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In Cleveland, hope dies last

Archive for the category “Mo Williams”

Cavs score their biggest win of the season

The Cavs scored their biggest win of the season on Thursday, completing a trade that landed the team the Clippers first-round draft pick in this year’s draft.

The unprotected pick (the Clippers are the best) means the Cavs could wind up with two lottery picks in the draft, a perfect recipe for a team working hard to rebuild. And while there is certainly no guarantee that Cavs will land two impact players, having more than one shot certainly increases the odds that they will end up with one really good player and one really good support player.

In addition to the draft pick the Cavs acquired guard Baron Davis, shipping out Mo Williams and Jamario Moon.

“We’re excited to make this move,” Cavs general manager Chris Grant said in a press conference at the team’s practice facility. “We’re excited about Baron, a very talented player at a position that’s a difficult position in this league. We’ve also created an opportunity for ourselves as we continue to build this franchise and move forward with the draft pick. We feel good about it. We’re eager to keep going and keep moving. Our scouting department just got a little busier, which is a good thing.”

We like the way Grant handled the day. He knows he did a nice job with the trade, but that there is still more work to be done. If the Cavs don’t get lucky in the lottery and don’t pick the right players, this all means much less.

We’re sad to see Williams go, as we’ve enjoyed his play since he arrived in Cleveland before the 2008-09 season. Williams seemed to enjoy his time with the Cavs and he was fun to watch, especially during that first, 66-win season.

Sure, he struggled at times on defense, but he always gave a good effort, which is all fans can really ask for out of a player.

As for Moon … he was nice to have around when the Cavs were winning games by 25 points, but when the team asked him to do more this season it quickly became clear why he’s played on practically every professional team in the world during his career.

As for Davis, who knows? He’s still one of the league’s best point guards – when he wants to be.

“Baron won’t be happy,” a general manager who has had past dealings with Davis told ESPN on Thursday before the trade became official. “This is a worst-case scenario for him. He was just starting to get happy in L.A. playing with [Clippers rookie] Blake Griffin. There’s not much to get excited about in Cleveland these days.”

We’ll let that last remark slide for now.

Davis didn’t always get along with current Cavs coach Byron Scott when the two were together in New Orleans. And Davis often lets himself get out of shape when he’s not motivated.

But we have to believe Scott was consulted on the move and is comfortable that he can make this work. And the Cavs survived the ultimate malcontent in Ricky Davis, and lived through the girth of Shawn Kemp and Mel Turpin; they’ll get through anything Baron Davis may bring.

Luckily, the 31-year-old Davis, who is joining his fifth team in his 11-year NBA career, isn’t the key to the deal, despite what some would have you believe (h/t to Craig at WFNY). The real gem here is the draft pick.

And the fact that the Clippers, who have blown more high draft picks than probably the rest of the NBA combined over the years, reportedly were willing to trade the pick because they think this year’s draft is thin only makes us feel better about the deal.

After all, you don’t become a team like the Clippers unless you repeatedly do stupid things.

Oh, by the way, the Cavs also reportedly acquired center Semih Erden and forward Luke Harangody from Boston in exchange for a 2013 second-round draft pick.

We admit we don’t know much about either player, but in the spirit of the day we’ll chalk it up as another win for the team.

How do you like it – Mo, Mo, Mo

Hey, nobody said this was going to be easy.

Trailing by 11 in the third quarter and on their way to losing homecourt advantage – just like they did last year against Orlando – the Cavs roared back after Mo Williams dunked on Paul Pierce in the third quarter, igniting the team as it went on to post a victory in the opening game of the series.

The Cavs went on a 21-9 run to end the quarter after Mo’s dunk – his first as a Cavalier and part of his 14-point third quarter – to take the lead. The Cavs closed out the game with a 43-24 run and completely shut down the Celtics in the fourth quarter, holding Pierce to three points, Kevin Garnett to two points and Ray Allen to zero in the final quarter. Nice work from the self-proclaimed “Big 3” for Boston.

This was a big game for Mo as his struggles last year in the playoffs really hurt the Cavs. Maybe he’s finally refinding his place back in the offense following the acquisition of Antawn Jamison.

There were several positives the Cavs can take from this game and, if they continue like this, should make it a short series:

  • They held Pierce to just 5-of-17 shooting
  • Garnett took 20 shots, which I’ll take every day
  • The Cavs bench had a 26-12 advantage
  • Shaq delivered a couple of playoff fouls on Rajon Rondo and split Kendrick Perkins’ lip open with an elbow
  • The Cavs held Boston to 31 percent shooting following Mo’s dunk

There were some bad things, though, that if they continue will stretch this series out:

  • Rondo scored 27 points. If he keeps up that pace the Cavs will be in trouble
  • Shaq had early foul trouble
  • Shaq, Antawn Jamison and Anthony Parker combined to go 7-of-21 from the field
  • Boston shot 52 percent from the field in building their 11-point lead.

And not to beat a deadhorse, but the Cavs missed 10 free throws during the game. So far, in six playoff games, the Cavs have missed 52 free throws. Considering they only missed two in Game 2 against the Bulls, that means they are missing, on average, 10 free throws a game. There’s no way they can continue to leave points on the floor like that and not have it eventually come back to bite them.

The Game 1 win does look good, though, as the Cavs are 10-0 in seven-game series when they win the opening game.

Game 2 is Monday night at the Q.

11 more wins to go.

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