Posted on: December 2, 2010 4:37 pm
Edited on: December 2, 2010 4:40 pm
Posted by Matt Moore
With the big game just hours away and security starting to take shape at Quicken Loans Arena in preparation for the biggest villain return since the Empire struck back, we thought we'd get a sense of what you, the people, thought about this game. We asked Twitter (follow us!) for 10-word suggestions for the headline they wanted to see tomorrow. Here's the best of what we received. Leave your answers in the comments.
@RockWFNY : "Boos rattle James as Cavs pull off emotional win."
@DrewUnga : "Moon over Miami- Jamario's Halfcourt Shot Seals Win For Cavs."
@JC_Heat305 : "Utter destruction of Cavliers (sic) Team and Fans. Heat Win By 50."
@bwkemp : "Cavs Fans Civil In Blowout of Heat"
@ComputerSnacks : "Both teams played hard. God bless and goodnight."
@MikePradaSBN : "LeBron James Heat Justin Bieber"
@Chewie93 : "James begs Cleveland's forgiveness; Cavs win a close one."
@MrTrpleDouble10 : "Quagmire at the Q Tops Malice at the Palace"
@SpaceFunMars : "LeBron challenges fans to a game of 1-on-20,000. James wins."
@hatfieldms : "leBron takes his talents back to South Beach after another loss."
@DaAkronHammer : "EPIC FAIL"
@schittone37 : "Children attending game learn new words."
@TurboLax33 : "LeBron breaks down in tears from incessant booing"
@jsucher : "I don't care what it is as long as it's in Comic Sans."
You can follow us on Twitter at @CBSSportsNBA .
Posted on: November 9, 2010 8:17 pm
Edited on: November 10, 2010 2:30 pm
Miami Heat (4): A drop with a loss to the Hornets that they could have won, had they not kept handing off the ball to James Jones and Eddie House who were frozen. With Chris Bosh struggling to find his place , and both of the other stars deferring way too much, the Heat have some problems. Huge week with a rematch versus Boston on Thursday at home. Could this team have 3 losses by the middle of November? Not exactly Most Dominant Ever so far.
Posted on: November 5, 2010 12:41 pm
Posted by Matt Moore
"What Should I Do?"
That's the question that's being asked every single night on every single commercial break in the NBA. It's relentless, it's constant, and while the early applause was deafening, the predictable backlash has begun. But nowhere, naturally, is it as fierce as in Cleveland.
If zings were weapons, that would be an atomic bomb.
Cleveland's got a great point on all those issues. I think the Game 5 question is one that will demand study for years, in chapters of books on LeBron and the current NBA age, but other than that, they're pretty on point. Well, besides James not having a legacy, because he does, because he's a basketball player on the professional level and very good at it. Thsoe guys tend to transcend, despite screwing over a Midwestern town.
The crux of this article brings up the best philosophical question about James' actions. Everyone, everyone, everyone agrees that the worst part of what James did wrong was "The Decision" and how he did it. ("Thanks.") But the question is if Cleveland really truly is just angry about that aspect and wouldn't have found something else to rage on if he'd notified them in good conscience. Is "The Decision" just the scapegoat for Cleveland's significant anguish over their sports teams and the loss of an icon? Or is it genuinely the beating heart of the rage that continues to spill from the Lake and which is going to make the Heat and Cavs' first meeting an outright riot zone, despite the presence of increased security?
We're never going to get an answer to that question, but the cause is insignificant. The reality is this. Cleveland has every right to hate LeBron James, and they are exercising that right to their fullest ability.
We're officially less than a month away from Heat at Cavaliers on December 2nd.
Posted on: September 20, 2010 10:11 pm
Edited on: September 20, 2010 10:12 pm
Lonely Cav captain left to ponder career by LeBron James nearly calls it quits.
Posted by Matt Moore
When LeBron James took his talents to Miami, he left a trail of disappointed and devastated people in his wake. Dan Gilbert, the Cavs' organization, Cavalier fans, sporting good store owners in Ohio, the city of Cleveland, Knicks fans, Bulls fans, Nets fans, Clipper fa... you get the picture. But in general, you have to believe most of the Cavs players treated it as NBA players treat these kinds of things. Business. Players come, players go. The checks keep coming, so what't the concern?
For one player, apparently it wasn't just business, and life didn't just go on. Mo Williams, James' running mate in Cleveland told Yahoo! Sports Monday that he was so distraught following "The Decision" that he considered retirement. From Mo Gotti's conversation with Marc Spears :
"I contemplated it. I really sat down and envisioned life after basketball. …I really saw myself not playing.
“It just didn’t make sense to me. …It doesn’t make sense to me.”
Williams goes on to say that he lost a lot of his love for the game, and it took him a while to be able to get back into the game. He doesn't sound wholly convinced, either. The whole conversation comes across the way someone sounds after a particularly tough breakup, the kind where you don't know what happened and he/she just moved out one day.
Is Williams a sympathetic figure? He certainly took a huge load of the blame for the playoff failures of the Cavaliers during his time there. Williams always seemed to be trying to prove a point, that he could score too, instead of being the all-around player most wanted him to be in support of James. This is the gap between a point guard and a Scottie Pippen-type forward. That's the problem. James was the all-around type player as well as the massive scoring force. And Williams also wasn't exactly on target with a lot of those shots. It's much easier to feel sorry for him if he wasn't campaigning to be an All-Star and clanging up a house for the third little pig every May.
But that's contextual based on our knowledge of him. At his root, Mo Williams is a player that felt like he was part of something special in Cleveland, who loved the opportunity to compete at the highest level with what he felt was the greatest player in the game, and someone who now faces a reality where the person that he was trying so hard to support is gone. Vanished in the night, on national television. He's got to continue his career, knowing that windows for players like himself are small and delicate, and the odds are not good that he'll hear his name in the Conference Finals again. The whole NBA world's changed since LeBron James left Cleveland.
And we're still trying to figure out all the career implications and casualties of "The Decision."
Posted on: September 13, 2010 4:32 pm
Edited on: September 13, 2010 11:10 pm
Report: Suns VP joins post-LeBron building project after turning down Nuggets' GM job.
Posted by Matt Moore
David Griffin has been quite the hot commodity this summer, and it would appear the Cavaliers were hot enough to land him. Ric Bucher of ESPN reports that the Cavaliers have hired Griffin as their new Vice President of Basketball Operations , the same role he's held in Phoenix since 2007. The role carries with it an increase in prestige as Cavs' owner Dan Gilbert is known to be more supportive and less fiddling than Suns' owner Robert Sarver. He'll join Chris Grant who was recently extended as General Manager after taking the interim reins following the departure of Danny Ferry. Griffin takes over the job of Lance Blanks who left in the great exodus pre and post "The Decision." Got all that? It's a little bit like a soap opera, only with poor drafting choices and salary cap management.
Griffin turned down an offer from the Denver Nuggets this summer to become their main man in charge, a position that was eventually given to Masai Ujiri, who now gets to wait for Carmelo Anthony to decide he's done watching tennis matches and ready to talk about his job. Bucher reports that Griffin turned down the Nuggets' position because it was substantially below the $1 million benchmark for GMs. If that aspect is true, it paints a disturbing picture for Nuggets fans who face a new regime with Josh Kroenke, son of principal owner Stan Kroenke taking over operations with the elder Kroenke gaining ownership of the NFL's St. Louis Rams. Those kinds of sub-standard offers make obtaining top talent difficult, even if the practice doesn't extend to the team's roster itself.
Cleveland meanwhile gets one of the remaining architects of one of the more succesfull franchises over the past decade. Griffin had been with the Suns off and on since 1993. You have to wonder after all the changes the Suns have seen with the departures of Amar'e Stoudemire, Steve Kerr, and now Griffin, if the ship will be steady as Steve Nash prepares to sail into the sunset in the next few years.
Posted on: September 8, 2010 3:00 pm
The top team in the East the past two seasons now finds itself exhuming its fallen squad to determine what went wrong.
Posted by Matt Moore
This season for the Cleveland Cavaliers is incredibly rare, even as it is inherently depressing for their fans. It's not a contending season like they've experienced the last three years, far from it. It's also not a rebuilding year, struggling through youth and inexperience while lamenting the patience necessary for their team to develop. And it's the polar opposite of a team rising to contention (see: Oklahoma City, 2009-2010). It holds the worst possible future. T+-he firesale. The deconstruction. The undoing. This is the season to watch the top seed in the East the past two seasons burn into ashes.
Oh, there's hope for a playoff run. Mo Williams, for all his limitations, is still a viable starting point guard, probably top 15. Antawn Jamison may have gotten his clock cleaned by the Celtics, but he's still been an All-Star and has a few tricks up his sleeve. Anderson Varejao was a defensive player of the year candidate and J.J. Hickson is promising in a lot of aspects. Anthony Parker and Jamario Moon are both legitimate NBA rotation guys and you can do worse than Byron Scott as head coach.
But in the end, their ceiling, their highest aspiration can only be a playoff appearance and a swift dismissal from either the Celtics, or, disgustingly, the Heat. That's all they've got. So this season could very quickly turn into a full-on firesale, with Jamison and Williams thrown out for draft picks or expiring contracts. And to hear some former members of the team tell it, it's what's left of this team that has them in this predicament in the first place. Well, one member specifically, with a big mouth. Can you guess who it is?
Shaquille O'Neal told the New Orleans Times-Picayune the following tasty quote:
"I like that they play together and nobody really worries about shots, " O'Neal said. "When I was with Cleveland, guys who couldn't even play were worried about shots. Why was Mo (Williams) taking 15 shots, and I'm only taking four? If LeBron takes 20 shots, that's cool."
As Tom Ziller noted , this isn't the first time Shaq has detonated the bridge he just left. He's notorious for three things at this point in his career: taking a good long time to get in season's shape, having a big personality, and lobbing verbal grenades at everyone he used to play with. But it's the vocalization of questions a lot of people wondered. There was always a clear separation of LeBron and everyone else (and he was treated as such, from every indication). But from there, there were a lot of rumblings about players wanting to put their own mark on their team, and Mo Williams was the most effusive example. Was he at that level? It was hard to find many who thought so.
But maybe that was just a reaction from that separation with LeBron we talked about. Maybe it was that gap between James and everyone else that caused the team to fail. Dan Gilbert certainly thinks so. In an interview with the News-Herald following the extension of new GM Chris Grant, Gilbert said the following about the past few years in Cleveland:
"We weren't as focused on the long term (before James left)," he said. "We'll build the right way. It's absolutely refreshing and challenging and we're all looking forward to building the Cleveland Cavaliers into a premier team.As Kurt Helin noted , there's good and bad in this approach. Building good team chemistry and working to get a team of young, versatile, athletic players has been proven to work with Portland, Oklahoma City, and potentially Sacramento. But you do need one guy. Portland has Brandon Roy. Oklahoma City obviously has Kevin Durant. And Sacramento has Tyreke Evans. Cleveland will need to find that new player when they do decide to torch the foundation.
And they will, make no question about it. Even if they find success with the core of players they have, it's a mitigated, low-level success that comes with a hefty price tag (the Cavs are on the books for over $51 million this season). In reality, a sub-.500 season would be better for fans. Instead of sitting through a middling season trying to justify keeping the core together, the faster you can detonate the foundation, the sooner you can start bringing in players the fans can get behind.
This season is going to be hard for the Cavaliers. It's less of a story being written as a eulogy. It would take a story of the ages for this to come out well for them. The worst part is that even as James will have been gone for more than three months, the entire year may serve as one long autopsy on a team that died on its way to glory.
Posted on: September 1, 2010 12:41 am
Cavs not making any trades now, but if team struggles before deadline, we may see a firesale.
Posted by Matt Moore
Things fall apart. The center does not hold. And in the Cavs case, the center up and leaves on national television to join his buddies on the beach, sipping pina coladas while they freeze their tales off in a Midwestern winter.
And it turns out the rest of the Cavs are likely to fall apart in the next year or so. The Cavaliers haven't thrown the rest of the belongings on the lawn and put out the yard sale sign yet. After all, they still feature a lineup with Mo Williams, Antawn Jamison, Anderson Varejao, and young asset J.J. Hickson. But signs are pointing towards the rest of LeBron James' former dancing partners being sent to the four corners of the league.
Brian Windhorst of the Cleveland Plain Dealer reports via Twitter that if the Cavs are sub-.500 in February before the trade deadline, Mo Williams, Antawn Jamison, Anthony Parker, and Jamario Moon will all be on the block. That's three starters and a backup wing. You may be wondering who they would be getting back. Get ready for a whole lot of Erie Bayhawks if that happens, Cavs fans.
Windhorst goes on to say that he puts the odds of Jamison being moved before the deadline at 60/40. The question will be who's in the market for an aging forward with $28.4 million left on his contract (prorated, naturally). It would have to be a team similar to where the Cavs were last year, except they've already seen how that worked out. The other option is a team in the middle of a detonation, looking to clear space next year and hoping to acquire a 2012 expiring.
It's possible the Cavs could be competitive. The East is improved, no doubt, but still vulnerable and winning as many games as you're losing with a pretty good coach and a pretty good roster isn't out of range at all. But I wouldn't be snatching up any jerseys of those guys either. They may not be wearing them much longer.
Posted on: August 20, 2010 4:20 pm
Former Cavs guard suspended 10 games for weapons charges.
Posted by Matt Moore
Delonte West was arrested on weapons charges nearly one year ago. He was pulled over and found to be in possession of multiple concealed handguns and a shotgun in a guitar case he had with him. This summer, he pled guilty to those charges and was expected to receive a 3-6 game suspension. It would appear the league has elected to come down even harder, despite West's plea deal.
The league today suspended West for 10 games in the 2010-2011 season. As a free agent, if West were to sign, his suspension would start with the first game he was physically able and eligible to play. So if a team picks him up on November 1, his suspension will start with the team's game that night.
It's a development that makes the odds of West being able to get on with a new team even tougher. Leaving a difficult situation in Cleveland in a trade to the Wolves, he was waived for cap considerations, and is now trying to find a new place to land. But a GM will have to overlook now not just the limitations of his game and the locker room distractions, but now a ten game suspension that any team will have to swallow if they sign him.
West has had a difficult run of things, mainly due to decisions of his own making, but partly on account of a neurological condition. It's going to take a GM that is willing to take a considerable chance in order for West to get his career, and potentially his life, back on track.