Red Right 88

Cleveland sports fan and sports writer

Location: Cleveland, Ohio, United States

quit my job decided to drive west

Friday, January 16, 2009

Small gets it done

You have to give Mike Brown credit for this one.

The Cavs shot themselves to a big early lead over the listless Hornets. But with Z injured, Wallace still not himself and Anderson in foul trouble- it really seemed a matter of time before the rested Hornets would take over and win the game.

But Brown went small. LeBron basically played center in the fourth quarter with Wally at the four and three guards in Williams, Sasha and Boobie. It is not something that is going to work every night but it did tonight. And the Cavs won a game I thought they would lose.

Thursday, January 15, 2009

A bump in the road

Well we knew it wasn't going to easy.

The Cavs began the night without their starting front court. Delonte West started off strong as the Cavs built a big early lead then West had one of the scariest head smacks I have seen. It was hard to watch and FoxSports followed with the live sound. Not good. The fact West made it back to the bench for the second half was impressive enough. And as scary as the head smack was the thought of that wrist being broken is scarier.

Mo Williams stepped up with his three-point shooting but he did not have the best game making decisions. Mo has meant so much to the team but there are still times when you shake your head and wonder what he was thinking.

One way to describe the game would be to call it gutty. Missing three starters, the Cavs still had the last shot to win the game. LeBron took a good shot and he missed it. But honestly until the overtime, the Bulls tried thier damnedest to lose this game and the Cavs kept finding way to let the Bulls stay close. I know they missed three important players and the refs made two bad calls back to back near the end of regulation. But the Cavs missed open shots and they made bone headed decisions and lost.

It happens. I expect tomorrow to be ugly as well. LeBron will need to score 50 to win that game and it might not be enough.

But it is January. There is no need to panic. We had the high of last Friday and now we have to ride out this stretch. The Cavs have talked about being a family all season. Reporters talk about this team having chemistry. Adversity is where you find out if that chemistry is real.

Here we go...

Monday, January 12, 2009

Wait who hired a coach before a GM?

So I have been reading a lot of criticism of the Browns hiring of Eric Mangini. Most of seems to be focused on one of two issues. First that the Browns did not hire a GM first and second that the Browns selected yet another coordinator from New England.

There has been a definite backlash and some nasty quotes. I have read that one than one Browns fan has declared they are no longer a fan. Well good riddance. No one cares. For those that have stayed, many are still flabbergasted that Randy Lerner would dare to hire a coach without a GM, what is he thinking?

Yet today in Denver Pat Bowlen, who is considered one of the best owners in sports, hired a 32-year old New England offensive coordinator Josh McDaniels as the Broncos head coach. He did this before he hired a GM.

Why? He said because he felt he had the right guy and he wanted to get started hiring coaches and starting the process of fixing the Broncos.

Which is basically what Lerner said. And many here jumped all over him for that statement.

Now I don't know if Mangini will turn around the Browns. No one does. But I don't think a GM is more important than a coach. It is important to have a voice and face for a franchise. Lerner decided that Mangini is that guy. Now Mangini needs to build a staff and Lerner needs to find a GM who understands what Mangini wants. The fact Mangini wants a defense in the same vein that the Browns wanted before is a bonus. We should have more spare parts that should fit.

The truth is the Browns had the right guys in concept but not in execution. Savage and Crennel were perfect on paper. It just turned out Savage was good at talent evaluation but not playing well with others. Crennel was a great man who couldn't get players to do what he wanted them to do. The Baltimore/New England way wasn't flawed the men picked to follow it through were. It happens. It could happen again. But I feel like Mangini is the true protegee of Belichick not Crennel. Belchick failed here because he was stubborn and you could argue he had the wrong cook picking the ingredients in Mike Lombardi. Belichick learned from his mistakes and he got lucky in uncovering Tom Brady. One hopes Mangini learns his lessons and someone in the front office can egolessly pick the players that Mangini needs for his offense and defense to work.

I can't see the future. But I am willing to wait and see if Randy Lerner is right about Eric Mangini and whoever ends up the GM. I feel better about that than I do about McDaniels and Mike Nolan and an unknown GM in Denver.