Season-in-Review: Alonzo Gee

David Liam Kyle/NBAE/Getty Images
by Joe Gabriele
Cavs.com Managing Editor

Season Overview: As frustrating as this past season was at times for the Cavaliers, it was a little more difficult for Alonzo Gee, who started all 82 games the previous year but saw his minutes drop dramatically in 2013-14.

To Gee’s credit – and to no one’s surprise – he was effective when his number was called and remained the consummate professional when it wasn’t. Even with diminished playing time, Gee still appeared in 65 games, starting 24.

That professionalism was never on better display this season than in a desperately-needed Friday night win in Washington on February 7. Before that matchup with the Wizards, Gee finished with a DNP-CD in 10 of Cleveland’s previous 12 contests – and the Cavaliers had dropped six straight games.

But in that first game after the front office shakeup, Gee shook off the rust to play 27 minutes – his longest run since December 20 – going 4-for-6 from the floor for 11 points, including a pair of huge put-back dunks. Three of Gee’s seven rebounds were on the offensive glass and he added an assist, a steal and blocked shot in the win.

The second half of the season was a slightly different story for Gee and the Cavaliers. Alonzo only failed to see action in three games for the rest of the campaign, and the Cavaliers played .500 ball the rest of the way – making a postseason run in the final weeks of the season.

In the final month of the season, Gee started six games and notched double-figures in four – including the final two contests of the year. In the final month of the season, the uber-athletic small forward from South Florida shot almost 50 percent from the floor and 40 percent from beyond the arc.

It’s also worth noting that Alonzo Gee’s impact on a game doesn’t always reflect in the boxscore. During his tenure with the Wine and Gold, Alonzo has often been given the unenviable task of guarding the opponent’s best wing player – from power forwards to point guards. Gee has always accepted the assignment, with little concern how it might affect his offensive production.

Gee had a difficult season, minutes-wise. But as one of the team’s true professionals – and a guy who truly understands the difficulty of getting to, and staying in, the NBA – all Alonzo did was stay ready and play solid ball when the opportunity arose.

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Highlight: It’s always good to end the season on a strong note and that’s what Gee did to close out the campaign – taking advantage of a trio of starts and closing out the season with a pair of double-digit scoring performances.
In those final two games, the Cavaliers were +35 with Gee on the floor.

Lowlight: It was an especially cold winter for Gee , whose minutes went through a polar vortex from December 26 through February 5. During that stretch, the 6-6, 225-pounder played in just eight games and for just over 48 total minutes.

Odds and Ends: Before the season began, Alonzo – along with Philly’s Kwame Brown – traveled to Wall Street with their financial advisor, Michelle Marquez of Merrill Lynch, to do a three-day internship on investing and financial planning. On their second day, Gee even rang the bell to open the NYSE and met CNBC’s “Mad Money” host, Jim Cramer.

“He didn’t yell at us,” laughed Gee. “He was actually very calm. He just likes to use his hands a lot when he talks. You’ve seen his show: he loves to use his hands and he’s always talking and he’s got that high voice! But he’s a cool guy.”

By the Numbers: 10.7, 50 … Alonzo Gee’s scoring average and field goal percentage in the final three games of the 2013-14, all starts. He was 10-for-18 in Cleveland’s final two games, averaging 6.0 boards per contest.

Looking Forward: With a new head coach on the way for Cleveland, it’s unsure how they’ll choose to use Gee. He played in all 82 games in the previous season (and in 63 of 66 the year before) under Byron Scott, but struggled to find a spot in the rotation under Mike Brown. But regardless of who the next coach will be, he knows what he’ll be getting from Gee – a world-class athlete and true pro who’s ready to roll when called upon.

Quotable: Gee on the feeling of a great dunk and its effects on the team …

“It’s a great feeling because it not just gets me going, it gets my team going, it gets the crowd pumped up. So it’s a wonderful feeling for me just to get that. Everybody gets quiet and I’m thinking: ‘Here we go!’ and ‘I better not miss this dunk.’”