Wednesday, October 29, 2008


Not the way we wanted to start the season last night for the Cavaliers. I followed my own cardinal rule and resisted the urge to post something immediately after the game last night to give myself a chance to react in a more rational manner. I think it helped a little bit, but I'm still ticked off by the whole thing. 50 points at halftime and then only 35 in the second half. Ugh. Here are some thoughts I need to pour out after the 90-85 loss in Boston:

  • LeBron - He showed the flashes of brilliant athleticism we all love about him. He worked hard to be a distributor for much of the first half, trusting his teammates. And he showed that his free throw shooting still leaves a ton to be desired. I hate to pick on LBJ, but this has to stop. Teams will be fouling him at the end of every game and he needs to step up to the line and knock them down. We shouldn't still be harping on this going into his sixth season now.
There will be plenty more battles between these two before the season is over
  • Mo Williams - There was good and bad with Mo last night. First the good... he pushed the tempo in a fashion we just haven't seen with these Cavaliers. That created some easy fast break points. He also is not afraid to take the big shot and I'm sure it will result in some huge scoring nights for him down the road. Now the bad... he just seemed careless with the ball at times. Way too many bad turnovers (4 for him on the night). And his perimeter defense on Rajon Rondo was awful. It reminded me of the playoff series last year with Rondo constantly blowing by defenders to the basket for an easy layup or two free throws. That needs to stop too.
  • Z - The big man will always be a target among certain Cavalier fans because of his slow feet and two or three guaranteed traveling calls a night on moves to the hoop. But Z is consistent. His 15 points and 8 boards from last night can basically be penciled into the box score every single game. And his mid-range jumper is a huge asset to the Cavs when teams collapse on LeBron in the paint. I will always love Z on the Cavs for what he brings on a nightly basis. He is what he is and everyone should know what to expect from him by now.
  • Boobie - There was also good and bad here. I liked the way he aggressively drove to the basket on a couple occassions. And he seemed much more comfortable handing the PG duties (mainly his ballhandling) with the second unit. But he was way off on his outside shot last night, missing a few wide open looks that he usually knocks down. But he's too good a shooter for that to continue for too long.
  • Sasha Pavlovic - What can you say about him that hasn't already been said a million times? He had a nice drive to the basket for a strong layup over two defenders. He confidently knocked down a jumper in the 4th quarter. Then later in the 4th he put his head down and plowed into the lane where three defenders were waiting to take the easy charge. And he missed a big free throw after that. I could have written the same thing about him 4 years ago and probably 4 years from now. He's like a Serbian robot that's auto-programmed to never change.
  • Lorenzen Wright - He worked hard from what I saw. He knocked down a nice jumper early in the game. Then reminded us why he probably shouldn't be shooting much when he missed another one later. He looked to me like a slight upgrade over Dwayne Jones, at least in the sense that he can occassionally put the ball in the basket. No more, no less.
  • Wally Szczerbiak - Same struggling defender, and same struggling outside shooter. I just wish he would be the consistent shooter that he seemed to be before he arrived in Cleveland. That would make his defensive deficiencies a little easier to swallow.
  • Ben Wallace - He grabbed four rebounds and had a nice strong one-handed dunk on his long FG attempt. It appeared as if he is in great shape and his back didn't bother him at all. But he played a puzzling 19 minutes on the night. Not sure what's up with that.
  • Anderson Varejao - Maybe the lone bright spot on the night for the Cavs. He was all over the floor in his 25 minutes of action. He ended up with 9 points and 9 rebounds (4 offensive) and even played some nice one-on-one defense on Paul Pierce to force a miss late in the game before the missed free throws from LBJ. This is the Andy that Cleveland fans love and are looking forward to this season. He is definitely playing for a new contract now.
  • Delonte West - I love his game, I just wish he'd be more proactive offensively. He played 35 minutes and only took 4 shots. I'm not sure if it's a confidence thing with him, but he seems too tentative at times. He should be more comfortable than he is with this team.
  • Coach Brown - Not his strongest performance rotation-wise. Maybe it's just because it was the first game and he's still feeling things out. But that second unit that was out there late in the first quarter was simply baffling: Boobie-Sasha-Wally-Wright-Andy. Who was going to score when they were on the floor together? And I'm not going to fault him for not throwing rookie J.J. Hickson out there in that game. At this point I expect Hickson to see spot minutes, or appear in longer stretches in garbage time. But he will clearly have to earn a spot in the regular rotation. Nothing will be handed to him.
That's all for now. I'm done with that game. I hate the Celtics and really don't wanna think about them anymore until the next time we face them (January 9th). I'm looking ahead to the home opener tomorrow night against the Bobcats.

Browns Update: With all the distractions supposedly behind them, it's back to football... Tony Grossi gives a scouting report for Sunday's matchup with the Ravens at the Stadium... The Browns claim their confidence is growing with each victory. A win Sunday would give me a little confidence in this team... And is Romeo Crennel the reason the Browns are still in it? I doubt many fans of the orange and brown will say yes to that.