Is there a teeny tiny silver lining on the Dark Cloud over the Cavs?

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Lebron

The NBA Finals are going on. The NHL finals are on. And what is everyone talking about? Where will LeBron James be playing next season?

Everybody is talking to cab drivers that may or may not have given LeBron a ride to the airport to find out where he will sign. Don’t trust the rumors from cab drivers. If Cavs fans are going to go out on a limb all the way to the leaf stems, let’s do it at least with some logic.

My daughter is a great sports fan and always has some unique insights into the events of sports. In a conversation today, she came up with one very small thin silver lining on the dark cloud of LeBron’s free agency for Cavs fans.

In his one statement since the team’s season ended so abruptly, LeBron said that he would make a decision that would be the best for him and his family. So what might influence that decision?

The question that Kristina posed to me was what parent wouldn’t want to make the lives of their children better than their own childhood? The answer is clearly every parent wants the best for their children.

LeBron’s childhood was marked by moving around a lot. That was one thing that made his childhood very difficult. Now if he stays his wife and kids will avoid being uprooted. That would not only allow him to avoid for his kids the issues he faced as a child but would give Cav fans something about which to cheer. Frankly, that makes more sense than anything I have heard up to now as a basis upon which LeBron will make his decision.

Besides, where else could LeBron be the star player, head coach and general manager all at the same time? There is no question that owner Gilbert is all in over LeBron. Gilbert knows that the value of his team will fall from 400M to 280M without LeBron. Finally we have a financial crash that Washington D.C. had nothing to do with!!! Gilbert has cleared the decks of anyone that even though about giving LeBron a dirty look. Coach Brown? History! GM Ferry? Gone! The latest rumor is that Gilbert has offered Michigan State coach Izzo. Some media types are saying that Izzo is Gilbert’s choice not LeBron’s. Make no mistake–No coach will get an offer or an interview without the official LeBron Seal of Approval.

Don’t hold your breath about Izzo leaving a very comfortable job he can have for life to come to Cleveland. It is not likely to happen. In fact, it is very unlikely that any name brand coach will agree to come to Cleveland until LeBron is signed by the Cavs. However, LeBron will be unlikely to sign until he knows who the coach will be.

But even if he stays, the 2009-10 roster is not capable of winning a title. The Cavs need an athletic big man that can defend the pick and roll. They also need a reliable second scorer. Even the GREAT Michael Jordan needed Pipen to begin to win titles. LeBron needs a #2 guy.

There are a few things that Gilbert can do to get some help for LeBron. Cleveland is not going to ever be a mecca for top free agents even with LeBron under contract. The only choice that Gilbert has is to trade for either a veteran player under contract or a high draft choice. In both cases the player would have to come to Cleveland. In either case, Gilbert is going to have to give up more than just Mo Williams, Delonte West and his 1st pick. He is likely going to have to give away some of the young talent like J.J. Hickson or Anderson Varejao. The team is also likely to get stuck with a VERY bad contract in order to get a deal done.

Most of all, they need a coach to implement an O–any old O will do. Brown was a D coach but way too often, there was little D to show for it.

The O of the Cavs worked great when it went though Shaq. It worked great when it went through Jamison. When it was LeBron with the ball and the other 4 guys standing around watching him, the O died. Hopefully any new coach will realize that and not let it happen again on a regular basis.

That’s what I think. Tell me what you think.

Bill Smith is a former coach of several semi-pro teams, has officiated both football and basketball, done color on radio for college football and basketball and has scouted talent. He is a senior writer for and edits http://fryingpansports.com. He has also published several novels on

and edits .

Technorati Tags: Cavs,NBA Finals,NHL Finals,LeBron James,Gilbert,Izzo,Michael Jordan,Pipen,Varejao,West,Brown,Ferry
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Sports Buffet for 06/03/10

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SptsBuf

NFL

The Browns have announced that Hall of Fame RB Jim Brown and WR Paul Warfield will no longer serve as an advisers to owner Randy Lerner. Given the history of the Browns since the team returned in 1999, the leadership of the team needs all the advice they can get. Both will be missed.

Steeler QB Ben Roethlisberger’s biggest test of the suspension is not now going back with the team and participating in the OTAs. The biggest test will be how he completes what the league has asked him to do to reduce the suspension from 6 games to 4. The other half of that test will be how he behaves or misbehaves during the time from the end of the last preseason game until he gets reinstated by the league. Under NFL rules he can have no contact with the team at all during that time except for medical staff as prescribed by the terms of the suspension. If he has another incident like the ones that got him suspended in the past, there could be games added to his “unpaid leave.”

The talk around Dolphin land at their OTA last weekend was all about the passing game. QB Chad Henne has developed nicely after replacing Chad Pennington in 09. The one thing that he needs to improve on in 2010 is his TD to Int ratio. In 09 he threw 12 TDs but 14 picks. He looked even better in the OTAs. However, a lot of “want to be” guys look good in shorts.

Eagle CB Marlin Jackson is out for the season after rupturing an Achilles tendon in the team’s OTA. The team signed Jackson from the Colts to start despite his ending the 09 season on the IR.

Packer CB Al Harris is behind schedule on his recovery from knee surgery that ended his 09 season. He was expected to participate in the OTA last week but is still on the sideline.

Ram S Oshiomogho Atogwe did not sign his tender with the team. On June 1 the Rams could have increased their offer to 7M to keep their exclusive rights for him. They did not. Atogwe is now an unrestricted free agent but the Rams are still hoping they can come to a long term contract with him. He has a history of being a ball hawk. The only question is how much in this economy is he worth. The Packers and Vikings are teams that might be interested.

Lion RB Kevin Smith is not ready to participate in OTAs and will likely start training camp on the Physically Unable to Perform list. Players on that list do not count against the roster limits but only qualify if they are hurt away from football or from an injury in the previous season. Players that are on the PUP on the final cutdown day may not be activated until after week 6.

NBA

Game 1 of the Finals goes tonight. The 2-3-2 format puts the stress most on the Celtics. To win the title, in my opinion, they must win one of the first 2 games. The latest on injuries indicates that Celtics PG Rondo will play and is 85-90% while C Perkins is OK. For the Lakers C Bynum is as good as he can be expected to be with his knee problem. He had more than 70 ccs of liquid taken out of the knee on Monday.

MLB

Tampa Bay continues to lead the AL East by 2.5 games over the Yankees. The secret has been a 21-6 record on the road. As long as the pitching holds up, the Rays could be in the race for the duration.

The Twins have built a 3.5 game lead in the AL Central over the Tigers. The Twinkies have been helped by the Tigers going 3-7 over the last 10.

The Rangers lead the AL West but both the As and Angels are coming on. The Rangers were 4-6 over the last 10 while both their pursuers were 6-4.

The two best races in MLB are in the NL. The Central and West divisions are both tight. The Reds and Cards have been trading leads in the Central for a couple of weeks. Last night the Cards beat Cincy 4-1 to climb back into a tie. The Padres have the best mark in the NL with a 32-21 record but only lead the Dodgers by 1 game in the West.

The Tigers traded former All Star P Dontrelle Willis to the Diamondbacks for P Billy Buckner and cash. The Tigers will pay all but the prorated remaining part a minimum veteran contract for Willis in 2010. Despite being a big dollar FA signing in 2008, he has only be able to start 22 games for the Tigers. In 2010 he had a 4.98 ERA and was 1-2 for Detroit.

NHL

The Flyers got back into the finals series with a 4-3 OT win yesterday. The key for Philly will be to win game 4 at home then take game 5 at Chicago. Otherwise, they could be in trouble. The Black Hawks are a lot deeper than the Flyers. As the series goes on, that should give them a real advantage.

That’s what I think. Tell me what you think.

Bill Smith is a former coach of several semi-pro teams, has officiated both football and basketball, done color on radio for college football and basketball and has scouted talent. He is a senior writer for and edits http://fryingpansports.com. He has also published several novels on

and edits .

Technorati Tags: NFL,NBA,NHL,MLB,NBA Finals,NHL Finals,Browns,Eagles,Rams,Lions,UFA,Atogwe,Brown,Roethlisberger,Steelers,Dolphins,Colts,Jackson,Packers,Vikings,Celtics,Lakers,Bynum,Rondo,Perkins,Rays,Twins,Rangers,Tigers,Angels,As,Reds,Cardinals,trades,Willis,Diamondbacks,Black Hawks,Flyers
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Comments on the NBA and NHL finals.

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nba

NBA

Game 1 will tip off Thursday. That gives the “old” Celtics time to recover from injuries to PG Rajon Rondo and C Kendrick Perkins. The schedule of the Finals will allow more rest than the Celtics to play at a very high level of energy.

One thing that came out of the last game against game against the Magic was the outstanding performance by the diminutive PG Nate Robinson. Robinson had not played much in the post season but came off the bench to replace Rondo and scored 13 point, got 2 rebounds and a steal.

The Lakers have some injury issues of their own. C Andrew Bynum had fluid removed from his right knee which has given him trouble for most of his career.

The format of the finals gives the team with home court advantage an additional benefit. With the 2-3-2 format, the team without HC advantage usually struggles to win all 3 games on their court.

Keys to the series:

1. The biggest key is who is going to stop Rondo from controlling the Celtic O. When he has been distributing the ball and driving to the hoop, the team has been unbeatable. He has averaged nearly 17 points and 10 assists per game in the playoffs. The Magic didn’t have an answer for Rondo and neither did the Cavs. The biggest question who gets the assignment to stop Rondo?

Laker PG Fisher is not nearly quick enough to slow Rondo. Bryant would be another prospect but by spending his energy on the D end of the floor could hurt his scoring. The backup Gs on the team are not known for their D. One possibility would be Ron Artest. When he feels like doing the job he is an effective defender but is not as quick as Rondo.

2. Which Kevin Garnett will show up? When he is on, the Celtics are really active on the O side of the floor. But at 34 he takes some quarters off. He can not do that against the Lakers and expect the Celtics to win.

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NHL

In the first 2 games, the Flyers have outplayed the Black Hawks but come up short twice on the scoreboard. Now the series goes back to Philly and we will see if the Hawks can shake off the cobwebs to play at the level they have in previous series.

If the Flyers win the games at home convincingly, expect them to steal one in Chicago and win the series. The Hawks need to win one in Philly to prove to themselves as well as the opponents. If not, the Flyers could well win the championship.

The first two games were as different as they could be. Game 1 looked like an NBA All star game where nobody even tried to play D in a 6-5 win for Chicago. Game 2 was much better hockey and ended up 2-1. Expect the games in Philly to look a lot more like the 2-1 game than the 6-5 game.

That’s what I think. Tell me what you think.

Bill Smith is a former coach of several semi-pro teams, has officiated both football and basketball, done color on radio for college football and basketball and has scouted talent. He is a senior writer for and edits http://fryingpansports.com. He has also published several novels on

and edits .

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