Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Couldn't stay away forever...

So I had a nice little following at FoxSports blogs (rooster, hoffman, Tom7, and bleedpurplengold) and since Fox Sports changed their site and deleted everyone's posts they effectively killed a nice little community. Anyway, John Krolik does a great job at CavsTheBlog but I'm getting tired of posting my thoughts on these games with no feedback on all these sites. So just for posterity sake, I'm going to start blogging about my team again. Also, the only guys I really loved chatting with about the cavs were Brandon Hoffman of Ballerblogger.com and Rooster. I haven't heard from either in months.

About tonight's win @ Miami

This recent streak of close wins sheds light on a few TRUTHS of the NBA.

1.) As John Krolik said, it's takes luck to win close games. The Cavs have had their share of bounces in these games, and in the utah game, the Jazz had about 7 minor miracles happen in a ROW for them to win a close game. Hollinger talks about this all the time, how winning close games is more a matter of luck and there is almost no correlation between winning close games and being "good" and taht winning games by a LOT (ppg differential) is a much better indicator of future success (being "good")

2.) The luck evens out. The Cavs started out 1-5 in games decided by 3 points and are now 3-5. The Lakers, who were like 6-0 in games decided by a few points, just lost a game at Toronto by a point.

3.) Having a guy like LeBron James can significantly improve a team's "luck". He is by far and away the most complete player in the NBA. People talk about Kobe and how he gets the "most out of his talents." whatever. LeBron wins games with assists (Delonte's 3 over Washington for series/D Jones long-2 for series), Lebron wins game with insane buckets (Shot over Orlando), LeBron wins games with huge game changing dunks (Poster on Garnett), LeBron wins game with steals (tonight), LeBron wins games with blocks (Durant), LeBron wins games by making the correct decision at the correct time and knowing when to be Michael, when to be Magic, and when to be a video-game character.

The reason I say "luck" at the top of that paragraph is because many times LeBron needs a little luck to win games. That shot he hit against Orlando is not a high percentage shot, but the point is there is no one in the NBA that could even jump that high in that situation and still shoot with decent form. No one would give himself that much of a chance to win in that situation with a lankey 6'10" guy blanketing him.

4.) A lot of people say depth is overrated esp in the playoffs because you play your starters more minutes. I firmly disagree despite what any stats say (and I rarely disagree with good stats). If it wasn't for PJ Brown and Sam Cassell, the Cavs would have defeated the Celtics in '08. If it wasn't for Boobie Gibson, the Cavs would have lost to the Pistons in '07. If it wasn't for the Cavs incredibly deep bench this year, they would not have been IN a lot of these games that ended up being close. Having a deep team is invaluable, and it is showing now that the injury bug has bitten the Cavs. Also, guys like Shaq and Z will be fresher than they ever have going into the playoffs this year - that might be very huge. Few people remember that Joe Smith was the 2nd best player on the Cavs in the playoffs last season (he also had the freshest legs from that month off for the buyout)

5.) Winning these games without Mo and Delonte is a very good sign. It's a good thing to be able to win ugly. It's fairly obvious that our team has zero ball movement without those guys playing, yet they have changed their style, and grind-ed out 3 wins against playoff teams. Don't get too caught up in HOW they are winning - they are putting themselves in position to win despite missing 2 of their best 5 players (LBJ, Andy, Mo, Delonte, Shaq in that order).

6.) It's officially time to recognize two things about the Cavs. 1. Mike Brown is a DAMN GOOD coach. It may take him a little longer to make adjustments than some people would like, but for about the 4th straight year, the Cavs are the best defensive team in the NBA despite having very few players KNOWN for their defense.

2. Boobie Gibson will NEVER be an NBA point guard. Ever. NEVER. He has slow lateral movement with the basketball, he plays low to the ground and can't make an entry pass, and he can only pass with his right hand. However, he is the most clutch 3 point shooter since Robert Horry. Seriously, if you had the game on the line, you would rather have boobie taking a 3 than ANYONE in the NBA right now. That is totally invaluable, esp in the playoffs where the game slows down, it becomes a possession battle, and floor spacing and clutch shooting is the key to winning a lot of games. Boobie has also shown to be a MUCH improved defensive player. He slides his feet well, is difficult to post up (just ask Chauncey Billups in 07 or Russell Westbrook 2 nights ago) and has maybe the quickest hands on the team. The Cavs need to contractually recognize what he does well and what he doesn't do well and make changes to the way they use him. I think Mike Brown should be fined $1,000 every time he has Boobie initiate the offense and Boobie should be fined $10,000 every time he throws up one of those floaters in traffic . (only $1,000 if he makes it) This guy is a gamer and it's time the Cavs and Boobie stopped pretending like he has other facets to his game and just let him do what he does better than anyone in the NBA. He's gotta get burn though, even when Mo and Delonte come back. He should not have lost his spot in the rotation. He's leading the NBA in 3 point % and the sample size is large.

Great win for the Cavs tonight. Little has been made of the fact that Wade missed 2 FT and LeBron sank 2 FT to end the game...if the opposite had happened Skip Bayless would have some extra pep in his step today I'm sure.

Also, that dunk from LeBron past (not over) Wade was nothing spectacular, until you realize LeBron can outrun Wade while dribbling - and Wade is nicknamed "Flash" - goes to show you how fast LeBron is.

LeBron's top 10 dunks of all time, in my opinion.

1.) LeBron with No Regard for KG


Easily the best dunk of LeBron's career. I would argue this is one of the best dunks in the history of the NBA. First of all, it's against one of the best defensive power forward of all time. That power forward also happens to be one of the biggest trash-talkers of all time. It came against one of the best defensive teams of the last decade, and LeBron drove past 3 defenders to even GET to KG. It was during a crucial moment of an intense playoff game, and it really changed the momentum of the game (almost the series: but Rondo's airballs = PJ Brown putbacks = Celtics NBA Champions = We might have to put the Kobe == Jordan talks on hold for 3 weeks). In terms of raw flight, it's not as epic looking as the Dunk on D-Jones - but if you watch slowly, LeBron throws it down while getting shoved in the gut with two hands from KG. Truly an epic dunk. Shamefully, ESPN didn't even include this dunk on its plays of the decade a month back. (They also didn't have Derek Fisher's .3 second shot.) Finally, Kevin Harlen had one of the best calls ever: "OOOOOHHHHHH!!!!!!!!!!! LeBron JAMES - WITH NO REGARD FOR HUMAN LIFE!"

Power: 10/10, Altitude: 9/10, Exit through Net: 8/10, Bounce off Floor: 6/10, Poster Factor: 10/10, Relevance to winning: 10/10, Meaningful game: 10/10

Score: 63

2.) Masked Man Makes Innocent Bystander Cower in Fear (or, LeBron Over D Jones)


Shaq called this one of the top 5 dunks of all time. He might be right. This a dunk that few NBA players could do in an open gym, and LeBron did it IN-game OVER Damon Jones. The reason this dunk is number 2 is simply the physics of it. LeBron's height, speed, power, and finish is ridiculous. Many players have dunked over people, but he almost jumped over someone that was JUMPING! This reminds me of 2 of LeBron's recent blocks where he jumped over his own teammates to make a block. Anyway, in this insane jam, the ball goes through the hoop so hard it bounces up about 5 feet off the court. The Miami crowd pretty much lost it too. I remember where I was when LeBron threw down this dunk. I wasn't even in Cleveland and the entire bar stood up. This is one dunk where I won't argue if people disagree with me on its rank since: 1.) it was a meaningless game, 2.)it was against Damon Jones, 3.)we lost the game. But I'm putting it here anyway. Also this video is one of the better dunk videos, although there was a longer version of it that shows the Heat at practice the next day and Shaq calling D-Jones from his SUV saying "you aight? You got BAPTIZED last night". At practice reporters are talking to Damon Jones and he says "Shaq's been dunked on too, ya know, oh yeah, he has."

Power: 10/10, Altitude: 10/10, Exit through Net: 10/10, Bounce off Floor: 9/10, Poster Factor: 9/10, Relevance to winning: 2/10, Meaningful game score: 1/10

Score: 51

3.) LeBron Puts a Helmet on 'Sheed


Boy did LeBron throw down a lot of dunks against the Pistons in '07. They made a commercial out of his dunk past Jason Maxielle (can't find it), and the dunk on Tayshaun Prince came in the midst of LeBron's 25 straight must-score points. But the dunk on Sheed was the best of the bunch. Not only was it at home, but it was against the Cavs single biggest nemesis of the early-LeBron era: Rasheed Wallace. Sheed talked an awful lot of smack - showed a complete lack of respect for the Cavs before, during, and after the series, had plenty of run-ins with Z and Andy, and got tossed out of game 6 after pushing LeBron in the back after he was already out of the play. (Trivia Questions: How many wins did Rasheed predict for the Celtics this season?) LeBron gets lots of poster points for this one, but the exit points were all rather low. It rattled through the hoop but really didn't bounce off the court.

Power: 8/10, Altitude: 9/10, Exit through Net: 4/10, Bounce off Floor: 1/10, Poster Factor: 9/10, Relevance to winning: 10/10, Meaningful game score: 9/10

Score: 50

4.) LeBron alley-ooop against "Rival" Wizards


This is definitely the most underrated of LeBron's dunks. I'm not sure I've ever seen this on one of the LeBron all-time dunks compilation videos. This dunk was SICK. I'm not sure anyone in the NBA would have pulled off this dunk. Gib's pass was way too high and too late, and LeBron somehow leaned back and got high enough to throw it down. Very few times do players cock back their alley oops. LeBron HAD to in order to pull this dunk off. Also came at home against soulja boi and the Cavs "rivals" the Wizards. Ball sort of rattled the rim as it went through, but still hit the deck pretty hard. Also, the way LeBron landed after the dunk made it look awesome in real-time.

Power: 9/10, Altitude: 10/10, Exit through Net: 6/10, Bounce off Floor: 5/10, Poster Factor: 2/10, Relevance to winning: 8/10, Meaningful game score: 9/10

Score: 49

5.) LeBron Over Duncan (Or, the picture beside LeBron's locker)


This dunk is a tad overrated. Very often it is credited as LeBron's best dunk. First of all, it wasn't a power dunk. (Dwight Howard won a Dunk contest by throwing the ball in the hoop so what do I know) Second, LeBron had like 2 hours to set this dunk up, everyone saw this coming. But at the same time, he's dunking on one of the best power forwards of all time, the call from Hubie Brown is awesome, and the way Duncan falls really makes this dunk great. (Btw, D Wade's dunk on Varejao this season looks 10x better than it was thanks to the way Andy hit the deck like a rag doll and slammed his head AND feet into the padded baseboard. Other than that, it wasn't really one for the ages. JA Adande commented on this. It was an awesome dunk, but it comes with an assist from wild-thing. Also Cavs won both games at Miami...just sayin.) This dunk on Duncan will go down in the memory books, but it was a regular season game, the Cavs got waxed by this team in the Finals, and again, it lost a lot of exit points since LeBron wasn't able to grab the rim and really hammer it through.

Power: 10/10, Altitude: 10/10, Exit through Net: 4/10, Bounce off Floor: 2/10, Poster Factor: 10/10, Relevance to winning: 5/10, Meaningful game score: 6/10

Score: 47

6.) LeBron FT-line (almost) Dunk

and the slow-mo, close-up

This is one of the more underrated dunks. If there was every any doubt that LeBron could dunk from the FT-line, this should put it to rest. Not only is he starting from half-court, but he didn't even need a full extension to dunk it(like the Boobie alley-oop). LeBron stole the ball just behind half-court and only used 1 dribble to dunk - that is riDUNKulous. He takes off about 1 foot inside the line, the dunk is perfectly clean, and his landing is sweet. One of these games, LeBron is going to attempt an in-game FT line dunk. (rare weak call by McLeod/AC)

Power: 8/10, Altitude(hang time): 14/10(come on did u see where he took off from), Exit through Net: 5/10, Bounce off Floor: 5/10, Poster Factor: 6/10, Relevance to winning: 4/10, Meaningful game score: 4/10

Score: 46

7. a, b, c) LeBron May One Day Break a Floorboard With These Hammers

"I've never seen anything like that before..." (then you didn't watch Dunk #1)


"OH. MY. GOODNESS!" (From Jon Barry no less. Note: If Ira "I started on the Cavs and got cut from the Lakers despite Kobe fans insisting he has less talent than LeBron" Newble doesn't hit the ball after it hits the floor it would have gone up higher than the rim)

I gave those dunks a long title, not as long as http://heylarryhughespleasestoptakingsomanybadshots.com/ but long enough. (TWSS)
There are 3 dunks here. All of them are very similar: they were regular season dunks, and were the kind of dunks that only LeBron throws down. He goes right, elevates, and throws down an Akron-Hammer. His take-off is sometimes short (cept for the Chicago one), but his power is unmatched. I've seen various writers/bloggers refer to it as a "fffwwwoooomp" sound like the ball is being shot out of a cannon. This is a dunk that looks kinda average in slow mo, but in real-time it is just ferocious. Recently, LeBron has done this against Phoenix, Chicago, and Portland. The signature to this dunk is that the ball hits the floor at a million miles an hour. If Bo Jackson played basketball, this is how he would dunk every-time. (These HAVE to hurt his hands right?)

Avg stats:
Power: 10/10, Altitude: 5/10 (chicago one is easily 10/10), Exit through Net: 9/10, Bounce off Floor: 10/10, Poster Factor: 3/10, Relevance to winning: 4/10, Meaningful game score: 4/10

Score: 45

8.) LeBron's Dunk on Jermaine O'Neal


Ah, another diamond in the rough. Brian Windhorst described this dunk as follows: “I am not sure whether the dunk LeBron had with 47 seconds left translated to television. It was one of the most vicious throwdowns I have ever seen in person. He got so much momentum going when he turned the corner and his adrenaline was pumping so intensely that I think his head got above the rim. There was a dunk in Philly a couple years ago that was close and a dunk in Charlotte during his second season when he got crazy high off the ground that seem to relate to me. Plus his slam over Rasheed Wallace in Game 3 of the Eastern Conference Finals in 2007 that I believe was the turning point in the series.” This dunk gets high marks for power, poster, and being a crunch-time bucket in a big regular season game. It didn't have the aftershock-effect points of going through the net or hitting the court hard (never actually hit the floor).

Power: 9/10, Altitude: 9/10, Exit through Net: 2/10, Bounce off Floor: 0/10, Poster Factor: 8/10, Relevance to winning: 9/10, Meaningful game score: 6/10

Score: 43

9.) LeBron Dunk Over Suns


This one was tough to find, but I vividly remember it. January 29, 2006. No team dominated the Cavs in the early LeBron era quite like the Phoenix Suns. This game was the rare exception. LeBron finished with 44/11/7 including a chase down block of one of the fastest players in the NBA and then outran all 9 players on the court to finish a dunk through 3 Suns. The dunk itself was above-average, but the entire play was very indicative of how LeBron can change a game. He does this sort of thing on a nightly basis now, but this one will always be the most memorable to me. Also, if you can guess who the Cavs 2nd leading scorer this game was, (guess right now....) Ok if you guessed Sasha Pavlovic you win! Sasha really had a nice 2006-2007 campaign. The first half of the season LeBron had dead legs and Sasha posted career highs in almost everything. You know the rest of the story, Bill Simmons wrote a column saying LeBron would turn into Martina Hingis (http://sports.espn.go.com/espn/page2/story?page=simmons/070220), and LeBron put the league on notice the 2nd half of the season, en route to his 48-special and a trip to the Finals. Simmons has now claimed online twice, and in his book that his article was the reason for LeBron's resurgence. From his book: "The Cleveland Fans took great pleasure in rubbing this section in my face a few months later. After the All-Star Game, he ripped off 33 PPG over his next 10 games and everything was fine. I'd like to think my biting comments were partially responsible - I mean, that column did lead ESPN.com, What, you don't think Lebron has the internet and email? You don't think he had time to plow through a 6,600 word feature? Just humor me." I was one of those fans at the time, and even went out of my way to send Bill this picture I had made for him. (still waiting on a response)

Power: 7/10, Altitude: 3/10, Exit through Net: 4/10, Bounce off Floor: 5/10, Poster Factor: 5/10, Relevance to winning: 9/10, Meaningful game score: 7/10

Score: 40

10a.) LeBron Does Dallas (twice)

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jqD-JoDgKao (On Diop)

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Hmko73RC4u0 (On Stackhouse)

The Dunk on Diop is really #10a, the Stackhouse dunk was a "throw-in". Also, the TNT-crew linked them after the game, showing both dunks, 2 different years. But let's talk about the dunk on one of the best shot-blockers in the league, former ex-Cavalier and only player in the history of professional sports to have a silent "DE" in their name. When I told my ex-girlfriend that the D was silent she started calling him "DEE-Sagana EEE-op" Anyway, LeBron blows by Josh Howard, goes baseline, jumps, and looks like he's going to get blocked or draw a foul from Diop who rotates. Only, LeBron hangs in the air, brings the ball up, drops it down, flies to the left of Diop, brings it back up, and throws down a backboard-rattling two-handed slam.

Power: 8/10, Altitude(hang time): 9/10, Exit through Net: 4/10, Bounce off Floor: 4/10, Poster Factor: 7/10, Relevance to winning: 3/10, Meaningful game score: 4/10

Score: 38

10b.) LeBron Climbs Delonte


I love D West. I'm not sure he recovered from this dunk until he was traded to the Cavs - that sort of freed him from his poster demons. (Damon Jones never recovered) This dunk is sick because it's a true posterization, and LeBron basically lands on Delonte. And man does Delonte look helpless in this video. I give him props for not trying to run away like D Jones, but geez, maybe he should have tried. The other great thing about this dunk is that Eric Snow was in FRONT OF Delonte when he passed it BACK to LeBron. Not sure if E Snow just didn't trust his layup (he did spent a lot of time with David Wesley) or if he was just being a good teammate. He made the right decision. These days, E Snow is at the NBA TV studios, and Delonte's the one putting people on posters.

Eerie Piano Music That I had Finally forgotten until now...

Power: 8/10, Altitude(hang time): 9/10, Exit through Net: 6/10, Bounce off Floor: 2/10, Poster Factor: 9/10, Relevance to winning: 2/10, Meaningful game score: 2/10

Score: 38

Honorable Mentions

The one that would certainly be on here is an open-court tomahawk dunk LeBron threw down in the midst of the Cavs getting beat down against the Pistons. I'm 99% sure it was this game: http://espn.go.com/nba/playbyplay?gameId=260412008 but I can't find the video for it anywhere. I remember the game was in Detroit and the Cavs got dominated. I also remember that this was a time when most of LeBron's dunks were his high-flying cock-it-back-in-the-air and tomahawk it dunks. This one in particular I remember because LeBron was pissed, he took off a little further away and he cocked it back twice as far as he ever has, I mean he brought it back like even with his hip behind his back and just crushed it. Don't know if I'll ever see it again, but I remember exactly where I was when I saw it. UPDATE! I FOUND IT!!!!

LeBron's dunk over Barbosa where many claimed his head was clearly above the rim was pretty fantastic. It was sort of a poster to, but because of the camera angle, you can't get a perception of how high or fast he was going, although he does seem to have some insane hang-time.


Number 16 on this compilation is insane. It's one of LeBron's early dunks. I'll always remember this one because of the trajectory of the ball. It's goes through the hoop at an angle and STILL hits the ground like a superball and bounces into the cameras. It's like the resistance from the net wasn't even there. He gets up pretty high too.


Sick And-1 against Utah
I love this video for a couple reasons. 1.) Michael Reghi's "Flight #23 line" which must be copyrighted because I don't think McLeod has ever said it. 2.) I'm so glad Z shaves his head now. 3.) LeBron has almost doubled in size in the last 4 years and hasn't lost any speed or hops, 4.) The Jazz have really had the same players for a long time. Anyway, I highly doubt anyone in the NBA could manage to take off from where LeBron does, get fouled by 2 people, and still throw down a dunk while off balance.


Number 9 on that same compilation video (you should just watch the whole thing) is pretty slick. LeBron does goes through the legs with the dribble without switching hands, goes baseline and throws down a jack hammer dunk against the Knicks.


LeBron's through-the-legs St. V dunk

I didn't really get on board the LeBron bandwagon until his senior year. It was my first year in college and I realized that we had a legit shot at landing him. I still remember exactly where I was and who I was with when the Cavs won the lottery. I yelled so loud when Detroit came up number 2 that my RA came down the hall to see what was 'wrong'. Everyone in Cleveland won the lottery that day.

OK, I spent way to long working on this. If no one ever reads this, I'll show it to my kids some day.

Friday, July 3, 2009

Archived Posts - April 2009

Crazy Playoff Observations
Apr 28, 2009 | 10:31PM | report this
Hopefully this small piece doesn't distract everyone from my other blog, True Leadership, which I spent more time on. But there are just some things that happened tonight that have to be addressed.

Without further ado, in quick-blog format.

1.) The only person that can stop Paul Pierce is Paul Pierce. Much like Rasheed Wallace a few years ago, when Pierce is on, there is not a single player in the NBA that can stop him. His own inconsistencies keep him from consistently putting up superstar numbers, but if he gets in the zone, he is not going to miss. Watching the last 6 minutes of the game tonight just reaffirmed this. John Salmons did everything except BLOCK THE SHOT on 3 of those 5 shots and it didn't matter.
2.) This series features 3 of the clutchest shooters of this generation. Pierce, Allen, and Ben Gordon. This series has been so much fun to watch. People are overreacting a little bit to Rajon Rondo and Derrick Rose, but despite that, these two teams are laying it all out every night and man is it fun to watch all these clutch buckets.
3.) After the 12 point lead, Chicago went into a "playing not to lose" mindset and Boston just fought tooth and nail every second of the way after that. Even after Ray Allen fouled out, nothing changed. Boston really earned this one, with a superhuman performance from Paul Pierce in the closing minutes. But for the life of me, I can't understand why Chicago didn't throw ANY DOUBLE TEAMS at Rondo or Pierce after Allen fouled out. I mean, they just CONTINUED to burn the Bulls and they NEVER sent any double teams at those guys.
4.) Holy FLAGRANT FOULS! First of all, I have absolutely no idea how Dwight Howard didn't get tossed for that Elbow right to Dalembert's face. And wow, I can't believe that didn't knock Dalembert out. Every time I watched that reply it was like "BOOM!" and he didn't even STUMBLE! Orlando got lucky as hell that Howard didn't get tossed in the 1st quarter for that cheap shot. He SHOULD HAVE and had he, Philly would have won that game, and would be going home for a possibly series-clinching game 6. Wow I feel like Hoffman after that sentence. (nothing but love, Hoff)
5.) I understand that the refs didn't want to be the deciding factor in the Bulls/Celtics game, but if that shot that Rondo took on Miller isn't a flagrant, than i have no idea what is. I mean, I don't think his hand was ever within 2 feet of the ball, and not only did he drill Miller right in the mouth, but he followed through enough that Millers neck snapped. I mean, how in God's name is that not at LEAST a flagrant 1? And then after the game Rondo says 'I was just going for the ball, making sure he didn't get an and-1." Uh...yeah, so you were going for the ball and just missed by 2 feet. The funniest part of all that was watching Rondo's reaction after the foul was called. He signaled to the refs that he got all ball. KG is really rubbing off on Rondo. Anyway, I'm glad it wasn't called because now the Celtics will win the series and if they can survive Orlando they will get a much deserved Cavalier BEATDOWN in about a month. I'd much rather play Boston than Chicago anyway from a matchup standpoint, I just wish KG was healthy.
6.) God I hope Stan Van Gundy does Color TV after he gets fired (which I believe he will get fired after next season). He might be wackier than Jeff. All season long I have marvelled at his incredulous gamesmanship. Tonight, his star player got away with what should have been an immediate ejection in the first quarter, and may have just survived the first round because of the refs inability to make the right call, and he had the AUDACITY to ridicule Philly Coach Tony DiLeo after DiLeo commented on Howard hanging out in the paint all day. Van Gundy goes on a rant asking sarcastically if he's supposed to come to the podium to lobby the refs for calls he wants in the future. Note to Van Gundy: You are the POSTER CHILD FOR LOBBYING THE REFS IN POST-GAME INTERVIEWS!! You should have kissed as much #### as possible in that interview. If there is any justice in this world Howard will get tossed for 2 games since what he did was about 10x more dangerous than Robert Horry's 2 game hip check on Steve Nash.
7.) I really wish Vinny Del #### would save at least 1 timeout for end game situations. I think this is the 4th time in 5 games that he had no timeouts when he could have used one.
8.) The Bulls got #### by the refs tonight, and there was a sequence in the 3rd quarter where a bunch of guys: Salmons, Rose, and Gordon, felt they got fouled and were not bailed out while Rondo was pulling off his best Gilbert Arenas drive right into defenders and fall down impression. I couldn't stop laughing as Joakim Noah ran over to his angry teammates and grabbed them, turning them away from the officials. The most hot-headed overreactionary player in the series was interceding to avoid any unnessesary Techs. Great stuff!
9.) Someone better take Chuck Barkley to a hospital, and ASAP. Something happened tonight that I have never seen in my entire life. For about 25 minutes, Barkley said nothing ridiculous.
!!!!!!!!!!! Think about that for one second. Let it sink in.
He actually gave some analysis and I almost fell out of my chair with each sentence that came ouf of his mouth. I agreed with absolutely everything that Barkley said tonight. Usually, about 85% of what he says is pure ####. Tonight, he gave sound analysis and was surprisingly pleasant to listen to. He must be ill. Deathly ill!
10.) If Stan Van Gundy is the ultimate panic attack, then Byron Scott is the ultimate Neville Chamberlain. He sounds cautiously optimistic about the Hornets chances.
11.) BONUS! This was supposed to be a very digital 10-set list, but something incredible just happened. I still have TNT on from the post-game show, and Law and Order is on. Jerry Orbach (RIP), aka Lennie Briscoe just made THIS COMMENT to Ed Green after questioning a witness: "He's about as menacing as Jeff Van Gundy." I can't make this stuff up.

Right now the only first round pick of mine that looks to be in jeopardy is Houston/Portland.

Great night for basketball.
4 Comments | Add a comment category: NBA Playoffs

« Continue reading Tsunami's Blog
total comments: 4 Page 1 of 1
Apr 29, 2009
6:14 AM
good stuff

Apr 29, 2009
9:37 AM
Loved the post! Maybe Barkley is following some 12-step program? I surely hope so because his 'minor' problem is capable of becoming a 'big' problem. I personally don't want the guy to become another negative statistic.

Rondo? C'mon.

Dwight Howard? Elbows of Fury? I hope the league sends a message and suspends him from game 6.

Apr 29, 2009
10:28 AM
P-double is the truth.

Must be the Los Angeles upbringing.

Too bad he plays for the leprachauns.

Tim Legler said the Rondo call was the right call...what a tool. He slapped Brad in the mug. Boston is a great defensive team but they are starting to be borderline dirty now.

Does Glen Davis have down syndrome?
He's a strange looking dude.

nba is the worst
Apr 29, 2009
1:01 PM
The rest of the talking heads on ESPN said it was obviously a flagrant by Rondo.

That said, it was the terrible play by Chitown after they got the 11-pt lead that lost the game.

Oh well, neither team has enough to seriously challenge the Cavs...

True Leadership
Apr 28, 2009 | 4:15PM | report this

LeBron James is not only the best player in the NBA. He's the best leader. And it's not even close.

There are just so many examples of this, some obvious, some more subtle. If you pay attention to the Cavs at all, it's obvious that LeBron's goal is to get his teammates involved as much as possible in the early going, so that they are ready to make big shots when the game is on the line.

Not surprisingly(to Cavs fans), this formula works wonders. Sort 82games.com's "Clutch Stats" by +/- per 48 minutes, and you might be surprised at what you find.

  1. Delonte West: +46 pts
  2. Anderson Varejao: +46 pts
  3. LeBron James: +45 pts
  4. Mo Williams: +42 pts
  5. Josh Howard: +41
  6. Pau Gasol: +36
  7. Boobie Gibson: +35
Now all this tells us is that with these players on the court in "clutch" situations, the TEAM has an incredible point differential. It doesn't necessarily say who is most responsible. So let's take a closer look at what happens in these situations.

First, LeBron's usage rate goes through the roof. In these situations, LeBron seems to do everything. He is second in the league in points per 48 minutes at 55.9 (Kobe is first at 56.7), he is FIRST in the league in assists per 48 minutes at 12.6, and he is first on the Cavs (18th in the league) in rebounds per 48 minutes at 14.3. All while shooting a healthy 56% from the field (Kobe 46%), 42% from 3 point land (Kobe 40%) and a remarkable 85% from the foul line. (Not bad for a guy with a reputation for not being a clutch shooter). So if there was every any doubt that LeBron wasn't clutch, hopefully the last 2 years + game 5 against the Pistons have thoroughly eviscerated that argument. LeBron is the best closer in the league, and has been, but some conventional wisdom has so much inertia and so many people willing to die for an agenda that the truth never gets its due.

But here is the most remarkable thing about the Cavs and "clutch stats". LeBron attitude towards his teammates is paying off in the waning moments of ballgames.

Anderson Varejao is shooting 69% in clutch situations. And 72% of his baskets are coming with an assist - more often than not, from LBJ. Mo Williams is jacking up 3s at a rate of 9.8 per 48 minutes during clutch time and is connecting on 50% of them. And 76% of his made baskets are assisted baskets. Boobie Gibson has had the worst year of his career this year, and has struggled all season long. He is shooting career lows in FG% and 3PFG%. And yet, he is jacking up treys at a rate of 8.2 per 48 minutes during "clutch" situations. He's connecting on 78% of them! SEVENTY EIGHT PERCENT! Over 70% of his baskets during "cltuch" time are assisted.

So what can we infer from this. First, the obvious: That LeBron James elevates his game during clutch situations and that he has no problems getting his teammates involved. But the less obvious thing is that his teammates are RESPONDING. They are READY to hit BIG SHOTS down the stretch. The old joke is that the Cavs go into "give it to LeBron and back the #### away" mode in closing moments. That may be true at times. But there is a REASON that this works. 1.) Because LeBron is the ultimate player and playmaker. But 2.) is because he burns you so many times with huge passes that it opens up the floor in late game situations. Thus, the Cavs become the pinnacle of offensive efficiency when the game is on the line. These players would be too scared to take and make big shots without the effect of LeBron's leadership.

A few years back, in game 1 against the Pistons, LeBron passed to a wide open Donyell Marshall in the closing seconds. Marshall had a good look from the corner and back-ironed it. LeBron was lambasted by the media. He was insulted by everyone and anyone. Watching Jim Rome, PTI, Around the Horn the next day was brutal as a Cavs fan. Over and over and over the story was that LeBron lacks a killer instinct. LeBron James passing to Donyell Marshall?!?!?! THE HORROR! MIchael Jordan would never allow anyone else to shoot in that situation. LeBron just isn't clutch.

And HOW did that series play out? LeBron CONTINUED to defer to teammates througout the series. And when they just couldn't hit and needed a boost, LeBron put together one of the most amazing individual performances in NBA history (Game 5). Everyone remembers game 5. But here's what most people DON'T remember- GAME 6. The game I was at. The game where the Pistons decided to double and triple LeBron whenever he had the ball across half court. Anyone remember how Game 6 ended? Oh, that's right, with Rookie Point Guard Boobie Gibson scoring 31 points and hitting 5 threes while the Pistons draped LeBron.

What LeBron has done this season with the talent (or lack there of) the Cavs have is nothing short of incredible. LeBron's incredible selflessness on and off the court has enabled the Cavalier role players to thrive under pressure when they are on the court with LeBron. They play for him. A few other writers have said it more eloquently than I ever could:

Bill Simmons:

4. And this is my favorite reason ...

Not since Magic Johnson has a superstar doubled as such a galvanizing teammate. If there's an enduring image of the '08-09 season, it's the way LeBron stamped his personality on everyone around him. They orchestrate goofy pregame intros (my favorite: the team snapshot), trade countless chest bumps, giggle on the sidelines, hang out on road trips and support each other in every way. What's telling about LeBron's in-traffic dunks -- and he unleashes them more frequently than anyone since Dominique -- is how he seeks out his bench for feedback, and even better, how they give it to him. It makes the forced camaraderie of the Lakers seem glaring. If you want to watch a team that pulls for each other and follows the lead of its best player, watch Cleveland.

And if you're a Cavs fan trying to talk yourself into LeBron staying after 2010, your best chance is this: Through 24 years, LeBron has proven to be an inordinately devoted guy. When you're with him, you're with him. The upcoming documentary (supposedly superb) about his high school years bangs this point home. So does the fact that he jettisoned his agents and surrounded himself with high school buddies. So does everything that happened this season. He's as good of a teammate as a player. The more I watch him, the more I wonder if such an intensely loyal guy would ever say, "Thanks for the memories, everybody," dump his teammates, dump his hometown and start a fresh life elsewhere. Although he isn't surrounded by the most talented players right now, collectively, it's a team in the truest sense, with a devoted set of appreciative fans, and maybe that's all LeBron James will need in the end.

Bill Livingston:

It is not necessary for players to get along anywhere but on the court, but the Cavs, corny as it sounds, genuinely enjoy each other's company. They are as tight a group of players as I have ever seen. The new commercial, by being so inclusive, is proof of that.

Mo Williams, James' long-sought sidekick, has a bigger role in it than James, as Williams ecstatically holds up the new ####. (While it would have been more genuine if it were solely Cavs apparel, this is the real world. Nike is a huge player in basketball advertising.)

The funniest part is the last scene, between a tearful Delonte West and Anderson Varejao. The backstory here is about loyalty. The team has supported West as he dealt with emotional problems this year. Last season, after Varejao's contractual holdout, James defused any thought of fan booing by entering Varejao's first game as a substitute, reporting to the scorer's table alongside the Brazilian.

Once, the cast of James' commercials consisted mostly of James with his "four LeBrons." There also was a 10-inch-tall vinyl doll called "Thirst," co-starring in his Sprite commercials years ago.

Now the cast is the men he counts on when it counts.
Obviously I have seen this from LeBron for years now. I have seen how loyal he is to people. Two years ago I was writing articles for Hoffman on Ballerblogger.com stating that LeBron won't leave Cleveland because he is too loyal to his family, his friends, his teammates, and the organization. Now that the Cavs are winning, people are starting to pay attention to this. But my inspiration to write this article came from a short, likely overlooked sequence of events during game 3 of the Cavs vs the Pistons. There have been many instances where I felt compelled to write about LeBron the consummate teammate, like when he demanded not to start a game so taht he could enter alongside Anderson Varejao so that the crowd wouldn't boo Varejao who had just held ouf of his contract to being the season. There was also the time when Delonte West left the team to deal with personal issues of depression. LeBron's reponse? Not, "ship his #### out", but "We're here for you, brother, whatever you need, how ever much time you need." Delonte has been the Cavs glue-guy this year or "splenda" as I referred to him in a previous blog, but none of this would be possible without the committment that LeBron has forged with his teammates.

But the reason I decided to write this today was because of the way LeBron has handled Boobie Gibson's shooting struggles this year.

Gibson, as most of you know, became something of a kid brother to LeBron shortly after joining the team. A second round pick, he worked as hard as anyone on the roster to get some PT. He was visibily less versatile and less athletic than the Cavs first round pick, Shannon Brown, but he worked tirelessly on his shot, and quickly became one of the best young 3-point shooters in the game. It paid off in the playoffs, where Gibson really made a name for himself. The next year, he participated in the rookie/sophmore game and won the MVP award by hitting 11 3-pointers. LeBron could be seen going crazy from the stands, cheering his "kid brother" all along the way.

Things have been different this year. Boobie has struggled all season long. He's a pretty one-dimensional player, and when his shot isn't falling, he's a defensive liability and a poor distributor. This season he has shot 39% from the field and 38% from the 3 point line, both career lows. Numerous times this season I have been so incredible frustrated with Gibson. There have been so many games where I just wanted Mike Brown to play anyone besides him. Even in this series against Detroit, he was torched by Will Bynum and really just played poorly the entire series. And yet, LeBron's committment to him has never wavered, not one bit.

Any time Boobie hits a big 3 and a timeout is called, the Cavs run out to greet him and put their hands together to "start the fire" as they call it. I saw a game where Boobie was like 0-8 before he hit a 3. No sooner was there a timeout and LeBron ran out to greet him to "start the fire". Even the TV announcers joked about it, asking whether he should hit a couple of them before performing such a corny act. But LeBron's committment doesn't waver. Which brings me to game 3. I saw the most incredible sequence.

Midway through the second quarter, the Cavs were on a fast break. Z passed it to a trailing LeBron who fired a no-look pass to Gibson who was standing right under the hoop with no defender near him. He had an uncontested layup. However, he looked scared and passed out to the perimeter to Mo Williams, who couldn't pull the trigger because of a defender flying toward him. After swinging the ball back around, Z was called for 3 seconds. LeBron instantly became animated towards Gibson, motioning for him to pull the ball up with his right arm extended. I'm not sure exactly what he said, but he was angry that Boobie had doubted himself.

Two possessions later, LeBron was leading a fast break. Now, we all know LeBron is a one-man fast break and that he is the best finisher to have ever laced up a pair in the NBA. He easily could have powered through two Piston defenders and gone to the line for 2 shots. But he chose to throw a bounce pass to Boobie, who was slightly ahead of him. The same Boobie that is probably THE WORST FINISHER on the Cavs and who had just #### up a play by being too scared to shoot an uncontested layup. What did Boobie do? He took one dribble, two steps, and then went up for a DUNK, yes a DUNK against Rasheed Wallace. Sheed put him on the deck and Boobie back ironed the dunk attempt, but earned two foul shots. I have see Gibson try to dunk maybe twice in his entire career, and certainly not when it was contested. Once again LeBron became very animated and pointed at a sprawled out Gibson yelling something at him. My guess is it was something laced with profanities about how you go strong. But as he proceeded to wave his arm and shout, he ran over to help Boobie up off the deck and continued to yell in his ear as a smile came across Boobie's face. And then he hit both foul shots.

That is ultimate trust. And it's even more than that. It's a very mature understanding of basketball. LeBron knows how important Boobie's sharp shooting is to the team, and he doesn't want him to become passive or scared since he has been in a season long slump. He wants him playing with confidence, and because of that, the Cavs are going to go a long way.

6 Comments | Add a comment categories: NBA Playoffs, LeBron James, Daniel Gibson, Delonte West

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Apr 28, 2009
6:41 PM
I think you are probably right that LeBron is the best player in the NBA right now, and I can appreciate that you are a huge Cavs fan, but I just couldn't make that leap to believe he is far and away the best leader in the NBA.

Really, you can't quantify the best player usually. I mean who was better: Bird or Magic?

But despite your well researched reasoning, I just can't make the leap to declare ANYONE (not just LeBron) the best LEADER.

As usual though, it was VERY well researched and written and a very worthwhile read.

Apr 28, 2009
7:03 PM
Nice blog Tsu...it took an hour to read, but good.

LeMVP is the best individual all around player right now, I posted a blog at the beginning of the year reluctantly saying so...I'm just glad he didn't prove me wrong.

But the Cavs being the best TEAM is yet to be determined.



Apr 28, 2009
8:45 PM
i think lebron is deserving of the MVP this year - but to say he is the best and the best leader?

lets see how the post season plays out.

i would comment further but i have to finish reading this - I'll get back to ya in a couple of days.

Lake Show in 6

Apr 29, 2009
1:14 AM
LaDum James stinks. D-Wade should be the MVP this year but it will be either Kobe or LaDum. As far as who will win the top of the hill Lakers All The Way.. Bye Timmy and Tony from the Spurs. Haaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa GO LAKERS

Apr 29, 2009
6:22 AM
Fantastic stuff. It has been an absolute pleasure to watch this team play all season long. You don't often see this type of comraderie in todays professional sports.

I'm very thankful and won't forget this season.

Still a little work to do.

41-2 and counting.

The greatest player on the planet has more leadership in his little pinky toe than the mamba has in his entire aura.

nba is the worst
Apr 29, 2009
1:45 PM
The more I read Bill Simmons, the more I like him. Funny, sarcastic, funnier!

He has a lot of insight, and is really creative in his writing style.

It doesn't even bother me that he's a celtics fan, and that's saying something.

As he said, it's the underlying reality of the Cavs closeness as a group that sets them apart. There's nothing forced about it.

In crunch time, that reality is likely to make a big difference in the results.

I'm just hoping they don't forget how to play with all these days off...

Apr 22, 2009 | 2:22PM | report this
I traveled up from Dayton with X23 for Game 2. From the moment I saw the signs for The Lake Erie Watershed, I knew it was time to get pumped. We stopped at the Dairy Queen near his house in Parma to get some burgers. Totally off topic, but you know how when you order water at a fast food place they give it to you in this dinky cup that KOBE!!! couldn't even ice his pinky in?? Well Dairy Queen seriously gives you a BUCKET. I mean I didn't even have to emphatically say "LARGE WATER" or anything like that. I just said, "2 waters please" and holy-boobie-gibson-brickfest they gave us enough water to quench the thirst of the entire scream team, AND the Red Panda, AND Drew Carey.

Traffic wasn't too bad on the interbelt since we left early. Even with the Indians game, we were able to get into the Tower City parking lot relatively quickly. "Ya'll here for da gAAAme???" "Yes, ma'am!" "10 dolla!" We found a spot right near the escalator and put on our Vintage 1988 Cavalier-themed Addidas kicks. Game time.

I took a shot of the Tower City fountains as we got to the top of the escalator. X made fun of me for acting like a tourist in my own hometown. I tried a few samples of Teriyaki Chicken before we were headed down the long tunnel towards the Q.

I wanted a T-Shirt like the "Beat Detroit" one I got 2 years ago at Game 6, but we got towels. I knew right away I was going to be annoying the hell out of everyone around me. It took us a while to find our seats. Honestly, these are the best seats I've ever had for a game since the Cavs moved to Gund Arena (now the Q). We were in Section 111, Row 29, Seats 5 and 6.

Delonte, Tarrence Kinsey, and Joe Smith were still out on the court shooting when we got there. Delonte made about 20 mid-range shots in a row and was about 2-10 from 3 while Chris Jent retrieved his shots for him.

I love the Cavs pre-game video montage of the Franchise. Not only seeing highlights of my early childhood heroes like Mark Price and Larry Nance, but also some of my favorite players of the mid-90s: Terrell Brandon, the late Bobby Phils, Tyrone Hill, and Danny Ferry. I did some research into the 1995-1996 Cavalier team under Mike Fratello after the game. I used to watch that team every night. I forgot that they started the season off 0-8 before finishing 47-35. They might have been the most undersized playoff team in NBA history. Their centers were MIchael Cage and John Amaechi, and with the exception of Tyrone Hill, they really didn't have much front court size. They played hard every night, however, and they could all shoot the rock.

Anyway, I'm glad that young fans at the Q get to see a lot of the history of the Cleveland Cavaliers. Despite a lack of Championships, they are a proud organization with a rich history.

Before the game Mike Brown was presented with the Coach of the Year award. I couldn't really hear much of what was said because the crowd was so loud. But I did see Mike Brown smack Dan Gilbert on the chest pretty hard at center court. It's nice to see the Coach and the Owner so tight.

The Cavs controlled the tempo early. It was sort of a sloppy game, but it was obvious the Cavs wanted it more. They badly outrebounded Detroit in the first half and seemed to come up with every loose ball. LeBron was very agressive and drove into the teeth of the defense at every opportunity. He shot a lot of foul shots in the first half, including 3 that resulted from a hard foul by Amir Johnson and a subsequent T on Amir for giving Varejao a nice two-hand shove. Finally, the series started getting chippy! I'd been waiting for this. I was actually surprised that they didn't give Johnson a Flagrant foul. I watched the replay on TV when I got home and you could see him coming out of the corner of the screen just trying to rake across LeBron with his two hands. He kinda missed because he tripped on his own guy, so maybe that's why they didn't give it a flagrant, because LeBron stayed on his feet and 3 Pistons hit the deck. But after the already unnatural-looking foul, he proceeded to take his hand and smack LeBron in the back of the head - this is when LeBron turned around and said something about "the ball" - I assume something about him obviously not going for it. Varejao walked over towards Johnson and stood close to him, Johnson then gave Varejao a nice shove. The Wild thing gets under everyone's nerves, and yet he's not a dirty player, so I guess his defense just frustrates people that they are like ticking time bombs when he's out there.

At halftime, we were entertained by the "Red Panda" who tosses bowls from her foot onto her head while riding a unicylce. How do you even practice something like that? After that, Drew Carey said a few words and then wanted to tape a segment for an upcoming showcase showdown prize package on the Price is Right. Pack of tickets and Airfare I think for a playoff game in May. He messed up his lines and said "Oh ####!" before a retake. Mildly funny, although I've never been a big Drew fan.

In the third quarter, the Pistons showed some signs of life until about mid-way through the quarter. Then they started getting sloppy and the Cavs capitalized on all the turnovers. Before long it was a 20 point game capitalized by two thunderous LeBron dunks. Delonte hit an excuse-me three at the the end of the quarter to put the Cavs up 27. X turned to me and said, "well, now the fourth is going to be boring as hell". Not so fast.

The fourth quarter was a perfect storm of everything that could have gone wrong for the Cavs. FIrst, Will Bynum hit like his first 5 shots. Second, the Cavs turned the ball over a bunch of times early, and the Pistons converted on every TO. Finally, it was just very clear that the Pistons bench mob was much more athletic than our 3rd unit. They pressured Delonte enough that he had to give the ball up, and Joe Smith, Boobie Gibson, Szczerbiak, and Darnell Jackson just about #### themselves trying to put the ball in the basket. It was really strange, but with every second that went by the Pistons cut into the lead. By the time it was a 14 point game, Mike Brown was forced to bring his starters back in. But even they couldn't get it going again. Just a total loss of focus, and the jumpers were flat. I was upset that they didn't attack the basket more because the PIstons were alerady in the bonus again. Eventually, LeBron started to do this, and the Cavs hit enough free throws to seal the deal. But at one point the Pistons were down 7 with about 5 minutes to go!!!!!! Incredible. The Cavs pushed the lead back up to 16 with about a minute to go and won by 12, but it was kinda depressing seeing the Pistons get a touch of life back. I expect to see a lot more of those bench players in game 3. If not, Michael Curry can kiss his job goodbye.

Surprisingly, the Pistons going on a 25-3 run wasn't the most ridiculous thing that happened in the game. Allow me to walk you through the most amazing TV timeout spectacle I have ever seen.

Sometime during the first half, the time out promotional thing was a "Continental Airlines" ticket package shoot out thing. They put these square floor mats at various spots on the court with destinations listed on them. A layup was a trip to NYC (DON'T KNOW WHY BRON BRON DIDN'T COME OUT AND SHOOT THAT ONE!!!!?!?!??!?!), A free throw was a trip to somewhere a little futher away, I honestly don't remember where. And then a 3 pointer was a trip to Germany.

Anyway, as pointed out by a fan sitting near me..."THEY ALWAYS GET THE WORST BASKETBALL PLAYERS FOR THESE THINGS!" Indeed. This guy missed his first like 6 layups. And it wasn't even close. I mean it was UGLY. It was like a blog-off between Alaskaball and TCBdog ugly. Yes, that ugly. He finally sinks a layup and I'm thinking, well, I guess he's going to New York. I thought, there is absolutely no way possible he hits a free throw, even if he has 20 seconds left. I called the first air-ball out loud. And it wasn't short, it was LEFT! I mean, I started thinking, this guy makes Ben Wallace look like a FT deity! Anyway, he didn't even put enough arc on the ball to give it a chance, and he wasn't in the business of making adjustments. He just kept flinging line drives up there from his waist. Mind you this kid looked like he was about 20. He wasn't like a 4 year old kid. Anyway, by the grace of God, or Kobe, whichever you prefer, he somehow SANK his 4th or 5th free throw. I have no idea how it happened. It was the ugliest MAKE I have ever seen. So now the crowd, which was gettting really restless during his anti-layup clinic, was actually really surprised. I mean, never in a million years did anyone in that gym think he was going to hit the FT. So with a few seconds left he trots back to the 3 point line. I now proclaimed that he wouldn't even have the strenth to get the ball there with his form. Sure enough, his first 2 shots missed HORRIBLY. I mean, not even remotely close. No backboard, no rim, no front of the net. Probably 5 feet off. I remember watching him toss up his last shot with like 2 seconds left on the clock. He actually caught backboard I believe. Then, somehow, Moondog decided he still had time left on the clock, and fired him a pass. Sure enough, there must have been a half second left on that clock, and he caught it and immediately fired one up in the same horrific form as all his previous shots. The buzzer sounded as the ball spun sideways in the air.....

AND HE SWISHED IT!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

The crowd went absolutely nuts. No one could believe it. I mean, it sounds like not a big deal, it's not like he hit a full court shot blindfolded. But you HAD TO SEE THIS GUY shooting. I mean I would have had better form if I was shooting with my HIP, MAYAN DEATH MATCH STYLE.

Anyway, the "kid from stow" as Sizzle just pointed out on his blog, made as many threes last night as the entire Cavs bench. SIGN HIM UP!!

But if you think THAT was the most incredible thing of the night, you'd be wrong again. I woke up late today since I didn't get into Dayton until 4 last night. But I faithfully checked the NBA blogs for the latest playoff rant. Obviously I checked out my boy, sizzle's, and looking at his picture of the Q, I thought, wow that looks just like some of the shots I got. Then I looked at his ticket.

Section 111, Row 29, Seat 3! I was in 111, 29, seat 5!!!!!! I thought this was like a joke. I figured X emailed him last night and sent him the picture and the picture of his ticket stub. But then I remembered that X was in seat 6! Not 3!

Turns out everybody's favorite Rooster was actually sitting RIGHT NEXT TO ME! In seat 4. When he showed up before the National Anthem he sat down and said Hello to me. I just said "what's up man" and noticed he and his buddy were decked out in Ohio State Gear. And they both had autographed photos of the Cavaliers girls!!! Absolutely unbelievable. They must have made mention of the 20,562 fans at the game about 20,000 times. It's their new way to pump up fans. Even the towels bear Witness to the head count. How ridONKulous, that Rooster/gr8un/sizzle, was sitting next to me.


28 Comments | Add a comment categories: NBA Playoffs, Cleveland Cavaliers, Detroit Pistons, I SAT NEXT TO SIZZLE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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nba is the worst
Apr 22, 2009
3:30 PM
Gr8 story.

"It was like a blog-off between Alaskaball and TCBdog ugly."

Now thet raught ther is funny, I don't care who you are!

Truth is stranger that fiction, the only 3 remaining Cavs fans on FS sitting next to each other, but only 2 of them know each other...


Apr 22, 2009
3:31 PM
as usual excellent write.


we are the slogan.

what are the odds tsu?

i am absolutely speechless.

i hope i don't come off as annoying in person as i do on the blogs.


Apr 22, 2009
3:33 PM
ps. i've now met both you and hoffman, and i think you could take him in the octagon.

Apr 22, 2009
3:48 PM
dude - I have no idea what those odds are. I was just thinking bout how unlikely this is. Not only the crazy odds that we sat next to each other, but also the fact that I even went to the game, and that you posted your TICKET ONLINE. Otherwise I wouldn't have known!

I didn't even know I was going to the game until monday night when X told me he had 2 tickets. It was a last minute thing.

dude, I remember when you talked about balling in real life.

What are you like 6 4? You actually looked like a basketball player.

Dude, annoying are you kidding me? I probably hit you in the face 12 times with my towel. lol

I remember thinking it was finally nice to sit next to Cavs fans that actually know something about the NBA. When we started talking about Yao and Wade and why they would/wouldn't come to the Cavs. What was your dream team again? Mo, Wade, LeBron, Bosh, Yao?

Last edited by Tsunami on April 22nd at 3:49 PM.

Apr 22, 2009
4:01 PM

yes that's my dream team, i think i'd take wade or yao without batting an eye. bosh would be a nice addition.

but it's alot sexier to talk about LeBron to NYC than it is wade to cow town.

i wish we'd known before hand we could have hung out. i plan to make another game or two before it's all said and done.

who knows, if your not busy in June would you like to hang out at a parade with me?

Apr 22, 2009
4:03 PM

Last edited by TheSizzel on April 22nd at 4:09 PM.

Apr 22, 2009
4:09 PM
Yeah I promised my gf I'd take her to a game. I'm thinking maybe a game 5 or if necessary 7 against Atlanta is the next game I'll be at. Let me know if/when you get tickets.

We should hit up Great Lakes Brewery before a game, have some food and beers and then head on over to the game.

As for the Parade, if it happens, I'll be there, without question. I'm not even sure what i'm going to do if we win it all...I've been waiting so long for this

Apr 22, 2009
4:14 PM
Okay, first, the Cavs need to get rid of "Boobie Gibson." It's only fair, the Lakers dumped "Smush" didn't they?

Second, hey... no hating on us Alaskans!

Third, autographed photos of the Cavaliers GIRLS?! I didn't think serious basketball fans did that kind of thing.

Fourth, I was once plucked from the crowd to shoot a shot from half court for a year's worth of free food at a Mexican restaurant.

This is a good thing, 'cause I LOVE Mexican food, but I was healing from a torn rotator cuff in my right shoulder and still had a great deal of pain.

Not willing to risk reinjury, and even less willing to give up a year of free Mexican food without even trying...

I loosened up and tried to shake my nervousness by dribbling the ball a bit... between the legs... behind the back... left hand... right hand... okay.

I walked up to the half court line and as I brought the ball down between my knees to shoot ... "granny style" ... I could hear people in the crowd start to laugh at me.

The ball flew true so I put one fist into the air as I watched it... it hit on the front rim and froze there for what seemed to be 2 to 3 weeks, then fell back off the front of the rim.

There was a huge, "OH!" from the crowd when it fell back. They weren't chuckling anymore, I went back to my seat to applause and a disappointed son who was hoping for Mexican food that night.

Anyway, enjoyed the story, Tsu.

Apr 22, 2009
4:20 PM
Sizz, you met Hoff?

I'm blown away you were there with X23 and Tsunami, but I'm even more blown away that you guys are considering attending the parade in Los Angeles in June.

Man, talk about good sports!


Apr 22, 2009
5:52 PM
Amazing story.

I'm beginning to think Rooster has some sort of crazy karmic path in life.

He came through Denver last year on the night that Kobe received the MVP trophy. What are the odds of that? We had a few beers and watched David Stern present Bryant with the Maurice Podoloff trophy. Good times.

I've never shared this with anyone at FOXSports, but I swear I saw a few tears fall down Rooster's face that night. They were tears of joy. He was SO HAPPY. All he said was "Kobe!!"


Seriously though, this was a really cool story. You guys should get together and watch Cavs games ... and hate on Kobe ... and whatever else you crazy Cavs fans do.


Apr 22, 2009
6:03 PM
Great story -

Sounds like you guys had a great time..

"Go Cavs"

Apr 22, 2009
7:44 PM
Some great comments here.

@NBA - glad you liked the references to some of our more interesting bloggers here at FS. The more I think about this, the stranger it is. I mean the odds of this are absolutely astronomical.

@Tom7 - nice story of your own. But I don't buy the story about ur injury. You shoot granny style all the time don't you?!

@Hoff - You should make a trip out here for the Finals if it all goes as planned. The 4 of us, you, me, sizz, and X could all get together for some beers. I don't know if I already said this or not, but Kwame Brown had a pretty bad game and after he blew an open layup, Roost said "It's Kobe's fault!" I should have made the connection right then and there!

@Joker - maybe it's the LeBron factor, but something always happens when I go to Cavs games that I have never witnessed before in my life. It was a great game, at least for 3 quarters.

Apr 22, 2009
8:52 PM
All i remember is that you kept hitting me in the head with that damn towel and it was pissing me off.

I remember seein rooster in that free throw shootin video of his so i may have recognized had i been sittin in your seat but when i noticed you were talkin to the people next to you for a bit i just figured you had hit them in the head with your towel and they were telling you to calm down.

Apr 22, 2009
9:01 PM
Next thing you know I'll hook up with Lisa or Dusty.....Damn Billy Hoyle, you had to watch KOBE!! recieve his MVP award?...in Colorado?....with Hoffman?? LMFAO!

Apr 22, 2009
10:12 PM
Laughing! You know those ads for Better Basketball DVDs? They are doing a 2 disc set with Rick Barry teaching the art of the free throw, and me doing the "Secrets of the Half Court Shot" video.

By the way, minutes after I got back to my seat, two of the boys from a team I was coaching at the time came over to give me a hard time.

Hey, wasn't it bad enough I wasn't getting a chimichanga that night?

Today I attended game 1 of the d-league Finals by the way... went to over time. Good game.

I really love watching d-league basketball. These guys really do have skills, and boy do they play with heart just for the love of the game and the hope of a dream. Purest basketball I've seen at that level.

nba is the worst
Apr 23, 2009
6:21 AM


Apr 23, 2009
7:31 AM

hello hoffman, without question there is some cosmic, karmic connection between us foxsports_admin bloggers.

truth is stranger than fiction my friend, and all of these events are true.



i did in fact meet hoffman in the flesh at a holiday inn in Denver. we did see KOBE!! receive his MVP trophy together. (ironic?) that was all planned out, sitting next to tsu at the Q for game 2. damn near divine intervention.

as far as lisa and dusty go.

i offered to meet lisa in the flesh when i was living in LA and working at a place called "the two nine cafe" near USC's campus. (29th @ Fig) she refused.

Dusty offered to meet me in the flesh waaaaayy back in the day when he was still "dustylaker".

i refused.

i did however meet and hoop with meandovine, if any of you remember him w/ the "best damn guard" series.


Apr 23, 2009
7:54 AM

you refused a chance to uncover the TRUE IDENTITY of DUSTYLAKER?!?!?!?!

did you ever meet AKSPIDEY in the flesh?

What ever happened to gr8one? I'd really love to talk smack to him right now

Apr 23, 2009
8:07 AM
yes, dusty invited me over to have dinner with he and carmen, i refused. this was very, very early on back in the DIMESMACK days. this dusty said he lived in coldwater canyon (los angeles). i just had a sense that this dude was nuts. my intuition also told me that this dude was creeping around my neighborhood in LA.

damn reality is the craziest thing.

as for AK47spiderman.

we have yet to meet in the flesh, but i did speak to him on the phone the other day. he was very excited he and his fiance had just bought a house.

i am still in a fantasy football league with GR8ONE54

Apr 23, 2009
8:44 AM
Yeah, he's already alluded to the fact that he rolls around in a "serial killer" white Dodge van.

Who knows which of his identities would show up,
you made the right call.

I've yet to meet any blogger in person but have spoken to JOKERSWILD regularly, and Pete aka SRM Genius on the phone.

goutdaddy has offered to hook up and go to a Dodgers game, that could possibly go down, we'll see.

I forgot to mention yesterday....another excellent post man!

Someone should re-post that free throw video..that ish was classic cocky Rooster.

Lisa H
Apr 23, 2009
8:46 AM
This is a very kewl story! Awesome. Rooster lives in Ohio now? OMG!

As far as him offering an invite to me, I kinda remember that! But I am married and didn't think it was appropriate to do that.

In any case, that is an amazing coincidence and this made me smile. I wish you two had gotten a chance to talk!

Rooster is a Buckeye. Ha! Maybe when I'm at the USC game I'll run into him! (if I did, I would buy him a beer. Swear! Then I would throw it at him. Just kidding! :p)

Apr 23, 2009
8:53 AM

Apr 23, 2009
8:55 AM

you asked for it. representing Mar Vista Rec center right there.

Apr 23, 2009
9:04 AM
Shaq needs your help

Apr 23, 2009
9:06 AM
damn! nice touch.

In my day I think I made 92 out of 100 once.

Now I'd say I'm a 70%er. Not a lot of need for free throws in pick up games. Now I feel like I need to make one of these vids! gr8 stuff!

Apr 23, 2009
9:07 AM

Last edited by BleedLakersPnG on April 23rd at 9:08 AM.

Apr 23, 2009
10:27 AM

[smug smile] "Iiiiiiiii'm ROOSTER....ROOSTER."

Apr 23, 2009
10:53 AM
Lisa you going to be at the USC- Buckeye game this year?

Last edited by JOKERSWILD on April 23rd at 10:54 AM.

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