Live Thread: Cavs vs. Thunder

Buckle up, Cavs fans. On paper, this looks like another winnable game against an ailing squad. Do-everything guard, Russell Westbrook is out with a bum ankle, and noted Cavs killer, Dennis Schröeder looks to start for OKC. The umlaut is also known as Schroeder’s cat around these parts, because he only seems to play well when we’re looking. The rest of the time, he stinks.

In other news, the Cavs roll out a new starting lineup in the absence of Sam Dekker who’s out 2-4 weeks with his own ankle sprain. According to FSO’s Fred McLeod, Cedi Osman will move to the power forward spot, and J.R. Smith will start at the two. Now if only the Cavs could start Nwaba instead of Hood, we could really have something.

OKC is coming off five straight wins after losing their first four. They’ve beaten solid teams in that stretch too, with victories over the Clippers, Hornets, and Pelicans.

The Thunder start Paul George, Steven Adams, Jerami Grant, and second year man Terrance Ferguson. Grant is playing the best ball of his career, averaging 11 and 5, and he will block some shots. Key to stopping him? Make him a three point shooter where he’s averaging just 25%.

Of course, perennial all-star, Paul George will lead the way for them, with splits of 23/7/4, along with a whopping 2.6 steals per game, which helps OKC rank eighth in NBA defense. Steven Adams and substitute Nerlens Noel will kill the Cavs on the o-boards if Cleveland lets them. Those two are averaging seven offensive rebounds a game. With a smaller Cavs lineup, boxing out will be key.

Stopping Patrick Patterson (41%) and Alex Abrines (35%) from getting hot from three off the bench will be the next challenge.

Cavs have a shot if they make it hard for George and not too easy for the umlaut and the shooters. They also must take care of the ball, which terrifies me a little with George guarding Cedi.

Let’s hope TT continues his stellar play and JR keeps balling out for a trade. Go Cavs.

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CLF
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CLF
10 days 11 hours ago

Tyson Chandler paying immediate dividends with tip backs at the end of the game.

MikeO
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MikeO
10 days 11 hours ago

I would not be happy if I were paying Wiggins the max. At all. They should have let him walk.

CLF
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CLF
10 days 11 hours ago

Derrick Rose is clearly the only team player and leader of the team. KAT and Wiggins only pass to each other, and Butler and Gibson only pass to each other…. it’s pathetic to see grown men acting like this.

CLF
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CLF
10 days 13 hours ago

Definitely happy with what Sexton did tonight…. there were rookie mistakes, but his ability to finish around the rim was so much better tonight.

Biggest flaw I saw tonight was his inability to move the ball in rhythm when they trap the pick. It also doesn’t help that TT is the roll man most of the time, but he’s gotta just let it go in rhythm and let the 4 on 3s work.

JOHN B
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JOHN B
10 days 12 hours ago
He got swallowed by Adams a few times, missed a layup in transition, had some pretty costly turnovers, and took some quick midrangers that clanked bad late. But he has seemed to improve somewhat on finishing. He is definitely very fast. Needs to tighten the handle and maybe learn some hesitation moves, but I agree there has been some progress. He did get utterly torched by Schroeder and like Mike noted below he doesn’t know how to slide over screens, but most rookies don’t. He also doesn’t have great footwork on man to man d yet. Sort of negates his quickness. Occasionally opens up too wide. And he sometimes is still doubling or getting too far off his man to help. However, most rookies are awful team defenders. He is a pretty bad individual defender at this stage, but I think he has the tools to stay in front of people though. He is just really raw. But there has been some progress. He is not really ready to run an offense, because he hasn’t learned/doesn’t naturally have a feel for exploiting openings in the d yet save to drive. As you said he doesn’t yet have a feel for… Read more »
CLF
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CLF
10 days 11 hours ago

I read around 13 negative statements in your post about his play…. it didn’t sound negative, it was negative LOL.

JOHN B
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JOHN B
10 days 6 hours ago

Ha. Fair. I mean he was better tonight. Think maybe he needs to continue to start. Though if Clarkson actually looks for people like tonight maybe that pairing with Sexton is less problematic.

buck turgidson
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buck turgidson
10 days 14 hours ago

anyone watching the coming of age of leVert on brooklyn.. a 20th pick in 1st round 3 yrs ago.. another little gem just waiting to be discovered.. why do the cavs never have such a nice surprise in any of their picks?

JOHN B
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JOHN B
10 days 13 hours ago
Wiggins became Love in 2015. Good. I do wonder if they would have thought they had zero shot at LBJ whether they would have picked Embiid and kept him. I know they were high on him, but he was a huge risk. That in itself would have likely precluded LBJ as Embiid didn’t have as much value as a more safe pick in Wiggins. LBJ would know that and would know it would likely be more difficult to trade him for a star. Likely would mean no love. Before that, Kyrie was a hit. Waiters was a miss, but they wanted to trade up for Beal and couldn’t. Tt was a stretch, but he did help in the 2015 and 2016 finals a great deal. So maybe his return has been average to maybe a bit below average long term. Bennett was the worst pick of all time, granted in at the time one of the worst forecasted drafts of all time. I think most of us wanted Dipo. Most importantly we traded away a lot of our picks during LBJ 2.0. We didn’t have a first rounder in 2016 or 2017. We traded away one last year to try… Read more »
JOHN B
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JOHN B
10 days 13 hours ago

Basically you can’t find gems if you don’t have picks. Second rounders do hit, but it seems rare (based on how many second rounders are picked every year versus how many become players for long term in the NBA) to find one outside the early second. And we traded away our fair share of second rounders during the James years too.

buck turgidson
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buck turgidson
10 days 14 hours ago

8.2.. 12.2.. 20 pts/gm

buck turgidson
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buck turgidson
10 days 14 hours ago

anyone think young bull can follow suit?

Arch Stanton
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Arch Stanton
10 days 14 hours ago

CLF
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CLF
10 days 14 hours ago

He’s an offensive system unto himself. Just dump it to him and play off of him…. especially with the 2nd team.

buck turgidson
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buck turgidson
10 days 13 hours ago

Zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz..!! love that big guy..

buck turgidson
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buck turgidson
10 days 13 hours ago

soft hands.. good closer.. makes his FTs..

JOHN B
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JOHN B
10 days 13 hours ago

Cleans up the defensive glass.

John B
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John B
10 days 14 hours ago

Really really really sucks this is the year the draft odds change.

Leo
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Leo
10 days 14 hours ago

Sexton is very very raw…and doesn’t appear he has an outside shot outside of 18 feet which is weird for a point guard or even two guard. Clarkson is solid but tries to do way too much. JR is who he is…same with Korver…think Cavs need to develop plays and rotations highlighting players strengths, whatever those may be. It was exciting for few minutes there but team still doesn’t know how to close.

John B
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John B
10 days 14 hours ago

He is better on js when set I think or when stopping his forward momentum in a straight line. Think the way he brings the ball up causes him trouble when moving sideways and pulling up. May throw off his aim and rhythm. But yeah he is real raw on both sides of the ball.

The second part of your comment is what I have been frustrated with. Not sure what the coaching staff spent their summer doing, but it didn’t seem to be designing an offense.

John B
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John B
10 days 14 hours ago

I think rather than just setting a predictable pin down for Korver or jr we need to use their gravity more. For instance maybe fake a double pindown and have one of the players slip the second screen so that when Korver gets the ball he has a roller to throw a bullet pass to on the way to the hoop or hit the roller instead of kk.

Or have a weakside cutter while that action is happening so that while the d is focused on the place where ball is presumably going you might catch them off guard with a backdoor or unexpected roll.

Or use a series of pindowns as decoys for another action. Obviously this type of thing requires great timing and execution. But otherwise the gravity of a guy like Korver is sort of negated if the d is focused on defending the shooter but there is nothing else they have to react to.

CLF
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CLF
10 days 14 hours ago

They definitely have the pick man dive off of that action you’re describing…. sometimes they hit the roll man, sometimes they don’t. something weak side would be nice as a reaction to the roll man receiving the pass and drawing the weakside help would be cool, but then you’re asking a big man to make a difficult pass to a cut man.

JOHN B
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JOHN B
10 days 13 hours ago

Off pindowns? Huh, guess I haven’t noticed that a ton, but maybe because they rarely get a pass quick enough. Of course like you say adding motion weakside would help since rolls can be shut down. Often it looks to me like we have strong side action and then rarely anything going on weakside. Certainly we have few set actions that actually flow into set secondaries or set tertiary actions if the initial option is stopped.

Really why at the beginning of the season I thought we might struggle to generate a lot of easy shots if we didn’t have a more complex system since we don’t have a bunch of great playmakers that can penetrate. If Jc can do more of what he did tonight as far as playmaking that would help a ton.

CLF
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CLF
10 days 13 hours ago

They hit it tonight. They also missed it tonight late… Korver missed TT on the dive.

JOHN B
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JOHN B
10 days 13 hours ago

Good to know. Think it likely is tough to pull off that type of action consistently without either a lot of continuity between players and/or a great passing team/lineup 1-5. Sort of have to know where guys will be and what they are going to do to get the timing right. Not sure these guys know each other that well.

CLF
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CLF
10 days 13 hours ago

Exactly… a lot of mistakes are based on lack of chemistry, rather than lack of skill or any perceived “selfishness”…. granted there’s some of that too.

That’s exactly my position…. they don’t know each other at all…. thrown together at the last minutes last year, and a completely different system with no LBJ. It’s just gonna be ugly for awhile, but hopefully professional pride will allow them to work through it.

JOHN B
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JOHN B
10 days 13 hours ago

Nance is capable. Love obviously is. Not sure about zizic or tt.

NOMAD
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NOMAD
10 days 14 hours ago

AGREE WITH YOU BUCK ——LIKE YOUR SAYING ABOUT “ZZ”———“THROW HIM THE DEEP END –HE CAN SWIM “—–HOPE THIS OPENED THE COACHES EYES –( SHOULD HAVE ALREADY BEEN OPENED )—

Chris K
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Chris K
10 days 13 hours ago

Necessity will be the mother of Zizic’s invention: we are down two bigs, and the two others are garbage men with one move between them. Zizic has GOT to play. Unless he ate Drew’s dog or tried to date his daughter, he has to be the next man up…right?

buck turgidson
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buck turgidson
10 days 14 hours ago

i would strongly suggest they try to win at least 1 of the next 3 games.. after that it’s a very ugly gauntlet till xmas…

John B
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John B
10 days 14 hours ago

Yes. That would be ideal.

buck turgidson
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buck turgidson
10 days 14 hours ago

not a horendous showing, however.. let the big Z loose.. he can play

John B
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John B
10 days 14 hours ago

Yes. At minimum he is very useful against a team like okc. One that maybe doesn’t have great shooters and plays a traditional big. He should play alot in those matchups.

NOMAD
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NOMAD
10 days 14 hours ago

LAST 2 GAMES THE CAVS HAVE COMPETED –GOTTEN BETTER—I AM NOT COMPLAINING– COMPARED TO THE OTHER RECENT GARBAGE WE WITNESSED

NOMAD
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NOMAD
10 days 14 hours ago

SEXTON IS 19—-ONLY 10 GAMES INTO NBA ——THERE WILL BE MANY “BUMPS ” ——HOPE DREW KEEPS HIM IN THE STARTING ROLE

John B
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John B
10 days 14 hours ago

Well they made it competitive. Sexton had some moments in the first half but he was abused by Schroeder, had some costly turnovers, and Clarkson was much better at finidng people without slowing down the offense. Some of those Sexton midrangers in the fourth were brutal.

CLF
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CLF
10 days 14 hours ago

Man…. Good fight… Rookie mistakes, injuries, lack of chemistry just too much to overcome against a great team.

NOMAD
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NOMAD
10 days 14 hours ago

YOU BEAT ME TO IT NATE

MikeO
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MikeO
10 days 14 hours ago

John B
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John B
10 days 14 hours ago

I agree with Nate. Clarkson actually had a decent floor game.

MikeO
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MikeO
10 days 14 hours ago

JR was a killer…5-17, 3-11 from three, 4 turnovers…

John B
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John B
10 days 14 hours ago

I don’t disagree. He had a bizarre and awful first half. Provided a brief spark in the fourth and then chucked up some bad shots on nearly back to back two point possessions.

John B
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John B
10 days 14 hours ago

Not sure we needed that quick a three by Clarkson. That goaltend will do it

CLF
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CLF
10 days 14 hours ago

Clarkson just shoot it!!!

John B
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John B
10 days 14 hours ago

Yeah would rather he just drive if he is going to hesitate. The hesitation and pullup seemed forced

John B
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John B
10 days 14 hours ago

Two possession game. It is technically possible

buck turgidson
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buck turgidson
10 days 14 hours ago

they seem to be playing a bit less poorly.. not a terrible performance against a decent team that has won 5 straight

CLF
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CLF
10 days 14 hours ago

Reach in not called I Adams. Agree with Carr, pass to Korver in the corner get the ball back

MikeO
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MikeO
10 days 14 hours ago

19 Cav turnovers so far…that ain’t going to cut it…

John B
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John B
10 days 15 hours ago

Oh Sexton. That may just about do it

MikeO
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MikeO
10 days 15 hours ago

Sexton gets picked way, way, way too much…

CLF
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CLF
10 days 15 hours ago

Korver wide open 3 miss

John B
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John B
10 days 15 hours ago

Damn really needed that kk trey. Danger.time

John B
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John B
10 days 15 hours ago

Don’t love that jr three. Sexton with a drive he needs to finish

MikeO
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MikeO
10 days 15 hours ago

Didn’t love that three by JR…nobody anywhere near the basket…

CLF
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CLF
10 days 15 hours ago

Dang Sexton blew by and couldn’t finish

John B
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John B
10 days 15 hours ago

Great drive jc. Once he is turning the corner he is going all the way.

CLF
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CLF
10 days 15 hours ago

Clarkson finish!!!!

John B
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John B
10 days 15 hours ago

Nice thought by JC but that pass was a bit much for zizic in traffic.

That call on JC on the phantom Schroeder foul was one of the worst calls I have seen this season. That was legit awful. Unfortunately officials call that more often than not because it is so close to contact they can’t actually see. So easy for offensive player to flip and kick their legs out. Smart play by Schroeder. Bad call by the officials. Unfortunate for us.

CLF
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CLF
10 days 15 hours ago

Umlaut flop

CLF
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CLF
10 days 15 hours ago

JR bad shot

John B
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John B
10 days 15 hours ago

Heat check

NOMAD
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NOMAD
10 days 15 hours ago

MAYBE DREW HAS MADE SOME PROGRESS WITH THE MATURATION OF CLARKSON —LET’S HOPE SO

MikeO
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MikeO
10 days 15 hours ago

I think he needed to get away from the Lakers so He Could Learn How To Win. Now he knows, time for his triumphant return…

CLF
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CLF
10 days 15 hours ago

Clarkson finish!!!! But Sexton misses swing pass

John B
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John B
10 days 15 hours ago

Strong finish jc

NOMAD
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NOMAD
10 days 15 hours ago

“ZZ” WITH ALMOST A DOUBLE / DOUBLE IN WHAT 15 MIN’S —WTF COACHES DID IT TAKE SO LONG TO GIVE HIM PLAYING TIME —–DON’T GET IT

MikeO
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MikeO
10 days 15 hours ago

Clarkson playing like he knows Magic is going to trade for him…

CLF
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CLF
10 days 15 hours ago

Korver 3!!!!!!!!! They take the lead!!!!

John B
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John B
10 days 15 hours ago

Korver!!!!

John B
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John B
10 days 15 hours ago

Great steal hr

MikeO
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MikeO
10 days 15 hours ago

Wow, Korver!

buck turgidson
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buck turgidson
10 days 15 hours ago

if they can win this game i may have to update my estimates.. what have they been saving zizic for? throw him in the deep end.. he can swim

John B
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John B
10 days 15 hours ago

Million dollar question

CLF
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CLF
10 days 15 hours ago

Clarkson top JR for three!!!!!!!!!

John B
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John B
10 days 15 hours ago

Jr making up for a head scratching first half. Still in it

CLF
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CLF
10 days 15 hours ago

Clarkson to Korver for three!!!!!!!!!

John B
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John B
10 days 15 hours ago

Zizic should play more against teams that struggle from the perimeter. Great pass by sex for kk three

John B
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John B
10 days 15 hours ago

Whoops. JC. He has had one of his better games I think. Taking fewer mid ranges. Driving all the way, shooting threes (not always making), and passing. We could really use another guy to set people up for easy shots. If he could do that consistently, he would be a good bench player

MikeO
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MikeO
10 days 15 hours ago

JR three! Cavs down by one!

MikeO
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MikeO
10 days 15 hours ago

KK!

CLF
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CLF
10 days 15 hours ago

Great pass Clarkson to Zizic!!!!!!!!

CLF
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CLF
10 days 15 hours ago

Korver to Zizic!!!!

MikeO
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MikeO
10 days 15 hours ago

Zizic definitely should be playing more…

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