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Thursday, October 29th, 2009 at 9:11 am  |  179 responses

Post Up: Raps Ruin Bron’s 3×2

And Damien Wilkins saves the TWolves at the buzzer.

by Holly MacKenzie/@stackmack

What a day, what a night. It’s just after 3 a.m. and I’m an exhausted girl. Accomplished girl, too. Finally managed to link up with Drake at halftime of the Raptors/Cavs game for a future project. That made my week right there.

The Raptors defeating the Cavs was just silly. 101-91. Lovely surprise, that one. Getting to write a feel good story for these amazing Raptors fans who read my daily stuff over at The Score was/is pretty awesome. So was the game. It was my first nba.com recap and, wow. After the Raptors were up 18 at the half, rather than feeling content in the victory, I felt like I was waiting for LeBron to become LeBron James and score 45 points in a half or something foolish like that to break Raptor hearts.

While he did end up with his 25th career triple-double (23/11/12), he also ended up with the “L” as the Raptors used a strong fourth quarter to bounce back after the Cavs tied the game up at 69 with 2:22 seconds left in the third quarter. With Bron on the bench to start the final quarter, Toronto pushed the lead to 13 before he returned and went on to the victory from there.

Andrea Bargnani opening the game with a baseline dunk was fantastic. The entire first half from Bargnani was exactly what the team needs from him. 21 points on 8-11 field goals at the half. Sure, he kind of disappeared in the third, but he finished with 28 points on 11-15 from the floor. I’ll take that every night. Especially when he’s working against Shaq on the defensive end of things.

One thing to notice about LeBron: Even when his new teammates don’t know where to go for a particular play and when they are lagging behind, trying to figure out the right cut or position to be in, James is entirely calm and composed. He DOES possess the patience of a point guard, motioning and gesturing to his guys where they need to be, then waiting for them to get there for the play to properly unfold.

He’s pretty impressive. And I don’t even mean on the court. Sure people will say he gives cliche answers, but give him a question that’s not a cliche. Ask something he hasn’t heard 20 times and I bet you’ll get something great from him in return.

Also impressive was the orchestra set up at half court playing “You Can Hate Me Now” for the Raptors player intros. Absolutely loved it. The Raptors staff definitely stepped their game up this season. The crowd here in Toronto was insane. The scout sitting beside me said it felt more like a college game during March Madness than an NBA game. Thought that was cool to hear. As someone who will be covering the games this season, I hope the energy level stays up, because it gets you jacked.

I missed everything not relating to this Raptors game tonight, but I was told that Carmelo Anthony had what Dwight Howard is already deeming, “dunk of the year.” Here’s a link. I’m going to check this out myself as well. Okay, okay, Mr. Melo, that was wild. After the season last year, the amazing donation to Syracuse this summer and then the cover story Lang did with him for SLAM, it’s been pretty awesme to see Carmelo grow from boy, to basketball star, to man.

He finished with 30 points, by the way. Denver took down Utah 115-104. Deron Williams led the way for the Jazz, scoring 28 points to go with 13 assists.

21 and 15 for Dwight in a 120-106 Orlando victory over Philly. Marreese Speights led the way for Philadelphia with 26 points off of the bench. My pick for most improved player of the year, Ryan Anderson had 16 points for the Magic.

Danny Granger with 31 for the Pacers who fell 120-109 to the Atlanta Hawks, thanks to Al Horford’s 24 points, 16 rebounds, 4 assists and 2 blocked shots. Joe Johnson added 25 for the Hawks.

Charlotte and Boston was so ulgy it’s almost better not mentioning, sorry BETCats. Charlotte became the lowest scoring team in NBA history for a home opener, managing just 59 points in the game against the Celtics. Rajon Rondo had 10 points and 11 assists for the C’s.

Jermaine O’Neal had 22 points and 12 rebounds, Michael Beasley scored 21 and Dwyane Wade added 26 points as the Heat throttled the Knicks, 115-93 in Miami last night. David Lee had 22 points and nine rebounds for the Knicks as Danile Gallinari added 22 off of the bench and Wilson Chandler scored 21 in the loss.

Oklahoma City stand up! OKC with the 102-89 victory over the Sacramento Kings. Jeff Green put in 24 points, KD added 25 and 11 and Russell Westbrook had a 14-point, 13-assist, seven-rebound evening as the Thunder shot 51% from the floor. Kevin Martin scored 27 to lead the Kings, but shot just 5-of-19 from the floor.

Minnesota got the 95-93 win against New Jersey and one of my faves, Mr. Jonny Flynn scored 13 in the fourth quarter to help his team come back from 19-down. Flynn finished with 18 points, but it was Damien Wilkins who saved the TWolves, scoring on a putback at the buzzer. Brook Lopez continues to be pretty awesome with 27 points and 15 rebounds for the Nets. Rough night for one of my other faves, as Courtney Lee shot just 2-of-11 from the floor for five points.

Without Allen Iverson (and probably with him, as well), the Pistons pounded the Grizzlies, 96-74. Rip Hamilton scored 25 points while Ben Gordon added 22 off of the bench. six UConn alums in this game. Kinda nutty. Marc Gasol was one of the few bright spots for the Grizz, scoring 21 points to go with 15 rebounds.

While Chris Paul had 26 points and nine assists (and also five turnovers), the Spurs were smoother, taking the 113-96 victory as they had six players reach double figures, led by Tony Parker’s 17 points and Manu Ginobili’s 16 off of the bench. Emeka Okafor scored 18 points to go with 10 rebounds in his New Orleans debut.

It was Steve Nash who saved the Suns in a 109-107 win over the Los Angeles Clippers. 15 points in the fourth for Nash, none more important than the layup he hit with five seconds remaining to give his squad the victory. Nash finished with 24 points and eight assists, Grant Hill had 19 points and 13 rebounds and Leandro Barbosa added 17 points. The Clippers were led by Marcus Camby’s 23 points and 11 rebounds as Chris Kaman added 22 points and nine boards. Baron Davis added 12 points and 12 assists in the loss.

The Warriors lost a close one to Houston, falling 108-107. Monta Ellis scored 26 points, Stephen Jackson scored 17 and Steph Curry added 14 but it wasn’t enough to counteract Luis Scola’s 21 points and 11 rebounds, Trevor Ariza’s 25 points and an 18-point, 12-assist performance from Aaron Brooks.

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  • http://www.shawn-kemps-offspring.blogspot.com Eboy

    Uhm……..Ty Lawson looks more than legit in Denver. Oh….and the Heat looked pretty damn good against those “revamped” Knicks and their playoff- minded selves. If Gallinari shoots anything other than a three-point shot in his career, I’d be shocked.

  • http://www.lkz.ch Darksaber

    Jesus, that was a lot of games last night. I loved watching the spurs interact (as a Dirk fan, sucks to say that, but i’m a sucker for Teamball). Damn Spurs are so deeeeeeep, it hurts. Blair, McDyess, Timmy under the hoop? Jefferson, TP, Manu, Hill in the backcourt? this is ridic. Manu looks fine (damn, that bald spot is worse than Sheed’s). Also enjoyed seeing the Clippers go to Eric Gordon not once, twice but THRICE in crunchtime to try and get the win. And Nash that sly soccerplayer, proceeded to push him to the floor, bump him then switch on him on those 3 plays. I’m pretty sure Baron loved that. Mike Dunleavy ladies and gents!

  • http://www.lkz.ch Darksaber

    the Allstar Game push for J.O. is off to a GREAT start….

  • http://www.shawn-kemps-offspring.blogspot.com Eboy

    Dark…….I must agree….the Spurs look as tough and deep as expected. their bench might be the one thing that can push them over the hump against certain teams in the West that haven’t lost a game since 1976.

  • http://www.shawn-kemps-offspring.blogspot.com/ TADOne

    Spurs are good. Boring basketball is back!

  • http://myspace.com/brandnew Bryan

    I watched the magic game and they really looked GREAT. They really made that game look easy. The cavs being 0 and 2 while absolutely meaningless is still hilarious. The knicks….yeah. And I expect melo to be right around 30 8 and 5 for the season or ill be disapointed.

  • http://www.shawn-kemps-offspring.blogspot.com/ TADOne

    The Shaq experiment is off to a very bad start in Cleveland. Mike Brown should be Fed-Ex-ing his COY trophy to either Stan Van Gundy or Phil Jackson as we speak.

  • http://myspace.com/brandnew Bryan

    Well at least the 8 and 5 part. Also kevin durant is going to be a monster this year easily justifying his top ten selection.

  • http://Www.lkz.ch Darksaber

    Nyahaha, I like that dig at the yellow/purple pants boys.

  • http://Www.lkz.ch Darksaber

    Stan van Grumpy: after seeing the intro after the banner hanging celebration, the man deserves that nickname tenfold.

  • http://www.shawn-kemps-offspring.blogspot.com Eboy

    Here’s a legit question…..if the Cavs start off lets say, 6-10 or something in that range (under .500 by game 20)….does Grimace get canned that quickly? It would almost seem to be a foregone conclusion, if they are really going to try and salvage The Lebron Lottery next summer.

  • http://www.shawn-kemps-offspring.blogspot.com Eboy

    All I know is the Heat’s player introductions were to James Brown. This is obviously the best thing they’ve ever done in their 21 year history.

  • http://myspace.com/brandnew Bryan

    Last night was great , jermaine oneal made this halloween season by rising from the dead and al horford looked like a beast also I can’t mention everything that was good about last night but I’m just f*cking excited that the nba is back.

  • http://Www.lkz.ch Darksaber

    Amen, Shia. Bloody excited.

  • http://myspace.com/brandnew Bryan

    Eboy I think if they start 10 and 10 he should be canned.

  • http://myspace.com/brandnew Bryan

    With that being said I feel like the cavs are gonna rip off like 10 or 12 straight.

  • http://www.shawn-kemps-offspring.blogspot.com Eboy

    I agree, Shia. Also, I’m copying this comment over from Ryan’s piece on Lebron. You guys will find it amusing.

  • http://www.shawn-kemps-offspring.blogspot.com Eboy

    Last night, I went to Taco Bell. I was in the drive-thru. I tried a Black Jack Taco. The kid taking my order was listening to Drake and had a Kobe Bryant t-shirt on underneath his Taco Bell button-down bowling shirt-type thing. I said to him “You’re not watching ball tonight?” He said, “Naw….fu*k that…Kobe ain’t playin’….all them other cat’s are playing for second place.” I asked him, in all seriousness “do you comment on SLAMOnline?” He just looked at me strange. I said, “do you hate Lebron?” he said (exact quote) “that nig*a is too big to be good. I can’t see some dude like that gettin’ love when all he does is dunk and sh*t”. I then asked if he might have been brought up in Greece. Again, no response. I offered to shake his hand to be politically correct, but he had his hands full with my cinnamon twists and my Cherry Pepsi. This was completley true.

  • http://myspace.com/brandnew Bryan

    Hahaha. Jones is amazing. He’s the one lebronette that is not only tolerable but enjoyable.

  • Jacqueline Mitchell

    I just want to know? Why was there so much bad basketball on t.v. last night.Way too many blowouts.I know this is just the beginning of the season but dang fellas,put some feeling into it!!!

  • http://www.shawn-kemps-offspring.blogspot.com Eboy

    Actually, Shia….that was my comment.

  • http://www.slamonline.com Myles Brown

    The high from a buzzer beater for the WOlves win was immediately killed in seeing that the Cavs lost (Again. Only eight more times all season though, right?) and are coming here on Friday. Two things are certain. Ill be there and were gonna lose by 5,239 points.

  • http://myspace.com/brandnew Bryan

    Ohhhhh even better eboy! I like you better than jones.

  • http://www.shawn-kemps-offspring.blogspot.com Izzo

    Chris Kaman is better than Andrew Bynum update: 22 and 9. Not bad.

  • http://www.shawn-kemps-offspring.blogspot.com Eboy

    I wouldn’t put it past the Wolves to pull the upset…..and for Shaq to start complaining about touches by about November 7th.

  • http://myspace.com/brandnew Bryan

    The countdown to shaqs first newpaper bleeped f word is running out that’s for sure.

  • http://www.slamonline.com Myles Brown

    If the Wolves beat the Cavs Friday, I just might bring a dead crow in the Cavs locker room and read the last four years of comments sections aloud. Or something equally ridiculous.

  • http://www.shawn-kemps-offspring.blogspot.com Eboy

    That could be appropo considering it’s almost Halloween and all.

  • http://www.slamonline.com Myles Brown

    In 42 (or 45, something like that.) minutes of play last night, Bron was a +2. In 25 minutes of play last night, Shaq was a -25. The lesson in all of this? Bron cant sit down for the rest of the season.

  • http://myspace.com/brandnew Bryan

    Myles, just shake lebrons hand.

  • http://www.slamonline.com Myles Brown

    I just wish Delonte was there. Swear on a stack of bibles I was gonna bring him some KFC.

  • http://www.shawn-kemps-offspring.blogspot.com Izzo

    Last night, DeJuan Blair justified his second round pick by putting up 14 and 11 in 20 or so minutes. In semi related news, JJ Reddick played 25 minutes last night.

  • http://www.shawn-kemps-offspring.blogspot.com Eboy

    Dejuan Blair is going to make Spurs fans very happy. That can’t be denied.

  • underdog

    Yes, Ty Lawson looks good, but I want to give some props to DeJuan Blair. The 18th and the 37th pick… Ricky Rubio, where you at?

  • http://myspace.com/brandnew Bryan

    And piss off a lot of other teams e.

  • Bruno

    Lebron your team sucks hahaha
    you’ll have to put 50 – 15 – 15 to win at leat a game

  • http://myspace.com/brandnew Bryan

    You know I don’t know why people were so high on reddick because casey jacobsen was bigger and twice as athletic and played on run and chuck team and he was a 9th man so what made people think jj was gonna be any different.

  • Bruno

    how could DeJuan Blair could get until the 37th pick??? GM’s are way crazy

  • Teddy-the-Bear

    LET’S GO RAPTORS!
    LET’S GO ROCKETS!
    Yeah.. Good try Knicks! …

  • Teddy-the-Bear

    No mention of how Trevor Ariza is becoming a star? Any doubts about his ability to create his own offense should be quelled, in my opinion.

  • http://slamonline.com Niya-girl-fresh

    God it’s like a million LeBron archieves on here 24/7 lol!! But the raps didn’t ruin LeBron’s triple double, his team just didn’t produce in order for them to win. He can’t win a title playing one man band MJ couldn’t do it by himself. neither Kobe or D-Wade your supporting cast is suppose to step it up at all costs. He needs to get on his teammates and find a way to make the tweam produce better, he’s still the team leader.

  • http://www.shawn-kemps-offspring.blogspot.com/ TADOne

    Myles: what’s up with the different colored court at the Target Center? That sh*t is annoying to look at on TV.

  • http://www.manutd.com Z

    Myles, I believe D-West is travelling with the team and sitting on the bench. Are you game? / A lot of things went wrong for the Cavs yesterday but most of all, their shooting is completely off. I counted at least 6 airballs on jumpers. Guys have no clue what to do on offense which leads to a lot of contested fall-away jumpers at the end of the shot clock (I see you, AP).

  • http://www.slamonline.com Wayno

    Blair dropped to 37th because he has notoriously bad knees…not that you can tell so far this year…I actually REALLY wanted Detroit to pick him over Summers, but oh well.

  • http://www.manutd.com Z

    RADICAL SOLUTION: Ship Z’s expiring for S-Jax. Start Bron at 4 like they did in the second half with Jax and AP on the wings. Have Andy back up Shaq. Pray that Delonte comes back soon to back up both guard spots. / Question: At what point is it acceptable (and maybe benefitial?) for Bron to start taking shots at his teammates in public? I know that’s not his style but certain guys need to know what time it is. Windhorst had a funny comment: Varejao’s shooting percentage dips by 10% with every dribble he takes.

  • Robert

    Niya, Lebron is Slam’s boy along with A.I. and Starbury. I love Slam and Slam loves the game but they do have their own favorites I mean who doesn’t?

  • Bruno

    poor Millsap

  • Bruno

    J-Will 15 points and 5 assists
    welcome back whit eboy

  • Teddy-the-Bear

    SJax would make Cleveland an instant contender. The Raptors need some more credit, seriously.

  • http://www.boogiewilliams.com Boing Dynasty

    I give it till half way thru Nov before Lebron breaks Jamario Moon’s shooting arm im practice.

  • http://nicekicks.com meloMan2.0

    First of all, i just wanna say MELO IS BACKKKKKK!!
    @tadone: true the spurs are boring, but ginobili was pilling off some ridiculous ish yesterday…. the bahind the back move… the shamgod in traffic.. too nasty
    @Eboy: LOOOOOOL that story was hiariousss.

  • http://www.manutd.com Z

    Oh, and Brook Lopez is a monster. I just love this kid. Seriously, people don’t know how good he is. There is nothing that a center is supposed to do that he can’t do well. Better than Bynum or any other young big not named Dwight. / Did we see the real Bargs yesterday? Raining jumpers from all over and mixing it up inside? If so, I owe an apology to Colangelo. In the 1st half, he was the focal point of their offense. Him, not Bosh.

  • http://www.slamonline.com Wayno

    If only Bargs could learn to grab a rebound and play some D…

  • http://nicekicks.com meloMan2.0

    a lil upset that derozen didnt get a dunk
    and where the hell was sonny weems??

  • http://slamonline.com Holly MacKenzie

    Weems is inactive with a sprained foot, MeloMan. Thanks for filling in the gaps, guys. I didn’t see any of most of these games, so I appreciate it. I want to see some Ty Lawson. I also want Flip to kindly give Nick Young some minutes!

  • ENDS

    Damn its good to Have Basketball Back! We can stop talking about Chloe! WOO HOO

  • http://slamonline.com Allenp

    Z
    So, you still riding with 70?

  • http://myspace.com/brandnew Bryan

    I think the problem with that cavs is that they’re playing like a team that won a championship already and need to reignite the fire. A championship hangover. Which is a trickle down from their leader mr james who walks around like he rules the universe already. I think losing back to back to start the season is gonna be enough of a spark to ignite that fire however and predict a big win streak starting now.

  • http://myspace.com/brandnew Bryan

    Allenp they’re gonna win 70 in a row.

  • http://slamonline.com Allenp

    Eboy
    That comment from the drive-thru was classic, homie. I didn’t know the Seed worked at Taco Bell. He should hook a brotha up with some free gorditas.

  • http://www.manutd.com Z

    Allen: Well, no. I’m a big boy, I can admit that my prediction doesn’t look good at all right now. Rasheed, on the other hand, doesn’t look that foolish in predicting 70+ for the Ceatles with the way they’re playing D right now. In all fairness, I did not expect them to drop games to non big-5 teams. I was comfortable with maintaining my stance after the Boston loss because they did play okay and Boston is Boston. After this loss though, I dunno.. They’re clearly not where they need to be as far as playing off of each other and just communicating really.

  • http://slamonline.com Allenp

    Bryan
    The problem with the Cavs is the same problem they’ve had for the past four years.
    They suck donkey balls on offense.
    Until they get respectable on offense, not great, but respectable, they are going to have problems. I actually think it’s not all on Mike Brown. I think Lebron likes running the 1-4 too damn much.

  • http://slamonline.com Brad Long

    LMAO@ Allenp.

  • Dagomar

    I was at the Toronto/Cavs game last night (great game/atmosphere, by the way), and from what I could see:

    Shaq can’t move; can’t jump; can’t even get a rebound over more athletic (if smaller) bigs. His defense of the pick and roll was comical. Parker couldn’t do anything right last night, whether it was shooting or passing or what. Varejao was just comical on offense and couldn’t do a thing about Bosh. Mo Williams had one nice stretch in the third and for the rest of the game was invisible. The bench was totally useless. Lebron played well – especially as a passer – but he seemed tired, sat for a crucial period in the third where the Raps regained their lead (and Brown went away from the smaller lineup that had tied him the game), and seemed genuinely pissed toward the end of the game. It wasn’t just that the Raps dominated, it was that the Cavs looked brutal and out of sync. They didn’t even seem to like each other.

    As for the Raps, Bargnani looked like a stud, and not just because O’Neal couldn’t chase him around. Lebron tried to guard him a few times and Bargnani actually posted him up. Bargnani was driving to the net, hitting long threes – everything. If he plays like this all year the Raptors are really, really dangerous. Meanwhile Calderon did a great job running the offense, Bosh drove to the net and rebounded very well, and the team was just better with Turk on the court. Derozan looked like he has loads of upside. It’s only one game but all the problems with the Cavs – bad coaching, surprisingly unimpressive bench, slow/unathletic at the 4/5 especially, perhaps bad chemistry – looked like strengths for the Raps.

  • http://www.slamomline.com Justin Walsh

    Another solid Post Up (already in mid-season form), and wow Shaq in the middle is giving Bron issues with court spacing and where he can and can not drive in the lane. I feel bad for Bron, this trade would have worked 10 years ago, not now though. Shaq is slow, over-weight, no longer has a fast drop-step move like he has in years past. He looks like the epitome of a player one might describe as “plodding.”

  • http://www.manutd.com Z

    I disagree with two things: 1- Shaq being there doesn’t change Bron’s game at all. This is same ol’ Bron and he’s been going to the basket at will in the first 2 games. The Cavs are still trying to fit him in but Bron’s game is unaffected. 2- Allen, do you think Bron is calling his own plays? Real question. From having watched tons of Cavs games, the playcalling seems to be coming from the sidelines. When Mike Brow started the 2nd half with Bron, Shaq and 3 shooters… it was specifically to get into 1-4 with high screens.

  • Marcel Mutoni

    I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: the only time LeBron will ever care when playing the Raptors, is when Bosh’s (now ex-boo) is yapping in his ear.

  • http://myspace.com/brandnew Bryan

    I feel like lebron wants to win but feels like its a foregone conclusion and therefore the urgency isn’t where it needs to be. Not that he’s dogging it obviously he had a f*cking triple double. But 8 of 14 free throws and not cursing out everyone on the roster right now is falling a little short in my book. That goes for shaq too, he’s a lead dog on the team and he needs to straighten some folks out. As far as offense being the problem , I can go with that but they’re all big boys and they all know how to play and score and they should be able to figure something out amongst themselves.

  • http://www.manutd.com Z

    The free throws are indeed unacceptable. I’ve only seen Bron get legitimately upset with one teammate: Drew Gooden. I’m wondering too if it’s not time for him to swith techniques and stop patting guys in the back. Andy V needs to fall the eff back and remember that he got paid for hustle and not spin moves.

  • http://coco-vents.blogspot.com Co Co

    So wait, if LeBron throws his teammates under the bus it would be a sign of leadership and it would be acceptable? Got it.

  • riggs

    @Z: ive been saying it ever since he was drafted, brook is a great big man. I wished he had went to the spurs so he can learn alot from Tim

  • http://myspace.com/brandnew Bryan

    I didn’t say curse them out and blame them in the media coco. In the locker room its ok to say ‘you guys needs to get your sh*t together’.

  • Shelton

    Why does Ariza looks so clumsy and awkward on offense?

  • http://realcavsfans.com Anton

    My predictions for next game:

    Mike Brown: “Okay let’s try to-”
    Shaq: “Shut up, dumbass.”
    Mike Brown: “What’d you say?”
    LeBron: “He said shut up.”
    Mike Brown: “Uhhh yes sir. Very good, sir.”
    Shaq: “Listen up, n00bs. I got 17 years under my huge belt, so do this:

    Mo – go to the lost and found and look for your jump shot. Try to find your swag, too. Don’t come back until you do.
    King – Drive and kick straight to me. I got you. Try playin off the ball and have some fun at the 4.
    AP – stop moving around. Spot the f*** up.
    Z – when you see me on the floor, don’t substitute in. I don’t care what the dumbass says.
    Delonte – man up. I got your back.
    Hickson – stay in the game. I don’t care what the dumbass says.
    Gibson – For every turnover you get Imma shave something else into your body

    Got it? Ring for the King on 3.”

  • http://realcavsfans.com Anton

    The real story no one is talking about: White Chocolate is back y’all! 15 and 5 as a backup. Now that Yao and Shaq are gone, he’s a lock for the All Star game this year. Name 3 better PG’s in the east than him. That’s right, you can’t. He’s entitled.

  • http://www.raptors.com LeeVan

    That orchestra at the ACC last night was siiick,
    The atmosphere was amazing, and the team was a different superlative!

  • Orlando Green

    Raps looked great last night. So many weapons, they kinda felt like a poor man’s Laker team. Whoever had the ball, you felt like they could score it.

  • http://www.rich-imaging.com Dutch Rich

    Spurs are Deeeeeeeeppppppp!!!!! Scary!! If B.Griff pulls an Oden I expect Jonny Flynn to win the ROY. Melo’s dunk was sick.
    Cuse let’s go!!!!!!!!!!

  • http://www.slamonline.com James the balla

    haha where is BET?

  • http://slamonline.com Spaceship Jay

    Eboy, I give Shaq until November 19th. Right now Shaq has the same attitude that the rest of the CAvs have- “It’s just a scratch, It’s cool, It’s cool”. 4 wins and 11 loses later; “GIVE ME THE BALL.” As a New York resident, I don’t know if I even want Lebron. Wait, that’s not true. Lebron with a living breathing coach may do well.

  • http://slamonline.com cb 34

    @z: Shaq and z can’t play together. I didn’t know we’d miss delonte and sasha this much. And yeah, andy needs to stick to what he does which is rebound, play d and annoy the 4 or 5 of the other team. Cavs look lost out there.
    Doesn’t Dejuan blair remind anybody of Malik rose?

  • http://www.manutd.com Z

    From the first two games, I don’t think Shaq can play with either Z or Andy. I’d like for Bron to be the starting 4 permanently like they did in the 3rd quarter. Sasha is not missed, that’s nonsense. / Spaceship, because with a bad coach he’s doing…?

  • http://www.slamonline.com James the balla

    I hate Bron. But I don’t think the Cavs look that bad. I keep telling all my boys that the Cavs in another 5 games will really pick it up. They will be fine.

  • kev

    mike brown should have been fired a few years ago, every other legit franchise has a quality coach. Brown has to hand the clip board to an assistant to draw up the offense and the defense so what exactyl does he do besides kiss lebrons ass and try and keep him happy? The cavs( other than lebron) look like they have no clue what they are doing on offense. What were they doing all preseason? I’m a huge lebron fan!!!!!!! but right now I dont think this squad has what it takes to beat the celts lakers or magic.

  • http://slamonline.com Spaceship Jay

    Z, because with a bad coach he’s producing stellar numbers (as usual) and yet not having much success overall. I feel like if they put Lebron in motion without the ball in his hands at least a little, the TEAM might get something done. The TEAM.

  • http://slamonline.com Allenp

    Kev
    Brown sucks on offense, but he handles the defense. He’s the one behind their killer defense, can’t slight him on that.
    Z
    I’ve seen Bron back it out a reset that high screen way too many times for me to think it’s something he doesn’t like. I don’t know what Brown is calling, but I’m getting the feeling that Bron feels more comfortable attacking from the top with the ball in his hands, rather than doing damage from the wing.

  • http://slamonline.com Spaceship Jay

    And plus, I’m sure more than one team was watching the Eastern Conference finals, and will be replicating the same formula that gave Orlando the win…. 1.)Let Lebron collect an amazing stat line 2.)Turn the rest of team into spot up shooters and bystanders 3.)Let the clock run out 4.)Raise your hands in victory.

  • http://www.manutd.com Z

    Spaceship, well if you define success as a championship, then yes. They did get 66 last year, went to the Finals and the ECF too so I don’t know about not having any success. Anyways, that’s just semantics / Allen: Oh, I’m sure that he likes the high screen very much too. I just don’t know if they even have something in their sets with Bron attacking with a screen from the wing. I never see it. I have a feeling they start him there so he can have better looks at drive n kicks to shooters all over the floor.

  • http://slamonline.com Spaceship Jay

    You are right Z, but as I said ^^ one thing for sure about the NBA is that if one team exploits a weakness, expect the next team tomorrow night to attack you the same way. It maybe only 2 games in, but it’s looking like the “Let’s Watch Lebron show” May not reap the same success as last year. It’s not Lebron’s fault though; if I were demi-god like in size and athletisism, I’d do the same.

  • http://joeloholic.wordpress.com Joel O’s

    Regarding Cleveland’s offense… what I don’t get is why they don’t let Lebron play off the ball more, be it at the top of the key or the wing.
    It’s not like he’s playing with Darius Miles, Eric Williams, Ricky Davis and Jeff McInnis. Cleveland has some solid offensive talent and ball handlers, and they have two outstanding passing big men.

  • http://joeloholic.wordpress.com Joel O’s

    …so why not have him run off screens and catch the ball in attack mode, instead of having to dribble his way and try and create every damn play? It’s terribly inefficient.

  • http://www.manutd.com Z

    Joel, that would require a coach with some actual offensive sets like, say, Phil Jax, Pop, SVG or Doc. Oh crap…

  • http://slamonline.com Spaceship Jay

    Yes Joel! Yes. Congratulations, you are now a better coach than Mike Brown.

  • http://slamonline.com Allenp

    Joel
    I think everybody is wondering about that, which is why I’m inclined to believe that it can’t be just Mike Brown. I mean, the team actually ran more stuff with Bron on the wing early last year and they were KILLING! Then, it sorta disappeared. I gotta wonder about that. Was it Brown or Lebron who pulled the plug?

  • http://joeloholic.wordpress.com Joel O’s

    The way the Cavs are built right now, they don’t strictly need Lebron dominating the ball. Like Spaceship Jay alluded to, teams can go ahead and let Lebron dominate possession and rack up loads of assists, while goading the Cavs into playing an inefficient offense which begins and ends with the Lebron top of the key iso. It’s predictable, and only works because Bron is so good. If they HAVE to give the ball to Lebron on every play, I’d rather they throw it to him in the low / midrange post, where essentially nobody outside of Ron Artest or Melo has the strength/mobility to match up with him. No fault on Lebron, who did as much as he could the last 2 nights to win (a theme that sounds familiar to the Orlando series?); his coach just really needs to step up.

  • http://joeloholic.wordpress.com Joel O’s

    @Z, Spaceship & Allenp:
    You guys think it’s the absence of Kuester that’s making the difference? Or maybe with Shaq on the team now Mike Brown just can’t figure it out?

  • http://joeloholic.wordpress.com Joel O’s

    @Allenp:
    Maybe Lebron pulled the plug? Wow. I don’t know.

  • http://myspace.com/brandnew Bryan

    Allenp, I also feel like if lebron doesn’t sign off on whatever mike brown wants to do it doesn’t get done.

  • http://joeloholic.wordpress.com Joel O’s

    It doesn’t even matter if the Cavs have another 60+ win season. Shaq or not, if they revert to their old habits, come playoff time they’ll inevitably meet an opponent who’ll figure out their one-trick-pony offense, and embarrassingly stifle them. The Spurs / Celts / Magic have taken turns doing it in the last 3 years. In all three of these series the Cavs lost, Lebron played out of his mind, put up crazy numbers and was on the court for nearly the entire game every single time. But they lose, invariably, thanks to Mike Brown’s offensive ineptitude.

  • http://joeloholic.wordpress.com Joel O’s

    And sorry to keep raving about this, but remember Holly mentioned yesterday how Lebron scored 38 on opening night with little fanfare because “he was so good”? While that may be true, it’s only half the story. Because a gaudy 38 and triple double is meaningless in a loss. None of this is a knock on Bron (for now, at least); he’s just being wastefully over-utilized in a really ineffectual way by his team’s offense.

  • http://slamonline.com Spaceship Jay

    Joel, I’m arguing with a co-worker about the exact same points that you just made in your comment above.

  • http://fdjsklf.com Jukai

    I am in 100% disagreement with you guys on the Lebron/Brown thing. I know I’m a well known Lebron slurper, but whenever Lebron plays off the ball, it looks haphazard with a lot of running along the three. I mean, this does happen a lot during the game… It’s not like Lebron has the ball in his hands the entire game. I was actually screaming at the television when Mo took the ball and Lebron went to his usual left side spot.

  • http://fdjsklf.com Jukai

    Also, let’s give some love for my boy Steve Nash and his INCREDIBLE off-balance left handed top-to-bottom game winner. I mean, insane! Boy’s still got it!

  • http://slamonline.com Allenp

    Joel
    I can’t defend Mike Brown, but I think people are really refusing to consider the fact that Mike Brown can do NOTHING that Lebron doesn’t approve of. If Lebron wanted to attack from the post or mid-post, or come of screens, or whatever, that’s what Lebron would be doing.
    Mike Brown has never had the juice of somebody like Phil Jackson who can dictate to players what they have to do. He’s basically along for the ride on offense and dicatating on defense. Hell, it wasn’t that long ago that the Cavs main problem on defense was that Lebron wasn’t buying in, and Brown rarely called him out for that.
    Personally, I think that while Lebron might be frustrated with having to attack 1 on 5, he’s also comfortable running the 1-4. I’m not convinced he really wants to change, or that he trust Brown to be the one to institute the change. But, that’s all speculation.

  • http://slamonline.com Allenp

    Jukai
    How you gonna bring up that shot and not note that the refs let Nash absolutely mug Eric Gordon on that initial in bounds play. They called a foul the second time, but Gordon should have been shooting two earlier.
    Although, Nash did get fouled on that last second shot, so it’s crazy that he made it.

  • http://joeloholic.wordpress.com Joel O’s

    Aah. One last thing – could a triple double possibly be a BAD thing for Lebron? I feel like it’s an entirely different thing when Jason Kidd gets a triple double versus a Lebron triple double.

    Think about it this way: the opposing team misses a shot, Jason Kidd hauls in the rebound, takes a couple dribbles upcourt, throws a bullet pass to an interchangeable athletic wing for the layup. Great for him and his team.

    But I feel that Lebron’s triple doubles may actually come at an OPPORTUNITY COST. He averages a good SIX defensive boards per game. Now, I’m fine with Lebron crashing the defensive boards and starting the break, but would you rather have Bron starting the break – or ending it? Won’t the Cavs be a better offensive team, even without the addition of these basic halfcourt sets (which, FIVE years in, continue to elude Mike Brown), if they utilized Lebron as the literally unstoppable fast break finisher that he is a BIT more?

  • http://joeloholic.wordpress.com Joel O’s

    @Spaceship Jay: True.

  • http://slamonline.com Allenp

    Joel
    The fast break thing, isn’t that kind of on Lebron?
    I’m telling, y’all the more I read what y’all write, the more I’m convinced that Bron is part of the problem here.

  • http://joeloholic.wordpress.com Joel O’s

    @Allenp: Speculation though it may be, that is a scary thought. And whether or not that is true, it still means that Brown does not have the gravitas to be the head coach of a Lebron James.

  • http://myspace.com/brandnew Bryan

    Allenp: that was going to be my next point. We all know who the boss is in cleavland and if lebron said mike brown is out he would be on the first thing smokin’. He couldn’t pull that sh*t with a pop or phil. I’m telling you the dudes head is too big and its going to take at least one more post season flameout before he gets his mind right.

  • http://www.manutd.com Z

    Allen, I think you’re reaching. You’re actually asking LeBron to indirectly coach this team and you’re overestimating his say in the offensive schemes. You really, really believe that if Mike Brown tells him to come off curls or to go to the high post (like he did vs Orlando in that 4th q), he’s gonna say ‘eff that, gimme my 1-4′? / Joel: over-analyzing. Getting a lot of boards, a lot of assists and a lot of points is a good thing. There’s no one on this team that can lead a proper fast break and make the right decision. Not Mo, not Boobie, not AP, not D-West. It’s the same reason why D-Wade is a 1-man fast break in Miami.

  • http://joeloholic.wordpress.com Joel O’s

    More on fastbreaks and fruitless triple doubles: I know I’m gonna sound really geeky here, but I think this boils down to the old Ricardian “comparative advantage” economic theory. On the Cavs, Bron is probably the best (or 2nd-best) playmaker, slasher, shooter, rebounder, AND shotblocker on the team. But he’s only on the floor for forty minutes a game. There’s an opportunity cost to his six defensive boards. There’s even an opportunity cost to his assists. Wouldn’t you rather have Andy/Shaq/Big Z sponging up all the defensive boards and have an easy layup for Lebron every time he runs down the floor? Lebron is a prodigy who is very good at nearly every basketball skill. But that doesn’t mean he has to do *everything*, *every* game.

  • http://www.manutd.com Z

    Bryan, what are you saying? Is his head too big because he CAN fire Mike Brown? Would you like him to lash out on Mike Brown and if he’s not, then he’s as much to blame? I’m confused, what sh*t is he actually pulling?

  • http://www.manutd.com Z

    Joel O, 1- I don’t think Ricardo’s theory (which is mad outdated, btw) apply here because, if so, it would mean that Bron would be averaging close to 40 (since he’s already at 30)if he concentrated less on rebounding and getting assits. 2- It’s way too simplistic, a guy can PASS the ball as much as another one and get zero assists while the other guy gets 10 at the end of the game. 3- Forwards get rebounds. If his rebounding average dipped to like 5 a game, a month from now, everybody would be on him for not hitting the glass like he used to. Basketball is a fluid sport which can not be compartmentalized. You can get a lot of rebounds AND finish the break. You can get a lot of assists AND score at will.

  • http://joeloholic.wordpress.com Joel O’s

    @Z: I may be over-analyzing, you’re right. And I agree with you that yes, Lebron is better than his army of undersized guards at leading the break. But wouldn’t you rather he finish it than them? Again with the opportunity cost: even though Lebron is probably better at leading the break than Mo/Boobie/West or whoever, he is INFINITELY better than all of them combined at finishing it.

  • http://joeloholic.wordpress.com Joel O’s

    @Z: Right. Yes, Ricardo’s theory isn’t perfect. And I’m definitely simplifying things to a certain extent (but hey, that’s what we economics majors do, right?). I still think there’s an opportunity cost to doing it all. Lebron can rebound AND score AND drop dimes. But can he win a championship doing things that way? I don’t think so. Lebron can do it all, and he HAS been doing it all his entire career. That’s without question. But it’s inefficient basketball. Pippen in 1994 did it all too, in the absence of MJ, putting up MVP numbers, but much good that did for the Bulls come playoff time.

  • http://www.hibachi20.blogspot.com BETCATS

    no mention of Raymond Felton’s skull almost being crushed? KG landed on his head. Felton left the game early on and had no affect on its outcome. DJ is inconsistant, but i think he will bounce back. So out of our guard rotation Bell, Flip, Felton, DJ, Stephen Graham, Gerald Henderson only DJ, Graham, and Henderson remain as of now. When Raymond returns everything will be better. Until then, instablitly will be the theme of the Bobcats…

  • http://slamonline.com Allenp

    Didn’t Joel make this economic argument about Lebron somewhere else? It seems familiar.
    Z
    Bryan has a point. Lebron has more say so than your average superstar, and I think to a certain extend he coaches the team, just like every other superstar in the league. Some do it more than others, but everybody does it.
    Basically, if your star wants things a certain way, you have to have more juice than him to go against him. So he doens’t have to defy you outright, he just has to let it be known that he wants things a certain way.
    I don’t know if this is what’s happening with lebron. But, I find it hard to believe that a student of the game like Mike Brown, and he is a student of the game, can’t figure out simple offensive sets to get his best player the ball in better scoring position. Most of the time, it’s not that simple.
    Reminds me of George Karl and Iverson. Karl ran certain stuff because he felt like that’s how he had to coach Iverson.

  • http://joeloholic.wordpress.com Joel O’s

    Time for me to get some readings done, so I guess I’ll just leave it at this: To conclude, without any more evidence, that Lebron’s numerous triple doubles are by design, the product of Lebron’s egotistical quest to one-up MJ and become a “global icon”… would be a whorishly Gladwellian stretch of logic. At the same time, if the Cavs continue to utilize Lebron as a do-it-all wonder boy, EVEN with the addition of Shaq and a revamped bench, there’s no way they’ll beat the likes of the Spurs, Lakers, Celtics or Magic in 7 games.

  • http://www.hibachi20.blogspot.com BETCATS

    seeing that i dont have a computer class anymore, i will only show up ‘on my free time’, and my time is not often free..

  • http://www.hibachi20.blogspot.com BETCATS

    If i had to figure out what the problem with the Cavs is, it would be Mike Brown. I am not sure how many players believe in him. I also am not sure how many players on the Cavs believe Lebron is the long term leader of the Cavs. With all those free agency rumors it would be hard as a teammate to phase it all out.

  • Teddy-the-Bear

    What it boils down to is the simple fact that the Cavaliers do not have the pieces needed to take pressure off of LeBron. You can make the argument that they would be more effective with his as a finisher rather than a playmaker, but there aren’t any playmakers on the team–Anthony Parker is their second best playmaker. So yes, LeBron needs to score, pass, and rebound for his team to have even the slightest chance of competing.

  • http://myspace.com/brandnew Bryan

    Lebron regulates other playmakers to spectators.

  • http://myspace.com/brandnew Bryan

    He has allen iverson disease for real.

  • http://www.slamonline.com Myles Brown

    There’s a bomb in the building that’s going to explode in two hours. The bomb squad is called and spend an hour and fifteen minutes trying to diffuse the bomb, before the chief realizes theyre incompetent. But its too late to call another bomb squad. By the time they find one, they get there, unload all their equipment and examine the situation, theyd be toast. So he just sits there and prays the incompetent squad figures it out. And that’s why Mike Brown will not be fired this year.

  • http://www.shawn-kemps-offspring.blogspot.com Izzo

    I’m making a list of things we’ve blamed LeBron James for today. Will I just write down “everything” to save time?

  • http://myspace.com/brandnew Bryan

    And before some assh*le (you know who you are) tells me omgggg he passes way more than iverson, what I’m saying is that lebron has initiate everything to be effective rendering everyone else spot up shooters or cutters. So people like larry hughes and mo williams both players capable of creating on their own become tentativeand less effective.

  • BIRDMAN JR

    U people are full of it. LeBron does everything because one he can and because without his all-around ability the cavs wouldn’t even be competitive let alone one of the top teams. U forget that he has been doing this since he dropped 25, 6, 9, 4 from day one. If he doesn’t play an all-around game, the cavs would be crushed, he gives them a fighting chance. His teammates have talent but they don’t contribute when they have the ball. None of them attack the way lebron does expect west. Plus their bench might be the worst bench in terms of contribution. It always seems like the cavs have the lead or are close in the first, then as soon as lebron sits they give it up faster than a drunk chick on prom night.

  • http://www.manutd.com Z

    Okay. 1- Mo was pretty effective last year on doing just that: spotting up and shooting. That’s exactly what he was brought to do. He’s not hitting shots NOW, which is a problem. 2- If you tell me that Bron had anything to do with how Larry Hughes played when he was with the Cavs, I’ll just assume that you don’t remember how disinterested he was in doing anything. 3- Allen, you’re saying yourself that you’re just speculating. As I’ve mentioned, when Brown has called curls or posts ups for Bron Guess what? He went there. 4- I don’t find it hard to believe at all that Mike Brown doesn’t know how to utilize his players to the best of their capabilities. That’s why Kuester was holding the pad in the playoffs last year. 5- It’s funny how I never hear those ball-dominant comments for Wade.

  • http://www.manutd.com Z

    I can’t believe I’m actually debating this. The ONLY thing that went right for the Cavs in the first two games was LeBron. I know that some (most?) of you will blame him regardless of what he actually did whenever the Cavs lose, so I guess I have to take this with a grain of salt. Allen, I see where you’re coming from but I think it’s a reach. Mike Brown’s job is to coach this team and call the plays. If they’re not running what you think they should be running, there’s no basis to imply that it’s Bron’s fault. Speculation is all it is. It’s nothing like AI when coaches were actually going public saying that he was breaking the O. He is ball-dominant because he is their best playmaker. Same with Wade. Give them Deron or Chris and they won’t be (like with Team USA), simple as that. Oh and the rebounds thing is just flat-out ridiculous, I refuse to entertain that debate.

  • http://myspace.com/brandnew Bryan

    Z last game wade played he had 2 guys score over 20. Last time he played with someone who could score without his help his team won the championship and went deep in the playoffs. Larry hughes couldn’t do sh*t because lebron held the ball and hurt his strengths. Mo williams can be effective as a spot up shooter , but once again you gloss over the point I was trying to make : the cavs need someone OTHER than lebron to create and make plays which mo CAN DO. In order to do it, lebron needs to give up the rock and play off the ball sometimes.

  • http://joeloholic.wordpress.com Joel O’s

    @Bryan: I agree with you for the most part, except that I think perhaps you’re giving Larry Hughes a bit too much credit.

  • http://joeloholic.wordpress.com Joel O’s

    I still don’t buy the idea that Lebron has to dominate the ball on offense for this team to win. And I’m not blaming him for any of this. The fact is, the Cavs played their best ball last season when the offensive responsibility was shared with Lebron’s teammates, Delonte West in particular. This year’s Cavs is last year’s team plus Moon (very good slasher and garbage guy), AP (a much better player than many of you guys think. despite his limitations), Powe and Shaq. Once Powe and West are back on board, they can essentially have a 10-man rotation and go to their bench without much drop-off. If the Cavs figured a way to ease the responsibility off Lebron last year to great success, with an inferior supporting cast, why can’t they do it this year? If Mike Brown can’t figure a way to lessen Lebron’s load, with a team that is literally two-strong at EVERY position, then he just plain sucks.

  • http://fdjsklf.com Jukai

    I’m going with Z and giving a big “you guys are f’ing crazy” shout-out right now. I can’t believe you guys are telling Lebron to REBOUND less… aren’t you twirps the same people who say Melo has to rebound more?
    Have Lebron run the break while Z/Shaq/Vajinow rebound? NONE OF THEM CAN THROW A LOB PASS! Shaq and Z are excellent passers in the post but they cannot throw lobs. Shaq tried this during Phoenix, claiming he was going to “Kareem it up” and it was an absolute failure and he was commanded to stop it almost immediately. He once threw a perfect lob pass on Phoenix to KOBE F’ING BRYANT. Kobe actually was shocked, and paused for a second before running the other way to dunk it.
    Lebron HAS to rebound, he HAS to pass the ball… and yeah, I agree with some criticism, dude should be working off the ball more, we saw him do it in the Olympics, I don’t know why he’s just waiting on that left-side wing… but man, the other s**t that’s being said over here is downright crazy. Lebron is the best rebounder there right now, period! Lebron is the best passer there right now, period! It doesn’t matter if Lebron runs down the court in a full sprint, if no one can grab the ball and no one can pass it, Lebron’s not going to get it!
    Just to say, Delonte was their best passer, he’s not there. Mo works great on teams with spread out defense but close it in and he’s worthless. I also think Z rebounds better than Shaq in the low post, but Z is spread out when Shaq is in there, and Shaq is being outrebounded by some young cats… so Lebron needs to do both.
    Man, I really think some people MUST not watch the Cavaliers. That is all really insane.

  • http://fdjsklf.com Jukai

    and I’m copying and pasting this:
    “4- I don’t find it hard to believe at all that Mike Brown doesn’t know how to utilize his players to the best of their capabilities. That’s why Kuester was holding the pad in the playoffs last year”
    Now Kuester sucked pretty badly in crunch time, but he had Lebron running off screens and posting and doing SOMETHING. Lebron did all of this with not a peep. So why NOW is Lebron controlling the offense? This makes no sense to me.
    Lebron should be reprimanded for lack of off-the-ball movement in the crunch, for not setting picks for other players like any other guy on his team… but all this other talk is junk!

  • http://fdjsklf.com Jukai

    I mean, let me ask everyone this: has anyone seen Mo Williams or Delonte West run a simply one-two pick and roll? Do people think Lebron should be blamed for this?

  • http://myspace.com/brandnew Bryan

    @joel o he was pretty good in g state and washington for real.

  • Teddy-the-Bear

    Joel what are you talking about? The Cavs don’t have a real point guard. LeBron James is the best “point guard” or playmaker for the Cavaliers right now. LeBron needs to do everything for the Cavs to stand even the slightest chance of going anywhere.
    You know how Magic Johnson had to play all five positions in the finals to win his first title? The Cavs basically need LeBron to do the same thing from Small Forward position, in order for them to have even a chance at a second round appearance. The Cavaliers do not have many other players who can help him out and I think you are really overrating the help he has around him.

  • http://slamonline.com nbk

    jukai people gotta hate on lebron. the reason doesn’t matter. people will always go with a trend just cuz its a trend, just like ignorants gonna hate a trend (or in this case lebron) because it is popular. whether they admit it or not

  • Teddy-the-Bear

    The only thing LeBron needs to do less is bring the ball up EVERY time. He should be working off screens and getting into position without the ball sometimes, so that the Cavs offense has SOME unpredictability. And a post-up game would make LeBron nearly unstoppable.
    But seriously, the Cavs offense has to be the most predictable offense to play against among contenders, even with Shaq in the starting line-up.

  • Teddy-the-Bear

    I think people mistake Mo Williams for a playmaking point guard. He really isn’t. He’s a shooting guard in a point guard’s body, as someone said above.

  • http://slamonline.com nbk

    shaq makes it more predictable. and he really doesn’t look good, looks slower than last year, which is real bad

  • http://joeloholic.wordpress.com Joel O’s

    @Jukai: I never said Lebron should rebound less. I did say that there is an opportunity cost to it: for all his nigh omnipotence, Bron can’t be at two places at once. You can’t “do it all”, not if you want to win the big one. Didn’t last year’s series against Orlando prove that? Lebron passed, rebounded and scored. He was superhuman. But it wasn’t enough, simply because one man can’t beat five – not even Lebron. Sure, he can do it for a quarter, like he did against the Pistons in 2006. But not in a 7-game series. Unless the Cavs collectively realize that, it’ll be the same story this year come playoff time.

  • http://joeloholic.wordpress.com Joel O’s

    @Teddy: I get what you mean regarding Magic. But that was for a single game, not the entire season or even a whole playoff series.

  • http://joeloholic.wordpress.com Joel O’s

    Just because I’m critical of Lebron doesn’t mean I “hate” him, NBK. Just because I disagree with you… it doesn’t mean I “hate” you or your opinions. For the record, I’m a big fan of Lebron. It’s hard not to be. He’s truly got a shot at really being the greatest ever. But the system that he’s in has zero ability to run a team offense. The Cavs system has him do *everything* – just because he can – and, instead of utilizing their role players’ strengths, turns them into redundant spectators in the 1-4 “offense” they run ad nauseum.

  • http://slamonline.com nbk

    wow Joel did i say i was talking about you? I was talking about opinions of people on this site in general. Not you, but other people, saying LeBron is only Athletic ability and size. I didn’t mean to make you think I was talking about you, just a culmination of all the BS lebron hate bein thrown around here. I only read Jukai talkin bout people sayin LeBron needs to rebound less. Thats just like a red herring hate cop-out thing to say. I was generalizing my bad

  • http://joeloholic.wordpress.com Joel O’s

    Think about it this way – and let’s draw an analogy to our favorite polarizing NBA superstar, Kobe Bryant. Even with Pau, Ron, Lamar and Bynum on the team, Kobe remains their best offensive player by FAR. Should Kobe take every shot that comes his way? Nope, because the opportunity cost of that would be that his teammates would be out of flow and the Lakers would revert to the mediocrity they suffered a la 2005-2007. Similarly, on the Cavs, Lebron is better at everything he does than everyone on the team. In fact, if you put Lebron on the Lakers, he would still be a better playmaker / defender / scorer than everyone on the squad. Does that mean he should shoulder the responsibility of doing EVERYTHING, just because he CAN? Again, no. Because to have Lebron shoulder such a load would detract from the team as a whole.

  • http://joeloholic.wordpress.com Joel O’s

    @nbk: Right. No offense taken, man. There *are* a lot of ignorant people out there though.

  • http://fdjsklf.com Jukai

    Joel O’s Posted: Oct.29 at 3:20 pm
    …He averages a good SIX defensive boards per game. Now, I’m fine with Lebron crashing the defensive boards and starting the break, but would you rather have Bron starting the break – or ending it? Won’t the Cavs be a better offensive team, even without the addition of these basic halfcourt sets (which, FIVE years in, continue to elude Mike Brown), if they utilized Lebron as the literally unstoppable fast break finisher that he is a BIT more?…
    To me, you’re saying you want Lebron to work on rebounds less and head more on the fast break to finish things off. I’m saying, if Lebron did this, and averaged let’s say three or four rebounds instead of seven or eight, people would be saying ‘oh man, Lebron really should rebound more, with such athleticism he should be averaging WAY more!’
    You’re right, he’s NOT omnipotent, but you’re hating on ridiculous things. If no one on the team can pass (and no one on the team outside of Mo, who never rebounds, can) then Lebron can’t run on the break. It’s that simple.
    This is why the team is missing Delonte, and sadly, Sasha… cause both dudes could run the break.
    And I’m still down on you for saying that the Cavs had great passing bigmen, Joel. What Z and Shaq can do in the post does NOT work in the open court.

  • http://fdjsklf.com Jukai

    Oh man, your last post was bonkers. There is a vast different between ‘being the best’ and ‘being far the best.’ If Lebron was on the Lakers, he’d be ‘the best.’ He’s on the Cavs, and he’s ‘far the best.’
    You don’t seem to get this concept. On the Lakers, people can pass the ball: Brown, Farmar, Odom, and Fisher are all better passers than ANYONE outside of maybe Delonte on the Cavaliers. Yes, they are all better than Mo Williams. Williams overdribbles and has trouble doing anything in the half-court. You’re overrating the cavaliers offensive abilities.
    (I’m talking on offense here only, the Cavaliers are one of the best defensive teams in the NBA)

  • http://fdjsklf.com Jukai

    I’ll pretext all that by saying Mo Williams is better than Fish, Brown, and Farmar.. but as a scorer only!

  • http://myspace.com/brandnew Bryan

    Jukai mo williams was getting like 7 assists per game with the bucks he can pass.

  • http://fdjsklf.com Jukai

    Bryan: BS, he was getting like six in 36-something odd minutes of playing by overcontrolling the ball. Give me any one of those lakers.

  • http://joeloholic.wordpress.com Joel O’s

    Jukai,
    Again, I’m not “hating” on Lebron. I’m saying that he can only do so much. Let’s ignore for a fact that Lebron is Lebron, and look at the Cavs’ roster as a whole and their collective defensive rebounding prowess. Now think about this: should a team – one of the best defensive teams in the NBA – with Shaq, Big Z, Varejao and Jamario Moon ever NEED its star offensive small forward to routinely pull down double-digit rebounds?

  • http://joeloholic.wordpress.com Joel O’s

    One more thing, regarding the alleged passing prowess of those aforementioned Lakers. I’m not saying you’re wrong here, Jukai, or that I’m right in this regard. But I think it’s impossible in this case to talk about the Lakers’ great passers without acknowledging the fact that they operate in the triangle offense, whereas the Cavs by contrast have an offense that requires them to stand around a lot and wait for Lebron to kick the ball to them out of a double. We can’t wholly divorce the fact that Phil runs a significantly more advanced offense than Mike Brown does from any talk of the better/worse passers.

  • http://fdjsklf.com Jukai

    Joel: No, but your other ‘suggestion’ that Lebron needs to be running down the court to get an easy basket is still easily ridiculous because no one is able to lob pass it to lebron and getting it to Mo who can get it to Lebron is extremely difficult because Mo is usually running for a fast break bucket too. It’s POINTLESS for Lebron to not be in a position to get the rebound because it’s not going to be doing any good running out of position like that.
    As I’ve mentioned before, the people who could get it to Lebron, West and Sasha, are out. None of the bigs can throw outlet passes that would hit Lebron. Moon and Parker are clearly not getting the Cavalier offense yet.
    Also, if Shaq and Big Z and Varejao are such great rebounders, maybe they should be outrebounding Lebron.

  • http://joeloholic.wordpress.com Joel O’s

    Jukai: I stand by the comparative advantage argument. Like we’ve agreed on, Lebron can definitely rebound as well, if not better, than gimpy Shaq, Big Z, Varejao and Moon. But yet again, the opportunity cost of him hitting the boards is bigger than theirs’.

  • Teddy-the-Bear

    Anthony Parker was used to controlling the ball a lot when he played in Europe. He’s still feeling a little unsure of himself in the Cavaliers offense, but if the only solution I see the team making is if they can get him to become more of a playmaking presence. I know it sounds a little crazy, but his passing can definitely help alleviate the pressure off of LeBron. When Calderon was injured the Raptors used him a lot for point guard duties, so it shouldn’t be that much of a difference for him. If he could lead the break, LeBron would have a chance at running out of position to finish the play. But, I don’t see Mike Brown designing anything remotely close to this, or changing much of LeBron’s share of the on-court duties. I also don’t think the Cavs would be more effective this way, because LeBron James is STILL by far the best passer with the best court vision on his team. And with an athletic swingman in Jamario Moon and a speedy Mo Williams running the break, their fast breaks shouldn’t be a concern.
    The concern is their predictable half-court offense right now.

  • http://fdjsklf.com Jukai

    Joel: No… no it’s not… If you wont give me another argument outside of “Lebron can start running for the break” which I’ve explained will never come, your argument seems pointless. Fine, let Lebron stay at the three point line, never go for a rebound, we’ll see how well THAT works.

  • http://www.manutd.com Z

    Joel O, I know that you’re really trying to fit your economic model that is so passé in there but now is time to let it go. Your small forward hitting the board is a good thing. Always. As far as LeBron dominating the ball, who on this team can create their own O? Maybe Shaq down low, that’s about it. Mo Williams gets the vast majority of his points on assisted jumpers since his Milwaukee days. There is no one on that team that could avg 20+ points if they were the 1st option of a team beside Bron. The Lakers got 5 guys that could do it. The Spurs got 4. Celtics got 4 or even 5. Magic got at least 4. That’s why he needs to create for himself and others.

  • http://www.manutd.com Z

    Bryan, Mo is not a playmaker and I think you know this. You mentioned Hughes’ success before coming to Cleveland but casually ommited to mention how he bombed in the chi and NY. all he did in cleveland is take off the dribble contested 2s that NEVER went in. that’s nobody’s fault but his. ask russ how he feels about how hughes played for them. heck, even yourself (knicks fan, right?) should know that he sucks balls.

  • http://fdjsklf.com Jukai

    I can understand a lot of complaints.. Lebron walking the ball up… Lebron not moving without the ball… Lebron not setting screens… Lebron not slashing on the left or right… but this “let others create” garbage is exactly what it is: garbage. Lebron isn’t in the game for 8-15 minutes a game. How well do they create during then?
    The rebound argument is wack. People whine that Melo doesn’t rebound enough, and they whine that Lebron rebounds too much… they are the same position and get the same boards. Just crazy!

  • http://www.something.com hackmed

    teddy the bear, stephen jackson would bring the raw, please assist me in the S JAX TO THE CAVS CAMPAIGN
    ps. the raps finally bit hard

  • http://joeloholic.wordpress.com Joel O’s

    Forget economics, guys – that was just a vehicle for me to try and explain my point of view. I get what you guys are saying, and it’s sound arguments overall. I’ll concede that I’m perhaps overrating the supporting cast a bit, since you guys probably watch Cavs games more than I do, and also because Shaq is still a big question mark – can he even give us last season’s production?

  • http://www.manutd.com Z

    if jax comes to the team, that changes absolutely everything. he just don’t take no sh!t from anybody, swag off the charts. he’s the rasheed wallace of wings. and he won’t defer too much to bron and look for his, which is a good thing.

  • http://joeloholic.wordpress.com Joel O’s

    This is Lebron’s team for sure, and it’s built for him to dominate the ball and create off his drives and such. The formula’s worked well so far, hasn’t it – and I can’t argue with 66 wins.

  • http://joeloholic.wordpress.com Joel O’s

    Nonetheless, this Lebron-centric ball won’t win them a title. Simply for the reason it depends wholly on Lebron producing at such a ridiculous level on all fronts, every game, pulling a Magic Johnson like Teddy said for all 82 and more. Look at the Cavs’ playoff victories in the Lebron era: various versions of the one-dimensional Wizards, a has-been incarnation of the Pistons, a happy-to-be-in-the-mix Hawks team. Every time they meet a team with a mature team-centric offense, they lose.

  • http://joeloholic.wordpress.com Joel O’s

    I’m just trying to look at what Lebron is doing -both critically and constructively. Jukai, if you’re 100% right and I’m wholly wrong, and the Cavs really need him to dominate the ball every possession, then the Cavs management have built a misguided team that won’t win a title. Forget the little things we’ve discussed like rebounding, fast breaking, and most importantly the 1-4 predictable offense they rely on. The big picture to me is that the Cavs had Lebron dropping 35 point triple doubles on Orlando last year, and it wasn’t enough. And worryingly, even with Shaq, they seem to be headed the same direction this season. And again, it won’t be enough. I’m pretty horrified that Mike Brown can’t figure out how to fit Shaq into things, because for all his age and fat related limitations now, there are still a scant few big men out there who can stop him down low.

  • http://joeloholic.wordpress.com Joel O’s

    Finally, I again never said that Lebron’s rebounding was a bad thing. It’s a good thing. Please don’t bring up the extreme counter argument that I want him to stand at the 3-point line and never grab any boards, because that is an obviously nonsensical situation… which I didn’t suggest at all. His rebounding production is great by any standards – I just said it comes at a sacrifice. I’ll give it to you, Jukai, that that sacrifice may not be more fast breaks or whatever. But there is a sacrifice, a cost.

  • http://fdjsklf.com Jukai

    Joel: I simply argued that Lebron getting a triple double wasn’t a bad thing. I thought Lebron’s rebound and assist averages should stay as they are. That doesn’t mean I want Lebron to over-control the ball as a scheme to win… I’m saying when Lebron doesn’t overcontrol the ball, they lose.
    This is mostly a coach problem, but there are some parts teammates who have absolutely no idea what to do, failed dominate ball handlers that can’t really create in the offense, and Lebron, who REALLY isn’t working off the ball the way we saw him work in the Olympics.
    The suggestion of “letting someone else do it” seems unreasonable to me. That’s like saying the Philidelphia 76ers lost to the Lakers in 2001 because they didn’t run their offense through Eric Snow and Motumbo enough.

  • Beth

    Lebron’s lucky that he doesn’t get whacked around like MJ back in the day. MJ similarly had to do everything before his team grew up. And he got beat up too while doing it. Lebron has it easy in comparison.

  • http://joeloholic.wordpress.com Joel O’s

    @Z: Regarding your 11.45pm comment, you know what – yeah. The Cavs have an able and improved supporting cast but I guess they simply aren’t the Spurs or Celts, or even the Magic offensively. Maybe on a team like that, you can afford to have Lebron in a more focused role, but I guess on the Cavs you need him to fill every niche. I just adamantly don’t believe that a team built like this can win a title, simply because it’s too dependent on one single man’s performance.

  • http://joeloholic.wordpress.com Joel O’s

    @Jukai: Right. When Lebron doesn’t dominate the ball, they lose. And, to win consistently they need him to put up silly numbers. I guess that’s how it is, but it still sucks and Mike Brown has done a terrible job then in his tenure.

  • http://www.manutd.com Z

    That, my friend, we can all agree on.

  • http://slamonline.com Krishan

    Just wanted to say that brown put shaq and z in the 4th, without lebron, against TO’s fleetest lineup, with barngani and bosh on the 4/5. Predictably they got ran to the ground and the game blew wide open again. Seriously brown should get suspended for that, put an NBA live computer AI with that same scenario and substituting pattern and I swear your ps3 is going to short.

  • http://slamonline.com/ Spaceship Jay

    I am dominant with the Cavs on 2K10. Against Orlando/Boston/LA, on Hall of Fame. Why do you ask? My coaching skills.

  • NUPE

    Where is Scottie Pip. when you need him? MJ never did it on his own, nor has any other star. The Lakers, Celts, Spurs, Magic are all playoff teams even without their best players. The bulls made it to the playoffs without MJ. The only other players to really take thier teams all the way by themselves (or very close to it) that I can think of are AI and D.Wade. However they both had great coaches behind them. (you could argue D-Wades Shaq – with injury) was better than Lebrons current Shaq.

  • Kris

    Woooow .. THE SEASON IS HERE!!

  • dial up

    Lol, you losers, just because lebron is LOSING, doesnt mean he doesn’t have any help. If lebron said” this is the first time i’ve ever had a low post threat” then why dont you believe HIM?

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