The Disappointment Zone

Musings from a Cleveland sports fan

Archive for November 12th, 2007

Cavs – Nuggets Live Blog

Posted by disappointmentzone on 12 November 2007

First Quarter: When Larry Hughes was given the rare double technical foul early in the game against Denver he was replaced with Devin Brown, who has been battling through a fractured finger over the last few games. Presumably Hughes would have been normally replaced with Sasha Pavlovic, but Pavs was unavailable due to back spasms. No matter his replacement — Brown or Pavs, Pavs or Brown — there is one undeniable truth about what happened: The Cavs replaced a bad player with a better player. In this regard Hughes did the Cavs a favor.

But Hughes was ejected from the sixth game of a six-game road trip, coming on the second night of a back-to-back, in a city with thin air, where a coach needs his full compliment of players to stave off fatigue, which is hard enough to do when you don’t factor in the back-to-back and long road trip. There is a strong argument to be made that Hughes was quite valuable just because he was a warm body that could play pretty good defense. The rest of the roster had to make up for his 30 odd minutes, an unfortunate tax on an already taxed team. Getting booted denied the Cavs his services, thus harming the team.

So was Hughes getting ejected, on the whole, a positive or a negative?

I’m asking this at the end of the first quarter. So far the Cavs have outscored the Nuggets since Hughes was rejected. Maybe this was a sly strategy put in motion by Joe Tate. Maybe he paid off the ref before the game to help the team. Maybe.

Also, what in the hell are the Cavs paying Damon Jones to do? He started the season missing open jump shots. Now he’s missing layups. He doesn’t generate assists and he has the defensive force of a screen door. Money well spent, Mr. Ferry. Denver +3.

Second Quarter: Damon Jones, Devin Brown, Ira Newble, Shannon Brown, and Zydrunas Ilgauskas start the quarter for the Cavs. This is an absolutely depressing lineup. I don’t know what’s worse: Jones at PG or Newble at PF. Normally Brown at SG would be the biggest gripe, but Mike Brown appears dead set on playing all of his worst players at the same time. Ilguaskas must have lost the rock-paper-scissors game among the starters for who would have to play with the Bench Bunch.

Two fouls in the first twenty seconds, followed by a Damon Jones turnover (surprise!) and a Denver fast break dunk, prompts Mike Brown to call timeout and sub back in LBJ. Thank goodness. Denver +5.

Newble has two dunks in about five minutes, one a two-hander coming from a stand still. I’m as confused as you are.

Iverson drives on Pedro Romero, who does his best Damon Jones impression.

I just checked the box score and the Cavs are shooting a scant 26% from the field. This is about 25 points higher than I expected. Denver is shooting 52%, which is about to increase after a JR Smith dunk. Denver +13.

Denver increases its shooting percentage to 57% after Iverson steals the ball from Damon Jones after a Cavs timeout. Timeout well spent. Denver +15.

With 5 minutes to go in the second quarter only LBJ and Ira Newble has multiple field goals. LBJ is 2-6, Newble is 2-5. That’s all you need to know about the game.

LBJ picks up his third foul with just under four minutes to go in the second quarter. Mike Brown goes to replace him with Newble, but LBJ says no, thus affirming to everyone watching just how much power Mike Brown holds over his superstar. In an attempt to save face Brown doesn’t send Newble back to the bench but instead brings him in for Ilguaskas, which makes as much sense as anything I suppose. Denver +13.

Jones misses an open three pointer. Way to earn that paycheck, Damon.

The Cavs are 8-14 from the free throw line. LBJ is 8-13. Denver +14.

JR Smith is killing the Cavs, so maybe it’s a good idea to cover him on the final play of the quarter. Or not. JR Smith drains a three pointer, pushing the lead to 15. At least the Cavs are playing fundamentally sound basketball.


Third Quarter: Devin Brown is the Cavs’ answer to Jhonny Peralta. He came into training camp overweight and…that’s about as far as that analogy goes. They both look a little fat for professional athletes. That’s all I’m saying. Denver +21.

Everybody welcome Devin Brown and Daniel Gibson to the multi-field-goal club. Its membership just double in the last two minutes. This is one category where the Cavs lead the Nuggets. Only Iverson, Carmelo, Smith have multiple field goals for the Nuggets. The Cavs are letting three people kill them. Maybe we should get used to this. It’s the same script Boston is following.

Denver now shooting 61% for the game. Denver +27.

The Bench Bunch started the second quarter when it was a two point game. I’d like to see them back in here right now. The Cavs have no chance of coming back and they face a tough test Wednesday night at home against the up-start Magic. This is a good opportunity to rest the starters. A 3-3 road trip is a huge success. Mike Brown should give Simmons, Dwayne Jones, Shannon Brown, and Damon Jones a chance to work on their games.

Hey! Simmons is now in the game. Alright, time to put in some work, Cedric. Sadly, work means missing two free throws to bring that team free throw percentage below .500. No one on the Cavs can buy a shot. Denver +27.

Ira Newble just blocked Kenyon Martin. Newble really wants to be a power forward I guess. Damon Jones just missed another three pointer. Jones must really want to be a crappy point guard. Mission accomplished!

With 2:28 to go in the quarter Denver has increased its lead to 86-59, but the Cavs have brought the Nuggets shooting percentage down from 61% to 60%. Moral victory! It really is the small things.

LeBron goes one-on-one with Carmelo, dribbling between his legs at the top of the arch before spinning in a circle and hoisting a terribly long two point shot. He clearly does not care about this game, but that’s not a problem. The problem is that this just-inside-the-three-point-line jump shot is something LBJ does all too frequently. When you’re that far from the basket why not step back six inches and take a three? And if you are going to attempt a two point shot why not move closer, where your chances of making it are better? These shots are the sign of bad coaching. Denver +20.

Fourth Quarter: Is Dwayne Jones hurt? Where is Dwayne Jones? I never thought I’d be pining to see Dwayne Jones, but here I am pining to see Dwayne Jones……


Alright, here we go. Shannon Brown, Ira Newble, Damon Jones, Drew Gooden, and DWAYNE JONES! This lineup is a beast. As if to hammer home the point, Shannon Brown just took a ridiculous one-handed jump shot (???) thing that went about twenty feet in the air before falling through the net. Apparently he’s showing the full arsenal. The Cavs cannot be stopped.

Brown makes a jumper and just a minute later tries another strange looking jump thing, but he’s fouled. He makes both free throws and is now one of the leading scorers tonight. Unfortunately he’s picked up two fouls and has shown no ability to play defense. Mike Brown isn’t going to like that.

Ira Newble is now the team’s second leading scorer. That’s a sentence I hoped to never write. He’s made two jumpers on the last two trips down the court. Denver + 21.

Following a play where Iverson blows past Dwayne Jones, who I guess is trying out for point guard duties, Shannon Brown brings the ball up the court and promptly travels. So far he has one lucky shot, one lucky shot bailed out with a foul call, a jumper, two fouls, and a turnover. Not exactly an inspiring performance. Not picking up his option for next season was the smart move.

The Nuggets have cooled down to a chilly 56% from the field.

Oops, make that 59% as Linas Kleiza, who has played 13 minutes this game without ever making it known, finally announces that the future has arrived with a three pointer off the top of the backboard. Then he follows it up with a fast break layup. Shannon Brown fouls him. It’s his fourth foul in eight minutes. Kleiza > Brown. Denver +25.

For reasons passing understanding Iverson is still in the game and still taking three pointers.

If this were 1988 Iverson would find himself knocked to the ground the next time he drove to the basket, but since David Stern sissified the NBA there is no chance of that happening.

Sorry. Bill Simmons just stopped by and grabbed the keyboard.

We have an exciting race between the Nuggets’ field goal percentage, which is at 56%, and the Cavs’ free throw percentage, which has now fallen to 57%. The Cavs are going to have to miss a few more free throws if they want a chance of brining that number below the Nuggets’ field goal percentage, but I think the team can do it. Denver +22.

Shannon Brown has now gone three minutes without picking up a foul. Moral victory!

DWAYNE JONES grabs a board, gets fouled, has a chance to lower that team free throw percentage, and misses his two free throws. Way to go, Dwayne.

Cavs free throw percentage: .543

Nuggets field goal percentage: .545

The race is on! I keep refreshing the live Yahoo! boxscore with bated breath. You can do it, Cleveland…

Ah, finally, the game is over. Denver 122, Cleveland 100.

But here are the results from the real battle:

The Cavs finish .553 from the line.
The Nuggets finish .550 from the field.

Three hundredths of a percent. So close. You’ll get ’em next time, Cleveland.


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