Cavaliers better off without Hughes?

I feel guilty just writing this, considering what he and his family are going through, but throughout the playoffs it’s been painfully clear that Larry Hughes is a liability on the offensive side of the floor. He was missing jumpers — open and contested, long-range and mid-range — blowing gimmes and making all sorts of poor decisions. And while some say his defense makes up for it, I’ve seen him get burned on several occassions because he’s way too aggressive in going for the steal. In fact, while he’s one of the NBA’s best thieves, Hughes is an overrated defender who got abused by Gilbert Arenas in round 1 and didn’t do much to stop anyone in the Detroit backcourt in games 1 and 2 of this series.

So is it a coincidence that the Cavs won yesterday while Hughes was with his family, mourning the loss of his younger brother? Maybe, maybe not. I know Hughes is a very good player but it seems he came back too early from his finger injury and he hasn’t found any sort of rhythm offensively. Flip Murray saw more minutes in Hughes’ absence and, right now, Murray is easily the team’s second-best weapon offensively so the more time he sees on the floor, the better. Plus, while Damon Jones had a down year, he’s clearly a much more dangerous shooter than Hughes.

Maybe what’s best for Hughes and the Cavaliers would be for him to stay with his family through this terrible time, and then come back healthy and focused next year, because right now it seems his family needs him more than the Cavs do.

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