As has happened several times this season, the Cavs allowed themselves to be sucked in to playing outside their skillset tonight in getting handled by the Nuggets, 105-93. There have have been a handful of such losses this season, though this one is more costly because both Chicago and Detroit won today and there's a five-game trip in the offing.
--There were some odd things happening in this game. The Nuggets didn't even try to play defense. Seriously, they didn't even foul. They committed just 10, the fewest in the NBA this season. Plus the Cavs allowed 60 percent shooting, the most they've allowed in four years. Yes, the Cavs were poor, but the Nuggets also played very, very well.
--Overall, this game just highlighted a general loss of focus over the last week. The Cavs lost their offensive edge against Utah eight days ago. Now, they've lost a defensive edge. Again, this shows the difference between the Cavs and a team like Dallas or San Antonio. When they get it going, they don't lose focus and they win 10, 12, 14 straight. The Cavs won a game when they played badly against Utah and they let it go to their head. I am throwing out the win over the Knicks, they didn't care.
--Larry Hughes told me after the Cavs the defensive approach was flawed because they were cross-matching. In other words, not guarding the guy that guards them and it was causing confusion in transition. He said "a some point, you just gotta guard your man." This is a Paul Silas belief, but not Mike Brown. It sounds like it could sometimes be an issue, but I think it is a bit of a copout. Larry would always prefer to play more loose and fast like his old Washington days. The answer is to control the game better, that is the way the Cavs win.
--I had been tipped off that Warren Buffett was coming to the game tonight and Tom Withers from the Associated Press and I met him and spoke to him. It's not everyday you meet the second-richest man in the world. He said it was his first pro basketball game in 60 years. Here's all I need to say about the man's net worth: His company, Berkshire Hathaway, has $38 billion in cash in the bank. That's liquid, baby. He was very down to earth, as is his rep, and had a couple of jokes about his relationship with LeBron ready. Like: "He tells me what socks to buy, I tell him what stocks to buy." Yeah, buy Berkshire, which costs 108K a share by the way.
--So Mr. Buffett sat in Nike's courtside seats by the Cavs bench with LeBron's money man, Maverick Carter, some of Buffett's family, and Lynn Merritt, who is a big Nike executive. It was so A-list, that the second biggest power broker in the building, Wes Wesley, got bumped from his usual spot. He had to settle for seats right next to the Nuggets bench. Guess he wasn't in St. Louis like Pat Forde said he'd be.
--During the game, Mr. Buffett wanted a Diet Pepsi and ordered one from a vendor. But guess what, no cash. Merritt had to fork over the $3. I hope he expensed it to Phil Knight.
--In a four-minute interview after the game, LeBron said "definitely" 18 times. I counted. I have no idea what this means other than he says it a lot when he's just mindlessly answering questions.
--Not to say that Damon Jones is either disgruntled or assured he's moving elsewhere after this season, but he informed everyone within earshot Sunday that everything he had was for sale. His house, his cars, even his diamond-crusted watch, which Daniel Gibson wanted a price on. I won't say the number, but It seemed out of the rook's range. He asked LeBron if he'd buy his house, which he bought off Bob Sura for 600K according to my searching. LeBron quoted him a cash price, which Damon thought about but rejected. LeBron willing to write a check for that much might've impressed me on another night, but I had, after all, just shaken hands with a guy worth $52 billion.
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