Miami -- So the Cavs lost here after a terrible offensive effort. I simply refuse to go over all this old ground. So I am going to do what I said I was going to do. I will refer to this blog post and this story from December and move on the to the next game. Oh, and, of course, the Cavs always remind me why I hate the jump shot. Nothing I had to say back then is any different today.
I have seen this same game, over and over and over. Then I've heard Mike Brown say he was going to watch the film over and over and over. Then I've heard LeBron James say the team had good looks and they didn't go down over and over and over. Free-throwing shooting, 3-point chucking basketball. Defense is good, but the rules require you to take the ball as well.
On other matters:
--Zydrunas Ilgauskas spoke to the media today about why he had to leave the team. It was very difficult for me just to listen, I cannot imagine how hard it was for him and his wife to go through it. They lost twins, a boy and a girl. His wife, Jennifer, was about five months pregnant. The Cavs officials let the media know what was going on awhile ago because they didn't want anyone to think it was about basketball and we all, except for the Lithuanian media, respected those wishes. It was Z's decision today to talk about it.
In the preseason, Z joked with me at a game in Rochester that he needed to hurry up and have kids because "If I have a girl when she goes to senior prom I still want to be able to intimidate her date." At the time he knew Jen was expecting but didn't want to say a word. When I found out later, I went up to congratulate him and he asked me not to tell anyone about it. He was obviously cautious about it all. As sportswriters, we are supposed to be like referees, icy islands of objectivity. But when it comes to these matters, it is impossible not to be human, especially for a person who is as kind as big Z. So as his voice was cracking as he told a few of us in the locker room before the game, I couldn't help but experience a little welling in the eyes.
--The Cavs dearly miss...Sasha Pavlovic. Did you ever think that would be the case? Without him over the last two games, not only has Brown been forced to deploy David Wesley, but whenever James goes out of the game the offense gets really ugly because nobody is creating their own shot. Before the game Brown said Sasha was so sick with the flu it was "...coming out of everywhere. Both ends, his ears and his nose." Gee, thanks for that, Mike. Um, so Sasha is pretty sick. Not sure about his status for Tuesday.
--On a brighter note, Bob Finnan of the Willoughby News-Herald delivered perhaps the line of the year for us media-types today. As we walked into AmericanAirlines Arena there was a noticeable foul odor. Finnan's line: "Either the circus was just here or Shaq got some bad shellfish."