Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Finally... a game!!!

It had been 9 days since the last time a Cleveland team played, with the Browns and Indians last suiting up on September 28th. So even though last night's preseason game at the Q didn't really matter, at least it finally gave us something to talk about. And our first look at the new-look Cavaliers. Well, at least the first listen since the game wasn't televised. And by the way, it was damn good to hear Joe Tait's voice again...

Big Ben throws one down vs. Toronto last night

I wouldn't put too much stock in the final score, with the Raptors winning 104-84. How seriously can you take a game in which LeBron played 8 minutes and chipped in one point on three shots from the floor? And keep in mind that Delonte West wasn't even in the building. Overall the starters didn't really play much at all (Mo 26 minutes, Sasha 22 minutes, Ben 20 minutes, Z 22 minutes) with the goal being to keep everyone healthy and rested for the start of the season. So mission accomplished there. Brian Windhorst has the rundown in the PD (how good does that sound?) this morning of all the good and bad from last night's game.
"We looked pretty good at it at times, at other times we looked sloppy," Mike Brown said. "We have to be selective with our tempo, we have to know how to run."

And I also liked this piece from George Thomas at the ABJ (apparently taking over for Mr. Windhorst there) on JJ Hickson's Cavalier debut:
Rookie J.J. Hickson (7 points, 4 rebounds) didn't light things up on the scoreboard, but willingly and enthusiastically played some tenacious defense. His digging one off the floor in the first half led directly to a Cavs basket, but it was in the fourth quarter that he showed what the team saw in during the summer. He stole the ball from Toronto's Will Solomon at the 10:44 mark near midcourt and dashed to the Cavs basket, sealing the deal with a thunderous two-handed dunk that got the crowd roaring.

So it's one preseason game down, seven more to go before the real season starts in just 20 days. Terry Pluto likes what he sees so far with Mo pushing the tempo... And here's an interesting tidbit about the Cavs possibly coming close to acquring Jermaine O'Neal in the offseason. All I can say is thank the sports gods that that didn't happen. He will no doubt be hurt again by January... And finally, what to make of Anderson Varejao this year? One of my favorite Cavalier 'insiders' has a good piece on RealCavsFans.

Tribe Update: We found out yesterday that Travis Hafner's shoulder may need arthroscopic surgery. That's great news considering we are on the hook for $57M over the next four years with him and he's already showing diminishing skills at the plate. Hopefully it is due to the shoulder and it gets corrected, but I'm not holding my breath right now. Paul Hoynes and Sheldon Ocker both give their summaries from Mark Shapiro's state-of-the-team address yesterday. I thought it was interesting to hear him put so much emphasis on acquiring another starter. I'll eventually jot down my thoughts on the 2009 Tribe here as soon as I stop being lazy about it.

Browns Update: I guess it's time to get back into Browns mode again. I will reluctantly play along, this time with lowered expectations. But my patience is obviously wearing thin. Tony Grossi has a scouting report today on the defending Super Bowl champs. I'm just hoping we can somehow keep this game close and not embarrass ourselves in the spotlight. At least Josh Cribbs is feeling good again.