Orlando Is No Cake Walk

Sunday nights game against the Orlando Magic (2-3) brings together two of the NBA’s premier High School athletes. Lebron James and Dwight Howard. Last year as a rookie, the No. 1 selection in the 2004 draft led the Magic in rebounding (10.0) and blocked shots (1.66). Howard causes problems for any opponent because of his ability to run the floor with guards and he can easily bang inside with the league’s toughest centers.

In addition, Guard Keyon Dooling practiced without pain Friday and plans to make his much-anticipated debut Sunday night against the Cavaliers. Dooling was Orlando’s top catch in free agency this past summer. The Magic gave Dooling a three-year, $9 million deal to lure him from the Miami Heat. Dooling missed the final four preseason games and the first five games of the regular season after suffering a bone bruise in his right heel on Oct. 18.
“I’m pretty much predetermined that I’m going to get out there and give it a try,” Dooling said. “It’s been frustrating for me because I worked hard in the off season to get ready and played pretty well in the preseason. It was a setback for me, but it’s still early and I think I can get back into the swing pretty quick.”
Coach Brown isn’t the only one stressing defense either. Through five games, Orlando is holding opponents to a NBA-low 85.6 points per game. The Magic have held each of their past three opponents (Washington, Houston and New Orleans/Oklahoma City) to less than 90 points. Orlando hadn’t accomplished that feat since April 9-12, 2003. New coach Brian Hill has stressed defense from the start of training camp, and the emphasis is paying dividends now.
For a complete look at Orlando’s roster click HERE.

100 Million Chinese Watched LeBron on Friday Night Against the Grizzlies

100 million Chinese were expected to watch LeBron James and the Cleveland Cavaliers play live on TV Friday night. But only 1,000 of them will have a chance to be the first to own his new shoes.
Nike will launch James’ new sneaker line, Zoom LeBron III, in China this weekend. The footwear maker was making a limited number of them available to the Chinese first.

The launch marks the first time Nike has launched a global footwear style in China. The shoe is white, varsity crimson and chrome. Only 1,000 pairs were released in China.

“These are exclusive in China,” James said. “This was for how they embraced me when I went over there during the summer.”

LeBron James wore his new Zoom LeBron III sneakers during the Cavs’ game against the Memphis Grizzlies on Friday night.

Cavs Win At Home

The Cleveland Cavaliers (4-2) soundly defeated the Memphis Grizzlies (3-3) down at the Q Friday night. Lebron, despite being in foul trouble early on, led the Cavaliers with 16 points. Eddie Jones led the Grizzlies with 15. James needs 10 points to become the youngest player in NBA history to reach 4,000 career points. James (20 years, 316 days) will likely hit the mark and pass Kobe Bryant (21 years, 216 days) when the Cavaliers play at Orlando on Sunday.
What was very interesting to watch last night, and I am not sure you could tell on Television, was that when Lebron picked up his 3rd foul early in the 2nd quarter, he put up both arms with the intent of telling Coach Brown not to take him out. Coach Brown however pulled Lebron out for the rest of the half. Lebron purposely walked around the Coach to avoid making eye contact. He even walked past several teammates outstretched hands on the bench. Lebron was frustrated and probably a little upset that Coach pulled him. But Lebron did not pout. He quickly became a supporter of the team. “I now know that when I get into fould trouble,” said James, “that I can go to the bench, sit there and not worry. I have help this year.” James may be downplaying his importance. In the 22 minutes he played through three quarters, the Cavaliers outscored Memphis, 44-17. In the 14 minutes he sat, the Grizzlies outscored them, 31-27.
The Cavs, improving each time out under first-year coach Mike Brown, contested every shot, out hustled the Grizzlies to every loose ball and dominated the boards, out rebounding Memphis 49-29 while holding them to a season low in points.
Cleveland’s swarming defense — even the defensively challenged Ilgauskas drew two charges — held Memphis to just 12 points on 3-of-14 shooting in third quarter when the Cavs opened a 27-point lead.
The Grizzlies came in averaging 95 points on 47.3 percent shooting — the NBA’s fourth-best mark.
For a complete recap click HERE.

Damon Jones is Blacking Out the Media

I have been hearing this since the start of the media, but no sports columnist in Cleveland have written anything about it.Damon Jones not talking

In Toronto, a reporter approached Damon Jones before the game, Jones said without a smile, “I am not talking, I am on a revolt”

Indeed, once that was pointed out to Jones, he said “I’m not talking about basketball ever again, I’m talking about my life in general. No basketball questions.”

Some reporters think the reason he’s unhappy that he was beaten out as the opening-night starting point guard by Eric Snow.

Marshall, told of Jones’s boycott “That’s his comedian thing,” he said. “All of us are the same type of people, crazy in a good way. We like to laugh and joke, but we all want to win as well. It’s all about having fun, having a good time, building friendships. We just have the right mixture of guys personality-wise, around each other”.

Give Me The Latest

Brian Windhorst from the Arkon Beacon Journal brings us up-to-date on the latest from Larry Hughes and how he is handling the dress code, to whether it is Luke or Sasha and even tosses in a little Lebron.

“Larry Hughes was the most outspoken Cavaliers critic about the new off-court dress code, but he has followed it. He has been a choir boy on the court, too.

The NBA this week warned about 10 teams that the players were out of on-court dress code, primarily for having shorts that go past the knee. The Cavs, and Hughes directly, were not one of them.

Hughes was a frequent violator of that rule last season with the Washington Wizards, when he and teammates Gilbert Arenas and Antawn Jamison stylishly wore their shorts long. They were warned several times.”

“Cavs coach Mike Brown said before Wednesday’s game that Luke Jackson had pulled ahead of Sasha Pavlovic at backup swingman. Pavlovic started in that role, but Jackson has taken over the past three games. Brown said the decision was based on defense.

“Luke is ahead as of now,” Brown said. “Both of those guys can put the ball in the hole. I want to make sure they defend the right way, and right now, Luke is doing a nice job.”

Team insiders said Brown was upset that Pavlovic didn’t always follow the defensive game plan against the New Orleans Hornets or San Antonio Spurs. Jackson then got his chance and has satisfied the coach.”
LeBron James Poster
“Wednesday was LeBron James bobblehead night, but they weren’t the most noticeable James promotional item on display. Across the street from Quicken Loans Arena on a vacant side of the Terminal Tower building, Nike has posted a 120-by-200 foot ad featuring James.

It features a black and white photo of James going up for a dunk along with the tagline: “We are all just witnesses.” And, of course, a swoosh.

With James’ new shoe, the Zoom LeBron III, due out in stores Nov. 17, Nike is unveiling a new ad campaign. There have been ads in magazines for several weeks, and television spots will start soon.”

PEPSI Is Now King Of The Q

For all of you Pepsi Vs. Coke lovers, some good news. The Cleveland Cavaliers today announced a new partnership with PepsiAmericas that will give the beverage supplier the exclusive pouring rights to Quicken Loans Arena and make it the official beverage of the Cavaliers. The substantial multi-year partnership marks the first time the team and venue has changed beverage suppliers since the building opened in 1994.

Back In The House With A Win

The Cavaliers (3-2)hosted the Seattle SuperSonics (1-3) Wednesday night at the Q and came up with a BIG win 112-85. Lebron James led the Cavaliers with 31 points and was 11 for 11 and the charity stripe. Drew Gooden and Donyell Marshall were also perfect at the stripe 7 for 7 and 6 for 6 respectively. Ray Allen led the Sonics with 28 points, and could have beaten most folks in a good old game of “Horse” calling a “Swish” as each shot he made was nothing but NET.
“We won big, but I think we could have played a lot better,” said James, who made 10-of-18 shots and 11-of-11 free throws. “Anytime we can get bench production like we did tonight, it is always a positive thing.”
With 8:49 to play in the third quarter, James reeled in a pass from Donyell Marshall for a thunderous back-breaking alley-oop dunk that pushed the advantage to 99-71.
“That’s why they call him ‘The King,'” Marshall said. “I know it was a bad pass, but he made me look good.”

Cleveland shot 50 percent (38-of-76) from the floor and outrebounded Seattle by a staggering 56-21, the largest margin in franchise history. The Cavaliers also made 31-of-33 free throws, including their first 28. For a complete recap click HERE