Buckle in, everybody. Today is a rather interesting day, if I do say so myself. I’ve got a couple things I want to touch on. So let’s begin, shall we?
Cavs Fall to Magic 111-100
I’ve tried to stay positive throughout the first part of this season. And, at times, I may have come across as being naïve. One of RDE’s loyal readers, Super K, showed me the other day that what I was doing to stay positive was worst than all of the Cavaliers’ naysayers. I was using words like ‘incredible’ and ‘special’ when Cleveland was winning games against teams who sit at the bottom tier of the NBA.
That, in and of itself, is holding the Cavaliers to the same standard as all of the Cleveland haters across the nation. And I personally apologize for that. From now on, I’m going to resort back to the passion I wrote with last year. It is no longer OK to lose to good teams, as long as we beat the bad teams. We need to be one of those good teams!
And, with that being said, Friday night’s game against the Orlando Magic was very, very disappointing. The Cavaliers were playing timid. Like they knew they were going to lose. And they just wanted to keep it respectable. That is not the Cleveland way! We’ve become accustomed to watching this franchise, more than any other Cleveland franchise, play balls to the wall for 48 minutes. I didn’t see that last night.
Throughout the LeBron James saga this offseason, Mo Williams moped around and, admittedly, considered retirement. He was upset by the lack of respect he was being given by his former teammate and a large majority of the media. But he doesn’t seem to understand that, in this league, you need to demand respect. It will not be given to you. You’ve got to go out each and every night and compete at a high level. Both ends of the floor. No excuses.
Williams doesn’t do that. He had a very hard time defending Jameer Nelson, a story all too similar to the Eastern Conference Finals a couple years ago. Now, don’t get me wrong, he didn’t play poorly. He was 6-of-14 from the floor with 20 points and eight assists. Statistically, he outperformed Nelson. But, he couldn’t keep Nelson in front of him and was the catalyst in allowing the Magic to do whatever they wanted to on offense.
Like usual, Cleveland starters – other than Mo Williams – scored just 32 points. 32 points. That’s it. JJ Hickson has seemingly disappeared from any offensive game plan and, quite frankly, is relatively useless when he’s not scoring. He doesn’t rebound, as evidenced by his lone rebound in more than 20 minutes of work. And his defensive ability is subpar. Heck, Joey Graham is more involved in games at this point in the season. I don’t quite understand that.
Antawn Jamison and Daniel Gibson continue to be the lone bright spots for the Cavaliers on a consistent basis. Gibson didn’t shoot the basketball particularly well but that happens from time to time. Just as Dwyane Wade about his 1-for-12 shooting performance the other night. The key to Gibson’s game this season is his hustle and leadership ability. Gibson comes to play every single night and plays a crucial role for the Cavaliers off the bench. Even when he isn’t scoring as effectively.
Jamison, however, did shoot the ball rather well against the Magic. He got a lot of open looks and, for the most part, knocked them down. His 22 points and seven rebounds were a team-high. But I still think he’s taking far too many three-pointers. To me, he’s settling for long range jump shots when he has the bet mid-range game on this team. Three-point shooting is not his strength.
I honestly believe this team can compete with the Orlando Magic on a nightly basis when they’re firing on all cylinders. But, unfortunately, they spend far too much time playing not to lose as opposed to playing the game to win. They’ll take on Memphis today; I’d be surprised if they don’t come out hot, especially considering that Memphis isn’t a powerhouse franchise. Maybe they’ll believe they can win as much as I do.
Michael Jordan Responds
On a lighter note, I loved Cleveland response to the LeBron James commercial. The commercial itself was as poorly executed as The Decision and LeBron’s image has taken yet another hit. The city’s response was class and hit home for me. Yet, it was inevitable and expected.
What I did not expect, however, was the greatest player in the NBA to respond. In what seems to be his latest Air Jordan commercial, Michael Jordan fires back and says, “Maybe I destroyed the game. Or maybe you’re just making excuses.” Check it out below. It is definitely worth watching.