April 16, 2014

While We’re Waiting… J Moon’s Role, Big Ben’s Troubles, and Credit to Mike Brown

While We’re Waiting serves as the early morning gathering of WFNY-esque information for your viewing pleasure. Have something you think we should see? Send it to our tips email at tips@waitingfornextyear.com

Did Jamario Moon earn a playoff spot? “Cavaliers forward Jamario Moon is a former member of the Harlem Globetrotters, recently won the team’s “Good Guy” award and would easily be named Class Clown if the NBA gave out superlatives like a graduating senior class.  And while his playing time has been a bit of a roller coaster throughout the 2009-10 season, the last two weeks have provided Moon with an excellent opportunity to showcase his talents. [...] Given that the small forward position in Cleveland is not exactly up for grabs, [he and Jawad Williams] appear to be in battle for a rotation spot come postseason.” [Me/Fox Sports Ohio]

It definitely didn’t hurt us… “What [the Santonio Holmes trade] means for the Browns is simple. The Steelers just lost a very talented former Super Bowl MVP. The loss of fire power, the distractions off the field, and poor offensive line play could mean that the Steelers are ripe to fall from being a contender in the AFC North.  Since the Browns finally beat the Steelers last year and the Steelers then missed the playoffs, maybe the Steelers will be blowing this team up and doing a little rebuilding. Even if the Steelers don’t go into rebuild mode, it feels good that the Browns look to be moving in the right direction and the Steelers are dumping talent.” [No Logo Needed]

And while we’re on the Steelers, what about their quarterback facing a possible suspension? [Red Right 88]

Credit to Mike Brown: “Of course, it helps to have the NBA’s best player in LeBron James. It helps to play in the sad sack of the Central Division. But the Cavs have absolutely dominated the league this season — despite having to cope with adding two new starters in Anthony Parker and O’Neal; despite O’Neal being in and out of the lineup with injuries; despite some roller coaster moments with West’s emotions.

The team had to handle the mid-season blockbuster of a trade that sent Ilgauskas into a 30-day exile and brought Antawn Jamison. This team is enormously gifted, but seldom has all the talent been available to Mike Brown. That’s why it must be noted that Brown has done a very solid job this season.” [Terry Pluto]

Scout.com’s latest two-round mock draft is unchanged for Browns fans.  Hook ‘em.  [Chris Steuber/Scout.com]

And finally, not sports related but something I thought was a pretty sweet cause.  The End. [Kickstarter.com]

(Photo by David Liam Kyle/NBAE via Getty Images)

  • Lyon

    I gotta admit, I was impressed by Moon’s recent play. I do find myself saying “no, no, yes!” when he shoots, but he has actually looked like a basketball player out there, not just an athlete.

  • Phil M

    I was a bigger fan of Jawad until recently. Jawad’s play has tailed off of late. Jamario seems to have the edge in energy and defensive presence at this point.

    Tonight’s game has been rendered meaningless by the Celtics’ loss. This means the Celtics sit in the Cavs’ bracket and cannot threaten to take out the Magic before the Magic get a chance to meet the Cavs. If we want to skip around the Magic, we’re going to have to hope a team like Charlotte can pull the upset.

    All that remains to be seen is whether we meet Chicago or Toronto in the first round. It’s unlikely that Toronto will win and Chicago will lose in their respective final games, but it could happen. I said I would rather see the Cavs meet Chicago, because that would be a much more fierce battle, but another side of me would not mind a truly soft opponent for the first round. Chicago is not a great team, but they usually muster an ugly fight, and Rose can be explosive, as he was yesterday.

  • mike

    hopefully Moon gets those minutes. to me, he will be more valuable in the playoffs as a perimeter defender. Jawad is what he is – he wont be much better than he is now. jawad is a nice story and its fun having another local guy on the team. However, Moon’s defensive ability should be more valuable in the playoffs. Jawad isnt THAG good on defense but might be a bit of a better shooter than Moon. Moon is no slouch offensively though. in the playoffs where games tend to slow down and become more of a grind, the cavs really dont need another scoring option (with lbj, antwan, mo, West and shaq) but could really use that extra help defender on the perimeter. in round one, Moon can be quite useful guarding someone like Deng (chi) or Hedo (tor) whichever the case may be.

  • Clown Baby

    Seconded Phil. I was of the thinking that Jawad and Moon were essentially the same players, only Moon made more and therefore was more valuable. Moon’s defense and rebounding and tendency to NOT take insane turnaround jumpers from the elbow when only 10 seconds have run off the shot clock have definitely upped his value. Jawad’s hesitation to attack and get after boards is not needed in the post season.

  • WayneEmbrysKids

    Moon has the tools to contribute against bigger teams. I got the feeling they were saving him up because of concerns about his durability.

  • mike

    actually, of any first round team i think Charlotte would have the best chance to knock off orlando. the key to beating orlando is having a strong defensive presence inside and good, athletic and tall perimeter defenders. charlotte has both, starting with Nazr Mohammed who is a very good inside defender at center. they can also throw tyson chandler, theo ratliff (and dont laugh, Desagana Diop) at dwight howard. on the perimeter, they are tough with Jackson, wallace, thomas and Diaw. Charlotte is going to be a very tough playoff opponent, especially with larry brown as coach. frankly im glad the cavs avoid them in round 1. not that i dont think we would win, but id rather not have a dogfight in the playoffs in the first round. i think charlotte can get out of the first round if they play atlanta and will put up a big fight against Orlando. if they get past atlanta, they will be a really tough matchup in round 2 for orlando.

  • AMC

    Moon is definitely the better option over Jawad. Moon rebounds far better and has crazy length and athleticism to guard perimeter players. The Cavs basically just need someone to chase around the other team’s best player for 15 minutes a night, grab a few boards and not be a total detriment on offense. Moon fits that bill.

  • mike

    actually, i think charlotte is locked in at #7 so its orlando v. charlotte. i think thats worst case scenario for orlando in round 1! i think thats a seven game series. (great!!!)

  • AMC

    @ Mike – Isn’t Charlotte the 7 seed meaning they would play Orlando is round 1?

  • http://www.zfcomics.com dgriff13

    I was actually rooting for Boston last night (it hurt, it really did). I want an easy opponent in the first round for the well-rested-maybe-rusty Cavs to dismantle and gain confidence. I understand that last playoff season the Cavs were lulled to sleep by the first 2 rounds, and then had a very rude awakening with ORL. So I get the argument that they need some dogfight games to keep them motivated and ready. But my CLE-sports-pessimism kicks in, & I worry that somehow Chicago, with all the momentum at the end of the season (and the Cavs with a long vacation), will somehow manage to upset the Cavs. Bulls looked awful good, and full of fire, last night. Am I overreacting?

  • Phil M

    People, Charlotte is indeed going to face the Magic in the first round. Thanks, Mike, for explaining just why that is a desirable match-up, at least from the perspective of Cavs’ fans.

    I think both Chicago and Boston have structural weaknesses and personnel issues at this point. Boston doesn’t even use the full-court press anymore because its players are too old to make it work! Both teams have plenty of bluster and some seriously ugly play at times, but neither team can withstand all of the talent the Cavs’ lineup brings. I think it’s not unwarranted for Cavs’ fans to feel very confident at least until the Magic come to town.

  • mike

    AMC – yes thats right. i was thinking Charlotte could still move up to #6 (against Atlanta) and if they beat atlanta would play orlando in round 2. but i think Charlotte is now locked in at #7, so will be a great opponent for orlando in round 1. as a cavs fan, thats best case scenario to me.

  • Phil M

    @dgriff13: The Bulls did look pretty tough yesterday, and that impression is compounded by the fact that the Cavs have been traveling downhill in first gear for over a week now. But I don’t think it’ll be time to worry before an actual loss to the Bulls occurs. So, for now, just enjoy the (slow) ride!

  • mike

    dgriff13 – hopefully, Charlotte beats chicago tonight at home (quite possible) and toronto beats NY at home. that would give cle a first round matchup with Tor. minus Chris Bosh, thats an easy sweep. even with him its probably a (not as easy) sweep.

  • Phil M

    mike — no doubt. At this point, those two games will be more worth paying attention to than Shaq’s possible 20-minute “high-end practice” against Atlanta. It’s time to become a Bobcat fan for a while.

  • mike

    Phil – since the bobcats have 3 former cavs, it should be easy to root for them for awhile!

  • Titus Pullo

    The playoff seedings are shaping up perfectly for the Cavs. Orlando has to deal with a feisty Charlotte team in the first round then, probably, Atlanta in the second round.

    The Cavs, on the other hand, will get Chicago/Toronto in the first round then, probably Boston, after the Celtics spend 5-6 games dealing with Dwyane Wade. Just wait until Kevin Garnett gets a look at how the refs treade Wade in a playoff series.

    Can’t wait.

  • MacNip

    I’m rooting for Orlando. I want to beat them. I’m not scared of them

  • http://www.zfcomics.com dgriff13

    Thanks Phil and Mike… I’ll try to calm these CLE nerves.

  • akron.slinger

    As I’ve said before the only team that can consistantly beat the cavs this year are the cavs. Its all on the cavs this post season. They have everything they need to get it done.

    Also why arnt people complaining about kobe sitting out the last games? Lebron has some bumbs and bruised to finish healing too. Ankle sprains are hard to heal when you keep playing on it. I want lebron 100%.

    I’m not worried about lebrons rest. He took a weeks rest when we lost to the bucks and came back and played his usual game. I’m sure he has a switch that he has to turn it on and off, just look at the 4th qtr stats for him.

    I’m not worried about shaq either. He might be rusty but he has (maybe) noah to guard in the first round. If shaqs shot isn’t there (I can’t see him struggling from 3 feet out over noah) then we have plenty of offense. He just needs to hand some defense and losing 20 pound helps.

  • Mark_CHI

    I was at the Bulls game last night, and while they played well, they’re definitely beatable. Rose had 39 points and Hinrich had 30, but nobody else had double figures. If Parker and Delonte can slow down Rose, and if we can live with Hinrich making three or four 3′s on Mo, then we’ll neutralize their only threats.

    Deng doesn’t have it, Taj Gibson’s not ready, Noah is all energy and no control, and the only reliable guy off their bench is Brad Miller, who’s lost more than a step. They’ll make us work, and maybe take one game in Chicago, but they’re not a huge threat.

  • erick

    If the Cavs do not win it all, PLEASE FIRE MIKE BROWN! there are 420 players listed in ESPN’s list of players with their numbers over 48 minutes of play. ANthony Parker is 370th! HE SHOULD NOT BE STARTING. WHY IS HE? WE have seen Moon deserves to play. JUwad is MUCH better off the bench! HE IS NOT a starter! MAY never be.