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Tuesday, November 14, 2006

The King and I... and OD

Well, last night, the Cavs played the Knicks at Madison Square Garden. After trying last week to find cheap tickets on all the usual sites (EBay, StubHub, Craigslist...), we kept coming up empty. Finally yesterday we called the box office, hoping that perhaps some tickets came back, and were told that there were a whole bunch of scattered pairs of seats in the 300- and 400-level sections. I thought I asked if this included the cheap $10 seats and the woman said yes. So, though I was still not feeling well, and though it was just 1/2 an hour until gametime, we drove to the subway and went to the Garden.

Of course, it was the middle of the second quarter, we had to walk all the way around Penn Station in the damp cold, the shoes I was wearing (my regular pair seems to have run away) had a tiny hole in one, and my brother OD walks faster than some people run (including himself), so I wasn't doing too well. And, of course, they didn't have tickets left in the $10 range, and said they hadn't since they went on sale in September. Wonderful.

So, we went back outside (yet another mistake) and asked a couple of cops what the laws were about scalping. [In Cleveland, once you cross the street you're allowed to sell.] We got three different answers, plus one cop who basically said, "If I don't see it, it's okay. You can probably check over there (pointing) or there." But the basic answer was it's illegal within 1000 feet, plus most of them are fakes in NYC, especially to a game like this one. So that was out.

We decided to walk back in and ended up watching on a screen, shmoozing with a security guard who was watching as well. Wow - LeBron is that good. [Meanwhile, I was feeling worse and worse - standing/walking around for a couple of hours including outside in cold, rainy weather when you're trying to get better is not wise...] Aside from some trouble with Nate Robinson and a miracle 30-footer from Jamal Crawford, the Cavs' D was pretty solid, and though they shot poorly, it was - after all - the Knicks, and the Cavs held on 102-96.

I really think that Mike Brown may be very underappreciated. The Cavs lead the NBA in rebounds per game, are second in rebound differential per game, and are fourth in blocks per game. Those are all signs of a good defense. Steals can be deceiving, as some teams get them by gambling on D, so I'm not worried about their lack of steals. Moreover, they have Larry Hughes - who led the league two years ago - and Lebron, who is always up there, so they should end up near the top there as well. (The two of them had 5 last night between them.) The Cavs have yet to be outrebounded in a game, and are a few missed free throws from being 7-0 (an overtime loss to Atlanta and a close loss to Charlotte are their only losses). They're even cutting down on turnovers, with 21 over the last two games.

The Cavs are obviously a force, simply with the presence of LeBron. But, much like the greats before him, the team fundamentals need to be down pat - especially defense - for that to have a serious shot a championship. (And the new "motion offense" ain't too shabby, either!) The Cavs are getting there fast.
GO CAVS!! :)

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