Can Anyone Stop The Cavs?

Hawks Cavaliers BasketballThe Cleveland Cavaliers dismantled the Atlanta Hawks last night, 99-72, in what will likely be a four-game sweep. This win was impressive on so many levels. Before even getting to LeBron and the steady offense of the Cavs, let’s look at the defense, which is what really wins championships.

Atlanta entered yesterday’s game averaging 87.3 points per game in their first round series. So holding them to 72 points is very impressive, especially considering the Hawks didn’t shoot that badly (28 of 64 – 43.8%). However, the Cavs forced 17 turnovers, including 12 steals. The game was close at halftime at 49-44, but then Cleveland amped up the defense. Atlanta only had 28 points in the entire second half. Wow.

We saw with the Celtics last year that defense wins championships. With Cleveland holding opponents to just 76.8 points per game, they are well on their way to bringing an NBA Championship home.

Now, to the part of the Cavs that really is anyone watches. LeBron James. He just won his first MVP award and continues to prove just how good he is. He played just 34 minutes in the win yesterday and scored 34 easy points. He shot just 20 shots, making 12 of them, and was 8 of 9 from the free throw line. He grabbed 10 rebounds, dished out 3 assists, and had 4 steals. All in a night’s work. Best of all, he made it look easy. Continue reading “Can Anyone Stop The Cavs?”

Leaving The NBA?

Yesterday, Josh Childress became the fifth NBA player this year to dart from the pros in America and cross the water to Europe. Now a former Atlanta Hawk, Childress was a restricted free agent, meaning the Hawks could match any offer by another NBA team. Unfortunately for Atlanta, Childress signed with Olympiakos, a Greek team, so they do not have the chance to match the offer. That means Childress is gone. The deal with Olympiakos was worth $20 million over three years. Childress is a very good sixth-man and a great energy guy off the bench for the Hawks, but I don’t think he is worth more than six million dollars a year.

So Olympiakos overpaid, but that isn’t exactly newsworthy in sports. What is newsworthy is that a key NBA player chose to play in an inferior league overseas instead of the NBA. It has even been reported that the Hawks were offering Childress a deal worth around $36 million. If Childress was getting a solid deal from Atlanta, then why did he choose to leave the NBA. As I said above, this seems to be a growing theme amongst NBA players as Childress is the fifth, and most notable, player to leave the NBA for a European league this year. Continue reading “Leaving The NBA?”

2008 NBA Draft Grades

The 2008 NBA Draft is over with some surprises and some trades, but in the end, it was fairly predictable. Up until the Mayo/Love trade at the end of the night, the top 10 picks had all been logical picks by their teams and none of them had been traded. Below I have recapped each teams moves on draft night, briefly analyzed those moves, and graded them. Enjoy!

Atlanta Hawks

No picks. No trades.

An uneventful night in Atlanta. The Hawks proved they had some talent by forcing the Celtics to play 7 games, but this team is not ready for the big-time yet. Not sure if any teams are looking, but I would have liked to see Atlanta part ways with point guard Mike Bibby and try to get younger. There’s plenty of time for that to happen still over the summer.

Grade: C

Boston Celtics 

Chose J.R. Giddens in 1st round (30th Overall)
Chose Semih Erden in 2nd round (60th Overall) 

Acquired Bill Walker (47th Overall pick) for cash considerations and a future draft pick from Washington Wizards

Interesting night for the World Champions. I can’t find a way to explain choosing the trouble-laden Giddensover Chris Douglas Roberts. As a Celtic fan, I was crossing my fingers that CDR would be one the board at the 30thpick and he was, but Danny Ainge passed on him. Giddens may have talent, but he has had so many off the court issues that I can’t see him playing any pro ball. Plus, Ainge could have traded back 20 picks and still gotten Giddens. Having said that, I love the trade for Bill Walker. He is an extremely talented player and has huge possibilities if he stays healthy. I can’t say I know much about Semih Erden except that ESPN says that he has some work ethic issues as well. Seems like the Celtics were looking for players with issues in this draft. Continue reading “2008 NBA Draft Grades”