The Disappointment Zone

Musings from a Cleveland sports fan

Larry Hughes?

Posted by disappointmentzone on 12 February 2008

Hughes scored 23 points in the third quarter on 6-7 from the field and 9-9 from the line? And he finished the game with 40 points, a season high?

Thankfully he used his season’s makes in a tight game instead of wasting them in a blowout. When you’re only going to make 280 shots in a season it’s not wise to use 15 of them in a 30 point victory. So props to Hughes for being judicial judicious.

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Posted in Cleveland Cavaliers | 3 Comments »

Terrelle Pryor and Statistical Modeling

Posted by disappointmentzone on 11 February 2008

According to a statistical model created by economists at Mercer University’s Stetson School of Business and Economics highly touted high school quarterback Terrelle Pryor is most likely to attend Penn State. This after Pryor appeared ready to commit to Ohio State in the days leading up to National Signing Day.

What can a statistical model tell us about the likelihood of a high school player attending a particular university? That’s a good question. Turns out the biggest factors affecting a player’s decision are:

1) Whether the player visited the school

2) The distance from the player’s hometown

3) The size of the school’s football stadium

With Penn State now officially on Pryor’s short list it’s easy to see why PSU would be the likely choice according to the statistical model. Michigan still trails Ohio State (not surprisingly).

This year the model had an accuracy rate of 73%. Whatever your thoughts are about using economics to predict where high school football players attend college, you can’t argue with 73% accuracy. That seems quite high.

OSU fans probably should be rooting for a slightly lower accuracy rate in the coming weeks.

Posted in Ohio State Buckeyes, statistics | 4 Comments »

Cavs-Nuggets Live Blog

Posted by disappointmentzone on 10 February 2008

Pregame:

Just checked the starting lineups. Apparently this game is being played in 2005. Both Eric Snow and Ira Newble are starting. LeBron will need to step up. Unfortunately the Nuggets seem to be his cryptonite (Spelling? Is there a correct spelling for a make believe substance?). His career scoring average against Denver is his lowest against any team in the league.

Meanwhile the Nuggets are at full health, I think. Is Nene still in the league? Carmelo is coming off a huge game on Friday against the Wizards. He scored about 75 points. In order for the Cavs to win they can’t let Anthony score 75 points. That’s what Austin Carr told me.

ESPN is showing the Cavs warming up. Larry Hughes just hit a jumper. This is not a good sign. Didn’t someone tell him not to waste his good shots during warm ups? Larry, they don’t count until the whistle blows! Instead of six made shots expect Hughes to finish with five made shots.

First Quarter:

Wait. Which one is Doris Burke and which one is Dan Schulman?

I’m waiting for the day that an inventive basketball star comes along utilizing the backboard on passes. Right now the backboard is chronically underused. It only comes into play during the dunk contests. Just think of the advantage a team would have knowing that what looks like a shot is actually a pass. I’m convinced that this is the future of basketball. Or at least I was until LeBron James received an alley oop from Ilgauskas off the body of a Nuggets player. Maybe LBJ is so ahead of the game that he’s bypassing the backboard and going straight for the opposing players. Just have to be careful with Camby. He’s all sharp angles. Hard to make a good bounce pass off of a ridge.

Hughes knocks down a shot. Yes, this is worth of its own entry.

Wow. Carmelo just used the rim for an alley oop. He steadfastly refuses to be outdone by LeBron. His pass was the ultimate manifestation of the little brother syndrome. Carmelo just had to one-up James. You think he’s playing with his NCAA championship ring on? LeBron should bitch slap him with his $100M Nike contract.

When did Subway became a player in the advertising game? Or rather: How did Subway become a player in the advertising game? Does Subway really need Reggie Bush and Brady Quinn hawking its sandwiches? Subways are everywhere. They sell subs, which a) everyone knows and b) makes them distinct in the fast food game. Quiznos? Please. I live four blocks from two Subways. Do they really need advertising? Which I guess makes the question: Why is Subway a player in the advertising game?

Back to basketball. Commercial break over.

Unfortunately, it seems the Cavs are still at commercial. The Nuggets just went on an 11-0 run. The Cavs look sluggish. Maybe all the injuries are taking a toll. You know who’s fit and probably available? Jared, the Subway guy. He’s been skinny for 10 years. I bet he could get up and down the court. He has to be at least as fast as Eric Snow.

13-0 run. Time to bring in Donyell Marshall and give Ira Newble the green light for shooting.

16-0 run.

Larry Hughes ends the bleeding with an improbable three pointer. Didn’t see that one coming.

The Cavs are missing Gooden, Varejao, Gibson, and Pavlovic…. and still Shannon Brown can’t get any tick. That has to be embarrassing. Like getting your butt kicked at a club. Thankfully lightening doesn’t strike twice and the good lord wouldn’t bestow two slights on the same humble soul.

Since we’re in the midst of the political primary season and polls are all the rage I have a question I’ve been meaning to ask. Which player looks most like he was forced to play basketball because he was super tall and is baffled by how he could be in the NBA: Cedric Simmons or Dwayne Jones?

At the end of the first quarter the Nuggets are up 35-24. They are shooting .625 from the field. The Cavs are shooting .625 from the foul line. This will be a fun to track.

Second Quarter:

LeBron makes a three to pull the Cavs within ten points. This is probably not a good sign. The Cavs won’t win if James is hoisting three pointers. James hitting his first three pointer probably means he’ll be shooting these all night if the Cavs remain so far behind. How about driving to the hoop and getting Anthony or Camby in foul trouble?

And right on cue LBJ jacks up another three (brick) on the next trip down the court.

Doris Burke went to an all boys camp as a child? That’s so shocking. Thanks for letting us know how awkward it was for you when they went shirts vs skins during summer camp, Doris.

Say what you will about Larry Hughes but with all the leg wear he looks exactly like this old white bearded guy I play basketball with at the gym. They may as well be twins. If only Hughes was sporting a tie dyed shirt. And white skin.

Right now the Nuggets have five players shooting at least 50% from the field. The Cavs have six players shooting less than 50% from the field, including four below 35%.

Drew Gooden has been growing that beard since the summer? That’s pathetic. I grow beards like that overnight.

Eric Snow just bricked a layup, denying LBJ his third assist. Is Snow really that much better than Shannon Brown? Really? Someone needs to follow Brown home tonight. Even I’m depressed by his lack of playing time in the face of Snow bricking layups. I can’t imagine how he’s feeling.

Doris Burke just made up a word: efforted. Shouldn’t a command of the English language be at least a minimum requirement for a person whose job it is to speak? Time to turn down the tube and turn up the Tate.

Eric Snow just missed another layup. It might have been blocked. Still… This much we know for sure: Shannon Brown would be dunking.

Ilgauskas travels, makes the layup, draws the foul, and sinks the free throw. That was the highlight of the quarter so far.

Devin Brown just stole a page from the Carmelo Anthony Book of Passing, firing a pass intended for Marshall off the rim. Didn’t play the angle right, though.

Cavs down 19. This is just like the last time these two teams played. Except Larry Hughes hasn’t been ejected (yet). The Cavs are on the verge of being 0-2 when I live blog games they play against the Nuggets.

LeBron makes another pass that is fumbling by the recipient out of bounds, this time off the hands of Simmons. LBJ might kill people at halftime.

And now the ball just rolled through Simmons’s legs. And now he just misplayed another pass, leading to a turnover. This is sad, not because Simmons is playing terribly but because you just know he’d rather be somewhere else, maybe in medical school or something. Although with those hands maybe not being in medical school is a good thing and having Simmons in the NBA can be seen as a positive for society.

Halftime: Nuggets 63 | Cavs 45

Third Quarter:

This makes no sense to me. Neither does a lineup to start the third quarter that includes Eric Snow and Ira Newble. That lineup sure makes sense to the Nuggets, though. They start the half nailing a wide open three pointer. Then Iverson makes a layup while drawing a foul, which prompts Mike Brown to call a timeout 1:20 into the second half. Guess that lineup decision isn’t make much sense to him, either.

Or maybe that lineup does make sense to him because coming out of the timeout he’s made no changes. I guess PF Ira Newble will be leading the Cavs to the promise land this evening.

So the Cavs probably won’t be able to make an impact trade before the summer. They have no assets. Not that having no assets is necessarily an issue. Look at the Heat. Danny Ferry must be wondering how it is that Pat Riley managed to transform the Heat from the worst team in the NBA with maybe the bleakest future of any team in the NBA to a team that has the world as its oyster starting this summer.

Hughes misses a shot off the shot clock. Beautiful.

Of course, when the Cavs get Gooden, Gibson, Pavlovic, and Varejao back it’ll be like acquiring a slew of new players, which will almost feel like a trade. And then Larry Hughes will go 1-9 while banking a $200,000 game check and the fantasy will be over.

Schulman says the Cavs are getting back into it, raising his voice and sounding excited after Hughes makes a layup to pull the Cavs to within 17. Nice try generating interest, Dan.

Damon Jones bricks a wide-open three to make the Cavs 3-17 from three point range. How about instead of (not) trading for Jason Kidd the Cavs make a play for Mike Miller? Does this make too much sense? And did anyone else think they’d come to bemoan the Cavs not protecting Jason Kapono from the Bobcats’ supplemental draft?

Donyell Marshall air balls an open three pointer coming out of the timeout. Thanks for hammering home the point about the lack of a true shooter on the Cavs’ roster.

Is Shannon Brown hurt? If only there were some way to find out! Some massive collection of readily available information. Something one could access instantly over an interconnected network of some sort.

The Cavs turn the ball over to end the third quarter. It’s the team’s 14th turnover tonight. The crowd rightly boos. The Nuggets are up 26 points at the end of the third quarter.

Fourth Quarter:

A friend just called me on my rotary phone to inform me about this new machine called The Internet. At first I thought he was pulling my chain, but it turns out that there is an interconnected network — presumably made of tubes — that provides instant access to key information, like Shannon Brown’s health. According to The Internet (and who know where this Internet gets its information) Shannon Brown played two nights ago and is not on the injured list for tonight’s game.

Wait! Shannon Brown is in the game! Loath be typing without watching the television screen!

Shannon Brown is making his presence felt by doing absolute nothing. It’s almost like he’s still on the bench. The prevailing thesis is that he’s lulling the Nuggets into a false sense of confidence, buoyed by their 30 point lead, and that at 2am tonight Brown is going to spring his trap and absolutely go off.

Barak Obama won the Maine caucus and a Grammy Award tonight.

Shannon Brown misses a layup. Apparently Mike Brown didn’t inform Brown that he’s supposed to be replacing Snow, not replicating Snow. Maybe Brown should have stayed in college another year. The fourth year is generally when the complexities of English are illuminated.

Brown (Shannon, not Mike) just passed the ball to a Denver Nugget (not sure which Nugget). Then he fouled the guy.

Technical foul on a Nugget (the white one). Brown (Shannon, not Mike) shoots the free throw. He misses. If that’s not bad enough Damon Jones has hurt himself and is questionable for tomorrow night. The Cavs might be down six rotation players against the Magic tomorrow. Yikes.

Continuing with Shannon Brown, he just attempted and missed a three pointer. His shot has a hitch in it, one I haven’t noticed prior tonight. Did someone allow Ira Newble and Larry Hughes to change his shot? You know, that might be an unspoken negative aspect of having Hughes on the roster, the bad example he provides with his shooting stroke. Think of the children, Larry!

The fourth quarter must be the Shannon Brown Happy Hour. He misses two jumpers in one possession. He’s that special.

Donyell Marshall gets his missed layup. The only guy not to brick a layup is Jared from Subway. Rumor is he’s still available. He’s svelte.

Oooh. Schulman informs us that we’re about to witness the worst home loss during the LBJ era. Prior to tonight the worst loss was by 31 points. Right now the Nuggets are up by 33. We are all witnesses.

Nuggets by 37 as Shannon Brown bricks another shot.

Newble now hurt.

Shannon Brown his a three pointer to pull the Cavs within 30 points, thus ensuring that the Cavs won’t suffer their worst home loss during the LBJ era. Damn. We were not witnesses after all.

Posted in Cleveland Cavaliers | Leave a Comment »

Cavs Live Blog Sunday Night

Posted by disappointmentzone on 8 February 2008

A few months ago I did a live blog during the Cavs-Nuggets game in Denver. Turns out this Sunday the Cavs are playing the Nuggets again, this time in Cleveland. In the interest of symmetry and actually producing some content for this slumping blog I’ll be live blogging the game, which is on ESPN at 7pm EST. The last time I did it with quarterly updates. I imagine the same thing will be happening this time. Join along in the comments if you want.

Posted in Cleveland Cavaliers | Leave a Comment »

Shaq Trade Thoughts

Posted by disappointmentzone on 6 February 2008

I’m breaking my hiatus to chime in on the news that the Suns are on the brink of acquiring Shaq.

Simply put: This is a terrible trade for Cleveland.

If Miami trades Shaq they don’t have to pay the remainder of his salary, which is $40M over the next two seasons. That cap relief puts Miami in position to sign pretty much anyone they want this off season. So let’s say the Heat sign Elton Brand.

Wade + Brand > Wade + Shaq

Right now Miami has the worst record in the NBA and the inside track to the first overall pick in the upcoming draft.

Wade + Brand + Michael Beasley = Yikes!

Pay Riley must be calling in a favor here. How else can you explain the good fortune of this trade? Instead of the Heat being tremendously burdened by Shaq and his albatross of a contract for the next two seasons (which coincide with Wade’s last two seasons under his current contract) suddenly the Heat are six months away from having one of the most exciting off seasons imaginable. Who doesn’t want to play alongside a perennial MVP candidate in South Beach while making a truckload of money? On top of that add a lottery pick. Now the Heat are a threat in the Eastern Conference. This is wizardry!

Posted in Cleveland Sports | 4 Comments »

On Hiatus

Posted by disappointmentzone on 31 January 2008

The Disappointment Zone is on temporary hiatus with the hope of returning to regular posting by mid-February. Thanks for your patience.

PS: Larry Hughes still sucks.

Posted in Cleveland Sports | 2 Comments »

Get Ready For OSU in the BCS…Again

Posted by disappointmentzone on 14 January 2008

OSU finished the season with the possibility of returning 20 of 22 starters. So far they’ve lost only Vernon Gholston, which will do some damage to the defensive line.

But the real story this evening is that James Laurinaitis will return to Columbus. Losing Laurinaitis would have been a crippling blow to the defense. His return will mitigate any other defensive losses the team might suffer.

Meanwhile all signs are pointing to everyone returning on offense. Which means that when Ohio State takes the field next season they’ll be poised to play in the BCS title game once again, much to the chagrin to the rest of the nation.

Going forward the key to next season will be the game at USC early in September. If OSU wins that game there will likely be nothing any other team can do to keep OSU out of the title game should they win out. There likely won’t be two other teams that, even if they go undefeated, will have more impressive resumes than an undefeated Ohio State.

So third time is a charm, right?

Posted in Cleveland Sports | 5 Comments »

Colts Got What They Deserved

Posted by disappointmentzone on 14 January 2008

So the Colts lost yesterday to huge underdog San Diego. These are the same Colts who were coming off a bye week and had sparingly played their starters two weeks prior in their final game against the Titans. That’s roughly a three week break heading into the playoffs. The team yesterday looked rusty, to say the least — receivers dropping passes that turned into interceptions, the league’s best scoring defense giving up a lot of points, including a huge drive at the end of the game by a backup.

The Cowboys, also huge favorites at home, lost as well, this time to the Giants. The Cowboys did not play their starters in week 17. Like the Colts their first stringers were operating on essentially a three week lay off, coming off the bye last week. The Cowboys lost to the Giants, who played all their starters in a week 17 tilt against the Patriots — who, it should be noted, played all their starters as well in that game, and then beat the hot Jaguars on Saturday.

Meanwhile the Packers, who played their starters for almost the entire game in week 17, blew the Seahawks out of the water.

So of the top four seeds the two that played competitive football throughout the entire season, particularly heading into the playoffs, won their two games. The other two teams lost at home to road underdogs after benching their starters in the final week of the season. For the Colts, this is the second time in three years this has happened.

As a Browns fan it was particularly sweet to see the Colts lose. They made no attempt to beat the Titans in week 17. None whatsoever. They mailed it in. The league apparently had no problem with what transpired in the waining minutes of the game, when the Colts and Titans basically agreed to not play the final snap of the game, which clearly came as a welcomed gift to the Titans. It may as well have come in a velvet box with a lovely note penned by Mr. Dungy himself.

If you don’t try to win you may as well lose. The integrity of the game took a sever blow in week 17 — amazingly no one in the media, as far as I can tell, has made any attempt to further investigate this — and seeing the Colts get their comeuppance was wonderful.

Posted in Cleveland Sports | 1 Comment »

Oh The Irony!

Posted by disappointmentzone on 11 January 2008

Say goodbye to Jacobs Field and hello to Progressive Field, this according to the Plain Dealer which sites sources familiar with the situation. An official announcement is expected later today.

Setting aside the sadness of losing the Jake, how ironic is it that a team (mis)named after Native Americans with a grossly offensive caricature as its mascot will now be playing in Progressive Field?

Posted in Cleveland Sports | 8 Comments »

Browns Extending Anderson?

Posted by disappointmentzone on 9 January 2008

According to ESPN the Browns have entered into talks with Derek Anderson about signing him to a long-term contract. Is this a wise move?

Consider:

* The Browns could sign Anderson to a 1-year deal for $2.4M that would require any other team interested in signing him to compensate the Browns with their first and third round draft picks. The Browns would also have the option of matching the offer.

* With Brady Quinn’s contract being heavily incentive-based — and with those incentives being impossible to reach without actually playing — extending Anderson to a long-term deal does not preclude the Browns from also keeping Quinn.

* The biggest incentive clause in Quinn’s contract is based on the percentage of snaps he takes in his first three seasons. If he rides the pine for two years he’ll lose out on making a ton of money, which would suck for him, but it would be great for the Browns. Since he’s signed to a five-year contract the Browns could get and additional two inexpensive years out of him.

* Since contracts in the NFL are not guaranteed any extension for Anderson should be judged primarily on the amount of guaranteed money. If Anderson agrees to a long term deal that only affects the team’s cap over the next couple of seasons it is possible that the Browns could trade or cut him a couple of years into the deal to give Quinn the starting job.

* Would Quinn be willing to ride the pine for more than another season? What if he turns into a malcontent?

* Is it in the Browns’ best interest to keep an asset like Quinn on the bench? If they extend Anderson should they try to flip Quinn for either draft picks or another player, say a defensive lineman like Jason Taylor?

Posted in Cleveland Browns | 9 Comments »