Saturday, August 29, 2009

Missing Piece?

Stephen Jackson is looking to change zip codes:
Golden State Warriors forward Stephen Jackson says he has requested a trade and prefers to be dealt to the Cleveland Cavaliers or any of the NBA's three teams in Texas.

Jackson's wishes are rooted in a desire to play for a team that consistently makes the postseason, he says, something the Warriors have done only once in the past 15 seasons.

"At this point, I'm 31 years old. I have four or five years left," Jackson told Dime Magazine on Friday. "I want to be in a situation where I can continually be in the playoffs and get another ring. So that's where my mind is at now."

I would be completely on board with this. In fact, I targeted Jackson at least season's trade deadline:

From a basketball standpoint, I'm not sure you can get a better fit for the Cavs than Stephen Jackson. The man can hit threes (career 34%), he's playoff tested (in both San Antonio and Golden State), he's 6-8 (meaning he can guard bigger 2-guards) and while his shooting stats are down this year (39% FG, 29% 3pt) his assists are way up (6.0 per game).

The only questions (to me anyways) are his temperment and his contract. As far as the craziness goes, since he's been in California, he seems to have calmed down a bit. And as for the contract, yes, he's signed through 2013, but he's under $10 mil for every year but the last.

If you have the chance to plug Jackson in next to LeBron and Mo, you could have yourself a scary good team. Imagine having Jax and Bron-Bron ballhawking on the wing? Those are two very long and very tall perimeter defenders.

The guy has played for Mike Brown, he's thrived next to superstars (Tim Duncan and B-Diddy) and basketball-wise... well, it seems like a no brainer.

If you plug Jackson in a lineup next to Mo, LeBron, Varejao and Shaq (with Delonte becoming a super sub) you'd have yourself a very formidable playoff team.

Yes, his age and contract are an issue (but if the plan is "2010 or Bust", then who cares?). But his teammates love him, he plays well in big games and he's won while playing next to superstars.

As for what you'd give up, I'd like to make sure they keep Delonte. But besides that, I'm OK with them parting with J.J. Hickson and even Z if it comes to it (I know it's not a given he'd be bought out, but you really think Nellie's Warriors would have use for a veteran, slow, white center with bad feet?).

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

I disagree

Yahoo! Sports ranks the best teams to NOT win the NBA title and last season's Cavaliers are:

1. Cleveland Cavaliers, 2008-09

I sort of like this also-ran, because it speaks to how we've grown as a sport-regarding culture over the years. These Cleveland Cavaliers ran up 66 wins, an almost Bulls-like 8.9-point differential (way better than any team listed above), and had the greatest player in the game (LeBron James) at their disposal. And yet, when the team lost to the Orlando Magic in the Eastern Conference finals last spring, people seemed ready to smartly admit that the Cavs, for all their horses, just didn't have the horses to run with the Magic.

Nobody was labeled a choker, nobody was fired, and though the team traded for one big (hopeful) problem-solver in the offseason in Shaquille O'Neal, nobody seemed to overreact and make deals for the sake of making deals. Knowing that the team will have the best player in the game, at only age 24, around for at least the next season helps too; but you have to love the lack of hand-wringing. Still, the meek ending doesn't hide the fact that this was an otherwise dominant team that won 74 of its first 90 games before falling to the Magic in six.

Now, should this Cavs team be on the list? Probably. But over the 01-02 Kings (#2 on the list)? No sir. Does anyone think that the 03-04 Lakers squad (with Shaq, Kobe, Karl Malone and Gary Payton, #6) wouldn't have whooped last years Cavaliers?

On one hand, after winning 66 games, the Cavs underachieved by not making Finals (let alone winning it) but on the other hand, I think, considering their pieces, they maxed out their potential. The Cavs were 66-16 but went 1-4 against the Lakers and Magic- this is a team that beat all the everyone they should've beat and they didn't take nights off.

Anyways, I don't think the Cavs are number one. That Kings squad got jobbed; they were great. I loved watching that team and I'll always remember sitting in my friend's dorm room watching them get hosed by the refs.

Man, I hated those Lakers teams, I still can't wrap my mind around that fact that I'll now be rooting for Shaq.

Monday, August 24, 2009

Gonna be a long year

LeBron James:
"My loyalty is to Akron. I'm looking forward to this upcoming season, but I'm looking forward to the summer of 2010, too, to see what may happen. No matter what happens that summer, you know, I'm still here. I've got a nice big house here that I'm always coming back to. You know, I love this city and I'll always give back to this city no matter what my profession; if it takes me somewhere else."
Preparing to leave? I dunno, maybe?

Brian Windhorst adds this:

Hey, Brian: With all of the talk about the Knicks, Nets and Clippers, why isn't there more talk about Miami as a possible destination for LeBron? With their available cap room, it appears they would have enough room to sign Dwyane Wade, Lebron and Bosh or another very good player in 2010. I hope it doesn't happen, but if LeBron is indeed worried about winning first and foremost, doesn't this seem like the best option for him? -- Erik Bell, Columbia, S.C.

Hey, Erik: Glad you mentioned that, I actually think the Heat are sort of a sleeping giant for next summer. Pat Riley has sort of bit the bullet this summer, other than making an offer to Lamar Odom which was not accepted. By not spending money now and perhaps spinning wheels the Heat may be in perfect position to add someone alongside Wade next summer because they have a nice core and a great location.

Ask any NBA executive outside New York and he'll probably tell you the Heat, Nets and Clippers all will have more attractive situations than the Knicks when it comes to the roster next summer. All that said, my feeling is the only place LeBron would consider leaving for at this juncture in his career would be New York. Key word there being "consider."

Not gonna lie, the Miami scenario scares me. However, if LeBron goes to the Heat, he'll be joining Dwyane Wade; he's going to Wade's territory. Would that work? Would he play second fiddle to Wade? Seems doubtful. So LeBron just takes over Wade's team? Could be weird.

Then again, he'd get to play basketball in Miami freaking Florida. Sounds like that could be fun. Or maybe too much.

Friday, August 21, 2009

Tell me this isn't awesome

I HIGHLY recommend this show. It's smart, it's beautifully animated and it's absolutely fucking hilarious.

Monday, August 17, 2009

2 = 0

Welcome back to football, Browns fans!

While neither QB looked great, Quinn at least should've had a touchdown, but Braylon Edwards looked in mid-season form as he dropped a ball that hit him square in the hands. As for Anderson... ugh. He did not look good.

Meanwhile, the defense got abused (though Green Bay is really good) and the new coach is saying stuff like this:

"I told the players before the game what I wanted to see was smart football, wanted to see toughness, and wanted to see us be able to out-hustle our opponent," Mangini said. "I don't really think we achieved any of those objectives.

"We weren't very good in any of the three phases. I don't think we did a good job coaching. The only way it's going to be corrected is with hard work."

So they weren't tough or well coached, they didn't out-hustle their opponents and they didn't play smart football.


Gonna be another fun year.

Saturday, August 15, 2009


First, they're listed as co-starters, which is neat:
The Browns released an unofficial depth chart Tuesday in advance of Saturday's preseason opener in Green Bay, and Derek Anderson and Brady Quinn are listed as co-starters as quarterback.
I guess this means that they've been even? Awesome. Neither one has stepped up. I was kinda hoping we'd know who was starting in the first preseason game... but no:
Neither Brady Quinn nor Derek Anderson has pulled ahead in the Browns' quarterback battle, but the competition kicks into high gear Saturday night with the preseason opener in Green Bay.

"I think it reinforces the whole concept of why you have to let the body of work play out," said Browns coach Eric Mangini. "They're very competitive. They're both making strides in different areas. As we talked about a long time ago, you have to really see who does separate themselves from the other one. When that time comes, it will be clear, and that's why you wait to make a decision."

Ugh. This feel like Romeo's coin flip to anyone else? That neither QB has taken a lead and that they don't feel comfortable naming a starter?

I mean, I know we'll see who's ahead when the offense takes the field against the Packers. But I would've really liked one of the two guys to pull ahead. Especially Quinn, he's worked really hard for this competetion.

Thursday, August 13, 2009


New Links

Cavs Kingdom and Stepien Rules (formerly Shaver Sports) have been added to the blogroll. Good stuff on both sites.

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

I like this

Cavs are about to make a mid-season pick-up:

According to a source, the Cavs have the framework of a contract completed with free agent forward Leon Powe. It could become official as early as Tuesday, when Powe is expected to come to Cleveland to meet with team doctors.

Powe is in the middle of recovering from a torn ACL in his left knee and may not be able to return until the All-Star Break. But the Cavs feel like he's worth the wait.

The sides have been talking for weeks and were able to agree on a two-year contract, which will protect both sides. Powe will get a chance to rehab with a deal and the Cavs will be protected if he recovers as they apparently believe he will.

The 6-8 three-year veteran averaged 7.7 points and 4.9 rebounds for the Celtics last season. He proved valuable when Kevin Garnett went down with injury and played an important role until he suffered the injury during the playoffs.

The Celtics could have kept Powe's rights, but they declined to make him a qualifying offer in June because he's had several injuries to the left ACL. They had hoped to be able to re-sign him when he was healthy, but the Cavs were able to put together a more attractive offer.
If I'm not mistaken, I'm fairly cartain that Powe and LeBron played together on some kind of AAU or McDonald's squad.

I really like this move. Powe gives the Cavs an extra, experienced big man to come off the bench and he's been through the playoff battles. Yes, he's coming off an injury but come playoff time (which is what really matters) he gives the Cavs another big man to throw at KG and Dwight Howard.

Friday, August 07, 2009

I know it's post-trade PR, but I don't disagree

Cleveland Indians owner Paul Dolan:
"After we traded Cliff, we had made a commitment toward a new direction for the franchise," he said. "At that point, you don't go halfway. We needed to make moves that put us in the best position to compete as soon as possible. The sense was in our organization that Vic [Martinez] was at his highest value and what we got back in return put us in a better position than we would have been had we kept them."
As much as I hated the Martinez trade, I have to agree here. The Tribe already tried the contend+rebuild combo (Matt Lawton!!) and it sucked. I'm all for tearing down and starting over. If you're gonna do it, go all the way.

Now, there's the flip-side to consider. When it's time for the Tribe to contend, you gotta go balls to the wall there as well. If the 2012 Tribe is looking good and needs and extra bat, you trade whatever prospect you can to go get that bat (and it can't be Kenny Lofton again).

I'm all for going 100% into rebuilding mode. Just make sure you go 100% into "Win the Fucking World Series" mode when it's time.

Tuesday, August 04, 2009

Sunday, August 02, 2009

New Podcast

in which we discuss the Moon signing, the Tribe's trades, lots of Shaq, some Browns and various other goodness.

It was somehow poetic that, after watching Cliff Lee throw a complete game and Victor knock in a RBI, the Tigers scored their winning run thanks to a balk. Cleveland!

I was at Browns training camp for a bit yesterday (with some of these guys) and here's what I came away with: Braylon Edwards rides a bike real good, Dave Zastudil is good at kicking footballs, DA got a pass or two tipped at the line and Sean Rogers is an absolute monster. (I think Rogers and Shaq could team up and fight crime. Not even violent crime, but have 'em take some visits to the local Democratic Party headquarters. Go put the fear of God into some corrupt pols.)