Archive for January, 2012

Recap: Celtics 93, Cavs 90

Tuesday, January 31st, 2012

This was a strange game. The Cavs defended well and shot poorly for the first twenty minutes, allowed the Celtics to pull away as the first half came to a close, didn’t look competitive again until there were nine minutes left in the fourth quarter. Then they lost the game in the dying moments due to a couple of clutch buckets by the Celts. It was a lot of fun.

–Andy Varejao earned the first 20-20 game of his career. “Earned” is the operative word here. I don’t always commend Varejao on his effort because it’s ever-present, and it would be boring if I wrote “Great hustle by Andy” in every recap, but his relentlessness single-handedly kept the Cavs in the game when they were down by 20. Even in the depths of a blowout, he continued to inhale offensive rebounds and stay active on defense. Andy V’s not a good shooter (though he hit a few jumpers in this one), doesn’t have an impressive array of post-up moves, and isn’t built like Dwight Howard, but he’s a special player. His teammates should take him out to dinner after this pair of performances he’s put in against the Celtics.

–I like Ramon Sessions just fine as a combo guard who, in limited minutes, can score on a team that occasionally lapses into severe offensive deficiency, but Boobie Gibson and Anthony Parker need to get healthy ASAP, because when Sessions is forced to shoulder too much responsibility, the results can be disastrous. I’ve noticed lately that he delivers some absolutely horrendous passes off of penetration. In the first quarter, he drove to the foul line, drew a double-team, then chucked a haphazard pass at an open Kyrie Irving, who had to gather the pass, re-balance himself, then missed a three that would have been uncontested had the pass been anywhere near his shooting pocket. He did something similar two possessions later, when he threw the ball over Varejao’s head as Andy was rolling toward the basket. Where Irving weaves through the defense and usually makes the correct decision, Sessions jumps in the air and either sprays a pass three feet to the left of a teammate or takes a contested jumper.

–Irving was largely ineffectual in the first half. He missed a couple of open jumpers, dropped off six assists, and was smothered by the Celtics, who shaded their defense toward him the entire game. This is a minor detail, but I liked that, after missing a couple jumpers in the first half, Irving realized he needed to get himself some easy points. So, on a pair of offensive trips, he drove to the bucket, and drew fouls on both sequences. The one thing you worry about with players who are both good shooters and gifted at getting to the rim is that they will fall in love with their outside game and neglect opportunities to take high-percentage shots. Irving displayed his high basketball IQ tonight in realizing he needed to make things easier on himself when his jumper wasn’t falling.

–In the final quarter, Irving shined. He drained a couple of pull-ups, finished a lay-in from a ridiculous angle, got to the free throw line, and threw one of the most dazzling non-assists I’ve ever seen when he passed the ball behind his back from the hardwood to avoid turning the ball over. It’s reassuring that Irving has exhibited, even at age nineteen, that he wants the ball in pressure situations, but what’s been equally impressive is that he’s actually come through half the time.

–TT had no impact on tonight’s game. He twisted his already-ailing ankle early in the second quarter, was slated to return, then trainers decided to shut him down after reexamining the ankle at half. I’ll probably have an update on his injury tomorrow.

The Cavs have a two-day respite before they meet the Magic in Orlando on Friday. Until tomorrow, you guys.

Manny Harris – NBADL Performer of the Week

Tuesday, January 31st, 2012

After reading today’s links, the recent play of Manny Harris deserves a shout out from Cavs: the Blog.  For the week of January 23 – 29, Harris’ 25 points and 7 rebounds a game resulted in him being named the NBA Developmental League’s best player.  Harris was waived by the Cavs, but if Gibson or Parker’s injuries linger, or the Cavs trade Sessions for a draft pick, a call to Manny may be needed.  If he keeps playing like he did last week, someone else may be calling first.

Links to the Present: January 31, 2012

Tuesday, January 31st, 2012

“It’s clear [Byron Scott] and [Kyrie Irving] have developed a close bond. While other coaches, like Boston’s Doc Rivers, have been raving about Irving, Scott feels his mission is to keep his point guard grounded.” [Mary Schmitt Boyer]

Both Anthony Parker and Boobie Gibson are out for tonight’s rematch against the Celtics. Gibson stayed in Boston on Monday to have his neck examined; it’s not known how many games he will miss over the coming weeks.

And I agree with our friend Conrad Kaczmarek over at FTS: this Blake Griffin dunk has nothing to do with the Cavs, but it needs to be shared with the world.

Sessions to Lakers?

Tuesday, January 31st, 2012

The LA Lakers are potentially interested in acquiring Ramon Sessions, using a first round draft pick and a trade exception.

“Cleveland is interested in stockpiling draft picks in potential deals, sources said. Several teams have inquired about Sessions lately, front-office sources said. The Lakers have a handful of players on short-term deals who can’t be traded until March 1.” [Adrian Wojnarowski]

I’ll reserve comment on the rumored trade for now, and instead just say that it seems Ramon Sessions’ value has fluctuated about as wildly as it can over a short career.  He was drafted 56th (low value), before playing two solid seasons in Milwaukee.  Minnesota signed him to a $16 million contract that alot of people thought was a bargain (high value).  One year later, Minnesota basically gave him to Cleveland in a salary dump (low value); Ramon Sessions, Ryan Hollins AND a second round draft pick, essentially for Sebastian Telfair.   Since that trade, Sessions has primarily expanded his resume as a focal point on a 19 win team, then shooting 34% this season.  So of course, now “several teams have inquired about Sessions” (high value?).  The NBA is a wacky place sometimes.

Recap: Cavs 88, Boston 87

Monday, January 30th, 2012

Due to a scheduling snafu at Cavs:the Blog, this will be a short re-cap.

To me, this win officially marks the start of legitimately talking about the Cavs making the playoffs this year.  The Cavs are currently tied for the 8th seed in the East, coming off of victories against two of their likely competitors for that spot.   Cleveland, Boston, New York, Milwaukee, and Toronto appear destined to duke-it-out for the privelege of being the two least-bad eastern conference teams.  Ten of the Cavs’ next twelve games are at home, including one each against Boston and Milwaukee.  That stretch also features home games against Sacremento, Detroit and New Orleans; assuming the big three  (Irving, Varejao and Jamison) are healthy, it’s realistic for the Cavs to win five or six more games by the all-star break and hit the half-way point looking at the #8 seed.  I won’t delve into the pros and cons of being the #8 seed, except to say that nothing would be worse than being #9.  Please finish #8 or #12.  Really, if the Cavs are to make the playoffs, winning now is important.  The sixteen games in 24 day stretch looms at the end of the season, and that will probably be ugly.

Really exciting game for Kyrie last night; having his dad in the stands makes for a great story line.  23 points on 75% true shooting, 6 assists to 3 turnovers.  In the comments section of Friday’s game, I noted how  Cavs fans were close to an epic “remember the time that Kyrie…” moment.  Well, that sentiment was two days off.  Six points and an assist in the final four minutes to spearhead an improbable come from behind victory at the Boston Garden; that’s fun stuff from a 19 year old.  Games and moments like this will really resonate with ROY voters.

Varejao notched a season high with 18 points.  Alonzo Gee matched his second-best with 14 points to go with 4 steals and another very nice defensive effort against an elite eastern conference wing.  For those keeping score at home, in one week, the Cavs held Lebron, Carmelo and Paul Pierce to 17 points per game on 44% field goal shooting.  Not too shabby against that crew.  There was even a Mychel Thompson appearance…and he played a mistake free 12 minutes as the Cavs outscored the Celtics by 9 points.

I’m not going to dwell on any negatives.  The next four games are a tough stretch before the long homestand, let’s see if the Cavs can acquit themselves well.

Recap: Cavs 96, Nets 99

Saturday, January 28th, 2012

Gosh I wish I could forget that game.   Really, the score doesn’t do justice to just how badly outplayed the Cavs were.  There were some things to like (Irving’s offense) and some things to hate (Irving defense) but in general, it was an utterly uninspired performance and one I’d like to spend little time remembering.

The Good

Kyrie Irving’s offense – If there was one bright spot in this loss, it’s definitely Irving’s offensive game.  32 points (career high!) on 12-20 shooting is insane.  Irving was able to drive inside and get some really impressive shots off against a top tier He added 2 assists to boot, and even had four rebounds on offense.  Irving scored 21 points in the last 7 minutes, and 17 in the last 3!  That’s a heck of a game.  I wish he had dished the ball a little more, but I’ll obviously take 32 efficient points.  Still, the biggest highlight to me is that Irving only had one turnover even though he clearly had a high usage for the game.  One last thing – consider that he did all this in just 31 minutes.  He probably could’ve gone to 40+ if he had played a little more.  AWESOME!

Ramon Sessions’ offense – One game after I criticized him for his inefficiency, he had a nice game.  11 points on 5-8 with 2 assists.  Really nothing to hate there.

Antawn Jamison’s offense – 8-18 shooting.  20 points.  Not amazing, but from Jamison, we’ll take it.

Gee’s dunk – 3 games with 3 awesome dunks!  God I missed the NBA.

The Bad

Pretty much everyone’s defense, minus Andy – Really, it was bad.  It’s not that the Nets shot amazingly, because they didn’t, but they had WAY too many open looks.  But even worse…

The Cavs’ Guard D – It was ugly.  They continuously allowed Williams and Marrow inside and let them post up!  How do you let those guys drive so easily.

The Rest

Cavs turnovers – The Cavs turned the ball over just 16 times, which is pretty good for them – they’ve been averaging in the 20s.

Really, this game never felt all that close, and it was utterly forgettable.

Until next time…Enjoy!

Links to the Present: January 27, 2012

Friday, January 27th, 2012

“Things have been difficult for Omri Casspi. When he made the trek from Sacramento to Cleveland, his jump shot was lost somewhere along the way. Casspi can’t blame U-Haul for that one. It has started to arrive, little by little. His numbers aren’t what people expected when he was acquired, along with a conditional first-round pick, in exchange for forward J.J. Hickson in June. He’s averaging 8.1 points, 2.8 rebounds and 1.3 assists. Casspi is shooting 43.3 percent from the field, 31 percent from behind the arc and 67.7 percent from the foul line.” [Bob Finnan]

“Gee has gained notoriety for his offensive contributions off the bench and his occasional SportsCenter-worthy dunks. What might keep him in the NBA, however, is his defense. He has the strength to defend small forwards and the quickness and length to stick with shooting guards.” [Tom Reed]

“[The Cavaliers] turned the ball over 19 times on Wednesday, but still prevailed over the New York Knicks, 91-81. They’ll try to get things straightened out against New Jersey on Friday. The Cavs are averaging 17.1 turnovers per game, last in the NBA. Guard Kyrie Irving is averaging a team-high 3.6 turnovers per game.” [CBS Sports]

The Cavs have sent avid Yo Gotti fan Luke Harangody down to their NBDL affiliate, the Canton Charge, where he will teach the young’ns a thing or two about 15-foot set shots, keeping your hands up on defense, and “that China white.”

Destination: 2013, Scenario 2

Thursday, January 26th, 2012

In this second installment of potential paths to turn the Cavs into a rising, 50 win team by 2013, the focus will be on several trades for this year.

First though, I want to discuss my expertise with the Collective Bargaining Agreement, or more precisely, my lack of expertise.  Case in point is that in the first Destination: 2013 Scenario, the issue of “front-loading” contracts drew some skepticism.  I should have referred to “signing bonuses”, which may be allowable (see here and here).  Ultimately it’s not important whether the “front-loading” was legal or not; if the contracts were constructed normally, the Cavs’ salaries go up by $2.2 million in 2013 – 2014 and instead of Omri Casspi as backup SF, the scenario is forced to go with “2013 Miami 1st rounder”.  Essentially, there’s minimal difference.  And that’s the important point; any CBA misapplications in these posts should be minor enough to not affect the big picture.  If this proves untrue, I am prepared for a public scolding. 

In this scenario, three trades will continue stocking the Cavs’ cupboard with young prospects.  These trades are:

Antawn Jamison to Charlotte for Desagana Diop, Matt Carroll, Derrick Brown, and Portland’s 2013 1st round pick (owned by Charlotte) – This is a salary dump for Charlotte.  They’re able to take the $11 million they owe Diop and Carroll off the books for 2012 – 2013.  They get hometown guy Antawn Jamison earlier than planned (Jamison has discussed a desire to finish his career with Charlotte).  They would have nearly $25 million in cap space available in the summer of 2012 for Michael Jordan to pursue a big free agent in addition to re-signing Jamison and D.J. Augustin.  For this flexibility, Charlotte’s price isn’t too high; they give up a kind-of-young, kind-of-decent small forward and a future, late first round pick.  The Cavs get those assets in exchange for the right to overpay two players for a year.  Mychel Thompson and Luke Harangody would be waived.

Ramon Sessions and Cavs 2012 2nd round pick to Oklahoma City for Cole Aldrich and Reggie Jackson – The Thunder are a team trying to win a championship this season, and a season-ending injury to Eric Maynor has left them with a roster hole.  Enter Cleveland to the rescue!  Sessions is an experienced option to spell Russell Westbrook for 15 minutes during the regular season and 8 minutes every playoff game.  OKC parts with two young pieces they don’t need.  Cole Aldrich was a lottery pick just 18 months ago, and despite struggles in limited NBA time, he was very effective in a D-League stint last year; finishing third in blocks per game and defensive rating and fifth in defensive rebounding percentage.  In two D-League playoff wins, he averaged 12.5 points, 12.5 rebounds and 3.5 blocks.  He’s big, young, & cheap and a more appealing back-up center option than what the Cavs currently have.  Reggie Jackson was the 24th pick in last year’s draft, and the Cavs could take a look at him as a long-term backup to Irving. 

Cavs 2012 1st round draft pick plus Hornets 2012 2nd round draft pick (Cavs owned) and Portland 2013 1st round draft pick (Cavs owned, see above) to team with #3 draft pick in 2012 draft –For now, I’m staying the course of previous posts and assuming that the Cavs win 25 games and end up with the #8 pick in the draft (this thought is fading quickly.  I may have to recalibrate after the back-to-back with Boston).  The Hornets pick will be around #35 and the Portland pick should be in the 20 – 25 range.  A third team would be brought in offering a late 1st round pick (let’s say 24th) for the 33rd and 35th picks this year.  So the Cavs’ primary partner in this trade ends up with #8 and #24 in 2012 and #23 in 2013 for the #3 and #33 in 2012.

This seems reasonable to me, considering how redundant the 2012 draft will be for big men.  ESPN projects 7 of the top 13 picks as power forwards, with 11 of the top 15 as centers or power forwards.  The #3 pick this year will likely not be viewed as a “mega-star waiting to happen”.  There is a relatively good chance that the team at #3 can say, “there will be someone we like at #8, plus we get two other decent picks…let’s take the trade.”

This scenario is counting on it and with the third pick in the 2012 draft, the Cavs select  Harrison Barnes.    The Cavs fill the roster with one-year contracts to Derrick Brown and others (Ray Allen for 1 year, $8 million anyone?), and have an up-and-down 2012 – 2013.

Heading into the summer of 2013 (approximate $62 million cap), Cleveland’s existing obligations (and salaries) would be Anderson Varejao ($9.1 million), Kyrie Irving ($5.9 million), Harrison Barnes ($4.6 million), Tristan Thompson ($4.3 million), Cole Aldrich ($3.2 million), and Reggie Jackson ($1.3 million).  After almost knocking off the Heat in the first round of the 2013 playoffs (ultimately wearing them down, leading to a third straight Finals defeat), the Cavs use the 15th pick in the draft to choose Brazilian seven-footer, Fab Melo out of Syracuse.   Melo and the other 1st round pick total $3 million.  Omri Casspi’s option would not be picked up, and Alonzo Gee was re-signed after 2011 – 2012, starting at $1.5 million per year.  Finally, Daniel Gibson would be kept at $3 million per year.  The team’s commitment to those 10 players in 2013 is $36 million; the other $26 million would be offered to:

Paul Millsap –It’s not sexy, but the acquisition adds an offensive force to the front line.  A four year, $46 million contract (starting at $11 million) will take Millsap through his age 28 – 31 seasons.  Last year, he averaged 17 & 8 on 58% true shooting.  He has one of the better power forward jump shots and is a fierce rebounder.  Utah is unable to justify spending this amount on Millsap, as they consider the upcoming contract extensions for recent top 5 picks Derrick Favors & Enes Kanter.

Kevin Martin – To reach an even higher level, Cleveland pursues a fourth source of offense along Irving, Millsap, and Barnes.  Martin has been one of the NBA’s best scoring two-guards for over a half-decade.  A high-salary, short-term offer is made for 2 years and $20 million, similar to, but more pricy than recent contracts for Jamal Crawford and Richard Hamilton.  Houston decides it’s not justified to tie up this money on a thirty year old, as they go all-in pursuing James Harden, Steph Curry, Tyreke Evans or Demar Derozan.

Tiago Splitter – With Varejao, Millsap, Tristan T, and Fab Melo in fold; this is a luxury buy.  Nearly 7 feet tall, Splitter rebounds well and scores efficiently, providing a 4th big man to keep the rookie from being overly relied on.  Also it’s a gimmick; once you start amassing tall Brazilians, it’s hard to stop.  Andy, Tiago, and Fab can do whatever it is that giant Brazilians do in Cleveland.  In order to steal him from the Spurs, the Cavs offer 4 years, $20 million (starting at $4.8).  The Spurs start a rebuilding process that summer and can’t justify paying Splitter through his age 32 season.

The 2013 – 2014 roster is (ages in parantheses):

PG – Kyrie Irving (21), Reggie Jackson (23), 2013 2nd round pick, – With Irving in his 3rd year in the league, he’s makes his first Eastern Conference All Star team.

Wings – Kevin Martin (30), Harrison Barnes (21), Daniel Gibson (27), Alonzo Gee (26), Miami’s 2013 1st  round draft pick – Martin and Barnes represent a huge offensive upgrade from the current roster.  Gibson, Gee, and the first round pick are relied upon for defense.  Barnes would be the team’s 6th man, with a defensive minded player starting over him.

Front Court – Paul Millsap (28), Anderson Varejao (31), Tristan Thompson (22), Tiago Splitter (29), Cole Aldrich (25), Fab Melo (22) – Millsap and Varejao operate as one of the league’s better starting tandems.  In his age 22 season, TT has developed into a great first big man off the bench.

The team probably isn’t a future champion, but an all-star point guard, three additional quality scorers, and a deep front line – that’s a 50+ win team and the average age is only 25.

The most crucial step towards building a champion relies on trading “assets” for the “final pieces”.  There are 5 players under age 25 not named Kyrie, Harrison or Tristan.  There are also seven draft picks total in 2014 & 2015.  Ideally some of this can be packaged with an expiring contract to acquire the right veterans to push the team over the top, similar to the Pistons acquiring Rasheed Wallace in 2004. 

And there it is, through a hazy future I can see it…the 2016 NBA Champion Cleveland Cavaliers!

Links to the Present: January 26, 2012

Thursday, January 26th, 2012

“The Cavs basically played like crap. They went about 8 minutes in the second quarter and scored just 4 points on the New York Knicks defense. Once again, they had way too many turnovers (19) and we just all-around really sloppy. Fortunately, the Knicks are even more dysfunctional. The Knicks committed 23 turnovers and had an even more stagnant offense. Amare Stoudemire led New York with 19 fairly empty points on 19 shots. He had some nice dunks down low as no one on the Cavs can really check him, but he made some careless offensive fouls and for some reason the Knicks refuse to run pick and rolls. If they watched any film from Amare’s time in Phoenix (I loved those teams, I watched them all the time), they would know that he is virtually unguardable as the roll-man on a PnR. The Knicks, however, have zero guards capable of running an effective pick and roll. That’s just one of the reasons why I believe Mike D’Antoni will be fired and also why I believe he will be wrongly fired. It’s not his fault that the front office assembled a roster that doesn’t fit with his offensive schemes at all.” [Conrad Kaczmarek]

“Varejao had 10 points, 16 rebounds and was a pest all night Wednesday as the Cavs continued their dominance over the Knicks with a 91-81 victory. It was the Cavs’ 12th win in the last 13 games against the Knicks, who haven’t won in Cleveland since Nov. 29, 2006.” [Jason Lloyd]

“As the All-Star game draws closer, it will grow increasingly difficult to omit Varejao despite his reputation for flopping and the incredibly misconception regarding his value.  The box score, typically Varejao’s arch-enemy, shows that the Cavaliers’ center is second in the Eastern Conference in rebounds per game (11.2)  and total rebounding percentage (21.0) while possessing a lead over New Jersey’s Kris Humphries in terms of total offensive rebounds and offensive rebounding percentage (16.6).” [Scott Sargent]

“The one thing we talked about before the game (against Miami) was just getting back to playing the way we are capable of playing, especially on the defensive end. I thought we did that (Tuesday) night.  The (22) turnovers cost us dearly against a team like Miami, but tonight the effort on the defensive end was just as good, if not better. I thought the energy was just as good, if not better, and I thought our focus was there for 48 minutes.” [Byron Scott via Tom Reed]

This is a couple days old and almost pure speculation, but I can’t not post a link to an article from a reputable writer like Sam Amico discussing rumors that LeBron could be headed back to the Cavs in a couple of years. No, I don’t think it’ll happen either, but at the very least, it’s fodder for discussion.

Recap: Cavs 91, Knicks 81

Wednesday, January 25th, 2012

Mmmmmmmhm!  That was one of the more enjoyable Cavs games this season, and not just because it was a win.  Except for a few bad apples (Razor Ramon, anyone?) the team was firing on all cylinders on both sides of the ball, and really did a great job of holding New York’s “big three” in check.  Granted, that might be because they’re really not such a big three, but whatever, it was a good win, and you really can’t ask for more.

Before we get to the good, the bad, and the rest, I want to lay out one point in mathematical terms…

Anderson Varejao >>>>>>>> Everyone else.

Really, I could end this recap here and anyone who watched the game would understand exactly what I meant.  But alas, you’re not that lucky.

The Good

Andy – The good absolutely has to start with Andy.  He was simply amazing on D.  Not only did Andy do his regular disruption act near the basket, he had two blocks and four steals to boot.  Furthermore, by the end of the game he was clearly starting to get into Tyson Chandler’s head.  Chandler, who thrives on muscling himself inside the basket without the ball, and then receiving a pass to slam it home, was having a hard time getting Andy out of the way.   And it wasn’t just Andy’s D that was great.  Varejao added 16(!!!) rebounds (8 on O, 8 on D) and 10 points.  Andy did have 5 TOs, but that’s forgivable considering how many second chances and extra possesions he was able to get the team.  This was the prototypical Andy game, and really showed what the Cavs were missing last year with him out.

Antawn Jamison – Every time we start to bitch about this guy, he pulls one of these games out and makes us (or at least me) double check myself a bit.  Sure, he’s usually pretty worthless on D, and shoots waaaaay too much, but on nights like this it’s actually great having him on the team.  Jamison scored a team high 15 points on 6-15 shooting (3-4 from downtown) and played passable D for most of the game.  He started hot and slowed down, so his shooting % isn’t great, but I really think he was the catalyst to this game, and we owe a large chunk of this win to him.

Alonzo Gee’s defense – he really did a good job of keeping Melo in check.  Whenever he was on the court, Melo was noticeably less comfortable taking shots.  On the whole, the entire second unit really did a decent job on D (minus Razor Ramon.  We’ll get to him in a minute.)

Kyrie Irving’s game management – I railed Irving two days ago for turning the ball over a lot and generally looking out of sorts while moving the ball around the court.  I have to say he did a great job of slowing the game down a bit and making smart passes.  His 7 assists (a bunch of those inside to Andy) were really smart, good passes.  He even managed to turn the ball over just two times.  But other than his game management, he had a forgettable game (more on that in a sec).

Omri Casspi’s dunk.  Seriously, damn.  He saw what Gee did last night and obviously decided “Hey, I think I could do that, but with my left hand!”  Result: awesome.

(and note – Casspi played pretty dang well himself tonight.  13 points and some decent D on Melo – I’ll take it)

The Bad

Ramon Sessions – This has to be the low point, right?  1-5 shooting (he hit a WIDE open 3.  But my heart stopped when he took the shot anyway), two turnovers, and some seriously awful D.  He let Mike Bibby hit a shot.  MIKE BIBBY!!!!  If you watched close, you could see Ramon fail on defending the P&R, lagging way too far off his man, and completely blowing his assignment.  He had 5 assists, but that’s probably because he realized he can’t shoot anymore, and just started dishing it inside to Andy.

Kyrie Irving game minus his game management – He had his worst shooting day since his first game as a pro and kept getting pulled out of position on D.  Did anyone else notice how often Kyrie ended up underneath the basket, guarding Chandler, with his guy completely open on the wing?  I counted that happening at least 3 times.  There’s no way 6-2 Irving should ever defend 7-1 unless it’s as a circus act.

The Rest

I don’t really want to call it good, because the sample size was pretty small, but Ryan Hollins is actually starting to look like a real NBA player!  He shot 4-4 for 9 points and played some nice D on Chandler.  If he hadn’t picked up 4 fouls in just over 11 minutes (!!!) we might be able to say he could win some playing time…

Again, I don’t really think he’s worthy of a good (3-7 shooting isn’t very good) but Samuels had another decent game off the bench.  If Samuels and Hollins can become reliable second unit bigs we could see ourselves staying competitive in a lot more games.

This isn’t about the Cavs, but was I the only one who saw the 10ish minutes that Melo decided to play point forward/distributer?  He did a pretty nice job, and ended up with 6 assists.  Other than that, and the fact that Amare pretty much had his way on offense, the Knicks stunk pretty bad.  I’m really tired of hearing Shumpert’s name (I do live in NYC, though…) and the big 3 definitely don’t look so big.

The next game is the lowly Nets.  Maybe we can get ourselves a nice little winning streak.

Until then, enjoy!