This was a bad game, so bad that it was entertaining because all I was watching was other stuff. The Knicks pretended like they wanted to play for awhile but Isiah Thomas decided to throw in the towel in the third quarter and the Cavs won 90-68. But surprisingly, I am really looking forward to the rematch next week at the Garden.
--I think Malik Rose was seconds away from hauling off and hitting Andy Varejao. He'd simply had enough of him and his feisty antics in the third quarter. He got his fifth foul and Isiah left him in, which apparently didn't make him too happy, because after Varejao missed a free throw, Rose went over and slammed him. This accomplished two things: He didn't have to play any more and he got a shot in on Varejao. So Jerome James came in for a minute, committed a turnover and got his own slam in at Andy. By the way, Jerome once hit me with a ball (old blog link alert). After the game, Mike Brown told me Andy gets on people's nerves because he "breathes on them and his hair gets in their mouth." That's pretty nasty, but true I believe.
--The Cavs go on a 13-2 run to open the second half and Isiah benches everybody but Eddy Curry, sits down and apparently orders the team jet to warm up the engines. I know they were banged up and tired, but it still seemed a little early.
--The Cavs made some shots tonight, but their offense still wasn't great. Still way too many bad jumpers out of the flow. Zydrunas Ilgauskas got some more touches and had 16 points. He's going to have ugly moments, OK, but right now he's actually playing pretty well so the Cavs might do well to use him more like this. Then, again, his shorts fell off when he set a pick in the fourth quarter. Which was pretty funny.
--Larry Hughes hadn't made a 3-pointer since the Sacramento game and tonight made 4-of-6. Is the slump over? We'll see.
--Brown's rotations were still wacky tonight. He didn't use Daniel Gibson, who's out of it, until mop up minutes but used Ira Newble in the first quarter. The most interesting thing I saw was he removed Sasha Pavlovic in the first quarter early with Larry Hughes and then inserted them both back in when LeBron James sat down in the second quarter. It is an interesting way of having more offensive punch in the second quarter and giving Sasha more of an opportunity. We'll see if it lasts.
--LeBron James Jr. threw one of those freebie balls out on the court during play again and then went over and sat in front of the Cavs bench for awhile. I joked in my game story that if it had been a tomato, it would've been understandable with the quality of the game. Also, if the little guy had gone down to the Knicks bench instead, Isiah might've tried to put him in the game. He's a cute little guy, but I wouldn't be surprised if the NBA made a little call to the Cavs and asked he stay off the bench area because it was all over TV. But it was more entertaining than the game at that moment, for sure.
--So before the game, Brown was talking about LeBron's head injury from the other night and he said: "I know he's a football player, I'll have to ask him if it was a football hit." Then I mumbled underneath my breath, at least I thought, that LeBron wouldn't know because he always ran out of bounds. Well that drew quite a reaction from the assembled media mass and the coos only grew louder when I said, not quietly this time, that my memories of LeBron's wide receiver days included few cross-the-middle routes and more than a few alligator arm moments. Not that I blamed him, the last thing he wanted to do was risk injury. Well, all thought this was pretty funny since LeBron loves to talk about his football days in such glorious terms. But, he was 6-6, 225 pounds at the time and he was usually going up against 5-11, 175 pound defensive backs. C'mon, run a few flag routes and fades, catch a few alley-oops 12 feet off the ground and call it a Friday night. That was his career, I know, I was covering the games back then. So anyway, my fellow reporters go running to LeBron and one of them who I won't name -- OK, it was the Plain Dealer's Branson Wright -- sold me out. And what did LeBron say? "Yeah, I ran out of bounds if I could." No respect I get, none!
--Before I went to bed last night, I read New York Daily News Knicks bear writer Frank Isola's blog (ignore the cheesy name) about questions he'd like to ask owner James Dolan. It is his little rebuttal for the exclusive interview Dolan gave the New York Post last week. Pretty funny stuff for an NY media outsider. Anyway, so I go to sleep and I have a dream that I'm playing craps with Jim Dolan at the Borgata in Atlantic City. By the way, I've never met the man or been to A.C. But I think I won $300. Weird.