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01/16 Morning Minute: 51 > 101

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In yesterday’s Basketball Jones podcast, it was mentioned that a Kobe Bryant 50-point game should be on the horizon now that their center Andrew Bynum is out for the next eight weeks with a knee injury. Not that he’s overlooked, but the fact that LeBron James does not have an Andrew Bynum makes last night’s game of little surprise.

James dropped 51 points in a 132-124 overtime win over the Memphis Grizzlies on Tuesday night. The fact that this output tied Allen Iverson for the top night year-to-date in the NBA is one thing. The fact that James put up 50+ and the Cavaliers still won the game is another. Don’t forget that the Cavs have twice dropped games where #23 has put up at least 50 points, so it is not far-fetched by any means.

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Written by Scott @ WFNY

January 16, 2008 at 12:27 pm

01/11 Second Minute: More On Shannon Brown

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Just a heads up as this one may take more than a minute to digest.

As I mentioned below, the Cavaliers’ Shannon Brown being sent to the Developmental League will likely be overlooked by many.  To a lot of the casual fans, he is just some guy who looks a bit like Ira Newble, but he can finish on offense.  To others, he is just that – offense. 

Many of times, Brown looks for the highlight dunk instead of the smart basketball play.  But you’ll have this with a player who has failed to crack the 17 minutes per game mark in this, his second season with the team.  You are looking at a kid who just turned 22 years of age that was once thought to have the upside of Gilbert Arenas.

Obviously, this will never be the case as Arenas has produced more thus far in his career than any pundit – aside from Gilbert, himself – had ever expected.  But what he is is a very athletic swingman with good speed and a physical presence on defense.  But what he also is is a guy that plays the same position as Larry Hughes, a guy who makes considerably more money, but also a guy that was added to the team a year earlier. 

Which poses the question: Why was he drafted?  Just add it to the list called “Danny Ferry’s First Rounders.”

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01/10 Morning Minute: Checkbooks and Flatlines

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While there were rumors of all sorts heading into yesterday, it is starting to look more and more like Derek Anderson will be the Browns starting quarterback during the 2008 season, and possibly more.  GM Phil Savage acknowledges the fact that lacking quarterback depth can really hurt a team, so having two quality quarterbacks isn’t out of the question. 

What is great about the Savage interview from yesterday is the fact that Cleveland is now considered a safe haven of sorts for quarterbacks.  The GM actually used the words “perks of the job,” discussing the great offensive line, solid skill players and a great coordinator (recently signed to an extension) that was able to prove to the NFL that Anderson was in fact a good quarterback.  Not many other franchises can offer that right now, regardless of money. 

The wrinkle may come around next season when Brady Quinn’s incentive-laden contract will come into effect.  If Quinn does not play at least 70 percent of the plays in 2009, he will in fact leave $10 million of bonus money on the table – making that hold out even more expensive.

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Written by Scott @ WFNY

January 10, 2008 at 1:40 pm

01/09 Morning Minute: Six of Seven and Blocking in Hawaii

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While LeBron James’ fourth quarter average went up a bit against Toronto, last night may have brought it back down – but this is a good thing.  James was able to watch the fourth quarter from the bench as the Cavaliers rolled over the Seattle Supersonics 95-79.

James finished with 22 points, but it was his teammates that deserve the credit in this one.  Sasha Pavlovic finally woke up during his 22 minutes of play, finishing with 13 points – his first double-digit game since December 11th.  And he’s the starting shooting guard, people.  Boobie Gibson knocked down five three-balls (Got it! – Tait), Larry Hughes actually wasn’t that bad (4-11, nine points, three steals) and Andy Varejao finished off the solid night with 14 points and nine rebounds of his own.  Well done, boys.

This is six wins in the last seven games, placing Cleveland above .500 for the first time in quite a while.  The next three contests (at Atlanta, home against Charlotte, at Memphis) are very winnable.  I would love to have nine of ten games in the “W” column before heading to San Antonio to face the Spurs.

And the final Cavs note, this piece from the Globe and Mail is worth a look as it discusses LBJ’s hecklers from this past weekend.  Best line of the article:

“She’s free to do what she wants,” [Raptors forward Chris] Bosh said of his No. 1 fan. “But I said, ‘Don’t talk to LeBron any more.’

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