Thursday, June 14th, 2007 at 11:48 am  |  35 responses

The Cavs could still… nah

A brief off-day report

By Sam Rubenstein

I’m sitting in my hotel room at 11 A.M., the day after another night of “networking.” Cleveland seems to be a nice town full of nice people, and it wouldn’t be the end of the world if we had to stay here through the weekend. That being said… San Antonio put your foot on their throat and snap their neck off.

The team down 0-3 in a playoff series knows that they have to make it look like they are trying, and sometimes that translates to actually being competitive and winning. Two such examples are when the Sonics beat the 70 win Bulls (and then did it a second time) in The Finals, and the Suns from two seasons ago winning the down 0-3 game against these Spurs before the inevitable series loss. Even though Cleveland has been truly an awful conference champion, they still have that proverbial puncher’s chance.

LeBron is not stupid. He saw what happened last game, and he has proven time and time again that he learns from mistakes and gets better. Now he knows that just because a t-shirt salesman named Boobie is wide open for three, it doesn’t mean that shot is going in. LeBron could play this game with the mentality that he has to take over, get to the basket every time, get the Spurs in foul trouble, and go from there. He’s got nothing to lose by trying something new. If he does that, the refs could help him out, the sweep would be avoided… oh that would be bad.

Yesterday with no game to attend, we went to practice, a few media functions, a movie, and finally a pool hall where certain people that have the competitive drive it takes to rise to the top of ESPN, proved that they can not turn off that competitive fire with a pool cue in hand. It got ugly for me and my teammates. One of the best parts of that pool hall, named “House of Cues” which was chuckleworthy in itself, was that every song they played seemed to come right from 1992-93. It was literally Nirvana, Pearl Jam, The Offspring, Green Day, Goo Goo Dolls… and so on. We might have hit a time warp pocket in the plane and been transported back in time.

The night ended with Lang and myself doing the gentlemanly thing by waiting for a cab with a female friend in the media. Not only are there no cabs in all of Cleveland at 3 A.M., but there are no automobiles. I went to the front desk to try and find out what the deal was, and there were no hotel employees around to help and I had to use a rotary phone that may have once belonged to Alexander Graham Bell. Yes, we may have actually transported back in time to the days of horse-drawn carts.

Alright, we’ve got a big adventure to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame coming up today. More coverage of The Finals coming up later on. There’s really nothing more to say, but we’ll say it anyways.

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  • Kiyan


  • Kiyan

    Sam, completely agree. LeBron just has to place like there’s no tomorrow (or maybe no more finals appearances for a while!).

  • Kiyan

    **play not place

  • IrvBX

    only way cavs win is if tony parker breaks his leg

  • k.o.

    great headline

  • solly what

    I’m proud to say that I’ll be one of the 20 people watching the last game of the finals tonight. Literally— 20.

  • http://community.foxsports.com/blogs/Hoffman B

    LeBron has to drop 40-50 points for the Cleveland Cows to have a shot at avoiding the sweep. Good luck with that Bron-Bron the Global Icon.

  • http://slamonline.com Sam Rubenstein

    Oh and congrats to Bryce Maximus(!!!!) for being born. LeBron and the rest of his family as well.

  • Silky Slim

    We are all witnesses to “The Massacre At The Q!” Sorry Cavs fans. LeBron needs to focus more on becoming a more consistent perimeter shooter and focus less on becoming a global icon. Call this series Reynolds, because it’s a wrap. The Spurs will do us all a favor and close it out in game 4. Let’s start the NBA draft coverage!

  • http://community.foxsports.com/blogs/Hoffman B

    King James: I’d like to be able to tell my Little Global Icon one day that he was born on the day that Daddy avoided a sweep.


  • http://espn.com Reggie Evans

    Rick Barry called out Mike Brown. Talked about a “flaw” in LBJ’s shooting that needs to be corrected, and how LBJ does not run pick and roll properly.

  • http://community.foxsports.com/blogs/Hoffman B

    Yo Sam! “Scour” my blog. It’s the “latest and greatest.” Guaransheed.

  • niQ

    only way cavs can win is if duncan, parker, and manu all get break arm/break leg/or get bittin by some west nile mosquito or osmithng.h.ahaha

  • Dennard

    I am cracking up on the rotary phone line. That’s pure comedy right there.

  • Silky Slim

    I think the biggest flaw with LeBron mechanics is his tendency to fade and drift on his jumpers. Even when he’s shooting 3s, he’s fading or drifting to the left or right as he releases his shot.

  • http://slamonline.com Ben Osborne

    Sam, at least as long as you’re in Cleveland you don’t have to see the Mets. They may have just saved the Dodgers’ season with that 3-game no show. Was this a case of the SI Jinx striking BEFORE the mag came out?

  • J-Bird

    I loved every minute of that Dodgers series, that was payback for the playoffs last year.

  • http://breadcity.wordpress.com Jake

    WHAT?! The finals are still going on?

  • sixthman6

    it wouldnt hurt for James to shoot with his elbow further in either..

  • Heri

    Does anyone have the feeling the Pistons would at least have given us “real Finals” ?

  • JustMe

    I’m I the only one groaning when I see LJ doing a fadeaway on barely contested three point attempts?? Clang!

  • Douce

    the finals are so boooooooring i miss san vs det i dont care what anyone says i loved that series.

  • Dennard

    San Antonio vs. Detroit wouldn’t be as close as people believe. If Detroit was in the Western conference, they would have been a 5 or 6 seed at best.

  • JustMe

    @Silky Slim: hey, I guess I’m not the only one seeing that fade away…even with my bad eyesight (seeing how I missed your post.) Ironic given that I think LB told Boobie to step into his 3 point attempts.
    @ Dennard: I agree; these last two years Detroit is a mere shadow of the team that hammered LA for the ch’ip, smothered opponents scoring in the 60+ points range.

  • peteb80

    So did Bruce Bowen name his newborn Commodus last week? Would be fitting.

  • Shiz

    Lebron’s shooting woes have more to do with his chicken-wing than his “Rockaway” lean. But now its such a mental thing with him that he’s not even taking the WIDE open 20 footers he’s getting. C’mon Icon, if Z can hit em, you can do it too!
    And Lebron is more to blame for Varujo’s last second “shot attempt”. You never give the “energy” guy the last shot, cuz they usually end up throwin up garbage outta desperation. Varajo’s the guy that opposing fans screams “SHOOT IT! SHOOT IT!” to, just to watch him panic and fire up some God-awful brick.
    Shimmy-shake,under-the-arm,scooptie-layup. Perfect.
    Oh yeah, Mike Brown is STILL an awful coach.

  • Chukaz

    I was watching ESPNNEWS in the morning and they showed the way Bron was scoring the ball. He had 6 points of 3′s, he had 40 points is the paint and 18 points from the line. That’s it. He is 0-13 from inside the 3 point line and outside the paint. Are you kidding me? Man, Gregg Anthony was saying (before the series began) that the Cavs had a chance of winning because of LeBron’s ability to nail the midrange J. Boy, that man(?) doesn’t know what he’s talkin’ ’bout!

  • seppo

    I know it´s an odd thing to think about, but I just miss the times when the NBA finals were truly exciting. What do you all think, if instead of Bron´s Cavs any of MJ´s championship Bulls teams was in an 0-3 hole against the Spurs. Could they pull off a comeback?

  • Joel O’s

    @seppo: They wouldn’t have been down 0-3, and they would beat this Spurs team in 7 probably. That would be a heck of an NBA finals. Well the NBA Finals WERE exciting last year. The year before that too. This year the East just got so bad.

  • Chukaz

    The NBA need the Lakers to get KG and get back to the NBA finals and get the Heat back in the Finals as well. I don’t care about the Kobe Shaq beef ’cause that has been over for a while. Shaq showed some love for Kobe during Kobe’s trade demands, and Kobe knows now that he should’ve done something to keep the big fella in town. Lakers (if they get KG) Vs. Heat would be awesome because of the talent level. The two best SG in the L, two of the best big men in the history of the L, and two of the best coaches of all time. Come on KG, go to L.A. Minny ain’t going nowhere with McHale as the GM. He just traded Mike James for Juwan Howard. How smart was that? You give up a player who can put the ball in the basket for a 50 year old guy who can’t put the ball in the basket, isn’t a good defender and plays the same position as your star player. Come on KG, get out of town before it’s too late!!!! Do it, what you waitin’ fo?

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

    Ben/Sam: I am happy to help your Dodgers/sorry to jinx your Mets with my attendance at Chavez Revine on Tuesday night. Getting to see the Dodgers hit home runs on three consecutive pitches while eating my second consecutive Dodger dog was pretty cool, and the weather was beautiful, and the woman at the toll booth gave me a $4 discount on parking because I didn’t have enough cash, so I hope to do it again sometime soon.
    Everyone else: Kobe says hi.

  • LANCo

    spurs in 4 but hey.. where;s the luv for bowen fellas i mean that guy goes 4-5 from downtown, shuts down lebron and hardly gets any touches on O and no one givs him luv
    props up for u bruce
    best D in league
    D wins chips
    just so u no

  • http://community.foxsports.com/blogs/Hoffman B

    Blog of the Day: http://community.foxsports.com/blogs/
    I blog for free. Give me a shot Sam. You started out as an intern. Get at me and you won’t be sorry. I love the game and you guys are the best at what you do.

  • Iversonbrotha

    LBJ still isn’t good enough to lead his team to a title. The thing that a lot of people don’t realize is that MJ scored 35+ or at least 30+ a night to win. LBJ doesn’t do that

  • A

    LBJ is the best player in the NBA. He stays out of trouble, and he led his team to the finals. Sure, they didn’t win, but who else has made the finals with no help at all on the team?? Bryant had Shaq, D Wade had Shaq, Jordan had a lot of help on his team, led by Pippen and Rodman, everybody has help except LBJ, and I give him credit for getting to the finals. The Cavs made a pretty good offer to Minnesotta, and it may go through, we’re waiting to see. So you can all take ur LBJ criticism and eat it!!