I am a person who tries to be positive. I really want to tell you that I was real proud of the Cavaliers for trying so hard against Chicago on Wednesday, but I cannot actually say that without feeling like a soccer mom. So while I'm not suggesting they should be dumping gallons of Sunny Delight on Byron Scott's head post-game, they should feel better about the fact that they did try hard.
They should also snap out of it and realize that when they do put forth effort, they can play with anybody. Chicago is good. So was the Boston team they beat. They had a chance to beat Chicago tonight, but they didn't. The loss is their sixth in a row now, however they did show signs of coming out of the deprression they've been playing in over the last five games.
If they play like this three more times in a row, there is no reason they can't win two games at least. But I am totally stopping short of congratualing an NBA team for effort, I am just not as mad as I am when they lose without giving any. Still a loss though, and right now, the Cavaliers have lost more than twice as many games as they've won (7-15). Need to get a win soon fellas.
Photo Credit: Stepien Rules
But maybe they can. Antawn Jamison starting is a good idea, and I was glad to see the production he offered from that starting role on Wednesday against the Bulls. I did like him coming off the bench initially, but truth be told the Cavaliers probably do not have enough talent to afford the luxury of a bringing a guy like him off the bench. Jamison logged a season high in minutes tonight (34) and almost went for a season high in points as well. He scored 22 twice this season, and finished tonight 1 point shy of that mark this time, totalling 21 on 8 of 19 from the field. He grabbed 6 boards too.
Another guy who started tonight was Daniel Gibson. He looked shaky some at the PG spot, struggling at times to facilitate the half court offense, and he did turn it over 4 times as compared to 4 assists, but he was productive overall. I'm fine with him starting too going forward. Might as well not save these guys for anything anymore. Jamison and Gibson have been the two most consistently productive players for this team all season, might as well let them play as much as they want.
Which is what Daniel did too on Wednesday, also logging a season high in minutes (37) - actually playing 6 more than his previous season high of the 31 he played twice in October. On the flip side of those line-up changes, Ramon Sessions and Joey Graham - guys who've started some games so far - didn't get in because Byron Scott didn't want to them to play. And after scoring 18 points the night before in Philly, JJ Hickson was relegated to bench duty as well, playing 9 minutes.
Credit Byron Scott for shaking things up. Credit Maurice Williams for his 10 assists along with 13 points, despite the fact that he shot only 27% from the field (5 of 18). See, I am crediting Mo for that, I told you I am trying to be positive.
And I am also not even mentioning the fact that Mo was nowhere near covering Derrick Rose (29-8-4) on any of his I'm-taking-this-game-over-myself-drives to close things out. There was never a second I thought Mo would slow him down in the slightest. That kid's a superstar.
Also, I didn't think Mo would make that off balance jumper late to tie the game either, but I did think Booby's put-back was down. Until it spun back out, and the Cavs lost again. Keep trying though fellas, it's much easier to take this way.
OJ Mayo Update:
I have decided, though, that until the Cavaliers do actually win two games in succession, I will continue to express my interest in the Cavaliers finding a way to trade for OJ Mayo.
In the spirit of this undertaking, I have decided to quote anything I can find that day, posted on the the web, regarding OJ Mayo and/or Cavaliers trade rumors, from a reputable source, in a search that lasts no more than 10 minutes. If I search longer than that one day, I simply won't tell you.
But real quick, this is what I found today:
From the good people over at the ESPN Truehoop Blog, 3 Shades of Blue:
"It seems as if O.J. Mayo or Zach Randolph may not stay with the team in the near future. According to Chad Ford of ESPN.com, the Grizzlies may trade Randolph or Mayo by the trade deadline:
"Michael Heisley came into the season pretty sure he had a playoff contender on his hands. He just extended Gay and Conley and he can't afford to let Gasol go. And Xavier Henry's played well for them. I think Mayo and Randolph have a better than 50 percent chance of being moved by February."
I don't think Memphis would go too far by trading both players away, but they will trade of them, according to the recent from the rumors."
There was no link in the blog back to Ford, so I went scouring through his twitter feed and found the latest tweet of his, which led me to this commentary from Mr. Ford, regarding the state of the Cavaliers (posted Wednesday afternoon):
"They [Cavs] got the crap beat out of them by LeBron. It was humiliating. Up until that moment, I think they were playing with a bit of a chip on their shoulder. After that beat down, in front of their hometown fans, I think it was over. They looked and still looked demoralized. Dan Gilbert is going to have to clean house and he should. At the very least, someone on the Cavs should've knocked LeBron to the floor after the taunting of their bench. Honestly, the most pathetic performance I think I've ever seen from a pro NBA team. ------> My guess is, by October of next year, virtually every player on the team will be wearing a different uniform."
I put that arrow in myself, if you didn't know that, to highlight that last line. And if that's true Cavs fans, don't get too attached. Oh and to be clear, I am sure Ford did say what 3 Shades of Blue quoted him as saying, they're on the same team. So sure I stopped looking for the place they got it from.
More when we return.