Apologies for the lack of preview today. Real jobs are taking their toll in a big way. Nevertheless, we did have an opportunity to reach out to John at Fear The Sword to talk about the state of the Raps opponents tonight - the Cleveland Cavaliers.
HQ: The Cavs were quite active at the deadline. What's your opinion on the moves and do you think Jamison was the way to go (as opposed to say A'mare or Murphy)?
FTS: Jamison was really the guy they were after. Danny Ferry has wanted Jamison for a couple of years now and if you had told him in November that he would be able to get Jamison for nothing more than Z he would have been ecstatic. Sure, Ferry was wise to investigate the Stoudamire deal but it was completely different. Stoudamire would have been about the future. The Cavaliers were looking to give up little to get a lot should the Suns want to cut-bait with Amar'e. Antawn is about the now.
As for Troy Murphy, he would have been a last-ditch option, but I have a feeling the Cavaliers simply would have kept the team tey had could they not acquire Jamison.
HQ: Talk about the Lebron situation and the upcoming summer. What does you gut tell you about what lies ahead? How much do you think the Cavs success this spring will factor into his decision?
FTS: Here's the deal with LeBron. I think he gets a bad rap for the pull he has in the organization. I don't think LeBron James goes to management demanding this player or that player. He was obviously affected by the Z trade and while he understands the Cavaliers are likely better for it, his fierce loyalty to his teammates runs deep. It is that loyalty which leads me to believe that LeBron will resign with the Cavaliers. He will flirt with New York, or Miami or whoever else wants to call, but in the end, his best chance to win is in Cleveland.
Now, should LeBron decide to leave, as a Cavaliers fan, I will be able to sleep at night because I firmly believe the Cavaliers have done all they can do to make him happy. From Dan Gilbert on down, the Cavaliers are a top-notch organization. They have a state-of-the-art practice facility. Dan Gilbert chartered a jet to fly family, friends and staff to the All-Star Game. The Q is a top-notch facility. The Cavaliers have a deal with Chinese businessmen for distribution in China. If LeBron leaves it will be because it is LeBron's dream to play in New York or LA or where-ever.
LeBron will do and say all the right things, but in the end, his loyalty to his teammates, and the chance to win in Cleveland, will keep him here for another 3 years.
HQ: What are the keys to the game for the Cavs to get a win against the Raps?
FTS: To do exactly what they did in the 3rd and 4th quarter against Boston. Speed up the pace, contest shots and run. Shaq's injury may actually be a blessing in disguise. The Cavs will be forced to play small and up the tempo quite a bit. They are the deepest team in the NBA and now will be a chance to prove it.
The one thing the Cavaliers have to do is defend the perimeter. Toronto can get hot outside if you let them and it will be important that the Cavaliers not allow Toronto to get comfortable from the outside. It should be another good game between these two teams.