Too many injuries, another loss to Celtics

The Cavaliers lost again (90-86) to the Celtics in their third preseason game and again no Ben, Sasha and Delonte.

After trailing to the Cavaliers 81-74 early in the fourth, the Celtics were able to rebound and win led by Leon Powe with 17 points, including the go ahead basket with just two minutes left in the fourth to put the Celtics ahead 85-84.

Lebron James had 12 points in 18 minutes and Daniel Gibson led the Cavaliers with 14 points. Jawad Williams added 13 points and Zydrunas Ilgauskas had six rebounds.

Ben Wallace has been dealing with stiffness and soreness with his back and the team is already showing some concerns. It caused him to miss three practices last week and kept him out of the game against the Celtics  and didn’t travel with the team.

“I’m concerned, but I’m concerned about any of our guys who is hurt,” Cavs coach Mike Brown said. “But at the same time, it is a chance for the young guys to play.”

“With back problems, only rest can help,” LeBron James said. “Hopefully the training staff can get him as close to 100 percent as possible. We need our whole group to do what we want to do.”

Sasha Pavlovic sat out a second straight game with a sprained ankle but he took part in shootaround. Delonte West is still absense for personal reasons.

To detrhon a king, you need to be with the king

Mo Williams goal this season is to knock the Celtics “off the throne” and he thinks he knows how to do it.

Williams said before the Celtics beat the Cavaliers, 96-94, in an exhibition game,

“That’s all we talk about. You got to knock the king off the throne. And I’m playing with the king, so you can take that how you want.”

Mo Williams had 10 points, 7 assists, and 4 rebounds in 18 minutes against the Celtics last night.

Lebron James also thinks that this is the best chance they have got since he’s been with the Cavaliers. “We have guys that can come in at every position on the court. It’s great to have this team.”

According to the, Williams “could be the X-factor Cleveland needs to truly threaten the champs”

“Williams will threaten opposing defenses by pushing the ball hard on fast breaks. He will get open and easy shots when James is double-teamed or passing during a drive. While the Cavaliers would love for James to score close to 30 points per game, it’s not necessary with Williams around.

The Cavaliers will also at times use an interesting perimeter lineup with James, Williams, and 3-point threat Daniel Gibson, which they experimented with last night against Boston.”

Cavaliers Sluggish on Defense

Boston’s Paul Pierce and Rajon Rondo, left, pressure Cleveland’s LeBron James in the first half.
Boston’s Paul Pierce and Rajon Rondo, left, pressure Cleveland’s LeBron James in the first half.

If you play for Mike Brown then you better play defense or you will be sitting next to him on the bench. After the Cavaliers lost to the Celtics (96-94) in Friday’s game in Rhode Island, Mike Brown held a special practice today to remind his players about the team’s principles.

“We have to get our principles ingrained and that may take some time,” Brown said. “It’s my job to continue to push. It may get to the point where they get irritated with me and it’s going to be a tug-of-war.”

Eric Snow reached a deal with the team to become an analyst for NBA TV. He is still with the roster but the team has filed a disability claim in hopes of getting his $7.3 million salary removed from their books.

After missing two seasons for micro-fracture surgery, former Cavaliers Darius Miles signed as a free agent with the Boston Celtics last August. River doesn’t know what to expect of him but he didn’t like what he saw from him last night. That’s why he only played 3 minutes.

If Miles makes the Celtics, he’ll have to serve a 10-game suspension for taking an appetite suppressant in violation of the league’s anti-drug policy.

“I wasn’t taking diet pills,” Miles said. “I don’t know how they got in my system or anything like that.”

ESPN’s Hollinger’s Cavs Outlook

John Hollinger from ESPN gives us his outlook for the 2008-09 season.

Prediction: 47-35, 2nd in Central Division, T-5th in Eastern Conference

“The Cavs aren’t really built to be a good regular-season team, and if James misses any time they’re going to rapidly slip in the standings — they lost all seven games that he missed last year.

But they should be better than they were last season. Having Varejao around for a full season will do wonders for the defense, and Williams is a major upgrade at the point. Plus, there’s the possibility of doing something much more grand with Szczerbiak’s expiring deal and really remaking this team into an offensive force.

Too many holes remain for this team to outlast mainstays like the Pistons and Celtics for a top seed. The frontcourt is counting on two aging warhorses in Ilgauskas and Wallace, the shooting guard situation is dicey at best and, other than Varejao, the bench offers decent role players but little real quality.

Fortunately, they have James, and in a playoff series that makes them a threat to beat anyone — even Boston, as we learned last spring. The problem is they’re going to have to do it on the road, because they aren’t built to handle the 82-game grind that precedes the playoffs.”


Cavaliers considered Jermaine O’Neal

Coach Mike Brown said the Cavs considered trading for O’Neal over the summer when Indiana Pacers President Larry Bird basically made his whole team available as he started a makeover.

Brown coached O’Neal for two seasons when he was an assistant with the Pacers from 2003 to 2005 and knows him well. But the two sides never could reach an agreement on a deal.

“He was talked about as were other guys on their team that were talked about for trade possibilities,” Brown said. “We couldn’t get anything worked out.”


Flash Seats in the Hot Seat?

Peter Krouse from Cleveland.Com is reporting that U.S. District Judge Kathleen O’Malley has ruled that the Cleveland Cavaliers use of the Flash Seats ticketing option violates Ticketmaster’s exclusive contract with the basketball team.

The Cavaliers had been offering the use of Flash Seats to its season ticketholders as an online venue for selling unused season tickets.

“The Cavaliers are hereby enjoined from using Flash Seats’ products and services to sell or resell Cavaliers tickets of any kind,” O’Malley states in her opinion.

Flash Seats, which is based in Cleveland and majority owned by Cavs owner Dan Gilbert, has an anti-trust claim against Ticketmaster that O’Malley will rule on later.



Lebron James addresses issues that never seem to go away

During the annual media day to kick off training camp, Lebron James felt he needed to hit some issues and address some of the topics we kept hearing about during the summer.

He started with his future when his contract expires in 2010 and his feeling towards Cleveland:

”I’ve never given any indication that I was leaving or didn’t like being here. Every time I am asked the question — I love being here, I love playing in front of these fans, my family is here, I grew up 30 miles away — I never gave any indication that I did not like playing for the Cleveland Cavaliers.”

Then he went on to address an issue that seems to bother some fans more than the contract issue; his love for the Yankees and Cowboys:

“Now, I’ll say I like the Yankees and the Cowboys, but that has nothing to do with the Cavaliers,” he said.

“Am I not allowed to be a fan? When I grew up watching sports, the Cowboys were a team to love; Michael Jordan was [a player] to love. If I say I like Michael Jordan, is that a problem because I didn’t say Mark Price?” James asked. “Is that a problem? Is it? That is who I grew up watching. These are the teams and the people that inspired me. Now I broke it down for you all.”