Monday, December 27, 2010

You can have him, LeBron

The Cavs waived Jawad Williams:
In a surprise move, the Cleveland Cavaliers today released forward Jawad Williams, who had nine points in 23 minutes in Sunday night's 98-97 loss to the Timberwolves at The Q.
This is both kind of shocking and not at all.  Williams has been quite underwhelming this season, averaging just 4.0 points and 1.8 boards in 26 games (15 mpg).  And it's not like he's putting up those gaudy numbers efficiently.  Jawad's shooting just 32% from the field and 29% from beyond the arc.  Yuck.

My biggest complaint with Williams this year wasn't that he was shooting horribly, but that he kept taking bad shots.  At times this season, Jawad has seemed like a cross between Eric Snow and Larry Hughes. He has Hughes's willingness to hoist the ball whenever it touched his hands combined with Eric Snow's shooting prowess. Jawad never met a shot he didn't like and when you're shooting 30%, that's is not a good attribute to have.

I find it a bit interesting that the Cavs really didn't give a reason for Williams's release:

“We would like to wish Jawad and his family the best in the future and thank him for his contributions, not only on the court but in the community,” said Cavaliers General Manager Chris Grant in a release emailed to the media.

Maybe they have other moves in the works, like a trade where they take back multiple players or simply a free agent signing. Could be they got sick of Jawad's attitude (his body language looked horrible from what I've seen) or maybe they just don't think they need a small forward who doesn't let his crappy shooting hinder his willingness to chuck up shots at every opportunity.  Who can tell, with Chris Grant's email.  

I wouldn't be shocked if we see Jawad end up in Miami, since James was recruiting him this offseason (chances the Cavs resigned Jawad just to spite LeBron: 100%). I'm not sure how useful he'd be for the Heat (or anyone, given his play thus far) but I could see him playing with LeBron at some point.

Saturday, December 25, 2010

Merry Christmas

(if you want to hang out with the ghosts of Christmas past, check out the PD's interview with Ron Harper. Harp says they could've won multiple titles. Ugh). 

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Let Me Get This Straight

These Ohio State players broke the rules. They sold personal items (which they quite literally earned with their blood and sweat) for money. They made money off their status as a NCAA athlete. Therefore, they will be punished.

Suspended for five games.

Starting next year.

The next game, the nationally televised BCS Sugar Bowl sponsored by All-State... they can play in that game.


Well, because they didn't know the rules. The same rules that they broke (which were so bad, it warrants a five game suspension). They didn't know about those rules.

And since they weren't aware of those rules, they're allowed play in the bowl game.

But they still get suspended for five games for breaking the rules that they weren't aware of.

Starting next year.

So now Ohio State players are aware that they aren't supposed to take free services or sell items related to their status as NCAA athletes and they'll still be able to participate in the Sugar Bowl and all that comes with it:
Michigan State had hoped to earn an at-large bid to the Sugar Bowl, but was beat out by Ohio State. What gifts are the Buckeyes receiving? Custom earphones, a watch and a cap. Participants also will attend a gift suite were they can order gifts up to a value predetermined by the Sugar Bowl, not to exceed the $500 limit.
Got it? No more than $500.


The whole business of big time college athletics just feels so skeevy to me.

What a system we have. This is a system where (mostly white) men in their 50s and 60s make millions of dollars off of the work that the (mostly poor, minority) kids put in. These kids literally sacrifice their bodies to play in these games in front of 100,000 people. Apparently the best of these players (Terrell Pryor, Boom Herron and DeVier Posey are all major contributors on Ohio State) feel the need to sell items that should be regarded as family heirlooms to get some quick cash.

Some players made as much as $2,500! Almost three-grand! How dare they taint this pure, innocent game.

Again we come to the whole "Should players be paid?" argument. I don't know how that would even work. A work-study program? A stipend for every athlete? Would football players get more than cross country runners? Hourly pay? There's not a lot of easy answers.

I know these kids receive scholarships worth hundreds of thousands of dollars. They earn a free education and that's not nothing. (Nevermind how many pro athletes end up broke, but that's another story).

Scholarships are all well and good, but getting free math classes doesn't buy you a dinner. Or allow you to purchase clothes.  Or provide money for family emergencies. (Or buy booze or pot or whatever).  It's not like these kids can really go out and get 9-5 jobs for some extra cash. (Lord knows how often their pestered by boosters, alumni or fans asking for favors as well. The opportunity is certainly there).

A lot of OSU folks are mad that they sold Big Ten Championship rings and the Gold Pants pins. For shame! Don't they know how special and memorable these items are? Well... no. These are 18, 19, 20 year old kids who need money (and have won the Big Ten and beaten Michigan every year), let alone the fact that it's their personal property.

I just can't get that upset with these guys, especially since they're all still eligble for the Sugar Bowl. I might feel like they actually did something, you know, wrong if they were actually forced to miss a BCS bowl.

But that can't happen, Ohio State has to be at full strength, right? If Terrell Pryor and company sat out that game, who would want to watch? Who would buy commercial air time? Who would place bets on the outcome? Who would tune in? Would Ohio State fans still travel to game? We need Pryor vs Ryan Mallet. Ohio State vs Arkansas! Big Ten vs SEC!

All-State paid good money to sponsor this game, we can't blow it by sitting out the star players.

But they still need to be punished. They broke a rule so egregious that they need to miss five whole games.

Just not the next one. That game is worth money. A lot of money.

Just not to the players.

Sunday, December 19, 2010

The Streak is Over

The Cavs beat the Knicks. On purpose. With overtime and everything. They won't go 0-December. *whew*

I gotta give the Cavs credit, I did not expect them to pull this game out.  Don't get me wrong, they played the Knicks tough but while they were tied every now and then, most of the game they trailed consistently by 4-6 points. I figured that the Cavs would hang around but eventually the Knicks would pull away.

But Mo Williams and Anderson Varejao had different ideas.

I can't say enough about Andy. Varejao had 14 points and 17 boards (7 offensive!) and did a great job on Amare Stoudemire (Amare finished with 23 and 11, but committed dumb fouls, missed the game winning jumper and seemed really frustrated by Andy). (I know Amare is The Man on the Knicks, but they really should've had Cav-Killer Raymond Felton take the last shot. Felton finished with 23 points, 11 assists and 7 rebounds).

Mo Williams hit a game tying runner with 3 seconds left in regulation and then dominated (yes, dominated!) overtime with 6 points and 3 assists in the extra period.  Mo and Varejao are starting to run the pick and roll pretty well, my only concern is Mo will jump in the air before Andy is open.  The passes have worked out, because Varejao is always rolling to the rim (and he pass is so late, Andy is quite open) but I don't like Mo leaving his feet without really knowing what he's doing. Mo finished with 23 points, 14 assists and 5 boards.

All in all, great win by the Cavs. Not only did they stop their 10 game losing streak, but they beat a team with a winning record in the process.

The Cavs face the Jazz on Monday and then travel to Atlanta on Wednesday.  For some reason, Cleveland isn't a part of the NBA's Christmas schedule this year. Weird.

Northern Lights

These are something I've always wanted to see in person.  Just seeing the pictures and videos is awe inspiring, I can't even imagine live.

NASA says 2012 should be a big year for the Norther Lights:
Since 2007 the aurora borealis has been growing in intensity and will peak during the year after next, according to Nasa scientists.
However, if the 2012 aurora are as big as expected, it could cause disruption to mobile phones, GPS and even the national grid.
The event will be caused by the Solar Maximum - a period when the sun's magnetic field on the solar equator rotates at a slightly faster pace than at the solar poles.
The solar cycle takes an average of around 11 years to go from one solar maximum to the next - varying between 9 to 14 years for any given solar cycle.
The last Solar Maximum was in 2000 and NASA scientists have predicted that the next one in 2012 will be the greatest since 1958, where the aurora stunned the people of Mexico by making an appearance on three occasions.
In 2012 scientists have stated that the 'Northern' lights should at least be visible as far south as Rome.

Watch this video and tell me that it isn't at least a little awesome. 

Thursday, December 16, 2010


On one hand, I give the Cavs a lot of credit for hanging with the Heat for four quarters.  The Cavs, most notably Boobie Gibson (26 points) and Anderson Varejao (18 points, 15 boards), really made Miami work for their 101-95 victory.

On the other hand, they still lost. I hate these moral victories (whoo! We lost by less than normal!), but the Cavs really did play with of a lot of energy and effort. It's a positive sign after being blown out in just about every game over the past two weeks.  

But it's frustrating. So you guys can hang with the Heat, in Miami (not that the crowd is really a factor), but get blown out by the Timberwolves, Pistons and Sixers? Really? As long as they stick to offensive plan (the ball movement was quite good, especially in the first half) and play with some defensive intensity (there was roughly a billion more hard fouls Wednesday night compared to December 2nd), Cleveland showed that they can compete with anyone.  Despite the final outcome, there's some positives Coach Scott can point to. 

However, all that being said, this really could've been much worse.  While Cleveland's 40% FG percentage looks (and is) terrible, remember that that's including Gibson's sizzling 10-16 performance. Non-Boobie Cavaliers shot a putrid 35% (25-71) and if you take out Varejao's 6-10, it drops down to 31%.

So despite finishing in double figures, the rest of the starters were ice cold, Mo shot 6-20 (1-10 3pt), AP shot 4-10 (1-6 3pt) and Antawn Jamison finished 5-18 (but 3-9 from downtown! whoo!).  And if you can believe it, somehow the bench was even worse.  Three players contributed a grand total of 12 points, 7 boards and 4 assists (J.J. was a team worst -12 in his 20 minutes).  

I don't think it's a coincidence that Boobie and Varejao performed well and kept the Cavs in this game. These guy were two of LeBron's most consistent Big Game teammates.  Both Boobie and Andy play without fear and both have had big moments in the playoffs.  Jamison, Mo, Parker? Not so much. 

Even with the effort and the intensity and ball movement and big nights from Boobie and Varejao, the Cavs still lost in the end.  Turns out, you really need to account for Dwyane Wade in transition. Who knew he's allowed to bring the ball up and just shoot a 3? Wade finished with 28 points (including 17 in the deciding 4th period), LeBron had 21-13-5) and Bosh pitched in 16 and 4. Miami didn't play extremely well, but they just had too much talent for Cleveland to deal with.

The Cavs can stop their 9 game losing streak at home on Friday when they face the 11-12 Pacers. If they fail to snap their skid, it won't get any easier any time soon; their next three games are against the Knicks, the Jazz and the Hawks Atlanta before returning home to face the Wolves the day after Christmas. Yikes.

Positive things happened. They still lost. Please don't go winless for the month of December. 

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

This is stupid

Yahoo's Eric Freeman, on LeBron's and Z's statements about the Cavs:

There are a few ways to spin this; perhaps LeBron is just being nice to engage in damage control. Plus, while Zydrunas' words might seem a little cold, at least he's willing to admit that basketball is a business in which rival teams fight to come out on top over all competition. At least he's being honest about his feelings, unlike the devious James.

Except, if we're to commend Ilgauskas for telling the truth, then we also must admit that the affection Cavs fans still feel for him is a bucket of lies, too. Zydrunas is ultimately playing basketball to win and make money. So while the Cavs fans can appreciate his time with the team, they shouldn't act as if he has a kind heart unmatched by anyone who's ever worn the uniform.

In the end, Ilgauskas could be just as cold-hearted as LeBron. There's no doubt that James handled his departure from Cleveland poorly, but the difference in the reactions towards him and Ilgauskas can probably be explained best by the gap between their respective abilities. When you get right down to it, fans hate on the best player who left, not the worst person.

This really isn't all that hard to understand.  One player quit in the playoffs, made a spectacle of leaving and stabbed the city in the heart on national television. The other player worked his tail off, signed somewhere else like a normal free agent and placed an ad in the paper thanking fans for their years of support.

No one hates Z because they don't feel that he disrespected them at any point in time. Sure, talent has something to do with it (losing a past-his-prime center is easier to stomach compared to the two-time MVP) but if you ask any (sane) Cleveland fan, they'll tell you it's not that LeBron left, it's that he rubbed our faces in while doing it.

This isn't hard.

Paying attention, Chris Grant?

This is exactly the type of trade the Cavs should be pursuing:
The New Jersey Nets traded Terrence Williams to the Houston Rockets in a three-way deal that will land them Los Angeles Lakers guard Sasha Vujacic and a pair of first-round draft picks, the Nets announced on Wednesday.
The Lakers will receive Nets veteran power forward Joe Smith, two second-round picks from New Jersey and the draft rights to Sergei Lishchuk from the Rockets.
Trade a talented, but troubled young player, pick up some crap and a couple of picks. Bingo. 

It's my opinion that the Cavs have to be stockpiling draft picks. Trade whoever you want, just as long as you get a first round pick from someone.  The Nets dumped Terrence Williams in a 3 team trade and got firsts from both teams. 

Also, let's welcome Joe Smith to a new team, which I believe is his 12th.  Well done, Joe.  Let's hope the Lakers turn around and deal him at the deadline to team number 13. 

Oh, by the way, the Heat are favored by just 17 over the Cavaliers tonight in Miami. Seems a bit low. 17 sounds right if the Cavs were still, you know, trying. The Heat sent the Cavs into this free fall (and haven't lost since) and I don't see the Cavs snapping out of it tonight. 

Monday, December 13, 2010

As tempting as it may seem

.... please don't follow Donald Sterling's example, Mr. Gilbert:

It’s not uncommon to hear Los Angeles Clippers fans heckle Baron Davis. Of late, however, the jeers directed at the team’s struggling point guard are coming from a far more surprising source: The man paying Davis, Clippers owner Donald Sterling.
Sterling has expressed his displeasure about Davis’ play by taunting him from his courtside seat at Clippers’ home games, several sources told Yahoo! Sports. Among Sterling’s verbal barbs:
– “Why are you in the game?”

– “Why did you take that shot?”
– “You’re out of shape!”
While Sterling has also taunted other Clippers players since the middle of last season, none have received it worse than Davis, the sources said. Davis has missed 14 of the team’s 25 games this season and is averaging 7.4 points while making a team-high $13 million. Including this season, Davis has three years and nearly $42 million left on his contract.

I can certainly imagine Gilbert at home yelling "Why are you on my team?!" at the TV every time Jawad Williams chucks up another jumper with 18 seconds left on the shot clock.  The body language of this squad is beyond awful and at this point I'm just waiting for rock bottom.  Was it last night when Harden dunked over Hickson? Was it the Heat game? The Minnesota game? Will it be Wednesday night in Miami?

For what it's worth, I'm finding it more and more fitting that this season's "Cavs Fanatic" alternate jerseys harken back to the Diop-era.

It fits, no?

Not J.J.'s Best Night

This wasn't the only fastbreak dunk the Cavs allowed, but it was certainly the sickest:

Not only did Hickson get absolutely posterized, he had some choice words after the game:
”I have to find a combination of that second unit that’s going to come in and play the right way and do the right things,” Scott was quoted in the Cleveland Plain-Dealer after the game. “As soon as all five guys are off the floor, we’re getting slaughtered.”
Hickson, a former starter who had nine points in 24 minutes off the bench (and got crowned by James Harden) last night, couldn’t resist a snappy response when asked about it by reporters.
“Oh, so he’s blaming it on the bench?” Hickson asked. “If (Scott) feels that way, then that’s the way he feels. That’s his opinion.”

Yeah, that's Coach Scott's opinion, but there's some solid reasoning behind it, mostly the whole 19-1 run the bench gave up to end the third quarter. 

The Cavs have too many of those types of runs.  They'll play well for stretches and keep themselves in the game but they seem to have a 3-5 minute stretch every game where the bottom just drops out. There was the 16-0 Heat run that broke open the December 2nd game, they started down 10-0 to the Bulls, after being down 20, they got within 4 in Houston only to watch the Rockets go on a 17-4 spurt and hell, the entire Minnesota game was one giant run.

The Cavs aren't terrible, but they're playing terrible. They have too many dead stretches where nothing happens offensively and it affects their defense. Once the opponent grabs their big lead, they then have a tendency to hoist threes to try to get it back (ignoring the offense in the process).  It's a big mess and I really don't know how they fix it. 

The Cavs head to Miami and Wednesday and there's no way it won't be a blood bath. 

Saturday, December 11, 2010

This Scares Me

I know that cap space isn't totally important to the Cavaliers (I mean, which marque free agent is moving to Cleveland?) but are they really looking to take on big salary?
As the trade deadline approaches, keep an eye on the Cleveland Cavaliers and Toronto Raptors. As one executive put it, those are the teams that will have first dibs if a marquee player becomes available because of their $14.5 million trade exceptions. Teams that are looking to get out of a contract will turn to Cleveland or Toronto, even over teams that have a sizeable ending contract to offer because they would still be forced to take on the expiring player's current salary this season. Both teams are looking to use their trade exceptions and will likely be players as February approaches.
I really don't think the Cavs should be adding a sizeable contract to this squad.  Why? What are you building around?

By the way,  the Cavs lost by 15 to the Rockets tonight. Sure, they kept the game close for about 2 and a half quarters, but eventually the whole "not playing defense" thing caught up with 'em.  For whatever reason, they simply refuse to close out on three point shooters (Houston finished 12-26, but at one point was 12-23).

The offense looked OK and at one point they cut a 13 point third quarter deficit (75-62) down 4 (75-71) but never they made it any closer. Jamison had 24, 5 and 2 and Mo pitched in 18 and 9, but it wasn't nearly enough, as they let Kevin Martin dropped a 40 spot on 'em.

This is their 7th straight loss and they face Kevin Durant and LeBron in their next two games.

This season could be spiraling out of control.

Did you fine them for the Minnesota game too?

Because no one showed up for that game either:
Scott said he wasn't allowing players to use a snowstorm as an excuse for arriving late to Wednesday's game at The Q. About half the team arrived only about 30 minutes before tipoff, and a few had to abandon cars and run the last few blocks to the arena. "Our players were late getting here, and it didn't excuse them," Scott said. "They're all still getting fined."
Um, good, I guess? Rule of law!

I dunno I can't really fault the players too much, I've been late for work a few times this week due to the weather (or dumb people driving in said weather).  I guess it's good that the players are aware that they'll be held accountable for everything they do, be it getting to the arena on time or helping out on a weakside rotation. 

Plus, it's not like Cleveland's winter is going to be getting better any time soon.  These guys (like the rest of us) are going to have to learn to give themselves a little more time to get to work.

Friday, December 10, 2010

Also, Defense

J.J. lost his starting job, he thinks he knows how to get it back:
Hickson had a brief conversation with his coach.

"He said for me to be professional about it and deal with it," he said.

He said he thinks he knows what it will take for him to get back in the coach's good graces.

"I guess rebounding and play harder, which I did (on Tuesday in Philadelphia)," Hickson said.

Ya, I guess.

Hickson has certainly been a disappointment lately (averaging 8 points and 3 boards in the month of December).  The Cavs aren't very good (shocking!) and if they're going to win/make the playoffs, they need reliable production from Hickson on both ends of the court. On a team full of streaky shooters (Mo, Boobie, The Jumpshooter), J.J. has to give consistant production (and his 11 points and 5 boards ain't cutting it).

I'm not really sure what how the Cavs should handle this besides giving J.J. some tough love. He has the skills and the body to be a productive NBA starter for a long, long time.

Or he's Drew Gooden 2.0.

Wednesday, December 08, 2010

Various Stuff

The Cavs had a one point lead with 26 seconds left and ended up losing by five to the Bulls.  The Cavs' lack of a number one option hurt them down the stretch, as they had no one to trade baskets with Derek Rose (who is an absolute beast).

Coach Scott tried out a new starting five (Mo, Boobie, Parker, Jamison and Varejao) and while things were better (despite the 10-0 head start for the Bulls), the end result remained the same.

I also want to pass along a couple of Cavalier interviews floating around the net.  Dime Magazine interviewed former Cavalier Brad Daugherty while HoopsHype interviewed Anderson Varejao.  Nothing earth shattering here (though Andy says he "wouldn't mind" retiring as a Cavalier), but I found both of them interesting nonetheless.

Also, some Cavs fans have turned their eyes to Grizzlies' O.J. Mayo.  He's had a rough year and he may end up being the odd man out in Memphis. I have no idea what the Grizzlies would want, but he's the type of guy the Cavs should be targeting (not Iguodala).

Tuesday, December 07, 2010

On Dan Gilbert

ESPN's Howard Bryant takes owner Dan Gilbert to task at how he's handled the Cavaliers:
Successful organizations must adopt and believe in an institutional philosophy. The Cavaliers had won 66 and 61 games the previous two seasons, the two best win totals in franchise history.
Gilbert sent the message that he did not believe in his front office, firing coach Mike Brown two weeks before general manager Danny Ferry resigned as the possibility of losing James as well hung over the team.
The takeaway is that Gilbert is blaming everyone but himself.
But in preparation for a potential James departure, Gilbert stood pat, let James control the negotiation and then was left without a chair when the free agent music stopped. Judging from his actions and his words, Gilbert apparently believed that his team wasn't very good, that his star was a quitter and that his coach and general manager weren't good enough to win a championship -- harsh assessments for a team that crossed 60 wins in consecutive years. What is more likely is that Gilbert clearly did not know what he wanted after the tough playoff loss.
The result is a 2010-11 team without a compass and a fan base of season-ticket holders who thought they were going to be watching championship-level basketball paying to see a team that might not even make the playoffs.
The Cavaliers' payroll this season is $51.8 million, down from $80 million last year. Their highest-paid player is Antawn Jamison, whose $13.5 million salary represents more than a quarter of the team's total payroll -- and he doesn't even start. Nor is their fourth-highest paid player, Daniel Gibson, in the starting lineup.
This is why bad organizations remain bad.

I highly suggest you read the whole thing.

I have mixed feelings on Dan Gilbert. I love that he's willing to spend money on the Cavaliers.  The new practice facility, the new locker rooms, changing the seat colors, taking on extra salary and paying the luxury tax and, of course, the post-Decision letter: awesome.  However, I don't like the over the top game day celebrations (fire breathing score board!!), his appearances in the broadcast booth and his misguided determination to plow ahead with this team.

Since LeBron left, Cleveland fans have rallied around Gilbert.  It makes sense. Gilbert is the face of this franchise, for better or worse (it sure as hell ain't anyone in uniform at the moment).

Yes, LeBron is a prick and his leaving completely messed up the franchise.  But Gilbert is the head of that franchise. The Cavs made no major moves this offseason. They didn't choose a direction. Go young? Add a veteran All-Star? Nope. They kept most the team mostly intact and continued on their way.

I'm writing as the Cavs trail the Sixers by 20 points, headed for their fifth straight loss. It's time to blow this thing up. I really don't understand the point in gunning for the 8th seed with this group. Not after their peformance this past week. They look like a shell of a team.

There is no future with this group, that's what makes this season so brutal.  It's one thing to bad but be young. At least you can watch and root for improvement and growth.  But this team? Mo Williams is who he is.  Antawn Jamison won't be getting any better. Anderson Varejao is the only one playing at full speed but he's a limited offensive player.  The only young guy is J.J. Hickson and he's a space cadet.

Blow it up, Dan. Give the team some direction.  Have a long term plan. Specifically, have a plan that doesn't involve paying money to Andre Iguodala. You're not going to build a starless championship team like the Pistons (not with this group, anyways).

LeBron leaving has given the Cavs franchise some breathing room. No one expects them to contend this year or anytime in the near future.  The worst thing they could do is build an expensive, mediocre team (45-54 wins) and then drag it out before eventually having to rebuild anyways (like the Cavs from 95-2002).  Just cut your losses and start fresh.

Sunday, December 05, 2010

Friday, December 03, 2010

Excellent Read

Great column by Yahoo's Adrian Wojnarowski.

That sure was fun

In case you weren't reminded after the Derek Anderson/laughing controversy, the Cavs showed us last night that fans care more about these games than the players do.  These past six months make the whole idea of following sports feel silly, doesn't it? This used to be fun.

I don't even know if there's any basketball analysis to be done.  The Cavaliers showed no heart, no effort and absolutely zero toughness on Thursday night.  They were absolutely terrible.

Does this game get added to the list? The Shot, the Fumble, The Drive, The Decision and The Return?  Really, how much worse could it have been? The Cavs lost by 28 points!! Was this not the biggest game of the year?

The Heat players tried.  They looked like they gave a shit. They looked like they didn't want to lose this game for LeBron (who played and conducted himself quite well). The Miami Heat played like this game mattered.

The Cavs players? Well, they lost by 28 points.  The Heat got whatever they wanted offensively.  Not one Cavalier offered any resistance. No hard fouls.  No getting in anybody's face. No trash talking or chippiness. No one paid for going inside.


Bah. This sucks. Sports are supposed to be fun. The players are supposed to give a shit. Isn't that the trade off?  We give you millions of dollars, you at least pretend to give a shit. Get off my lawn. Bah humbug.

I dunno. I'm feeling a bit jaded at the moment, but can you blame me? Dan Gilbert seems pissed off too, I wouldn't be surprised if he trades the whole team today, he tweets:
CavsFans: Words don't express my feelings so I won't even try. Know this:There's nothing U are feeling that I'm not. The best B-Ball player ever once said: "My pain was my motivation"....And so it will be with us...
But hey, look at the bright side, at least no one threw anything.  The fans didn't embarrass the city. 

The team did. 

Thursday, December 02, 2010

Merry Quitness

Here's a whole bunch of LeBron vs Cavs articles to help get you through the day.

Cavaliers probing Tampering Charges.

LeBron James and his Kingdom of Ruin.

Cleveland, Don' Turn LeBron into a Sympathetic Victim.

Cleveland an Opportunity for the Heat to Show Heart.

Cavs Fans Have Payback on Their Minds.

Bud Shaw: A few well-chosen words from Cleveland Cavaliers owner Dan Gilbert can help set the tone for game with Miami Heat.

LeBron James returns and Cleveland Cavalier fans face their own Decision.

Jason Whitlock: Sorry, but LeBron's a Lost Cause.

Home is where the Hearts are for LeBron.

Jon Krolik: Can LeBron Learn from his old Playbook?

Brian Windhorst: A Different Homecoming for Ilgauaskas.

Greeting James: Jeers and... Laughter?

Some final thoughts before tonight's game...

I love the idea of the Cavs Chants and the Laugh at LeBron campaigns, but I have some issues. I feel like this a little too elaborate to actually work.  And while I like the spirit of the chants (and that they used comic sans as their font (.pdf)), I don't actually care for the chants themselves.

For instance, chanting stuff like "NO-Ring-King" doesn't make sense to me. Cleveland doesn't have any rings either. Seems dumb to call him out on this. The "Akr-on Hates You clap clap clapclapclap" is meh to me and "Wit-ness No-Thing" seems a little too clever by half.

In their defense, they do have the "Side-Kick" and "Scot-ty Pip-pen" chants, which are my two favorites. I like the spirit and the idea, but singing some song to the tune of "My Country Tis of Thee" seems like asking A LOT of the crowd.

I go back and forth on how the crowd is going to be.  On one hand, I feel like the vast majority will be well behaved, if a bit rowdy and loud. But I wouldn't be surprised in the least if someone (or someones) threw some shit. I've read the comment sections and have seen the tweets and Facebook posts, Clevelanders are pissed off. All of the anger over the Decision, the losing, the economy, the weather, and lord knows what else is being directed squarely at LeBron.

I hope people will behave (this is just sports) but I would not be surprised if some didn't.

As for the game itself (yes, there's an actual basketball game to be played), I have absolutely no idea what to expect.  Bill Simmons, who has watched more of LeBron and the Heat than I have, believes that  the Heat will wilt under the pressure.  Skip Bayless tweeted the same thing, saying that LeBron won't be able to channel the negative energy into his play.

Maybe, maybe not. I could see the Cavs winning purely because of the crowd and I could also see LeBron drop 50 on us and add another chapter to the Book of Cleveland Sports Misery (the dude is the two time reigning MVP).

I have absolutely no idea what to expect out of the crowd, out of LeBron or out of the Cavs.  Should be fun.

Let's Go Cavs!

Wednesday, December 01, 2010


I really can't recommend this article enough. Well done, Wright Thompson, well done.

Quick Cavs - Celtics thoughts

- Possible the Cavs were looking ahead to Thursday? If you can look past a 12-4 team...

- Cavs defense was terrible. No one stopped any penetration, no stood their ground and no one made the Celtics work. Rondo got inside at will (not Mo's best game, to say the least) and Boston exploited matchups and mismatches inside (note: Big Baby vs Jamison is a terrible matchup for the Cavs).

- I like that Mo is being aggressive, but he can't be forcing things (like trying a thread the needle bounce pass between the entire Boston defense).

- The Celtics are good.  They have a lot of guys who do a lot of different things well. They're filled with guys with unique builds (KG, Shaq, Rondo, Nate Robinson, Big Baby) and they can be both conventional and unconventional.

- J.J. had no room to operate inside but he seemed more than willing to settle for that jumper.

- Cleveland's small forward position is trash.

- Liked the effort I saw from Varejao.  I still think he's the Cavs' best trade asset. Stay healthy!

- The refs were fairly shitty.  Not that they caused the Cavs to lose or anything.  But they certainly made things more difficult (Varejao was getting beat up).

- In the same vein, Boston didn't win the game because of their moving screens, but Jesus Christ do they get away with a ton moving screens. KG is especially bad.