Some stuff going on with the Cavs that I will pontificate about:
- Why won't LeBron take part in the dunk contest? Because what if he doesn't win. Seriously, it is the same reason why none of the top draft picks go to the pre-draft camp, all he can do is embarrass himself. The reason he didn't do it the first two years was for the same reason, it was beneath him. Why would he want to get into a competition with the Chris Andersons and Hakim Warricks of the world?
- Mike Brown did a very nice coaching job in the win over the Suns. Especially with the changes he made on the fly when his game plan didn't work. It was a bright spot for him. I still think his offense lacks creativity at times and he simply has got to figure out more ways for Zydrunas Ilgauskas to get the ball. It is unacceptable not to find ways to get him the ball in the post.
- Brown was reluctant to play Anderson Varejao and he had great reasons for doing so. He was nervous about his defense and he had no history with him. Paul Silas said the same thing last year. Andy will force his coaches to play him because he brings intensity every single night. He won't be able to be effective in every game, foul trouble will get him, but there's no way he'll remain on the bench for stretches. Brown is getting this lesson now.
- The Cavs have played better recently because the role players have performed well, covering the loss of Larry Hughes. This, I suspect, will be a common refrain until Hughes returns. When Donyell Marshall is making shots, Sasha Pavlovic is contributing, Varejao is effective and Damon Jones is making shots the Cavs will be winning. If not, they'll be losing, LeBron and Z can't do it by themselves.
- The Cavs continue to deny my reporting that things aren't on the up-and-up with Usher. Hip-hopper Nelly, Hughes' friend from St. Louis, was at two Cavs games in the past week including one in Usher's hometown of Atlanta. The part-owner of the Bobcats and the part-owner of the Nets, Jay-Z, have now both been to two Cavs games this year and we've yet to have a Mr. Yeah sighting. Just for the record.
- Speaking of things I'm not buying, that LeBron wearing his tights has anything to do with his knee anymore. Call it what it is, a winning streak charm and maybe a bonus check from Nike. By the way, not to incite legal action, but LeBron actually wears Under Armour gear, a Nike rival, under his uni.
- The NBA released a list of jersey sales rankings for NBA players. Tracy McGrady was No. 1, ahead of Yao, which was a surprise. Not listed was Li-Ning mega endorser Damon Jones. I'm sure it was a mis-print.