For nearly 46 games, Alonzo Gee has been chasing point guards from baseline to baseline. He's defended shooting guards and power forwards. He has tried keeping up with Kobe Bryant, LeBron James and Paul Pierce.
Finally, all of that work might be catching up with him.
Gee had one of the worst performances of his Cavs career in the loss Tuesday to the Golden State Warriors. He missed all five of his shots, going scoreless for the first time since his first year in Cleveland. He was also torched defensively by Klay Thompson, who got off to a quick start with Gee defending him and finished with a career-high 32 points.
Gee has taken some lickings defensively this season from Pierce and Bryant, but those are hall of fame players. Thompson, while a terrific shooter, isn't in that same class.
As the season creeps toward the All-Star break, all the assignments might be starting to wear down their defensive specialist.
"I'm kind of tired," Gee said. "It's been tough."
In the fourth game of the season, Cavs coach Byron Scott hatched the plan for Gee to start defending point guards the length of the court. He knew all too well the type of damage Chris Paul could do to the Cavs, so Scott dispatched the bigger, stronger Gee to swarm him and deny him the ball.
It worked so well, Scott has used the plan throughout the season against explosive point guards. He picks his spots in order to try and save Gee's legs, and the results are difficult to dispute.
He made life miserable on Portland's Damian Lillard in a game Lillard really struggled and the Cavs won. He has done it to Milwaukee's Brandon Jennings in a victory and, yes, the Cavs beat the Clippers when Gee held Paul in check. Scott likes to refer to the point guard as the head of the snake. It's Gee's job to chop it off.
Cavs' Gee struggling on offense while wearing himself out defensively
Akron Beacon Journal | Feb 1