Archive for April, 2008

The Cavs made the best trade

This NBA season was one of the most entertaining (although frustrating for Cavs fans) we’ve had in a long time. ESPN’s Bill Simmons as long called the NBA the No Balls Association because of teams unwillingness to pull of big trades. This season there was a slew of trades involving big names. Jason Kidd went to the Mavs, Shaq to the Suns and the Cavs traded away half their team. I’ve said all along (and others have too) that you can’t really evaluate a trade until the playoffs. Well the playoffs are here and the only team of those three that made a big trade still around is the Cavs. Kidd and his Mavs and Shaq and his Suns will watch the rest of the playoffs from the same spot we all are. (Although I’m sure on much nicer TVs and much more comfortable couches.) Not only are those teams out of the playoffs in the first round, but their coaches will soon be out of a job too. 

For all the bickering about the trade, for all the bad loses, for all the chemistry/rotation/defensive/offensive/just plain bad basketball problems, the Cavs trade looks to be the winner of the season. How good it really is will be determined the rest of the playoffs and even next year. 

The Cavs were the only team of the three who’s trade didn’t dramatically change the team’s playing style, which is strange since knocked six guys out of town and brought four in. The Suns all of sudden could run how like to and Mike D’Antoni didn’t know how to coach that team. The Mavs got an old point guard who can’t shoot, can’t play defense and can’t lead a fast break like he could even last year. Avery Johnson didn’t know what to do with a point guard older than him and now he can look forward to getting an offer to coach the Knicks. The Cavs trade kept the same make-up of the team; Defense and let LeBron do whatever he wants. Plus it got rid of Larry Hughes and that alone was worth the risk. 

My point is, the trade gets better and better everyday the Cavs continue to play in these playoffs. It helps to have the best player in the NBA the teams with the MVP the last three years are all home, first round losers, and the Cavs are still going strong. 

As for Game 5, the Cavs are saying all the right things. Of course, they could say anything and it would sound like the right thing considering who is speaking in the other locker room. Remember last year, in the second round, the Cavs had a 3-1 lead over New Jersey and they came out and played their worst game of the playoffs, at home, losing 83-72. They had to go back to New Jersey before finally pulling out the series (thanks Donyell Marshall making more three’s in that game than he did the entire 2008 season). The Cavs remember it. They are making sure it doesn’t happen again. I don’t think LeBron will let it happen again. This isn’t your normal 3-1 series lead. I think LeBron and the rest of the Cavs want to close this series out at home and embarrass the Wizards. They are treating it more like a Game 7 than a Game 5. Get the win, take a few days and wait for the Celtics (but hopefully the Hawks). More than anything else, the Cavs need to win so the Wizards can leave all our lives. If I never hear a comment or quote from Stevenson and/Haywood again, I could be the happiest man in the world. In fact, I’d give three fingers to never hear those names again. 

I hate to “predict” the Cavs to win tonight knowing my track record of predictions coming true (somewhere around 12.5%) but you have to feel good the series ends tonight. LBJ doesn’t think the Wizards can win the series and deep down, the Wizards know they can’t. Let’s just hope Tweedle Dee and Tweedle Dum don’t try to go after the King when the game is long over. If there is a hard foul on LeBron when the Cavs are cruising to victory, they might not make it out of The Q alive.  

“I just have confidence in our team,” LBJ said. “It’s nothing against the Wizards. They’re a great team, but they’ve got to beat us three straight games. I just don’t see that happening. I’m held accountable for out team’s actions, and I’m going to make sure our team maintains focus throughout the next game, and if  it has to be, beyond that.” 

You never pick against LeBron and with that attitude, why would you? 





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Oakley! Oakley!


> I can’t wait until Wednesday night at about 10 pm. That will be when, finally, the Wizards will be on their way home and we won’t have to hear from dumbest team in the history of civilization. I expect the Cavs to win Game 5 and then Brendan Haywood, DeShawn Stevenson and Gilbert Arenas will finally shut up. Well, they may still be talking but no one will be listening. Serious, just shutup. Now Haywood is mocking LeBron James. Talking in a baby voice saying “Ohh, they are trying to hurt me!” Haywood went on to say the stupidest thing ever spoke that almost makes sense but since its coming from this source it is just plain stupid: “C’mon man, this is the playoffs. He wears 23 and he wants to be Michael Jordan. I respect that because he’s a great player. But look what Mike went through. Mike got fouled way worse than this. You know what I’m saying? Nobody is trying to hurt him. Everybody is trying to play basketball, trying to win, trying to play tough. Leave it alone.”

Let’s break down  this ignorant comment. First, I guess since this is the playoffs you are allowed to push a defenseless man while he is in the air or knock him in the head with a forearm when it’s clear you aren’t going for the ball. Second, what does any of this have to do with Michael Jordan? Third, LBJ is only responding to plays that you or your bitchass teammates made, Haywood. 

I can’t believe I’ve spent so much time writing about Brendan Haywood in this blog. BRENDAN FREAKIN HAYWOOD. Who the hell is this guy? I hate him for all his stupid acts he does and stupid things he says but I hate him even more for wasting my time, forcing me to say something about how much I hate him. The Cavs need to win Game 5 if for nothing else, to send Haywood back to irrelevance.

Like I said yesterday, the Cavs need someone to do this hard fouls right back to the Wizards. I thought that’s what Ben Wallace was brought in for but I guess he’s not up to it anymore. You know who would have been and still is… Charles Oakley. I loved Oakley when he played, I’ve always loved his image and I love him even more now. Remember at the beginning of the season he wanted to make a come back and play for the Cavs. How nice would it be to see him out there clotheslining Haywood and Stevenson? Here’s what Oak said on the whole Cavs-Wizards situation:

“None of that would have happened if I was playing because they would have got it the other way. If James was fouled hard with me on the court, it would’ve been taken care of, no matter how many fines David Stern would’ve given me. I once told him that I have a job to do and he has a job to do, and my job is to do whatever I can to help my team win, including protecting my teammates.

“How can Stevenson call anyone overrated when he should be happy he’s even in the league? LeBron should not stoop down to the Wizards’ level. He’s a superstar and will always be a superstar. LeBron shouldn’t waste his time with them. Just play ball. Washington will be home soon, and if they have a problem with what I’ve said, I’m easy to find.”

I don’t think anyone will, Oak. Well said.


A few random thoughts…

> How about them Hawks?!?! 

> A good playoff showing from the Nuggets. Well done AI, ‘Melo. Way to make the entire nation hate you and love the Golden State Warriors more. They would have been a much better playoff team.

> Pat Riley retired. Or at least stopped coaching until the Heat are winning again.

> The Giants sent Barry Zito to bullpen. In the process, he became the highest paid reliever in baseball history. Even Mike Hampton and Carl Pavano are think Zito is bad.

> An interesting series between the Yankees and the Tribe. The Indians do all the right things in the first two games and then nothing right the last two. This team is as frustrating as the Cavs. Good one game, bad the next. I guess I should be happy with a split against New York but the offense doesn’t look good right now. They need Sizemore back. We knew the pitching was going to be good, and it is, but the offense, at some point, as to start holding it’s own.




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Weekend of good stuff

Not a bad weekend at all for Cleveland teams. Tribe took 2-of-3 from the Yankees, Cavs won Game 4 in dramatic fashion and the Browns made some picks of guys no one has heard of but everyone will say good things about them and how good of a pick it was. (Really, what else can you say?)


First, the Cavs…

I didn’t watch any of Sunday’s game. I know, that’s not a true fan. I was asked Saturday to play in a golf outing and I said yes without knowing what time and forgetting the Cavs played at 1. Out on the course, however, I did bring a radio and listening intently to Old Colorful Sweater himself, Joe Tait. After hearing the call of West’s three, I had my best drive of the day. I don’t think it’s ironic that after the Cavs won, we birdied that hole. It was a big time win for the Cavs. It was strange listening to the game in and out since I couldn’t have the radio on the whole time because you have to be quiet on the course. (Come on now, is a little Tait in your back swing really going to make the difference of a good shot or not? If anything, it would help your swing.) One time I turn the radio on, the Cavs are up 6. Next time, down 4. Up 4. Down 9. Up 13. Up 2. Tied. It was frustrating not knowing what was exactly going on but all that mattes is the Cavs won. And they won in a heartbreaking way for Washington. The Wizards were down most of the game and fought back hard to tie it only for LeBron and West to beat them. Now Washington has to come to Cleveland and play with their season on the line. I’d say it’s over. I think with the home crowd, the chance to move on to Boston, some extra days of rest, the Cavs will control the game and win going away. 

Here’s what needs to happen in Game 5: Dwayne Jones starts the game and as soon as Stevenson goes to the hoop, he takes out his legs or clotheslines him. Get the bastard out of the game. Hurt him. Kill him. Put him on a ship with Tyler Hansbrough and sent them to the jungle. Just get rid of him because I can’t stand that piece of shit.

(If you were wondering, my four-man scramble golf team finished in a tie for second. I’m not sure how that happened since we were seven-under and we know for sure a team was at eight and the winning team was at 14. But we’ll take it.)


The Tribe…

The Indians didn’t beat Graig’s lovers during the regular season at all last year. But come playoff time they took the series 3-1. Obviously the regular season means very little to nothing at all, but it is still nice to see Cleveland beat New York. On Saturday’s game, I was shocked to see them intentionally walk Hafner to load the bases. I know the concept of getting a double play ball and everything but as an Indian fan, I’d much rather have Victor up when a hit will win the game than Hafner. I would think as a Yankee fan it would be the other way around. Victor did what he does and has being doing all year, hit a single. (I think he has like 23 hits on the year and 21 have been singles). No surprise the Indians loss Sunday. No Grady Sizemore for the first time in like 3+ years. 


And finally, the Browns…

Ummmm, I don’t know. Anyone know who these guys are? Surprisingly, I have heard of two of the five picks. Martin Rucker was a pretty solid tight end for a surprisingly good Missouri team this year. Paul Hubbard was a decent receiver at Wisconsin. I don’t know what any of this means in terms of the NFL and the Browns but, cool. I don’t know what to think. Can you really say any pick after the third round (or even before that) is a good pick or a bad pick? If nothing else, I think Beau Bell is a sweet name for a linebacker and should at least look good in a Browns uniform.




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That was Game 3?

When you are with a group of guys watching an NBA playoff game of your favorite hometown team, the biggest cheers shouldn’t come from watching the final minutes of a hockey game. But that’s exactly what happened last night. Pathetic. Awful. Horrible. Gross. And that doesn’t even begin to describe how bad the Cavs played last night. 

The low point of the night came midway through the third quarter. The Cavs missed a shot, got the rebound, missed a shot, got the rebound, missed a shot, got the rebound and then finally turned the ball over. That’s how the night went. After that series of Washington General type plays, we switched the TV over to Verses (don’t ask me how we found it or what channel but we did it) to watch some NHL hockey. It was Colorado verse Detroit. Now this is a rivalry. We watched the final eight minutes of the game with much more pleasure than anything the Cavs could/were giving us. The loudest cheer (or groan in my case) came with four seconds left when Colorado had a great chance to tie the game but Chris Osgood made the game winning save. 

It was what a playoff game should be; an intense, hard fought, close game that goes to the wire and is decided on one great play by a great player. (Did I use great enough?) Or, you know, everything Game 3 between the Cavs and Wizards wasn’t.

I’ve never been so bored with playoff game. It was ridiculous. How could the Cavs not be ready to play? They had a chance to put the Wizards out and instead they gave them all the momentum in the world. The Cavs had 23 turnovers. High school girls teams don’t even have that many! The Wizards didn’t play good until the second half when the Cleveland basically gave them the game. I know the second quarter and the 11-2 run the Wizards made pushed the game to 18 and, in all intent purposes, ended the game, but it was the first quarter that set the tone. Washington was playing just as bad as Cleveland but the Cavs refused to take advantage. The Wizards looked just as out of and didn’t seem to want the game either but after the Cavs kept putting it out there for them the finally said “Sure, we’ll take it, I guess. I mean, if you don’t want it.” 

I knew it would be a long/bad night on this play; Washington just scored, Wallace inbound the ball to LeBron because West is being denied. Instead of bringing the ball up the floor, LBJ throws it right back to Wallace. Wallace, was not ready for it, and why should he be, he’s the worst ball handler on the floor and he just gave the ball to the best player in the NBA. The ball bounces off Wallace’s chest and the Wizards get a turnover and score. That about did it. From that play on, nothing should have surprised me but the horribleness of the Cavs seemed to get horriblier and horriblier from then on. Did you know besides the fourth quarter when the game was over, the third quarter was the Cavs most productive offensively? It seemed like the only scored 4 points a quarter. OK, I’m sick enough thinking about that game.

Game 4. I have no idea what to expect. I want to say the Cavs will be pissed and come out, play with a purpose and dominate the game. But I don’t know if they will. I can say, however, they’ll play better, but that’s only because its physically impossible to play worse. I’m also not a big fan of the Sunday 1:00 tip-off but I guess I can use it as an excuse to get away from normal family Sunday stuff so that will work. I trust LBJ to come back with something to prove. I’ll say the Cavs win by 2.

Oh, I hate Stevenson more than Raseed now.

Soulja Boy should die.

Who ever that was in the white jacket standing up whenever LeBron was near him should have been shot by the DC sniper. Where is a good criminal when you need one?

The Washington crowd was as bad as the Cavs played. Quiet, except for booing LBJ. Way to be original.

BILLY should have played sooner.

Wallace should have played less.

Where did Wally go for the whole second quarter?

Dick Stockton is bad.

Mike Fratello should no longer be called the Czar. 

When you are wanting Austin Carr, you know those last two statements are true.

Cliff Lee for Cy Young.




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Grab Bag Day of fun

Game 3 plus a whole bunch of swell topics in this edition of Grab Bag Day.


> Why won’t the Wizards shut up? I mean what are they thinking. First DeShawn Stevenson, then Gilbert and now Brendan Haywood. Brendan freakin’ Haywood! And I’m not using freakin’ in the same sense of freakin’ I do when talking about BILLY FREAKIN’ THOMAS. Haywood has taken his “trash talking” to a different level. He didn’t call out any players. Probably because he knows he is the worst player on the floor and even Eric Snow laughs at how pathetic he looks. Haywood called out coach Mike Brown. Really? The coach? What do you plan on getting accomplished by doing that? And he didn’t even call him out for a coaching move or having his team do hard fouls. He called him out for reacting to things Haywood did. Here’s what he said: 

“When you’re running out on the court like Jeff Van Gundy, yelling at the refs the whole game, it’s a little ridiculous. Just coach your team. We’re not trying to hurt anybody. You don’t have to come out there trying to win acting awards… C’mon Mike. That man’s name is LeBron James, not LeBron Brown. He’s not your son.”

When you read stuff like that, don’t you just feel smarter. Haywood, if you didn’t notice, every time Brown has come on to the court it’s been because of you. You suck. If you aren’t trying to hurt people than why the two hand shove on LBJ when he was in the air going to dunk on your sorry ass? You suck. Your team sucks and you are staying in Washington. You just done and pissed LeBron off. You can talk about him and say what you will about him, but as soon as you talk about his coach, you gone and done it. Cavs sweep now. LBJ  goes for 45-11-8 tonight. Haywood has reached Raseed Wallace/Mikey Moore status of guys to hate during the playoffs. As the old joke name goes, Haywood, I got something for you to do.


> Not to be out done, King of the Stupids, DeShawn Stevenson, wore a Jay-Z shirt to practice yesterday. He said: “I just wore it randomly. I don’t want TNT saying I wore a LeBron-Jay-Z shirt. I just wore it. I swear.” 

My goodness is this guy stupid. If for the past two months, you have been compared to the one-hit, please go away wonder Soulja Boy, and LBJ has been Jay-Z, why would you were a Jay-Z shirt? That’d be like Brown wearing a Haywood jersey to practice. God, I hate the Wizards.


> The NFL Draft is this weekend. The Miami Dolphins have already signed Jake Long. Good. You’d think the first pick would take 15 seconds or less now. How much you want to bet they still use at least five minutes? 


> Pacman Jones is heading to Dallas. Over/under six games played for the ‘Boys? 


> Matt Walsh, the ex-Patriots video assistant will finally meet with the NFL. Does anyone still care? Did you see pictures of this Walsh character? My goodness he looks like a nerd. I don’t know how Belichick didn’t kill him when he worked for him. Walsh is just wanting his five minutes of fame and there will be nothing new coming for this meeting. Give me a break, Matt. Go back to your golf course and your creepy, serial killer blank stare. 


> The Lakers look pretty good.


> The Hawks look really bad.


> Detroit wins in five.


> Former University of Michigan lineman Justin Boren is transferring to Ohio State. Several people at work have said something to me about this so let me so for the record, I could care less. If you can’t take a little yelling and running, if spring practices are too tough for you, get the hell out. Rodriguez is trying to change the atmosphere at Michigan and he doesn’t need a fat, whiny lineman holding that back. 


> More OSU news (I mentioned this on Graig’s site yesterday), Kosta Koufos is going pro… or over seas. He’s leaving Columbus and if he doesn’t like where he may be drafted, he will leave the country and play in Greece. Please, oh please, let him choose Greece. Maybe there, people will actually be able to stand looking at him.


> In NASCAR news, Tony Stewart is trying to get out of his contract with Joe Gibbs Racing. I hear he isn’t happy with his car. He needs one that fits is large frame better. Like a minivan.



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What hurts more?


Today we take a break from the norm (if anything on here is normal). No Cavs talk (don’t play until tomorrow), no Indians talk (although great game last night but they might not score 15 runs in the their next five games combined) and really no current sports talk at all. Today, we settle an aged old debate: What hurts more, a slap to the head or helmet to the head?

OK, that’s not exactly the question. The point was raised to me that these two people I know have been arguing over this for some time, even as long as six years. Six years for any argument is a long time, let a lone a pointless one, so today it comes to an end. 

The real question in limbo is when a quarterback is standing in the pocket and gets hit, what hurts more; a helmet-to-helmet hit or a swinging slap to the helmet? The way I understand it, the slap isn’t one of those accidentally hit the helmet but a full blown swing like when a D-linemen jumps up and swings his arms down and wallops the QB in the top of the head. A helmet-to-helmet hit is obvious.

Let’s break this down. On first look, it seems obvious that a helmet-to-helmet hit would be more forceful since it is done with a stronger/harder object, and therefore, hurt a lot more. But is that really the case? The helmet-to-helmet hit on quarterbacks is  rarely the kind of hits we see from a safety on a wide receiver. In the secondary, they have time to time up their hits and unload. When a defensive lineman or linebacker is rushing the quarterback, he is usually dealing with trying to get around a 300-plus mountain of a man. Even the worse offensive lineman in the league poises some kind of challenge and can slow down the rusher, taking away from some of the impact. Of course, there are those times when a blitzing cornerback or linebacker gets a clear shot. The force of the impact will be enhanced because of the hardness (te he he, hardness) of the helmet. Getting hit with a helmet on the head without wearing a helmet would obviously hurt more than getting hit with a hand on the head.



But let’s look at how that hand hits the helmet. On the surface, no way does the impact have anywhere near the same force as a helmet. Or does it? When some gets hit helmet-to-helmet, the force comes from the speed one is moving, i.e. how fast he is running. When a hand is swung and hits the helmet, the impact comes from just that, the speed the hand is moving. I’d say you can swing your arm at a faster speed than you can run. That would make for a more forceful impact. Is it enough to offset the strength of a helmet-to-helmet?

No way. Come on, really? If you ask 100 people, while wearing a helmet, would they rather been hit with a hand or another helmet, 100 people would answer helmet. That’s the bottomline. That’s a pretty easy choice, isn’t it? I can understand why this one guy can make arguments for a hand hurting more for a few minutes, but for six years?!?! Maybe he was hit in the head too much. Don’t you always laugh at football players when they get in fights and swing fists at guys wearing helmets? As stupid as University of Miami football players are, at least they are smart enough to know when you get in a fight, swing your helmet, not your fist at people wearing helmets. If a football player at Miami is smart enough to know the difference, so should we. 

A helmet-to-helmet causes more damage and would hurt more than a little slap to the head.

I don’t think this looks so fun either.




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Back with NBA Talk

Don’t worry guys, I’m back!!! How excited are you? Probably as excited as Chris Paul is going up against the only point guard in the NBA who needs a walker. 

Or as excited as LeBron James when the Cavs drew the Wizards and Stevenson and Gilbert continued to talk.

Or as excited as the entire Utah Jazz team when they drew the Rockets and T-Mac since we all know T-Mac will never when a playoff series.

Or as excited as my readers are when I returned from a two post (four day) absence. Oh wait, that was the original comparison.

Anyway, let’s talk NBA playoffs.

The obvious statement, and this may have never been the case in this history of the NBA, Charles Barkley was right: The Washington Wizards are the dumbest basketball team in the history of civilization. I never agree with Chuck but the Wizards are a bunch of morons. Why would you call out LBJ and the Cavs? Why would you “want” the Cavs? I don’t think all the talk motivated LeBron anymore. He didn’t need any more motivation. The rest of the team, maybe, but LBJ was, and always is, ready to go. The only thing that talking does is make you looking like an ass. And right now the Wizards are the plumber with his crack showing and its only a matter off time until the pants fall all the way off. (Did that analogy make any sense? Didn’t think so either.)

LeBron made key plays down the stretch to win Game 1. Game 2 the Cavs just dominated. You can say the difference was the defense or Wally and Ben playing like it was 2003 or it was LBJ again, but I’ll tell you the difference. I think you all know what it is. Say it will me now… BILLY FREAKIN’ THOMAS. BILLY made an appearance last night its no coincidence the Cavs pounded the Wizards. The easy thinking is BILLY played because the Cavs were up so much. I disagree. I say, the Cavs were up by so much because BILLY played. But he only played the final four minutes, you say. I say, the threat of BILLY coming in the game was enough to scare the Wizards. BILLY’S mare presence on the bench was enough to intimidate the Wizards. Let’s look at BILLY’S stat line for the four minutes he played. Scored three points on 1-of-1 shooting and had an assist. Project that out over 25 minutes a game and that’s over 18 ppg and almost seven assists. I need to get me a BILLY THOMAS jersey.

I think that’s BILLY’S head right there. Isn’t it beautiful.

Tomorrow’s Game 3 will determine the series. And by that I mean, how many games it will take to end Washington’s season. If Cleveland wins, which I’m as sure they will as am sure I BILLY THOMAS may be my real father, they sweep the series. If somehow the Wizards pull their pants up and win, it could go the six games I originally projected. 

(Side Note: Rosie, you want to start up our cookouts for Game 3 like we did last year or what are your plans?)


In other NBA news…

Great win by Phily but the loss made Detroit made and I think they win in six.

Dallas is awful. Outside of Dirk, they have nobody who can shoot. I was watching Game 1 against New Orleans and walked away when Dallas was up 8, maybe 10, in the third. When I came back they were down 14. Is this still the affects from blowing the Finals to the Heat two years ago and losing in the first round last year? If Dallas loses, and now I think they will, Avery Johnson should be fired.

This is exactly why San Antonio will be back in the Finals. No way they should win Game 1, but a Tim Duncan three-pointer? Amazing. Those are the breaks they get and Manu is the third best clutch player in the NBA (You better be able to figure out the first two).

Denver just doesn’t want to be here. If they were going to put together that pissy of an effort, why didn’t they do that down the stretch of the regular season? Everyone would have rather seen Golden State than Denver.

This one’s for you Graig: Houston, we have a problem. 

Did Orlando and Toronto play this weekend?

Cleveland needs to sweep (five games at the most) Washington because Boston will handle the Hawks in four and be rested and waiting if the Cavs can’t finish off the Wizards.

OK, I think that’s all I got today. How’s everyone’s NHL brackets looking? 





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