Sunday, December 5, 2010

My Apologies

I'm sorry I haven't been able to post in a while. This semester's been kind of rough and its finally starting to wind down. I have to say that it hasn't been easy to watch some of the Cavs games that I've had time for, but I still love the team and the city. As soon as things clear up I'll start posting again.


Wednesday, November 3, 2010

3 Loss Streak (That I've been too busy to write about until now)

Well folks, this is pretty much the kind of year we're going to have. Although I do think that the team is still piecing much of the offense together, it's obvious that the team is going to struggle at times through the year. Good news is that all three losses were without pretty key players, the first missing Mo and Andy, second missing Mo, and the third Jamison.

Now one thing that has become readily apparent to me is that Jamison is unhappy with the situation he's in, whether it's being on a non-contending team, coming off the bench, or both. I honestly don't see him on the team by the end of the year, which is a shame. Furthermore, his health is probably something that will be in question for the rest of his career, however long that may be.

The bright spot so far has been JJ though. This kid has been on fire, and against the Hawks, we got to see what a future (present?) all-star on the team will look like. He's stroking his jumper beautifully, he's working in the post, and flows very well with the offensive pace of the game. He still needs to pick up his game on the defensive end and bring his rebounding up if he truly wants to be an all-star, but there's still plenty of time for the 22 year old. All I have to say is that it's fairly obvious who is going to be picking up the slack this season for the scoring that left the team this summer.

Now on to other topics, the entire team should be back for the first time on Friday, which will be a relief to see. Andy is looking as active as ever and just needs the offense to flow properly so he can pick up his scoring. Jamison... eh already talked about that... should contribute in some way. And Mo, who will most likely be the most key missing player.

Even though Mo looked a little rusty in the Hawks game, its clear he knows what his role is and how effective he can be in this system. After a few more games, the shots that he missed will start to fall and we will once again have an extremely effective scoring option running the point. Ramon is pretty good, but he still doesn't know how to effectively run the offense, often times running into the lane recklessly without any clue what he is going to do with the ball. Now, this sometimes can lead to a heavy scoring game from the young point-guard, but against the better teams it just won't cut it. Mo on the other hand has complete control of the game and a great sense of when to push. Not only that, but he can hit an open jumper, as well as jump shots off the dribble, which is not something you see from any of the other guards on the team.

While I'm not expecting miracles, I still have hope for a playoff Cavs team this year. When Mo, Andy, Jamario and JJ start to really click, the offense is a monster. The crucial point that the Cavs need to work on to truly be competitive is to consistently have a strong defense. When the Cavs really show up on defense there aren't many teams that can run an effective offense on them. If the Cavs can consistently run a strong defense, I will be convinced they are a playoff team, but it isn't there yet.

Anyways, Cavs vs. Sixers on Friday... Hoping for a blowout, but I was hoping the same thing for the Raptors game, so we'll see.

Until next time

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Opening Night 2010-2011 vs. Boston

First Quarter:

  • First off, Mo is sitting out for this one as a precaution. He missed the last 5 days of practice to attend his father in law's funeral and still is not 100% after his groin injury
  • Hickson came out quick in this one, started getting fouled going down the lane early, then showed off his much improved jumper. Just going for everything, carrying the offense on his back. I was disappointed to see him come out so early, but the rotation is far from being set right now.
  • I have to admit, seeing Sessions for pretty much the first time visually, he looks really quick. The entire team has a little more speed this year, but I think that Sessions will really thrive in the up-tempo system
  • Celtics came out kinda slow, which is to be expected from a team that had to face the Heat last night, Speaking of which, the Celtics look like a team hungry for another championship, while the Heat definitely suffered from Wade not playing in preseason. Lebron on the other hand look exactly the same, taking over the game, which has both benefits and problems, as Cavs fans well know.
  • I still don't know if Hollins will fit in with the team long term, or even if he's that good, but he definitely works hard. He continues to fight for the ball even after most other players give up, which is something that the Cavs have really lacked in a center (unless you count Andy). He gave the Cavs several extra possessions with his work around the basket
  • Gibson definitely looked a little off to start the game, missing a few jumpers and looked a step behind. Hopefully nothing to worry about
  • The defense looked okay, but had some major lapses, leading to a wide open slam by KG. This is something that they will need to work on before the game begins to run away
  • Glen Davis hitting a 3 at the buzzer hurts... Completely unacceptable... Even if it didn't actually count
2nd Quarter:
  • Still missing wide open shots, a result of a young team being nervous in the season opener without a true leader on the floor
  • Jamison really does not look that good... This is something that really concerns me. If Jamison doesn't have a good year, it definitely hurts the Cavs chances at making the playoffs. On the other hand, it might allow JJ to get more time to develop.
  • Andy continues to do what Andy does. Hustling around the basket for tap-in's and extra possessions. Good to see. Sooooo many offensive rebounds
  • I don't quite understand why it took so long for Scott to put JJ back into the game, as he seems to be the only person on the team to have some consistency on the offensive floor. As soon as he entered the game, the offense picked up again. Andy and JJ work phenomenally together, something that many people didn't think would work
  • Once again... I hate Glen Davis...
  • Jawad Williams really looks lost out there... The Cavs really need help at the SF position. Jamario Moon is now the best we have. Speaking of Moon though, he is playing like he earned the starting role. Solid defense and outside shooting is exactly what we need
  • Parker looks more comfortable in this game that almost all of last year. Its good to see him get a little bit more consistancy
  • The more I watch Sessions, the more I like him. He seems to flow very well in the offense. He may not have much of a jumper, but its not all that necessary. Especially when Mo returns, the backcourt should be fantastic
  • The offense settled in as the quarter progressed and we got to see a glimpse of what this team is going to look like when it gets to full steam. Pushing the ball and moving the ball around the court flawlessly. The defense still needs some work and is fouling too much, but all that will come in time. Just watch and enjoy the new offense... looks purdy
  • It will be very interesting to see how the Cavs come out after half. If they can clean up some of the sloppy mistakes that they were making in the first half, they have a legitimate chance at winning the game. If they don't however, it will be completely dependent on how tired the Celtics are from last night  
  • Not too shabby for a team that's missing their starting point guard  
Key Stats at Half:
  • Score: 47-46 Boston
  • FG%- Celts: 52.9%, Cavs: 41.3%
  • FT%- Celts: 76.9%, Cavs: 62.5%
  • Turnovers- Celts: 10, Cavs- 7
  • JJ Hickson: 14 points, 3 rebounds
  • Ramon Sessions: 12 points, 2 assists
 3rd Quarter:
  • Varejao keeps working with a ton of energy, first with a bail out basket, then a rebound, and a beautiful rejection of Ray Allen to start the quarter off
  • Rondo is getting shots too easily, mainly coming off of the fast break. Another thing the Cavs will have to work on. He continues to destroy the Cavs, but I have to admit that he may be one of the best PG's in the NBA right now
  • I take back what I said before about Moon... He isn't just good, he's playing excellent basketball. He might not be able to exactly fill the shoes of the betrayer (Mr. South Beach), but he is playing almost perfectly in this offense. He might actually be the player most suited for the Princeton that Scott is running that the Cavs have right now
  • JJ is starting to looking more like he did last year, still a little hesitant and is thinking a bit too much, taking himself out of the game
  • Gibson hit his first shot, hopefully gets him going after starting 0-8 from the field
  • Hollins continues to have a meaningful impact for the Cavs. Still growing on me. I'm really impressed with the defense he's putting up right now
  • Jamison continues to have some difficulty from the field... 0-3 and looking out of it
  • Cavs might not look too pretty, but they're doing what's necessary to get the win here. Fighting tooth and nail for every point. Coming back within 5 from down 11
4th Quarter:
  • Early start with Jermaine O'Neal fouling out of the game. Always a good sign
  • Gibson reeeeeally heating in the game, causing alot of frustration for the Celtics, who end up getting 2 techs, one for Nate Robinson and one for Shaq. Another great sign
  • And Jamison finally hits a shot and all the Cavs are firing on all cylinders, getting a standing ovation from the crowd
  • Not all too many mistakes being made this quarter and we continue to see the new system in the works. A few plays were too aggressive, but you'll take that against a team like the Celtics
  • Celtics D finally started picking up again with about 6:30 left. Big moment for the Cavs to see if anyone can step up and bring the momentum back
  • There are so many traveling calls on the Celtics tonight that they should be the Harlem Globetrotters. Yah, I know it wasn't that good of a joke but deal with it
  • Shot clock violations are killing the Cavs and are perfect examples of times where the offense is being disrupted by an elite defensive force
  • This Cavs team will thrive off of turnovers. With the amount of speed and athleticism that they have at all times on the floor, only good things can happen
  • The home crowd is definitely affecting the game, giving the Cavs energy, which is helping the Cavs step up to a different level that what has been seen so far in the game, especially on the defensive end. Good to see seeming as a running offense usually suffers on the defensive end
  • The Cavs might not necessarily have an offensive force to go to in late game situations, but their defense is sure doing the work for them
Final Score: 95-87 Cavaliers!

While the game might not necessarily mean that the Cavs could beat the Heat, I'm not going to let that convince me otherwise. It wasn't pretty and they were playing a tired team, but we got some fantastic glimpses of what this Cavs team could be... and it was gooooooood.

The Cavs had a great balanced attack tonight, with 6 players in double figures, which can be expected from a tteam without a player that really controls the ball. It also shows that this is not a team that is defenseless without LeBron. This is a team that will still be fairly competitive in the east and will still have a good shot at the playoffs.

Key Stats at Half:
  • Score: 95-87 Cavs
  • FG%- Celts: 47.2%, Cavs: 44.4%
  • FT%- Celts: 76.2%, Cavs: 81.0%
  • Turnovers- Celts: 19, Cavs-14
  • JJ Hickson: 21 points, 6 rebounds
  • Ramon Sessions: 14 points, 3 assists
  • Anderson Varejao: 8 points, 10 rebounds, 4 assists
  • Daniel Gibson: 16 points, 4 rebounds, 8 assists

Monday, October 25, 2010

Starters for the 2010-2011 Season

Well, Scott finally announced the starters for this season and are as follows:

PG: Mo Williams
SG: Anthony Parker
SF: Jamario Moon
PF: JJ Hickson
C: Anderson Varejao

To say the least, this will be a fairly athletic line-up. Furthermore, the Cavs should have a really strong bench with Sessions, Booby, and Jamison.

This will be the year for Hickson to truly show what kind of player he can be in a starting role. Not only did he earn the starting role after being chewed out by Scott just a few days earlier, the Cavs also decided to extend his contract through the 2011-2012 season. Most likely this means that he really showed up and buckled down in practice enough to convince Scott he can be the player they want him to be, which will hopefully pay off soon.

Friday, October 22, 2010

Cavs vs. Bucks 10/21/10

Howdy folks,

Tonight was a fantastic night for Ramon Sessions but JJ Hickson on the other hand didn't have that strong of a night.

With Mo Williams out with the death of his father-in-law, Ramon Sessions was asked to step up in a starting role in his place, and step up he did. Sessions essentially controlled the entire offensive game, scoring 26 points on 10 of 19 attempts. He still needs work on his jumper, but his speed really controls the tempo of the game.

JJ took somewhat of a step back though and was pulled early in the game and only played a total of 20 minutes in the game. After the game, Byron Scott criticized JJ, explaining that he still was not understanding the offensive scheme. He stressed that he should be able to follow the offense, seeming as it is really his job to understand. Scott also hinted that Jamison may take his place in the starting lineup on Wednesday if JJ cannot pick up the offense by then.

The rest of the team played somewhat well,with a huge pickup from Anthony Parker. Parker showed why he is going to be the starting 2-guard tonight, scoring 18 points on 6 of 12 shooting, 5 rebounds and 4 assists. Jawad had a nice stat-line, but seemed somewhat lost on the floor. Jamison finally hit a 3, going 1 for 7 on the night, but it certainly picked up his spirits.

The Cavs finish the preseason with an impressive 6-2 record, which may not mean much to the pro analysts, but to me shows that they are going to be much more competitive than they are expected to be this season.

As a side note, I loved seeing the Heat explode to a trap that the Cavs frequently fell into during the "Lebron Era". The Heat fans were introduced to the "watch Lebron completely take over the entire offense and prevent anyone else on the team to get into any flow" mode, which I hope they get to see plenty of this season. While their loss may have been a result of missing Wade and Miller, I still feel somewhat satisfied seeing that team lose, and I will personally savor every loss that they experience this season.

Peace out Cavs Fans!

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Cavs vs. Sixers, 10/19/2010

I deeply apologize, but I was actually unable to watch this game due to a concurrent soccer game I had to play in.

The analysis I can give though is that this was a phenomenal game and perfect reason why the Cavs could be back in the playoffs this upcoming season. With everyone firing on all cylinders (8 players in double figures), even without Jamison, the Cavs were able to blow a team out of the water. All of the people who doubted the Cavs would be anything more than a 20 win team this season better watch out.

On other notes, Danny Green was waived after the game, meaning the roster is set at 15 with Samardo Samuels and Manny Harris being the only unguaranteed contracts left.

I'll hopefully be able to watch the final game Thursday against the Bucks, so until then peace and keep dreaming of a Cleveland championship

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Quick Browns Aside

I'd like to take a short time to talk about the Browns, as I will probably do frequently on Sundays.

Even though the Browns fell to 1-5 today, I saw the future of our team for the first time in years. Colt McCoy has the stuff to be the next starting quarterback for the Browns. He faced one of the toughest defenses in the NFL and had some solid numbers. For the first time on the field in a real game, McCoy looked unbelievable. He threw for his first pro touchdown and looked great moving around in the pocket. I wouldn't look too much into the picks, as only one was a poor throw.

With  McCoy, Hillis, and solid O and D lines, all we need is to fill in a couple more spots and the Browns will go back to a playoff contender year after year.

I'll be back on Tuesday after the Cavs game to give some analysis

Go Browns and Go Cavs!