Friday, June 29, 2007


Ohio State's hero of the NCAA Tournament, Ron Lewis, unfortunately went undrafted yesterday. I was shocked because Lewis has a nice outside shot and he can drive the lane to create shots. I had assumed somebody would select him and take a chance. But nobody did.

However, the rumor is that Lewis is working out for the Cavaliers (I know the guy behind the guy behind the guy).

Would it be something huge? No. But it would add a decent outside shooter to the roster at am inexpensive price.

Go for it, Danny Ferry. Sign the guy and see what happens!

The Day After

The Cavaliers didn't have a selection in this year's NBA Draft, so I didn't really get the opportunity to dwell into it. So today, I take a look at the day after and I focus on the team that will probably challenge the Cavs in the East for the next few years, the Chicago Bulls.

Yeah, I took the image from the 80s Made-For-TV movie. But the image might as well summarize how the city of Chicago feels on The Day After their draft.

Seriously, I'm laughing my ass off over that draft.

Joakim Noah? BWAHAHAHAHAHA!!!!!!!!!!!

The Bulls had a prime opportunity to pick up a quality player to help out an already up-and-coming contender, and they fell flat on their faces. Joakim Noah made his name in college basketball by being a jackass and by out-hustling college players. Whenever he came up against a quality opponent, he got his ass handed to him.

Find me a team on Florida's schedule that had NBA talent on it, and I'll show you a game where Noah was invisible. Ohio State is a perfect example. Noah scored 15 points against the Buckeyes....7 in the first game, 8 in the second.

Sure, he looked great scoring 24 against Ole Miss and 19 against Vanderbilt. But against Purdue and the now-Seattle Sonic Carl Landry...9 points. UCLA and the Detroit Pistons' new player Arron Affalo...8 points. The list goes on and on.

Ohio State had three players who are now in the NBA. What's this kid going to do when he sees 5 NBA players on the floor against him at the same time?

This pick will be a major bust, and the boys at the Bulls blog know it;

"...this is a DREADFUL pick"
"Noah is the biggest loudmouth in the draft"
"pax has lost his mind. this is a horrible pick"
"noah will play 5 mins a night, maybe block a shot, get 3 fouls 4 rebounds and sit down."

Of course, the biggest horse's ass over there thinks the Bulls will "develop him into Jordan". Seriously, he said that....I guess you just can't reason with stupidity.

Anyway, on a day that the Cavs were not going to take part and I only had my eyes on the Buckeyes, it was nice to see a rival jump headfirst into loserville. The Cavaliers road to the Finals in 2008 is not in any more danger since the Bulls wasted their pick like that.

New addition

I've added a new link to my blogroll, and I felt it worth a front-page mention as well.

Buckeye Lane has just been spotted on my radar, and I'm shocked that I hadn't seen it before.

Go check it out and show them some love!

My apologies to Daequan Cook

Heading into the off-season of college basketball, I was looking over the players for Ohio State and was hoping that the Bucks would be able to keep the team together. Hell, I thought Greg Oden would stay.

When I based myself in reality, I knew Oden and Conley Jr. would end up leaving. They ended up being drafted 1st and 4th in tonight's draft.

But when Daequan Cook announced he would leave and declare eligibility for the NBA Draft, I laughed. No way did I think Cook was ready for the NBA and no way did I think he'd go in either of the two rounds.

My profound apologies to Cook and his family.

Cook was drafted in the FIRST round tonight, and he's packing his bags for Miami. The Heat obtained Cook in a trade (after being drafted by Philadelphia).

3 Buckeyes in the first BASKETBALL?

Nice recruiting, Thad. Keep it up!

Monday, June 25, 2007

The Detroit Pistons implosion - Step 3

Step One was when the Cavaliers punished them, and the world watched the team self-destruct on the court.

Step Two was when they dealt Carlos Delfino for two second-round picks (in the next decade).

Step Three of the implosion of the Detroit Pistons took place this morning...Chauncey Billups opted out of his contract for the 2007-2008 season. He's free to sign with anybody he wants now.

Of course, the Pistons are acting all "we know he'll re-sign with us", but they're likely playing a fool's game now. Billups is gone. He's in it for the money, and no amount of "I want to stay in Detroit" talk can cover that up now. If he wanted to stay in Detroit, he'd have stayed in his contract. He wants the payday and he'll take it wherever it comes up. He's officially a hired gun now.

Most likely, another team will offer him a lot of money and he'll go play elsewhere (his contract was to pay him just under 7 million next season. He's projected to draw between 9-12 million now).

Memphis and Milwaukee have enough salary cap space to grab his attention, but there are plenty of teams who can use various clauses in their NBA contracts to pull together a very attractive deal. Obviously, I'm looking at Cleveland. The Cavs have a couple of options they can use to pull together a comfortable salary....but will they go for it?

The Cavs are 2 million under the cap now, but have the ability to use their Mid-Level Salary Exception and their Bi-Annual Exception, which will add around 5 million dollars of wiggle room to stay legal. That already frees up a total of 7 million dollars to sign a new player (or work in a trade). Clearly, the Cavs would need to trade away some talent and get nothing in return to clear out extra space, if they want Billups.

It's possible, but I don't see it happening for the Cavaliers. But I wouldn't be surprised if Milwaukee pulls the strings and makes a run with Michael Redd and Billups at the helm.

Tuesday, June 19, 2007

RIP, Terry Hoeppner

Indiana University has lost their football coach.

Terry Hoeppner, who has been battling brain cancer, lost the battle this morning at the way-too-young age of 59. Hoeppner had only been the coach at Indiana for slightly more than two years, but players and assitant coaches claim he has left a positive mark on the Hoosier squad. I have to agree with that.

Hoeppner knew the importance of tradition and symbolism, something that had been missing at IU, at least in the football department. He proposed the idea of a large limestone rock to be placed inside Memorial Stadium. It may sound hokey, but that's the type of symbol that rallies teams for years and years.

Think of the sign inside Notre Dame's locker room - "Play like a champion today" - not a player walks out of that locker room without laying a palm on that sign. Of all the traditions that Notre Dame has, that's the one that brings players to the peak of emotion.

Indiana has their symbol, thanks to Hoeppner. It may have taken his sad passing to cement the symbolism of the rock, but it's there now. That's heart-rendering to any true fan of college football.

The thoughts and prayers of The BBC go out to Hoeppner's friends and family.

Monday, June 18, 2007

A message from Dan Gilbert

Dan Gilbert, majority owner of the Cleveland Cavaliers, has posted a message on You have GOT to appreciate an owner who speaks like this. The guy's a fan of the game and of his team, and like all of us, he's happy, but not satisfied with what we accomplished.

Cleveland Cavaliers Fans Across The Land,

Finishing as the second seed in the East with another 50 win season is good.

Winning three straight playoff series and the Eastern Conference Championship for the first time in the Cavaliers’ 37 year history is good.

Playing in the NBA Finals for the first time ever is good.

But it is still not good enough.

The tree is growing, indeed, and we are very proud of this team, the coaching staff and the entire organization.

As we said when we bought this franchise, we have one mission:


This year, we climbed to the center stage of professional basketball: The NBA Finals. As we all know, we were not quite able to climb the final step of the mountain and raise the Larry O'Brien Trophy in Cleveland........ yet. We came a lot closer than the pundits, the naysayers and the muckrakers want to give us credit for, but in the end it will be our ability to climb that final step and bring the championship here to Cleveland that will ultimately be “the diff”.

Progress? Yes.

Growth? Yes.

Priceless Experience? You bet.

We are building a long term culture of winning at the Cleveland Cavaliers. A culture of TEAM. A culture of respect, integrity, community and selflessness. A culture that produces championships.

You saw the team we played that just won their fourth NBA Championship in nine seasons. You saw how they play. You “witnessed” how they conduct themselves on and off the court. You saw how they NEVER let up for one second or one play. They have learned over the years, that it is truly the “inches” that separate the championship teams and organizations from the rest. (as it is in life).

How close is one team from another in the NBA?

Taking nothing away from the Spurs, and as an illustration of how close this game of basketball really is.....and how these “inches” matter so much all of the time...

The Spurs scored on average 1.5 total points per quarter more than the Cavs for the entire series. That’s LESS than one basket made per quarter. It’s two more 3-point makes per game. It’s one more 2-point basket every 16 minutes of the game!

And that is why these playoffs and the Finals experience have been so critically important for the Cleveland Cavaliers. We will learn from this. We will grow from this. We will take that “final step” and realize that the final “step” may not even be a “step” but, rather, an inch here, and an inch there.

Everyone in our entire organization will always ask themselves: “What did we do that worked?”........ “What areas should we look to improve?” This will happen even after we win championships.

On the court. In the Arena. On television. In the box office. Behind the counter. Everywhere.

That’s how teams and organizations become great. By bathing in a culture of curiosity and always seeking to find a better way.

Your enthusiastic and overwhelming support during the regular season and all the way through The Finals was exhilarating. It was truly very special watching the fans and the greater Cleveland region and beyond rally around the Cavaliers. On behalf of the players, the “team behind the team” and the ownership group:


You are the fuel that runs our entire engine. Words alone do not express our gratitude.

When you believe it, then you will see it.

I have zero doubt our time is coming soon. Together we will make it so.

15 weeks until training camp opens....ARE YOU READY?

Dan Gilbert
Chairman and Majority Owner
Cleveland Cavaliers

Personally, I am ready. I know my readers are, too!

Friday, June 15, 2007

The Pistons destruction begins in reality

From the instant the Cavaliers eliminated the Detroit Pistons (wait, let me say that again....the Cavaliers eliminated the Detroit Pistons.....ah, that felt good), I was posting the various ways the Pistons run was over.

Step one is complete. Carlos Delfino has been traded to Toronto for two second-round picks, one each in 2009 and 2010.

Basically, since the Raptors have a future in the East, we're looking at a low pick in each draft. So the Pistons gave up Delfino and in exchange get the 50th best player in the college draft two years from now and the 50th best player in the college draft three years from now.

Ha ha.

You can't be serious

My friends and co-workers don't know me very well.

I've been getting calls and text messages since last night, asking me if I'm OK. People know how much I love my Cavaliers, and I think they're just malking sure to try and cheer me up. I have news for them, and for all of you.

I don't need to be cheered up. Why the hell would I?

My favorite NBA team just played in the NBA Finals for the first time ever. They are the Eastern Conference Champions, and NOBODY expected them to be. How could I not smile from ear-to-ear about that?

Yeah, I know the Spurs swept them in 4 games and two of the games weren't close....but the Spurs are a better team, and have the Finals experience. Plus, the Spurs are not a team you can hate (unless you live in Phoenix). It's a nice bunch of guys who play well as a team and they aren't at all arrogant about it. It's not like losing to the Detroit Pistons or the Chicago Bulls (and their fans who seem to think they accomplished something in the past 10 years).

Where we stand today is perfect for this year. I expected improvement every season with LeBron James as their leader, and I've got it. Now I look forward to 2007-2008 where we must improve on a 50-win season and a trip to The Finals. And I know I'll get it. This team knows how to learn from past failures, and they will succeed. You need proof? Look at last year's Pistons series vs. this year's Pistons series.

I looked at every team in the NBA yesterday, and I can only think of five teams that can possibly be satisfied today. Here's the list;

- The Cleveland Cavaliers. Two years ago they missed the playoffs, and now they own a Championship.
- The San Antonio Spurs. For obvious reasons.
- The Utah Jazz. Two years ago, they were 26-56. Lat year they missed the playoffs at 41-41. This year they made the west Finals.
- The Golden State Warriors. It took a five-game win streak to get the final playoff spot, and they went out and beat the pre-crowned champions. Bonus points for making Mark Cuban whine.
- The Portland Trailblazers. They played so badly that they get to have Greg Oden. That's gotta make all eighteen of their fans happy.

Any other team in the NBA can look back and say they're satisfied....they're lying. All the rest of the teams only have trivial successes to be happy about.

Looking back at the past year, I'm not going to complain. My Buckeyes won the Big Ten football championship, made the National Championship game, and beat Michigan. My Buckeyes won the Big Ten basketball championship, beat Michigan twice, beat Wisconsin twice, and made the National Championship game. My Cavaliers got the 2-seed in the east, possibly ruined the Pistons for 5 years, and won the Eastern Conference Championship. My Indians are currently in first place, 2 games ahead of the Tigers.

So if you know me, or at least know who I am, don't worry about calling me to ask if I'm OK. I'm doing just fine today.

Monday, June 11, 2007

Reality with a big slice of hope

Rewatching Game 2 this morning....and there's a lot to be said.

It's obvious, from watching the first three quarters, that San Antonio is more talented and more experienced than the Cavaliers. It's also obvious, from watching the fourth quarter, that we belong in the NBA Finals.

Last night we just didn't have that final push to win the game. Nobody, and I mean NOBODY thought we would have a shot heading into the final quarter. But then the rally came, and all of a sudden it was a game again. When the Spurs were hoping to give their stars a rest, they were forced to stay in a game they thought was long over.

But reality is setting in on these Finals. The Spurs are indeed a better team than the Cavaliers, but there is hope.

The Cavs are clearly the best team in the Eastern Conference. They proved that to the world this season. But if they want to win the Finals, it is going to take one of two things;

1) a rally over the next five games worthy of ESPN Classics
2) One more player to give LeBron that extra weapon.

We have plenty of players who provide plenty of support, but there's just one element missing. Are they enough?

We thought that Larry Hughes was that player. It turned out that Hughes is the guy who got us this far, but he's struggling as we reach the pinnacle.

Sasha Pavlovic has a future in this league, and he desperately wants to win. He has the drive, the desire, and the talent. But he lacks the focus. He's not yet polished enough to make the plays he's trying to make. He will someday, but that's not this week. Keep working with LeBron,'ll get there.

Daniel Gibson is still too much of a rookie to make an accurate assessment. I stand by my belief that he will be the Cavaliers' version of Scottie Pippen, but it's still too early to tell.

Drew Gooden is an excellent role player. He's exactly what we need him to be, and I am always happy with his performance.

Zydrunas Ilgauskas is among the best centers in the league, but he's getting outplayed this week. With his age, he's going to be more of an anchor as time rolls on. Perhaps this is the area where we need to work on creating our much-needed additional element? That's not my decision to make, and I adore Z, but we're now at a point where we need to get the title. Can we do it with the team we have now?

The NBA Finals are a tremendous learning experience for us.

In 2005 we missed the playoffs by one game, and it hurt. But it gave us hunger to make the playoffs, and we learned from that hunger.
In 2006 we made the playoffs, and we were outplayed by the Pistons. Inexperience led to crucial mistakes, and we were eliminated. But we learned from that.
This year, we used our new found knowledge to take over the East and finally knock off the detested Pistons. But we're inexperienced with the Finals, and it shows.

If we fall in the Finals this year, we will learn from it. This team shows a great propensity to learn, and they will again.

Of course, this team also shows an ability to rise up when everybody counts them out.

Game 3 is tomorrow night, and this one is not over. We need to hold home court and win one in San Antonio. I for one, believe we still can. The fourth quarter last night gave me that hope.

Saturday, June 09, 2007

It's all about adjustments

OK, so that was ugly in Game 1. We had ourselves a back-and-forth battle going on for a while, but the Spurs experience (and overall greatness) took over the game in a 6-10 minute span and put enough distance between the teams to win the game.

San Antonio opened up the game on fire, making several great plays in a row, but the Cavaliers stayed with them, almost play for play. We had ourselves a game, it looked like, but we needed to control our defense better. We did, and we went into halftime only down by five.

The Spurs did the same thing opening up the second half, but this time, we didn't match their effort. They pulled away and by the time we went on our own run, there wasn't enough time left on the clock.

That's the nice way of putting it.

What I saw Thursday night was a Cavaliers team play their worst game in a long time.....and they only lost by 9 points.

- LeBron missed his first 8 shots and ended up 25% from the floor.
- Z scored only 2 points, was a no-show on the glass, and missed 7 of his 8 FG attempts.
- Drew Gooden was awful on defense, leaving his post numerous times and allowing easy inside baskets.
- Sasha Pavlovic tried to do things out of his range. Driving inside and trying wild shots against this team will not fly.
- Larry Hughes tried so hard to play defense that he forgot about his offense. If we're going to have that, we should put Eric Snow in the starting lineup. Snow's defense is incredible, and if we're leaving the offense on the backburner, why not Snow?

With all this from their starting five, you would expect to lose to the Spurs by more than nine....but this is why I'm hopeful. We played bad, and we were within striking range in the end.

I'm optimistic about the Cavaliers chances, but they have GOT to make several key adjustments for Game 2, or this series could get away from us before we even see the comforts of Quicken Loans Arena.

I know we will do better in Game 2, especially LeBron. Take a look at Game 1 play this year for LBJ;

Against Washington - James tweaked his ankle and scored "only" 23 points, mostly in the second half as Cleveland pulled away late.
Against New Jersey - James shot only 8-21 from the floor.
Against Detroit - James scored only 10 points, shooting 5-15 from the floor.
Against San Antonio - James scores only 14 points on 25% shooting.

Arguably, James had his four worst games of the playoffs in the opening game of each round. And he always seems to shine after he's seen what the opponent has to offer.

James averages 17 points per game in Game 1
James averages 28 points per game in every other game.

More "improvements after Game 1" to look at;

Against Washington, the Cavs scored 97 points in Game 1. It was their lowest point total of the series.
Against New Jersey, the Cavs scored 81 points in Game 1. Only in the abhorrent Game 5 did they score lower.
Against Detroit, the Cavs scored 76 points in Game 1. It was their lowest point total of the series.

I'm optimistic, but I'm realistic. The Cavs did better after Game 1 in the Eastern Conference playoffs because they made adjustments going into Game 2. They have to do it again, or we'll only be raising 1 banner next year, for the Eastern Championship.

Thursday, June 07, 2007

Bill Simmons - Macho Business Donkey Wrestler

ESPN writer Bill Simmons has just released an article that demeans Cavs fans as "fools" for believing our team can win The Finals.

However, Simmons contradicts himself in the article, and it appears as if he just had a bunch of used-up jokes that he needed to recycle before their expiration date, so he decided to write them all up in one lengthy diatribe about how badly he wants to blow Gregg Popovich.

Take this for example;

This isn't baseball, where an underdog from an inferior league can catch fire for a few weeks and win the title (see: the 2006 Cardinals).
Which was followed up later by this;
In a two-month stretch from Feb. 13 to April 13, (the Spurs) kicked it into fifth gear by going 25-3 (including a 13-game winning streak), shifted into neutral for the last three games (all losses) with a No. 3 seed locked up, then kicked it back up into fifth by going 12-4 against Denver, Phoenix and Utah in the playoffs.

Here's the point: Throw out those cruise-control games and the Spurs are 37-7 since Feb. 13.
So, let me get this straight...the Cavs are doomed because getting hot at the right time doesn't guarantee a championship, but the Spurs are going to win a championship because they are hot at the right time.


Also, Simmons says he picks the Spurs because in 2003......
Everyone who picked the Nets in either one of those series felt like a complete imbecile afterward. You know why I know this? Because I picked the '03 Nets to win in six games.
So because you went with the underdog once and got burned, you're calling US fools for going with the underdog this time? Anybody else get the feeling that this guy spent a lot of summer nights stalking ex-girlfriends for standing him up on prom night? Get over yourself, Bill. The Nets lost that series, not you.

Finally, Simmons comes up with this gem, making me realize that he never watched the Eastern Conference Playoffs;
Somehow, the Cavs made it through the entire playoffs without facing a team that could (A) attack them with a penetrating point guard (taking advantage of their lack of shotblocking and lack of a true point guard), (B) make LeBron work on defense, and (C) trap LeBron and force his teammates to beat them.
(A) Nobody attacked us with a penetrating point guard? Hello?????

Jason Kidd?
Vince Carter?
Chauncey Billups?
Any of these guys make an All-Star team ever?

(B) Make LeBron work on defense?

Detroit's own Tayshaun Prince can tell you that Simmons is knee-deep in his own bullshit. Prince shot 46% from the field this year (47% for his career). But he was being defended by LeBron James. In the 6-game series, Prince was held to 24% shooting. Do you think that might have had anything to do with the defense of LeBron James, and the 16 steals he had against Detroit?

You tell me.

(C) Trap LeBron and force his teammates to beat them?

Yeah. Whatever.

Ask Daniel Gibson about that one.
Or Donyell Marshall in Game 6 of the Nets series.
Or Drew Gooden and his double-double in Game 1 of the Nets series.
Or Larry Hughes and his 27 point/7 rebound game in the playoffs opening night.

Translation. Simmons is a hack.


Bonus points if you can tell me where I got the idea for my headline.

I've got your story right here.....

In the lead-up to the Finals, and especially during the games, interesting storylines are ALWAYS being reported on. Sometimes they get a little ridiculous.

I wouldn't be surprised if I saw a story about how on April 25th, which is Tim Duncan's birthday, George Gervin once scored 25 points and then later went on to win the Finals. That's how hard they have to stretch it at times. (yes, I know Gervin never won an NBA title, I'm being facetious)

Seriously, count how many times they tell you that Eva Longoria is engaged to Tony Parker. I mean, who would ever DREAM that a hot woman would be dating a professional athlete?

OK, want a storyline? I've got one for you. Be ready.

- LeBron James' longtime girlfriend, Shannon, is 8 and a half months pregnant.
- She is due to give birth on June 17th.
- June 17th is the scheduled day for Game 5 in Cleveland.
- June 17th is also.....Father's Day!

Are you following me?

Think about it....if the Cavaliers win one game in San Antonio, you can start the stories about how LeBron James can hold the Finals Championship Trophy for the first time ever, a mere hours before he holds his newborn son for the first time ever....on Father's Day.

Wednesday, June 06, 2007

A bold prediction

Two years ago, as the 05-06 season was about to begin, the Cavaliers filmed and released a commercial featuring their new Head Coach, Mike Brown.

Keep in mind, as you watch this commercial, that the Cavaliers had just finished the previous year at 42-40, and did not even make the playoffs. Making the NBA playoffs was the next goal for this team, and they were making some pretty bold statements by bringing in Brown and broadcasting this commercial.

Looking back, that was pretty darn prophetic, if you ask me.

This goes beyond "consistent improvement"

LeBron James and I are on the same page. When he was first drafted, I was not ready to say that the Cavaliers were on their way to an NBA title. All I really wanted was consistent improvement from year to year. Apparently, James has been saying the same thing.

The year before he was drafted, the Cavaliers were 17-65.
In 2003-04, the Cavs went 35-47, an 18-game improvement.
In 2004-05, the Cavs went 42-40, a 7-game improvement.
In 2005-06, the Cavs went 50-42, an 8-game improvement. They also made the playoffs, and advanced to the second round.

So when this year came about, I expected us to win at least 50 games and advance to the Eastern Conference Finals. That would have continued the pattern. Winning the ECF was bonus, and it was even sweeter than we won it against the Pistons.

We have already accomplished the level of improvement that LeBron expects from the Cavaliers, but it is not enough. It is not enough for him and as a huge Cavs fan, it is not enough for me either. I want the championship.

LeBron James has already proven to the entire NBA that he is the superstar of this league. He led a horrible team to the Finals in only four years, something that even Michael Jordan did not do. They will talk about the way he has led this team for a long, long time.

But it is not enough. Not until we climb that last mountain.

Tuesday, June 05, 2007

Off day thoughts

Tomorrow, I'll post my thoughts on The Finals. Obviously, I'm biased so I'm picking the Cavaliers. But I'll tell you why starting tomorrow. Here's more reasons to celebrate, though.....

I've been reporting that the Pistons are about to be dismantled (realistically, not in the metaphoric way the Cavaliers dismantled them). More and more evidence is popping up that the bitches from the north are finished as a power in the East.

- Detroit management is standing by Head Coach Flip Saunders at this time, but nobody really expects that to last. After The Finals are over, I'd expect an announcement regarding the search for a new head coach.

- With Saunders staying, official reports are in that Rasheed Wallace is as good as traded. Last week, I said I wanted to see him suffer with a pack of scrubs for teammates. I may get my wish. The New York Knicks want him.

- Chauncey Billups is playing the pronoun game, doing his best to avoid answering the "will you stay" question that keeps popping up. He's a free agent now, and he responds with phrases like "I want to finish my career in Detroit, but we'll see what happens". Folks, I used to be a politician, so I understand mincing your words...I know EXACTLY what Billups means. He's gone.

- Chris Webber didn't even show up for the final team meeting. He's retired, count on it.

- Here's another to add to the list. Antonio McDyess is placing one foot out the door. He was quoted as saying "my career is at the end" on the Detroit news yesterday.

These are all huge signs, and the biggest Pistons fan I've ever seen knows it. Natalie, who runs Need4Sheed, summarized it best;

This version of the Detroit Pistons is over. When the roof keeps caving in year after year, knock the damn thing down and start with a new foundation. You can only patch up the holes so many times before the waters rush in...the Pistons had too many holes and Saturday night and the world watched them sink.

Natalie runs a great site (and she got me good when I improperly posted a picture from her site), but her followers are as big of whiners as Rasheed is. However, Natalie never makes excuses and she knows her basketball.

Ever since '04 we have all been living on fantasy island. Anytime the Pistons lost a game, we blamed it on the refs, we said they weren't playing hard enough, we convinced ourselves, despite seeing them choke year after year, that they were unbeatable and guaranteed the Championship to anyone who would listen....but they lost...again and again. Let's take off our Blue and Red colored glasses and examine what's really going on. The edge is gone.

Honestly, if Natalie says it's over, it's over. She bleeds for that team, and she can tell you that unless management retools the whole place, it's only going to get worse. Much as I want to giggle at her pain, she's right.

ne more comment regarding schadenfreude (definition - taking pleasure at someone else's pain), Cincinnati Bengals linebacker Odell Thurman has been accused of assault. I think that's 9 or 10 Bengals who are facing felonies in recent months. The Bengals have announced that they will no longer do player introductions before the game. Instead, they'll just have their parole officers step forward and vouch for their whereabouts.

Sunday, June 03, 2007

Best home video of the night

More happy thoughts

I've watched the game again (replayed the 4th quarter three times), and I'm still smiling. It's like watching a great movie again and again and discovering new things that you didn't see the first time. There's so much to discuss that we could blog for weeks about last night alone.

More thoughts;

- LeBron James provided the best celebration moment during the game in my opinion. With 10 and a half minutes left, he leapt around Wallace and stole the ball, with nobody between him and the basket. For some stupid reason, Lindsey Hunter decided to foul him during the layup. LeBron hit the ground, did a backroll to his feet and immediately pointed towards the crowd with both hands. The crowd, already surging with adrenalin from the made basket, went insane. It was exactly the type of feeling we hoped to have when we drafted the kid four years ago, and he gave it to us in style.

- The "blow up the Pistons" talk is in full swing already. Chauncey Billups is a free agent and will draw top dollar offers from at least five teams. Chris Webber is being discussed and the word "retirement" is being spoken frequently. Flip Saunders is (unofficially) being given directions to the unemployment office. And some are suggesting that Piston front office management is tired of Rasheed Wallace's antics and may be looking to trade him.

- Saunders should go for many reasons, but one of the biggest mistakes of the night last night was his failure to take Wallace out of the game after his fifth foul. Sit him down, get in his ear and try to calm him down for a couple of minutes. Instead, Saunders left him in, and 15 seconds after his 5th foul, he was tackling LeBron for his 6th foul, freaking out on the referees, getting ejected, and effectively ending any hope Detroit had this season. I blame Wallace for the freak-out, but Saunders KNOWS Wallace. He should have seen that outburst coming and made moves to prevent it from happening.

- Remember when you were a kid and you'd pretend that the floor was made of hot lava and if you fell off the couch you fall into a volcano? I always thought that Damon Jones played that same game, except he would fall into the volcano if he shot the ball from inside the 3-point line. Imagine my surprise when he drove for a open layup midway through the 4th quarter.

- 4th quarter scoring - Daniel Gibson 19, Detroit Pistons 16.

- Former Cavalier Ronald Murray signed with Detroit over the summer to win a championship, right? Sucks for you, Flip. The Pistons claimed they signed him to help with the depth of their bench.

- Bench points - Cleveland 43, Detroit 15

- Anybody else wonder how Carlos Boozer feels this morning?

- They say that 10% of the population is non-heterosexual. So when a basketball game is taking place, the law of averages says that one player on the court falls into that category. If you're watching the game and you start to look for that one player, you probably don't need to look very far if Carlos Delfino is getting game time.

- In Game 4, Drew Gooden fouled Wallace in what looked a little like....let's call it "having relations in prison". I thought that was the best foul of the series. At least I did until Sasha Pavlovic took a flying leap towards the basket and he introduced his knee to Webber's sack.

- Watch this video. It'll make you smile. It was filmed last night outside of The Q.

I'm not sleeping and I can't stop smiling

We still have four more games to win, and yes I know we can win The NBA Finals this season. We weren't supposed to beat the Pistons (find me a national sportswriter that picked the Cavs before the series), and we could have won all 6 games. Now they say we're not supposed to beat the Spurs. I'm not buying it. Don't underestimate this team.

Other thoughts about tonight;

- The Finals are a 2-3-2 series. We play games 1 and 2 in San Antonio, then get the next three at home. This benefits the Cavaliers greatly.
- Is Daniel Gibson the Cavaliers version of Scottie Pippen? It's too early to tell, but Jordan wasn't about to win any titles until he got Pippen. LeBron needs at least one quality player, and Gibson is the guy who has decided to step up.
- Through six games, there wasn't a single moment without tension. The games were always so close, so intense. It felt great to have the final four minutes of Game 6 to celebrate.
- The Cavs have now won 16 out of their last 20 games. Any team that wins 80% of their games at the end of the year can clearly be called "peaking".
- Pistons fans are already blaming the officials. Maybe they should look at the rebounding statistics. Cleveland 53, Detroit 33.
- Head Coach Mike Brown is still in his second year as a Cavalier, but he now leads the team in all-time playoff wins. His 19 wins moved him past Lenny Wilkens, whom I believe was our greatest coach.
- LeBron James is 19-10 in the playoffs in just his fourth year. Michael Jordan was 5-15 in the playoffs during his first four years.
- Rasheed Wallace is officially suspended for the season opener of the 2007-2008 season. What a jackass.
- Wallace's outburst was pure selfishness and showed his inability to think of his team. Had the Pistons come back (they were only down 12 with 8 minutes to play) and won Game 6, Wallace's tantrum guaransheed that he was suspended for any potential Game 7.
- Eric Snow didn't get much game time this series. Look for that to change against the Spurs. He'll get in often to stop either Tony Parker or Manu Ginobili.
- Chauncey Billups played his last game as a Detroit Piston tonight. The rumor was that he'd bolt if they failed to make the NBA Finals, and he's not going to stick around, especially if Flip Saunders is still their coach. He's a free agent now and he won't be in a Piston uniform again.
- Chris Webber still doesn't have any championships in his whole life. He's also a free agent, and if he signs with the Pistons again, the odds are he'll never get one. This alone leads me to think he'll go play somewhere else.
- The Tigers beat the Indians tonight, and nobody cared.
- All the games for The Finals are on ABC, which means that Charles Barkley's season is over before the Cavaliers is. Damn, that feels good.

A reminder for Chris still have no championships, ever

When Chris Webber signed with the Detroit Pistons, he said the following;

"This is the best I've felt in three years," Webber told last week. "Now the thing I want to do most is win a championship, put myself back on that kind of level."

I laughed immediately because Chris Webber has never won ANY form of a championship. He said he wanted to put himself "back on that kind of level", despite the obvious impossibility that you can't put yourself back somewhere when you've never been there in the first place.

No Big Ten Titles.
No NCAA Championships.
No NBA Conference Championships.
No NBA Titles.

And that continues, Chris Webber. You have none. And the state of Ohio owns you.

Saturday, June 02, 2007

Ownership papers could be signed tonight

Last night, Detroit fans grew to hate Cleveland more than they ever have before. Michiganders look at the state to the south and they feel pure frustration.

Detroit sports fans are already stinging from watching the Pistons lose three straight to Cleveland. Then they were forced to watch their Tigers play the Indians again. The Tigers had lost four straight to the Tribe, but this one looked like it would turn out differently. Leading 11-7 in the bottom of the ninth, Detroit called on closer Todd Jones to finish the game and win their first game of the year against the division-leading squad from Cleveland.

Guess what happened? The Tribe scored five runs in the ninth and won 12-11.

And if you were a Tigers fan watching, there was a moment that just HAD to get under your skin....Victor Martinez hit a three-run home run to cut the lead down to one run, and the home run was caught by a guy wearing a "Witness" t-shirt. That's pretty damn funny, if you ask me.

Let's recap recent history of Ohio vs. Michigan.....

- The Cavaliers have won three in a row against the Pistons. A win tonight for the Cavs advances them to The Finals and ends Detroit's season, the fourth time in the last five years they will be knocked out in the Eastern Conference Finals.
- The Indians are 5-0 this year against the Tigers, and they hold a 4.5 game lead over the kitties up north.
- Ohio State football ended all hopes of a Michigan National Championship last year in a 42-39 demolition of the so-called 'greatest defense ever'.
- Buckeye football has won 3 in a row and 5 of 6 against Michigan football.
- Ohio State men's basketball has won 6 in a row against Michigan. The Wolverines last win was in early 2004.
- Ohio State women's basketball has won WAY too many in a row against Michigan. Bill Clinton was President the last time Michigan won.

Tonight, the Cavaliers have a golden opportunity to win at home and go to the NBA Finals. And if they do, the entire state of Michigan may implode from the weight of all that frustration.

Remember how we used to despise the Chicago Bulls when they beat us so many times in the playoffs? Wouldn't it feel great to know that somebody else hates us like that?

Friday, June 01, 2007

I was wrong, and other thoughts

I'll start this off by admitting that I was wrong. After Game 3, I said that LeBron James' dunk over Rasheed Wallace was the defining moment of this series. BOY, was I wrong! There's a whole new set of defining moments, and in fact many are calling Game 5 the defining game of a career.

Other thoughts from last night;

- The series has run the same as last year, and we are in the same position. Last year we blew it. However, it is overwhelmingly clear that we are a better team than we were last year.
- Free throw shooting nearly killed us. We were 2-for-9 in the fourth quarter.
- We won that game with only two starters on the court at the end of the game. Ilgauskas fouled out, Gooden fouled out, and Larry Hughes had his night end early as his foot injury flared up. Our sixth man, Daniel Gibson, also fouled out.
- Yes, as I stated last night, King James now has a Palace under his control.
- As amazing as LeBron James was last night, we did try to spread the ball around. Sasha Pavlovic had three straight plays set up for him, and he missed all three shots. Anderson Varejao also had three separate plays set up for him inside, but two deflected passes and a fumbled ball ended those. LeBron James didn't score 25 straight because he was selfish, he did it because he HAD to.
- Antonio McDyess deserves to be suspended for Game 6. I think he will sit the bench for his violent attack. It's not so much for the shot to AVs throat, it's the way McDyess spun and slammed Varejao to the ground.
- Did you see the way the Cavaliers coaches and assistants formed a wall in front of the players after McDyess' assault? Ain't no "Stoudemires" happening here tonight!
- The Pistons have always reverted to thug tactics when they get scared. In 1989, it was Rick Mahorn elbowing Mark Price's head at midcourt. Last year it was Wallace slashing Z's head open with his elbow. This year, we're not going to take it anymore. We'll just whip your ass on the court. Next time flash a gang sign, Pistons. It still won't work. It just pissed off LeBron, and I think you saw what he did after that.
- Chauncey Billups hit a 60-footer right after the buzzer ending the third quarter. But he couldn't hit a 6-footer when it matter the most.
- Reading the Pistons blogs are funny today. "LeBron will never win a ring playing selfish ball like that" was the funniest comment. He just poured in 48 points on a double-team against the best defense in the league. Yeah, he's overhyped. Smoke more weed, Turtle. Seriously. Smoke more weed.
- At least the Bulls best blog managed to squeak out a speck of praise. They're scared about facing LeBron for the next 10 years, and they should be. Payback time for years of Michael Jordan are in your future, Bulls fans. And I was told not to expect Bulls blogs to start talking about the Cavaliers....hmmm, I guess that went out the window. Face it, you can't help but talk about them now.
- Detroit has now played at home in Game 5 four consecutive times. They lost three of them (last night, two weeks ago against Chicago, and last year against the Cavaliers...they won Game 5 against Miami, then lost the series in 6).
- The Cavs are 6-1 at The Q in the playoffs, and they have won 15 out of 19 games overall.
- Detroit knows their time is up now. With the mini-emergence of Chicago and the Cavaliers making a run at overtaking the Pistons, the time at the top has all but dwindled to a close. Look for a serious rebuilding next year. I've heard rumors that Billups may bolt if they don't make The Finals in 2007. Hopefully the retool leaves the biggest tool in place, Wallace. I'd love to see him have to play amongst a pack of scrubs for a couple of years.
- Again I ask....can anyone seriously tell me that LBJ is not the next Michael Jordan? Did Jordan ever score 25 in a row? Did anybody?
- Wherever you are for Game 6, be loud. If you're in a restaurant with TVs, make sure everyone else knows you're watching the game. They'll get into it too. You're witnessing history Saturday night. Enjoy it!
- By the way, the Indians beat the Detroit Tigers again last night, 11-5. That's 4 in a row over the kitties from Michigan.
- This is still a Buckeye blog, so let me remind you....if the Cavaliers win this series, it is part of the saga that completes the ownership deal. Ohio will officially own Michigan. Ted Strickland will call Jennifer Granholm to demand surrender Monday morning.


I'll give a full analysis later, but let me ask you one question.

Can anyone tell me that LeBron James isn't the next Michael Jordan?

He's a freaking GOD, man...a GOD!

Oh, and I have a picture for Andy to put up at My Casual ya go, buddy!

Rise Up? Too late, honey. I've already risen.