Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Hardwood Paroxysm Playoff Preview: Cleveland Cavaliers

It's hard to keep track of everything you need to know about all the teams in the playoffs. So we thought we'd do a quick and dirty playoff preview with our favorite bloggers. We asked a simple 20 Question survey to bloggers from all of the playoff teams, and got responses back from most of them. We continue our previews with the Cleveland Cavaliers and Rick from Waiting For Next Year .

1. Team Name
: Cleveland Cavaliers
2. Biggest Star: (seriously?) That would be LeBron.
3. Playoff Seed: 4th.
4. Mascot's Name: Moondog (don't ask)
5. Best player: See James, LeBron
6. Most important player: Well, the Cavs haven't won a game without LeBron this year...of course Zydrunas Ilgauskas has proven to be 1a this year.
7. Better at zone or man: Hmmmm....supposedly the Cavs play man with a help rotation. I suppose that would qualify as zone.
8. Grade your offense going into the playoffs: Well, right now it's about a C-. LeBron isn't playing like himself lately, (there is more to these back spasms than he's telling us) and Mike Brown shall not be winning any awards for offensive creativity.
9. Grade your defense going into the playoffs: I'm going to say B, mostly because when they decide to they can be very focused and force most offenses into less than good shot selection. They have a nasty habit of taking a half off on defense every night however. That probably won't hurt them in the playoffs right?
10. Worst player: Larry Hughes. Sorry, habit. Um... well we have never seen uber-feel good story Lance Allred in a game, so I can't even count him. Eric Snow hasn't played in a game since the 11 player trade went down, and he's hurt, so we'll cut him some slack. Sasha Pavlovic has been horrible this year. He missed a good part of the season, but he was awful before he got hurt. If we put it to a vote Ben Wallace might get a few, but he is at least good for rebounding and the occasional block, so he probably doesn't count. If Damon Jones wasn't hitting long range bombs this year he would easily win this one, but he can at least be a role player on this team. Just don't ask him to bring the ball up the floor. I'm going with Sasha Pavlovic.
11. Glue guy: Zydrunas Ilgauskas. He is our second leading scorer, and best rebounder, plus when he is on the floor we actually have a low post game. This allows our shooters to get open (gasp!) Plus, he can step out and hit an 18 foot shot on the wing. Not many 7'3" true centers can do that.
12. Five words to describe the team heading into the playoffs: Not. Enough. Time. To. Gel.
13. Best-case scenario: Wow. Well, let's leave 'Pistons team plane goes down', or 'Garnet and Ray Allen out for playoffs in freak accident' out of the equation. Best case would be the Cavs finding some type of voodoo-chiropractor to fix LeBron, Zydrunas and Ben Wallace's backs. Wally Szczerbiak suddenly remembers how to knock down a jumper (Wally shot 46% in Seattle, he's shooting 35% in Cleveland.) The playoffs are like some sort of magic elixir for Daniel Gibson, who plays like he did in last year's Detroit series (or this year's rookie-sophomore game would be fine.) Anderson Varejao remembers that he is supposed to be the 'energy guy' and takes the lead boots off his feet. Coach Mike Brown realizes that Joe Smith is probably a better player right now than Ben Wallace, and adjusts minutes accordingly. In this scenario, the Cavs win the first round easily, somehow survive the Celtics, and Detroit would be pushed to 7 games in their previous series, making them tired as well. Game 7 of the Conference Finals LeBron decides that he isn't about to lose and has another legendary performance. As strange as it sounds, the best opponent for Cleveland in the Finals would be the Lakers. LeBron and the Cavs seem to have Kobe's number.
14. Worst case scenario: The Cavs play like they have been the last two weeks, and the Wizards get revenge for the last two years, running the Cavs out of the building, thumping the Cavs in near biblical proportions.
15. First player that comes to mind, "Thunder": LeBron. Have you seen his dunks?
16. First player that comes to mind, "Twinkie": Damon Jones
17. Current emotion you feel about this team: Frustrated
18. Team you don't want to see in the next two months: Boston
19. Team you want to see in the next two months: Miami?
20. What food best describes this team?: I'd say something like beef stew- all the pieces seem like they are in there, but nothing is holding it together.

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