Not positive how many total, but I'm at 4072 unread as of today. And that was with an extensive cleanup fairly recently. That also doesn't include the 838 unread service ticket inbox notifications I have that I have auto-redirected to a different folder. I have given up trying to clean this up.
Yeah, we're in an arms race though...all the way down to the last man on the bench. I think it has a lot of potential if it's realized is all. We've seen other savvy teams pick up key contributors in similar fashion like Miami as I mentioned and San Antonio with Boris Diaw (granted they didn't win until the following year with Diaw, but he was still a big time X-factor for them in the playoffs). Sanders is going to have to play. We don't have a backup center (arguably no C at all if you want to consider TT a PF) and whatever he or (previously) Bogut could provide would be huge. We're currently awful on defense, especially when we're having to put Channing Frye at C in the 2nd unit.
But what about Gus and the cartel?? Gus was one of my favorites. What about all the stuff in the middle with Saul?? Saul was one of my favorite characters. What about Pinkman's GF at the end of season whatever?? I loved the middle episodes. Er whatever, I love the whole thing pretty equally, I guess. Phenomenal show. Also, it's been a long time since I've watched, so my chronology could be completely out of whack.
He's not going to be the 15th man. He fills an immediate need. He'll need time to get acclimated, in proper shape, get his bearings...but they're bringing him in to play at least 12-15 big minutes a night. And in a potential matchup with GSW, a 6'11", long, great athlete that can keep up with players on the perimeter and block everything around the basket might be extremely useful. Or maybe he implodes and never realizes anything, who knows. But it's better to take a flier on the guy and see what he's still got if you've got the open roster spot from Bogut. This is a guy that just signed a $10M/yr contract (and that's in the OLD salary cap) nd was one of the top 3-4 shot blockers in the NBA before he lost interest and quit. He's only 28, so he should have plenty left in the tank.
Here's an example of an almost identical situation...Miami wass trying to defend their crown. LeBron was having a ruthlessly efficient season. They were incredibly thin up front. Chris Andersen was coming off of some legal stuff that's kept him out of the League for a year. Birdman joins a deep team and immediately provides rim protection to a team sorely needing it and energy off the bench. Birdman wound up being a big influence on a team that was a blink of an eye away from losing to SA but pulled it out in 7. Andersen averaged something like less than 20 mins/game but gave something like a block and a steal, 5-6 points and 5-6 rebounds a game while he was there and that was a big lift. Larry was an even better player in his time, hopefully he can get that back. Really, the Derrick and Deron Williams pickups haven't provided much fruit as of yet...I think Sanders could have the biggest x-factor impact potentially...if he can get everything back together.
No one in the League is better than LeBron still. Not Russ, not Harden, not Leonard, not Steph, not Durant. Leonard is exceptionally good and I've seen some people call into question his defensive play recently, which I don't think is all that valid. There are some loaded stats that can be pointed to, but I have watched every Cavs game and watch as many SA games as I can and the eye test is something else. When LeBron is engaged on defense he could be the d-MVP every year. He usually doesn't expend a lot of energy on D in the regular season though, sometimes to comical degrees. You can just use your eyes and see how good of a defensive player Leonard is and how locked in he always is.
Some of the stats are misleading, such as, when LeBron is on the floor the pace of play slows down significantly, limiting a lot of the other teams' possessions. You would also have to take into account substitution rotations. And the Cavs 2nd unit really is a defensive sieve. You can't be having Channing Frye at center and expect good defensive results. The other thing to take into account is defensive matchups. The Spurs often put Leonard on the other team's best offensive player 2-4 and sometimes 1-4. The Cavs don't gear their defense like that for individual matchups unless it's putting a Shumpert on a Curry instead of Kyrie on Curry. They typically match up by position and then they do a lot of switching and rotating. All of this isn't to shit on LeBron, but more to defend Leonard's D which has been scrutinized in a few places recently. That age old question, "who would you start a team with?" I'd still take LeBron #1 overall even at age 32. He's the 2nd best player to ever touch a basketball IMO.
Good call on this back in September! When I saw earlier this season that he was looking to make a comeback I was super hopeful the Cavs would take a flier on him. It's low risk (if it doesn't pan out, it's not like it hurts your roster long term) but I think it has so much upside to it (he was one of the best defensive players in the League by the time he left...and was developing on offense too). This just seems too eerily reminiscent of Miami taking a flier on Birdman when they were in their title defense and thin at center. He really became the energy and x-factor to their repeat. Noel, as you also mentioned, was a player I was also very quietly hopeful that they'd find a way to land at the deadline this year. Pretty similar skill sets, really.
I always used to hate when the Cavs had to face the Bucks because he and a couple other of the long athletes they had on that team (such as John Henson and a young Giannis for a year) made it impossible for Kyrie and Dion to get to the basket and put up any kind of a good shot (not that Dion ever really put up any good shots with the Cavs). I recall it being one of the few teams that were consistently just not fun to watch Kyrie play against because he couldn't get up a good shot inside and they were all athletic enough to keep up with him on the perimeter and long enough to contest his jumpers.
During LeBron's time, the most notable thing that happened to the Eastern Conference was it's 3 best players all coming together to join forces. An already bad conference became an exercise in futility. In recent years, the EC has gotten much better, but that's not saying much. It's still way behind the WC in terms of top tier teams. LeBron's only competition to get to the Finals in '07 was the past its prime, getting ready to retire core of Billups, Hamilton, Wallace and Wallace. Jordan had to get through Isaiah and the Bad Boys and Bird and the Celtics in his early years.
I still struggle with the Jordan "stacked teams" argument because LeBron has played on far better teams in my opinion. When you look at a lot of the names you listed, we all remember the names and the success those teams had, but we don't really remember that most of them did absolutely nothing after playing with Jordan. BJ Armstrong is a great example. Never averaged more than like 7ppg and 2apg after leaving the Bulls. Horace Grant was probably one of the better players you could point to, but really he was a career 12 ppg, 9 rpg guy. That's a solid, not great PF. Ron Harper was over the hill and run down, but a decent, solid player. The fact that they didn't have a single passable PG on their team meant Harper had to play PG throughout the 2nd 3-peat. And then at center? What a dumpster fire. Luc Longley, Bill Wennington, Will Perdue? Barf. Even Kukoc didn't really amount to much after MJ. Was supposed to step into a more prominent role entering his prime years and could only ever really muster 18ppg and 7apg in his best post-Jordan season.
The thing is, LeBron took one bad team to the Finals. In 2007, every team in the East was a bad team. In fact, he hasn't had hardly any resistance in the East the entire time he's been in the league. Jordan lost prior to the Finals to the likes of in prime Isaiah Thomas and Larry Bird (historically great teams and players) early in his career and lost to Penny and Shaq the year he only played 1/3 of the season after taking a year off from basketball.
If we're counting those years in Washington, then no...I don't think he was realistically trying to win a title at age 40 with Kwame Brown and Rip Hamilton.
I'm a Cavs fan and watch absolutely every game. I find the argument annoying just because I think people have really forgotten just how truly remarkably great Jordan was. I also find it annoying because I find LeBron to be one of the most maddening players I've ever watched. Having watched him pout through enough games, having watched him take horrendously bad shots and having watched him give literally zero defensive effort until the playoffs...it all gets mildly frustrating, because you feel like he could go be the goat if he wanted to, but he honestly only ever gets up for big games and in most of the other games will coast throughout and only turn it on for about 1 quarter. I do also think he's a very smart guy and he does a great job of taking care of his health and durability, so I don't get too angry when I watch him ole as a defender or constantly be out of rotation or settle for a lazy contested 25 foot 3-pointer...because he turns it on in the playoffs.
He took one sorry team to the Finals...and if you look at the competition he had to play to get there, you'll see the sorriest eastern conference the league has ever seen. I think LeBron deserves and receives a lot of credit, but I also don't think he should be immune to criticisms that a lot of people would find valid. To me, Jordan is hands down the greatest. I'm a huge huge huge Cavs fan and have put the anger of "The Decision" and all that behind me, but I just base it on having gotten to watch both. Going back and looking at their stats and the eye test and just the insane competitive drive Jordan had makes him the goat. If MJ really wanted to, he could've led the NBA in all time scoring as well, but it kind of hurts that he'd joined the league at 21 and then had already retired twice by age 34, one of those times being in the middle of his prime. Jordan averaged a quite a few assists per game as a SG, himself and even had a season in which he average 32.5-8-8 while shooting 54% from the field. And none of this is to even mention the fact that as a SG he was considered one of the best, if not the best defender in the NBA. LeBron doesn't even attempt to even try to pretend to look like he's giving any defensive effort until at least the 2nd round of the playoffs.
LeBron's the 2nd greatest player I've ever watched with my own two eyes and probably the best athlete I've ever watched. Jordan is the greatest player.
Rodman and Harper weren't exactly in their primes. Rodman was a freakshow at that point that provided good D and good rebounding, but he certainly wasn't an all-star at that point or anything. Harper was run-down by that point and they had him out of position playing PG because they didn't have a decent PG on the team otherwise.
If Kyrie was playing on a good team that didn't have LeBron James on it and he was the #1 option, he'd be in the top 3-4 in the league leaders in scoring this year. Kyrie may not be elite quite yet at 24 or 25 years old, but he's not far off from being one of the most skilled scorers and ball-handlers in the NBA, not to mention it's hard to argue that he's not the most clutch player in the league today. He regularly leads the league in 4th quarter and OT scoring and has hit an insane amount of last minute shots to win or tie for someone who hasn't even reached their prime yet.
Right, because Armstrong departed the Bulls and then went on to what? A lot of players look pretty good when they play alongside Michael, then when he's not there anymore, they go on to do a whole bunch of nothing. Like BJ left the Bulls and never averaged more than 7 points and 2 assists per game in a season after that.
Actually Magic always says it himself, he was just saying it the other day on the radio as well...Larry and Magic got the league back on track and made it must-see TV, but then Michael came along and took it to another level.
I don't know that you could say it's not even close. LeBron went and played with a handful of hall of fame caliber players in Miami. And in Cleveland he joined two guys in Irving and Love that were perceived to be two of the top 15 players in the league. It's easy to recall the Scottie Pippens, but look at what every other player that played with MJ during those title runs amounted to be after they were done playing with Jordan. By the end he had help from over the hill cast offs from other teams like Rodman and Harper. Steve Kerr only played one role and couldn't do literally anything else but shoot 3s. Their centers were f'ing Luc Longley and Bill Wennington. Kukoc was never anything beyond a "nice player" after Jordan retired again. They didn't have a decent point guard so they were playing old Ron Harper at PG. Their bench was guys like Jason Caffey, Blue Edwards, Randy Brown, Jud Buechler, etc.
Yeah, but the entire Cavs team was overhauled that next year, first of all. And he didn't go to the Finals the year before, they lost to Boston. The year he made the Finals was the saddest year in the history of the Eastern Conference. The one and only hurdle to jump was a Detroit team that was over the hill.
The players who were still around (guys like Verajao, Mo Williams) were hurt much of the year and Williams even exited the team halfway through the season in a trade for an also hurt Baron Davis and the draft pick that eventually turned into Kyrie Irving. Their starting centers were like Ryan Hollins and Semih Erden back in the day. Most of the people on those couple of teams after LeBron left never once laced up their shoes alongside LeBron in a game.
As someone that graduated from New Albany, I can tell you that the wealthiest kids living in New Albany go to St. Charles, CSG, Columbus Academy and the other private schools. Some of the wilder people I've ever known and hung out with were from New Albany high school.
He's not the only one...John Wooden went on record saying Jerry Lucas was the best player he ever coached against.
Right, it could very well be his own car indeed...paid for by his parents or something. I don't know the kid's background or anything, family could have money.
The biggest factor to take into account is that these are young people. We weren't in practice every day, so we don't really know if Hooker was the same level of player he was this past year, during his RS and freshman years. Being as young as these guys are, they can grow a lot in the span of a year...and when you consider Hooker didn't even start playing football until his junior year of HS (I'd heard that somewhere, but could be wrong), his primary sport was basketball, he may have had a pretty steep learning curve.
It's tough, especially with basketball where you get a limited number of people to recruit. Thad put a lot of his eggs in one basket trying to get some of these stud Ohio players in recent years and it's hard to really crucify him when the players opt to go to the Duke, Kentucky and Kansas type programs of the world. Those are blue blood schools that live for basketball, they pretty much recruit themselves. Ohio State losing a recruit to one of those schools is like Kentucky fans losing their minds that the top player in their state opted to go to Ohio State or Alabama to play football. It's also worth pointing out that a lot of the time, Thad has gotten the top recruit in the state. Sometimes those guys wind up being as good as billed, sometimes not so much. David Lighty, Jon Diebler, Kosta Koufos, BJ Mullens, Aaron Craft, Jared Sullinger, Marc Loving, Jaesean Tate, Daquan Cook to name a few stud Ohio high school players he did land. With the exception of Craft, Lighty and Tate, those were the top players in the state of Ohio in different seasons.
And, Ohio aside, lets not pretend that he hasn't brought in top 10 recruiting classes almost every year he's been here and had the ability to recruit (some years he's only had one or two schollies available to offer). He's brought in significant talent, the problem I see is that there's a lack of leadership and backbone with some of the people he's brought in. The Scott, Williams, Thompson, Ross class is a classic example and then Marc Loving is perhaps the best example yet. Then we have another great class come in last year and everyone leaves because they're not playing the minutes they want or are not taking coaching very well.
I have a lot of concerns about the team and the direction and am having a hard time really arguing for Thad anymore...but there's a lot of fallacious arguments being perpetuated, such as his complete inability to land the best players in the state (when he has landed several of the best players in the state...and players leaving Ohio for blue blood programs has been the case since waaayyyy before Thad got here). He misses a couple players in recent memory and suddenly he's completely unable to recruit in-state.
Another one of those arguments being that he can't develop players. That one's hard to argue with some of the recent busts we've seen, but a lot of what I've seen are players rated very highly coming out of HS that wind up having a lot of limitations and very low ceilings for improvement. It's worth keeping in mind that he's done some of the best developmental work on some guys as well. Evan Turner, good lord I don't even need to say more. David Lighty, big time! Jon Diebler showed up with major confidence issues and Thad helped turn his confidence around to become the best shooter in school history. Deshaun Thomas went from being irresponsible, terrible defender, volume shooter off the bench to B1G POY candidate by his junior year, averaging 20 a game and showing significant growth defensively. Even guys like Lenzelle Smith went from basically nothing to key players. Evan Ravenel was never going to be anything important, but became a strong, solid player by his senior year. Dallas Lauderdale went from being a nobody to being one of the, if not the best rim protector in college basketball, as well as contributing on offense by shooting over 70% from the field. Othello Hunter went from being nothing to being a really strong all around player and potential NBA draft pick despite being undersized. Ron Lewis and Ivan Harris showed a lot of growth. He took a good player in Terence Dials under O'Brien and turned him into B1G POY by the time he was done.
There's some issues going on, I won't bury my head in the sand and pretend there aren't. But his critics can't bury their head in the sand and believe that there's an epidemic with his program either. He's definitely getting harder to defend, but I think the guy has built at least some equity, enough for us to show him some faith and give him a chance to see if he can get things turned in the right direction.
It's not old school, because that's misguided. Old school was Woody Hayes who changed our uniforms and helmets plenty of times even before anyone else was ever doing that, yet people like to cite "Woody would be rolling in his grave right now!" No, he probably wouldn't give a shit as long as we won the game. That's an even better tradition than what color our helmets look like IMO.