The Plain Dealer reports that newly acquired running back Reuben Droughns will compete with incumbent starter Lee Suggs during training camp for the starting job. Makes sense. Suggs and William Green, whose days in Cleveland are numbered, competed for the same job last year, and Romeo Crennel wants to make sure he’s got the best guy on the field this season. I like Suggs but with the kind of smashmouth offense Crennel wants to run, it sounds like Droughns may be better suited for the job, with Suggs being more of a change-of-pace guy.
“A season that began with controversy and excitement ended in pain and disappointment.” ~Salt Lake Tribune
A foot injury will keep Cleveland traitor Carlos Boozer out for the rest of the regular season. Boozer, out the last 20 games with the injury, most likely will not need surgery, though that remains a possibility if the injury doesn’t continue to improve with rest.
Ah, sweet redemption. The Jazz own the second-worst record in the West at 22-48 while Boozer, who dreamed of becoming the next Karl Malone in Utah, is averaging a mundane 17.8 points and 9.0 rebounds per game. Meanwhile, the Cavs are battling for home-court advantage in the East and Boozer’s replacement, Drew Gooden, is scoring 14.3 points per game and pulling down 9.4 boards a night. Even better, Cleveland is paying Gooden $3.4 million this year while the Jazz are paying $10.9 million for Boozer’s 51 games.
After failing to land Baltimore second-string running back Chester Taylor, the Browns on Tuesday traded DE Ebenezer Ekuban to Denver for Reuben Droughns, the Denver back who rumbled for 1,240 yards and six touchdowns last year. Of course, the Broncos’ system inflated Droughns’ overall numbers but he still represents a significant acquisition for the Browns. A converted fullback, Droughns, 26, will back up Lee Suggs while also providing potentially explosive insurance for the Browns’ injury-prone starter. Another fantastic move by Savage and Crennel.
As for the Broncos, again, I’m having a hard time understanding why they insist on rebuilding their defensive line with Cleveland’s castoffs. That’d be like Martin Scorsese watching the cast of “Son of the Mask” and thinking, “Damn, I gotta get me some of that.”
ESPN is reporting that former Browns defensive end Courtney Brown will sign a multi-year deal with Denver after turning down similar offers from Washington, Jacksonville and Seattle.
Apparently, the Broncos haven’t paid much attention to what’s been going on in Cleveland the past few years. Phil Savage and Romeo Crennel couldn’t get rid of Brown and Gerard Warren fast enough, and now the Broncos have both first-round busts on their roster. Rumors have surfaced that Denver is negotiating with Butch Davis to have him replace Mike Shanahan as the team’s head coach, while Dwight Clark will be introduced as the new GM later this week.
Monday’s 109-108 overtime win in New Orleans may not look very pretty upon first glance, considering the Hornets are one of the sorriest teams in the NBA (actually, only the Hawks have a worse record). But at one point in the third quarter, the Cavaliers found themselves down 17 points. They had no energy, no heart and seemingly no chance, but then they turned on the defensive intensity in the fourth, LeBron and Sasha Pavlovic started hitting some clutch jumpers and, amazingly, the Cavaliers walked away with a big one-point win.
Of course, any road win is a big win for this team, but with the Eastern Conference standings so tight, a comeback like this could provide a late-season spark as the Cavs continue to fight for position and make their final playoff push.