Salutations from our nation’s 48th state, where I currently find myself vacating on the same road that I live by several hours to the west. Yup, this is as close to Rich Rod as I’ll ever get… probably for the best. Knowing that we were headed this way the wife let me plan our trip around two sacred OSU sites, although she did boycott one of my musical selections for the journey. Ah, well… at least she let me watch the 2002 game on the BTN this evening.
This “update” seems to be merely a reflection of Coach Meyer’s decisions regarding Klein’s actions, and there may not be any more to read into it. Again, Urban stated at the end of spring practice that the chart would be set- fall camp was about preparation and not position battles.
With the 21st pick in this evenings’ NBA draft, former Buckeye Jared Sullinger was informed that he would be headed to one of the most legendary franchises in basketball when he was drafted by the Eastern Conference’s Boston Celtics.
The two year star at Ohio State saw the end of a challenging week with the phone call from Danny Ainge; a certain lottery pick after his first season in Columbus, a second season with the Buckeyes resulted in concerns regarding his health- particularly his back. Sullinger missed several games this past season with hamstring and back injuries, and numerous scouts raised concerns about his resilience over a longer season.
However, several medical professionals and the Sullinger Camp were adamant that his durability would not be an issue- and GMs noted that he would be a steal in the second half of the first round. Jared is the 7th first round pick in six years for Ohio State.
Jared’s work ethic has never been questioned, nor has his heart. I believed going into the draft that whoever ended up selecting him would get a greater player than his draft status and statistics would indicate- he is the ultimate team player, and will thrive under another quality coach. Sullinger joins a team with some aging leadership; it will be interesting to see if he can contribute minutes to rest the veterans while learning the ropes and awaiting his time to shine. The sky is certainly the limit.
Video by WBNS-TV’s Dom Tiberi
In a press release tonight, the University had reflections from Coach Matta and an overview of Jared’s career at Ohio State. Read More
Back when this site was on the SBNation network, we made a concerted effort to stick to all things Buckeyes, and not write about other teams, college or pro. The network had blogs from just about every team/sport out there, so we thought that writing about topics that weren’t related to Ohio State would be the equivalent of stepping on someone else’s turf.
Three things have happened since we agreed to that stance.
1) We’re not on the network anymore.
2) It’s spring, and there’s less OSU topics to cover daily.
3) I have an exclusive contract with Fox Sports Ohio and can’t discuss Buckeye football here, and I wanna write, dammit.
So I hereby change that policy. The BBC is a Buckeye-centered blog, but we’ll discuss whatever the hell we want from now on. When the Buckeye news hits, we’ll be all over it….but we’re going to expand the horizons a bit, too.
With that, comes discussion of the Cleveland Cavaliers (yay).
Tonight, the Cavs take on Atlanta is a virtually meaningless game. Cleveland has secured the #1 seed, and there is nothing left to gain. Same thing goes for the Hawks and their #3 slot being solid. This is the time for the main superstars to get some rest and prepare for Game 1 of the first round.
So, even though Shaquille O’Neal is activated and ready to play again, we won’t see him tonight. Same thing for LeBron James. I’m willing to bet that the rest of the starters get about 20 minutes in before they hit the bench.
The only genuine interest in the NBA tonight comes from two other teams. If Chicago wins tonight at Charlotte, the Bulls get the 8th seed and will be our first-round playoff opponent. If Chicago loses, and the Toronto Raptors win at home against the Knicks, we’ll play Toronto in the first round.
If both Chicago and Toronto lose, we get the Bulls.
The playoffs begin Saturday, but we’ll see when our first game is sometime tomorrow. If it’s against Chicago, expect a Sunday 1pm or 330pm tipoff. More potential viewers will give us the prime Sunday time slot.
Frankly, I want the Bulls. The perfect playoff run is being setup for us, and I want it.
Round 1 – Chicago. Revenge for all those Michael Jordan nightmares
Round 2 – Boston. They’re the 4th seed and in line to face us in the Conference Semifinals. Revenge for two years ago.
Round 3 – Orlando. Do I need to explain the revenge factor?
The Finals – L.A. Lakers. Let’s settle this once and for all.
The Finals – San Antonio. Revenge for 2007.
Either way, this weekend begins the quest for what Clevelanders deserve. A championship.
While you’re waiting….here’s a present for Cavalier fans everywhere. Rasheed Wallace scored on his own basket last night with nobody around him. Savor it. Nom nom nom.
10:16pm – Winding it down. Stretches of success, stretches of failure. This was a playoff game without the playoff atmosphere.
10:12pm – Cavs going to lose their opening game for the second year in a row to Boston, have lost 5 of the 7 openers in LeBron James era. Have lost at least two of their first three games in 5 of last 6 years.
10:11pm – Son of a bitch, Parker. Catch the ball.
10:09pm – I’m not sure how Pierce gets away with shoving Mo Williams to the floor, but he just did. Cavs down 6 with 1 minute left.
10:07pm – Two minutes left, pulls within 4 points!
10:06pm – Pierce gets his fifth foul trying to murder LeBron.
10:05pm – As it looks right now, the supporting cast is not pulling their weight. Anthony Parker is 3-for-9 from the field. Still have a shot
10:03pm – Uh, ohhhh, Shaq’s first FTs of his Cavalier career. Clank, clank.
10:00pm – Yes, LeBron palmed that ball. But if you’re going to call that, then you’ve GOT to call three steps on Pierce and Allen.
9:58pm – It’s LeBron time! 3-pointer brings us to within four!
9:55pm – Sweet Jesus, I hate Paul Pierce
9:54pm – Chances to get closer being wasted. We need one more burst to win this. 6 minutes remain in a five-point game.
9:52pm – Z hits two FTs, within 5 now!
9:47pm – Crowd very quiet, almost waiting for a reason to get excited.
9:42pm – Z finally scores a FG, but the defense overall is lagging again. Fresh Shaq and LeBron on the floor for the stretch.
9:38pm – It’s only three-quarters of one game, but Zydrunas is officially the Derek Anderson of the Cavaliers. Can’t pass, refuses to score, looks scared with the ball.
9:34pm – The difference in the past 6 minutes has been defense. Boston was shooting 57%, now down to 48%. Boston has missed 8 of their last 10 shots and only has three FGs in the last 9 minutes of play.
9:33pm – Cavs turn a 15-point deficit into a 7-point one in half a quarter. Looking better….here comes the 4th!
9:29pm – LeBron’s first “and-one” brings us to within 9… but not 8.
9:27pm – Watching Ilgauskas exclusively, and it’s very very ugly. He has no speed to return to his player when he jumps off the screen.
9:25pm – LeBron takes over again! Blocks another layup and then buries a three! DEEP at the Q!
9:24pm – Mo Williams has arisen
9:23pm – Z refuses to jump and doesnt get the rebound because of it
9:20pm – Oh, shit here comes Z
9:18 pm- Replays at The Q show Allen took three steps to the hoop and got the foul call for him.
9:14pm – Back to within ten points. The defense has stepped up again and forced three turnovers by Boston in four possessions. 5-0 run brings them to within 62-52.
9:12pm – Shaq’s first dunk as a Cav
9:10pm – Shaq is not working to the rim anymore. He’s getting the ball and shooting too quickly. Kendrick Perkins has only one foul, because he’s not being forced to foul.
9:07pm – Celtics on a run of 54-26. No excuse for that at all.
9:06pm – Boston shooting 57 percent from the field.
9:05pm – Now its getting embarrassing. No defense whatsoever. When a guy like Rajon freaking Rondo can get to the rim with his head intact, it’s ridiculous.
9:04pm – Mo Williams trying to do too much, ends up turning it over. The rhythm is gone for now.
9:03pm – Garnett tastes floorboard, crowd loves it.
9:01pm – Third quarter about to begin, usually our worst period. Maybe we transferred that to the second quarter for this game? One can only hope, as we were outscored by 13 in the 2nd.
8:55pm – Only two players shooting over 50% for Cleveland – Shaq and LeBron.
8:46pm – LeBron with 14 points, no other Cav in double digits (earlier report of Shaq with 10 was wrong). Mo Williams struggling with his shot, but his defense has been good. We’re allowing over 51% shooting from Boston, and 78% from 3-point land. Adjustments need to be made, and fast.
8:40pm – Officiating crew, in an attempt to be correct, have failed. They called a conference, then called a foul on Moon (before the travel was called), but failed to recognize that if the foul is called, it’s not a shooting situation. Pierce gets two free points. Cavs failing down the stretch and have a horrible second quarter, down by six at the half.
8:29pm – Now it’s looking like the playoff game all the pundits said it would. Shaq has ten points, LeBron with 13. Celtics hitting 3s at a 75% clip, keeping them in the game. Tied at 44, 2 minutes left in the half.
8:25pm – Regarding Jamario Moon – Never mind.
8:20pm – Boston decided not to run away from the early deficit. The Cavs are not in sync at the moment, and a couple of ill-advised shots haven’t fallen. Meanwhile, the typical “close my eyes, throw it in the air, and bitch at the ref” strategy by Pierce is working for him.
8:18pm – Now it’s a game again. Tied at 34, but the starters are all back on the floor.
8:14pm – Yes, Varejao has a better FT % than Ray Allen
8:09pm – Jamario Moon can’t hold onto the ball inside, and shoots like Wally Szczerbiak outside. The bad Wally Szczerbiak. Cavs lead about to disappear. Get Z and Moon on the bench and get the flow back on the floor.
8:07pm – Ilgauskas is a liability again
8:00pm – Cavs lead at the end of the first quarter by only 7 points. Celtics made a run against second-teamers mostly. Not impressed with Ilgauskas or Jamario Moon yet. One key factor is that LeBron doesn’t HAVE to take over a game anymore. Multiple players to help out with the offense, potentially. However, the Celtics are back in the game and the early burst has ended. The 14-point lead is cut in half.
7:52pm – When are players going to learn that if LeBron is within twenty feet of a layup, you’re not going to score? Even Boobie Gibson is looking sharp. Cavs keeping a double-digit lead on a surging Boston team.
7:48pm – Celtics on a little run, Shaq looking AWESOME.
7:38pm – Cavaliers have a flow, momentum, they look relaxed and calm. Celtics can’t find a rhythm and looked pissed. Pierce hasn’t even tried a shot yet and the Cavs are dominating. 13-2 good guys already!
7:33pm – Here we go!!
7:25pm – I’m thinking the fans are going to let out a LOT of frustration from months of suffering over the Indians/Browns. The Cavs will be the recpients of a warm, overdue reception tonight, ALL night.
7:10pm – Glen “Big Baby” Davis not playing (for a long time). Surgery today on a broken thumb, then discussion of being suspended by the Celtics for misconduct. Davis wasn’t a main cog, but he was a big part of the backup that got Boston through their injury stage last year. It will hurt having him out.
Quicken Loans Arena filled up in a hurry tonight and the fans are LOUD already. Updates throughout the night….
The Boston Celtics have used their first pick in the 2009 NBA draft to select Michael Jackson F (Neverland). Hope this works out for them.
There are two teams in the NBA that have a winning record against the Cleveland Cavaliers this season. Both of them are still alive. I’m fine with that, I want to take them both apart during this drive for the trophy.
Tonight, the Orlando Magic earned their shot to be humiliated on National TV. They buried the Boston Celtics in the 4th quarter of Game 7 and advance to the Eastern Conference Finals starting Wednesday night in Cleveland. A 5-point game was blown wide open as the Magic won 101-82, and it truly was a beautiful sight watching an empty Boston Garden* as the clock wound down.
I’d been harping on it for about a week, and it finally bit Boston in the ass….they were tired. Paul Pierce looked like he did two years ago, helpless to do anything in a losing cause. Ray Allen dragged his feet late in the game, after being worn out all night by JJ Redick. Incidentally, that’s the most embarrassing thing I’ve ever written about a Boston player.
The Magic have made a lifelong career of underachieving in the postseason, but they won in a place that very few people believed they could win a Game 7. Frankly, there’s a place that Orlando hardly EVER wins a Game 7…it’s called the NBA. But tonight, they stood tall against a Boston team that looked like they had no reason to win. They didn’t want it. When you have Brian Scalabrine shooting 22-footers and Stephon Marbury handling the ball at the point, you’ve run out of ideas.
So here comes Orlando. They won 2 of 3 games against Cleveland this season, and both games in Florida were BIG Magic wins. That will be the rallying cry for all Magic fans. What they did in the regular season in those two games mean everything. The other 80 games mean nothing.
They’ll have two days rest before they have to come knocking at Quicken Loans Arena, and Game 1 will be a BIG test for Orlando. If they have a shot at knocking off the Cavs, it’s after a 9-day layover for Cleveland. If the Cavs get off with a big Game 1, it’s going to tell a lot for the rest of the series.
Here’s the biggest keys to the series for the Cavaliers to beat Orlando.
1) Dwight Howard is going to clean up the boards. But when he gets the ball in rotation, force him to stay 6 feet outside of the rim. He’s awful when he has to take 8-footers and will miss 2/3rds of them. Use Z to body him out and Varejao to drive him crazy.
2) Despite having a huge inside presence, Orlando can only beat us with three-pointers. Don’t let Turkoglu and Lewis bury us with wide-open 24-footers.
3) Orlando is not capable of stopping LeBron James. James averaged 30 points per game, and nearly had triple-doubles in all three regular-season contests. Obviously, everything runs through him.
4) Pressure, pressure, pressure. If you force this team to make multiple mistakes in a row, Stan Van Gundy will panic and make unnecessary changes. The higher his voice gets, the funnier it will be for Cavs fans. Also, his state of panic tends to piss off his players. They’ll fold right along with him.
And here’s the best news Cavs fans could have….Charles Barkley just said “I think the Orlando Magic will beat the Cleveland Cavaliers.” Kenny Smith is now mocking him, saying “in basketball?” Nobody’s dared to ask him if he’s drunk yet. Chris Webber just said that “if both teams had the same NBA I.Q., I’d go with the Magic. But both teams do not have the same NBA I.Q.”
When Chris Webber picks an Ohio team to win, you know there’s a good reason for him to do it.
* – or whatever the hell they call that decrepit basketball shithole these days.
Yesterday I posted a quick blurb about the Cavaliers and their fresh legs, but I think I need to go into a little bit more detail now.
A lot has been made about the Cavs potential for being “rusty” going into the next round of the playoffs, especially since they so quickly dispatched the Atlanta Hawks. I’m not buying it for a second.
These same people (Jon Barry, Charles Barkley, anonymous Cavs-haters online) told us that Atlanta would bite us hard in Game 1 because the Hawks had momentum, and the Cavaliers had been sitting around doing nothing for 9 days. I thought it was a bullshit argument then, and it’s a bullshit argument now.
For starters, it’s insulting to believe that the Cavs are “doing nothing” right now. Do you honestly think that the players are feasting on potato chips on the couch, watching Dr. Phil reruns? No, they’re practicing, watching game film on both Orlando and Boston, and fine-tuning their game (and dammit, they’d better be shooting free throws a LOT).
But the exercise they are completing today is enough to keep the body and mind motivated, but not to exhaust it. The same cannot be said about our next opponent, whoever it may be.
Tomorrow night, the Celtics and Magic will take the floor in Orlando for Game 6. Both teams are battered by a consistent string of long, intense games and they’ll have at least one more to endure before the Eastern Conference Finals begins. The Celtics, short-handed already, had to maneuver a minefield against Chicago (which included 7 overtimes), and the Magic, despite what their fans will tell you, had a rough go against Philadelphia until the Sixers realized they suck in Game 6.
This has led to a massive overage in minutes played.
Here’s the total number of minutes played by the starting fives for Orlando and Boston;
|Players name||Min played||Age|
And meanwhile, how many minutes have the Cavaliers’ logged in the playoffs?
The three top Celtic players will be over 500 minutes by the end of Game 6, and if Orlando somehow pulls out a series win, they’ll have their three best players with at least 400-450 minutes.
As for Pierce and Allen…..these are guys in their 30s, and they’ll have posted over 500 minutes each. That is GOING to hurt them by the time they have to visit Cleveland.
Which leads me to my next point – mileage. These teams have been on the road a LOT and that too wears a team out. The Cavs have had it easy in that category too;
Using Google Directions for mileage stats, I came up with the following numbers
Adding up the number of trips each team has had to take, here’s the total mileage that everybody has had to log;
Those are NOT small differences. If you’ve ever traveled long distance, you know like I do that it does not shake off easily. These teams have put in a LOT of traveling and that too will wear on them as the playoffs expand.
Yes, it’s true that these stats might not matter in the end, because for 48 minutes players can shake off anything. But it’s yet another example in a long laundry list that points towards the Cleveland Cavaliers becoming the 2009 Eastern Conference Champions.
The first point in that list being, of course, that the Cavs are a superior team.
Top three key players for each team, and their total playoff minutes played…..
Ray Allen – 442 minutes played
Paul Pierce – 437 minutes played
Rajon Rondo – 472 minutes played
Dwight Howard – 340 minutes played
Hedo Turkoglu – 372 minutes played
Rashard Lewis – 400 minutes played
LeBron James – 314 minutes played
Mo Williams – 287 minutes played
Delonte West – 322 minutes played
….and those six players on Boston and Orlando will HAVE to play at least two more games, while the Cavaliers rest up.
The Boston Top 3 players will have OVER 500 minutes each.
The Orlando Top 3 players will have 400-450 minutes each.
Cleveland’s Top 3 players will have nearly HALF those minutes, and they’re in the mid-20s each.
Fresh legs, everybody. Fresh legs.