It is hard for me to give much praise to the Cavs tonight. A win is a win and they all equal the same, I suppose. Watching them again chuck jumpers in the fourth quarter left me to consider dragging out my old links again. So on this night they made them, which will probably happen roughly 33 percent of the time.
Please allow me to point out the following:
--The Cavs have taken zero (0) free throws in the fourth quarter in the past two games yet got up 19 3-pointers.
--Zydrunas Ilgauskas was 5-of-8 from the floor in the first half and was permitted two shots in the second half and none in the fourth.
--In the fourth quarter the Hornets were using Bobby Jackson and Devin Brown to defend LeBron James and he didn't take much advantage at all by working to get low post position, from which he would be unstoppable against those two. Which isn't all that surprising since I watched him not abuse Jason Kapono like I thought he should Sunday in Miami.
--Without LeBron on the court tonight, the Cavs were a -7 in plus/minus. Over the last three games, it is something obscene like a -30. Which just shows how vital bench production is for this team.
Overall, that's bad offensive basketball. Sorry for writing about it again. I can't help it.
Amen! I go insane when teams put a Kapono or Jackson on LeBron and he doesn't destroy them and make them wish they were never born. I know people love to compare LeBron's killer instinct to Kobe, but could you imagine if the Heat trotted out Kapono to guard Bryant? A bloodbath would ensue.
I also completely forgot that Chris Paul burned Gibson last time they played (in my defense, I believe I was in Columbus at the time and didn't watch the game). So good job by Boobie for stepping up the defense.
Moving on... Windhorst says the Cavs could still add more players and here's what Chris Sheridan says about the Cavs and Scottie Pippen (insider):
I've learned that Cleveland is one of the two teams that contacted Pippen's former agent to find out how to reach him.
General manager Danny Ferry is still recovering from the hangover caused by his 72-hour binge session right before the trading deadline in which he tried and tried to find ways to make Drew Gooden's base-year compensation status workable in a multiteam deal that would have landed him Mike Bibby.
"We'll do our due diligence, sort through where we are as a team and go from there," Ferry told me Monday, throwing out the term "due diligence" for the umpteenth time since I saw him outside the competition committee meeting and first broached the subject of whether he'd be interested in playing Pippen alongside LeBron James.
"We're not diving into this deeply," Ferry maintained.
Weather might be a factor, considering that Pippen is hanging out in South Florida right now, and that wouldn't work in the Cavs' favor.
The other teams interested (says Sheridan) are both Los Angeles teams, the Heat, the Suns and Mavs (doubtful) and the Spurs (who were the other team to contact his agent).
I don't know how much weather is going to be a factor here (as Sheridan says it could be for both the Cavs and the Heat). If Dwyane Wade doesn't return, I doubt Pippen will join the Heat. And if he wants to be a factor (if he CAN be a factor) Cleveland would be a pretty good spot (plus, the guy played in Chicago, so it's not like he's never been in a cold city).
The NBA Fanhouse says that this is a bad thing. Not me. The kid needs some time off, he's tired. It's pretty obvious to anyone who's watched him this season. Plus, he's playing 40+ minutes a night and takes a bruising during the games. He needs some rest and some time to refocus his energy on improving his game (if need be, use the big toe as an excuse).
LeBron James has not decided whether he will stay home or participate in the FIBA Americas Championship in Las Vegas late this summer.
James has been busy during the past two seasons. After taking the Cavaliers to the second round of the playoffs, James took a short break and then participated with Team USA last summer.His pace continued into this season. He's third in the league in minutes per game (40.9)
"Anyone needs time off," James said.
The location of the tournament may become a factor in James participating this summer. The games could have been out of the country.
"Being in this country is more persuasive," James said. "Playing in Vegas would be a big reason why I would play, but I still have to think about getting some rest."
The tournament, one of five FIBA Olympic qualifying zone tournaments, will determine the two men's teams from the Americas zone who will earn qualifying berths for the 2008 Olympics.
The 10-team championship is scheduled Aug. 22 through Sept. 2 at the Thomas & Mack Center on the campus of the University of Nevada Las Vegas.
I would have no problems with him missing the Worlds next offseason, however, if he uses that time to shoot more creepy Sprite commercials, I'll be less than pleased.
(BTW- the other two predictions? Danny Ferry forcing an offensive assistant on Mike Brown and trade of Larry Hughes)