Calm down. Let's take a deep breath before we fire Danny Ferry and Mike Brown. Obviously, this wasn't the Cavaliers' best performance. The team is putting together (yet another) new offense and it was pretty obvious they aren't comfortable with it just yet. Guys were tentative when the ball would come their way and it looked like they were over thinking things. Things will improve as the year goes on and they get more comfortable with the offense. The defense wasn't completely awful (though it wasn't anywhere near 'good'); Dallas shot very well (it seemed like every jumper with the clock winding down went in) and they still didn't crack 100 (not that they really needed to- the game was a laugher from the second quarter on).
First shot of the season? A missed Larry Hughes jumper. Larry finished the night with two field goals in thirteen attempts. Fantastic. This is a good sign... I can barely wait for the following 81 games.
LeBron's first shot attempt? Three minutes left in the first quarter. His first points? About two minutes into the third period. Not good. James finished with just 10 points (though, he was in foul trouble most of the night. But still, LeBron needs to look to score early on in the game). this was also the first game in his career in which he didn't score in the first half. Also, he didn't take care of the ball early in the game (to be fair, none of the Cavs did) which led to some easy Dallas buckets.
The refs weren't bad. Ya, LeBron had 3 fouls in the first half. They were good calls, even the offensive elbow one. They seemed too focused on the refs and not enough on the Mavericks.
The game was lost in the first half. You can't expect to beat any teams, let alone the Mavericks, if James and Hughes combine for just 3 points in the first half. Plus, the Cavs finished the first half extremely poorly. They were only down 14 points with 3:35 to go in the second period (46-32). They were in a good position to cut the lead to 10 or 12 before halftime. Instead, Dallas outscored the Cavs 8-2 in the final minutes of the half to go up 20. If they finish the half strong, this could've been a different game.
That 15 point first quarter didn't help matters either (neither did the 19 point second quarter and the 15 point fourth). I know it's early and it's a new offense and blah blah... but damn. But hey, they scored 25 in the third, so maybe they've put their third quarter struggles (that plagued them late last season) behind them...
Big Z played well. 18 points and 17 boards ain't bad. The new offense could get him some more points; not many plays are called for him, but with all the driving and kicking going on, he could benefit from the open standup J's (and the all the player movement should help him find some lanes to crash the offensive glass).
Boo birds, already? I'm not one of those guys who bemoans fans that boo their own players, but to hearing the boos this early is a bit surprising. Don't get me wrong, paying fifty bucks to see Larry Hughes shoot 2-13 might piss me off a bit too. But this is just one game of eighty two. Have some perspective. Hell, one guy on WTAM's post game call-in show was saying he wants to return his season tickets (and he's had them for four whole years!). This team is going to struggle early on; they play the Knicks on Friday (who always give them trouble) and then they head out West. This could get ugly. But the team will be better as the year goes on, just have some patience (also, speaking of the call-in show... Hannah? Marry me).
I thought Boobie Gibson played well. He hit some jumpers, he got a bucket inside and he even notched 4 assists. I'll be shocked if he doesn't have a big season. The Cavs do have to watch out for him in regards to mismatches. Whenever Gibson got caught on Jerry Stackhouse, he was taken right to the low block (where he stood no chance against the veteran Stackhouse).
Shannon Brown struggled. It looked like Brown was pressing a bit (though you could say that about the bulk of the squad) and he seemed to be forcing the issue. He had a golden opportunity to take Sasha Pavlovic's minutes and he hasn't capitalized. With Pavlovic coming back as early as Friday (he said he's been practicing with team back home), Brown needed to get off to a decent start. 0-5 with 2 turnovers ain't it.
Free throws... haven't improved. 15-25 as a team. James was 6-10 and Drew Gooden was 2-5. They can't expect to beat good teams while shooting 60% from the charity stripe. Meanwhile, Dallas shot 85%...
I am definitely not comfortable about Friday's game. The Knicks always give the Cavs trouble (especially Jamal Crawford) and I'm not too eager to see Eddie Curry and Zach Randolph down low this early in the season.