………….Um, ok, then. Yesterday I tried to throw some power of positive thinking into the mix, and got rewarded with yet another 20 point beat down. Folks, I don’t know what tell you, but the Cavaliers are the worst team in the NBA right now. This is a team that has had at least an 18 point deficit in 5 straight games (thank you, Milwaukee). This is getting bleak, and I don’t have any answers to offer. I’m at a complete loss over how this has happened. I don’t know where the winners mentality and band of brothers focus went. Did this team quit? Man, I hate using that Q word on those who don’t deserve it, but to my eyes, it really does look like at this moment in time these players have given up on running Byron Scott’s offense and had stopped giving any effort whatsoever on the defensive end. And so my ultimate nightmare is happening. Fan support is already waning, as fans feel justified to give up on the team that appears to have given up on them. It’s a brutal cycle. All I can do is continue to ask fans to take the high road and keep supporting this franchise. Dan Gilbert, Chris Grant, and Byron Scott didn’t do this to the franchise and in my opinion they still deserve the fans’ support. But it’s going to be interesting for sure to see how the fans react to the team tonight in the first home game since the Miami debacle.
Projected Starting Lineups
-G Derrick Rose
-G Keith Bogans
-F Luol Deng
-F Carlos Boozer
-C Joakim Noah
-G Mo Williams
-G Anthony Parker
-F Joey Graham
-F JJ Hickson
-C Anderson Varejao
Due to unforeseen time restraints on my part, I will regrettably have to keep this one short and sweet. Or bittersweet, I suppose. Can Hickson defend Boozer? Can Andy do a better job on Noah than he did in the playoffs last year? Who on earth is going to defend Derrick Rose? Will Byron Scott make any of the changes we’ve been hearing about for a few days now?
Remember how hard it was for Cleveland to handle the Bulls last year? So, now we have to take LeBron off the Cavaliers and add Boozer to the Bulls and expect the Cavaliers to somehow win this game. It’s not going to be an easy task, but the Cavaliers still have to try to do just that. Here are a few tips:
- Keep passing the ball and setting up offense quickly. Assists are our friends.
- Stop turning the ball over so much. Why are these players acting like they’re scared of the ball all of the sudden?
- Derrick Rose is going to break this defense down. He breaks down every defense. If a big is going to rotate, he better put a body on Rose and make him earn his points from the free throw line. And when said big rotates, there better be some communication and someone else better rotate on to Boozer and/or Noah or else Noah will find them for an easy dunk/layup.
- The Cavaliers simply MUST get back on transition defense. The Bulls love to get out in the open and create fast break scoring chances, and the Cavaliers need to be aware of this. Since you’re not going to rebound anyway, you might as well be getting back on defense and work on forcing Chicago to beat you with their half court offense.
- The Bulls will put you on the free throw line if you’re aggressive. The Cavaliers must recognize this and attack the lanes and draw some fouls to get easy points from the line.
- The Bulls interior defense isn’t as tough as their reputation sometimes is. If you can get inside on them, they will collapse on the ball and try to be physical. When this happens, keep an eye out for the weak side post for easy layup opportunities….assuming the Cavs can figure out how to connect on a pass inside the paint. We’ll see.
This is still the NBA and all these players are good professional basketball players. There’s simply no excuse for the lack of effort and the results we’ve seen as of late. The Cavs are better than this and at some point they need to show. They may not win tonight, but lets start small. Just show some heart at home tonight and execute a solid game plan. Give us something to build on, please.
Next Game For The Cavaliers
Saturday, December 11, 2010
8:30 PM EST
Cleveland Cavaliers at Houston Rockets