We have always been and always will be the roundtable experts around these parts and this time, it’s no different! Important stressful stuff is winding down in the sports world and summer is here — so let’s have some fun with the usual suspects and some twitter friends (Jim, Jeremy, Mike) I have invited over for the party, including Adam Sabie from 95.5 The Game!
Here are the answers to the “groundbreaking” questions I asked.
What kind of trouble would you like to see your least favorite Wolverweenie (past or present) get into this summer?
Sabie - I would absolutely LOVE to see Chris Webber call another timeout when his team doesn’t have any in a rec league basketball game…. Yep. That would be glorious.
@JayBuckeye74 - Desmond Howard for soliciting a transvestite prostitute.
@Finnessy - Desmond Howard finally shaves the peach fuzz off of his upper lip. In the process, he draws blood, freaks, passes out and knocks a couple of teeth out. Misses first couple weeks of college game day and I don’t have to put up with his cheesy grin or whiny voice.
@Capn33 - Taylor Lewan. Justice needs to be enforced for the Brawl he had with the OSU guy he punched. Maybe boot him out of the NFL .
Ken - Mike Hart gets ticketed for a speeding violation. He never seemed to be able to run that far, nor that fast against Ohio State.
Scott - Tom Brady tests positive for PEDs.
Broseph - I’d love to see Denard Robinson arrested for “improper use of a weapon.” I don’t think Denard understands that he has been in violation for quite some time and needs to be brought to justice. And no, playing running back for the Jacksonville Jaguars isn’t enough punishment.
Mali - I’m kind of past the point of rooting for Wolverine failures- don’t want any karma in my schadenfreude. That being said, I’d like to see two recent Wolverines not get into trouble but be held accountable for the mayhem they’ve already created: Gibbons’ situation from his freshman year and Lewan’s involvement there and his recent poor sportsmanship.
Jason - I would just like to see some action taken in the Lewan accusations along with the (alleged) rapist kicker. I’d also like an investigation into what Hoke knew and for how long.
Doty Sr. - I would not mind seeing Desmond Howard do a 3-5 year bit.
WVa - LOL, I have my own wishes with regards to Desmond Howard but those above are great! Mine is aimed to the one Wolverweenie that has caused me the most pain. I definitely want to see Tom Brady get into trouble for PED’s and for running a prostitution ring.
That’s all there is to say.
Oh, and I’ll be there with a sign that reads “Barkley loves fishsticks”.
Tonight at 830, we can get back to business. The Cleveland Cavaliers will take the floor in the Eastern Conference Finals against Orlando, and it’s not a moment too soon.
In the last 24 days, the Cavaliers have only played four games, and the concern is that they are not battle-tested enough for Game 1. “Shake off the rust” has been an overused phrase on Cleveland talk shows (and Orlando, and Los Angeles, and the drunk tank where Charles Barkley resides on alternate Friday nights).
Yes, it’s a concern…will the Cavaliers be ready for Game One?
Frankly, I’m not worried at all, and you know this if you read The BBC. To me, Orlando has a much bigger concern on their hands….are they worn out from playing two long and harsh playoff rounds?
Here’s a quick look at the amount of minutes the starting 5 has logged so far this postseason;
|LeBron James||SF||314||493||SF||Hedo Turkoglu|
|Zydrunas Ilgauskas||C||230||458||C||Dwight Howard|
|Anderson Varejao||PF||246||523||PF||Rashard Lewis|
|Mo Williams||PG||287||394||PG||Rafer Alston|
|Delonte West||SG||322||251||SG||JJ Redick|
Howard is only two minutes away from doubling the minutes that Z has played, but that’s the one matchup that doesn’t matter. Z needs that rest and Dwight Howard does not.
As for the rest…..do you really think that 30-year-old Hedo Turkoglu is going to be able to handle LeBron James even if they were equally rested? How about when the old man has played 3 and 3/4 more FULL games than the MVP? That’s a whole lot of fatigue that’s about to set in for Turkoglu.
Also, the young and energetic Varejao has seen LESS than half of the court time as Rashard Lewis. Tired legs are gonna get ya.
Yes, it’ll be a war early on and I expect to see a close game….but when the 4th quarter is on and old man Turkoglu is weary, he is NOT going to be able to handle LeBron. If the game is close, there’s going to be a lot of late fouling, with the hopes of keeping James out of the paint and on the free-throw line.
Should be fun.
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.