Minneapolis -- The weather is terrible here in Minnie, but because the city planners have connected the entire downtown with skywalks, I haven't been outside in two days. After what only can be described as a disappointing loss in Boston, the Cavs beat up the Timberwolves 101-88 tonight. I guess LeBron James makes a difference after all.
--I don't think I've got it down to a science as yet, but I can almost tell when LeBron is going to have a big game. He's usually got so much extra energy and is in a jovial mood before the game. Not just joking or whatever, but actually like more bounce in his step and emotion on his face. You'd think it would be when he's steady and grim and showing focus. Maybe it is, but this morning I was 100 percent sure he would play and before the game, pretty sure he was going to play well. He did. I'm not saying it's flipping a switch or whatever, I'm saying it is often perceptible.
--It sounds as if Jerry Colangelo is trying to make an example of LeBron's comments about his interest in playing for Team USA this summer. Here's the brief synopsis if you don't want to read it: Colangelo heard LeBron say he was "50/50" in playing this summer so he came out and said he expects everyone on the roster to honor their three-summer commitment. Then Kevin Garnett told me today that he thinks LeBron should basically tell USA Basketball he needs to rest, hell or high water. Here's the deal, LeBron is the only guy who is getting asked about this right now. I'm sure there are others who are wondering about there commitments especially with a host of other players on the roster who could fill in. Colangelo's message is to everyone, although it seems to be directed at LeBron. USA Basketball knows LeBron needs to play in the Beijing Olympics for business reasons and so do players like Kobe Bryant and Dwyane Wade. But at the end of the day, it will be LeBron's decision and no matter what it is there will be measures to save face either way. Right now it is all posturing.
--Larry Hughes played his best game since the winning streak tonight. The Cavs played at high speed but under control and most of it was Hughes' doing. He had 10 assists, which was a season high.
--I learned today that Sasha Pavlovic gets his shot blocked 20 percent of the time in the paint. Tonight he got swatted twice. He's getting fed up with it and starting to chirp at officials, but it is going to be a side effect of the way he plays and drives.
--The entire team played with more controlled vision tonight than in Boston. Their offensive execution was extreme good and defensively they worked together well. This includes Mike Brown. In Boston, I was puzzled by him starting Shannon Brown, who had played a grand total of seven seconds the previous five games. Then he played Eric Snow 27 straight minutes, then benched him for the rest of the game. There were other oddies He was searching, I understand, but it just showed how much out of the flow the entire team was. They still haven't outgrown those nights.
--They play more 80s music at the Target Center than at all other NBA arenas combined.
--Mike James and Dirk Nowitzki shoot the highest balls in the league.
--When he was with the Celtics, Ricky Davis used to buckle down and really try to play hard against the Cavs and he loved to body up LeBron and hassle him on defense. I guess those days are done now.
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