It may be now or never

Entering the 2009-2010 basketball season knowing the expectations are high and the pressure of winning now is a must, the Cleveland Cavaliers have exceeded everything except one goal.

With LeBron James entering free agency this summer many around Cleveland think this season is do or die. Win or lose LeBron to another franchise. The Cavaliers have done everything anyone could have asked them to accept win a championship. The Cavs have the best record in the league at 52-15, was first team to clinch a spot in the playoffs, have a league leading 7.2 point average differential and are 6-2 against the other top 3 teams in the east. They are also in the top 5 in Defense and have two players (LeBron James and Anderson Varejao) leading the league in +/- minutes. Varejao is in the running for Defensive Player of the Year and LeBron James looks like he locked up the MVP award 4 months ago.

Danny Ferry has done everything in his power to give LeBron the best chance to win with the current roster. Ferry added Shaq in the off-season and most recently acquired Antawn Jamison to the Cavaliers giving James the best team he as had in his 7 seasons in the NBA. Ferry has put together a very unique team who are very loose with their antics before the game, during the games and after the games and it seems LeBron James is a happy man in Cleveland. But the same question has always come up, can LeBron get Cleveland over the hump and finally win the NBA Championship?

While James is laughing and dancing with his Cleveland teammates many wonder if he will be doing the same next year or should I say in June?

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Cavalier’s hurting

On a night where it seemed like everyone in the stands expected a loss it turned out to be a huge victory for the Cleveland Cavaliers.

Cleveland reached 50 wins on the season and was the first team to do so in the 2009-2010 season. It took a total team effort while the Cav’s superstars were in street clothes. LeBron was resting an ankle, Shaq was not even on the bench and Antawn Jamison left in the 3rd quarter with a sore knee.

That being said the Cavaliers had 6 players score in double figures with Jamison leading the way with 17 points and 4 rebounds before he left with a sore knee. Mo Williams granted his promise to Cleveland fan’s vowing he’d play better and he did with an 18 point, 8 rebound and 8 assist game. Jawad Williams had 13 points, and 5 rebounds starting in place of LeBron James and Delonte and Andy added a much-needed boost from the bench with respective 16 points and 11 points.

The main story however was Jamison. After leaving the third with a sore knee many wondered if it will be long-term. “Everything was fine in the first half. In the second half, it stiffened up,” Jamison said. “I couldn’t get the range of motion I needed. I had a slight case of this the first month of the season. It’s not anything to really be worried about.” Let’s hope not, Jamison was considered by many as the final piece to a championship run and with him out long-term could mean bad things for Cavalier fans.

With LeBron sure to suit up friday and Shaq recovering from a thumb injury the Cavaliers look like they will be fine. If Jamison isn’t worried about the knee and said he will play on friday all things are looking up for the Cavaliers, at least that’s what I’s like to think.

Missing Piece in Cleveland

Ever since LeBron James was drafted by the Cleveland Cavaliers with the overall number 1 pick, everyone has said that Cleveland comes up short because they have a missing piece. They needed someone to be James “Pippen”.

On March 6th, the Cavaliers might have found that “missing piece” and it wasn’t who you thought it would be. The missing piece last night was LeBron James as the Cavaliers lost to the Bucks 92-85.

85 points speaks for itself why the Cavs were missing James and his 29.8 scoring average. The Cavaliers offense looked lost as they were trying to find a go to scorer. Antawn Jamison finished with 30 points and 11 rebounds as he tried to fill that role but got didn’t get much help other than Delonte West 27 point, 5 rebound, and 6 assist effort. Everyone else on the floor looked completely lost as Mo Williams continued to struggle shooting a dismal 1-12 from the floor. No one from the Cavaliers reached double figures in the scoring column besides Jamison and West.

The Cavaliers winning streak at 6 ended. Mike Brown might decide to rest LeBron on Monday versus the Spurs at home to give him almost a week of rest. The Cavaliers are mostly off next week because of the MAC tournament going on at the Q. LeBron turned his ankle wrong against Detroit and Mike Brown does not want to take any chances right now and is a good time for him to rest his ankle.

What people did find out in Cleveland however was who that missing piece to the championship is. That is LeBron James.

Crazy Night In Cleveland

On a night where the Cleveland Cavaliers were the favorite by a 12 point spread against the Detroit Pistons and an easy night for the Cavaliers was anything but that.

On a unforgettable night at the Q in downtown Cleveland it started out with a crowd over 20,000 people wearing the free give-away Cavalier snuggies to set a record of the most people to wear a snuggie at one time.The crow also got a hot shooting Pistons in the first quarter, who out scored the Cav’s 31-22 in the first. The hot shooting continued for the Piston’s in the second as the Cav’s found themselves down 21 at one point in the second half. After the 8 minute mark in the second quarter the Cavalier’s turned up the defense and allowed the Piston’s to score on one more possesion to find themselve’s within striking distance at a score of 55-46 at the Half.

The third quarter was the story of the night. After a timeout Rodney Stuckey walked over to Jonas Jerebko to give some advice and soon he started feeling dizzy. Shortly, he was on the floor and the medical staff had to attend. After a 20 minute delay and a stretcher the game resumed but the sadium was shocked at what just happened.

After that it seemed like the Piston’s were completely shell shocked and looked lost on the court. LeBron drained back to back 3 pointer’s as he closed the gape to 2 point’s heading into the 4th quarter. In the fourth it was all Cavalier’s as Jamison jump started them by draining a 3 and making a tough jumper that put the Cavalier’s ahead for the first time in the game. The Cavalier’s ended up out-scoring the Piston’s 54-37 in the second half as the Cav’s won by a final of 99-92.

LeBron ended the game with 40 points, 13 rebounds and 6 assistsm along with another strong performance from the newest Cavalier with 17 points and 4 rebounds. The Wild Thing also came off the bench and added 16 points and 10 rebounds along with Delonte West with 12 points off the bench.

As the game ended there were no celebration’s as the heavy heart’s showed that basketball came second. LeBron called the team to center court with the Piston’s and did a quick pray for Stuckey and wished him the best and to his family as well.

Thankfully Stuckey has been reported that he is alright and is staying the night at the Cleveland Clinic (ESPN). “He is stable and that is good news,” Pistons coach John Kuester said. “I think he is going to be OK.”

Tonight showed why basketball is just a game and that no matter who won the only thing that mattered tonight was if Rodney Stuckey would be ok.

Ilgauskas returns to his Home State

On February 12th, Zydrunas Ilgauskas along with a 1st round pick was traded to the Washington Wizards as a part of a 3 team deal that landed Antawn Jamison to the Cavaliers. On March 4th, 2010 Zydrunas Ilgauskas has decided to come back to his home state and continue to play for the only team he has played for in his 11 years in the NBA, the Cleveland Cavaliers. On February 25th,2010 the Washington Wizards bought out Zydrunas Ilgauskas and allowed him to be a free agent, allowing him to sign with any team he wishes. If he were to choose another team besides Cleveland he could have signed with them for more money and start playing right away. However, reports have stated that Zydrunas Ilgauskas will return to Cleveland and by league rules will have to sit out 30 days and cannot resign until March 22nd.

Z has played in 760 total games played for the Cavaliers, he also has a total of 5,841 rebounds, 1,259 blocks, 10,540 points all being with the Cavaliers. For his career playing for the Cavs he as average 13.9 points and 7.7 rebounds. In the 2010 season he as average 7.5 points and 5.3 rebounds in 53 games while coming off the bench after the Cavs got Shaq in the offseason.

Zydrunas Ilgauskas has lived in the Cleveland area for a very long time and plans to return not only because of his love for the city but his family as well. Big Z is a family man and loves his wife and kids. Zydrunas Ilgauskas is a well liked man in Cleveland and one day will have his number up in the rafters.

Cavs playing on a Playground

It seemed tonight as if fans were watching men vs boys tonight. The Nets were clearly overmatched as the Cavaliers picked up their 48th win of the season and fifth in a row. The Cavs opened up a 20 point lead after the first quarter and cruised to the final score of 111-92.

The Cavaliers have played the New York Knicks and the New Jersey Nets their past two games. Two teams that have cleared cap space to sign LeBron in the summer of 2010 and look to offer a big deal. LeBron sure didn’t disappoint with two good showing to both the teams with very strong play.

LeBron was terrific in the game finishing with 26 points and 14 assists. In the first quarter he was so terrific he had 10 points and 8 assists and it seemed as if he was taunting with the crowd leaving them begging for more. He got multiple break away dunks but did nothing spectacular with the dunks and the crowd slightly booed him.

Jamario Moon also haved a blast helping LeBron put on some high-flying highlights with some hard throwing dunks that sent chills through the crowds arms and legs. The newest Cavalier added another solid game with 19 points and 9 rebounds. JJ Hickson continues to show his promise in the upcoming years as it was his second start at center and didn’t dissapoint either. Showing energy and poise JJ helped with 20 points and 13 rebounds as it was an all around effort from the Cavaliers as it seemed like they were just toying with the Nets all night.

While the Knicks and Nets are clearing cap for LeBron to come to town next year, the Cavs are toying with them every time they play. Showing the two franchises if they don’t sign LeBron then the Cavs might be toying with both franchise’s in the near future.

LeBron switching things up

While Clevelander’s wait anxiously on weather or not LeBron will re-sign with the Cavs in the summer of 2010, people will know at least one question to next year. LeBron has filled out paperwork to switch from the number 23 to the number 6 next season. The deadline is friday and LeBron has reported that “I’ve done it” (ESPN). In November LeBron stated that he would like to switch numbers next season to honor Michael Jordan. He has stated that the number 23 should be retired and no one should wear 23 ever again.

The number 6 is also known for past legends who has played the game. A few that come to mind are Julius Erving, and Bill Russell. James, however idolized Jordan and was a huge fan of his growing up. It is believed that number 6 was choosen because he wears the number for the Olympic team, and he even practices with the number 6 (ESPN). Plenty of big name superstars have changed their numbers in the past, Michael Jordan briefly wore the number 45 after coming out of retirement with the bulls and Kobe Bryant also switched numbers from 8 to 24.

While switching numbers has shaken some talk up, it certainly will shake up the summer of 2010. The free agency of 2010 might be the best the NBA has ever had and James switching numbers might lead on to some speculation. James filled out nessacery paperwork for the NBA league offices to grant James wish, but why would he file paperwork? If he leaves the Cavaliers this summer he will be getting a new jersey and the number of his choice. However, if he stays with the Cavaliers and wanted to switch numbers he must file paperwork and send them to the league office before the deadline.Stayong with Cleveland is a very good possibility and filling out those papers might be a great sign for things to come in Cleveland.

As a Clevelander I would not get my hopes to high, until I see James is for sure coming back to Cleveland in 2010 for many years to come.