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Find out the scoop on the CAVS from award-winning sports writer Bob Finnan.

Thursday, October 30, 2008

Big night for Big Ben

Cavs blog by Bob Finnan

If the Cavaliers keep getting production out of Ben Wallace like they did on Thursday, they are going to be hard to beat.

The veteran power forward had 10 rebounds, five blocks and one steal in the Cavs' win over Charlotte in the home opener.

Two of Wallace's blocks came against Bobcats forward Sean May.

"I just wanted to be active," Wallace said. "I didn't want to allow guys to get anything easy around the basket and was able to get my hand on a couple (shots)."

He's had problems with his back. He said he's getting treatment from the medical staff to keep him on the court. The Cavs can't afford for him to be on the bench, since their front court is a bit thin.

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Tearful ceremony

Cavs blog by Bob Finnan

The Cavaliers might have decided to head to the locker room for the Celtics' ring ceremony on Tuesday, but it would have been beneficial to watch it.

When the Celtics' greats came out to start the ceremony, it was more than touching. John Havlicek carried out the O'Brien trophy and handed it to Celtics swingman Paul Pierce.

Pierce was crying. Tears ran down his face. I couldn't help but get a little emotional myself and I'm not a Celtics fan. Following Hondo was Bob Cousy, Jo Jo White, M.L. Carr, Tommy Heinsohn and Cornbread Maxwell.

People roared when the Celtics' 17th championship banner went to the rafters. The Cavs have little history compared to what the Celtics have going on. Hanging in the Cavs' practice facility are banners for winning the Eastern Conference two years ago and their lone division title during the "Miracle of Richfield."

The Cavs long for some history and could have a banner of their own some day with LeBron James on their team.

Friday, October 24, 2008

Buckeye booster

Cavs blog by Bob Finnan

Mention the Ohio State Buckeyes to LeBron James and his eyes light up.

He brought his upstart Cavaliers into Value City Arena on Friday to face the Washington Wizards. Led by James' 26 points, they came away with a 107-80 destruction of the Wizards.

He wore an Ohio State jersey on Friday with his name on the back. He loves coming to Columbus.

"It meant a lot," James said. "I’m in love with Ohio State and everything that goes on with the campus - the sporting events, everything. To be able to bring my team here it was fun."

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Preseason almost history

Cavs blog by Bob Finnan

Just one more game the 2008 preseason will be history. It can't be over fast enough for me. Eight preseason games are just too much to watch, especially when they have very little intrinsic value.

There was one position battle, which appears to be have won by Sasha Pavlovic. It's not that Pavlovic has played that well in the preseason. For some reason, Coach Mike Brown seems to love the guy.

The thing he really likes are big guards, and the 6-7, 235-pound Pavlovic fits the bill. He has defended pretty well in the preseason and gives the Cavs a long, athletic lineup.

The other battle was for the 15th spot on the roster. That will be announced today. Swingman Ronald Dupree is a five-year NBA veteran and very athletic. He's probably a better player than Jawad Williams, the local favorite.

But whenever the 6-9 Williams has been given a chance, he's played well. I still go back to that preseason game against Boston when Brown put Williams on Tony Allen and he more than held his own.

Saturday, October 18, 2008

Old Yeller returns

Cavs blog by Bob Finnan

Former Cavs forward Donyell Marshall made his first return to Cleveland on Saturday since being traded to Seattle last Feb. 21. The SuperSonics waived him and he signed a one-year contract with Philadelphia in the offseason.

Marshall got a warm reception from the Cavs fans when he entered the game. It had to make him feel good.

"It did feel good when I checked in the game and got a good amount of cheers," Marshall said. "It's nice to know that the fans appreciated me."

He fired in five 3-pointers en route to 15 points. He made 5 of 7 from behind the arc.

"It was weird, especially if you look at the trade that happened last year," he said. "This is the first time I've been back. It still didn't feel right."

Sixers GM Ed Stefanski needed a stretch "4," and he didn't hesitate to go after Marshall, who played two seasons in Cleveland.

Marshall, 35, will be missed on the Cavs, even if he was a Steelers' fan.

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Camp observations

Cavs blog by Bob Finnan

Cavaliers mascot Moondog came out on the floor at the Petersen Events Center in Pittsburgh wearing a Browns' jersey. He was booed lustily, which is understandable considering he was in Steelers' country. However, the hound succumbed to pressure and yanked off his Browns' jersey to display a Steelers' shirt. Shameful, just shameful.
When the Cavs play in non-NBA arenas, you never know what you're walking into. The Petersen Events Center was a wonderful venue. But there were some flaws, such as media parking. It was hard to find, and judging by what happened afterward, I was better off parking elsewhere. One of my colleagues had his car locked in the lot after the game. Campus police finally freed his car, but he'll never get that hour of his life back.
I was impressed with the game forward Jawad Williams had. The fact that he can guard some shooting guards isn't going to hurt his chances of making the team. He's vying with Ronald Dupree for the last spot on the roster. Guard Vernon Hamilton is still in camp, but he's not long for the team. Williams had 13 points and made some nice shots. Dupree, a five-year NBA veteran, can get his shot off with his jumping ability.
I know Tarence Kinsey got guaranteed money, but he doesn't do much for me. He can also get his shot off against most players, but the problem is he doesn't make many of them.

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

First of many

Cavs blog by Bob Finnan, Oct. 7

The Cavaliers faced the Toronto Raptors on Tuesday in the preseason opener for both teams. Getting one look at the Raptors reminded me that the Cavs were very close to acquiring former Pacers forward/center Jermaine O'Neal in the offseason.

I was told they turned down a possible deal. The Pacers wanted a big man back in return, and one player who fit that bill, Anderson Varejao, was not eligible to be traded until Dec. 5 (the anniversary date of when the Cavs matched the offer sheet).

Varejao could have been dealt if he agreed to go to Indiana. Maybe he didn't.

Cavs coach Mike Brown knew O'Neal very well from their time together in Indiana. He said before the game that O'Neal was a great player.

But observers last summer didn't think O'Neal was the kind of player the Cavs needed. His massive contract was also a major risk. It was one of those trades that was best not made.