Friday, October 30, 2009

Season Preview/Browns Review Podcast

Is here now! We recorded this on Monday before the first Cavs game. I think it holds up in the face of their 0-2 start.

Thursday, October 29, 2009


Cleveland isn't in a good stretch at the moment:
The city of Cleveland has experienced one sports victory since the end of September. The Browns, Indians and Cavs are a combined 1-20 in their last 21 games. The city has one win in October in 10 tries between three sports, and amazingly enough, it came from the Browns.
Things aren't great; Rolling Stone is making fun of the Browns' coach, Cleveland fans seems to have forgotten that Adrian Wojnarowski does this every year (last year it was after only one game and he had LBJ going to freaking Detroit) and the Cavs seem to be on the verge of making a panic move:
Golden State wants Zydrunas Ilgauskas from Cleveland, but the Cavs aren't willing to give him up because they need him to back up Shaq. The Warriors would like Manu Ginobili from the Spurs, but I can't see the Spurs parting with Manu. I'm told the Warriors' discussions with Denver were brief because Jackson's $7.65 million salary doesn't fit under their $7.4 million trade exception.
  • Our evening check, via NBA front-office sources, likewise suggested that Golden State is still getting largely unappetizing offers for Jackson. The Warriors are undoubtedly prepared to move Jackson but have said from the start that they won't rush the process just for the sake of making a deal.
  • Cleveland nonetheless continues to be nominated by executives around the league as the most likely destination for Jackson. Yet we must again pass along the disclaimer that obstacles to a Cavs-Warriors swap remain, even if Cleveland’s 0-2 start has put LeBron James and his overhauled supporting cast on a path toward desperate faster than anyone imagined.
  • Sources say that both LeBron and Shaq -- although they have no plans to say so publicly – like the idea of acquiring Jackson. But Cleveland’s reluctance to part with Zydrunas Ilgauskas and his $11.5 million expiring contract in the exchange, which would make the Cavs smaller as a team and strip them of their O’Neal injury insurance, has been well chronicled.
  • If the Warriors were willing to package Ronny Turiaf along with Jackson or planning to waive Ilgauskas after they got him – potentially setting up Big Z to rejoin the Cavs after a 30-day wait as seen last season with Antonio McDyess – Cleveland’s perspective would presumably change. Every signal I’m getting, though, suggests that Golden State would be amenable to neither of those scenarios.
  • So, either another team (or two) must be recruited to help facilitate a Jackson-to-Cleveland swap. Or that deal depends on the early season discomfort in Cleveland or Golden State reaching the point that it causes one of the teams involved to amend their current stance.
I'm not sure how I feel about this. On one hand, I think Stephen Jackson would be an awesome starting 2 guard next to LeBron. On the other hand, his contract stinks and I'm not sure that, if the Cavs are trading Z, that Stephen Jackson is right guy coming back. I also have a really hard time giving up on last years core to make sure Shaq works out. Also, you're gonna have Mike Brown work Shaq and S-Jax into the offense on the fly? Sweet (though to be fair to Brown, Shaq spent the summer filming a reality show and LeBron was on a book/movie tour- it's not like they were logging time on the practice court together working out their kinks).

As I wrote the other the day, the starting 5 from last year's 66 win team is still intact (Delonte pending, but still), they shouldn't need to reinvent the wheel.

The Cavs really only have two options if the Shaquisition doesn't go well: they can cut their losses or double down.

To me, cutting their losses doesn't mean dumping Shaq all together (though that's certainly an option), but it does require then to move Shaq to the bench. Shaq's ego aside, I don't think this should go too badly:
The other thing that starting Z does for the offense is it allows the Cavaliers to separate LeBron and Shaq. As of right now, those 2 are not showing any signs of being able to coexist in this offense. Furthermore, the Cavaliers bench is getting destroyed when LeBron sits. Because Shaq relies on his inside post game, coming off the bench cold isn’t quite as big of an issue. By moving Shaq to the 2nd unit, you can allow the first team offense to run as normal, and then when Shaq comes in you can focus on running the offense through him. It would give the bench unit an offensive presence to lean on, which is something sorely missed right now.
I know this team got exposed against Orlando last year but there's no need to blow this squad up. They needed some perimeter length and some extra size down low, two issues they've addressed this offseason (Parker and Moon for length, Shaq and Powe for size). Trading for yet another starter (or will The Captain be willing to come off the bench?) and getting further and further away from what worked so well a season doesn't seem too bright to me.

Do Mike Brown and Danny Ferry have the testicular fortitude to reinsert Z into the starting lineup (rather, move Shaq to the bench)? I doubt it. But I really really really hope they do (and hell, you could even start Shaq down the road once everyone gets comfortable with each other). Despite how the season ended, the Cavs had a really good basketball team. It'd be a shame to screw that up.

Well... fuck

There are a five things we can be certain of at this point:

1. The Cavs are not in sync at the offensive end
2. LeBron James looks dialed in (triple double)
3. We're gonna see a lot of Mike Brown/Eric Wedge jokes over the next few days
4. Last year they started 1-2
5. It's a long season

I'm gonna have more tomorrow (haven't watched any of the game yet, but I did get to hear a disappointed Joe Tait) but this obviously wasn't the start the Cavs were hoping to have. It's a long, long season and it's obvious that every one is still figuring each other out (the flu, injuries and Delonteness made it the Preseason of Coby Karl).

It's a long season and you have to figure that this team will be better in February than they are now and better in May than they were in February. Though I will say, they can only suffer so many losses against potential playoff opponents before it will hurt their head-to-head tiebreakers.

And while this start stinks, it's not going to put them in danger of actually missing the playoffs (a concern a friend of mine actually voiced tonight). No matter how bad the Shaq-periment (gonna be a long year with the Shaq puns, fyi) goes, they aren't going to go from 66 wins to finishing 9th in the East.

Worse case scenario: Shaq (who had a +/- of -25 tonight) and Parker move to the bench, they go with last year's starting five (let's not forget that the only rotation players they lost from their 66 win team were Ben Wallace and Sasha Pavlovic) and we get to watch Mike Brown and Danny Ferry play the role of Steve Kerr.

Wait- check that. The actual worst case scenario: this early trend continues, Brown refuses to move Shaq to bench either due to being intimidated or simple Coach Mike obtuseness and we'll have to suffer terrible offense every day of winter (as opposed to just on Sundays) until Brown gets canned in a mid-year panic move made by a team desperate to accommodate Shaq and/or win a title in what could be LeBron's last year in a Cavalier uniform.


Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Boston 95, Cleveland 89

Well, not the best way to start the season. Well, to be fair things started off really great but it didn't last (a little too similar to Game 1 vs Orlando for my tastes). The Cavs jumped out to a 19-5 lead and everyone was happy; each starter had a field goal, Shaq made back-to-back baskets- things were good. With about four minutes to go in the first, LeBron followed a 33 foot bomb with a nifty backdoor layup (assist from Varejao in the high post) and the Cavs held a comfortable 26-14 lead. This was the high point.

Basically, once the Cavs made their first substitutions, everything went downhill. Z came off the bench about 50 seconds before LeBron's 3pt/backdoor layup combo and the Celtics ended the quarter on a 7-2 run (Cleveland lead down to single digits, 28-21, at the quarter break). Boston proceeded to open the second quarter with a 13-6 run to tie the game at 34. Celtics had a 51-45 halftime lead and the Cavs never came close to taking the lead again.

Does everyone remember that Shaq is 37? It's not like he had a terrible first game (10 points, 10 boards, 1 assist) and I really enjoyed his early post game (he started 4-6, ended up 5-11). But at no point would you ever mistake him for someone 'not old'. The Celtics didn't double team him (though Perkins is one of the players better suited to guard Shaq one-on-one) and they exploited him in the pick-and-roll (including a crucial bucket late). At times O'Neal looked good (it's imperative to get him the ball when he establishes good early position) and I don't think he moved poorly on defense (but pick-and-rolls will be an ongoing problem). I gotta admit, I love his shear size; Shaq threw both Rondo and KG tothe floor and it's nice having a guy like that protecting the rim. Obviously it's extremely early, but they have some work to do on both the offensive and defensive side of the ball. To be fair, Boston is a tough first game (especially to work in new guys) but Boston is a team they're gonna have to beat to get to the Finals.

LeBron looked crazy good. James finished with 38 points, 8 assists, 4 boards, 4 blocks(!!!) and 2 steals. James was sizzling from downtown (4-9 from long range) and his two-point jumper was money as well. James was 10-13 from the line (77%), but one of those misses was with 5 minutes go and a chance to cut Boston's lead to three. The Le-Iso showed its head at times and while LeBron's shot was falling, initiating the offense 27 feet from the hoop led to some turnovers (which included two turnovers on consecutive possessions in the middle of the fourth).

Fearless prediction #1: this will not be the last time I type these words: 'where was LeBron's post game tonight?' While James was spectacular in many aspects on the offensive end, he rarely posted up and when he did, he allowed himself to get pushed out of the low block. Notice that when the Cavs had Daniel Gibson (who I seem to like less and less each year he's in the league) guarding the bigger Ray Allen, the Celtics went to Allen on the block and he used his size to get a few easy buckets. LeBron could be doing this constantly. Now, I'm sure we'll see him break out the post game against the Bobcats or Pistons of the league; maybe he needs to build up his confidence in this aspect of his game, I dunno. But he's going to need those easy buckets against the good teams in the league. LeBron had more three-point attempts than Mo Williams had total shots- not a way to beat a team like the Celtics (or any good team).

Fearless prediction #2: Kevin Garnett will miss some games this year. It looked to me like he was favoring his knee a little bit. James threw an alley-oop to Moon directly over KG and Garnett jumped but just couldn't reach it and he also biffed a dunk late in the game. Don't get me wrong, Garnett had a decent first game back (he took a pounded from Shaq on a number of occasions) but I would be shocked if he makes it through the year unscathed.

This was a combo of a good defensive team combined with a Cavs squad clearly still getting used to each other. As mentioned earlier, James took more treys than Mo had total shots. Mike Brown paired Z with Shaq for a good chunk of the fourth quarter. Anthony Parker and Anderson Varejao let too many passes bounce off their hands. You can tell there are still kinks to work out (and again, Boston is a really good team, they are tough to beat regardless of the circumstances). It should go without saying, but Delonte was sorely missed (fyi- Boobie is not a point guard at all).

The offense wasn't pretty. Jamario Moon and Parker have to figure out where they're gonna get their shots. I know this is his M.O. but Moon jacked up a couple shots WAY too soon into the possession (though I enjoyed his alley-oop from James. Nice that James can throw lobs to someone, he's never really had that). Mo is going to have to figure out where he's gonna find his shots as well. Williams can't become a spot up shooter waiting for Shaq or LeBron to feed him the ball. That's not his game and they're going to have to figure out how to mesh LBJ, Shaq and Mo. Overall, the Cavs took way to many jumpers and, at times, the offense looked extremely disjointed.

Celtics looked pretty good. They were rusty as well but they didn't seem to shoot themselves in the foot as often as the Cavs did. Rondo was a pest (he killed Mo on the offensive boards), the Celtics shot 9-19 from beyond the arc, Pierce and KG hit some big, big shots down the stretch and the Celtics did just enough to sneak out of Cleveland with a win. Rasheed Wallace (sporting an afro) shot 3-6 from downtown but I don't recall him doing much else. The TNT crew was extremely high on the Sheed and KG combo but I'm just not seeing it; Sheed looks content to hoist jumpers all night (3 boards in 24 minutes) and KG is noticeably slower. Again, it's super early, but I'm not sold on both of these guys for the long haul.

and finally...

No time to dwell on it. The Cavs get to start the season off with a 4-in-5 and they face the Raptors in Toronto on Tuesday night. I'll be honest, this game left me with a sour taste in my mouth (Shaq looking old, LeBron settling for jumpers, the offense looking Browns-esque at times) but ya gotta remember it's only game 1/82. They have some time to correct these things (and get Delonte back). For what it's worth, when I can, I try to tweet live during the games (Browns too), you can follow me @BenCox83. Now, if you excuse me, I have some reading to do.

Monday, October 26, 2009

Random Thoughts from the Weekend

1. Not worried. I really think Terrelle Pryor will be fine. This is a kid who has never struggled on the field before, it might take some time to figure things out. But then again, I have more patience than most OSU fans.

2. Not quite the same. For all the talk of Pyror and Vince Young, while Young struggled his second season (like Pyror) and eventually turned it around (we'll see with Pryor) he was also a redshirt sophomore (a year older than Pryor). I dunno if that extra year will make that much of a difference, but just note that Young was a year older/wiser than Pyror is now.

3. Dumb. Bill Livingston's Terrelle Pryor column.

4. The offense was better... but it was against Minnesota. Of course, they lost to Purdue last week, so anything remotely positive is a step up. Things looked better in the second half and that is definitely something to build upon.

5. Not getting any easier. Ohio State faces New Mexico State at home next week and they finish with @PSU, Iowa, @Michigan. Good luck with that. If Pryor can get through the rest of the year unscathed, I would feel very good about next season.

6. I didn't hear it. I was watching some ESPN college football postgame show on Saturday and Bob Griese came on and apologized for something offensive he said during the Buckeye game.

7. The Browns suck. I mean they really really really really suck.

8. Not so fast, I think. Patrick McManamon says that the Browns should admit their mistake with Mangini and start over. I think you gotta give Mangini at least two years. You gotta let him make his 11 draft picks next April.

9. Though I'm not defending his performance by any means. His stubbornness on refusing to play Brady Quinn is borderline insane, the team is routinely getting blown out and the players have been unhappy for awhile. Things aren't good.

10. Things I know. Derek Anderson is not a starting caliber NFL quarterback. Josh Cribbs is not a starting caliber NFL wide receiver.

11. Speaking of Cribbs. If you're gonna use the Wildcat offense, fucking use the Wildcat offense. Running it once or twice a game is beyond stupid. If Cribbs isn't gonna be used on offense, but him at safety. He's too good of an athlete to only impact the game on special teams. If he can't be a playmaker on offense, let him be one on defense.

12. They gave up. The Browns simply gave up during the fourth period. The Packers marched 99 yards down the field with ease and the Browns didn't look like they gave a shit.

13. Pathetic. Say what you will about the offense keeping the defense on the field, but you can't face Aaron Roger (with his league high 25 sacks) and not get to him once during the game. Bad bad bad bad.

14. Still waiting. Terry Pluto thought that this would be the year that the Browns didn't suck at defending the run. Nope.

15. Not my money. Sure, Quinn probably isn't playing due to his $11 million/70% of the snaps contract clause (which is really the only sensible reason he's not playing). And that's fine, I guess. But it's gotta be fairly obvious that D.A. isn't the guy. I'd like to see Quinn once the 70% threshold is passed, but I'd even take Ratliff at this point. Anyone but D.A.

16. Kinda a big deal. I'm not really sure why Mangini is getting ripped on nationally like he is. The Browns have had a shitty, fat coach for years, why does Rolling Stone decide to give a shit now?

17. Long nightmare is over. The Cavs start tomorrow. TOMORROW!! I can officially stop caring about the Browns.

18. Delonte, Delonte, Delonte. Not good. West's wife filed domestic violence report. Not good.

19. Nice idea, but no. Windhorst is asked if J.J. Hickson could start... Apparently Coach Brown once thought that since Andy plays so well with Z, that J.J. could start next to Shaq. But he did away with that idea once they saw how well Varejao worked with O'Neal. I think Hickson is poised to have a monster year and I hope Brown gives him regular playing time.

20. Rough start. The Cavs start the season with a 4-in-5, face 7 back-to-backs in the first five weeks and are on the road for most of the first 2 months or so. The Cavs could end up having a worse record than last season, but be more prepared for the playoffs.

21. Thoughts on Shaq. I go back and forth on how I feel about O'Neal. On one hand, the Cavs are adding a veteran HoF big man who can score in the post and protect the rim. Ben likes. On the other hand, I can't simply dismiss criticisms from people like Bill Simmons who point out that Shaq has now left four teams on bad terms and is really old/fat. Ben doesn't disagree. However, whenever thoughts like that get me down, I have to remember that the Cavs only gave up Ben Wallace and Sasha Pavlovic. They got Shaq for nothing.

22. That does concern me, the fact that they got him for zilch. We'll see how Shaq looks without the vaunted Phoenix medical staff, it could be ugly. He's 37 years old and a billion pounds, he's not the same guy anymore. As excited as I am for this season (and you really have no idea), there's a very good possibility that this Shaq thing blows up in our collective faces.

23. Though Shaq may not be their best pickup. I really like the signings of both Anthony Parker and Jamario Moon. Both swing men should be able to contribute on both ends of the floor. Parker should help in the halfcourt offense and Moon should help enable them to run and go small if need be.

24. If Coach Mike is up to the task. Maybe it's just me, but I gotta be a little concerned about the news that Shaq doesn't understand the playbook and that Brown hasn't decided on a rotation yet. Sweet. I'm sure this won't drive me insane for the first half of the year.

25. Say what you will about the Browns. But at least they control their own destiny. They suck purely due to faults of their own making. Meanwhile, Tribe fans get to watch C.C. Sabathia go against Cliff Lee in the Worlds Series. Mid-market MLB teams are glorified farm teams for the big markets. Both of those guys were traded due to monetary reasons.

26. Speaking of a crappy economy. Who would've thought that the economic down turn would actually help out a Cleveland franchise. With the salary cap dropping and teams losing money, it looks more and more likely that LeBron is gonna re-up with the Cavaliers. Weird.

27. Should I care? The Indians hired a guy who used to coach the Nationals. Awesome. I was hoping for Bobby Valentine, simply because he seemed interesting. I literally have no opinion on Manny Acta.

28. I'm a dork (part 1). A new Wheel of Time book comes out tomorrow (it's a big day for me). This past month, I've been diving headlong into the WoT blogs to catch up. I'm ridiculously pumped.

29. I'm a dork (part 2). We're two episodes into the new season of Venture Bros. and it is freaking epic. I highly recommend this show and you can watch full episodes online.

30. Music time. The new Muse album, The Resistance, is pretty badass. It's over the top, pompous, bombastic, Queen-esque and really freaking good. This is 'United States of Eurasia'

Saturday, October 24, 2009

Yes please

So Antonio Daniels got waived (h/t WFNY):

The Cavaliers have been in contact with veteran point guard Antonio Daniels, a league source said.

Daniels, 34, was waived on Friday by the Minnesota Timberwolves. He won't clear waivers until Tuesday.

The Columbus native agreed to a buyout of his $6.6 million contract with the Timberwolves.

The 6-foot-4, 205-pounder has averaged 7.6 points and 3.4 assists in his 12-year career.

Agent Tony Dutt didn't return a phone message.

A source said Daniels would like to sign for the veteran's minimum of $1,306,455, guaranteed for the year.

Daniels, who attended Bowling Green, can play both guard spots.
Ohio native? Check.
Experienced veteran? Check.
Can play both guard positions (re: backup PG)? Check.

I'm fairly concerned about the backup point guard role. Thus far we haven't seen Delonte West and despite his hot shooting, I simply don't trust Daniel Gibson to run the offense.

I would absolutely love this move. Daniels has experience with playoff teams (San Antonio and Washington), he's big (6-4) and he can play point. Pairing him with either West or Parker would be fantastic. Signing Daniels would give Coach Mike even more flexibility on both the offensive (allowing Parker to come off the bench, as Daniels will have the ball handling duties) and defensive ends (Daniels' length offers a different look defending small guards).

Plus, I always like it when Ohio boys come home.

Thursday, October 22, 2009


LeBron is giving Terrelle Pryor some tips and pointers:

James said he has been speaking to Pryor on the phone in recent weeks to try to help him deal with celebrity at a young age. James knows something about that, since he appeared on the cover of Sports Illustrated under the headline "The Chosen One" while he was still in high school in Akron, Ohio.

"Being that No. 1 guy, how do you adjust to it and how do you get through it and still perform at a high level?" James said. "Sometimes it can be very difficult on [a young athlete]. I'm trying to be that guy who can really help him get through a lot of situations which he's never seen before but now he's seeing and understanding."

Pryor has been under fire from Ohio State fans after throwing two interceptions and losing two fumbles in the then-No. 7 ranked Buckeyes' stunning 26-18 loss at Purdue last week. They tumbled to No. 18 this week, and meet Minnesota on Saturday.

Adding to the pressure surrounding Pryor, his high school coach in Jeannette, Pa., said this week that Ohio State's offense is not maximizing Pryor's abilities. In a story which first appeared on, Ray Reitz said his former charge looks like "a robot" in Ohio State's offense.

Now, a cynical jackass like myself might wonder if LeBron has any idea what Pryor is going through. Sure, on the topic of being a young sports celebrity, I'm sure Bron-Bron can help a bunch. But has LeBron ever had the on court/field problems that Pryor is dealing with?

James has been a stud his entire NBA career. Sure, there have been blips here and there (free throw shooting, passing to Donyell Marshall, walking off the court without shaking hands) but for the most part, LeBron hasn't had many terrible games. Even when they lose in the playoffs, no one dares say LeBron was the reason, it's always the crappy teammates not helping him out (never mind that LeBron played off the ball for the entire year UNTIL the Orlando series when he would bring the ball up court every possession. Mo and Delonte weren't spot up shooters all season, but they were vs Orlando. Ya know what, let's move on).

The ongoing saga with Pryor pretty much summarizes why I just can't follow college sports like I do the professional leagues. Has Pryor stunk the past few weeks? Sure he has, no one denies that. But with all of the hype coming out of high school, Ohio State fans seem to view Pryor like an overpaid free agent bust rather than a 20 year old kid (who's dealing with on field adversity for the first time in his life). He's not Larry Hughes.

I just can't get that upset that when an 18-20 year old kid screws up (though it's not like I don't get pissed while watching the games). You couple that with the college football BCS format (where one bad game can ruin your title hopes) and the insane amount of pressure that playing for a big time program like Ohio State entails and I'm not surprised that guys like LeBron are lending a hand to help him out. It can't be easy.

(BTW- the Cavs were charging 50 dollars to see last night's exhibition game versus the Celtics in Columbus. Classy).

Friday, October 16, 2009

This is Dumb

No no no no no no no:

The Browns are believed to be unwilling to trade Cribbs before Tuesday's deadline, a source said. They prefer to hang onto him and perhaps work out a deal in the future. Cribbs is the prototypical player for coach Eric Mangini, one who has tremendous passion for the game.

The source said two teams inquired on Thursday about trading for Cribbs. The Palm Beach, Fla., Post reported that two of the teams interested in Cribbs are Kansas City and Oakland. Indianapolis has also been mentioned., citing a league source, reported the Jaguars and 49ers are also interested.

But unless they make the Browns an offer they can't refuse, nothing is likely to happen by Tuesday's 4 p.m. deadline.

The Dayton Daily News reported the Miami Dolphins expressed interest.

No. You don't trade Josh Cribbs. He and Joe Thomas are the only things worth a damn on this squad. Cribbs is the sole reason this team gets in the endzone; if he doesn't get it there himself, he give their shitty offense great field position. They lose Cribbs and they may not see the endzone until 2010.

Just pay the guy. Is this really that difficult? Pay the man.

Also, either figure out how to use Cribbs on offense or move him to safety. Hint: use the wildcat more than once a game (and not back to back) and let him throw it every now and then. Another hint: he's not a wideout, his hands aren't good enough and he's not a good route runner. But imagine him on defense... taking out receivers coming over the middle, coming around on a blindside blitz... the man is a beast.

Don't you dare trade him.

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Did you forget you were rooting for a Cleveland team?

Seriously? Freaking swine flu?

James and two Cleveland teammates have tested positive for Influenza A, and are being treated as if they have the H1N1 virus by the Cavaliers, who are being proactive in dealing with a flu bug that already has sickened six players.

H1N1, also known as swine flu, is a strain of Influenza A, and though the Cavaliers have not gotten back H1N1 test results on James, Darnell Jackson or Coby Karl, the team is treating all its players and the traveling party to Texas with medication to fight the virus.

God dammit.

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

This says it all

From an article discussing the possibility of trading Brady Quinn:
Quinn, on the other hand, can't get on the field in place of a quarterback who now has one touchdown pass, five interceptions and a league-worst 39.0 rating. Quinn, who started against some of the best teams and defenses in the NFL -- the 5-0 Vikings, 5-0 Broncos and 3-2 Ravens -- has better numbers than Anderson with one touchdown, three interceptions, a 60.8 completion percentage to Anderson's 46.4, and a 62.9 rating
(Let's not forget that in the the Browns wasted a Quinn redzone possession by running the same Josh Cribbs direct snap on 2nd and 3rd down. Romeo-esque).

Ugh. I was actually angry that a lot of my friends had these "yay!!! Browns win!!" as their Facebook status. I dunno about you, but I wasn't happy after that game. I'm absolutely pissed that I not only watched that whole game, but that I DVR'd the game so I wouldn't miss anything. Woo!!

By the way, the Browns didnt' win, the Bills lost. The Browns had no business winning that game, but the Bills definitely deserved to lose. I especially enjoyed the timeout at the end of the 3rd quarter (forcing the Browns to kick into the wind), followed by the return man running backwards 15 yards and concluding with a '3 and out' with a 15 yard penalty tacked on at the end. Well done. As a Cleveland fan, I salute you. I almost missed the Crennelephant for a second.

As for Quinn vs DA, I'd still rather see Quinn take his lumps on a bad team than watch DA. Now, maybe Anderson is better suited for this talentless squad, but I can't help but think that Quinn has gotten a raw deal (however, if he wouldn't have held out, he would've won the job his rookie year, easily). Anderson has moved the ball, sure. But if we're judging him by the same standard we judged Brady, it's time for Brett Ratliff, no?

On one hand, a win is a win. But on the other hand, they scored 6 points and the QB was 2-17... I don't understand feeling good about last week, I just don't. They won because the Bills had 39 false starts and couldn't get out of their own way.

Bottom line: this team is a mess. The defense wasn't awful (in fact, quite good), though I fully expected Buffalo to score on what should've their final drive, but the Browns got bailed by Roscoe Parrish muffing the punt. Once again, the special teams is the best unit on the squad. The new Browns: extra special. Ugh.

On the other hand, the Cavs sure do look good, eh?

Monday, October 12, 2009

Preseason Game 3

Some quick thoughts of the Cavs preseason victory (3-0! whoo!!) over Olympiacos.

- No Delonte (excused absence), no Mo (groin) and no Moon (wisdom teeth), but it didn't matter, Olympiacos was simply over matched. The game wasn't even as close as the 111-94 final.

- I have NOT missed Fred and Austin.

- With Williams missing the game due to a sore groin, Boobie Gibson got to play point guard for the bulk of the game.

- The Cavs need a backup point guard to Mo Williams.

- Gibson wasn't awful, but the guy cannot pass the ball with any degree of accuracy. He can't throw a lob pass, he can't hit the cutter and he can't (for the life of him) throw an entry pass. His shooting was fine (his shot looks smooth and pure) but his ball handling skills are still sub par.

- Anthony Parker brings a different look to the offensive end. He's far and away the best catch and shoot player the Cavs have had in about a decade and he also showed off a couple moves on the block. Parker gives the Cavs a an extra dimension on offensive, being able to come of screens as well as post up smaller guards. He's also very smart, he spaces the floor well, move well with out the ball and makes the right pass more often than not.

- LeBron is good. And got away with a goal tend.

- Shaq looks to be moving well and 'soared' through the air a few times to dunk the ball (LeBron feeds him well).

- Coby Karl is bustin his ass to make this squad. Which would be fun. The Cavs need a token white guard to run around and hit 3s. Karl had 10 points, 3 boards and 3 assists.

- Now Andre Barrett is a Point Guard. It's no accident that he recorded two more assists than Boobie in 10 less minutes on the court. He fed both J.J. Hickson and Zydrunas with beautiful entry passes and he actually puts the ball where the receiving player can do something with it.

Wednesday, October 07, 2009

Giving Thanks

I'd like to thank the Browns for doing their part in keeping LeBron away from NYC by trading Mr. Dropsies McMichigan:
In the clearest demonstration yet that it's Eric Mangini's way or the highway, the Cleveland Browns traded receiver Braylon Edwards to the New York Jets today.
Also, many thanks to Eric Mangini for making it OK to hate on Braylon Edwards with no remorse. Edwards always made it hard to get behind him 100% (with his drops, attitude and the 'they hate me because I'm from M*ch*g*n" routine). But now that he's in New York I can hate away.

And finally, I'd like to thank both the Browns and the Tribe for being so horrifically bad that they could end up guilting LeBron into staying, lest he leave Cleveland fans with no competetive franchise.

Tuesday, October 06, 2009

They're Back

Some quick thoughts on the Cavs preseason opener:

- LeBron knocked down some open jumpers (one off a curl) and set up in the mid-post a few times. Me gusta. Though, truth be told, it's great and all that LeBron has been working on the block, but if he's going 1-on-5 come playoff time, it's all for naught.

- Anderson Varejao is going to have to keep his eyes peeled whenever Shaq has the ball. He should get a lot of opportunities with LeBron and Shaq on the floor.

- Z is gonna kill backup centers.

- The 2nd unit of Boobie-Green-Moon-Hickson-Z looks like a pre-LeBron Cavaliers first unit.

- J.J. Hickson looked good. I have really high hopes for this kid. He knocked down a faceup from 15 feet and he crashed the boards really well.

- The Cavs are gonna block a ton of shots this year. Newcomers Shaq and Moon will block a ton and if Hickson gets playing time... look out. (Oh ya, LeBron and Z will swat a few as well).

- Repeat after me: Daniel Gibson is not a point guard. Daniel Gibson is not a point guard.

- Danny Green made some nice plays, but he was rushing a bit. Which, I guess, is to be expected from a rookie's first time out on an NBA court.

- When Shaq was on the bench, he was always seated between Varejao and assistant Chris Jent. I don't know if that means anything, but Shaq and Jent had their heads together all game.

- The Cavs will struggle at the line. LeBron and Shaq are going to get a lot of teams in foul trouble. LeBron and Shaq are going to shoot a lot of free throws. LeBron and Shaq are going to miss a lot of free throws. It could get ugly. Especially if Andy gets in on the act. I'd like to see them draw up some plays that will net Mo Williams some freebies.


Buried in this Braylon Edwards/nightclub fight article:

The incident nearly turned into a brawl. Givens' friends came to his defense and several Browns players, who were with Edwards, threw punches to defend themselves, a witness said. Police quelled the ruckus after pointing Tasers at the combatants.

A Cavaliers player drove Edwards away from the club, the witness said.

Givens is a close friend of Cavaliers star LeBron James. Edwards bad-mouthed James and some of his friends before tossing the punch, Givens said.

James criticized Edwards Monday and called him childish for striking Givens.

Does Mr. Dropsies McMichigan want to get run out of town? He's already on thin ice with his attitude and his lack of performance on the field, but picking a fight with LeBron's crew? Really dude?

And which Cavalier took Braylon home? Who was he hanging out with?