Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Cleveland 94, Memphis 79

No West, no problem. With West sitting out with a sore wrist ("just a precaution"), Tarence Kinsey started and the Cavs didn't miss a beat (though for some reason they kept throwing TK lobs). This was simply a great basketball team picking on a young one. The Cavs had no trouble dispatching the Grizzlies. The ball movement was fantastic (13 assists on 15 baskets in the first half- when the game mattered), the defensive rotation was top notch (the Cavs had 9 team blocks) and the bench stepped up (22 points in the first half).

LeBron was barely even needed. The King had 15 points, 8 assists and 5 boards in just 30 minutes. This is exactly the type of game you want before a tough 4-in-5 stretch. LeBron's defense was great (Rudy Gay was 6-14) and his offense was efficient (his jump stop has been freaking fantastic lately- maybe that crab-dribble nonsense woke him up). Not only did LeBron have a short night, both Z and Ben Wallace didn't even hit the 20 minute mark.

Daniel Gibson led everyone in scoring. Boobie had 19 points off the bench and for the most part, looked pretty good. Gibson was 3-7 from downtown and 8-14 overall. He needs to have more of these type games if he wants to be in the playoff rotation. The Cavs could really use his shooting but they can't afford to have him trying to beat his man off the dribble- that's not his game (and his defense is subpar).

J.J. Hickson had a real nice ballgame. After barely playing against the Pistons, Hickson put up a very nice first half (6 and 6) and finished just one board shy of a double-double with 10 and 9. Hickson ran the floor well, defended well (got himself a block), hit the face up J and even made all four of his freebies. J.J. bounced back well after not getting any non-garbage time minutes against Detroit; he's not gonna get many playoff minutes but he should be able to step in for a couple minutes if they have foul trouble.

Hey look, Mike Conley. The former Buckeye had 12 points and 7 assists and I thought he ran Memphis's offense pretty well. Conley also surprised me by hitting 3 of 5 from downtown. I know he's had some rough stretches, but I really liked him at OSU (totally unbiased!) and I was pleased by his feistyness against the Cavs.

Mo was solid and Z was OK. Z's shot wasn't falling (just 2-8 FG) but he did finished with 9 points and 8 boards. Marc Gasol did as well as anyone I've seen in keeping Z from his comfort zones. Meanwhile, Williams knocked down 6-12 FG for 18 points (3-5 from downtown) and dished out 6 assists. Williams led all Cavaliers in minutes with 34 minutes (again, as good of a game as you could've hoped for right before a 4-in-5).

and finally...

On the road again. Thursday night in Houston, Friday night in San Antonio, Sunday night in Atlanta and Monday in Miami. That's a rough stretch. I'll be honest, I may not get to catch all of it. I'm going down to Columbus (college stomping grounds) this weekend for my birthday (which is my excuse for why this recap was so late in the day), there should be some tivo invovled, so hopefully I'll catch most of the games.

Just a little bit longe

I'll have the Memphis game this afternoon. Don't worry.

Monday, February 23, 2009

Interview with a Steroider

With all of the A-Rod bullshit going on, I decided it would be worthwhile to interview someone who's actually admitted to using steroids. This person's name shall remain anonymous (as long as he wants) and I can tell you he is definitely not a professional athlete.

The interview was conducted over Facebook chat, so if it seems like an IM convo, well, it kinda is. I've done some minor editing and cleaned it up, but nothing too crazy.


Ben: How were you introduced to steroids? Did you go seeking them out or were you approached?

Weightlifting Steroid Man: I was introduced by a guy in my fraternity in college. I can't say I wouldn't have sought them out on my own elsewhere, but that certainly made by search quick and easy. I'd been curious for some time.

Ben: Were you worried about side effects and what not?

WSM: Nah I did a lot of research - part of my intro I guess was I'd been working out with this guy for some time, and he had all kinds of books and magazines and such around. I educated myself pretty well, and he knew his stuff.

Keep in mind I was also 18 or 19, so "worry" wasn't a big part of my mindset about anything.

Ben: Gotcha. WERE there any side effects? Back acne? Shrinkage (did it affect sex?) Did you get in your SUV and chase down kids who egged your house on Halloween?

WSM:Some shrinkage, but keep in mind two things:

1) This is a temporary shrinking of your balls only, not everything.

2) This only happens because you're overloading your body with testosterone, and thus your body shuts down its own production of it.

This is why it's important to cycle on and off, and to ramp up and then back down the dosage during a cycle.

You don't want to screw up your natural body chemistry.

Other than that, I think I got really pissed a couple times, but that was normal and legit stuff.

I can't attribute it to steroids.

Ben: I see. Despite steroids being in the news constantly, I have no idea what really goes into it. How'd you take 'em and what kind? Was this cream/clear type stuff? Anal suppository? Needles? Pills?

WSM: I injected and took pills. Injections will typically be oil-based that stay in your body longer and pills are typically a daily thing.

Ben: Did you know what you were taking or was it just 'steroids'?

WSM: No I knew exactly what I was taking.

This is like ten years ago, but if I remember right it was Sustenon and Dianabol

I was very precise - I didn't want anything too heavy. I only wanted to put on 10 or 15 pounds.

It was also a matter of what we could get.

Ben: Did they work? You get ripped?

WSM: Oh they worked like crazy.

Ben: Heh.

WSM: I was doing to gain muscle not lose fat though - and I was in college and drinking regularly, and didn't know as much about nutrition as I do now.

So I didn't get ripped, but I got way bigger and stronger. I put on probably 25 pounds.

Ben: Were you able to work out more? Or did you just get more from your workouts? A little of both?

WSM: If I knew then what I know now about lifting and nutrition I bet I would've put on 35 and been ripped.

Both - I could work out seemingly forever, every single day, and I would take huge jumps in what I could lift every week.

That's why I laugh at the baseball guys who are like "I don't even know if it did anything" lol

Ben: So it's pretty obvious something is up. There's a noticeable difference.

WSM: If I didn't know I was on drugs I would've asked around to see who was putting them in me.

Ben: HA

WSM: Take your typical dumbbell presses - in week two I jumped from 70lb dumbbells to 90s.

That's not normal - and you feel like PUMPED all the time - you know how you feel all pumped right after you life? You ALWAYS feel like that.

It's awesome I loved it.

Ben: Nice. Any other mood changes or anything? Like if you cycled off did you become depressed?

WSM: Well it was kind of depressing as you come off because no matter what you do you're getting weaker.

But I'm not depressed by nature so I don't know that I got depressed. It's just like "damn the ride is ending" kinda.

Ben: I gotcha. So you couldn't maintain your strength after you stopped? Like, you couldn't do 'em for awhile and then kick it and stay that strong? You'd come back down a bit?

WSM: Well I had researched on how to keep as much of the gains as possible, and I was able to keep quite a bit.

I'd say my net gain was like 12-15 pounds, which is what I wanted in the first place, so I was happy.

But yeah, the strength comes down, the weights come down, the size comes down and that's not the most fun thing.

Ben: Did you stop for a particular reason? Health? Money (also, how expensive was it?) How long did you use 'em for?

WSM: I think I just had done it, and got what I wanted, and that was that. I've always wanted to try it again, simply because I didn't know half of what I know now about lifting and nutrition. Plus, back then I was going out all the time, etc.

The cycle I did was 8 weeks, and it was cheap, cause we got them right from Mexico.

I mean we're talking under $100

Ben: Gotcha. So nothing crazy expensive.

WSM: No not at all - I don't even know what it would cost to do as a "street drug" and frankly would never go about getting them that way. In my research I learned the "fake steroid" industry is quite large and healthy.

They're easy to get in Mexico, and cheap. My friend brought them back in his suitcase lol

Ben: HA

WSM: So the whole thing was quite easy.

Ben: Do you think they should be legal? Doctor regulated/supervised?

WSM: I think doctor supervised they really don't pose much threat. I mean, people use these for legitimate medical reasons - that's why they exist. It's not like the bottle has a skull and crossbones on them.

I mean, nobody should go looking to become a walking chemistry set like pro bodybuilders.

Ben: Heh. Those guys freak me out

WSM:But a very mild cycle for the sake of vanity...what's the big deal?

I'm actively looking for a reason to do it again, because I really would like to see how it would work now that I'm not a college partier.

Ben: Do you think they should allow professional athletes use 'em?

WSM: Sure. They let actresses get boob jobs to be better at what they do.

We're looking at an era in the next 20-50 years where aging is going to basically stop, so there are all kinds of new paradigms we should prepare for.

Ben: What about the outrage from journalists and shit. I love the fact that they're soooo outraged at players like A-rod and Bonds.

Hey, it makes me a better baseball player, everyone is doing it, I'd make millions of dollars and they don't test for it. We're shocked players used?

WSM: Yeah really - I just assumed everyone did. A-Rod especially. Totally has the type-a personality for it.

The idea that these guys are noble and such is hilarious. It's all very romantic and such, but not at all realistic.

Ben: Like, why wouldn't they try to maximize their abilities/earning potential

WSM: Because it's NOT RIGHT


Anything else I can answer on this? The truth is - it's just not that big a deal IMO, it works, and it was fun. I've had no ill effects before during or after.

Ben: I think we're pretty good

WSM: And talking about it makes me want to do it again lol

Ben: I think I covered the bases I wanted to cover. Thanks.

WSM: No problem.


There ya go, my first blog interview. I should probably note that I don't endorse illegal drugs of any kind and if you blame this interview, blog or myself for you taking steroids and going on a murderous, roid-induced rampage, you're a dumbass.

Cleveland 99, Detroit 78

HAHAHAHAHAHA. God I hate the Pistons. Seriously, these guys always acted like they were 3-time defending champs; they were always outraged when they were whistled for calls, they always took teams lightly and always thought they could just turn it on. Nevermind the fact that they benefited from a weak conference and an imploding Laker team. Now they have A.I. (who's game I loathe), terrible body language and no title hopes. Couldn't have happened to a nicer bunch of whiners.

This game was a beatdown. The game was close very early on, the Cavs held a 9-8 after 5 minutes of playing. Three minutes later, they led 24-8, and that was that. The Cavs ran the Pistons off the court; they played the passing lanes (9 team steals), they shared the ball (24 assists) and they held the Pistons to just 37% shooting. The Cavs had just a single turnover at halftime, shot 56% and led by a score of 67-34. The mercy rule should've invoked at both halftime and the end of third. This game wasn't close to being competitive in the second half.

We need to make a trade, huh? Oh yeah... this is how good they look with Delonte... West had 14 points in the first quarter, 20 by halftime and ended up with 25. He shot the ball extremely well, going 5-5 from behind the arc, 8-11 overall and he made all four freebies he attempted. But he wasn't just a scorer, West also had 5 boards, 4 assists and a steal. 25-5-4 ain't a bad return.

LeBron as both passive and aggressive (if that makes sense). There were times where LeBron would just turn on the jets and smoke Detroit. He had a couple breakaways, some crazy finishes and a freaking retarded block on A.I. But for the most part, James seemed content to set up his teammates and he didn't have to look for his shot. James finished with 20 points on 6-13 shooting, dished out 9 assists and grabbed 5 boards. It was also nice to see him attempt just three treys the game after making eight from downtown.

I don't get this Piston team. Hatred aside, I just don't like this squad. Shouldn't Iverson be coming off the bench at this point? He dominates the ball so much, that when guys like Prince, Hamilton or Sheed do finally get the ball, they just jack it up because they have no idea when it's gonna get back to them. Meanwhile, A.I. is just doing his thing like it's 2001. Wouldn't it be a little better to have him come off the bench in an "instant offense" type role? Let him dominate the ball with the second unit and keep the starters doing their thing? I dunno. Like I said, I've never been a huge fan of Iverson's game.

Both Z and Mo were solid. The Cavs starters were really on their game. Z was nailing his outside safety-valve jumpers and Mo did just enough to keep the defense honest (knocked down a couple treys and a transition jumper or two). Big Z finished 7-14 from the field for 16 points and 8 boards in just 23 minutes. Meanwhile, Mo had 11 points (4-9 shooting), 4 assists, 3 boards and 2 steals in just 25 minutes. I can't stress enough how good the offense looked.

If you want any 4th quarter info, I'm not you're guy. I'll be honest, I didn't watch the final period (I tivo'd the game). I already knew the final score and I saw that they went into the final 12 minutes with 88 points... So only 11 points the last period? No, thanks. J.J. Hickson played the entire last period, finishing with 2 boards and turnover (no shot attempts, nothin). With West coming back, Hickson's minutes will probably get cut as we'll see Wally move to the 4 in those small-ball lineups (which hopefully means we'll get to stop seeing Wally try to guard wing players).

and finally...

Memphis at home and then weird road trip. Cleveland's next game is Tuesday against the Grizzlies of Memphis. That shouldn't be an issue. They then embark on a 4 game road trip, that starts out West (back-to-back against Houston and San Antonio starting Thursday) and ends on the East Coast (back-to-back against Atlanta and Miami starting Sunday). So ya, a 4-in-5 road trip. Great. The good news is that all but the Miami game will be televised nationally, so we'll be able to get away from hammers being thrown down deep in the [insert building name here] and McLeod's general hackery/homerism.

Thursday, February 19, 2009


Nothing. Zip. Zilch. Nada. Zero.

And I'm OK with that.

Look, getting Shaq could've been amazing, I won't deny that. It would've spiced up the second half it would've given the Cavs a legit low post threat and I would've loved having the big fella in town (it'd be a lot of fun).

But you have to admit, that's a substantial risk that the Cavaliers don't have to take.

First of all, they would've been giving up Ben Wallace in the (along with Pavlovic). I'm not a huge Wallace guy, but the man is useful. If you give up Wallace, who guards KG? Bosh? Odom? Picking up Shaq would be either a slight net gain or a lateral move. Sure, they could throw the ball down low, but they'd suffer defensively (unless you want all Varejao, all the time).

And it's not like there wouldn't be any offensive adjustments either. LeBron does a lot of drive-and-kick and if you have Shaq out there, he does what exactly? I'm not saying that the offense would be bad, but there would be some kind of adjustment period.

Nevermind the chemistry problems. Though Shaq seems like an (extremely) easy guy to get along with, you'd either have to send him or Z to the bench. I just have a hard time saying to Z, "thanks for all the blood, sweat and tears this past decade, but get on the bench for the title push".

Look, teams weren't willing to trade for those expiring deals this time around. Maybe no one wants to be the next Chris Wallace (or McHale), I dunno. But the Cavs weren't the only team looking to trade a big contract. Porland was dangling Raef LaFrenz and they ended up with nothing as well.

(also, I think the Cavs had a second move planned once they got Shaq. It doesn't make sense from a basketball standpoint to trade Ben and not pick up a PF somewhere else. If they really wanted Shaq, they could've traded Wally instead, but they would've been down to just Tarence Kinsey at the 2).

At the end of the day, the Cavs are 24-4 team when they have their full compliment of starters. That ain't bad. Would I have liked them to make a deal? Sure. But I don't want Ferry making a trade just to make a trade. It has to be the right deal for this ballclub (both short term and long term) and if the Suns wanted too much, then I don't blame Ferry for balking (he was obviously working the lines). At this point, I think you just have to trust his track record with these things.

Basically, I'm fine with them not pulling the trigger. It's not nearly as exciting and having the Big Cactus (Big Cuyahoga? Big Flaming River? Big Ford Plant?) here would've been beyond cool. But they're still 41-11, despite having their share of injuries, and when they're healthy, they're really good.

Let's just hope they stay healthy (and some bigs get bought out. *cough* JoeSmithDrewGooden *cough*)

Trade Talk


The Cavaliers spent the the final hours in search of a skilled big man to enhance their size advantage over the champion Boston Celtics, who entered Wednesday with a two-game lead over Cleveland in the crucial race for the East's No. 1 seed. As proud as Cleveland has been of its balanced rotation and experienced depth around conference MVP LeBron James, the Cavs couldn't afford to ignore the value of their hole card -- the expiring $13.8 million salary of eighth man Wally Szczerbiak.

In recent days the Cavs have investigated possible trades for Miller as well as Antawn Jamison (which was rebuffed by the Washington Wizards), Marcus Camby (who thus far had been made unavailable by the Los Angeles Clippers) and Richard Jefferson (who can be acquired from the Milwaukee Bucks as they're pressed by the luxury tax) in hopes of seizing a frontcourt advantage over the Celtics, who have no expiring contracts or an expendable salary valuable enough to be dealt. Could they find their midseason version of Rasheed Wallace (who helped the Pistons win the 2003-04 championship) or Pau Gasol (who shot the Lakers to the NBA Finals last season)?

As much as they were concerned about disrupting team chemistry, the larger issue driving the Cavaliers had to be the continuing speculation that James will depart in 2010. They must do everything possible to win a championship -- not only to exploit his presence while they have him, but also to convince him that his best hope of winning multitple titles is to re-sign with Cleveland.

I've never been a huge Richard Jefferson guy, but he would help this team. He's a big guard who can defend (and has been through some playoff battles of his own). I'm not sure what the Cavs would have to give up (if it's just Wally, than okie-dokie). However, RJ is expensive, making $14.2 million next season and $15.2 the next (though 10/11 is an early termination year).

ESPN has more:

The Bucks got some more momentum Wednesday evening in their quest to find some salary relief for Richard Jefferson.

Sources say the Bucks had discussions with the Cavs about a possible Jefferson-for-Wally Szczerbiak swap. The Cavs have gotten much more active over the past 48 hours, making pitches to Washington for Antawn Jamison and the Clippers for Marcus Camby. However, the Wizards and Clippers have both given the Cavs the stiff-arm.

Camby is still the guy I really want. God I hate the Clippers.

Some more from ESPN:

A source who has been in the know for years tells me that Joe Smith is keeping his fingers crossed that the Thunder do not find another trade for him now that he's back in Oklahoma City.

Smith, the source said, would like to do a buyout and then sign with the Boston Celtics as this season's version of P.J. Brown.

No Joe! Come on, Boston!? Really? Lame.

Also, I found this really interesting (emphasis mine):

Finally, this question, after the Tyson Chandler trade was rescinded: Is there any chance that Chandler could be traded again by Thursday?

One GM, speaking on condition of anonymity, told me he spoke with the Thunder and thought they were extremely conservative in their diagnosis of Chandler. Although he hadn't seen the medical evidence, he felt, based on his conversations with the Thunder, that the team might have overreacted to the center's turf toe issue.

Yes please. Hey New Orleans, you guys wanna save some money? We got a sexy white guy making $13 million just waiting to be traded. We'll take that young, underachieving, athletic big man off your hands, no problem.

Gonna be a fun (and more than likely) uneventful day for Cavs fans.

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Cleveland 93, Toronto 76

Not a bad way to start the second half. The Cavs showed off their defensive skills, holding the new-look Raptors to just 36% shooting in Shawn Marion's debut. The Raptors were without Chris Bosh, and they really could've used him. Cleveland got whatever they wanted inside and they hounded Toronto's shooters (the defense was the best we've seen in a while), resulting in a fairly easy victory. The game was close for much of the first half (Cavs led 24-23 and 47-41 at the breaks) but they eventually just wore the Raptors down (15 point lead at the end of three).

Two different starters (one really different). Anderson Varejao (who looks nice and tan) started in place of Ben Wallace, who hurt himself playing football or something (broken glass in his arm? WTF?) and Tarence Kinsey came back and started in place of future-former Cavalier Wally Szczerbiak, who came off the bench (because of trade talks?). Both guys played well; Varejao was active, scoring 5 points while pulling down 14 boards and Kinsey had a nice hustle game, scoring 5 points himself while bugging the hell out of Anthony Parker. I'd also like to note that Andy is much more effective when he's paired with a scoring center; I find myself yelling at him a lot less when he doesn't think he has to score.

LeBron was pretty good. James had a ho-hum type evening of 20 points, 9 boards, 9 assists, a steal and a ridonkulous block. He could've had another assist, but Z missed an early lay-up (though they still got a bucket). James finished 9-17 from the floor (his jumper started to fall late) but just 2-2 from the line, as he didn't get any calls inside. The King eventually took out his frustration with a couple of sick dunk in traffic (including a nice alley-oop off a lob from Z).

Meanwhile, Z abused Bargnani. The Big Fella led everyone with 22 points off a variety of old man post moves (the ugly hook was out in full force) and face up jumpers. Z looked relaxed and in rhythm and had himself a nice game of 22 points, 6 boards, 3 assists and 2 blocks (though he missed both freebies). I thought he did a pretty good job on Bargnani, especially after the first period, holding the young Italian to 11 points on just 5-14 shooting.

Mo also had a solid, if unspectacular, game. Williams had 17 points off of just 11 shots (making 7) and pitched in 4 assists and 2 boards. I thought he chose his spots well, not forcing things and taking what the defense gave him. More than once his shot dropped without the net even budging.

Wally played well in his possible last game as a Cavalier. Szcerbiak made all four of his shots (11 points) and grabbed 4 boards (to go with an assist and a block). Wally has stepped up with all these injuries and you can tell he doesn't want to be traded. One of the more underrated aspects of Delonte's is that they haven't been to use Wally at the 4 as much (allowing them to go small and create some mismatches). If the Cavs do stand pat (or once Wally returns from his buyout), I can't wait to see them go back to that small-ball lineup where Wally pulls his big defender out to 3pt line.

and finally...

The deadline looms... Who knows what the Cavs will do. They've obviously been talking to teams, but as much they want to make a move (and as much as I'd like them to make a move), I'm not so sure they pull the trigger. Of course you'd like to make something happen with Wally's deal, but you don't want to make a trade just to do it. I wonder if they'll call New Orleans up now that Oklahoma rejected Tyson Chandler (sure it was due to injury, but if you're just giving up Wally...). Or maybe they'll just wait for Joe Smith to be bought out, now that he's not going to the Bayou. I really wouldn't be shocked either way at this point.

Trade Stuff

Looks like Ferry has been talking to the Wizards:

One is Washington Wizards forward Antawn Jamison. A veteran who can play both inside and out with high character and a willingness to come off the bench (he is a former Sixth Man of the Year), he represents the top of the class. According to a league executive, the Cavs recently made pitches for both Jamison and Wizards' forward Caron Butler.

The Wizards have made it known they do not want to pay the luxury tax next season and Jamison is at the start of a four-year, $50 million contract. However, Washington has numerous options to reduce payroll over the next year besides moving one of their stars. This would be a trade with their biggest enemy, which is why it still seems to be a long shot.

I'm hesitant to add Jamison, for age and salary reasons. But he would fit in extremely well. As for Butler... dear God, if Ferry can pry him away then I will send the man flowers every day for the next year. Butler would be perfect next to Bron-Bron.

Now, Windy also throw out this little nugget:

The Washington Post reported Tuesday that the Wizards are considering trading their first-round draft pick this year to help with the problem.

Adding Jamison's salary (and Etan Thomas/Darius Songaila) and the Wizards pick would be ridiculous. Getting a top ten pick would be amazing.

However, ESPN doesn't think a DC-Cleveland connection will happen:

The Wizards, sources said, quickly rebuffed Cleveland's offer of Wally Szczerbiak's $13.8 million expiring contract for former All-Star forward Antawn Jamison.

One source with knowledge of the Wizards' thinking said Tuesday that team president Ernie Grunfeld is determined to continue resisting interest in Jamison and Caron Butler because the club has renewed hope that injured starters Gilbert Arenas and Brendan Haywood will play in a small handful of games before the season ends, affording the Wiz an opportunity to evaluate the full team they hoped to field this season.

With Arenas and Haywood both having missed the entire season so far, Washington has cratered to a nightmare record of 12-42.

I'm not entirely surprised by this (as the Cavs are just offering cap relief), but at the same time, how long can the Wizards run with this same core? I mean, three straight first round exits and a terrible record this year. They look completely lost, so let's hope they do something stupid (like giving Cleveland Caron Butler or a first round pick).

Both ESPN and Windhorst think Ferry is targeting Marcus Camby (which shouldn't be a surprise):

The Cavs, meanwhile, are expected to shift their focus from Jamison to making a final pitch (or three) for Clippers center Marcus Camby, after being convinced in this week's talks that the Wizards are not interested in parting with the 32-year-old in spite of their luxury-tax concerns.

The Clippers have been saying for weeks that Camby and rookie guard Eric Gordon are their only untouchables in trade talks, but history says Clippers owner Donald Sterling is bound to be tempted by the opportunity to remove Camby's $9.7 million from next season's payroll if presented with Szczerbiak's contract on deadline day ... unless L.A. can move Chris Kaman's longer contract first.


Another player on the radar is Marcus Camby, the Los Angeles Clippers' defensive center who has two years left on his contract. The Clippers are often in cost-cutting mode and have other strong big men. Coach and GM Mike Dunleavy has constantly told media members and other teams that Camby isn't on the market.

On Tuesday, though, a Western Conference general manager said every Clipper -- with the exception of rookie Eric Gordon -- was available, even as other general managers said Dunleavy's stance had not changed.

I'd love the Camby-man. He's a short term solution, but he'd plug a lot of holes (mainly, the fouth big man/veteran hole) and he won't mess up any 2010 scenarios. I just think that the Clips will demand Hickson, which Ferry will (rightfully) balk at.

For those of you who wanted Brad Miller (anyone? Bueller?), he's (thankfully) off the market:

The Chicago Bulls and Sacramento Kings have reached tentative agreement on a trade sending Andres Nocioni, Drew Gooden and Cedric Simmons to the Kings for Brad Miller and John Salmons,

One source said the Bulls players were pulled off the team bus Wednesday afternoon and were told they had been traded.

The deal also involved a third team. The Bulls agreed to send Michael Ruffin to Portland, and the Trail Blazers would ship Ike Diogu to the Kings, sources told ESPN The Magazine's Chris Broussard.

What the fuck are the Bulls doing? Do they even have a plan? I love how they were in talks for Stoudemire and ended up with Brad freaking Miller. Salmons is decent, but he's paid too much ($10 mil over the next two years- which isn't terrible, but not great). The Cavs were in talks for Miller, but the Kings insisted on Hickson. HA!

At this point, I have no idea what will happen. Stoudemire being traded looks less and less likely (though if Sarver really wants to cut salary, with the Bulls trading Gooden....), Camby is on the Clippers (so who knows) and it looks like Washington is going to stand pat.

Though, despite the bleak news, I guess we should hold out hope:

"The Cavs are definitely being super aggressive," one Eastern Conference executive said. "They see this economic frenzy out there with so many teams trying to get off money and lower their payrolls like New Orleans did [by trading Tyson Chandler] and they want to capitalize. If they can spend now to help them keep LeBron later, they're going to do it."

So there ya go.

FYI- the deadline is 3pm on Thursday (though I'd wait til 5 to make sure).

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Well, there goes THAT option

Well, now Ferry will actually have to make a trade to add some talent to the roster:
The New Orleans Hornets and Oklahoma City Thunder have completed a deal that sends center Tyson Chandler to the Thunder.

The Hornets received forwards Joe Smith and Chris Wilcox in exchange for their best interior defender.

The Hornets also received the draft rights to DeVon Hardin, who was selected No. 50 overall by the Thunder in the 2008 draft.

With Joe Smith being traded (to a good team) it's a safe bet that he won't be bought out this year. So Ferry can't just wait for Smith as a Plan B if the trade front falls through.

Right now, I could see the Cavaliers going either way. I could see them making a late push for a trade (like trying to get a third team involved in the Amare deal) or I could see them standing pat (though I think that's less likely now that Smith is probably gone).

Friday, February 13, 2009

Getting our hopes up

Truckloads of salt please:
It says here, the Cavaliers, Lakers and Heat are the lone teams who should seriously consider obtaining Stoudemire's sub-standard services. Sunday's All-Star start is a gift from an adoring, oblivious public. He'd have no problem deferring to LeBron James, Kobe Bryant and Dwyane Wade because their areas of expertise don't conflict with his, and they're genuine franchise players . . . whereas he pretends to be.

Last I looked, Stoudemire hasn't exactly proved capable of carrying an affluent team to ultimate glory.

Judging by what the Cavs have to offer - as mentioned, expiring contracts and talented youngbloods - and Kerr's connection and affection for Danny Ferry - I'm guessing it'll be Kevin McHale-Danny Ainge revisited . . . unless L.A. makes Lamar Odom available.
Now, look, I'm not the biggest Amare guy (and this rumor is from Peter Vecsey) but this would be a delight. I was never a huge fan of his game (nice first step, though his jumper has improved) and his defense is atrocious (he let Varejao drive right past him on Wednesday night). But if you can pick him up for Wally+Hickson+picks, you do that and don't look back.

Now, I don't really think that the Cavs have a legit shot (and they shouldn't) but they have a couple of things working in their favor.

First, the Suns owner is nortoriously stingy. So if they don't want to take on a lot of salary, Wally's deal (and Snow's) would be mighty attractive. Plus, Hickson is a legit prospect (he was even mentioned in Simmons's trade value column).

Secondly, Stoudemire has been on the market for practically the entire season and the Suns have gotten no decent offers. There may not be a good deal out there for Amare's potential worth, so they may have to settle anyways.

Third, Ferry and Kerr were teammates in both Cleveland and San Antonio. There's a history and friendship there and it could help grease those gears.

And fourth, but probably one of the most important points, is this:

There is one indication that Suns trade talk involving forward Amaré Stoudemire has not advanced far: His agent has not heard from the Suns about any proposals.

Former National Basketball Players Association Executive Director Charlie Grantham, Stoudemire's new agent this season, equates this portion of trade exploration as fantasy basketball, with the majority of the teams exploring the possibilities. When it gets to reality, Grantham said, he will want Stoudemire to have a say, because he will not want to go just anywhere.

------ [snip]------

If the Suns get serious about a trade involving Stoudemire before Thursday's deadline, Grantham expects to be consulted.

"A place that may be a real good deal for them may not be the best place for us," said Grantham, who is in Phoenix. "In that case, we would not be interested in signing an extension. I would think most teams would not want to rent him for a year and a half. They would want him to sign for more years and know that he's interested in staying."

Grantham said he would not discourage a deal with a team based on market size but added that the potential for a team's success would be a factor.

"Every player wants to go where they have a chance to win a championship," he said. "When you're thrust into the position he is, you hope you have some input there."

Now, Amare wanting a say and Amare getting a say are two totally different things. But the fact that he wants to go to a winner (and market size isn't an issue) has got to work in the Cavs' favor.

I really don't think Stoudemire will end up in wine & gold. There are too many teams (Bulls, Heat, Blazers) that can offer a better package of players.

But right now everything is point towards the Suns getting a crappy deal for Amare. And the Cavs DO have the pieces to form a crappy deal that a cheapskate might find enticing (and they fit the criteria that Stoudemire would want).

Though it's fun to dream, right? A starting line up of Williams-West-LeBron-Amare-Z? I mean, Christ that's a rough five. Now, the Cavs would be banking on Stoudemire catching the defensive bug and I have no idea how that'll play out (Mike Brown would have to work some magic. And he'd need LeBron to set a firm line).

(I'd say say Shaq is the more likely option. But with this economy and the Robert Sarver being a cheap ass...)

Thursday, February 12, 2009

Cleveland 109, Phoenix 92

Not a bad way to snap the longest losing streak of the season (also: a good last game before the break). The Cavs beat the Suns with Phoenix's quick tempo (and shots), hoisting 26 treys (making 11) with Mo Williams's shooting 7-9 from downtown, on his way to 44 points. Mo also led the Cavs with 7 assists, to go along with his 3 steals and 2 boards.

That LeBron fellow wasn't bad either. James had a pedestrian (for him) 26-6-6 night. LeBron moved well without the ball, getting easy buckets off of passes from his teammates. He also settled for more than a few jumpers, going 1-5 from beyond the arc. With Mo having such a hot night, James seemed more than happy to let him take scoring load against the Suns. He still had a couple of those "I'm LeBron James" plays; one where he muscled up a layup while being dragged down and he threw down a couple of quick, thunderous dunks inside.

Amare played well. Stoudemire finished with 27 points and 6 boards. Stoudemire had his jumper working, routinely hitting the faceup, and he seemed to be able to get inside whenever he pleased (though he had his shot blocked a couple times). Offensively, this guy is a stud. But defensively... well, he let Anderson Varejao drive right past him for a layup. Now, I like Andy, but he shouldn't be able to blow by a guy with Stoudemire's athletic ability. I know he's available on the trade market, but I'm not sure the Cavs have to the pieces to get him, if they'd even want him.

Shaq on other hand, I could see myself getting talked into. There's been some rumblings that the Big Cactus would welcome a trade to Cleveland and at first, I wanted none of it. But he looked pretty good Wednesday night, scoring 11 points in 5-7 shooting. He's still a load to deal with on the block (he got great position most of the evening). My biggest concern with adding Shaq (provided they aren't giving up Hickson) is if he would demand he start? I have a hard time telling Z to go to the bench and I'd really prefer not to mess with the starting unit's chemistry. If you could have Shaq coming off the bench for 24 minutes a night, you'd give the bench a solid low post threat and he could help body up some of the bigger players (plus, you think he wouldn't love to see the Lakers in the Finals?).

Wally is still playing hard. Wally has really played well these last couple of weeks which has been impressive since his name (and contract) has been the subject of every Cavalier rumor. He's been making a lot of hustle plays and it's seems like he's found his niche in the offense. Szczerbiak had 11 points and 4 boards in 29 minutes; his jumper wasn't falling (4-13 FG, 2-8 3PT) but he had a nice stretch in the first where he scored 7 straight points (with two coming on hustle plays).

There was an announcer switch in the second quarter. The Cavs traded color commentators with the Suns, sending over former Cavalier/Cavalier broadcaster Scott Williams. I was never a big fan of Williams but I thought he did pretty well. I can only image what Austin was like for Suns fans. I wish I could've been watching that feed.

We've got to stop this bitching. The FSN guys kept referencing the Pacer lost like the Cavs got totally jobbed. Look, I have a real hard time complaining when the exact same call was made .4 seconds earlier. As for the other stuff (Laker game, the triple-double, Mo's All-Star big) let it the hell alone. Go win ball games. No excuses, right? This team hasn't won anything and they don't deserve the benefit of the doubt. They look distracted by all this stuff, hopefully they'll calm down and regain some composure after the All-Star break.

Both Wallace and Varejao had good games. Andy was really active offensively; he filled the running lanes well and he was active around the rim. He shot a couple of jumpers, but nothing really outrageous. Wallace also had a solid game; grabbing 11 boards and 2 steals while challenging a lot of shots at the rim.

and finally...

A much needed break. Fred McCleod mentioned that Delonte West hoped to play against the Suns, but was pushed back. I'm really hoping the time off combined with West's return will help this team get out of their recent bad habits. Plus, his return will allow Wally to move back to the bench and give a defensive presence to the Cavalier front court. The Cavs won't play until next Tuesday in Toronto. We're also down to one week until the trading deadline, February 19th. Work some magic, Danny.

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

The Cavs are Definitely Gonna Make a Trade

Despite Windhorst's article stating this:

Due to both positive and negative factors, it appears as if this year the team will be passing on the event. Their strong first half plus a series of injuries have limited their options and desires.

Monday left the Cavs dealing with another injury as an MRI revealed starting shooting guard Sasha Pavlovic had suffered the worst of all ankle injuries, the high ankle sprain. It will keep him out 4-6 weeks.

With Delonte West and Tarence Kinsey out and a roster spot being occupied by Eric Snow, the team is essentially down four guards at the moment. Another, Trey Johnson, is on a 10-day contract.

Wally Szczerbiak, once their largest trade chip with his $13 million expiring contract, has now become a vital part of the team. He will start in Pavlovic's place in Indianapolis against the Pacers on Tuesday.

Because of all this, the vibe around the rest of the NBA is the Cavs are going to follow through with their plans to stand mostly pat.

"They are going to dance with the girl they brought," one general manager said on Monday. "They believe in that roster."
So no deal right? No trades, sorry, too many injuries. We can't afford to trade Wally for a big while they're down guards. In no way will they... hey, what's this?
They will continue to make calls and they are leaving options open. For example, they have postponed an appointment with a league-approved doctor to evaluate Snow's disability retirement claim just in case they want to use him in a trade.
Well well well. That's mighty interesting, isn't it? The Cavs have publicly stated that they're not looking to make deals, while at the same time noting that Eric Snow's $7.8 million expiring deal is available. We aren't going to attempt to deal while we're in a bad position, so we're gonna stand pat, but just for your information, yes, Eric Snow's expiring deal is available.


Monday, February 09, 2009

Los Angeles 101, Cleveland 91

First half: Good. Second half: Not Good. The Cavs held a ten point lead going into halftime and managed to go into the fourth quarter trailing by 5. Lamar Odom killed them for most of the game but his third quarter hurt the most. Odom had 15 of his game high 28 in the crucial third period. The Cavs never got any offensive flow going (16 point third quarter, 14 point (!) fourth quarter).

Defense was not good. The Cavs guards didn't redirect any of the Laker wings. The Cavs bigs let their post players set up way too close to the rim. They got beat down court. They didn't box out (looking at you J.J.). It was awful. I know the Lakers are a great offensive team, but this was ridiculous; they got everything they wanted (48% FG) and the Cavs looked a step slow. They weren't physical nearly enough and the Lakers had easy shots all game. Also, maybe someone should've guarded Lamar Odom somepoint. You can't ask Wally to defend a guy like Odom, that just isn't gonna end well.

You could view this game a couple of ways. On one hand, you can place this loss squarely on the defense (and the bigs). Odom and Gasol (18-12-6) both had huge games and the Lakers had easy shots for most of the afternoon. On the other hand, if you wanted, you could put this game at LeBron's feet. James had a offnight (to say the least) but the Cavalier role players actually stepped up (at the offensive end). Z finished with 22 and 9 (with a couple of blocks and assists), Mo threw in 19 points and Wally gave 'em 16 off the bench. Bitch about the D and the refs all you want, but the Cavs aren't going to win many games against the Lakers (or Celtics/Magic) when James goes 5-20 from the floor. They can survive a bad game against the Hawks or Hornets and what not, but they have to play perfect if they're gonna beat the elite teams with James having an off night.

You could also say they weren't gonna go 41-0 at home. Which is true. But the Cavs didn't seemed focused enough, especially for a game this big. There was never any sense of urgency, there was never any sustained defensive intensity. Of course, it stinks when your guards are Wally and Mo; they're trying defensively, but missing both West and Sasha Pavlovic (who could be out six weeks with an ankle sprain) really hurts the overall D.

Not gonna lie, I thoroughly enjoyed the goofy, white, Euro big man battle. Both Z and Pau Gasol are fundamentally sound big men with great offensive games, but who don't have any defensive reputation to speak of. Which was kinda how this played out. Z got what he wanted on his end and Pau got what he wanted on his. Both guys were knocking down open jumpers, using their old-man post moves and passing the ball around. I liked what I saw from Z in a big game and Gasol surprised me with his intensity.

Ignore the refs and get the fuck back on defense.
Look, the refs sucked. Their calls didn't change the game (not putting a body on Lamar Odom, however, did) but the Cavs got too distracted by the officiating. Remember the Detroit series two years ago, James got fouled and no call? What did the Cavs do? They came out, said we lost and moved on. James got beat a couple times down the court while he was bitching to the officials (and he wasn't the only one). Maybe Phil Jackson worked the refs, maybe the NBA hates the Cavaliers- I really don't care. You guys haven't won anything yet, you don't deserve all the calls just suck it up and get back on defense. (But the refs were awful, I won't deny that).

Kobe was sick (like, actually sick). The Laker star was vomiting during pre-game, had an IV at halftime and sat most of the fourth quarter. But he still gave Los Angeles 19 points on 8-18 shooting. Bryant hit a high arcing turnaround over LeBron to put LA up 6 with under 3 minutes to go, which was basically the dagger. Once that thing went in, the Cavs had no answer.

Ben and Andy did not have good games. Look, this is the same thing with Gibson- stop trying to do everything and focus on what you're good at. You guys are in the NBA because you can play defense and rebound. If you aren't doing that, I don't particularly want to see you on the court. Wallace can't be afraid to shoot the ball; he can't keep passing the ball 2 feet from the rim. Let them foul you, I don't care about the free throws. I do care about him passing up 3 foot shots. And Andy? No more jumpers please.

and finally...

The sky isn't falling but at this point there should be concerns. After the first Laker game, we were making excuses because our front line wasn't at full strength. Well... um... what now? I honestly do believe that the Cavs can win with this group, but I'd be a little more comfortable if they'd grab another big (even if it's Joe Smith). They need more offense out of the unit and Hickson (who I really really like) isn't ready to give them more than a few spot minutes. Ferry is in a tough spot; Wally is obviously the biggest trading chip, but he's become valuable to the Cavs with the way he's played after all the injuries. Pavlovic was another chip and he's out, Terrance Kinsey is out and Delonte isn't back yet. If you trade Wally (especially for a big), you almost have to get some kind of wing player back. I know they didn't want to trade Eric Snow's contract, but they may have to after this.

A little longer

I'll have something about yesterday's debacle this afternoon, don't worry.

Friday, February 06, 2009

I love Dan Gilbert: Part 152

"Ben Wallace was right when he called Mo originally being passed over for the All-Star Game a shamockery," Cavaliers owner Dan Gilbert said in an e-mail to The Associated Press. "But not naming him as the natural and obvious replacement for the unfortunately injured Jameer Nelson is stupidiculous, idillogical and preposterageous."
Yes. More of this.

Also, I would pay thousands of dollars to watch a 7-game series between this Cavalier team and the 88-89 squad. Price vs Mo? Harper, Ehlo and Nance trying to stop LeBron? Big Brad vs Big Z? Thousands of dollars.

Thursday, February 05, 2009

Really? Another Celtic?

At least it wasn't Rondo:
Boston Celtics guard Ray Allen will replace injured Orlando Magic guard Jameer Nelson next week in the NBA All-Star Game.

Allen was added to the Eastern Conference team on Thursday by commissioner David Stern after Nelson was forced to pull out because of a torn labrum in his right shoulder.

This is really getting stupid. The Celtics and Magic each have 3 All-Stars and the Cavs still only have one. Awesome.

If you actually watch Cleveland Cavaliers basketball and honestly think that they only deserve one All-Star or that this is a one man team, you're an idiot who has no clue about basketball (or life). Please, just piss this team off more. I'll take that extra motivation.


As far as trades go, take Elton Brand out of the running:

Elton Brand’s first season in Philadelphia is over.

Brand will have season-ending surgery on his right shoulder Monday, reducing the 76ers’ marquee free-agent to only 29 games. Brand was first injured Dec. 17 against Milwaukee and has played in six games since his return.

He signed a five-year deal worth nearly $80 million in July and averaged only 13.8 points and 8.8 rebounds in 29 games. Brand missed all but nine games of last season with a torn Achillies’.

I would've liked Brand, but his injury history scared me. Now that he's out (along with Michael Redd and probably Gerald Wallace) the Cavs can focus on a select few.

Chris Bosh isn't one of those few. Don't expect the Cavs to trade for him. They don't have the parts. Cleveland can offer Wally, JJ, Boobie and picks for Bosh and Kapono, but if Miami is offering Beasley and Marion (and picks), I don't see how the Cavs can compete. And if Portland decides to make a run, it's over. No one can compete with their young talent. (And if I'm the Raptors, I look to trade him this season, at least you could entice a team for two playoff runs. If you try next offseason, teams would just be getting a 1-year rental).

I'd like the Cavs to save their cash and go after Bosh in 2010, but I won't lie, I'm slightly intriuged by this:

Perhaps signaling a willingness to dismantle their roster, the Phoenix Suns have begun exchanging trade proposals with teams for All-Star forward Amare Stoudemire, league executives told Yahoo! Sports on Thursday.

With dysfunction and dissension reigning within the Suns, rival front-office executives believe general manager Steve Kerr is determined to move Stoudemire and others before the Feb. 19 trade deadline.

Ferry and Kerr were teammates... just throwing it out there. But do the Cavs want Amare? I dunno. I've never been a huge Stoudemire guy; I've always thought he was a bit overrated (he's got a great first step, that's about it) and I've never liked his attitude, but the guy is REALLY talented. However, his defense is horrendous. Now, the Cavs have Mike Brown, but I'm not sure how coachable Amare actually is. Plus, would he be content to play second fiddle next to Bron-Bron? I dunno.

At this point, I'm leaning towards not doing anything and hoping Joe Smith gets bought out. This team has held its ground in the face of injuries and flu-like symptoms, they look pretty damn good. Don't get me wrong, I'd like to add a piece, but for what price? If the Cavs can get someone like Mike Miller (who makes $9 mil this year and next) cheaply (aka for Wally), I'll be OK. But unless they're really high on Vince Carter, then I say stand pat.

We have two more weeks....

Cleveland 107, New York 102

Suck. On. This. LeBron came into Madison Square Garden and followed up Kobe's 61 by dropping a ridiculous 52 points, 11 assists, 10 boards and 2 blocks. He was 17-33 from the floor (he was feeling the jumper), 16-19 from the line and just 2-7 from behind the arc. He abused every Knick that tried to guard him and he was just as good on the defensive end; he challenged the passing lanes and defended the rim. LeBron isn't the pure scorer Kobe is, but he put on just as masterful of a performance, showing off his all-around game (perfect example, he ended the first half by zipping a cross-court pass to Ben Wallace for an easy layup as time expired. Most superstars take a 30 footer).

The Cavs actually needed LeBron's scoring, as both Z and Mo weren't hitting shots. Ilgauskas doesn't seem to have a good rythm at the moment, finishing just 5-13 from the floor and 4-6 from the stripe. Z ended up with 15 points and 8 boards (he also hit another corner trey). Mo's shot wasn't falling either, finished just 3-12 from the floor with 9 points, 4 boards and just 2 assists. Both guys had some nice moments, but couldn't get any extended runs going.

The role players played their roles. How Ben Wallace was only credited with a single board is beyond me. As Austin Carr noted, Ben sure gets his hands on a lot of balls. And it's true. Wallace tipped numerous rebounds to his teammates for extended possessions. Both Daniel Gibson and Wally Szczerbiak stepped up as well. Wally continued his recent strong play by netting 15 points (5-9 FG, 2-5 3PT) and grabbing a man-size 13 rebounds (he's working really hard out there, I'm almost sorry to see him get traded. He's stepped it up and has been a pro. I bet he really wants to get bought out and spend the month of March with his family). And Boobie did what Boobie does: shoot the ball. Gibson had 11 points and was 3-6 from behind the arc (4-8 overall).

Give the Knicks credit, they fought back. The Cavs absolutely burried New York in the first period. They scored the first 10 points of the period and led 36-24 at the quarter break. They got a little bit lazy in the second period, settling for a lot of jumpers and letting the Knicks dictate the pace of the game. Al Harrington had 14 points in the quarter and had a nice night overall, finishing with 39 points and 13 boards (note: 0 assists). I've always liked Harrington's game and always thought he could be a nice 3rd option on a good team. This isn't a good team (and even though the Knicks went ahead at one point, they never seemed to have any control).

Varejao needs to get used to coming off the bench again. Since Z's return against the Clippers, Varejao's numbers have taken a plunge. Andy's numbers the last four games look like this: 2-9 FG, 20 rebounds and 9 points. He didn't attempt a single shot against the Knicks. This team will be even better once Z and Varejao get used to things.

and finally...

The Cavs get some days off. Their next game is this coming Sunday, at home, against the Lakers. The shoe is on the other foot now, as the Lakers are missing their starting center while having to travel to the Q. As for the Knicks... well, after dealing with Kobe and LeBron, they get to face the Celtics on Friday night. Fantastic. After the Laker game, the Cavs won't play again til next Tuesday when they start a back-to-back in Indiana followed by the Suns in Cleveland.

Wednesday, February 04, 2009

Pre-review of "Prelude to a Super Airplane"

The following is a review for Brian Spaeth's book Prelude to a Super Airplane, which I have not read. The idea is that I'll review the book before I read it, proceed to read said book and then post a review afterwords, seeing how close I get. I've done my best to stay away from any and all spoilers, plot twists, plot and characters.

(Full disclosure: I'm friends with the author. I helped destroy his old blog in great blog suicide of 2007. I was also an extra in the long rumored Who Shot Mamba? movie and I was recently interviewed on Brian's new blog. Also, we both went to Hudson High School).

Like many of you, I started reading Brian's work over at his blog YaySports because of his ridiculous NBA photoshops and unique(ly hilarious) writing style. Thankfully, Brian didn't try to do any "branching out" and Prelude to a Super Airplane is filled with that same witty writing, awesome NBA photoshops (Ron Artest fighting an airplane? Totally awesome!), the talking snake Mamba and of course, the Orange Roundie.

The best part of the book (by far) was Spaeth's highly original use of airplanes. The title is both dead on and a bit of a misnomer, as the airplane is ridiculously super but the word prelude is simply tacked on for show.

And that airplane is awesome. I don't want spoil anything, but this thing is 47 stories tall and kicks total ass (again, it fights Ron Artest in a hilarious photoshop montage). The characters are all fully developed and the story is gutwrenchingly true to life.

Unfortunately, Brian falls victim to many of the short falls of most blogging authors. I assumed Brian was joking when he said he wrote the book in just seven days, but now I'm not so sure. The book is riddled with spelling errors and is filled with words that I'm pretty sure he made up himself (and not in a good way, like in fantasy books).

If I have one complaint with Prelude to a Super Airplane, it's that it's too long. With the elaborate plot, large cast of characters and long, drawn out explanations on how a 47 story airplane actually works, you can easily find yourself confused. I recommend keeping a pad and paper next to your beside while you read, to jot down notes so you can keep up.

All in all, I highly recommend Prelude to a Super Airplane. It's funny, it's intelligent and the characters are really easy to relate to. You can purchase copies of Prelude to a Super Airplane here and other places (I assume).

New Podcast

I like this one- we discuss the Super Bowl, the NBA trade deadline, the terrible Browns and Michael Phelps and his bong.

Good times.

Cleveland 101, Toronto 83

It was over after the first 5 minutes. The Cavs jumped out to an early 8 point lead and never looked back. The first quarter was insane: the Cavaliers were 6-10 from behind the arc, they held Toronto to just 15 points and LeBron scored 16 points in the first 8 minutes. Sure, Toronto made a few runs here or there (*cough* third quarter) but the game was never seriously in doubt after this early blitz.

LeBron James = ridiculous. In 38 minutes, the Chosen One had 33 points and he shot really well- 9-20 FG, 2-5 3Pt and 13-13 (!) from the stripe. LeBron also filled the stat sheet in other ways, grabbing 7 boards to go with 4 assists, a steal and 2 blocks (including denying future-Cavalier Chris Bosh at the rim early in the fourth). LeBron was aggressive in attacking the rim and it paid off in regards to both his play and the calls he received (he wasn't forcing things and looking for the calls).

Take your vitamins. The Cavs missed Sasha Pavlovic, Lorenzen Wright and Joe Tait due to the flu (I didn't know about Sasha, but I'm not surprised in the least about Tait). Wally Started in Sasha's (er... West's) place and filled in admirably. Zoolander had 15 points, 4 boards and 3 assists in a whopping 44 minutes (he started the game 2-4 from downtown but finished 3-7, he was 4-10 overall and he made all 4 freethrow attempts). We've been saying all year that this is a deep squad and they're showing it; Sasha steps in for West, Wally steps in for Sasha and Mike Snyder steps in for Tait (I thought Snyder did OK).

Mo Williams showed why he should be an All-Star. Williams finished with 16 points, 9 assists, a board and a steal in 38 minutes. During the game-ending first quarter, Mo had 5 points and 6(!) assists. He set up James on a lob, he found Ben Wallace for an easy 2 and he set up the 3 for Wally, James and Daniel Gibson. I swear to god if a guy who can't fucking shoot the ball (Rondo) makes the All-Star team ahead of Mo.... (though I'm all about the extra motivation factor as well).

Toronto's bigs kept the Cavs in foul trouble. While both Z and Varejao finished with 5 fouls, Z had the least frustrating night. Ilgauskas had 6 points (3-8 FG, 0-1 3pt), 8 boards and 2 blocks in 23 minutes. Meanwhile in just 14 minutes, Varejao's 5 fouls were more than his shot attempts (3) and rebounds (also 3). Bosh finished with 29 points, 3 boards (?), 2 assists and 2 steals. He ran the floor well and he knocked down open looks (I don't expect the Cavs to trade for him-they don't have the parts- but they're gonna go after him hard in 2 years). Jermaine O'Neal also had a nice game, scoring 20 points and grabbing 8 rebounds to go along with a single assist and steal.

But J.J. Hickson filled in quite nicely. J.J. had 8 boards and 3 boards in 18 minutes. You can tell the game is slowing down for him; he's making better decisions on offense, he's not rushing (pump fakes!) and he's learning where he's supposed to be on certain plays (he filled the lane really well a couple of times). The Cavs played J.J. at small forward for a bit when they went big (it was a weird five: Boobie, LeBron, Hickson, Darnell Jackson and Varejao).

Boobie Gibson continued his hot streak from Detroit. Gibson shot the ball extremely well, scoring 18 points while going 6-11 from the floor and 4-5 from downtown. But he wasn't just a scorer, he also pitched in 3 boards, 2 assists and a steal. I like how Gibson played and if he can make shots and stay within his game (just 1 turnover), I'll be much less annoyed with him (which is all that matters, in the end).

and finally...

Stay away from ESPN (unless you want to go on a murderous rampage). The Cavs are in New York tonight, so you know what that means... 2010.... Kobe's 61.... Michael's double-nickle... I'll go out on the limb and say that the media could overshadow the actual basketball game. I don't care how much LeBron scores (I don't think it's smart for him to go for 62) all I care about is another Cavalier win (hopefully a blowout).

Monday, February 02, 2009


And thus ends the most painful football season in Cleveland Browns history: the expectations, the national games, the preseason problems, the dead start, the timeouts, the field goals, our hope returning after the Giants, injuries, K2 wanted to be traded, Braylon dropping balls, 6 weeks of no touchdowns, the Savage email, losing at home to the Bengals in 12 degrees, coaches fired, GM fired, Edwards crying about Michigan, Raven-Steelers AFC Championship and capped off by a Steelers come-from-behind Superbowl win (including two or three all-time SB plays). Wow.

Obviously, I was pulling for Arizona. Rooting for Pittsburgh... I've tried before (the Cowboys SB) and I just naturally gravitate to the opposing team (I do the same thing with Michigan, even when it'll help OSU if they win, I still root for them to lose, preferably with injuries). I wouldn't say I'm pissed they won, because I expected it. I'm just happy(?) that they at least had to earn it. This wasn't a blowout where one team completely outclassed the other- this was a very good, very competitive ballgame (although, it was a little to similar to the OSU-Texas game for my liking).

Even though I hate the Steelers, I hafta be proud for the Ohio guys. The biggest plays the Steelers made were all by guys who went to college in Ohio. The MVP of the game? From Ohio State, where I got my undergrad (Santonio was AWESOME. Even his catch on the saftey was ridiculous). That 100 INT returned for a touchdown? That's James Harrison, Kent State alum (where I got my Masters). And Big Ben? Miami (where I got hammered).

The Cardinals gave Pittsburgh an fight. They kept in it. The NFL has gotten really lucky, these last couple Super Bowls have been fantastic.

Other stuff:

The Transformers II commerical was a delight. Although this (fake) version is a bit awesomer (though I'm not sure it's better than the Thundercats). I was also suprised how bad-ass the new Star Trek looks.

I still don't get those Sobe commercials. Like, I was unware the first one was so loved that it warrented a sequel.

Speaking of fakes, this fake Bonnaroo lineup makes my dick hard (why yes, Rules of Attraction did come up in conversation last night, why do you ask?). You have no idea how happy I'd be if this was true. The official announcement comes tomorrow and I'm fairly certain Springsteen (along with Phish) will be there.

Nice game from Boobie yesterday. They're gonna need him playing with confidence (and fire) if they want to win a title (especially if Wally is traded and not bought out). I feel like, at times, Boobie is a little too pleased with himself (or maybe he's a little too comfortable). He'll loose the ball or do something stupid but he'll still have a big grin on his face. D up, knock down your shots and don't try to do too much. He's in the NBA because of his jumper, there isn't anything wrong with being a standout shooter.

I still haven't decided if I want the Cavs to trade for a big or a wing. On one hand, someone like Wallace or Stephen Jackson could take the defense to another level. But then again, if they could land Brand (I believe the reports that he's available), they'd be in an amazing spot. I'd love to land Marcus Camby, but I don't see how they get him.

Sunday, February 01, 2009


Not gonna lie, I'm at work right now.

I get off work at 5 (+ 1 hour driving).

Cavs-Pistons start at 2:30.

Super Bowl starts at 6:30.

Then tomorrow, I work a split shift (9-1 and 5-9).

So if you think I'm gonna have anyting about the Cavs-Pistons game, you're kidding yourself.

Go Cardinals!