I need to vent, so let's cut to the chase.
The Cavs have officially bottomed out. They've already proven they can't win without LeBron James, but falling to the hapless, hopeless Bobcats, owners of a seven game losing streak, is hard to take. Yeah, they were competitive, but were they really? Can 27 turnovers be counted as competitive? No. More accurate would be to say the game was close. It was never competitive, to my eyes. Neither team deserved to win.
How bad are the Bobcats? Jeff McInnis is in their rotation. They're barely a cut above a D-League team to my eyes.
The real mystery of this streak of unwatchable basketball is the way some of our veterans have forgotten how to play. I mean, why does the absence of LeBron somehow take away the abilities of players like Zydrunas Ilguaskas, Drew Gooden and Larry Hughes? These guys have a combined 1558 NBA games under their collective belts, so how is it that, sans LBJ, they no longer seem to be able to perform fundamentals like, oh, say, catching the ball. Lately it looks like big Z has been treating entry passes like they're whiffle balls--right off the hands and out of bounds. How is it that Larry Hughes has a ball picked clean in the closing minutes of a tight game against a team like Charlotte?
There is only one explanation for such ineptitude. Poor effort. LeBron is going to miss a few games. That's reality. The team wants to make sure his hand is fully healed to avoid reaggravating it. Sounds pretty wise to me. Here is my advice to the team in the meantime: try CONCENTRATING. Have some pride. Maybe, just maybe, you'll manage to win a game or two.
Really, the only bright side to this latest debacle was Larry Hughes' 22 points. It comes as no surprise that he scored all those points while being relieved of his point guard duties. This should effectively end that experiment. Larry is no point guard and should not be expected to be one. Let him do what he does best: move without the ball, slash, defend, and generally use his quickness to wreak havoc. Hughes deserves criticism for not adapting to Mike Brown's system of offense. But Mike Brown deserves criticism for misusing his talented guard. Free Larry and watch him start earning that money he's being paid.
Until he gets injured again, of course.
Here's to seeing a Cavs team soon with actual Cavs players on the floor.
The Detroit Tigers recently aquired Miguel Cabrera and Dontrelle Willis. The Indians countered this move yesterday by trading for utility man Jamey Carroll. Carroll has 112 RBI in his 6 big league seasons. Last year Cabrera had 119.
Seriously though, the AL Central is going to be a battle of two teams. The Tribe, winners of 96 games last season, will field essentially the same club. Detroit won 88 games a year ago. Expect the arrival of these two all-stars to close the gap.
Really, the best thing that could happen to the Tribe is for Travis Hafner to stop sucking. Don't let his 100 RBI fool you. Aside from a few Pronklike weeks in April and September, he stunk, plain and simple.
That said, would I like to see a big right-handed bat in the outfield? Hell yes. Do I expect to aquire one? No freaking way. Franklin Gutierrez will be a serviceable major leaguer for many years, but his long, hard loop of a swing was exposed in the playoffs (aside from one memorably titanic homerun against Boston). Look for Ben Francisco to emerge as the superior hitter.
Still wishing the Tribe would sign Kenny Lofton through '08. He's out there, he's hungry, and he's twice the player that Jason Michaels, David Dellucci or Trot Nixon are. Scrap the junk and sign a veteran fan favorite NOW.
The Browns beat the Jets 24-18 today, but boy, do they suck. If Derek Anderson was slightly more competant, it would have been a lopsided win. Let me remind everyone who has been getting carried away: Anderson is just keeping it warm. He has some nice numbers, but he looks less impressive each week with his underthrown passes and interceptions and, at times, seeming lack of focus. He'll make a hell of a backup, though.
The MVP of this game was Jamal Lewis, who rushed for the game deciding TD and runs like every carry will be his last.
Anyway, the Browns have won 8 games. Twice last year's total and that guarantees they won't have a losing season. Finally. So, why am I in such a crummy mood after a win? Because...
...of how utterly unwatchable NFL football is on TV! With so many stops and starts in the action, networks squeeze in as many commercial breaks as humanly possible. The result is very little actual football, and a whole lot of Cadillac ads. This is just one reason, though a very important one, why football is inferior to baseball and basketball. The whole watching experience is one long excruciating commercial break after the other. I mean after every kick and return there is an interminable break. That's ONE play. One goddam fucking play. How is it that this game is so much more popular than the others? Kiwi! Slates! Someone! Please explain!
The Steeler's Anthony Smith guaranteed a win over the New England Patriots. Wasn't that Smith I saw getting burned on two touchdown passes in a blowout loss? Idiot. Hope you're enjoying this, kb.