Archive for September, 2010

Notes and Errata: September 17th, 2010

Friday, September 17th, 2010

Jeff Ma, in his own words, on Oden vs. Durant.

-Only 25 minutes per game for Yao? As somebody that loves the post-up game and its intricacies, this bothers me.

The banner that will replace the “We Are Witnesses” banner.

-“It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia!” is back!

-Late on this, but here’s LeBron and Q score.

-Monta Ellis on mending bridges with the Warriors.

-Because it’s strange: Shaqing.

Links To The Present+ September 16, 2010

Thursday, September 16th, 2010

Right now Shawn Kemp is the Cavaliers leading vote getter on SportsNation for All-Time Power forward – that’s only because all his kids have already voted.  Let’s fix that, Cavs fans.  Also, Terrell Brandon’s legacy is CRIMINALLY underrated – loved this interview with him too.

I’ve been waiting for Mr. Cavalier to chime in on the 2010-2011 season.  He did so in an interview which can be read here. This got me thinking about the chemistry of the Cavs and how they are going to mesh.  I came up with  four scenarios that I believe could play out.

Scenario 1:    The 2008 Washington Wizards

The 2011 Cavaliers might look an awful lot like the 2008 Wizards on paper.  The Wizards won a respectable 43 games but were viewed as a disappointment thanks to unrealistic expectations.  They had some talent on offense, spreading the wealth between Arenas, Jamison, and Butler and finished 12th in the league in offensive efficiency.  The Cavaliers will, similarly, look to Mo Williams, Ramon Sessions, and Jamison to create offense and could finish in the top 15 in offensive efficiency.  Their downfall will be that of the 2008 Wizards – depth, defense, and creating easy baskets.  Make no mistake, the Cavaliers are going to be a jump-shooting team – that’s what happens when you lose 3 of your 4 best finishers in the off-season.  Defensively, they will be giving up a lot of size underneath with the absence of O’Neal and Ilgauskas.  Heavy minutes for Mo Williams and J.J. Hickson could spell trouble defensively as well.  Like the 2008 Wizards, they will have some offensive weapons and some shooters and barring injury they could out-shoot most teams on most nights – they just have to hope that opponents try to get into jump shooting battles with them.  43 Wins

Scenario 2:  The 2010 Houston Rockets

In my opinion the current Cavalier roster bears an UNCANNY resemblance to last year’s rockets.  In fact, if you took both rosters and tried to create the most even 5 on 5 pick-up game ever how would THIS not be the results?

Captains: Mo Williams / Aaron Brooks.  Mo picks Wild Thing, Brooks picks Luis Scola.  Varejao dyes his hair jet black and jumps in a pool before the game.  No one can tell them apart.  Brooks gets the second pick first and takes Shane Battier to be his glue guy.  Mo grabs Anthony Parker.  Both men have a corner-3-point shooting contest before the game hosted by Bruce Bowen.  Mo Gotti surprises everyone when he takes JJ Hickson, the 6-9 240 lb one dimensional power forward who ends up posting a PER of 21 in 2011.  Brooks picks Carl Landry, the 6-9 240 lb one dimensional power forward who already posted a PER of 21 in 2010.  With the final pick, Brooks picks the highly athletic and long small forward who signed for the mid-level exception in 2009: Trevor Ariza.  Mo decides he likes Ariza’s game but hates his scowl so he selects a much happier version in Jamario Moon.  Both players are guaranteed to finish a few one-man fast breaks after getting their long arms on some passes.  They are also both guaranteed to shoot mostly 18 footers off the dribble.  For good measure both captains pick sixth men.  Mo realizes the Cavs need some more playmaking in the backcourt since he is mainly a shooter and grabs Ramon Sessions.  Aaron Brooks realizes he is too short to guard Nate Robinson and needs some help defensively in the backcourt so he picks Kyle Lowry to Dan Gilbert’s delight.  Chris Grant starts posting sabrmetrics on his twitter account.  The two teams battle it out and the Rockets squad wins thanks to the play of Luis Scola and Shane Battier.  Aaron Brooks, however, wins MVP of the game by going 6-24 from the field.

In all seriousness, the 2011 Cavaliers will win 42 games if they play as a team, move the ball, and bring energy every night.  Much like the 2010 Rockets they will lose some games pretty badly but they could steal a lot of games when the opponent is trying to win on talent alone.  42 Wins

Scenario 3: Fear and Loathing in Cleveland

“Running” seems like a great idea – until you realize it’s a hallucinogen: doesn’t last, doesn’t fix your problems, and doesn’t ease the harsh realities of the state of the franchise.  The Cavaliers will  make a concerted effort to “run” on offense but to what avail?  With some up-tempo players in Jamario Moon, JJ Hickson, Anderson Varejao, and Mo Williams, the Cavaliers will certainly enjoy some flashy fast breaks here and there, but they lack the athleticism to really punish teams on the break.  Antawn Jamison, Boobie Gibson, Leon Powe, Anthony Parker, and Jawad Williams are half-court players.  After a few shocking losses playing run-and-gun the Cavaliers will be forced to play conservatively, slow down the tempo, grab every rebound/loose ball and execute in the half-court…And it will look a lot like the 2010 Cavaliers when LeBron sat the last week of the season.  33 Wins

Scenario 4: It’s the ECONOMY, stupid.

Do you smell smoke?  Well, you will after the fire sale that will rival the 2010 Wizards (hint: it will involved one of the same players too!)  Of course I’m kidding since the only two players the Cavaliers will look to move are Mo and Antawn.  Still, if they trade both players to contenders near the deadline that will mean that 6 of the most expensive 7 contracts from 2009-2010 will be gone.  (Shaq, LeBron, Jamison, Z, Mo, Delonte)

That will leave them with some young talent and a ridiculously small payroll with only Anderson Varejao and JJ Hickson (once they resign him) making over 6 million a season.  By that time, they may only be overpaying Boobie (who will have a productive season) and could lose enough games to secure a lottery pick.  24 Wins

So what are your predictions, Cavs fans?

Notes and Errata: December 16th, 2010

Thursday, September 16th, 2010

-Spread a bit thin lately. Graduating early, working the PBT job, and putting my heart and soul into my twice-weekly crosstalks with Rob Mahoney, which are some of the best things I’ve ever done. Mahoney is a special talent, a friend, and a joy to work with. Here’s our last one. (Sorry, it’s about the Heat.) The next one goes up at approximately 12 PM (EST) tomorrow.

-Dampier on the Heat would just be unfair. Man oh man, that team would be scary with a true center.

Brockman Burger. Jeremy Schmidt is skinny as a rail, and I can assure you he’s eaten this. I witnessed his gastric habits in Vegas; the man is a freak of nature.

Grading the FIBA prospects.

=Memphis finally signed their rookies. Good for them.

Cavs name David Griffin Vice President of Basketball Operations

Monday, September 13th, 2010

Via news services:

The Cleveland Cavaliers took another big step in their post-LeBron James era makeover by adding David Griffin as vice president of basketball operations.
Griffin has accepted the job, sources on Monday told ESPN The Magazine’s Ric Bucher, several weeks after turning down the Denver Nuggets’ offer to be their general manager.
A league source told Bucher at the time that Griffin declined the Nuggets’ offer in part because it was nowhere near $1 million a year, the median salary for recently hired GMs that include the Cavaliers’ Chris Grant.
Grant was hired in June after the Cavaliers didn’t bring back Danny Ferry. Byron Scott then joined the Cavaliers as head coach to replace Mike Brown, who was fired in May.
Cleveland finished the regular season 61-21 as James garnered his second consecutive NBA MVP award. But the Cavaliers were ousted in the second round of the playoffs by the Boston Celtics in six games.
James signed with the Miami Heat in July, joining Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh while ending a years-long buildup to one of the biggest free-agent moves in NBA history.

Notes and Errata: September 13th, 2010

Monday, September 13th, 2010

-I should probably lead with basketball news, but MICHAEL VICK IS BACK. Man oh man, watching Vick turn a collapsed pocket into a 20-yard scramble, firing laser beams into impossible spaces, and even blowing easy gains by firing a bullet to an open receiver 7 yards away brought me back to a time where anything seemed possible. (By the way, my 1st column on my original blog was about Michael Vick. Click through to see an 18-year old kid who doesn’t know what he’s doing waxing poetic.) In short, this was an important sports day for me. Oh, and great call to have the smallest quarterback in the league run directly at the defense, out of the shotgun, on the most important down of the game.

Still, the important thing is that Vick is back. Gaga dominated the VMAs. Insane is the new mainstream.

-U-S-A! U-S-A! Fantastic, if somewhat anticlimactic, world championship for Team USA. The international game really suits Durant perfectly, and he stepped up. Good stuff all around.

-Former Cav Darius Miles is getting one last shot at resurrecting his NBA career. By the way, he’s 28 years old.

-One more football note: if there’s any worse feeling in sports than “I just blew the game-winning play by committing a holding violation,” I’d love to hear about it.

-Random poll question: if you’re Chicago, do you include Noah in a ‘Melo trade? He’s such a clear upgrade over Deng, but I have been geeking out on what Thibodeau is going to do with Noah on defense all summer.

-Something I said while watching the VMAs tonight: “If there was an award for ‘artist with the most influence on NBA player fashion,’ Kid Cudi would have walked away with it.”

Here are Jim Tressel and Terelle Pryor talking about LeBron

Thursday, September 9th, 2010

From the AP:

James, who jilted the Cavaliers to jump to the Heat this summer, may attend Saturday’s game at Ohio Stadium between No. 12 Miami and second-ranked Ohio State.

Tressel said Thursday that it was time to let go all that anger.

“Sore subjects need to pass,” Tressel said at a news conference. “Things are as they are. We all make decisions. You have to respect one another’s decisions and move on.”

On some message boards and college football sites, angry fans have said they do not want James coming to the game. Some have hinted at violence.

James communicates with Ohio State quarterback Terrelle Pryor, who also urged fans to welcome the former Cavaliers guard.

“If LeBron does come, just treat him with respect and respect his decision,” Pryor said. “Please, no name calling, or booing, or anything like that because that’s my mentor. I have a lot of respect and a lot of love for him.”

James, who grew up in Akron, did not play college basketball. But he has said that if he had not jumped directly to the NBA, he would have attended Ohio State.

“He’s a Buckeye,” Pryor said of James’ rooting interest in the game pitting the Buckeyes against the team from his new hometown, the Hurricanes.

Antawn Jamison interview

Wednesday, September 8th, 2010


Included: Jamison’s impressions of Byron Scott, what he’s working on this summer, how the chemistry on last year’s team was “not good,” and, of course, his thoughts on “the Decision.” Good read, go forth.

Notes and Errata: September 8th, 2010

Tuesday, September 7th, 2010

-Check out me and Rob Mahoney’s inaugural crosstalk. Always a pleasure to work directly with him.

-Pruiti on good three-point shooters/poor foul shooters. Something I’ve thought about while watching the Cavs in past years.

Can Baron Davis be re-invented?

-So, what’s up with Kevin Love?

-Shaq says the Pistons offered him the $8 million dollars. I believe him — good for Shaq to take less money for the chance at a championship. Open thread question of the day: has there ever been a player as great as Shaq who may have no place to call a home when he retires? Perhaps proof that championships can’t heal all wounds or imperfections.

Notes and Errata: September 7th, 2010

Tuesday, September 7th, 2010


-Kevin Durant’s assist totals have remained pretty low throughout these FIBA games. OKC’s offense actually wasn’t all that good last year, and Durant’s low assist ratio was a reason why — should we be concerned?

-I say this as somebody who follows maybe 3 NBA players on twitter — Mo Williams’ twitter is kind of delightful. There’s something about posting a picture of baking chicken with the caption “yup” that I just find endearing.


-Saw an advance screening of “Jack Goes Boating.” Spoiler alert: Jack goes boating. In all seriousness, it’s a pretty decent movie — it’s adapted from a play, and you can tell, but there are worse things. Funny, weird, sweet at times. Amy Ryan continues to prove she can be a convincing romantic partner for any character imaginable. It’s Phillip Seymour Hoffman’s directorial debut and adapted from a play, so naturally it’s overdirected at times, but I didn’t really mind at all.

-Are there people who don’t like Boise State? I ask this as someone who doesn’t really get college football at all, despite the fact I go to USC and never miss a game. And got told not to make the “all proceeds go to Joe McKnight’s car payments joke” at a football-themed fundraising raffle the other day. I’m a self-loathing USC student. I swear.

-Good night, and good Joe Smith rap single:

I miss Joe Smith.

Notes and Errata: September 3rd, 2010

Friday, September 3rd, 2010

Ayn Rand School For Tots

-I really enjoyed this Slate article, which uses Kevin Durant as a jumping-off point into how we project things onto athletes. The important takeaway is that it isn’t really all that important whether Durant is or isn’t all the good things people say about him (I think he is): it’s that we’ve been down this road before, whether it was Tiger Woods or LeBron James or Alex Rodriguez or Pete freaking Rose. And it’s fine to praise Durant for doing everything right, which he has. It’s when we get into “this guy should be more like THAT guy!” when things get dangerous, because what we’re really saying is “this guy should appear to be more like THAT guy!”

I mean, if LeBron’s “I don’t want to go ring-chasing. I want to stay with the Cavs and build a championship” quote from a 2006 interview came right after another high-profile player left his team to go chase rings, he’d have been lionized for it, right?

-You’ve gotta love FIBA time, if only because you can get headlines like “Lethargic U.S. team dominates.”

-Eric Gordon with a monster game for team USA — is it wrong to have hope for the Clippers? Probably, right?

Da’Sean Butler twitter children’s story alert.

-Was stuck in class during the USC game tonight next to a friend with a smartphone. During a break, we had this exchange:

Friend: “Crap, we’re only up on Hawaii by a touchdown. This is terrible.”

Me: “Well, it’s not like we have to worry about the computers anymore, right?”

Friend: “Oh yeah.”

Probation: strangely liberating. But mostly crappy.

-That’s all for tonight. Enjoy your weekends, everyone.