I have no problem with this. Here are some initial observations:
- As I said before, it’s hard to say that Byron Scott had to go. The Cavs were very young and suffered a ton of injuries. That said, there was clearly something missing and I can’t get too upset that Dan Gilbert decided to make a change. The rumblings are that Scott really didn’t work that hard, and they’re clearly happy getting a “grinder” like Brown back in the fold.
- The only reason Brown was fired the first time around had to do with LeBron James, who was sulking like a baby and refusing to give the Cavs any idea of his plans before he took his ego and talents to South Beach. Gilbert rolled the dice, hoping that a coaching change would convince LeBron to stay. But the big baby was gone anyways and he didn’t have enough class to let the Cavs know before they dumped Brown.
- Mike Brown reminds me of Marty Schottenheimer and Mike Hargrove – an excellent coaches who can’t seem to adjust their regular season formulas to the postseason, so perhaps we’ll be screaming about Brown in the future. But Brown will get the most out of his talent by stressing defense so like those guys he’ll at least get decent teams to the playoffs. Brown was outcoached several years ago against Orlando, but I still think LeBron James deserves much more of the blame for the failure of the Cavs to win a championship during his tenure. The world saw LeBron’s weak character when he let the Heat wilt against the Mavs, but we saw previews of that here in Cleveland. He had a meltdown versus Boston, and if you go back to that Orlando series you’ll see plenty of pathetic plays from LeBron, like chucking up lazy threes at the worst possible time.
- I don’t buy the argument that the Cavs have been waiting for LeBron to come back in 2014. They went young because that’s what made sense. They are set up nicely again with this draft and with the cap, so now Chris Grant has to earn his money and put some talent around Kyrie.
- Mike Brown will teach Kyrie how to play defense, and if Kyrie resists, we don’t want him around anyways.
In the end, Brown wants to be in Cleveland and he’s a very solid choice. They can now focus on building a contender for the long haul.
I really can’t blame Byron Scott at all for the pathetic record we’ve seen from the Cavs for the past several years. The team went in major rebuilding mode and suffered a constant stream of injuries.
Something must have gone wrong behind the scenes. Kyrie Irving and other young players have developed, but maybe the chemistry between Kyrie and Scott wasn’t really there.
Let’s see what Chris Grant and Dan Gilbert have in mind. The team is poised with a lottery pick and the Lakers pick to grab more talent, and they should be targeting a veteran as well. The time is now for this team to compete, so we’ll see who they bring in as the new coach.
It was a long road getting casino gambling in Ohio, but now with all the long lines, the new Horseshoe casino is all the rage in Cleveland. The key here is that Dan Gilbert did it right. Of course everything starts with the downtown location, which makes the Cleveland casino better than most other casinos located in the middle of nowhere, but Gilbert picked the perfect spot for phase I with the old Higbee building, and the renovation job was incredible. Everything about it is a first-class operation. The poker room is beautiful and it’s always packed. It’s located on the top floor right next to the VIP player’s club.
So with that backdrop it’s not a surprise that the Cleveland casino, along with the one in Toledo, are off to big start. In the first full month in business at Ohio’s two casinos gamblers bet more than $417 million and operators paid out more than $371 million in winnings according to the Ohio Casino Control Commission. The casinos’ share after payouts was more than $46 million, with the Cleveland casino generating $26.1 million and the Toledo casino generating $20.4 million. The law requires that the casinos pay a gross revenue tax of 33 percent split between entities including counties, school districts, the four casino cities, the casino commission and programs for problem gamblers. So Ohioans are definitely benefiting from the successful launch.
It has to help that the Cleveland casino is so close to Progressive Field and Quicken Loans Arena, so the casino gets even more business after Tribe and Cavs games. Then you have the West 6th Street and East 4th Street bars and restaurants close by as well. After years of problems, downtown Cleveland is having another renaissance.
But the message should be clear: Waiters needs to shape up physically and mentally. He has the arrogance you find in some East Coast playground legends. Listening to Dion Waiters, you know that he thinks Dion Waiters is the greatest player he’s ever seen.
Now, he should know better. And the Cavs probably know why Syracuse coach Jim Boeheim stayed on Waiters, even bringing the guard off the bench despite saying Waiters was the most talented player on the team.
No doubt, coach Byron Scott will deliver some stern lectures and serious challenges to Waiters. The Cavs say he “lives in the gym.” Well, he better do just that before the regular season starts.
If nothing else, this should stop all of the wild comparisons to Joe Dumars, Russell Westbrook and Dwyane Wade.
I’m not too worried at this point. All indications were that Waiters showed his explosive first step in Las Vegas, and the cold shooting is not a big deal at this point.
It’s obviously disappointing that he wasn’t in shape, but I’m sure Byron Scott will make him pay for it.
The ego could become an issue, but cockiness isn’t the worst quality for an NBA shooting guard expected to get to the rim. The kid is young and obviously a little immature, and Pluto makes some great points, but I expect him to shape up under Byron Scott. I’d be much more concerned if he didn’t appear as athletic as advertised.
The Cavs made an interesting move this week, claiming 6′ 11″ power forward Jon Leuer off of waivers. Check out the pre-draft video above and the player profile prepared by DraftExpress.com for some background on Leuer.
After drafting Tyler Zeller and Tristan Thompson in the last two draft some might question why the Cavs made this move, but you can never have too many quality big men, and this also makes it easier to move Anderson Varejao if the opportunity arises.
For the second straight year, the Cavs took a player at No. 4 who was ranked in the late teens on our Big Board in May. Like Tristan Thompson last year, Waiters had a meteoric rise the last month of the season. Unlike Thompson, his rise happened without ever doing a workout or interview with the Cavs. The Suns shut down Waiters early in the draft process, but it only seemed to start a Waiters feeding frenzy for teams ahead of them.
Waiters is the most dynamic scorer in the draft — his ability to get to the basket is truly special — and a handful of GMs felt that after Davis, MKG and Beal, he was the guy in this draft with the most star potential. He has NBA skill and, together with Kyrie Irving, should create a dynamic backcourt in Cleveland. Some will say taking Waiters at No. 4 was a bold pick, but I think it was a smart one with both MKG and Beal off the board. People said the same thing a few years ago when the Thunder took both Russell Westbrook and James Harden higher than expected.
I’m more agnostic about the Zeller pick. He’s not going to be a great NBA center, but he runs the floor well and can play right away. At No. 17, you can’t really ask for more than that.
Waiters did attend one workout according to one caller on the radio and he apparently dominated against other prospective draft picks. I like much of what I’m hearing about him, though I wish the Cavs had a chance to work him out.
The Cavaliers landed two good players in Syracuse guard Dion Waiters and North Carolina center Tyler Zeller, but they overpaid horrendously. Waiters was the first stunner of the draft when Cleveland took him fourth, ahead of several players who would have been better fits and better talents. Zeller, picked 17th, should be a perfect fit but came at the cost of the 24th, 33rd and 34th picks in a trade with the Dallas Mavericks. The Cavaliers had too many holes to fill to give up so many picks for an injury prone center.
I think this is overly harsh. Zeller at 17 seems like a great value to me, and the Cavs didn’t need to load up on more young players in the second round.
The Cavs under Chris Grant certainly can be unpredictable, but that’s also a reflection of how the media narrows in a several potential scenarios in the draft.
The Cavs went with Dion Waiters with the fourth pick, leaving Harrison Barnes on the board. Then, they traded the rest of their picks in order to snag #17 selection Tyler Zeller.
If you look closely at both picks, you’ll begin to under stand what the Cavs are trying to do. The Cavs reportedly went after Bradley Beal but then chose Waiters. They obviously wanted an athletic 2-guard that could get to the rim and create his own shot who could compliment Kyrie. It’s critical to have multiple players who can slash to the rim in the Princeton offense, and not they can add Waiters to the mix with Kyrie and Alonzo Gee.
With Zeller, the Cavs fill an important need at center, so both Tristan Thompson and Anderson Varejao can go back to their natural position of power forward for the majority of their minutes. More importantly, Zeller runs the floor very well, and the Cavs clearly want to run with Irving and Waiters. Zeller won’t be a dominant player, but he also gives them another scoring option in the half-court game as Zeller plays well with his back to the basket. So the Cavs will be able to run while also keeping size on the floor. Imagine a rotation when you have Irving, Waiters, Gee, Thompson and Zeller on the floor. This unit can run with any team in the league, but can also match up with size in the half court. It could be very fun to watch.
I have no idea if Waiters was the right pick at #4. In today’s NBA, you’re picking kids with very limited resumes and you have to project out their skills to the NBA game. Remember last year when many pundits complained about Kyrie’s lack of experience at Duke? That said, Waiters avoided doing workouts, so there’s clearly some risk here with this pick.
But we can see what the Cavs are trying to do. Players need to fit together in a system, and it looks like Waiters and Zeller could be great fits with Kyrie and the system being run by Byron Scott.
The Cavs didn’t win the lottery tonight and they ended up with the #4 pick. Chad Ford has the Cavs taking Harrison Barnes with that pick, while the USA Today mock draft has them taking Andre Drummond.
I don’t know these players well enough, but Harrison Barnes seems like a great fit for the Cavs. Drummond seems like way to much of a risk, while Barnes is an excellent shooter and defender and he has great basketball IQ. His floor seems very high, and while he may not be the most athletic small forward, he seems pretty impressive in the highlight video above.
Anyone want to question the Kyrie Irving draft pick now?
Kyrie capped off a tremendous rookie season by being named Rookie of the Year. Mr. Clutch put on a show all season long as you can see in the video above, and the Cavs now have a superstar to build around.
New York Knicks J.R. Smith reacts after hitting a 3-point shot in the first quarter against the Dallas Mavericks at Madison Square Garden in New York City on February 19, 2012. UPI/John Angelillo
There is no doubt where the public believes the power is with NBA future odds as the Eastern Conference is led by power favorites Miami and Chicago with a host of select power dogs such as Orlando, Philadelphia, and Indiana. Add into the mix the “Linsanity” of the popular New York Knicks and the venerable veteran Boston Celtics and you have plenty of action in the East.
Perhaps the most intriguing story thus far in the East has been the Chicago Bulls as they have proven to be far more than a one man team of superstar Derrick Rose. Rose has been out most of February with injuries and yet the Bulls have maintained excellence and were in second place in the Eastern Conference standings within a game of the Miami Heat.
Chicago has proven to be a complete team that ranked 9th for scoring offense and 3rd for defense. Defense is what made them the top seed in the Eastern Conference last year and what could propel them again to the top spot. The Bulls have also proven to be a highly effective road team which is of critical importance come playoff time. Rose returned to the lineup on February 20th so the Bulls figure to be even better down the stretch.
Miami has been solid if not spectacular as LeBron James has been averaging 27.6 points and 6.8 assists per game to propel the Heat to the top of the Eastern Conference standings. Miami’s offense was 2nd in the NBA for scoring while the defense was middle of the road at 14th.
The West is another matter as handicappers are showing with their action on the NBA future odds that there is little faith in those teams. The traditional power and public name brand team Los Angeles Lakers are looking more and more like a dysfunctional mess. The Lakers are beginning to implode as stories of a front office being run by the party animal sons of owner Jerry Buss have begun to surface. Add to that the rumors of a potential trade of Pau Gasol and new coach Mike Brown taking over for Hall of Famer Phil Jackson and you have a very bad situation brewing. The Oklahoma City Thunder are still young and unproven in the post season and the San Antonio Spurs are an odd mix of young and old. Defending champion Dallas is still in the mix and they could end up as a team to watch before this shortened NBA season is over.