Tag:Cleveland Cavaliers
Posted on: January 23, 2009 3:52 pm
 

Rick Barry explains himself

Since my blog post on Rick Barry criticizing LeBron James and the coaching he's getting in Cleveland generated so much debate, I decided to bring you this: Barry explaining his comments to the Cleveland Plain Dealer.

Essentially, Barry says we shouldn't shoot the messenger. He's merely trying to make LeBron better by pointing out flaws in his jump shot and how he's utilized in the Cleveland offense -- things that the Cavs' coaches should be correcting. IMHO, the Cavs' coaching staff has vastly improved how and where James gets the ball with the addition of Mo Williams and some tweaks to the offensive playbook. It's hard to argue with Barry's assessment of LeBron's jump shot, though. Pretty obvious his right elbow sticks out to the side when he's in shooting position.

Anyway, there you go.  No sense in starting a controversy without finishing it.

Here are the highlights from Barry:

* "People are making a big deal, as if I was putting LeBron down. Why be mad at me for trying to make one of the best players better? It's constructive criticism. It's not LeBron's fault if he's not taught something and not taught how to correct it. He doesn't know he has a problem."

* "There's a technical flaw in his outside shot. That's why he went 9-for-25 against the Lakers. He's not a good outside shooter. But just imagine if he became more of an accurate shooter. His free throws would get even better and it would open up so much more to his game."

* "They give him the ball and make him go one on five and that's crazy. Give LeBron the ball when he's on the move. Who's going to stop him? And he needs to curl when he comes off screens when you have a defender on your back. Why wasn't he taught this?"

Guess they didn't teach that at Akron St. Vincent-St. Mary.

 

Posted on: January 21, 2009 9:39 am
 

Rick Barry: LeBron's not good enough

Hall of Famer Rick Barry unleased quite a diatribe on LeBron James in advance of the king's annual trip to the Bay Area, telling Comcast SportsNet that LBJ has alarming holes in his game.

"He's got major flaws in his game," the Warriors great said in an interview airing Wednesday night. "He's six years into the NBA. How can a man six years into the NBA with his talent have a major flaw in his shot? How can he not use screens effectively? . . . I watch the game very carefully, he doesn't use screens effectively and this is not LeBron's fault. It's the fault of the people who are teaching him. ... There is no doubt in my mind that LeBron, if shown these things, would do them, because he wants to be a great player. He wants to win a championship. As great as he is, he should be better."

Ouch. Tell us what you really think, Rick.

Posted on: January 5, 2009 11:31 am
Edited on: January 5, 2009 8:57 pm
 

LeBron's 'crab dribble,' a.k.a traveling (UPDATE)

Scoured the internet for video of the controversial traveling call against LeBron James in the final seconds of Cleveland's 80-77 loss to the Wizards. This is the best look I came up with. The clip is a little grainy, but if you watch the slow-motion replay, you can decide for yourself: was it a walk or not?

LeBron calls it the "crab dribble," one of his trademark moves. In this case, he drives to his left and picks up his dribble with his right foot planted. Then he steps through with his left foot and takes a third step with his right on his way to a driving layup that was waved off. LeBron's argument is that it's similar to a hop-step, but in this case it appears clear that he picked up his dribble before making the 1-2 step to the hoop. My take is that if LeBron had picked up his dribble after landing on his right foot, it would've been a legal play. But he didn't. My other take is that, the line between traveling and a legal drive with this move is so razor-thin that it's almost impossible for an official to call in real time. So either LeBron is going to have to refine his move or the Cavs are going to have to do some serious lobbying with the officials. If you're the Cavs, you would hate for this call to be made in the final seconds of a Game 7 against the Celtics in the Eastern Conference Finals.

UPDATE: Some rather humorous stuff here featuring the Wizards poking fun at LeBron for his crab dribble. The Wizards talk a lot for a team that is 7-25.

Posted on: December 21, 2008 12:06 am
 

Wade passes on extension talk

EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. -- With ice packs adorning his legs and a box of protein drink in his hands, Dwyane Wade sat at his locker and deferred credit to his teammates for his 43-point night. Earlier, he'd deferred to his teammates on the floor, finding Daequan Cook for a clutch 3-pointer late in the Miami Heat's 106-103 victory over the Nets.

A frigid, icy New Jersey night awaiting him, Wade also was in no hurry to accelerate speculation about his plans for the free-agent summer of 2010. Even though everybody else is doing it.

A few nights ago in the hallways of this very arena, Utah's Carlos Boozer caused quite a stir when he said he has decided to decline his player option for the 2009-10 season and weigh his options. On Saturday, the Cleveland Plain Dealer reported that LeBron James -- who has consistently fanned the flames of his impending free agency -- is considering signing an extension with the Cavaliers after the season. Such a move would signal James' contentment with the Cavs' plans to build him a championship team. It also would make July 1, 2010 -- when James has the right to decline his player option and become a free agent -- a moot point. A few weeks ago, James himself called that date "a very, very big day."

Wade, too, has a right to become a free agent in the summer of 2010, along with the likes of James, Chris Bosh, Amare Stoudemire, Dirk Nowitzki, Yao Ming, and Paul Pierce. Unlike Boozer, whose player option comes a year early, Wade isn't ready to announce his intention to test the market. And unlike James, he isn't ready to say he'd consider re-signing with Miami next summer, either.

"I don’t know," Wade said. "I'm not concentrating on that right now. I'm not concentrating on my contract or talking contracts. I'm trying to help this team get to the playoffs and that’s all I'm worried about."

Like me, Wade didn't think Boozer's comment Wednesday night was anything controversial or surprising. Top-tier players with capable representation made sure they negotiated for the ability to sign a new contract -- with their current team or another one -- before the collective bargaining agreement expires in 2011. With a new deal between owners and players coming, who knows if the money will be there in 2011 or '12? It probably won't.

"I think it’s just giving yourself flexibility," Wade said. "And I think [Boozer] just came out and said he’s going to use his flexibility come next summer. I don’t know how it’s perceived out there, but that’s all it is. He gave himself flexibility and he gets to use it."

On Saturday, James spoke for the first time about re-signing with Cleveland next summer rather than waiting until 2010.

"You play out this season of course; I will consider it," James told the Plain Dealer. "The direction we are headed is everything I expected and more."

I asked Wade if he'd heard about James' comments.

"Oh, yeah," he said. "I'm sure he has a great opportunity in Cleveland, where he’s building a championship team. Just because you signed a three-year deal doesn't mean that you won't sign an extension beforehand."

James signed a three-year, $60 million extension with Cleveland in 2006, turning heads by turning down the team's five-year, $80 million. Wade did the same.

"The deal that was signed by everybody was just to give themselves flexibility and options," Wade said. "And he can sign a longer deal this summer and be in Cleveland a long, long time."

At some point, maybe Wade will be ready to say the same thing. Not yet. He is leading the league in scoring and having a season worthy of MVP consideration. On back-to-back nights, he scored 35 to topple the Lakers and equaled his season high with 43 to turn back the Nets. 

But unlike the dominance he displayed at the Olympics, Wade's excellence comes on a team that has a long way to go before it can even talk playoffs, much less championships. In that respect, Wade's situation is most similar to Bosh's in Toronto. Both need to see how things play out before they commit to anything.

"I'm under pressure to do well and to see what decision I'm going to make," Bosh told me recently. "And the organization is under pressure to bring this team around. We want to win now."

So far, Wade is content to walk the walk, rather than talk the talk.

 

Posted on: December 20, 2008 7:59 pm
 

Carter on Cavs' radar?

An item on a competing sports and entertainment network's website stated that the Nets' Vince Carter is on the Cavaliers' list of players they're interested in acquiring.

Intriguing. Juicy, even. Big name, prominent team, a potentially blockbuster trade. Alas, it's just another rumor.

I spoke Saturday with an executive-level source who has knowledge of both teams' activities, and he reported that the Cavs and Nets have not discussed a Carter swap in any form. In fact, the Nets and Cavs haven't discussed any type of trade in a month and a half.

Numerous teams around the league will be calling Cleveland between now and the Feb. 19 trade deadline, so be prepared for more rumors -- both substantiated and unsubstantiated -- to fly. The reason is the Cavs have two players they need to make decisions on -- Wally Szczerbiak, whose $13 million expiring contract is a valuable chip, and Anderson Varejao, who has a player option for 2009-10.

 

Posted on: December 18, 2008 10:47 am
 

Marion trade rumor shown on Pat Riley's TV

It was just another day in Shawn Marion's trade rumor-driven world. That is, until he attended the team Christmas party at Pat Riley's house, where the latest trade rumor was televised on the news scroll of a popular, widely viewed entertainment and sports programming network.

Though a person with direct knowledge of the situation said Miami and Cleveland haven't held any trade discussions in months, reports of a possible deal sending Marion to Cleveland for Wally Szczerbiak and Anderson Varejao were nonetheless the talk of the party at Riley's house Tuesday night.

 "What am I going to do? I'm going to sit there and panic every time somebody says something?" said Marion, whose $17.8 million expiring contract -- and 12.4-point scoring average -- will have him front-and-center of trade talk between now and the Feb. 19 deadline.

 

Posted on: December 17, 2008 11:57 am
 

Wednesday Shootaround

* Finally, the Rockets showed how dangerous they can be if everyone is healthy. Yao was unstoppable, Tracy McGrady had his fourth career triple-double, and Ron Artest played a crucial role coming off the bench in a 108-96 victory over Denver.

* Chris Paul tied Alvin Robertson's NBA record for consecutive games with a steal (105) in a 91-84 victory over Memphis.

* Those who took issue with my accolades for Derrick Rose will delight in the fact that D.J. Augustin (29 points, 7 assists) outdueled the Bulls' No. 1 pick (7 points, 6 assists) in the Charlotte Bobcats' 110-101 overtime victory over the Bulls.

* I was standing outside the visiting locker room in Philadelphia last Wednesday night when the 76ers' medical staff, led by team doctor Jack McPhilemy, ventured inside to examine Zydrunas Ilgauskas' foot and X-rays thereof. Little did I know how stunned the doctors were when they viewed the X-rays. Bob Finnan of the News-Herald explains. (Link courtesy of TrueHoop.)

* Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban, facing insider trading charges, is oh-for-December in terms of blog posts. What's up with that? 

* Interesting decision for the Warriors when Monta Ellis comes off the suspended list Friday. Who gets waived or traded to clear a roster spot? Even though Ellis won't be ready to play until sometime in '09, Golden State needs to make room on the roster. Matt Steinmetz makes a solid case that the decision will provide insight into how much GM Chris Mullin's power has diminished. Mullin is believed to want Marcus Williams to stay, but coach -- and perhaps soon-to-be-GM Don Nelson -- wants to keep Rob Kurz. If Kurz stays and Williams goes, you'll have your answer.

* HoopsAddict makes a case for Chauncey Billups as MVP, proposes buying a steak dinner for Mike D'Antoni and Donnie Walsh, and believes Danny Granger deserves more All-Star votes.

 

 

 

Posted on: December 17, 2008 11:24 am
 

Marion believes he will finish season in Miami

From the Miami Herald, Shawn Marion believes that despite the latest round of trade speculation, he'll finish the season in Miami.

The Herald quotes two sources saying that a potential trade sending Marion, on the last year of a contract at $17.2 million, to Cleveland for Wally Szczerbiak and Anderson Varejao, isn't imminent. A person with knowledge of the situation told CBSSports.com Tuesday that Miami and Cleveland haven't engaged in any trade discussions in months.

That said, the deal has the potential to make too much sense for both teams to dismiss the idea that it might resurface. A lot can happen between now and the Feb. 19 trade deadline.

 

 

 
 
 
 
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