Here's some stuff from the last week or so:
--Donyell Marshall has grumbled for the last few months about how the media has concentrated too much on his poor field goal percentage this season and not enough on what else he contributes, especially rebounding. It was an interesting tactic, Damon Jones' first reaction to his prolonged slump was to go into denial about it as well. After heating back up recently, Marshall. admitted he'd gotten down on himself because he was shooting so poorly. Jones also copped to his bad play recently, revealing to me that Shaq had called him up and told him to shape up, which led to him putting in more practice time. Both are playing better now, perhaps admitting there was a problem was the first step.
--I always thought Ira Newble's role would be as a situational defender, but I didn't think it would be for individual possessions late in games. Three times in the last week Mike Brown has thrown him out there at the last second for just a few seconds. I wish I could've seen his face when he was told to sub in for the last shot against the Lakers last week after not taking off his warmup all day.
--I thought my unofficial tracking of Newble's efforts on jump shots, 1-of-28 by my count by the way, was a woeful stat. That was before I was informed by Rick Bonnell of the Charlotte Observer last week that I'd seen history when the Bobcats rookie Kevin Burleson made a basket against the Cavs. Apparently it was his first hoop since Jan. 13, since then he'd been 0-of-33 shooting. Can you get your mind around that?
--Might be wise for Cavs fans to root for the Indiana Pacers to pass the Washington Wizards for the No. 5 playoff spot. Of course, things may be different with Larry Hughes, but the Cavs don't seem to have the defenders to play with the Wizards, at least based on the last two matchups.
--If you're interested, I will be answering questions on Hoopshype about the Cavs this week. Should you want to submit one go to the web site.
--Since some have asked about blog favorite Bob Finnan of the News-Herald, here's an update: He became sick during the Cavs road trip to Dallas. After coming home he had to go into the hospital for a week but is feeling better and was recently discharged. I'm hoping he can be back doing his great reporting this week.