Saturday, December 20, 2008

Good Road Win in Denver

Game thoughts:

1. As a professional sports fans, most of the enjoyment that we get out of watching games comes from two sources. First, the competition. It's always exciting to watch teams and individuals compete hard against one another. Second, our individual team loyalties add the emotional component that really forces us to get invested in the games. Rarely does our enjoyment of the experience come from the pure aesthetic component of the sport itself. Perhaps that is the greatest compliment I can pay to this Cavs team so far this year. For the first time in my life as a sports fan, I find myself forgetting for brief moments during games where my loyalties lie and getting completely entranced by the beauty of the game of basketball the way the Cavs play it. When the Cavs are playing well, it just takes my breath away. The passing, the movement, the defensive's really moving. I've always enjoyed the NBA for the great rivalries and ridiculous personalities. Now, for the first time in my life, I'm enjoying it because I'm getting to watch the game of basketball played as if it were a form of art.

2. Its funny how no matter how many NBA Champions win with defense and good half-court offense, so many teams around the league still want to fly up and down the floor and shoot early in the shot clock. Go ask the 05 suns how well that works in the playoffs. Teams like that can beat you on any given night but rarely are they going to outlast a good physical team in a playoff series.

3. This Cavs team has helped me to understand the value of backcourt depth. Its amazing how consistent a team can be with multiple perimeter threats. I understand a lot of the offensive stability this team has found this year is a result of having a PG that can break teams down off the dribble and a 2-guard that can really play the game. But beyond that, the Cavs shooting depth just makes them so hard to beat on any given night. Between Delonte, Boobie, Szczerbiak, and Mo, the Cavs are almost guaranteed to have at least one guy shooting well from the outside on any given night. Shooting slumps are unavoidable but when you have so many guys that can stroke it, it's so much easier to play around them.

4. Its a shame that Sasha is the basketball equivalent of a special ed student. I mean seriously, his basketball IQ is just awful. Boobie Gibson is undersized and at this point in his career, he has a very limited range of skills but the drop off from him to Sasha in the guard rotation is staggering. I really would not want to see Pavlovic playing meaningful playoff minutes this year.

5. Delonte West makes 3.85 million this year and is signed for two more. That should make every single Cavs fan giddy. Incredible how much better he is playing off the ball.

6. Cleveland fans will never be able to fully appreciate Z until he retires and the franchise is stuck trying to scramble for one of the 5 or so quality centers that is usually playing in the league at any given time. 30 teams...maybe a half-dozen decent centers. Yet, there are still Cleveland fans out there that complain about Z's skill set. It's just insane.

7. Denver needs to ditch their current color scheme. For a team that used to have such great unis, I'm just not feeling it.

8. Anybody that puts Carmelo, Wade, or at this point, even Kobe in the same sentence with Lebron should not be taken seriously. It's like saying that Paddy Harrington and Phil Mickelson are comparable to Tiger. I realize I'm a homer but by every possible measure, Lebron is by far the best player in the league.

9. Glad to see Boston beating the Bulls at home was the first story on Sportscenter after the game. Clearly, that was the biggest story of the night. The Bulls are fantastic. What a rivalry.

10. The hardwood classic unis are my favorite unis of any Cleveland sports team....ever. I'm not even kidding. I think they are just the bees knees. They are vastly superior to the road blues (and the reds which are rarely worn anymore anyway).

That's all for tonight. I'll be back with more after we play the Thunder (WNBA?) on Sunday.

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