Monday, January 28, 2008

Cavs/Tribe Roundup

You gotta respect the gutty performance the Cavs put on yesterday in beating the Lakers in LA. In front of a national TV audience, once again Lebron James put on a show. While his 41 points, big jumper, and huge free throws in the last 30 seconds were exactly what his team needed after blowing a ten point lead, it was his defense on the final play that saved the day. Along with the much maligned Larry Hughes, they double-teamed Kobe Bryant and Luke Walton so tightly on the final play that they couldn't get a game-tying shot off. "Our guys were unbelievable -- LeBron and Larry," said Cavs coach Mike Brown, the defensive devotee who is probably still watching video reruns of those final nine seconds. "The way they defended the Lakers so they wouldn't even get a shot off was amazing. They did that on their own. That was just intelligence by those two guys, hustle, effort."

With Sasha Pavlovic already out with a foot injury, Ira Newble has stepped into his starting role as the two guard. But it was his move to the four spot which sparked the defense down the stretch. Unfortunately, it was necessitated by the ankle injury of Anderson Varajao. Andy's was carried off the court after turning his ankle badly in the second quarter. He will have an MRI today. With Andy out, and Z fouling out with five minutes left, Brown went to Newble and it worked. His energy on both ends of the floor were key. Never thought we'd be saying that.

Cavs Storm to Victory - Brian Windhorst, Akron Beacon-Journal

The Tribe media tour roles on. There was a nice piece on Kelly Shoppach and his value to the team in this morning's PD. Rafael "The Realtor" Betancourt was signed last week to a two year deal worth just over $5 million total. But the all time classic is that Casey Blake and the Indians cannot come to terms on a figure. Blake is arbitration eligible for the last time. The Indians offered him $5.4 million, which to me, is way too much money for this scrub to begin with. (SIDE NOTE: That's right, he is back to being a scrub. All of the good things he did last season were forgotten in a two minute span when he grounded into a DP and then booted an easy grounder in game seven against the Red Sox). Fake is looking for $6.9 million. When I read that figure I almost choked. But in the meantime, they two sides won't meet in the middle. For the first time in 16 years, the Indians may have to go to an arbitration hearing. The good news is that after this year, Fake is a free agent and hopefully we won't be subjected to his aw shucks routine and average at best game anymore. My goals for this season:

1. Win the World Series

2. Re-sign CC

3. Bash Casey Blake all year long

All Quite After Offer From Blake's Agent - Paul Hoynes, Cleveland Plain Dealer

Shoppach Sees Getting Shopped as a Good Thing - Paul Hoynes, Cleveland Plain Dealer

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