Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Cavs takes today

A couple interesting Cavs takes you may have missed today on
Chris Sheridan writes that if the Knicks decide to trade Stephon Marbury, the Cavs might be the best fit:
Trade No. 1
Marbury, Renaldo Balkman and Fred Jones to Cleveland for Larry Hughes, Anderson Varejao and Damon Jones

The Knicks gain some perimeter defense and add a frontcourt player who can actually play a little defense. The Cavs get a true point guard along with an energy forward, Balkman, to replace Varejao, and they get rid of their $13.65 million obligation to Hughes for the 2009-10 season, allowing them to become major players in free agency the summer before James' contract expires.

And Bill Simmons writes the second part of his belated Eastern Conference pseudo-preview, where he bumps the SVAC from "out of the playoffs" to "#3 seed", apparently based on one game he saw from behind their bench in LA.  He relates this little anecdote:

I had seats behind the visitor's bench for Sunday's Cavs-Clippers game, which was perfect because I love keeping track of all the bench guys who watch the Jumbotron, don't listen to their coach, search the crowd for girls and crack jokes during 25-point blowouts, and I love the player-coach interactions and even hearing the coaches yell at players and referees if it's quiet enough. You just get a great feel for the general mood and spirit of the visiting team (good or bad). During the third quarter, LeBron drove toward the foul line and made a beautiful dish to Gooden, who didn't gather himself for the pass in time. As the ball bounced out of bounds, a frustrated LeBron jogged back up the court staring at the coaches with one of those, "Did you see that? You saw that, right?" looks on his face. And that would have been fine if it ended right there. After all, we get it -- he's great, the rest of his team sucks, and occasionally, it's going to be a little exasperating.

Well, LeBron wasn't done. He glanced back disdainfully at Gooden again, then back to the bench for an extended pseudo-glare. Reading between the lines, I interpreted the glare to mean either, "Take him out of the game before I punch him in the face" or "If that happens again, I'm running straight into the locker room, getting my stuff and chartering my own jet home." At this point, Gooden was running back upcourt and watching the whole thing -- he was officially getting shown up in front of 15,000 people. LeBron shook his head and glanced at Gooden one more time, then back at the bench for a third time, just in case they missed the message the other two times. What a bizarre sequence to watch from 20 feet away. After tasting the Finals and earning some well-deserved media hype last spring, it's pretty clear LeBron won't accept the Cavs taking a gigantic step backward and becoming a non-contender again. But that's where they're headed. Stay tuned.