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Old 10-08-05, 06:27 AM
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Cleveland Coach "borrows" from Spurs

CLEVELAND - There are no significant rule changes in the NBA this year, but the new ``points of emphasis'' might impact the Cavaliers.

League official Joe DeRosa, who lives in Akron, was at Quicken Loans Arena on Friday to brief Cavaliers players and coaches on the rules the league plans to tighten.

DeRosa told the Cavaliers that officials will be strictly enforcing certain rules on pick-and-rolls and modifying the defensive three-second call.

The past few years the Cavaliers haven't used the screen roll much in their offense. But coach Mike Brown's system, which barrows from the offense Rick Carlisle runs with the Indiana Pacers and Gregg Popovich has with the San Antonio Spurs, includes more of them.

Players must give opponents one step before setting a pick. This year officials plan to enforce it.

Last season, the Cavaliers lost a game last March when a late screen wasn't called. Tim Duncan of the Spurs slipped in late and floored point guard Jeff McInnis while setting a pick for Tony Parker.

Duncan then rolled and was wide open, hitting a jump shot at the buzzer to beat the Cavaliers. The Cavaliers complained to the league after reviewing the film.

``It's my job to make sure we set screens the correct way,'' Brown said. ``We can't just act like we're going to and slip out.''

On defense, players will now have to be actively guarding an opponent in the paint to avoid defensive three-second calls. Before they just had to be within reach of the player.

Brown's defensive system calls for lots of help defense and sagging to the side of the floor where the ball is, meaning the new enforcement could result in more three-second calls on the Cavaliers' big men who get caught waiting to provide help defense.

``As long as we're active on the backside, if we get hit with a three-second call now and again, I'm OK with that,'' Brown said.

``The refs are going to be trying to hammer it home in the preseason. Over time we'll get used to how they call the game and they'll get used to how we play and we'll meet in the middle.''
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