Sunday, September 25, 2005

Here ye, here ye, new blog is up and running!

New site is ready to roll. The link is below, check it out and tell all your friends:

http://blogs.ohio.com/cavaliers_blog/

The new blog will be linked off the front page of Ohio.com and my stories. Thanks for making this a regular stop and I look forward to seeing all of you over at the new place.

Brian

Thursday, September 15, 2005

Changes are afoot

Good day, blog loyalists.

Just wanted to give you all a heads up that this little section of the blogosphere will be moving to another site in the near future. It's in an effort to make the blog better as it gears up for its second Cavs season. Hopefully you will all like it.

The site's gotten over a 100,000 hits (the counter at the bottom wasn't added until midseason last year) and generated lots of response. Most of it calls for more, which I'm going to do this season.

I'll post all the details here when the new site is up and running and the links at the bottom of my stories on Ohio.com will change as well.

Until then, as always, thanks and take care,
Brian

Friday, September 09, 2005

Tryin' to be like Mark

After all the media had cleared out of the Damon Jones press conference yesterday at Gund, ahem, Quicken Loans, Arena, Danny Ferry wanted to talk baseball.

Next door the Indians were about to start another winning effort. One of his best friends, Tribe GM Mark Shapiro, has his budding masterpiece continuing to mature. Count Ferry as one of those who is in awe of Shapiro's work rebuilding the Indians and how is long ago promise of "2005 is our year" is coming true.

Ferry only wishes he's half as successful with his maneuvers.

Several e-mailers over the last week have suggested Danny Ferry be made president, or at least the head of FEMA. I'll, too, tip my cap to Ferry this offseason. He had a massive responsibility: to properly spend $28 million in cap space. He added a dynamic potential superstar in Larry Hughes, re-signed an All-Star in his prime in Zydrunas Ilgauskas, added a multi-talented veteran who can shoot and play multiple positions in Donyell Marshall, and picked up probably the best shooter on the open market in Damon Jones.

As evidenced by the e-mails and some of the talk shows I've heard, many fans are down right giddy with the moves. I'll say, too, that for the most part I think Ferry has done an excellent job. I think he paid fair market value for Jones and Marshall and actually got Hughes to turn down more guaranteed money from the Wizards. I think he gave Z too many years (5 for $53 million), but I guess he did what he had to do get the deal done.

However, the reason Ferry feels a little envy for Shapiro is that his buddy's had much more time to do his job and now knows many of his bets have paid off. Shapiro was given years to rebuild, Ferry's Cavs better win this year or else.

With all these guys now in long-term deals and Eric Snow and Ira Newble signed for many years, the Cavs are pretty much locked into this roster. Any player can be traded and any deal can be made, but for the most part these are your Cavs. It's Ferry's best shot at this point in time and he knows all too well exactly what I'd say to fans: He's worked hard, he's spent money, but the proof will be in the win-loss record, not the preseason excitement.

Those who love Ferry today, could be ready to string him up tomorrow.

Borrowing from George Will's view of having fidelity to his staunch conservatism, sum it up like this: The NBA is a demanding mistress and she can really pass out migraines.

p.s. ESPN Insider John Hollinger is good at digesting all sorts of statistics and compiling various lists. Last month he wrote this on free agent shooters. If you don't have insider, he determined Damon Jones was the second best available shooter on the free agent market and Donyell Marshall was third. The 76ers' Kyle Korver was first.

p.p.s. I'll have some more links for you later, currently Ohio.com is acting up and I can't link my recent stories on Jones or my notebook today where I report the Cavs may sign Alan Henderson.

Take care all,
Brian
bwindhor@thebeaconjournal.com

Saturday, September 03, 2005

Varejao blow

Injuries happen in the NBA, just about every team has to deal with them. Usually when a bench player goes down it isn't viewed as serious. In the case of Anderson Varejao, the affect is more wide-ranging.

Losing Wild Thing hurts the Cavs on a number of fronts. They are now suddenly thin in the frontcourt, with really only three big men on the roster: Zydrunas Ilgauskas, Donyell Marshall and Drew Gooden. Based on what I saw in summer league, I'd be surprised if Martynas Andruiskevicius could really contribute anything this season. This means they not only must must another big man, maybe even two, they are going to have to stick with Drew Gooden for the foreseeable future.

At this point in time, I still think Gooden, unless he has a totally gonzo season, will be traded at some point. He's in the last year of his contract and he'll be restricted next summer. With Marshall under a long-term deal and Varejao looking like he's the power forward of the future, I don't see the Cavs investing millions into Gooden. I stress the "this point in time" reference, because things in the NBA are always changing.

I don't think you'll see Varejao until after the New Year and perhaps not back to his old self until around the All-Star break in February. It is unfortunate this happened while Varejao was playing for his national team, which is why owners like Mark Cuban have said NBA teams shouldn't allow their players to play in offseason international competition. But even Cuban has to yield, Dirk Nowitzki is playing for the German national team. It is just a bad-luck situation.

When I first saw Varejao play during training camp last season I knew he was special but I was worried he'd be injury prone because of the way he plays. Even though that hasn't really stopped Manu Ginobilli yet. Andy's had a couple injuries now, but haven't been because of his frantic style. Last season's sprained ankle was freak injury, I know because I saw it. This injury, I'm told, was as well.

Anyway, the point is before, the Cavs really needed a point guard and wanted another big. Now they have two rather glaring needs and the pickings are slim.

Obviously the Cavs chances of landing Damon Jones were damaged when Michael Finley signed with the Spurs this week. It is explained why here. Then there came the worse news on Friday when Earl Watson signed with Denver Nuggets. Not bad news because Watson is off the market, the Cavs talked to him but he didn't really fit, but because reports are that he got a contract starting at $5 million.

In my opinion, that's crazy money for a career backup. From Cavs perspective, it might lead the Heat to overpaying Damon Jones after all. The Cavs only really hope on getting Jones at this point is if the Heat lowball him. Now, I think that's probably less likely.

Enjoy Labor Day weekend, all.
Brian