Signs of life

delontesixers.jpg I have to admit, watching the first half of the Cavaliers win over Philadelphia, I was ready to write a stick a fork in ’em post. The Cavs looked old, slow and tired in the first half. The Sixers ran them out of town in the first quarter. Forget running on turnovers, the Sixers were running off of makes. Lobs and dunks were fast and furious. LeBron had the ball stolen from him 4 times in the first half, and had his shot blocked another 2 or 3 times. It wasn’t pretty. There was a stretch when I began to question Mike Brown’s ability to mold this team since the trade. When the trade happened, I wrote the following

By the way, you do realize that fair or not you are probably going to be judged by how well you prepare this group for the playoffs right?

Fortunately for the home crowd (and the coach), the Cavs brought some energy and intensity in the second half. Credit Mike Brown for sticking with the players that were getting it done, specifically Joe Smith and Delonte West. Both played more minutes than they usually do for the Cavs, and were effective on both ends of the floor. West had a season high 11 assists to go with his 18 points, and hit 2 big three’s down the stretch. Factor in his 3 blocks and 2 steals, and you have his best game in a Cleveland uniform. Joe Smith chipped in 13 points and 8 rebound, but just as important his athleticism was able to help slow down the running game of the 76ers.

LeBron had a much better second half, finishing with 26 points, 9 assists and 9 boards. To be honest, looking up those numbers I was stunned he had a near triple double. It just didn’t seem like LeBron was having a good game. I suppose that goes to show what we have come to expect from LeBron night after night.

Ben Wallace and Sasha Pavlovic sat this one out, Wallace with his back spasms and Sasha was seen icing down the foot that was previously injured. More bad news came in the third quarter, when Daniel Gibson hobbled off the floor and into the locker room. The early report was a ‘sore ankle’. And yes, it was the same one that forced him to miss more than 2 months. If Gibson has re-injured that ankle to the point that he isn’t able to go, I don’t like Cleveland’s chances in the playoffs at all. The blueprint appears to have been written for taking on this Cavalier team. Run. Run. And run some more.

  • Scott

    we really needed that one. glad to see west back, couldve used something like that against the pistons instead of damon jones’ clock-mutilating point guard skills.

  • Lionlewa

    I don’t think that the Cavs can beat Orlando during the second round (if the get the fourth place and both team play through the first round). I don’t think that their low-post players is able to stop Dwight or Hedo, then we can see a lot of open looks for Lewis and Nelson. It will not be the Cavs’ year as they still have a long time to cooperate with each other.

  • duce

    1st of all if both the magic and cleveland win their first round games they wont see each other, the only way they will play is if boston and detroit both lose, which will not happen early

  • Romario

    He is right! Cleveland shouldn’t have stayed with the players they traded with the exception of Larry Hughes. They should have only traded Larry Hughes. With out the players they traded they won’t make it over Boston or even Detroit.

  • JoeTate

    At times, you can give Mike Brown credit for implementing a good defense. But, he fails miserably at molding his game to fit the talent of the players he has, and fails at getting the most out of his players. He tries to force a square peg into a round hole. You see a player who played well on his former team look bad playing for the Cavs, and you see a player that looked bad playing for the Cavs look good when he goes to another team. To me, that points to poor coaching.

    Mike Brown also fails miserably at anything to do with offense. You have a center that can score, some decent 3pt shooters, and most importantly you have Lebron James, yet at times this team can go half a quarter or more without scoring!

    The Cavs may have won 50 games in each of the last 2 seasons, but I think that has way more to do with having Lebron on the team than it does with having Mike Brown as the head coach (in some games it was in spite of having him as the coach). They’ve already lost too many games to win 50 this season.

    On paper this team is better after the trade, but it requires a good coach and lots of practice to make all the pieces work together properly. So far, it looks like thats not happening! I think Ferry could have did better and instead traded for Artest who would have been able to provide offense as well as defense, or I think he could have picked up one of the Millers. But still, like I said, at least on paper this team is better after the trade.

    So far, I am more impressed by Delonte West than any of the other players we picked up in the trade. I just wish we could see more consistency from him, and maybe more minutes too. I would like to see West on the court along with a 3pt shooter like DJ or Gibson. You would then have an outside threat, Z as the inside threat, LBJ or West could drive, and then have Ben/Joe/AV to collect the garbage.

  • duce

    the cavs arent gonna make it to the finals this year for sure not against boston or detroit. detroit is goin to take the east. boston doesnt got the point guard they need to push through cleveland sucks lebron is overrated and cocky they wont even make it past toronto in the playoffs if they meet up for sure

  • Romario

    are you flippin nuts cleveland is the bomb bad trade decisions

  • JoeTate

    Duce, can you say that again, but this time in English?

  • me

    Mr. Tate. now im not an english major either, but you make yourself look stupid by saying you cant understand duce….

  • Scott

    All self-loathing Cleveland fans please jump off the nearest bridge. You are only spreading discontent and misery to others.

  • Nate

    I love how all of these people that are cavs haters can’t even figure out the playoff bracket in the east. the way the bracket is today, washington holds the tie breaker over the toronto so cleveland would be playing washington. then after ythe beat washington for the third time in a row, we will be playing boston, the number 1 seed. boston is scary but we have the king and if we beat boston, then we will go on play detroit. so before you talk trash about my cavs, at least get your facts straight. PS, duce, LBJ is overrated? is your name duce because everytime that you talk its like your taking a duce out of your mouth? let me guess, you’re a deshaun stevenson fan. have you looked at lbj’s numbers???? they are absolutely absurd. who do you like? there is really only 1 person that is on the same level, maybe 2 if you stretch it. kobe is, and if you stretch, CP3.

  • Joel

    haha…right on nate! An i must be on the wrong page cause this doesnt seem like a cleveland sports site! ha by the way hopefully washington will loose their upcoming games considering they have to play Boston, Detroit, and Orlando all included in their last 5 games! Cleveland plays should be winning games like: indiana, new jersey, chicago, philly, but detroit as their last. I just dont like seeing anyone getting close to our 4th seed. An hell ya all you cleveland nonsupporters here Cleveland Fn Rocks an im lookin for a defending Eastern Championship once again…u with me Nate???