, it's an ugly turnover. Thanks for showing up, big guy.
-10 for utilizing Jacque Vaughn's go-to move, (the layup air ball.)
Blair catches the ball at the top of the key and holds it as RJ moves around him. Blair hands the ball off to RJ who is met by Varejao. I assume RJ was not expecting defense tonight because he seems surprised by Varejao's presence every time down the court. RJ loses the ball but it lucky enough to force the jump ball. Rj wins the tip, (You can't go 0 for 1000.)
-10 for nearly turning it over. +5 for retaining possession.
Pop has had enough of RJ and sits him. So, you know how Phil Jackson has been calling out Pau Gasol? He recently said Gasol was "being weak and sickly." It's hilarious, but my question is how would Phil describe Richard Jefferson? Any ideas? I'd describe him as cowardly and pathetic. Let me know how you would describe him in the comment section below.
-10 for being cowardly and pathetic.
2nd Quarter 28-26 Cavs
RJ starts the second quarter by playing good defense and forcing a travel.
+5 I don't think there are going to be many more pluses in this. What do you think?
You guessed it. He's done absolutely nothing for three minutes now. He should be thrown in jail for stealing. RJ is making $14.2 million this year. Divided by 82 games, it comes to roughly $173,000 a game. We are paying him to play ball, right? He's not doing anything out there.
-15 Someone, please press charges.
8:50 2nd: RJ grabs some bench. Good riddance.
5:55 2nd: RJ comes back into the game. Meh.
RJ secures the defensive board and races down the court. Varejao picks him up in transition. RJ attempts to drive but is stopped by the slower Varejao and kicks it out. The ball is fed back to him because he has a mismatch and he again attempts to drive but is cut off and kicks the ball out to Bogans for a contested three pointer.
-5 for making Varejao seem quick.
Jamison takes RJ to the block and uses him like a red headed Matt Bonner, forcing Pop to call a timeout in disgust.
RJ catches the ball and takes it to the rim hard. This is the first time all night that RJ has penetrated all the way to the basket. He is fouled on his dunk attempt and makes 1 of 2 free-throws. He just scored one third of the points he will contribute tonight.
It's incredible how RJ can not make an impact for minutes at a time. A defensive board just fell to him. Otherwise he would have spent the final three minutes of the quarter watching.
3:23 3rd: RJ subs back into the game.
Rj with a defensive rebound. The RJ fans out there, all two of you, will probably point out that RJ snagged nine rebounds tonight. He did, but I suspect most were similar to this one; he grabbed a board while surrounded by other black jerseys. He does not work for rebounds. Think of him as Matt Bonner. The rebound is not sought after by Bonner, it lands in his lap and he gets the credit. Okay, you're right. I should never compare Bonner to RJ. At least Matt tries hard.
+2 for catching.
There's a busted play in which Mason Jr ends up with the ball at the top of the key. He does his best to create and eventually ends up under the basket where he attempts to pass the ball out to RJ. The pass is intercepted for a turnover. While this turnover was not RJ's fault, the fact that Jefferson just stood there in the corner for 24 seconds and never asked for the rock is indicative of his play this season. This is a situation in which RJ should demand the ball. Mason cannot create shots. RJ should have taken the ball from him and made something good happen. Instead, he stood in the corner and watched. RJ earns $170,000 a game and basically is given court-side seats. What a sweet deal. He gets paid to be a spectator.
- 10 for watching.
RJ did not touch the ball for the last 2 minutes of the quarter. I hate him.
-10 because I hate you, RJ.
RJ gets another defensive rebound. DeJuan fought for this one, knocked it loose from his defender, and it fell into RJ's lap.
+2 for not mishandling it?
RJ takes a contested 3 with 18 seconds left on the shot clock. The ball barely grazes the rim and leads to a Cavs' fast break. It's simply a terrible decision that early in the clock. If he's trying to get involved, why not drive to the rim and draw a foul. How did he shoot above 40% last season? I think the Bucks lied to us.
-10 for being incompetent.
RJ is still roaming around without purpose. Hill blocked out Varejao which allowed RJ to grab another uncontested defensive rebound. See what I mean? Those nine rebounds suddenly do not seem that impressive, do they?
Blair and Mason tip the ball out to the free throw line and guess who was standing there all alone watching? Sorry to wake you, RJ. You can go back to sleep now.
-5 I know he was credited with the rebound, but he should not be rewarded for standing around while others work for the board. This is how he ended up with 9 boards.
The Spurs moved the ball nicely around the horn to RJ in the corner. RJ takes a contested three and again badly misses. Is it too late to sign Bruce? And how about the terrible timing with Finley? If he waited another two weeks to ask for the buyout, he finds playing time in RJ's suckitude and the buyout never happens. Horrible luck all around.
-5 for shooting like Terry Cummings. Has anyone else noticed this? His shot is identical to TC's. There's a reason TC never took three pointers, by the way.
RJ grabs a defensive rebound. This one was actually solid. He did not make contact with any defenders, but did crash the boards.
-20 for losing a game that Manu did everything he could to win.
+5, I guess? Either way, +1,000 for Manu. That was incredible.
RJ hides for the rest of the game. He comes up with a loose ball, but that was about it. So, after examining every play that RJ was involved in, I just feel the guy has a knack for disappearing. Is it too late to nickname him Houdini? Jefferson only contributes when he is spoon-fed the ball. On a team with so many players that need the ball to be effective: Tony, Tim, Manu, Hill, Bonner, Mason, etc.. it is completely absurd that Pop has to force the team to go out of its way to get RJ the rock. If you were keeping score at home, Jefferson finished with a minus infinity on the FARS scale. Jefferson is a farce. I do hope he finds his way; he just looks like a lost cause at this point. Hopefully someone will be interested in Richard Jefferson's expiring contract next year. It's sad when the contract is more noteworthy than the player, but that's exactly where we are with Richard Jefferson.