Thursday, November 1, 2007

Knee-Jerk NBA Reactions, Vol. 1

According to's Charley Rosen, it's pretty much over for Cleveland after tonight's 92-74 loss to Dallas. Who cares that it was the first game of the season? It's time to tell it like it is- the Cavs are finished.

From the get-go, Cleveland's interior defense was putrid — especially the total lack of communication between Zydrunas Ilgauskas and Drew Gooden. As a result, the baseline rotations were either late or non-existent, with Z showing to help on ball penetration and not being able to recover back to his man, and with Gooden nowhere in sight.

Last year's Cavs team, which reached the NBA Finals, never had a bad half of interior defense. Ever.

Not that the rest of the Cavs fared much better — especially in their inability to prevent the Mavericks' ball-handlers from penetrating deep into the lane. Nor was the Cavs perimeter defense any more efficient. For the game, Dallas knocked down half of their eighteen 3-pointers, with most of them launched under little (or no) pressure.

Also the first time this has happened to Cleveland since the 2005-06 season. It's looking bleak.

For sure, the Cavs did tighten up their defense in the second half,

Whoa whoa whoa! Don't backtrack, Charley! It's over and we all know it. Get those tickets and jerseys on EBay, Cavs fans. Get off the bandwagon while there's still time.

LeBron James was downright awful — 2-11, 4 assists, 5 turnovers, and only 10 points.

Trade him.

As the game progressed, the Cavs' "revised offense" was identical to last season's schemes.

How dare they play like that again! It's not like it got them anywhere. I'm surprised they didn't demolish their arena and build a new one in the offseason in an attempt to turn their fortunes around. Their zero season conference title drought is borderline embarrassing.

Daniel Gibson looked lost out there — 3-6, four assists, eight points.

Choke job.

He had difficulty staying in front of Devin Harris,

Cut him.

but doesn't everybody?

No. Only Daniel Gibson, only tonight.

Larry Hughes shot the ball like he was trying to join the bricklayers union — 2-13, seven points.

Get it? Bricklayers? As in, basketball players who frequently miss shots? It's a slang term- how cutting edge. This is the kind of stuff the youth today wants to read.

Devin Brown showed impressive quickness — 2-5, five points. But he did little else.

Donyell Marshall — 2-5, five points — was repeatedly chumped when Nowitzki took him into the pivot.

Damon Jones — 3-5, eight points — hit a pair of meaningless treys, and was toasted by everybody he tried to guard.

No sarcasm, these aren't very good. Still... it was one fucking game.

Okay, James is allowed to have bad games. Trouble is that when he's not brilliant, the Cavs are in deep trouble.

When (name of their biggest star) isn't brilliant, three quarters of the teams in the league are in deep trouble.

And except for frequently running LBJ into the low-post, the Cavs' offense looks just as stagnant as it did too often last season.

The situation is hopeless. It's almost like a horrible car crash; I want to turn away, but I can't, because it's too horrific. Cavs owners, have you considered moving the team to Canada?

Anyway, one ball game does not a season make.

That's a good poi- wait, WHAT? Are you serious? Losing to one of the top 3 teams in the league on opening night doesn't determine your entire season? Well, I'll tell you this- back in good ol' days of Wilt and Kareem, back when players called their own fouls and you were allowed to dive at your opponents' knees when they were cutting through the lane, things were totally different. If this Cavs team had put up this kind of performance in 1968, LeBron would have kneed Gibson in the balls after the game.

But unless something dramatic and unforeseen happens between now and next spring, the Cavs most relevant motto just might be: "Wait till last year."

I have a feeling something very undramatic and foreseen (at least by me) will happen to the Cavs. Stick with me now: They will eventually resign holdouts Anderson Varejao and/or Sasha Pavlovic, be basically the same team they were last year, play some games against teams that aren't nearly unstoppable in the regular season, and win 50ish games again. See how that works? It's called small sample sizes don't usually reflect season long performance. Use your brain, Rosen.

I realize this is a relatively low quality post, filled mostly with poorly written and unfunny sarcasm. I just couldn't help it. Let me explain it to you this way: when two 0-1 NFL teams are squaring off in week 2, and analysts make ridiculous statements like "This is pretty much a must-win for both teams... that sounds reactionary, but it's true" it absolutely infuriates me. No. No it is not a must-win. For either team. Same general idea applies here, only moreso, because there are 5 times as many NBA games as NFL games in a season. You can start 0-5 and still high step to the playoffs when you have Cleveland's talent (and more importantly, play in the Eastern Conference). Let's not go shitting ourselves just yet, even though the Cavs got blown out by the Mavericks on opening night. Please.


pnoles said...

Oh.....I don't know about this one Larry. Last season the Bulls destroyed the returning champion Miami Heat by 40-ish points on opening night and then swept them in the first round of the playoffs. Coincidence? I think not!

You'll be hearing it from me if the Cavs are swept in the first round!

(which, at this point, isn't exactly a bad prediction)

Drew said...

Charley Rosen is the same guy who thought that Lebron, coming out of high school, would be an average talent.

Yes, he said that!

Since then, he spends an inordinate amount of time trashing the Cavs. He sucks