Wednesday, June 20, 2007

Cavs Post Season: One Guy's Thoughts

Well, the Cavs got their asses handed to them by le Spurs, but Steve D's still got some things hed like to talk about: touching a little on Game 4, and pondering the post-season. A gentleman and a scholar, Steve teaches middle school kids in New Jersey, likes barbecue, and hates that guy from Human Giant/Best Week Ever with the gap in his teeth. Most importantly, he is a tried and true Cleveland fan who calls it like it is.

Well, I guess the name's arent the same, but this is still pretty damned funny.

Final Thoughts on Game 4
I watched the game. I got pumped during the end of the 3rd quarter and the start of the 4th when the Cavs were playing out of their minds and the crowd was going crazy.
And then I realized, “We’re playing the best we’ve played all series and we’re only ahead by one measly point.”
It was at that moment that Tony Parker hit a three pointer and the Spurs coasted their way to a championship win.

Off-season Wish List

1) A real point guard
-Remember when all the Cavs had were point guards? Mark Price, Terrell Brandon, Brevin Knight, Andre Miller… Now we have the greatest player of a generation and who’s running the offense? Jeff McInnis, Kevin Ollie, Eric Snow…
-I don’t think Mike Bibby is a good idea. He’s not the distributor we need and he is not a great defender. Plus he’s on the downside of his career and costs a pretty penny.
-I like Mo Williams, but he might cost too much.
-I would settle for Steve Blake at a bargain.

2) 1-2 Young Post Players
-Z is too old to play heavy minutes. Same with Marshall. Gooden is too inconsistent. We need 1-2 high energy guys to come in and play hard nose defense, get rebounds, and catch passes from LeBron.

3) Offensive Plan
-Jordan excelled in Tex Winters’ Triangle offense; Magic thrived in Paul Westhead’s Showtime offense. The Cavs need a gameplan/strategy.
-Apparently the Cavs are cool to the idea of bringing in an offensive guru. Fine, but this team needs an offensive identity and if they don’t want to hire someone to create it, Brown’s got his work cut out for him this summer. Another season of everyone watching LeBron hold the ball will not work.

4) A New Move for LeBron
-Jordan came back every season with a new move. A new weapon. LeBron needs to have that same approach this summer. Hell, come up with two new moves. May I suggest a post-up move and a consistent jumper?

Payroll Flexibility
-The Cavs are paying Eric Snow $6 million dollars and Donyell Marshall $5.5 million for another two seasons. Both of these guys are the equivalent of bullpen specialists and are being paid like starters. That limits the Cavs’ options.
-They could sign and trade Andy or Sasha. My vote is for both. Neither should be a starter on a championship team. So sell high and get what we need in return.

-Brian Windhorst of the Akron Beacon Journal wrote a great piece about the Cavs’ off-season options. Included is the fact that Damon Jones, Ira Newble, and David Wesley are attractive trading chips. You gotta love the economics of the NBA.

-One last thing. if you’re wondering why we don’t have a 1st round pick this year, it’s because Jim Paxson traded it for Jiri Welsch.

Friday, June 15, 2007

and now back to our regular programming...

so there it was, the 2007 nba finals, your cleveland cavaliers swept by the san antonio spurs with the deathblow coming at the Q. to me game 4 was almost a complete clone of game 3 what with the cavs playing some good D, staying in the game, but not keeping leads when they got them, and somehow just not making shots (seriously how many bricked layups did they have in the last 2 games? not counting anderson's "hand of god" layup in game 3). z, though playing pretty inspired in the last 2 games, also looked slower than ever, and lebron just fell apart in those last couple of minutes.
they got owned by the spurs plain and simple. shit just wasnt meant to be.
i still dont really know what im talking about, so ill just stop. steve should be making another appearance soon with his post-game/series thoughts as well as his views on the offseason.
until then...
the onion's got a good article abaout the cavs championship run, and's got footage of lebron's post game press conference, which has a pretty amazing ending. i expect it to appear in highlight reels if/when they win it all... yeah. no more cavs, no more playoffs, but its the summer time and lord knows summer time means fun time. FYL reunites to DJ HATE JAMS 07 at touch in cleveland july 14th, so mark you calendars.

it just sucks that ive gotta wait until november to hear my dad say "boobie" again.


Wednesday, June 13, 2007

Fuck It Why Not.

After a day or so of sulking after that game 3 loss and considering not watching game 4 because i didnt want to slit my wrists, I say fuck it. The Cavs are in the Finals and as bleak as their outlook might seem, it's time to root for the home team. Because as Steve said, we have yet to see "there's no way im losing this game" Lebron, and I sincerely do not believe that he/they will let San Antonio sweep them, especially at the Q.

Speaking of the Q (well, not really but I need a segueway), anybody who sends in/posts a picture of themselves with Michael Wilbon or Stephen A Smith gets a prize. Wilbon can probably be found in/around Browns stadium early/mid-afternoon seeing how thats where hes been doing his half of PTI this week, and Im assuming Stephen A can be found at Tower City, Crazy Horse, or...I've got nothing. A voicemail recording of either will do as well.

Lastly, for your listening pleasure...

In case you dont have it, the Mick Boogie/Al Fatz mixtape "Expect The Unexpected" (game 4) is up for free over at Mick Boobie's myspace blog. Peep "Callin All The Shots", Lebron's official/unofficial theme song featuring the people's champ Paul Wall and some Hawaiin dude doing the beat.

And a classic for you to get buck wild: "Thug Luv" by Bone and 2pac.

Keep the faith.

NBA Finals 2007, Game 3:

As previously mentioned, for the Cavaliers' inaugural appearance in the NBA Finals, our buddy Steve D will be contributing to the cause by offering his thoughts on each game. A gentleman and a scholar, Steve teaches middle school kids in New Jersey, showed "Bill and Ted's Excellent Adventure" to his junior high history class, and has spent a decent amount of his life surrounded by cats. Most importantly, he is a tried and true Cleveland fan who calls it like it is.

this is the picture put on their front page.

Game 3, Tuesday June 12th, 2007, in Cleveland

Let’s review my to-do list for Game 3 that I wrote on Monday:

-Cavs get foul calls
-Key Spurs get into foul trouble
-Someone hits open shots
-Z wakes up
-Brown benches Hughes
-Brown starts Gibson

The Cavs got to the line early, but went back to settling for jumpers as the game wore on. The positive is that Duncan was in foul trouble most of the game.
The negative is that NO ONE could hit open shots. The Cavs shot 15%!!! from the 3 point line. Conversely, the Spurs shot 56%.

Z had a monster game. He got 18 rebounds as the Cavs finally won back the battle of the boards.

Gibson had a lousy game offensively (1 for 10), but his defense and the threat of his offense made him more valuable than Hughes. Despite the hype, Gibson was not going to be a cure-all for the Cavs. It was simply illogical for Hughes to be playing hurt; Gibson was the better option.

The reality is, the gods were favoring the Cavs last night, but three factors sealed their fate:

-No one could hit an open shot. Even LeBron. The Cavs offense is based on one guy drawing double/triple teams and passing to the open man on the perimeter. If no one makes those shots, they can’t win. Simple as that.

-Too many mental mistakes: Lazy Drew got two straight over-the-back fouls and a hack on Duncan. He was out of position each time. Varejo fumbled a perfect pass from LeBron in transition during the 4th quarter. And the final play…

-No, the final play was not when Bruce Bowen intentionally fouled LeBron while shooting a 3. The final play of the game was when the Cavs got a great stop on defense and brought the ball up, down 2, with 30 seconds to play. The crowd is going crazy. This is it, they’ve been chipping at the Spurs all quarter and this is their chance to win or tie the game. You have the greatest player of his generation with the ball in his hands. Who takes the shot to save the season?

Anderson Varejo!
And its not even Andy in the post for an easy deuce. No, its Andy at the elbow trying to shake ‘n’ bake Tim Duncan, the best power forward in the league. I practically bit a hole through my shirt after that play.

I don’t care if LeBron was fouled on that last shot, the Cavs blew the game 20 seconds earlier. THAT was their best chance to win and they absolutely blew it.

You can blame Brown for not preparing the Cavs with a play. You can blame LeBron for not calling the time out (I don’t, he should’ve attacked before the defense was set) or for passing to Andy. You can blame Andy for taking that shot instead of passing back to LeBron (I can only assume that’s what LeBron expected)….

It doesn’t matter. This was the biggest game of the season for the Cavs and they couldn’t get it done. It makes me sick. After last night, I didn’t even want there to be a Game 4. Just end this humiliation.

But I think Game 4 and Game 5 can show a lot about the Cavs. More importantly, they can show a lot about LeBron. In the words of Bill Simmons, I need him to have at least one “there’s no f’ing way we’re losing this game” games.

They’ve lost the chance to win this series, but maybe they can get their dignity back. For cripes sake, Reggie Miller was on Dan Patrick’s show yesterday saying that the DENVER NUGGETS would smoke the Cavs in a series.

Game 4 will say a lot about this team and where it’s going. I sure hope its good.

Buu says:
Apparently Mike Brown was trying to call a time out during the now fabled "Anderson Layup" (or maybe we can just call it "The Layup") but the noise was too loud that nobody heard him. I am seriously considering not watching game 4, and I am seriously hoping that this is all a part of David Stern's plans to boost ratings by having the Cavs win the championship with the BIGGEST COMEBACK IN FINALS HISTORY.
A boy can dream can't he?

Tuesday, June 12, 2007

NBA Finals, Game 3, Pregame

Bone Thugs & Biggie - Notorious THUGS

I hope I am not the only one sitting here just minutes before game 3 starts listening to Bone and reminding myself how hard Cleveland is. Tough for 200 years. Land of the double glock. Drink a Great Lakes. Enjoy some Bone. Let's get down to business. GO CAVS!

Monday, June 11, 2007

NBA Finals 2007, Game 2:

As previously mentioned, for the Cavaliers' inaugural appearance in the NBA Finals, our buddy Steve D will be contributing to the cause by offering his thoughts on each game. A gentleman and a scholar, Steve teaches middle school kids in New Jersey, is happily married, and once went sailing with a senator/congressman. Most importantly, he is a tried and true Cleveland fan who calls it like it is.

Drew Gooden and Sasha Pavlovic silently agree that its tiee to take an ether rag to Larry's face and put him in a UHaul until the Finals are done...Goddammit. And what the F is that veiny thing between Larry and Drew??.

Game 2, Sunday June 10th, 2007, in San Antonio

Why did the Cavs lose last night?

It’s very simple:
They couldn’t stop Duncan, Parker, and Manu from doing what they wanted to do on the offensive end.
In addition, the Cavs inability to stop the Spurs had a negative effect on their offensive execution (or lack thereof). Guys were shorting shots, missing free throws, making lazy passes, or missing rebounds. For cripes sake, Manu got a rebound OVER Z at one point.

The reality is that whatever adjustments Mike Brown and the Cavs had made for Game 2 went out the window within the first three minutes of the game. That is when LeBron picked up his second foul and headed for the bench.

Defense is where the Cavs are really getting killed.
I would guess that 80% of the fouls committed by the Cavs came from help defenders because the initial defender was out of position or it was Lazy Drew Gooden.
(Can anyone do some investigative research and see if Drew has a secret twin? It could be like that movie The Prestige. You can just imagine the conversation the two Drews had when one Drew (I’m guessing the lazy one) showed up with that neck toupee. “Oh man, now I have to grow one too so people don’t discover our secret.”)

Despite their difficulties in Texas, I believe the Cavs will win Game 3 for the following reasons:
The Cavs will get a lot of whistles in Cleveland…
Causing key Spurs to get into foul trouble (and I don’t mean Oberto)
Someone is going to start hitting open shots
Zzzzzzydrunas will wake up
The gambling community will release Mike Brown’s pet gerbil, allowing him to put Larry Hughes and his broken foot on the bench
Mike Brown will be introduced to Daniel Gibson BEFORE the first quarter ends. (Brown: “Boy, I sure could use a quick guard who can shoot to offset Tony Parker…” Gibson: “Hi coach, my name is Daniel Gibson, nice to meet you. Wait, I’m not the ball boy. Stop handing me towels! I’m on the team! Put me in!”)
David Wesley will pull off his crush velvet three piece suit during pre-game warm ups and play a “vintage Wesley” game. (If you combine a vintage Wesley game with a vintage Snow game does it come close to equaling a vintage Brevin Knight game? Just curious)

Silver Lining
Last year the Miami Heat was getting killed by the Mavs in all areas, until the 4th quarter of Game 3. After that, Dwyane Wade started destroying their “defense” (and getting a lot of calls) and guys started hitting shots (notably, White Chocolate and Antoine Walker). Next thing you know, the dead and buried Heat had won the Finals in convincing fashion.

Media Pet Peeve
Throughout the playoffs, I have listened to countless “experts” state that LeBron just needs to “step up” or be a “superstar.” What the hell does that mean, exactly? That’s some real in depth analysis. As if it was as simple as a video game: “LeBron, just hit the turbo button!” I mean what do they expect? James to just score 48 points against a championship level team on the road in the playoffs? Hmm, on second thought, maybe I should predict a Game 4 win for the Cavs too…

Friday, June 08, 2007

NBA Finals 2007, Game 1:

As previously mentioned, for the Cavaliers' inaugural appearance in the NBA Finals, our buddy Steve D will be contributing to the cause by offering his thoughts on each game. A gentleman and a scholar, Steve teaches middle school kids in New Jersey, plays piano, and likes to bench press with beers in his pocket. Most importantly, he is a tried and true Cleveland fan who calls it like it is.

Lebron tries to wipe his game face off.

Game 1, Thursday June 7th, 2007, in San Antonio
• Z is a defensive liability on the screen and roll with Duncan.
• Hughes is a defensive liability on a much faster Tony Parker.
• Damon Jones is a defensive liability on anybody.
• Donyell Marshall is a defensive liability on himself.
• Notice a trend?
• At this point, the Cavs are better playing a lineup consisting of Gibson (on Parker), Sasha (on Manu/Finley), James (Bowen), Andy (Duncan), and a warm body (Oberto/Elson).
• When the Spurs switch to their defensive line up (Jacques Vaughn, Robert Horry), the Cavs can get away with putting Z or Hughes in the game. Otherwise, they should stay on the bench.
• Later on, the Cavs tried to double team Parker and Duncan to compensate for Hughes and the rest, but that just left Bowen/Horry/Manu wide open for 3’s.

• The high pick and roll with James and Z/Marshall/Gooden/Andy is not going to work against the Spurs’ defense. Mainly because the Spurs are creating a shell around the post (not unlike what international teams have been doing against the “Dream Teams” the last decade) which takes away driving lanes.
• The essence of the pick and roll is that either James or the “picker” will get a clear lane to the basket. When the Cavs run the pick and roll, both Spurs defenders are staying on James and letting the man setting the pick run to the hoop. The problem is, because the rest of the Spurs defenders are staying home on the post, that player is essentially guarded as well. Therefore, the pick and roll isn’t producing any advantage for the Cavs. If anything, it’s feeding into the Spurs’ plan to double James at the top of the key.
• Other than James getting a pick at the top of the key, the only offensive play the Cavs run is “James drives and kicks it to Damon, Donyell, or Boobie with Andy in the post to get the rebound.” The problem is, this lineup got killed on the defensive side of the ball (see the 3rd quarter of game 1). Besides, Donyell Marshall ain’t gonna win you a championship.
• The Cavs got through the first three rounds of the playoffs because they had more talent. Well they don’t have more talent than the Spurs. Their one trump card is James, and they aren’t properly utilizing him. James should either be coming off the ball (catching the ball in the lane off of screens), or he should stick his ass into Bowen and post him up. Either way, the Cavs will get a much better shot than anything they saw in Game 1. When James receives the ball at the top of the key and surveys the defense, he allows the defense to set up to stop him.

• The Cavs don’t have to play a perfect to beat the Spurs, but they can’t make all of the mental errors they committed in Game 1.
• Case in point, at least twice, a Spurs foul shooter got his own rebound on a miss (should NEVER happen). The Spurs also got more offensive rebounds than the Cavs (can’t happen).
• Drew Gooden took more than a few naps on defense during this game. I know, he scored a lot in the 3rd quarter, but that’s what is so annoying about Gooden (besides his neck toupee). The guy flashes talent on one play, and genuine disinterest/stupidity on the next. That’s not going to fly in the Finals when you’re guarding one of the best players of all time.
• The Cavs barely got any whistles last night and you could see it frustrated them. The fact is, they got a lot of favorable calls in Games 5 and 6 against the Pistons. That is not going to happen in San Antonio, so you need to adjust.
• I don’t know that last night could have gone much worse for the Cavs. I would have given them a better chance to win Game 1 against a rusty Spurs team than Game 2. That said, maybe Mike Brown (or James) will make adjustments and they’ll steal Game 2. Or maybe Scott Pollard can take a tire iron to Duncan’s knee before shootaround. Either one works.

Editor's thought: The folks playing the Undertaker's theme while they introduced the Cavs was a nice touch on their part. "Ya'll Ready For This" while they introduced the Spurs wasnt.

Wednesday, June 06, 2007

so it begins...

its been 4 days since the cavs took the eastern conference crown from the pistons and im still reeling from it.
just when i thought i was done with it, im listening to a bill simmons podcast (which arent bad so much as they are kind of weird, because his voice isnt quite made for radio and the casts themselves are mostly just long conversations about everything and anything. check it out if youre a simmons fan...of whom roger brown isnt. speaking of roger brown, its kind of sad yet hilarious that hes been reduced to a paper like the news herald...but i digress....) where he's asking marv albert what it was like to call lebron's "48 special" (game 5), and checking yay sports for the cavalier's insights on how/why the cavs have succesfully dethroned the pistons as the "beast in the east".
its day 4 and im still thinking about that lebron/z hug (full hetero on that one) and wondering just how happy austin carr is right now.

but its midnight, the night before game 1 of the finals between the cavs and spurs, and that eastern conference stuff must all go to the way side.

at 11:00pm nike officiall launched phase 2 of the lebron witness campaign, dropping the commercial on sportscenter and throwing up a new site where you can download all past lebron wallpapers (the one with the throne and lions is still key) and you can upload how lebron has effected your life...or something.
the commercial, though poetic, doesnt move me like last year's did, what with the shots of cleveland and school kids set to that drum beat. but fuck it if i didnt watch it 5 times at 11:00.

11:30 i drank a beer and smoked on my fire escape, looked out at the night time brooklyn landscape, and i actually felt nervous.

do i still stand by my statement of "even if (the cavs) get swept ill be happy"? sure, but dammit we've got a chance. even dick vitale thinks so (peep the mike and mike podcast at for 6/4).

my assesment?

San Antonio
as my cousin khoi puts it: " finley looks like billy ocean, horry looks like fresh prince, ginobli looks like cousin balky, and bowen cheats..."
its the goddamn spurs man. perennial western powerhouses, rings, duncan, foreign dudes, good bench, good coach, theyve got it all. except...

that guy from akron. we've seen how the cavs have reacted these playoffs, with their strong defense, boards, and offensive strategies of "give lebron the ball and see what happens" or "give lebron the ball but put every dude who can shoot 3's out there with him and see what happens". will z step up to timmy? where will larry fit in what with his bum ankle and "boobie" becoming the prince to lebron's king? do i even know what im talking about anymore?

well, i probably dont, so as of tonight i tapped my buddy steve to do game analysis for the finals. the dude's a teacher so you know hes smart, knows his sports, and when we trade emails about the cavs his read like a newspaper column while mine read like an a homeless man's diary entry.

i bought the new bone album today for luck. all i need is another pack of lightning lemonade and my trusty cavs shirt.

rise up cleveland.

F san antonio.

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Sunday, June 03, 2007

what more can be said?

James gang takes the series.

its the next day and im still at a loss for words.

as the plain dealer's bud shaw wrote:

This was a healing hand on Jim Chones' foot, instant relief for Brad Daugherty's ailing back and a glass of amnesia for memories of any or all of the following: Ted Stepien. Ron Harper going. Trajan Langdon coming. Shawn Kemp's heavy legs. Lamond Murray's gripe that his jersey wasn't for sale in the team shop. The rebound that got away in Game 6 last season.

i was telling people before the game that i dont even care if they get swept by san antonio, just going to the NBA finals is enough.
but man, i think they have a chance.

detroit's life? fucked.
next stop, san an-tone.


Friday, June 01, 2007


james gang takes game 5 in detroit.

Good blog recap over at about yesterday's madness.

One more game to go boys.

One more.