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Antawn Jamison's championship dream slipping away


I can't get a ring for the King if you don't use me correctly. (Photo by Gregory Shamus/NBAE via Getty Images)


You already know how much it means to Antawn Jamison to win a championship. He's 33, has two years left on his contract after this one, and he has expressed his desire repeatedly this season, most recently this week. Jamison wants a ring so badly that he joined forces with a once-hated rival to be in position to get one.

But Jamison's chances got a bit harder after a lousy performance in Game 5 in which the Boston Celtics completely dismantled the team with the NBA's best regular season record and tarnished the pristine crown being assembled for the could-be King, LeBron James (And give credit where it's due: Yes, James was horrible during the 120-88 loss on Tuesday, as he was held to 15 points and missed 11-of-14 shots, but the Celtics undoubtedly played a role in making him so discouraged and disinterested. If you don't believe it, go check Kobe Bryant's stats from the 2008 NBA Finals).

Now that the Cleveland Cavaliers are down 3-2 in this best-of-seven series, the spotlight -- more like a hot lamp -- has been placed on James, the two-time league's most valuable player. But "the others" - -as Shaquille O'Neal referred to James's supporting cast -- have to step up as well. And that includes Jamison, whom O'Neal jokingly calls "a great b.s. player."

Don't forget, James had 35 points in Game 1, but Cleveland doesn't win if Mo Williams doesn't dunk and score 20 points to turn that game around. And, James had 38 points in Game 3, but the Cavaliers don't win in runaway fashion without Jamison adding 20 points and 12 rebounds.

"It starts with him and I think he realizes, it's not going to be a Game 7 unless he leaves everything on the line. Not only LeBron, but everybody," Jamison said. "We know what's at stake, we know what we have to do. It's a great challenge. And this is what it's all about. You don't want to be in this situation, but you are. In order to accomplish what you want to accomplish, you got to get one on the road in order to bring it back [to Cleveland] for Game 7."

Jamison has had an uneven series, to say the least.

Kevin Garnett has been giving him the business in the low block and has knocked down some nasty turnaround jumpers over the undersized Jamison. Jamison has never been a good defender, and he rarely tried with high-scoring teams in Golden State, Dallas and Washington, but I have to admit that he's giving a pretty game effort. Jamison told me that he doesn't "want to be the weak link defensively" but Garnett has just been busting him -- and given his team a huge edge at that position.

That being said, Jamison appears overwhelmed and has not looked like himself these playoffs -- and it has nothing to do with that wine and gold uniform that continues to look awkward on him after three months in Cleveland. The Cavaliers, or rather Coach Mike Brown, don't seem to have a clue how to utilize him.


I can do more than shoot jumpers. (Photo by Nathaniel S. Butler/NBAE via Getty Images)

Jamison hasn't been put in position to flourish on the offensive end. It seems that he has been pigeon-holed into this role as a "stretch four" to hit three pointers, but that totally marginalizes all that he can contribute to a team offensively. You don't average 19 points over 12 seasons as a 6-foot-9 power forward if all you can do is shoot jumpers. Granted, Jamison does enjoy shooting jumpers, but I happen to recall seeing him work in the low block over the past few years, especially on the left side of the paint, where he can quickly spin around taller defenders and toss up floaters or one those Sanford & Son approved garbage shots.

The Cavaliers don't go to Jamison in the post much, and that's partly because of the presence of O'Neal, who clogs up nearly all of the available space inside. And, one of the most underplayed storylines of this postseason is that Jamison and O'Neal played only four games together in the regular season, with the Cavaliers going 2-2. O'Neal missed the final 23 games with a thumb injury, so they never had the opportunity to develop much chemistry. I asked Jamison if that was a concern, but he shook his head.

"I can't use that excuse," Jamison said. "For me, I just got to go out there and be aggressive. I know what I need to do. I know, what they asked me to do, the positions that I need to be in. I wasn't aggressive [on Tuesday]. Sitting around watching instead of getting the ball and going. That's what they want me to do. I know my role. I know what I have to do, especially in this series, in order to make it difficult for them to put us in a situation to get a win."

I'm often amused when I hear people say that James lacks a good enough supporting cast, because this group was good enough to win 61 games, handle the Lakers twice, and take out mostly every challenger in the regular season. And, when I look at his starting unit, I see a former all-star at point guard in Williams (so what if it was by multiple defaults, he made it), a future Hall of Fame center in O'Neal and a two-time all-star in Jamison, who should be able to thrive in a complimentary role that suits him better at this stage in his career.

Although they have the most talented squad in the James era, the Cavaliers have never tried to make themselves anymore than a LeBron-or-bust team. One of the greatest errors of their previous series against Chicago was that Brown never tried to get everyone else prepared for the tougher series that surely were ahead. James was forced to bail them out on repeated occasions, and he effectively became a very powerful crutch. You would think that Cleveland had learned from last season, when James had one of the greatest individual performances for the entire Eastern Conference finals against Orlando -- but his team still lost in six games.

A one-man operation can only take you so far in the playoffs. Thing is, James doesn't have to be. He has help. Flawed, perhaps one dimensional. But he isn't surrounded by scrubs. He's better equipped than three years ago, when his sidekick for the NBA Finals against San Antonio was a rookie named "Boobie."

In recent weeks, I've wondered if it's impossible to find a solid running mate for James, since he is Cleveland's best scorer, rebounder, playmaker and defender. He has a skill set so wide-ranging that most NBA players would be quality players if they possessed a comparable acumen in one of those areas. But the other problem is that James and Brown have grown so accustomed to him having lousy teammates that they haven't figured out how to adjust to having guys who can actually do something.

Cleveland has plugged in different players with James over the years (Larry Hughes, Drew Gooden, Daniel Gibson, Wally Szczerbiak, Ben Wallace, Williams, O'Neal and now Jamison), but those players have often been specialists who have to rely on James's ability to drive, breakdown the defense and create shots for others by commanding double-teams. Danny Ferry has mostly tried to surround James with shooters, but Delonte West might be the only guy on the roster who can actually create his own shot, but as I stated earlier, who would you rather have going one-on-one?

Jamison said the Cavaliers just need to be a little less "predictable" on offense, with players moving and cutting to keep the Celtics' "heads on a swivel."

The Cavaliers don't have much time to figure it out. And, Jamison essentially has one game to show how much his championship dreams mean. No matter how much pressure is on James, it's also on Jamison and the rest of "the others" to relieve him a bit. And, it's on the coaching staff to give them a chance.

"It's tough going through, but guys realize what we got to do," Jamison said. "It's a great challenge. It'd be good to have this in the storyline once we get everything situated, as far as how difficult it was to get this series, but we got to get it done, no ifs ands or buts about it. You've got lay everything on the line, like you've never done it before. So it's 48 minutes of fighting, scratching and just finding a way to get it done. it doesn't matter how, we've got to find a way to win."

By Michael Lee  |  May 13, 2010; 1:18 PM ET
 
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Next: Q&A: First Things First with Tracee Hamilton, 9:30 a.m.

Comments

Jamison will once again be the best player on a bad team come October because LeBron James is bolting to Jersey or New York. Tsk, Tsk.

Posted by: gimmedat | May 13, 2010 1:27 PM | Report abuse

This is the key phrase:

"The Cavaliers, or rather Coach Mike Brown, don't seem to have a clue how to utilize him."

As my buddy in Cleveland said, Mike Brown has got too many pieces and doesn't know how to use them.


Posted by: ZardsFan1 | May 13, 2010 1:33 PM | Report abuse

Jamison said. I know, what they asked me to do, the positions that I need to be in. I wasn't aggressive [on Tuesday]. Sitting around watching instead of getting the ball and going. That's what they want me to do. I know my role. I know what I have to do, especially in this series, in order to make it difficult for them to put us in a situation to get a win."


Did they tell you not to play any "D"?

Posted by: bulletsfan78 | May 13, 2010 2:00 PM | Report abuse

I love Twaan, but getting rid of him and his contract was the best thing we could have done....

Posted by: bszdnva | May 13, 2010 2:02 PM | Report abuse

So what your saying Mike Lee is Mike Brown is a Terrible coach that mismanages talent and if it was a Phil Jackson, Greg poppovich, or Larry Brown coaching they would be champs. Haha Mr. Potato head. I'm gonna go on cleveland plains dealer and laugh as I read their fire mike brown posts.

Posted by: jefferu | May 13, 2010 2:08 PM | Report abuse

What type of defense AJ is asked to play, KG look like 1 foot taller when AJ stand on him,he is quick but KG is not affected in the shooting.I think AJ is not used well.

Posted by: gtefferra | May 13, 2010 2:12 PM | Report abuse

LeBron needed a PG. Not an overweigh, past his prime Shaq,or a non defense playing, jump shooting PF.

The remaining riff raff on that roster would be lucky to win 35 games.

Imagine Rondo on that team. And he was available after the the 2008 season.

I'm actually thrilled at the thought of the Cavs getting bounced..(My stubborn clinging to the non-existant rivalry with my Wiz.)

Posted by: bozomoeman | May 13, 2010 2:43 PM | Report abuse

Where Lebron goes depends on what the lakers do. If the lakers win the championship, Phil Jackson stays and Lebron leaves cleaveland. If the lakers dont win, Dr Buss will not give Phil Jackson the 12 million a year he wants so Phil will not stay and we all know Phil could take the current Cleaveland team to a championship in one season under the triangle which Shaq is already familiar with. Its not what team Lebron plays for as much as who coaches him. Phil only needs 2 great players and some blue collar role players running the triangle and he can win a chamionship. And I think he would love to take a third team to a championship. No disrespect to Mike Brown but Phil Jackson would have already won a title in cleveland with Lebron.

Posted by: ged0386 | May 13, 2010 2:43 PM | Report abuse

Or phil, Dwade and Lebron to the Knicks.

Posted by: ged0386 | May 13, 2010 2:44 PM | Report abuse

"I'm often amused when I hear people say that James lacks a good enough supporting cast." You can say that again. This Cavs team is loaded:

LeBron - Two straight MVPs, first ballot HOF.
Shaq -- Former MVP, first ballot HOF.
Jamison -- Two time allstar, on a U.S. World Championship team.
Ilgaukaus -- Made the all-star team at least once.
Mo Williams -- Made all-star team once.
Varejao -- 2nd team all-defensive this year.
And the Cavs have some nice pieces around those guys (West, Gibson, Hickson, Moon, etc.).

If they lose tonight or in Game 7, it will be an incredible failure for LeBron, Mike Brown, and the Cavs.

Posted by: disgruntledfan | May 13, 2010 3:01 PM | Report abuse

Phil wouldnt coach this Cavs team unless they'd already signed DWade.

Posted by: divi3 | May 13, 2010 3:22 PM | Report abuse

bozomoeman

Look man, I am a wiz fan too but I never considered the wizards vs cleveland a rivalry because it was mostly one sided. Its a rivalry when the winning is back and forth. One competitive playoff series 4 years ago does not a rivalry make.

Posted by: ged0386 | May 13, 2010 3:38 PM | Report abuse

jamison is another long list of overpriced average nba players that complain when they dont get the limelight..ask anybody else if they would take a 50mil contract...its a game and just play the game...stop wining antwan...

Posted by: wmnatzakanian | May 13, 2010 3:48 PM | Report abuse

How many wins would this Cavs team get without Lebron? 25?

Agree with the sentiment he doesnt have much of a supporting group.

He's still a big whining baby though

Posted by: divi3 | May 13, 2010 3:55 PM | Report abuse

Agree with the sentiment he doesnt have much of a supporting group.

He's still a big whining baby though

Posted by: divi3

I was gonna disagree about his supporting cast but after comparing them to the Lakers,Suns,Magic,Spurs,Celtics supporting casts I think your right. Shaq & Antwan don't add up to Gasol & Fisher, or Nash & Amare or Vince & Jameer or Manu & Parker or Paul & Ray.

Posted by: VBFan | May 13, 2010 4:12 PM | Report abuse

Counting All-Star appearances (some of them from years ago) are a lousy way to determine how good a team is now, or whether LeBron is adequately supported to win a championship. (The Wiz had three former All-Stars and look a what they did.) This Cavs team was totally designed to compete with Orlando first (why they got Shaq) and LA second. They overlooked Boston and are now paying for it. Jamison is a talented, crafty player, but is definitely not who you want to add late in the season to get you through a physical, scrapy, playoff run. Where he would excel is coming off the bench with the role of creating some offense and being matched up against the other team's second-string PF. Matching him up with KG is idiocy and suggests Cleveland's management didn't understand who/what they were getting.

Posted by: jweber1 | May 13, 2010 4:17 PM | Report abuse

Shaq hasnt looked all that bad really, at least in terms of banging in the middle and collecting fouls- which is what he was supposed to do against Orlando and LA(he dominated Laker bigs this season)

Posted by: divi3 | May 13, 2010 4:21 PM | Report abuse

"...So it's 48 minutes of fighting, scratching and just finding a way to get it done. it doesn't matter how, we've got to find a way to win."

I seemed to remember AJ spewing that kind of crap a lot the past few years, and it didn't count for much as far as W's were concerned.

Suck it Lebron!

Posted by: WaPoLiveFan16 | May 13, 2010 4:35 PM | Report abuse

The problem with Cleveland isn't LeTravel playing well or bad. It's a lack of coaching. Does anyone really think Mike Brown is a good coach without LeBron? What has he done to develop other players? To develop solid #2 and #3 options behind LeBron? All they want to do is bring in ready-made players to surround LeBron. Unfortunately, that hasn't worked because they don't even give those players a chance to work. They just try them out for a year, invariably fail in the post-season; blame the complementary players, dump them and start over. Remember a few years ago, Boobie Gibson was the rage as LeBron's #2? What happened to him? After him it was Wally Szczerbiak and now it's Mo Williams, Shaq and Jamison. How many complementary players will Cleveland go through before they realize they need to get a coach that can actually develop other players around LeBron.

Posted by: tundey | May 13, 2010 4:45 PM | Report abuse

I agree with some previous sentiments. Jameson was never that good. He got points, but look how mant shots he took. Then there is his pitiful defense. He let in more points than he scored. I was elated when he was dealt.

Posted by: lp_lodestar | May 13, 2010 4:49 PM | Report abuse

"I'm often amused when I hear people say that James lacks a good enough supporting cast."

It's not like they're scrubs, but there's not a single player among them who can be called an impact player in his prime. And in the NBA today, you generally need two of those guys to win a title. He's got some nice role players around him, but that won't get it done. Ask Dirk Nowitzki.

Posted by: kalo_rama | May 13, 2010 4:57 PM | Report abuse

Dirk's not a franchise player anymore (if he ever really was)....maybe Ferry can sign him and keep Lebron in the process.

Posted by: divi3 | May 13, 2010 5:23 PM | Report abuse

I've never bought into this argument that 'Twan deserves a title. There are far better players who never won a title: Barkley, Malone, Ewing, Stockton, Dantley, Gervin, Gilmore, Wilkins, Reggie Miller, Nash, Kidd, Dirk.

Posted by: randysbailin | May 13, 2010 6:05 PM | Report abuse

Nuts that AJ has $29 MILLION GUARANTEED left on his deal. What a poison pill the Cavs swallowed! I like AJ and would have taken some enjoyment out of him winning a ring........but WOW, so much sweeter to see the Cavs go down in flames on this.

Score one for EG, trojan horse style!

Posted by: divi3 | May 13, 2010 6:24 PM | Report abuse

Score one for EG, trojan horse style!

Posted by: divi3 |

trojan horse----
Nice!

Posted by: VBFan | May 13, 2010 6:28 PM | Report abuse

LMAO!

Anybody thinking that MeTawn was going to be a difference maker for a playoff team is/was surely on crack.

As I've said before, MeTawn is a stats guy, win or lose.

It's a joke that with Shaq and MeTawn on the team, today's Post article is about LeBron not having teammates to spread the wealth/take pressure off him like what they have in Boston.

Cavs may be better off putting Shaq on the bench and letting Big Z play.

Posted by: DC_MAN88 | May 13, 2010 6:54 PM | Report abuse

If - and it's still a big IF IMO - the Cavs go on and lose, I still hold out hope that Ted can somehow convince Bron to be a part of the new beginning here. Can't really explain it, just a gut feeling. That said, I think the Cavs find a way to get it done tonight and the rest of the way.

Posted by: BMoreChil | May 13, 2010 7:11 PM | Report abuse

"And to put a bow on what might soon become a seven-year career of unfulfilled championship promise, LeBron's Cavaliers, the best team in pro basketball this season, are one game from bowing out in the second round against essentially three old guys with knee braces who Rajon Rondo found at the Dorchester Y."
Mike Wise.

Classic

Posted by: crs-1 | May 13, 2010 7:14 PM | Report abuse

also. i'm eminently amused at how lebron stated that he's not going to blame poor performance on his elbow, thereby blaming his performance on his elbow.

Posted by: crs-1 | May 13, 2010 7:30 PM | Report abuse

I'm not a big fan of Hollinger's PER statistic, because I don't like unitary measures for complex performance (same problem with the QB rating system in the NFL). But it might be worth noting that... Gilbert Arenas 5th among point players, after Rondo and ahead of Rose -- LOL. Shows you something about stats...by the way... Hollinger ranks Blatche and Jamison virtually neck-and-neck among PFs (not that Antawn is really a PF) -- right after DeJuan Blair and ahead of Luis Scola.

Posted by: Samson151 | May 13, 2010 9:49 PM | Report abuse

Just to continue in the spirit of fun, Hollinger has Caron Butler ranked 18th in efficiency among SFs, one spot after Grant Hill. Josh Howard is 31st, mostly with Dallas of course and Al Thornton comes in at 41.

Among centers, Javale McGee ranked 18th, sandwiched between Speights and Dalembert of Philly, and Brendan Haywood finished 23rd, behind Roy Hibbert.

Paul Davis played four minutes in two games but apparently played well enough LOL to finish first in the overall rankings, which apparently includes everyone who stopped by to deliver a pizza and wound up getting off a shot in an NBA game...


Posted by: Samson151 | May 13, 2010 10:02 PM | Report abuse

I guess if we follow the Hollinger system, we'd have to conclude that in the case of the Wizards, the whole turned out to be far less than the sum of its parts.

OK, you can blame the coach now.

Posted by: Samson151 | May 13, 2010 10:04 PM | Report abuse

lebron needs to take 10fga in the 4th quarter and live or die by it. No one calling themselves The King should let this game come down to AJ or Mo williams

Posted by: divi3 | May 13, 2010 10:20 PM | Report abuse

The way the Cavs choked, LeBron's going to need a place in the "witness protection" program.

Posted by: jcbcmb68 | May 13, 2010 10:55 PM | Report abuse

witness protection. classic!

Posted by: crs-1 | May 13, 2010 10:58 PM | Report abuse

i've never seen anything like the cavaliers completely giving up with 1:15 on the clock. no fouling? no determination?

Posted by: crs-1 | May 13, 2010 10:59 PM | Report abuse

Maybe the Cavs didn't want to risk LeBron getting a quadruple-double (final stat line: 27 points, 19 rebounds, 10 assists, 9 TOs).

Posted by: jcbcmb68 | May 13, 2010 11:02 PM | Report abuse

Jamison's stat line
Min29:48 FG2-10 FT1-2 3PFG0-3 Reb5 Asst0 Blocks0 Stls2 TO1 PF1 TotPts5

And this is supposed to help LeBaby?

2 Cavs in double figures
5 Celtics in double figures

BALLGAME!

NO MATTER WHERE LEBABY PLAYS NEXT YEAR, HE'S A LOSER!

Posted by: whatyoutalkinboutman | May 13, 2010 11:09 PM | Report abuse

lebron needs to take 10fga in the 4th quarter and live or die by it. No one calling themselves The King should let this game come down to AJ or Mo williams

Posted by: divi3

You know it's not a good sign when a player can have a triple double and still have it said that he didn't do enough to help his team win.

The real problem is that those other guys have to deliver. Especially against a team with sound team defense, who can contain even LeBron or Kobe.

Williams produced well in the first half, but come crunch time, Garnett delivered, Pierce delivered, Rasheed delivered. No one else for Cleveland stood up. They're all suffering from exactly what you're talking about divi, expecting LeBron to step up and win it for them. IMO, Brown left AJ in too long. It wasn't working, so try something different. Change the dynamic.

Posted by: ts35 | May 13, 2010 11:09 PM | Report abuse

Let's see...

The Mavs, last year, reached the second round of the playoff before getting bumped out. This season, they trade for 3 Wizards and don't make it out of the first round.

The Cavs, last year, reached the Conference Finals before losing. This season, they trade of a Wizard and don't make it out of the second round.

Could it be that the Curse o' Lez Boulez has moved on to infect others?

Why do I feel so giddy?

Posted by: bozomoeman | May 13, 2010 11:11 PM | Report abuse

I've said this before and it probably will come out.

Lebron James got injured. The boy is hurt, physically. I'm not a Lebron fan, but the fella is hurt.

LarryInClintonMD.

Posted by: LarryInClintonMD | May 13, 2010 11:13 PM | Report abuse

"I've said this before and it probably will come out.

Lebron James got injured. The boy is hurt, physically. I'm not a Lebron fan, but the fella is hurt.

LarryInClintonMD.

Posted by: LarryInClintonMD | May 13, 2010 11:13 PM | Report abuse "

Who cares?

MJ was sick like a dog during one playoff game and still carried the team.

How many injuries has Kobe played through?

Posted by: DC_MAN88 | May 13, 2010 11:19 PM | Report abuse

I guess the curse of les bouleS spread to both Dallas and Cleveland.

Seriously, who really thought MeTawn was going to take any team over the top?

Whatever...

Posted by: DC_MAN88 | May 13, 2010 11:21 PM | Report abuse

"Why do I feel so giddy?

Posted by: bozomoeman | May 13, 2010 11:11 PM | Report abuse "

Just b/c it's spread, doesn't mean it's left DC.

BTW, who cares if Lebron leaves for NYC? Knicks suck worse than Cavs.

Posted by: DC_MAN88 | May 13, 2010 11:26 PM | Report abuse

"i've never seen anything like the cavaliers completely giving up with 1:15 on the clock. no fouling? no determination?"

More like "no fake hustle." The game was over; we knew it, they knew it. I give them credit for not subjecting us to the spectacle of going through the motions of pretending they still had a chance when everyone knew better.

Posted by: kalo_rama | May 13, 2010 11:26 PM | Report abuse

Seriously, who really thought MeTawn was going to take any team over the top?

Posted by: DC_MAN88
____________________________

Ahhh, I'll take Danny Ferry and LeBron for $100, Alex!!

Posted by: bozomoeman | May 13, 2010 11:28 PM | Report abuse

"They're all suffering from exactly what you're talking about divi, expecting LeBron to step up and win it for them."

I was speaking more towards James putting it on his shoulders rather hoping AJs shots would start falling etc.

Posted by: divi3 | May 13, 2010 11:51 PM | Report abuse

Lets see...

Boston

Rondo a real PG
Allen a real SG
Pierce a real SF
Garnett A real PF
Perkins A real C

Orlando

Nelson a real PG
Carter a real sg
Howard a real C
Barnes a real sf
Lewis a real pf?

Phoniex

Nash a real pg
Richadson a real sg
Hill a real sf
Stoudemire a real pf
Frye a real c?

Lakers

Fisher a real PG
Kobe a real SG
Artest a real sf
gasol a real pf
Bynum a real c

When will ernie learn you need to either draft sign and trade for real player who plays a position really good instead of a guy who can play 3 different ones bad.

Posted by: bulletsfan78 | May 13, 2010 11:54 PM | Report abuse

Amazing how "small" Jamison looks on a decent team. My point is don't anybody be fooled by the garbage numbers Blatche put up after the trades went down.

Ernie needs to see if some dummy will take Blatche.. I'm afraid he's a loser...

Posted by: kevenjones | May 14, 2010 12:28 AM | Report abuse

Except that, when Michael and Kobe was hurt or a little under the weather, everybody knew about it.

What is Cleveland trying to prove by hiding it?

Whats up with that?

LarryInClintonMD.

Posted by: LarryInClintonMD | May 14, 2010 1:13 AM | Report abuse

Amazing how "small" Jamison looks on a decent team. My point is don't anybody be fooled by the garbage numbers Blatche put up after the trades went down.

Ernie needs to see if some dummy will take Blatche.. I'm afraid he's a loser...

Posted by: kevenjones | May 14, 2010 12:28 AM | Report abuse

Blatche a LOSER? You must not watch much NBA ball do u? U cant because Blatche shut down KG...yes...THATS KEVIN GARNETT in BOSTON, held him to 8 points! ALL FREE THROWS! THATS RIGHT, no one field goal at all that game! How does that make him a loser, KEVIN GARNETT the future all of famer, the one that took ANTWAN JAMISON to school for the last past 6 games and not to mention all of AJ's career! Dude get a grip!

Posted by: rf2litenva | May 14, 2010 7:51 AM | Report abuse

SDMDTSU

Does Boston still look old and washed up to you or are your criticisms null and void?

Posted by: Firuz1 | May 14, 2010 8:01 AM | Report abuse

He should be named 'The Prince' cuz he aint there yet.
James is the second coming of CWebb or Karl Malone. He's got more Wilt in him than Russell.

There's a huge difference between being a great player and a winner. Malone, Wilt (except for one year), CWebb, TMAC, ...all great players based on superior physical skill. With the exception of Wilt after he was older, they didnt win championships.

When James won that game last year in the playoffs with a last second shot, he said that it was his first. REALLY ?? You've been the man since you were 14 and that's the first time you've ever hit a gamewinner at any level?

You're not a winner, James. Maybe one of the greatest ever but not a winner.

I wish ppl would stop guzzling long enough to realize that. This includes you, Wilbon.


Posted by: original_mark | May 14, 2010 8:09 AM | Report abuse

Jamison played in the role of too many people with one ball and that ball has to go to LB first. Here in DC, he played with 3 people with one ball and he is one of the first can get the ball.

No wonder he couldn't play up to per with cavaliers..

Posted by: skinsMill | May 14, 2010 8:33 AM | Report abuse

I'm probably in the minority, but I think the embarrassing loss makes it more likely James stays in Cleveland.

The team has the same weakness it always did -- overdependence on LeBron to score. IMO it's the same flaw the Bulls had during Jordan's first five or six years in the NBA. Chicago got past it, and so could Cleveland.

The Cavs still have a measurable edge when it comes to re-signing their own player, and of the teams that could conceivably bid on him, who's closer to a title than Cleveland? The Bulls, Knicks or Nets? Does LeBron think the media would be kinder to him in NY or Chicago? You hear that he'd pick up more endorsements, but how many commercials can one guy make? He's already a national brand.

Bringing in Shaq was clearly not the answer, but then, folks have been saying that all season. Cavaliers' management never believed Jamison would put them over the top, either.

There are free agents out there who could. The Cavs would have to dump some salaries, and some popular players, and probably the coaching staff, but what's to say they wouldn't?

Posted by: Samson151 | May 14, 2010 8:42 AM | Report abuse

Amazing how "small" Jamison looks on a decent team. My point is don't anybody be fooled by the garbage numbers Blatche put up after the trades went down.

Ernie needs to see if some dummy will take Blatche.. I'm afraid he's a loser...

Posted by: kevenjones | May 14, 2010 12:28 AM | Report abuse

You might be right but what is your evidence? He has a good size,he handle the ball very well( avtually i want him to minimize dribbling),he can play defense, he has the poteial to score on PF like AJ and if he improve his muscle mass and get coached by a good agent to focus on his game,he will demand the same money AJ took.AB is a real PF with tons of room for improvment.

Posted by: gtefferra | May 14, 2010 8:43 AM | Report abuse

"You're not a winner, James. Maybe one of the greatest ever but not a winner."

I just want to go on record one more time as saying this sort of statement -- which is made on all sports blogs after every painful loss by every team with a ring-less superstar -- is completely illogical.

See? I didn't even have to use the word 'stupid'.

Posted by: Samson151 | May 14, 2010 8:46 AM | Report abuse

Russell had a stronger supporting cast than Wilt, so the Celts usually won.
Malone had Stockton and little else. CWebb had Divac. The best TEAM usually wins.

Posted by: Firuz1 | May 14, 2010 8:50 AM | Report abuse

It's not often that a 60-game winning coach gets axed, but I wouldn't be surprised to see Mike Brown let go. The Cleveland owner was talking like heads would roll if they lost to Boston.

Posted by: Firuz1 | May 14, 2010 8:59 AM | Report abuse

As much as I appreciated Antwan for the way he was a vocal leader for the Wiz over his career and the way he stood up in front of the crowd at Verizon Center after the Gilbert fiasco - I couldn't help but take satisfaction after looking at the photo of him and Big Z riding out of town to what everyone thought was a supposed championship. Antwan's flaws, which we saw around here, were definitely on display during this Boston series.

Here's hoping that the Knicks to court LeBron long enough for the Wiz to swoop in and sign David Lee and maybe the ping pong balls will go our way and we can draft Evan Turner.

Posted by: blt8828 | May 14, 2010 9:09 AM | Report abuse

"The team has the same weakness it always did -- overdependence on LeBron to score. IMO it's the same flaw the Bulls had during Jordan's first five or six years in the NBA. Chicago got past it, and so could Cleveland.

The Cavs still have a measurable edge when it comes to re-signing their own player, and of the teams that could conceivably bid on him, who's closer to a title than Cleveland? The Bulls, Knicks or Nets? Does LeBron think the media would be kinder to him in NY or Chicago? You hear that he'd pick up more endorsements, but how many commercials can one guy make? He's already a national brand."

But they aren't going to get past it with the players they've got now. Take away James and the Cavs are a lottery team. By contrast, Chicago has been a playoff team most of the last few years, despite their lack of a go-to star, coaching changes, and turmoil and controversy in the front office. Adding James to that mix results in a better overall team than what the Cavs have right now, which would probably give them a better shot at a title than the current Cavs can claim to have.

Money's not really an issue because odds are if he does go it'll be in a sign-and-trade, which (A) gives him the max amount and (B) allows Chicago to get assets back.

Posted by: kalo_rama | May 14, 2010 9:22 AM | Report abuse

I wish everybody would stop it with the AJ talk, he's not a playoff player, he can play no defense, if he's not scoring a bunch of points its like playing 4 on 5. Playoff defense gives him trouble everytime. He's a regular season player who can give you points, nothing more.

Posted by: stingem1 | May 14, 2010 9:23 AM | Report abuse

"Bringing in Shaq was clearly not the answer, but then, folks have been saying that all season. Cavaliers' management never believed Jamison would put them over the top, either.

There are free agents out there who could. The Cavs would have to dump some salaries, and some popular players, and probably the coaching staff, but what's to say they wouldn't?"

If only it were that easy.

The Cavs have no cap space, their draft picks will have little trade value as long as James is there and they win 50 every year, and they have some bad contracts attached to overvalued players with limited value.

It took them 6 years of shuffling pieces in and out to put this team together. I don't see much reasonable chance that they'll be able to perform a total makeover/overhaul/upgrade over the course of a summer (or even two).

Posted by: kalo_rama | May 14, 2010 9:39 AM | Report abuse

"Bringing in Shaq was clearly not the answer, but then, folks have been saying that all season. Cavaliers' management never believed Jamison would put them over the top, either.

There are free agents out there who could. The Cavs would have to dump some salaries, and some popular players, and probably the coaching staff, but what's to say they wouldn't?"

If only it were that easy.

The Cavs have no cap space, their draft picks will have little trade value as long as James is there and they win 50 every year, and they have some bad contracts attached to overvalued players with limited value.

It took them 6 years of shuffling pieces in and out to put this team together. I don't see much reasonable chance that they'll be able to perform a total makeover/overhaul/upgrade over the course of a summer (or even two).

Posted by: kalo_rama | May 14, 2010 9:40 AM | Report abuse

The thing about Michael Jordan is he sacrificed a max contract so the bulls could surround him with better players. I don't see lebron doing that because hundreds of millions from endorsements is not enough. If lebron signed for a veterans minimum let shaq walk, get dwade, and sign and trade for another max contract they would have a championship roster. Also they have to replace Mike Brown with maybe Larry Brown or Pat Riley but Larry Brown probably going to philly.

Posted by: jefferu | May 14, 2010 10:06 AM | Report abuse

That's a pure fantasy scenario, jefferu. Even if Lebron did sign a vet minimum deal, they still wouldn't have the cap space to sign Wade (unless he also took a very deep paycut), and they don't have the tradeable assets to get a max player in a sign-and-trade deal. They went all in by going for it this season and crapped out.

Posted by: kalo_rama | May 14, 2010 10:20 AM | Report abuse

Yes, Mike Brown will probably get axed. To win a championship, the light shines brightly on coaching as well.

So oddly enough, when many gave the Cavs a great chance of winning it all, Mike Brown wasn't thought to be up to the task.

But now that they have stumbled again, Mike Brown may be out.

And it is ironic that Brown could be out, not because he did not coach well enough, he will be out because his star player crapped out.

Anyone looking at Lebron James and cannot see that it is clearly something amiss with him would be clearly just missing something.

Lebron James clearly has some injury that affected his performance and if he isn't injured he tanked that series.

I don't think he tanked, or was overwhelmed as some have indicated.

Quite simply, I think Lebron James has an injury that will be revealed as the main reason for his poor play.

Last year, when they lost to Orlando, he did not play poorly. Lebron James has shown himself to play well, even in defeat.

This fellow is injured.

LarryInClintonMD.

Posted by: LarryInClintonMD | May 14, 2010 10:49 AM | Report abuse

Thank you Cavs for taking Mr. stand-up guy AJ. When trade was made for the prince,I reported here that he would not be the answer,just like Shaq wasn't. Being here being one of the 2 top options for so long ,how coild yuo not see that he & CB too are barely good role players because they was led to beliebve they were top flight All Stars by being force fed by Wizard orginization. Pure nothings in my book. I couldn't be happier today knowing first Shaq, and AJ (feels good to be playing for something)are home. Now LJ, with all those shenanigans you pull before and after games with the playing , you looked so somber last night. Other players have feelings too, so have respect for them. Thanks for you hand picking your supporting cast and watch the finals again on tv. See ya !

Posted by: bossclifnpooh2 | May 14, 2010 10:54 AM | Report abuse

Correction to above...

So oddly enough, when many gave the Cavs a great chance of winning it all, Mike Brown wasn't thought to be up to the task.

"Mike Brown was thought...

Posted by: LarryInClintonMD | May 14, 2010 10:55 AM | Report abuse

"This fellow is injured."

So? Manu Ginobili had a broken nose. Tim Duncan had a bad knee that was bothering him all season. Tony Parker had just come back from a broken hand. Kobe has been playing most of the season with a broken finger whose bones have reportedly now fused to the point where he can't bend it. Boozer got hurt in the first round and it was reported he might not even play in the second. Injuries are part of the game.

Being hurt is a justification for not playing well, but it's not an excuse for not playing hard or with energy or focus.

Posted by: kalo_rama | May 14, 2010 11:04 AM | Report abuse

"This fellow is injured."

So? Manu Ginobili had a broken nose. Tim Duncan had a bad knee that was bothering him all season. Tony Parker had just come back from a broken hand. Kobe has been playing most of the season with a broken finger whose bones have reportedly now fused to the point where he can't bend it. Boozer got hurt in the first round and it was reported he might not even play in the second. Injuries are part of the game.

Being hurt is a justification for not playing well, but it's not an excuse for not playing hard or with energy or focus.

Posted by: kalo_rama | May 14, 2010 11:04 AM

Agreed.

Posted by: LarryInClintonMD | May 14, 2010 12:25 PM | Report abuse

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