Cleveland Sports Insiders

Ernie Camacho's favorite blog…


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Brown needs to be held accountable for Bennett’s colossal failure

ABWhere do we go with Anthony Bennett at this point?

His performance so far has been historic — historically bad.

A recent piece circulating the web helps outline just how bad it’s been.

Trust me, there’s no sugarcoating this — it’s been awful.

In 31 games this season, Bennett is averaging 10.4 minutes, 2.4 points and 2.2 rebounds per game. Even worse is his PER of 1.1, which is the lowest ever recorded by the No. 1 overall pick in his rookie season. To make matters even more embarrassing, Kwame Brown is the next on the list, but it’s a sizeable gap; Brown’s PER as a rookie was 11.2.

Given his struggles, many have been clamoring for Bennett to join the Canton Charge for a stint in the NBA D-League. It would be embarrassing as Bennett would become the highest drafted player to ever play in the D-League. (Hasheem Thabeet, the No. 2 overall pick in 2009, currently holds that honor.)

Yet, could there be some positives to a Bennett D-League stint? Might he start to finally regain some of the confidence that has eluded him thus far as a rookie?

I’m still not ready to go that far. Here are three more numbers to look at: 20.3, 17.4, 17.4. These numbers are the minutes per game respectively for C.J. Miles, Earl Clark and Alonzo Gee. Continue reading


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Deluded Ralph on the Luol Deng Trade and Business Sense

From childhood, I, Ralph-onse James de Rothschild, have always had a healthy respect for business sense. Regaled on my grand-uncle’s knee with epics of Cleveland oil baron John D. Rockefeller, the glory of business acumen was impressed upon me from when I was but a tender babe. ‘He rose from obscurity to business greatness,’ grand-uncle misted. ‘Get back to the mines,’ my grand-uncle continued – Wisdom that guides me to this day.

Yet while these tales molded me in youth, I have outgrown these fables and have acquired my own eye for big business – namely, I have a friend who owns a used video game store, I watched ‘The Wolf of Wall Street,’ and have played Roller Coaster Tycoon. So I feel uniquely qualified to commend the Cavaliers’ business savvy in trading for Luol Deng, since it gives the Cavs a better chance to make the playoffs, and if they make the Playoffs, LeBron will love us again and come back.

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Bynum for Gasol doesn’t make sense

Bynum and Gasol (photo: NBA)

Bynum and Gasol (photo: NBA)

The rumors have been circulating for a couple of days now that the Cleveland Cavaliers and the Los Angeles Lakers might partner up for a deal that would send one disgruntled center to the Lakers, while sending another disgruntled big man back to the Cleveland Cavaliers.

Reports are everywhere that Andrew Bynum and Pao Gasol may change teams.

There are some reports out there that this deal isn’t going to happen, and I couldn’t be happier. I’m just not a fan of this trade.

Why?

The move will definitively help the Los Angeles Lakers. The Lakers would presumably make the trade, then immediately release Bynum. This would allow the Lakers to get themselves under the Cap, and would ultimately save them over $20 million dollars. On top of that, the Cavs would have to trade them a couple of more assets to get the deal done. Ideally, the Lakers would probably like another expiring contract, as well as a first round draft pick and perhaps someone like Sergei Karasev.

The Cavs would get Pau Gasol for the rest of the year.

Will the Cavs be a better team? Of course they will, this year. In an Eastern conference that doesn’t boast many good teams, it could even get the Cavaliers into the playoffs.

Great.
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Quick thoughts on the Cavs post-Bynum

Will Bynum's departure help Thompson and the Cavs? (Thomas Ondrey/The Plain Dealer)

Will Bynum’s departure help Thompson and the Cavs? (Thomas Ondrey/The Plain Dealer)

The Cleveland Cavaliers are directly in the middle of the whirlwind of the news that Andrew Bynum is either suspended indefinitely from the team, or is on the trading block, or both. While that story will certainly play out over the next few hours, there’s another interesting tidbit that will take place as well.

The Cleveland Cavaliers have to play basketball. So where do they go from here?

Bynum had been starting for the Cavaliers, and had been averaging 20 minutes per game on the season, and 22.6 minutes in the month of December. He’s averaging 8.4 points, 5.3 boards and 1.2 blocks per game since the start of the year, and 9 1/2 points, 6 1/2 boards and a block since the start of the month.

The numbers certainly aren’t special in and of themselves, but when taken into account what his presence has meant for the team on several levels, including supplementing Anderson Varejao, his presence has certainly been important on the court.

Varejao, as much an injury concern as Bynum, has averaged almost 29 minutes a game, putting up 7.9 points and 8.8 boards a game on the season. When you put the two together as one center, you have some pretty elite numbers: 17 points, 14 boards and two blocks a game. You can also credit Bynum’s presence for allowing Varejao to play fewer minutes, thus keeping him healthy.

While Andrew Bynum has been a surprise, it’s not like he’s been a star, and for stretches, he’s not been a very good basketball player. Perhaps getting  Zeller more playing time allows this team to get better in the long run, and perhaps they lose a few more games this year and get a better pick next year.
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Cavs suspend Andrew Bynum

Bynum Suspended

Bynum Suspended

The Cleveland Cavaliers have suspended center Andrew Bynum for conduct detrimental to the team, according to Cavs General Manager Chris Grant.

The Cavaliers traveled to Boston on Friday night for their Saturday afternoon matinee at the Garden. Bynum didn’t travel with the team, and has been excused from all team activities indefinitely.

It’s currently unknown with regards to specifics of what happened with Bynum, but there are any number of rumors circulation, from Bynum wanting to quit basketball, to his refusal to be benched, to just Bynum being Bynum.

Whatever the reason, the Cavaliers are reportedly trying to “aggressively…trade Bynum,” according to former Cavs beat writer and current ESPN NBA reporter Brian Windhorst.

According to Bill Simmons, Bynum is looking to be traded to the Heat or the Clippers, and would “consider Bynum.” Consider the Bynum news to be in full fledged rumor mode.

We all know Andrew Bynum’s enigmatic history, from his issues in Los Angeles, to not playing in Philadelphia, and now this. With all of that said, it’s completely unknown what the reasons are for the suspension, if he’s truly on the trading block, or what teams he actually wants to go to.

I’m not happy about this, but will gladly wait it out to see the true story as it unfolks through normal media patterns, and not the rampant idiocy that some of these “reporters” resort to with regards to Twitter.

Of course, I say this, while hitting refresh on my twitter account with the fervor of a five-year old ripping open Christmas presents.

What I refuse to do is act surprised that a pro sports athlete acts or does something odd. This is the norm, not the exception.

Tune in to Cleveland Sports Insiders for more on this as it develops, and look, we aren’t here to break a story…but we are here to talk about it. Leave your comments below, and get ready for a podcast on this very subject in the coming hours.


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Cavalier Daggers…with Dion Waiters domination…

(AP Photo/Mark Duncan)

Dion Waiters (AP Photo/Mark Duncan)

If there is one word that describes how I’ve felt about the Cavaliers over the past fourteen days, curious wouldn’t be that word.

Disgusted would fit.

Annoyed would work.

Disenchanted would suit me just fine.

Curious would be far from the discussion, unless you incorporate the Miami Heat into the discussion…especially this year.

On Wednesday night, the night before Thanksgiving, the Miami Heat headed to Cleveland for a matchup with the Cleveland Cavaliers.

The Miami Heat are the defending champions.

The Miami Heat are the two-time defending champions.

The Cleveland Cavaliers, most assuredly, are not.

There couldn’t be two teams further from each other over the past three seasons since LeBron James left Cleveland amidst a flurry of burned jerseys, grown men crying, and football sized banners being cut down.

The Heat, if at all possible, seem to be a team that are really just now figuring out how to manage themselves the right way during the regular season. They have a coach that’s still learning, and a team that truly fits together and understands the roles that they play.

Role models create roles.

The Cavaliers, if at all possible, seem to be a team that plays worse night-after-night, never really figuring out how to manage their new pieces and parts, and truly not really seeming to care about how to do it. Their starting lineup seems to change on a daily basis, and I doubt that anyone either knows their roles, or really cares much to figure it out.

It’s hard not to look at the team and think…black holes…

Of course, it’s early in the season and the Cavs still have plenty of time to gel together…or at least that’s what everyone on twitter tells me.

Let’s take a look at today’s Cavalier Daggers:
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Cleveland Sports Insiders: The Podcast 58: Here Comes LeBron

Michael Hattery and Jim Pete focus their attention on the Cleveland Cavaliers, and in particular, on the return of one LeBron James. Will the Cleveland faithful be more receptive to the man that took his talents to South Beach three years ago, and since has won three MVP awards, two NBA finals MVP awards, and two NBA titles?


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The Sunday Drive with Josh Gordon, Chris Grant and Carlos Beltran

Gordon (AP Photo/David Richard)

Gordon (AP Photo/David Richard)

This weekend was a horrific mess of circumstances here in my little slice of Cleveland away from home. We had playdates and birthday parties and sleepovers and horses and dinner dates to contend with. When you toss in the biggest East Coast parade not located in New York City or Orlando, you have one massive conundrum of hoopla, sleep, running around, crying and did I mention sleep?

Okay..sleep deprivation is more like it.

As crazy as things were here in my own version of the North Coast Carolina, they were relatively silent back in Cleveland with regards to the Browns, the Indians and the Cavaliers.

Seriously.

Unless you throw in the fact that it’s Pittsburgh Steelers week, or the fact that the Indians made their first move of the offseason, or that the Cavs are in a spiral of struggle after getting rolled by San Antonio on Sunday night.

Yeah, it can only mean that it’s the holiday season, and with Thanksgiving and Michigan Week about to take over here, let’s get driving, before I fall asleep from the Turkey.

It’s Steelers’ week, and while that has generally meant a lot more to the Browns in recent years than the Steelers, it’s still the Browns’ top rival. I’ve been to many, many games at Cleveland Stadium involving these two teams, and I’ve seen some of the most amusing exchanges between fans. My favorite memory is of a ‘Terrible Towel’ waving fan sitting in front of me during halftime of a 1984 game between the two teams. The Steelers were up 7-0 at that point, and he was taking particular glee in waving the towel as though the Steelers had won the Super Bowl that very afternoon. Several minutes later, he was literally carried off by a contingent of pre-Dawg Pound Browns’ fans. He never returned. The Browns went on to win 20-10.

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Bynum’s future in the NBA may be a short-term proposition

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Andrew Bynum (AP Photo/Morry Gash)

On Thursday afternoon, a contrite Andrew Bynum stated that he is ‘A shell’ of the player that he once was during his seasons with the Los Angeles Lakers.

There’s really nothing about that statement that’s not true with regards to the Cavaliers’ new center.

We all know Bynum’s story through-and-through as the Cavaliers head to an interesting home-and-home match-up in Philadelphia against the 3-2 76ers.

This is the same Philadelphia franchise that acquired Bynum in a four-team deal that saw Andre Iquadala head off to Denver, and Nikola Vucevic, Maurice Harkless and a future first round pick head off to Orlando. The deal was, of course, much bigger, and when it was all said and done, 11 players (including Earl Clark) and five draft picks were exchanged between the Los Angeles Lakers, the Orlando Magic, the Denver Nuggets and, of course, the 76ers.

Bynum never played a game for the Sixers.

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