Shouts out to Don over at With Malice for his efforts in putting together the Bloguin NBA-a-thon volume one. Great theme, and extremely well done, as always. We were glad to be a part of it, and look forward to volume two!
Click here to read Bloguin NBA-a-thon #1
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Cleveland moves to 9-4...rounding up last night's win over Indiana:
Waiting For Next Year - Rick: Stop me if you’ve heard this before. The Cavs offense was sharp early on, scoring 30+ in the first quarter. The defense was just as poor, allowing their opponent to stay in the game despite shooting better than 50% for the first half...Last season the Cavs had several games in which they played intense defense for the majority of the game. We are still waiting to see that kind of effort from the current squad.
Cavalier Attitude - Smooth: LeBron got 40 points but still managed to get 9 assists along with 7 rebounds. The most impressive part of his game is his improved jump shot. LeBron is shooting 46.9% on 2-point jumpers this season, which is better than Dwyane Wade and Carmelo Anthony. Kobe Bryant is shooting 47%.
Random Thoughts - Ben: Late in the game Mike Brown subbed Varejao out for Hickson, after Andy committed a dumb foul while going for an offensive board. Now, I get that Varejao did something stupid... but Z finished the game 1-12. Why not play Hickson and Andy together (especially with Hickson playing so well defensively). Mo-AP-LeBron-J.J.-Varejao is not a bad five. They should be able to play both half court and run.
"According to NBA rules, James has until March 5 to send a formal request to the league office to change his jersey number. That request, though, would be pertinent only if James re-signs with his hometown Cavs this summer. James is free to pick any available number if he signs with a new team for next season."
Ugh, the Wizards...
Sure the Cavaliers lost 108 to 91 tonight. And I know, it was to the Wiz. And I know, we hate the Wiz. DeShawn Stevenson, Brendan Haywood, I know. But before you go looking for that panic button you were hammering down on a few weeks ago, just take a deep breath. You owe it to yourself. The Cavaliers came into tonight having won their last five games, seven of their last eight, including wins over Dwight Howard's Magic, and D-Wade's Heat. I know they were up by seventeen at one point, I know they were winning 55-41 at halftime, and I know they just stood still and chucked up jumpers all second half long, but...keep in mind it was the second game of a back to back, on the road, and one in which two of their top six were inactive. Antawn Jamison scored 31, you think Varejao and Shaq could have curtailed that some? I'm not worried about it. Get Shaq and Andy back healthy, learn from it, move on. There's 70 games left.
I tweeted this very question last night as soon as the words came out of Freddy Mac's mouth, and it is an important question...at least for me. When McLeod first took over I couldn't stand him. Homerism defined, the other team was always seemingly a group of misfits to his perfect collection of Cavaliers. A company's man, company man...very annoying. As time wore on he grew on me some, and while he's not as annoying to me now, he never really did anything to make me say that guy is kinda cool because..[insert act of coolness here]. However, if McLeod came up with this nickname for JJ Hickson - The Prince of Fresh Air - I have to take a step back and just offer Fred a genuine helping of 'props.' That's as solid of a nickname as I've heard in some time. And even if he overheard the Cavaliers calling him that in practice, I'd still give him that same knuckled up dap for popularizing the term.
While I didn't expect the Cavaliers to start the season 0-2, if you told me they'd be 7-3 after 10 while incorporating a number of new faces into the rotation, I'd of taken that. More to that point, if you told me that Mike Brown would have the rotation just about figured out this early into the season, J.J. Hickson would have already emerged as a legitimate starter, and the Cavaliers would be shooting 46% from three point land, my excitement level would have never bordered on the state of panic I flirted with personally a few weeks back. That said, this game against a beleaguered team in Golden State is one in which the Cavaliers have to get out early, put them away, and not look back.
In Game Update...click here for video of LBJ blocking Monta Ellis...Yikes
And if Brandon Jennings can go for 55 against this team, just imagine what LeBron James can do to them. The projected starting line-ups and key reserves for Golden State are after the jump...
Hat Tip: @jose3030
Before the Orlando Magic game, LeBron James said that he wasn't going to answer free agent questions anymore. He said, "I think I owe it to myself, and I owe it to my teammates...I'm focusing on this season, and this is going to be a really good season for us."
Maybe he was speaking indirectly to one teammate specifically.
Mo Williams came into the Magic game averaging 15.7 points per game through the first seven games. To that point, he looked a lot like the player he was during the post season last year. Pressing, trying to do to much. He hadn't looked like the player he was during the regular season last year. The player that helped elevate the Cavaliers from a team that had been perennially good, to a team that won a league best 66 games a season ago.
Then LeBron publically directed his focus towards this season. One that he still believed, even at 4-3, would be a really good season for his Cavaliers. Mo Williams answered with 20 first half point against Orlando, and finished with 28, en-route to a big road win they needed to have.
In the three games since LeBron made those remarks - Orlando, Miami, Utah - Mo Williams has averaged 24.6 points per game. The Cavaliers have gone 3-0 since as a team, upped their record to 7-3, and won by an average of 7 points per game (107-100), versus an average margin of 4 (94-90) through the first seven.