Tuesday, June 19th, 2007 at 4:05 pm  |  34 responses

Links: Quick Notes

Don’t Grimace, it’s just Mike Brown…

by Lang Whitaker

Finally, I’m back. And I have about 100 emails and voicemails to get to get at. So if you’ve been trying to track me down lately, please bear with me. Spending a long time watching the Cavs will cause irreparable mental trouble to even the strongest of us. Sam and I saw this firsthand when a broken and battered Stephen A. Smith stopped by our table at breakfast on Friday morning. Even the irrepressible Stephen A. was struggling to make sense out of what we’d all just witnessed.

Were the Cavs really that bad? Yes, yes they were. And the moment I was sure that they were terrible came with a few second left in the first half of Game Three. I wrote about this in the game notes at the time, but I can’t get it out of my head. Cleveland and San Antonio had scuffled through the first half, but the Cavs were mostly clinging to a slim lead. Robert Horry drained a three with 26.2 seconds left to tie the game at 38. And that’s when the Cavs crumbled. Let’s take this in stages…

1. OK, so there’s basically 26 seconds left in the quarter and Cleveland has the ball. What do you do? You can’t play two-for-one there and realistically expect to get a good shot off or get the ball back with any time left. Instead you should probably let the clock run as low as you can and take a shot as the clock hits 2.6, right? That way if you miss the shot the rebound and scramble will probably use up the rest of the clock, and if you make it you’re not leaving the Spurs much time. Either way, at the very worst the Cavs should go to the locker room tied at 38.

2. The Cavs called a timeout before this play, so presumably they discussed their options during the stoppage. Did the Cavs put LeBron into the game for a last-second shot? No, they did not.

3. Out of the timeout, the Cavs ran a pick-and-roll featuring Boobie Gibson and Drew Gooden, a loopy guy and a guy with a loopy name. Gibson managed to briefly break free, and he charged to the basket and threw up a shot that clanged off the bottom of the rim. The Spurs grabbed the rebound…WITH 12 SECONDS LEFT ON THE CLOCK! That’s not only bad clock management, it’s just completely inexcusable by the Cavs coaching staff.

4. San Antonio came back down the floor. Now, the Cavs had a foul to give, and Mike Brown was yelling for the Cavs to foul. So they did. Donkey Jones grabbed someone WITH OVER 7 SECONDS LEFT ON THE CLOCK! Look, I understand giving the foul there, but again, you can’t leave the Spurs that much time on the clock.

5. The Spurs threw it in, cleared it out and watched as Tony Parker flew around Daniel Gibson for a runner that dropped just as the buzzer sounded. 40-38, Spurs lead at the half.

It was a 4-point swing there that silenced the crowd, and the Spurs never looked back. The Cavs were giving away points like candy throughout the series. For all the talk about them being a really good defensive team, I never saw it. Maybe they’d just played a lot of games against Eastern Conference teams.

Are the Spurs a dynasty? Yes. But I don’t think they’re one of the greatest dynasties in NBA history. They have a tendency to play to the level of their opponents, so perhaps they’re too reactionary to be a great, great team. When I think of the greatest teams in NBA history, I immediately think of the old Celts, and more recently the Celts/Lakers from the ’80s and Bulls of the ’90s. All of those teams made you play their style. The Spurs don’t really do that, though, instead kind of conforming to what you do and just doing it better than you do it.

Also, a word to Mike Brown, who has been treated more like Charlie Brown by the fans and media. Yes, he made some questionable decisions along the way, but didn’t he get the Cavs to the NBA Finals?

Next week we have the NBA Draft, and I have no idea what the Hawks are planning on doing. A few weeks ago I heard they were all hot on Brandan Wright, then this week I heard Billy Knight likes Yi Jianlian. So I don’t know where they’re going with these picks. I do know that I have zero trust in Billy Knight to make the right decisions. Prove me wrong, Billy!

Also, coming up tomorrow we’re going to kick off a very cool Draft-related contest. And then on Friday we’ll announce the 2006-07 SLAMMYs. Get your tuxes pressed and all that stuff.

Right now we’re in the midst of getting SLAM 111 all finished up and out to the printer. I have stuff to write, stuff to edit, stuff to read. So real quick, a few links…

• If you haven’t signed up for the Mountain Dew contest on our homepage, go win yourself a free bike. Russ, this has you written all over it. But maybe you’re not eligible? I dunno…read the rules or something.

• Quite possibly the greatest news ever. Not sure what’s better, the return of Mr. Chibbs or that Freedom Williams owns a CBA team.

• Speaking of The A, I’ve been kind of passively looking for this music video forever and last night I finally stumbled across it. One of my favorite hip-hop videos and songs of all time.

• Guess who wrote this:

“Nowhere else can you rip off some huge farts and have 3 nurses and a doctor, while maintaining a very professional demeanor, tell you that you aren’t done yet and demand that you let loose a few more.”

Mark Cuban, that’s who.

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  • white hot eboy

    Best lookalike comparison….ever!

  • white hot eboy

    Lang, you never cease to amaze.

  • Hlop

    The latest Vin Baker story is pretty sad

  • http://www.slamonline.com Ryan Jones

    Remember posse cuts?
    Remember Outkast Clothing?
    Remember when Cee-Lo and Dre were rappers?
    That was the southern “Scenario.” That was dope. Thank you, Lang.

  • white hot eboy

    Lang, do you think the Krunk’s intro music will be “Gonna Make You Sweat”?

  • http://www.slamonline.com Ryan Jones

    Also, from Cuban: “…the thought of being violated by a long tube is at the very bottom…” Yes, Mark. Yes it is. However, he made it so much fun I scheduled three of them tomorrow.

  • http://www.slamonline.com Ryan Jones

    Also: The Atlanta Krunk may be the first team name in history that was outdated as soon as it was created.

  • JD

    just throwing this out there… what ever happened to lenny cooke and omar cook??

  • http://www.stopmikelupica.com stopmikelupica

    Watch for the Hook! Great joint, solid video – I liked the Reservoir Dogs motif. The sparse sample is what made the song so hot….

  • http://www.mybleedingfingertips.blogspot.com/ Max Airington

    Not a dynasty.

  • http://slamonline.com Lang Whitaker

    I think the real surprise in that Cool Breeze video is the performance of Witchdoctor. That video might be the most exposure he ever saw. Also, I love the part where Gipp is running with the briefcase. And Ryan, speaking of Dre rapping, check out the “Walk It Out” remix with Dre and Big Boi on there. It’s actually on iTunes. Really good.

  • http://slamonline.com Lang Whitaker

    Oh, and I’ve mentioned it before, the last time we ran that Mike Brown/Grimace photo, but Khalid came up with that one. Credit due.

  • H to the izzo

    Cool Breeze.That made up for any Kobe rapping reference that was ever made.

  • Allenp

    The Walk it Out remix is nice, but Dre is really spitting on the new UGK joint. That’s a must cop. I’ve got a feeling that the boy is getting back to his roots and is out to prove to everybody that he’s the best rapper doing it still. I hope he doesn’t get distracted.

  • Allenp

    Oh, yeah, he get’s right on that Lloyd song with Nas too.

  • http://www.myspace.com/mikebone Simmy Sosa

    Somebody let me hold a #2 pencil because they test…

  • http://www.nba.com Both Teams Played Hard

    funny how you got julian wright in the mag, along with florida guys and durant. cuz ku beat florida this past season and twice beat durant, one being in the big 12 championship.

  • RiseKing


    This is my favorite early 90′s video, without question. Not only because Large Professor is a genius, but because putting movie clips into a soundtrack video is so 1991…”White Men Can’t Jump” sure doesn’t stand the test of time as a basketball flick, btw.

  • Dennard

    I haven’t read this post yet Lang, but the title alone has me cracking up. I forgot what I was reading, but some other dude called Mike Brown, Al Roker.

  • Dennard

    One more thing. I am a huge Spurs fan, but I don’t believe they qualify as a dynasty yet. I think they need to win it next year and they need to have a dominating run through the playoffs doing such. Maybe next year they can finally repeat. We’ll see.

  • http://phoenixsunsrising.blogspot.com/ Hersey

    There are only three dynasties in Basketball. UCLA, Celtics, Bulls. That’s it.

  • Boing Dynasty’s first grade English teacher

    Ryan, Devin the Dude ft dre 3000 and snoop – what a job.

  • Stuie

    Hershey is right. A lot of college teams are good but UCLA is the only dynasty because they won repetitively. A lot of the other teams havent been consitant enought to be a dynasty.

  • bootlace

    Was this years 8 Eastern conference playoff teams the worst ever? Dunno about you guys, but I think so. #8 Orlando-when Turkoglu is pretty much your goto guy, you got a problem. #7 Washington- As a complete team they were average in the Eastern Conference. Without their best two players…they would have been better off sending the Whitehouse intermurals team. #6 New Jersey- If that Kidd for Brynum deal had gone through, these guys would have lost their last 30 games. #5 Chicago- Too young, rely on outside shot way too much, no superstar. #4 Miami – Like the mafia. Bunch of old guys who should have quit while they were ahead. #3 Toronto – I have to nominate them as a candidate for the worst 3rd seed ever. Sam Mitchell deserves a max contract for this. #2 Cleveland – We all watched the Finals didnt we? Well, no… but you know what I mean. #1 Detroit – They looked really good going into Eastern Conf. Finals, I guess they just got bored and switched off.

  • the brown guy

    lmao, that photo
    all hail SLAM hahahahahahha

  • Nothin_personal

    3965104 look up this amazing trade scenario in the RealGM trade checker to turn the West conference upside down (and make Atlanta a power in the East ofcourse!) Phoenix is getting a bunch of bull contracts though.

  • Chukaz

    Hasn’t this sh*t been on the site for a while? I think I saw it like a couple of weeks ago on the separated at birth section.

  • Chukaz

    By “this sh*t” I meant the picture.

  • Chukaz

    Yeah, Mark Cuban likes it in the ass!

  • bigmike407

    I think Mike Brown looks like he could be Al Roker’s brother. If you don’t know who that is, he does the weather on Good Morning America, or one of those morning shows. Anyway, dude used to be real big and got his stomach stapled and he and Brown may be close to the same size now. Google Roker, look for a pic and tell me what you think.

  • Drolfe

    I only know Al Roker from that Seinfeld episode. But yeah, now you mention it, that’s a pretty good match.

  • Dblizzy!

    Allenp you right! Dre killed that verse on that UGK joint! It’s good to hear some great rap music thats not all about the beat, or b*tches, drugs, guns,ay bey bey etc…

  • Steve O

    Do you think Slim Calhoun got his name from Jim Calhoun?? If so Chibbs should sign him as an assistant coach.

  • Allenp

    Oh yeah, Dre on the Throw Some D’s on it remix is also a beast. I know I’m sweating him, but damn, dude needs to go ahead and release a rapping album again. He’s still got it.