General Posts: Thank God It’s Over

Sorry for the belated post, but I’ve been quite busy lately. Anyway, I thought it would be a good idea to have a look back on the season that was.

Early on, there was quite a bit of over-hype about this team. I understand most of it came from the want to simply be better than the media said we would be in order to stick it in number 6’s face. I get it. However, I never thought this team would be good. I picked them to finish ahead of Toronto and Detroit in the East, and that was it. I thought they would win roughly 32 games.

Obviously, even I was being way to optimistic. I simply had no idea that this team would be as bad defensively as it was. Simply one of the worst displays night in and night out that you or I have ever seen.

It was a rough season. The games that stick in my mind have to be the 30 point loss in Minnesota and the 20 point loss to Washington, at home, which was Washington’s first road win of the season. Some really, really low points.

That said, I must say the season ended up better than I thought it would all things considered. 19 wins is better than 32 in the grand scheme of things. Getting an extra lottery pick is better than hanging on to Mo Williams. The rebuild started sooner than I figured it would and I must say that pleases me a great amount. Ultimately, I feel better about this franchise than I did at the start of the season. How many teams can say that? Can you say that if you are a Detroit fan? Can you say that if you are a Sac-town fan? What about a Toronto fan? At least we Cleveland fans can absolutely, positively say that this team right now is in better shape than before the season started. That’s a good thing.

Looking ahead, everything starts with these two draft picks. Obviously that starts with the draft lottery. I’m convinced this draft IS better than last year’s. I do believe there are two absolute studs in this draft and another 4-5 players that have a couple of all-star games sometime in their futures. If we whiff on these two picks, then that will make this season look like a total waste. Let’s hope Grant continues his hot streak for our sanity as Cleveland fans.

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Around the NBA: Power Rankings

Time for yet again another fantastically pointless power rankings. This will be the last one. Probably. Who knows.

  1. Chicago Bulls– Well the Lakers run lasted all of one week. The Bulls have now been the most consistent team since the All-Star break and are my odds on favorite to get out of the East at this point.
  2. San Antonio Spurs– So after their mini-collapse put them behind the Lakers, the Lakers followed up with a mini-collapse of their own putting the Spurs so far ahead in the West that I can’t possibly put another Western Conference team ahead of them. The West, by the way, is wide open. More on that later.
  3. Los Angeles Lakers– Well, they were right there making a charge for the number 1 seed in the Western Conference..and then they decided they didn’t want it apparently. They lost four in a row including some really, really poor showings (like the Portland game) where they gave little to no effort. I’m not sure if this team has what it takes to win a 7 game series in San Anontio.
  4. Oklahoma City Thunder– They’ve had some really nice wins as of late and have made up serious ground on the rest of the West. They are one game behind Dallas for that 3rd seed and are looking better and better defensively with Perkins in there. Honestly, if I had to pick a team to come out of the West right now, this might be it.
  5. Boston Celtics– It’s a toss-up right now between they and the Heat. Neither have been playing good ball for the last couple of weeks. Both have had some absolutely atrocious losses. How bad does the Boston loss to Charlotte at home look right now? They win that game, and they pretty much have the third seed locked up. On the flip side, how bad does that Miami loss to the Bucks at home look right now? I give the edge to Boston because of the 3-0 season series lead. The winner of tommorow’s game will ultimately get the 3rd seed however.
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Game Recap #77: Cavaliers 104- Raptors 96

I’m simply not going to lie. I could care less about winning these last few games. Seriously, this time next year will you be looking back and saying “Damn, I wish we had won 20 games instead of 17?” I doubt it. I do care about the draft. Frankly, I’m pissed off that this team is A. playing bad teams who are missing their best players (Captain Jack last night, Bargs tonight) and B. winning.

Don’t get me wrong, I totally understand that a coach and his players can’t go out there and not to try to win. I’m not pissed at them. They are doing their jobs. I’m just pissed off at the situation. To me, the top two picks are going to be really good players and after that it’s a crap shoot. I’d like to make sure we don’t start adding ping-pong balls until the 4th pick instead of the 5th pick. Whatever, on to the game.

The Cavs simply looked fantastic in all aspects. It was probably their most complete game of the season. At no point did you ever think the Raptors were going to win the game and that’s saying something against a team that has managed only TWO double-digit wins all season. Total dominance.

Hickson looked fantastic. He was hitting jumpers, including step-back jumpers. Baron Davis was the best player on the court and it wasn’t even close. During one stretch in the 1st half, he started to go all Curly Neal and throw over-the-shoulder, behind the back passes and what not. Ryan Hollins continues to grow on me. The guy has the length, foot speed, and athletic ability to become a really, really good defender ESPECIALLY on pick and rolls. Usually teams like to put the biggest guy on the opposing team in pick and roll situations. Having a guy who has legit size that can hold his own on pick and rolls is essential in today’s game. Obviously, he needs to get a lot better on the boards, but as a back-up C he’s not to terrible.

Sessions was Sessions. He drove the hoop at ever chance and didn’t much care about finding his teammates. Against certain teams he can be very effective doing just that.

All of these good things said, don’t get too excited. Afterall, these were two bad teams who were also missing their two best players who just happen to be Cavalier killers (especiall Stephen Jackson). Also, the Raptors had less energy that what I had when I fell asleep on the cough earlier this evening. They were completely dead tonight. Was pretty shameful to watch..unless you’ve been a Cavs fan and have seen that about 5346 times already this season. We’re used to it.

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Game Recap #75: Cavaliers 107- Wizards 115

Is this Moses Malone or Andray Blatche?

Well that was probably the ugliest game I’ve watched all season. It isn’t the worst the Cavs have played but when you combine their play with the Wizards play, it is the ugliest total game I’ve witnessed this year. Sooo many defensive breakdowns on both ends. The majority of the players on the court didn’t care about guarding anyone from the opposing team. I simply hate that type of lazy basketball.

Good teams can win in multiple ways, but they have at least one thing you can count on night in and night out. Bad teams, on the other hand, can lose in multiple ways and there is nothing they do consistently. The Cavs have lost games this year by shooting 35% from the field, defending the three point line like a wet paper towel, turning the ball over like a jr. high girls team and tonight by not knowing what exactly a rebound was. They gave up 27 offensive rebounds tonight. TWENTY. SEVEN. They were out-rebounded by 18. Astounding numbers. Andray Blatche, or from henceforth known as Moses #2, managed to nab 16 offensive rebounds tonight. In case you were wondering, thats the most since 1997. You know, fourteen years ago 1997. Andray Blatche.

Great box score night for the usual suspects. Again Hickson and Sessions wil impress the stat heads, but they were far from impressive. In what is becoming a disturbing trend, Hickson had a nice offensive game but had it totally off-set by getting abused by the man he was guarding. First it was Kris Humphries. Then it was Josh Smith. This was followed by Boris Diaw. Now it’s Moses #2. Not exactly murderer’s row there. Hickson, for all of his offensive improvement, is still an unmitigated disaster on defense in every since of the word. Everyone gets numbers against him.

This was Baron’s worst game as a Cav. You saw some of the things that make Baron Davis Baron Davis. A couple of dreadful defensive possessions. One which was a simply blow-by by the great Othyus Jeffers. That’s right, THE Othyus Jeffers. You also saw some excellent step back, middle of the shot clock, three pointers. Oh well. He’s played well enough to earn a pass. More depressing is the fact that he played so poorly yet you could still see a clear defense between how the offense looked when Baron was in the game and how it looked when Sessions was in. It just looked better with Baron.

That’s all I have for tonight. Just remember, Andray Blatche did things against this team that haven’t been done for a long time. Andray Blatche. Oy…..

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Around the NBA: Power Rankings

Time for another pointless list. Man these are fun.

  1. Los Angeles Lakers– They’ve clearly been the best team since the all-star and have made up enough ground on the Spurs that I can feel ok with moving them to the top spot. Not only that, but they’ve beaten some pretty stiff competition since the break while only losing one game.
  2. Chicago Bulls– They’ve easily been the second best team since the break and have also made up enough ground on the Spurs that I feel ok with doing this. Right now, you have to think they are the favorites in the East with the way they play defense. They are head and shoulders above the rest of the league on a nightly basis in that area.
  3. San Antonio Spurs– I said last week that it would take a mini-collapse for them to drop. Well, say hello to the 5 game losing streak/mini-collapse. Some of those games were w/o Duncan, Parker, and Ginobli. Personally, I’m not concerned about this team at all, but lately they simply haven’t been as good as the Lakers. Not so sure that holds up in the playoffs though.
  4. Dallas Mavericks– Ugly loss to the Lakers last night. They had a shot to put themselves in consideration for the top spot..but yikes.
  5. Boston Celtics– They got a much needed big win over San Antonio last night, but good lord have they been playing poor lately. Rondo is finally back to form but you have to wonder if this team is ever going to get a healthy Shaq back. People are pointing to the Perkins trade being the problem, but when you look at the games offense has been the problem, not defense. Not only that, Perkins barely played for this team this season when they got off to such a hot start. His absence wasn’t a problem then….No, the problem is missing Shaq. This team is just different OFFENSIVELY with Shaq on the court.

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Game Recap #73: Heat 90- Cavaliers 102



Seriously, this is the most excited I’ve been about a Cavalier’s game all season. Not only did they beat the Heat, THEY GOT THEIR FIRST DOUBLE-DIGIT WIN OF THE SEASON! That’s both sad and beautiful all at once.

Let’s get the negatives out of the way first.

Ramon Sessions you continue to break my heart. Baron Davis continues to show us why Ramon Sessions isn’t very good. How many passes did Baron make tonight where you said “No way Ramon makes that pass. No way he even looks at that pass.” Also, he lost Mike Bibby about 25 straight times in the 2nd half and allowed him to shoot open threes. That is quite amazing considering Mike stands in one spot for an entire possession and is no threat whatsoever to drive by anyone.

Ok, that’s that. On the many, many positives.

Anthony Parker, Ryan Hollins, and Baron Davis are our big 3. At least tonight they were. Ryan Hollins had one of the all-time monster performances that doesn’t show up in the box score. He set a tone with hard fouls and not backing down to Dwyane Wade early in the game. He had monster blocks, including back-t0-back blocks on Chris Bosh which led to an Anthony Parker lead. He was simply tougher than anyone in the paint for the Heat. Finally, he ran the court extremely well getting a couple of fast-break dunks and allowing other players to get open the break by pulling the defense towards the paint. EASILY Hollins best game this year.

Baron Davis is showing everyone why Ramon Sessions isn’t the future. I mentioned this earlier, but he made multiple passes that Sessions simply wouldn’t make. Go back and look at that last Anthony Parker three, where Davis drove the lane and kicked it back out for an open 3. There is simply 0 chance Sessions isn’t forcing that lay-up instead of hitting the open (and hot) man.  Also, he doesn’t continue to get lost on defense over and over.

Anthony Parker hit big 3 after big 3. He hit threes when the Heat were making runs. He hit threes when the Cavs were trying to push the lead to big numbers. He hit threes to seal the game. He hit threes off the bounce with people in his face. His best game in quite some time.

Hickson also played well. Both he and Hollins absolutely abused Chris Bosh both mentally and physically. You could honestly tell it was part of the game plan for those two to just rough Bosh up. Bosh, like most of us expect of him, wilted. It’s going to be hilarious watching him going against the Bulls and Celtics frontline in the playoffs. He’s going to get man-handled.

Finally, the defense was really solid. The three-point defense was still a no-show, but my god the defense at the rim. They blocked shots and if they didn’t block shots they were given hard fouls time and time again. That’s something they could have been doing the entire season. That’s something that could have led to more wins. I’m glad they decided to do it tonight. Don’t give up freebie lay-ups and force a team to earn it at the line. Guess what, the Heat didn’t earn it and shot 63% from the line.

Stat of the game has to be Ryan Hollins’ +33 to Bosh’s -25. Honestly, if you watched the whole game, it played out exactly like it sounds. Ryan Hollins was fantastic, Chris Bosh was completely sucked.

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Game Recap #72: Hawks 99- Cavaliers 83

Dear God. This team gets harder and harder to watch by the game. Again, for the second straight recap, not a single good thing to say about a single guy.

Hickson, again, had nice rebounding numbers unless you count the fact that his man, Josh Smith, outrebounded him. Basically the same thing that happened against New Jersey with Humphries.

The Cavs couldn’t make a shot from the outside to save their life. Parker hasn’t been shooting well. Gibson has been worse and Eyenga simply sucks at shooting. Frankly, I have no idea what the fix is but I can tell you it isn’t on this team currently.

Just for an idea of how bad things were with our offense and how bad it has been, Alonzo Gee had put up 8 shots within about the first 10 minutes of this game. ALONZO GEE. That’s right. I would be mad, but is there a better option? I don’t know.

Also depressing is the fact that it’s painfully obvious that Baron Davis is twice the point guard that Sessions is. I haven’t been high on Sessions at all but to so easily see that he isn’t a starting caliber player by comparing him to a guy that has no long term future on this team is a little heart-breaking. 

Oh, and the standard “the Cavs can’t defend anyone” line. Marvin Williams went off. Al Horford went off. Josh Smith was 2 assists shy of triple double that would have included 18 rebounds. So forth.

Eyenga is causing me to rethink whether or not he will actually be able to play in this league. That’s not good when he was the only bright spot a month or so ago.

I can’t wait for this nightmare to end.

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