Technology issues have plagued this blog -- well, that and Alan Tucker -- over the last week. I'm typing this report for the third time. Let's hope it takes and the host site figures stuff out.
Cavs reached the quarter pole over the last week and now they've won two straight. Here's my look at what I've seen so far:
LeBron James -- Most impressive stat is he's shooting 50 percent from the field so far. When he was a rookie, he shot 41 percent and averaged 10 fewer points. His issue continues to be defense. He goes for steals above all else. He doesn't work to get in position on defense, which is why he's committed just 59 fouls in 915 minutes. Part of it is so much is asked of him and he plays too many minutes. Grade: A.
Larry Hughes -- I've been a supporter since day one. He does stuff that doesn't show up in the box score. Sometimes he takes jumpers when he should use his driving skills, but this has been a criticism since his Wizard days. His sore Achilles is holding him back a little, as does LeBron when the offense stops moving. But he's been a great addition. Grade: B.
Zydrunas Ilgauskas -- I'm not sure he knows where he belongs in the offense. Sometimes they feed him, something they forget about him. Sometimes he sells out on defense, sometimes he doesn't. He gets extra credit for playing through a lot of pain already. Grade: B.
Drew Gooden -- Nice guy, works hard, does what he's told, will have a long NBA career. I have to believe Mike Brown is already tired of him getting lost in defensive rotations, which happens a lot. Grade: B-.
Eric Snow -- Solid defender who doesn't turn the ball over. He won't like to read this, but at this point in his career he's probably a role player that should be coming off the bench because of his offensive issue. Grade: C+.
Damon Jones -- As I wrote in my Sunday column, he makes 3's and plays average defense. The Cavs knew this. What wasn't expected was his constant complaining about playing time and not starting. Grade: C+.
Donyell Marshall -- His strong rebounding has been a good plus. Sometimes he settles for 3's too much, but he's gotten much better at going to the basket. He's not a great defender because he doesn't have great lateral speed. But this was already known. Grade: B.
Alan Henderson -- Hendy isn't an All-Star, but no one said he was. He's a solid veteran big man, they're hard to find. Grade: B-.
Luke Jackson -- Didn't deliver when he had the chances earlier, hasn't delivered when he's gotten minimal chances lately. Outlook not good. Grade: D.
Sasha Pavlovic -- Injuries have slowed him, hasn't shown much when he's played. Grade: D.
Mike Wilks -- Quality NBA player, he's not great but he's solid. He should get more time against teams with quicker guards that Snow and Jones struggle with. Grade: C.
Zendon Hamilton -- Strange guy. Bonus points for being team cheerleader. Grade: C.
Ira Newble -- Hasn't played yet. Grade: Incomplete.
Anderson Varejao -- Hasn't played yet. If you ask me, he'll be back within a month. Grade: Incomplete.
Martynas Andriuskevicius -- Hasn't played yet. Not close if you ask me. Grade: Incomplete.
Mike Brown -- Sometimes he coaches like he's still an assistant. He conducts very long practices and preaches, sometimes I know the players tune him out. But he has a great philosophy and, more importantly, a strict fidelity to it. If the players eventually buy into it, he'll be called a genius. If. Grade: B.
Now, for some other stuff:
--Back when I was a kid and Pat Riley was coaching the showtime Lakers, he was the essence of cool. I mean there was a phrase called "Riley style." Not sure if you saw the suit he wore to the Q on Saturday, but, um, things have changed. I know it was the end of a road trip and it wasn't a national TV game, but still.
Plus the hair, I mean, it is dangerously close to being a mullet. The guy has more than 1,200 wins and four NBA title rings along with literally tens of millions of dollars, so I'm not ripping him. I'm just saying all that time in Florida is starting to show up, you know.
--A lot of people have e-mailed me privately and I think we're going to have to govern the comments section a little more. Let's try to limit it to two posts per person, per topic. No bias here, just reader reaction.
More posts to come.
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