Links To The Present: April 18, 2010

April 18th, 2010 by Tom Pestak

“But Jamison finished this day with 15 smooth points (7-of-14 shooting) and 10 rebounds in 32 minutes. That’s about what he averaged after being traded to the Cavs on February 17. To be exact, the numbers were 15.8 points, 7.7 rebounds and 48 percent shooting.” [Terry Pluto on the Improved Cavs]

“It is a bizzare circumstance for a player who started 73 games to barely get in the first playoff game. That is the case for J.J. Hickson. While Mike Brown probably should look for a chance to play Hickson, it is hard to argue after seeing the way the Cavs’ bigs dominated in this game. Trust that Hickson will be needed and he will play. Depending on the opponent, he might play a lot. But take this opportunity to consider that the Cavs won 61 games using what amounts to a fill-in starter in Hickson for 73 of the games.” [Brian Windhorst’s Beat Blog]

“The one that will stick in your head, like a bookmark in a favorite volume, came just over two minutes into the second half, when he scored on a dunk off a baseline spin move that left Chicago’s Joakim Noah guessing wrong and looking foolish.” [Bill Livingston on Shaq’s Presence]

“Anderson Varejao has heard himself compared to Chicago’s Joakim Noah. “I’m a lot more handsome than him,” Varejao said, laughing. Then he acknowledged the comparisons.” [Mary Schmitt Boyer]

“The Cavs crushed the usually solid rebounding Bulls, who led the NBA in rebounds per game, 50-38 on the glass. They piled up 13 second-chance points, which an offensively challenged team like Chicago cannot usually handle.” [Brian Windhorst’s Game Recap]

“But finesse? Spin moves that leave opponents tottering like a tenpin as he rolls to the cup? Shimmy shakes that send a defender young enough to be his son (almost) stumbling like a man who’s had too much scotch? Those days are supposed to be over.” [Chris Broussard on Shaq’s Game 1 Performance]

“This was around the same time when Shaquille O’Neal officially reduced Bulls’ spiritual leader, Joakim Noah, into a rag doll.  The practically sleak Shaq, down at least 15 pounds in his first game since thumb surgery in late February, spun around a flailing Noah for a dunk. The oldest active player in the NBA followed up a short time later by swatting the ball out of Noah’s hands, off Noah’s knee and out of bounds to force the turnover.” [Melissa Isaacson – ESPNChicago]

Brad Miller almost needed a ride in the waaaambulance:  Miller had to get medical treatment after taking an elbow from O’Neal, who was playing in his 204th postseason game.”Just taking an elbow to the damn chin and bleeding,” Miller said. “My foul.” [AP]

“In the third quarter, O’Neal rose up and stone-cold stopped Noah at his highest point as he went up to dunk. O’Neal fouled Noah, but the message was sent: No dunks in the halfcourt set on my watch. By game’s end, Noah had five fouls and Miller four as the Bulls struggled to find a way to deal with O’Neal.” [Pat McManamon]

“Update: As seen in the title change and in the comments below, the city of Cleveland has now accepted the proposal for the banner. Not sure what prompted the switch but stay tuned here and around the web for more information. It should be up there sometime in the near future folks.” [WFNY]

Tweets To The Present: (follow me @tompestak)

“You can tell the Cavs are a little too hyped for this one. Turnovers and missed threes, but good defense. Classic signs.” [Colin Zvosec]

“This couldn’t have gone any better. Cavs gambled on Shaq and he did it. I swear he was fat 2 months ago.” [WayneEmbrysKids]

“The Q is on fire. Crowd ready for postseason. Are you?” [Bob Finan]

“Cavs 103 – bulls 87 but if Ditka plays then Cavs 87 – Bulls 86. Ditka plays dirty in a half court game.” [realcavsfans]

“Derrick Rose: responsible for 48 w/ assists. Mo Williams: responsible for 40 pts w/assists. Cavs will take that every game.” [Brian Windhorst]