THE Game turned into THE SHAME–Heat 118 Cavs 90

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The entire NBA world was watching THE Game last night. The fans were great. They cheered their guys and booed with vigor the traitor James. The fans had great and creative signs and despite the national media praying for violence or an act of stupidity by the fans, those that were there did themselves and their city proud.

However, the team that they paid so much to see laid down, rolled over and stuck their feet in the air like a road kill groundhog at the side of the highway. The team and Coach Scott disgraced themselves beyond anything that I could have even believed was possible.

Let me state my bias up front. I have been a Cavs fan since the city was granted a franchise. I was in the old downtown barn the night they beat the Lakers for the first time. When they sold stock to the public, I bought some to support my team. Even through the bad years, and there were a lot of them, I never turned my back on my team. I also never thought they would turn their backs on the fans but that is exactly what they did last night.

The Cavs showed no support for their owner, their fans, or their city. Worse yet, they proved to everyone that LeBron was justified in leaving them because it is impossible to win a championship with these guys. The problem with that is this roster was put together with LeBron’s consent if not approval because Owner Gilbert handed LeBron the keys to castle and told him to invite whoever he wanted to join him on the floor.

What was the ultimate stab in the heart of the fans was the vision of the spurned Cav players joking and chatting up LeBron like he was a long lost brother rescued from a reality show. The Cav players looked like they were hoping LeBron would pick them as a dance partner next year to play in Miami. But by their sickening play, they cut their trade value by 2/3rds. Right now the Cavs couldn’t get a bag of used balls for Gibson, Williams, or even the young Hicks.

The funny part of that is that it is not inconsiderable that LeBron will leave Miami next season. The team is not playing well with all three big names on the floor. HC Spoelstra played a lot of the first half with either LeBron or Wade on the bench. That move allowed the Heat much better spacing on the floor and eliminated the other 4 standing and watching the 1 play against the opponent by himself. The problem with 3 high priced players on 1 team is that the salary cap leaves little room for the 9 other players. Championships require a strong bench and the Heat do not have that.

Time after time, the Cavs let the Heat leisurely stroll to the bucket and score at will. LeBron had a career night and the game was over at halftime. Owner Gilbert left at half time. He just couldn’t take any more. I spent the evening celebrating one of the greatest days of my life, the birth of my daughter Kristina. It was her birthday so being with her made even this debacle tolerable. I gave up on the team and left her house mid way through the 3rd quarter.

I was particularly disappointed in Coach Scott. He never struck me as a coach that would allow the team to snuggle up to LeBron. Reportedly, one of the assistant coaches told LeBron to leave the Cav players alone. But Scott never took control of the situation. He also did not get the Cavs mentally ready to play this game despite knowing how much media interest the contest would get. That is inexcusable. The championship Lakers teams he played on never would have put up with Bird chatting the bench up during the game. But then it would never have occurred to Bird to do that. He was a great competitor and would never have even tried such a punk act.

The question is where do the Cavs go from here?

Gilbert has to blow this team up. The way this club rolled over for the Heat indicates to me they will have a high draft choice next year. They should also look to move anyone that has any value left. There are a few guys around the league that could help this pathetic roster that other teams might be willing to trade. In addition, Gilbert might hold an open tryout to replace those Cavs that have 0 value and must just be released.

It will cost Gilbert a ton of money because NBA contracts are guaranteed but unless he does make major changes on the Cavs roster between now and the trade deadline, he will lose the majority of his fan base. That base backed Gilbert against the world when he issued the famous email criticizing LeBron. Now he has to show the fans that he has their back and take some significant actions to correct the situation and punish those that contributed to the debacle.

If Gilbert does nothing, the fans should stay away from the Q. By continuing to support this team as it stands now makes the fans accessories after the fact. Cleveland fans have been enablers for bad teams for years. It is way past time that we stop enabling and start voting with our hard earned dollars for effort and pride and against meritocracy and gutless players.

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 https://fryingpansports.com. His first non-fiction work is at the publisher now and he has also published several novels on

and edits .

Technorati Tags: NBA BAsketball,LeBron James,Cavs,Heat,Gilbert,NBA Draft,Wade
  • Heat vs. Cavs: Reaction to Ban on Anti-LeBron James Gear for Tonight’s Game (bleacherreport.com)
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The NBA Playoffs are set!

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Fryingpan Sports

The NBA Playoffs are set!

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By Bill Smith

The NBA playoff match-ups are set but this edition won’t be similar to previous years. Seldom has home court advantage meant as much. Here are some things to watch for in the first round series.

Eastern Conference

8 Detroit vs 1 Cleveland

In the past, the Pistons would have been able to out-physical the Cavs. But the Pistons are not the team that pushed their way past the NBA Eastern conference in the past. The Cavs will win in 5 or 6 games. While the Pistons are no longer as physical, the series will turn into tackle basketball when they get behind.

7 Chicago vs 2 Boston

Danger Celtics! Danger! Yesterday, the Celtics head coach Doc Rivers announced that Kevin Garnett will probably miss the playoffs. If the Celtics had Garnett, this would be no contest. Chicago’s core talent is young, hungry and dangerous. Since the Celtics have had several weeks to adjust to the loss of KG, Boston wins in 6 or 7. But the Celts will have to spend so much energy winning the first round match up that they will be twice as vulnerable in round 2.

6 Philadelphia vs 3 Orlando

The 76ers may have exhausted themselves getting into the playoffs and getting high enough to avoid Boston and Cleveland. They will play hard but don’t have nearly enough to beat Orlando. This year, Philly will be lucky to win a single game. That may not be the case in the future. Look for Dwight Howard to have a really big series.

5 Miami vs 4 Atlanta

This is going to be the closest series of the 4 in the East. Atlanta has home court and that will probably save them. If the Heat is going to win, PG Dwayne Wade has to do more distributing than scoring. He will need at least 10 assists a game to get the Heat into round 2.

Western Conference

8 Utah vs 1 LA

At one time Utah looked like more of a threat to LA than they do now. After going 15 out of 16, the Jazz stumbled down the stretch and ended up in 8th. That is their ticket out of the playoffs. The Jazz will be tough at home but are unable to beat a good team let alone a very good team like the Lakers on the road. LA in 5.

7 Charlotte vs 2 Denver

The Nuggets were a surprise 2 seed. They have home court and blinding speed and will survive to round 2 for the first time in over a decade.

6 Dallas vs 3 San Antonio

IF the Spurs were younger and healthier, they would be a threat to the Lakers. But since the team lost Manu Ginobilli for the season and with Tim Duncan suffering from sore knees, the Spurs are a shadow of what they were when they beat the Cavs in the finals. Fortunately for them, they have the Mavs in round 1. The Spurs will take a fleet of ambulances into round 2 but run out of gas there.

5 Houston vs 4 Portland

Of all the series, this should be the most interesting to watch. The Blazers put on an all out blitz to get home court in round 1. This version of the team is new to the playoffs but if they haven’t burned out with their flurry of wins in the final weeks of the regular season, they will get past the Rockets and into the next round. Portland is not dangerous now, but if Oden can stay healthy, the team has enough talent to be a real threat in the near future.

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 https://fryingpansports.com. He has also published several novels on and edits .

My email is [email protected]

Technorati Tags: NBA,NBA Playoffs,Cavilers,Pistons,Celtics,Rivers,Garnett,Bulls,76ers,Howard,Wade,Heat,Hawks,Jazz,Lakers,Nuggets,Hornets,Spurs,Duncan,Mavs,Blazers,Rockets,Oden
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  • Published: Mar 4th, 2009
  • Category: NBA Basketball
  • Comments: Comments Off on The 08-09 Cavilers are not your father's team.

The 08-09 Cavilers are not your father's team.

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Fryingpan Sports

The 08-09 Cavilers are not your father’s team.

By Bill Smith

I will admit a bias toward the Cavs. I spent many an interesting night in the old downtown Coliseum with Walt Westley and the crew. I was there the night the Cavs won their first game against the Lakers. They almost needed a new arena after that game because the stomping by the fans in support of the ugliest uniforms in the league almost caused the building to implode.

I also bought 10 shares of stock in the Cavs when they sold shares to raise money. But I have to admit, this team is not anything like that team was.

On Sunday and Monday, the Cavs did something they could not do just a year ago—win 2 tough back to back road games with 4th quarter comebacks against really good teams. The maturation of LeBron James is a big part of the improvement but it was the addition of Mo Williams that put the team over the top.

In both games the Cavs were behind in the 4th quarter and came back to win against Atlanta and Miami respectively. This was without their inside defensive force Ben Wallace. The Cavs showed a toughness and grit that was missing from the team just a year ago. It might be enough grit to make a run at another NBA final series.

Against the Hawks, the Cavs were down 5 points with less than 2 minutes left. Williams got a 3 point shot that tied the score and then the Cavs got a stop. James drove to the basket and got fouled with 1.6 seconds left. He made the second free throw to win the game.

The next night at Miami, the Cavs were behind by 11 in the 4th quarter. James told Williams “it’s up to us.” Williams responded by scoring 15 of his 30 points in the final 7:14 of the game to salt it away.

In previous years, the Cavs won at home but struggled on the road particularly in back to back road games. This year is different. Now, given the loss of Wallace, there are rumors that PF Joe Smith may be on the way to Cleveland. The Oklahoma Thunder bought out Smith’s contract making him a free agent. Even if that does not happen, the Cavs have something very special going on this season.

My Analysis:

This team is mentally and physically tougher than any Cavs team in the history of the franchise. These two wins show that. Williams has added far more than just a great player, he is the other major scoring threat that the team desperately needed. When teams face the Cavs now, they have to consider doubling Williams at times in addition to James.

Given this teams improvement, when Wallace gets back, he could be the final piece that is needed to make the Cavs a real threat for a championship. That is critical. James wants to win. If the Cavs show him that he has a better chance to win multiple championships in Cleveland than in New York or elsewhere, I am convinced he will stay.

That would be a gift for a city and a state that really could use one.

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 https://fryingpansports.com. He has also published several novels on and edits .

My email is [email protected]

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