Thursday, November 1, 2007


Last night was Halloween. The scariest thing in Cleveland was watching the Cavaliers shoot the ball. The gang who couldn't shoot straight turned the Q into a haunted house from the opening tip. Here is a confession (as you know I am all about honesty and telling it like it is): I stopped watching this game by halftime. Not like I could ever watch a full regular season NBA game on TV anyways. Unfortunately, Gossip Girl was a rerun. I had nowhere to turn as the Cavaliers got blown out by Dallas 92-74. It wasn't even that close.

Lebron James may have had his worst game as a pro. At halftime, he had ZERO points and three fouls on 0-5 shooting. That translated into the Cavs being down 20. He finished with 10 points on 2-11 from the floor. Boobie Gibson, swarmed by Devin Harris and Jason Terry all night, could only manage to get off six shots in 33 minutes. Only Z seemed to show up, scoring 17 points with 18 boards.

The alleged "Robin" to Lebron's Batman, Larry Hughes, played his usual game; he shot a pourous 2-13. You think Danny Ferry and Dan Gilbert didn't wish they could take a mulligan on paying Hughes the max contract? Talk about being in the right place at the right time. Look up "overpaid" in the dictionary and there is picture of him. I actually feel sorry for him because he isn't worth half of the $11 million a year he is making and the fans of this city will never let him forget it. Hughes is what he is, an average ballplayer who had his best year in a run and gun offense in Washington just as his contract was expiring. He never could shoot, but that has become more and more magnified since he came over to Cleveland.

SIDE NOTE: You remember that offseason don't you? The Cavaliers had to make a big splash in free agency with a ton of cap room and the need to keep Lebron James happy. Their top target was SG Michael Redd, the premier outside shooter in the NBA. He passed to stay in Milwaukee for more money. Next up was Ray Allen, another sharp-shooter. He too decided to stay where he was, getting the max from Seattle. That moved the Cavaliers to Hughes, who unfortunately isn't in the same league as Redd or Allen, yet signed for almost as much money. The other two big signings were PF Donyell Marshall and PG Damon Jones. Both got four year contracts. We are in year three of those deals; Donyell's shot, what he is best known for, has seemed to disappear. He averaged a ten-year low seven points per game last year. Jones, the self-proclaimed "world's greatest shooter" was out of the rotation by mid-season because he isn't a true point man and couldn't guard my grandmother.

Back to last night, it looked like the start of something very bad for Mike Brown and his team. ''We didn't do anything right, we didn't play hard and we didn't execute,'' James said. ''It's the first game; hopefully we can put it behind us.'' Very true, it was one game and nobody should panic, but is it just me or does this team look like they will struggle all year? I know Sasha Pavlovic didn't play last night and Anderson Varajao is still holding out in Brazil, but this looks like a poorly constructed roster with little depth. Mike Brown wants to play Former First round pick Shannon Brown. He really does. Yet, Shannon's play seemingly is getting worse. After a preseason where he had five assists and 20 turnovers, in six minutes, he took five shots and missed all of them, plus he turned the ball over twice. You've got Ira Newble and Dwayne Jones who are essentially worthless. Nobody knows anything about raw big man Cedric Simmons. Devin Brown? Please. If he was any good, he wouldn't have been available the week before training camp started.

On Pardon the Interruption last night, TNT analyst Charles Barkley declared the Cavaliers would not make the playoffs. His argument was that every team in the East got better over the summer and the Cavaliers did nothing except get a year older. Can you argue with that logic? (SIDE NOTE: Barkley picked New Jersey to win the East and said the key is "if the kid from Boston College can stay off the weed." To good Chuck.)

If last night is a barometer, it's gonna be a loooong winter in C-town (as if it isn't anyways). Peep some of the fall-out from the Cavaliers beat writers this morning. Pretty good reads:

Frightening - Brian Windhorst, Akron Beacon-Journal

Cavs Deliver a Drab Debut - Branson Wright, Cleveland Plain Dealer

Fans Looking for a Treat, See Scary Cleveland Cavaliers - Terry Pluto, Cleveland Plain Dealer

Witnesses Force to Cover Their Eyes - Bill Livingston, Cleveland Plain Dealer

Mav-Wrecked - Bob Finnan, Willoughby News-Herald

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