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Cleveland Cavaliers

Wrapping the preseason (finally)

By admin Published: October 28, 2006

I'm shaking off the malaise that has been the preseason.  Frankly there has been little to write about and not much but mental note-taking during this training camp.  I can sense the team hasn't been too interested in things over the last 10 days or so.  They are quite bored with practice, which is one of the reasons Mike Brown gave them this whole weekend off.  Here's some stuff I've noticed:

--Shannon Brown and Daniel Gibson aren't going to play right now.  Both were OK in the preseason, they had some moments.  But they were also on the floor and partially responsible for the blowing of three leads and losses.

--David Wesley and Damon Jones didn't do much for me.  Neither shot more than 32 percent and both seemed to play an awful lot of empty minutes.  One of the assistant coaches told me they were working specifically on the new motion sets in the offense and not so much the pick-and-rolls, which didn't give Wesley and Jones too many spot-up jumper tries.  That is true, but doesn't change my opinion much.  If/when Larry Hughes goes down again, there is going to be an issue.

--Drew Gooden was great in the preseason, especially at the offensive end.  Larry Hughes also looked healthy and was very productive.  Donyell Marshall looks like he's turned the clock back three years or so, playing well under the basket.  Zydrunas Ilgauskas, LeBron James, Anderson Varejao, and Eric Snow all did what they do.  I'm confident those seven players give the Cavs a rock solid front line.

--I know Snow is everyone's favorite target, I've read enough message boards to know how many fans feel about him.  But listen, he's the best the Cavs have at the point.  He's going to do what he's going to do.  I asked him about his perception yesterday and he had a testy reaction, which I relate in this story.  I know that this perception bothers him somewhat.  I agree that he is under appreciated.  But I also agree that when he's on the floor it makes the Cavs easier to guard and that's just the way it is.

--I'm going to "unveil" my season prediction for the Cavs later this week.  But tomorrow the Beacon Journal will have its Cavs season preview, in which I rank the NBA teams 1-30 (a little preview: Dallas is No. 1, Portland in No. 30 and Miami is No. 5).

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