Links To The Present: May 3, 2010

May 3rd, 2010 by Tom Pestak

“LeBron has made it hard for me to coach all these other guys after him,” said Dambrot. “Not because of his talent, but he was such a great teammate, so unselfish. He respects his coaches. He just gets it.” [Terry Pluto on LeBron]

“The Most Valuable Player is the ultimate individual reward and James won it a second time, officially being presented with the Maurice Podoloff Trophy, on Sunday at a made-for-fans event. But while the Cavaliers star had to admit becoming just the 10th player to win the honor in consecutive seasons was quite satisfactory, the aura of the afternoon was sharing the wealth.” [Brian Windhorst on the MVP Ceremony]

I’ve always felt that because of LeBron’s incredible inertia, he does not get the same calls other wing players get.  Seems at least one person agrees with me:
1. I have recorded and watched all but one of LeBron’s NBA games since his debut at Sacramento on Oct. 29, 2003 (Anybody have a tape of Game 24, season 2?). What I’ve seen in real time and slo-mo is a player who repeatedly gets fouled in the act of driving or shooting without getting the call — never more so than during this season. Yes, he went to the line 773 times in 76 games, but, by my estimate, it could have been at least 850. His combination of strength and explosiveness actually works against him because opposition contact isn’t as obvious. [Dennis Manoloff]

“I love Akron to death,” James said. “Since I was a little kid, I always said I was going to find a way to put this city on the map. And I’m going to continue to do that.”  As James spoke after receiving his second straight MVP award Sunday at the University of Akron, you couldn’t help but think to yourself: He ain’t leaving. [Chris Broussard on LBJ’s MVP Ceremony]

Love This Shirt


Double Boom.

“Think about what this guy has to be aware of, and then for him still to get to the rim, or an open perimeter look. It’s just ridiculous that he’s not really waiting for Paul Pierce to make a bad move defensively; it’s that he’s waiting for Tony Allen or Kevin Garnett to make a bad move. And they’re guarding someone else!” [Kelly Dwyer – Behind the Box Score]

“Personally, I think it wore Pierce down. He had to chase LeBron everywhere and LeBron did the smart thing of trying to punish him in the post early. LeBron had 21 of his 35 points in the second half while Pierce went cooler than being cool. And this is where the Celtics have to decide how to defend the force of LeBron over the course of the rest of this series. They don’t have anybody to throw in front of James other than Paul Pierce and Marquis Daniels. You definitely can’t play Marquis Daniels for extended stretches in this series. This doesn’t bode well for Boston. ” [Zach Harper on Game 1]

“Moreover, it wouldn’t be a bad idea to double LeBron on every catch (if possible with a small to keep the bigs at home). If a big man sets a screen for LBJ, then two-time James with the defending big, and rotate in the lane to prevent the screener from rolling hoopwards in a straight line. By any means, get the ball out of LBJ’s hands and force Williams or West or Jamison or anybody else to carry the offense for sustained periods of time.” [Charley Rosen’s Game 1 Analysis]

“It was Brown’s good fortune to inherit James, then in his third NBA season.  But if Brown hadn’t created a defensive culture within the Cavs, it’s doubtful that his career win rate would be .663, or that Cleveland would’ve reached one NBA final and two Eastern Conference finals on his watch.” [Tom Krasovic  on The Cavs’ Coaching Staff]

“Cleveland’s got cab drivers who speak English and know their way around town. Many of them remember when Jim Brown toted the pigskin for the Browns and when Rocky Colavito hit majestic homers for the Tribe. Cleveland has no pretense. Folks work hard and value their money.” [Dan Shaughnessy of the Boston Globe on the City of Cleveland]

Some funny captions to pics from Game 1. (warning: R-Rated Language)

A friend of mine who is a fan of Cavstheblog was talking to me about Game 1 and he said: “Before MoDunk, I totally thought the tagline for the game recap would be: (Or, Mo Williams get his blank blanked all night long)”  I get the feeling Chris Broussard was thinking the same thing when he began the ESPN Daily Dime: “There’s no gentle way to put this: Mo Williams was being abused. Eaten up. Destroyed.”

Mike Brown got a kick out of Mo Williams’ Dunk. Also, anyone a little disappointed in the bench’s reaction?  I think it was because even after the dunk, the Cavs were down big in a playoff game.  Had the Cavs been winning, or the game even been close, I think JJ and Jamario especially would have really put on a show.

Tweets To The Present: (Follow me @tompestak)

“Seven voters didn’t back LeBron for MVP. Two gave him 3rd place votes. I will have their names by end of the week.” [Bill Simmons]

“I saw Shaq coming on stage and thought, “Oh no, Shaq’s going all finals 06 on us!” Then I saw the rest of the team.” [Colin Zvosec]

“I’m sure LeBron will be parking that 2011 Kia Sorrento right next to his Ferrari.” [CAVSWitness]