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Old 05-19-2008, 06:54 AM   #31
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I try to imagine a world where LeBron has either:

A) A good coach. Not even a great one, just a good one.

B) A good teammate. Someone who is reliable every game. Not saying they are good for 20 points a night, but, wow, LeBron's supporting cast: not one of them, can be counted on to provide the same performance two games in a row. How can you be a legit playoff team when you have no legitimate 2nd scoring option?

.
Cleveland should hire Paul Silas and trade for Drew Gooden...then they'd have a shot.
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Old 05-19-2008, 09:21 AM   #32
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LeBron took a crap team to the finals at age 23. I mean, come on, that's no small feat at such a young age.
i'd make my obligatory "the east is awful" argument, but i'd probably get yelled at.

so here is my secondary argument, meant to prove the primary... if you could get a time machine and set up a game between this current cleveland lebroniacs team and the cleveland cavs team of ron harper, mark price, larry nance, brad daugherty and craig "jordan's bitch" ehlo, the mid/late 80's cavs team would win... probably going away. and they could barely get out of the 1st round at the time.


also... people kept making the same argument about allen iverson. "god, if they'd only put him with someone who could play." well, they finally did, and he still shoots 30 times a game. would lebron be different? especially if they got him with someone good while he was still young? i'd like to think so... but yea, just sayin'.

it's tough to get involved as teammates when your role involves standing around watching a guy dribble. but i suppose that's al roker's fault, not lebron's.
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Old 05-19-2008, 09:37 AM   #33
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To be fair, and I'm not a LeBron fan by any means, he was asked (repeatedly I think) about the Bird/'Nique game and the comparisons. I don't think he initiated that.

I think if you're LeBron you need to go a full season trusting your teammates. I can't expect the guy to do something different in game 7 of a playoff series, but I'd like to see the guy really commit to playing team ball and see what happens. It was so obvious yesterday when the first couple shots were no good (Szczerbiak and Ilgauskas maybe? Can't remember) that from that point on LeBron was taking the shots, period. And he did. But assuming everybody was there I'd like to see him commit to letting guys like Z and Smith and Delonte (not Wally, he sucks) have their shots and see how it works out. But they really do need to lose some of the dead weight on that team (Verajao is garbage).

OK did anyone at all think that of the 2 late season acquisitions the C's made the one who'd come up big in a game 7 would be PJ Brown rather than Sam Cassell? Other than that...Pierce. Damn.

Oh and a Jesus Shuttlesworth sighting in the conference finals would be a real boost.
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Old 05-19-2008, 09:50 AM   #34
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my friend asked me yesterday via IM as to why PJ Brown was still in the league. my answer was simple... "because next to ben wallace, pj brown is bill russell."

he's a solid, consistant pro. he's like the jamie moyer of the nba... he may be old but hey, he still gets people out (sorta). i still hate him, though, for power bombing charlie ward all those many years ago
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Old 05-19-2008, 09:59 AM   #35
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this made me laugh...

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LeBron James said he thinks the improvements now must come in personnel. After losing to an extremely deep and recently massively upgraded Celtics team, James said he thinks the Cavs need to follow in their path, even after the 11-player trade that they pulled off in February. "I think what we have is very good, but we need to continue to get better. We know that,'' James said. "If that means some personnel changes that need to happen, then so be it. The teams around us in the league are continuing to get better.''

ummm... what? the celtics, who couldn't win because they gave away their entire depth, is now all of a sudden a deep team because the role players they have actually play well in doc rivers' system? i'm confused by this logic.
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Old 05-19-2008, 10:19 AM   #36
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Well the Celts gave away their depth, but then filled the open roster spots with James Posey and Eddie House preseason, and added Sam Iam Cassell and PJ Brown during the stretch run...so the Celts do have a little depth. The bench isn't full of players like the 86 Celts but its not too bad, and miles ahead of Cleveland's. (frankly the Celts bench is better than the Cav's other starting 4 besides Lebron).


If (and its still a big if) the Celts win the title this year, the most responsible party will not be Pierce, nor Garnett and certainly not Ray "Caspar" Allen...it'll be Danny "tree bites man" Ainge.
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Old 05-19-2008, 01:50 PM   #37
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Well the Celts gave away their depth, but then filled the open roster spots with James Posey and Eddie House preseason, and added Sam Iam Cassell and PJ Brown during the stretch run...so the Celts do have a little depth. The bench isn't full of players like the 86 Celts but its not too bad, and miles ahead of Cleveland's. (frankly the Celts bench is better than the Cav's other starting 4 besides Lebron).


If (and its still a big if) the Celts win the title this year, the most responsible party will not be Pierce, nor Garnett and certainly not Ray "Caspar" Allen...it'll be Danny "tree bites man" Ainge.
eddie house and pj brown are not better than either delonte west or zydrunas illgauskus. illgauskus is very under utilized... he's a pure back to the basket player. when you run no sets, and the lane is always clogged, it's tough to, ya know, do stuff.

big Z is much much better than kendrick perkins, and delonte west vs. rajon rondo is debatable. obviously there's no comparison between kg & jesus and wally world & slightly above agerage sized ben... even though allen didn't do shit in this series, he's still an obvious upgrade over the word contributing player in the history of basketball, mr. ben wallace (i hope he didn't get too dizzy after the fireworks).

but to call boston "deep" is silly... they've become deep because they get a ton out of the same mediocre role players that many other teams have... i don't know if they just got the right role players, or if doc rivers or garnett's influence on them have gotten to fully accept the limited roles they have... but whatever it is the spare parts that boston has are vastly more productive than the spare parts cleveland has, and i tend to think that a guy like joe smith or pavlovic would be much more productive on boston than they are in cleveland.


i really don't want to get into a full lebron bash mode... but, eh, what the heck... there were two plays that were indicative of why boston won. both involved lebron in a negative fashion.

1) the jump ball... that was perhaps the most crucial moment of the game, and paul pierce was able to get to the ball before lebron out of sheer hustle, pride, and yes, desperation. perhaps it's because a lebron james team is never desperate that he didn't box pierce out and/or dive on the loose ball. perhaps if he had gone to college for a few years he'd learn that desperation isn't neccesarily a bad thing.

2) the (almost) last play... when the cavs were still alive and lebron shot the forced airball from 2 feet away. the celtics pushed the ball down the court, 4 cavs ran after them to try and foul and stop the clock. note the number... 4. watch the video... lebron never crossed half court, and he was the player in best position to foul immediately.

frankly to sum it up... yes, cleveland is obviously better with lebron than they'd be without lebron. but i don't think lebron makes his teammates better, which is one of the saddest things i could ever say because when he first came into the league he looked like he was going to turn the whole basketball world on it's head because of his unselfishness... making passing cool again. but, alas, he'd rather be jordan than magic.

so be it. he's not either.
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Old 05-19-2008, 02:48 PM   #38
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Quote:
Originally posted by Headache in a Suitcase

so here is my secondary argument, meant to prove the primary... if you could get a time machine and set up a game between this current cleveland lebroniacs team and the cleveland cavs team of ron harper, mark price, larry nance, brad daugherty and craig "jordan's bitch" ehlo, the mid/late 80's cavs team would win... probably going away. and they could barely get out of the 1st round at the time.
Those late 80s-early 90s Cleveland teams were solid; they just had the misfortune of playing during the Jordan era.

This is a little bit off on a tangent, but casual basketball fans always forget that Craig Ehlo was a fine defender and an solid all-around player.

Cleveland down by two, Ehlo drains an open 3.

Cleveland up by 1, Ehlo gets impeded by a moving screen while chasing Jordan, chases him out to the arc, then Jordan inadvertently smacks him in the face on the way to a driving layup.

Cleveland down by 1, Ehlo inbounds the ball, takes the return pass on a sweet give-and-go and hits a layup past Jordan. Jordan had been assigned to cover Mark Price, but abandoned him and went over to swat Ehlo's shot when he saw the play develop.

Cleveland up by 1, Chicago inbounds the ball to Jordan. Jordan drives to the key with Ehlo a half-step behind, jumps, waits for Ehlo to succumb to gravity, then drains the series-winning shot. Ehlo collapses in agony and gets immortalized in a Gatorade commercial nearly 20 years later.
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Old 05-19-2008, 03:39 PM   #39
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22, 32, 30, 29, 17. Those are the wins totals for the Cavs the 5 years prior to drafting LeBron.

35, 42, 50, 50, 45. Those are the wins totals for the Cavs the past 5 years. Toss in a trip to the NBA Finals.

They went from laughing-stock to Eastern Conference contender pretty rapidly, and it aint because Drew Gooden was on the team for a bit.

Again, I know that LeBron is not perfect and all, but Paul Pierce's Celtics have been a joke prior to KG and Ray and House and Posey arriving....but look at them now. And good for Pierce, by the way. I admire his guts and despite his sporadic fits of immaturity I root for the guy. He played Game 7 like it would be his last game ever, and I cannot say the same for LeBron.

But, few players can, on their own, elevate a team from the basement to being contenders and LeBron has done all that. And Headache, I have watched enough of the guy to know that he'd work the ball around even more than he does if anyone that team could ever have even two good games in a row. You just never know what you are going to get with his entire supporting cast with the exception of Z. Who never posts up. Cos of the amazing coaching.

Oh, and, LeBron did average over 7 assists per game. It's not like he never passes.
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Old 05-19-2008, 04:03 PM   #40
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Random note apropos of nothing:

Kobe Bryant has never shot over 47% from the field in a season.

This is what happens when you start spending too much time at work browsing basketball statistical sites.

I was also looking at Michael Jordan's last two seasons. The funny thing about the 2nd to last season is that if someone just told you his stats from that season, you'd think that whoever the player was had a fairly good year. Everything is relative, I guess. Also, stats don't tell you about hogging the ball, playing shit defense, making your teammates shit in their pants, etc.
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Old 05-19-2008, 06:01 PM   #41
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i'm not denying lebron's talent i just think that he could make his teammates better, and i'm not sure if that's a product of piss poor coaching, incredible ego, or a little bit of both. i'd like to think it's the coaching, but everytime he opens his mouth i think it might be a little bit of both.

also he's not a good defender... his defensive stance screams of a player who's never been coached before. his ballance is incredibly top heavy. but that's besides the point.

anyhoo... who's ready for the draft lottery?
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Old 05-19-2008, 06:20 PM   #42
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Predictions for tonight?

I am wondering if Rob Horry will come out and smack David West to make sure the back never heals back... hmmm.

In any event, I hope the Spurs make it to the conference finals.
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Old 05-19-2008, 06:23 PM   #43
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if not for the way the home/home splits have gone so far in this series, i'd go hard on the spurs. but it's been such a dramatic difference between home and away for these two teams that i really don't know what's going to happen.
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Old 05-19-2008, 07:32 PM   #44
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Originally posted by Headache in a Suitcase
i'm not denying lebron's talent i just think that he could make his teammates better, and i'm not sure if that's a product of piss poor coaching, incredible ego, or a little bit of both. i'd like to think it's the coaching, but everytime he opens his mouth i think it might be a little bit of both.

also he's not a good defender... his defensive stance screams of a player who's never been coached before. his ballance is incredibly top heavy. but that's besides the point.

anyhoo... who's ready for the draft lottery?
Agreed on his defense, wholeheartedly, and, agreed on the anyhoo to move this along.

I enjoy the lottery. It's a drama and a sit-com all in one.

I'd not be surprised by any outcome tonight outside of one team blowing out the other...anything else is in play as I see it. I'll be pulling for the Hornets, though.
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Old 05-19-2008, 07:39 PM   #45
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i liked the lottery a lot more when the first team out of the playoffs got one ball, the second team out got two balls, and so on and so forth.

haha... two balls.
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