Monday, November 2, 2009

One week in

OK, so it's been nearly a week since the Cavs started their season. It's been sort of a roller coaster with the opening losses to the Celtics and Raptors, the ensuing panic from everyone in northeast Ohio, and then the nice bounce back wins against the Timberwolves and Bobcats. The team now sits at 2-2, the identical record of last year's squad through the season's first four games.

While there were some alarming things that took place in the first two games (complete defensive collapses at times, suspect shot selection, turnovers, tentative play), I'm willing to chalk that up to early season kinks due to a lack of preseason preparation. The good news is that LeBron is still LeBron, Mo seems to be back on track offensively (20 and 24 points his last two games), Anthony Parker appears to be settling into his role, and Andy hasn't let the contract get to his head and still exhibits all-out hustle. Oh, and DELONTE IS BACK!!! I can't express how great it was to see him return to the floor on Saturday night and put together a very solid game on both ends of the floor. The Cavs are just an entirely different team with Red in the mix. Who knows how long things can last with him in such a fragile mental state, but here's to hoping for the best.

Delonte returned to the court on Halloween night

I'm still anxious to see how Shaq and Z are going to mesh. It's been mildly shocking to see how willing Mike Brown has been to play the plodding twin towers on the court together at the same time. He's apparently still tinkering with his big man rotation, brought on by the fact that JJ Hickson still cannot be counted on for big minutes. Shaq definitely brings a defensive presence that the team has never had with Z. But I prefer Z's spot up shots from mid-range as opposed to Shaq's backboard-rattling shots from six feet that have almost no chance of going in. Hopefully it's just a case of Shaq trying to do too much for his new team and rushing things a bit. But I've been a little put off by his close-range misses when he has great position under the basket, where he is almost unguardable. And of course his free throw shooting will be a concern as long as he is still playing in the NBA.

Overall there is no reason to panic after the slow start. We as Cavs fans need to remember that this is still very much a work in progress. And we need to look for this team to peak in March/April/May/June, not October/November. Another tricky week lies ahead with the Wizards and the Bulls visiting the Q on Tuesday and Thursday, followed by the media circus event of LeBron and the Cavs visiting NYC on Friday night. I'm taking everything one game at a time.

Random Browns Note: This is seriously worse than 1999. How has it gotten this bad? Now we have Randy Lerner finally showing some emotion? Whether his frustration is genuine or PR-related, the fact remains that Lerner has allowed all this to come to pass. This is exactly why I refused to pony up for season tix again this season. There will surely be many more once-loyal fans that will give up on financing this mess going into next season. Hopefully all the empty orange seats will finally send a message that we are tired of this. This bye week couldn't have come fast enough. It almost makes me wonder why I wanted the Browns back in the league so badly when we didn't have them around. Is this what we were waiting for?