Cavs: Team Veterans Show Leadership from Bench - Cleveland 19 News Cleveland, OH

Cavs: Team Veterans Show Leadership from Bench

AP AP

CLEVELAND (AP) - Eric Snow and Donyell Marshall are adjusting to more time on the bench as the postseason for the Cavaliers arrives this year.

The veterans have lost playing time with coach Mike Brown going in different directions with younger players.

Neither Snow nor Marshall is sure how they're going to handle their responsibilities once the playoffs begin this weekend.

"The circumstances are different now. We've taken a different road to get here this year," Snow said. "When you're on the court, you have to show your experience and leadership, and if you're not on the court, you've got to do it without playing."

Marshall has averaged just over 10 minutes a game in the last 20 games, and less than seven points this season. The 33-year-old's nightly minutes and output are at their lowest levels in 11 years.

Marshall was a big factor for the Cavaliers in the playoffs last year.

His 19 points in Game 1 and 28 points in Game 6 of the Washington series helped put the Cavaliers over the top. In the Detroit series, his 14 points and 13 rebounds in Game 5 helped the Cavs earn their biggest win of the season.

What his playoff destiny is this time around is unknown.

"My job right now is to be a leader even if I'm not out on that floor," Marshall said. "I feel I may be used a little more in the playoffs, but it's up to me to find a way get into my own groove without getting much time. If I don't get much time, I've got to figure out how to contribute in other ways."

Snow's role is more defined. No longer the starting point guard, in a switch made in February, the 33-year-old is used primarily as a situational defender.

In the playoffs, when games often come down to halfcourt battles, Snow probably will get time for matchup purposes. Still, it is a change from a year ago, when he played as much as 45 minutes in some playoff games.

"Some of the things I tried to do last year may now have to be done vocally," Snow said. "Specifically in talking to younger guys individually. Because you play the same team over and over, it becomes such a mental game."

Perhaps too mental rather than physical for Snow and Marshall, who, no doubt, would prefer to have the more high-profile roles they did a year ago. But reality indicates that might not happen this time around.

"As the team's veterans, we have responsibility to lead, no matter our role. It's even more prevalent in the playoffs," Snow said. "In the playoffs, everything is magnified because the game slows down, and the little things become a bigger deal."

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