The essentials of Tuesday's loss to the Magic at The Q:
1. The Magic (20-12) are really good at shooting the basketball. When you can't guard them, they're really, really, really good. Orlando hit 19 threes, a new record for a Cavs opponent. Honestly, all that was missing was Craig Hodges, metal racks and a money ball. Magic newcomer Gilbert Arenas hit five treys and led Orlando with 22 points.
2. Antawn Jamison scored 21 points in his "For the Love of All That's Good and Holy Someone Trade for Me" campaign, now entering its ninth week.
3. Dwight Howard had 12 points and 6 rebounds. That's how little the paint meant in this game. Anderson Varejao played his arse off at the defensive end in the second half, and it still didn't matter.
4. Mo Williams (1-for-6 from three) continues to suck from beyond the arc.
5. J.J. Hickson continues to not be a future franchise cornerstone. Nine points and one made free throw in seven tries. He did have eight rebounds, though, which is average by NBA power forward standards. But 9 and 8 sounds a little more filling than 9 and 3.
"Why Am I Even Bringing This Up?" Dept.:
Wounded by Sunday's collapse against Minnesota, the Cavs (8-23) came out feisty against Orlando, battling them to a virtual draw through the first half, trailing 60-57 at the intermission. Butâ€¦.well, let's just say the Cavs aren't a Rubik's Cube kind of puzzle. More like something off "Blue's Clues." If you're Orlando, you try a little harder, make a few more plays, and the Cavs go away. They know they're bad. They know they can't hang with you. So just remind them.
Chris Grant is alive and well:
The Cavs signed swingman Alonzo Gee to a contract on Tuesday. He's played in 16 games with the Spurs and Wizards this year, averaging 2.1 points in 10 minutes per game. This comes a day after Jawad Williams was released and Samardo Samuels was assigned to the Cavs' NBADL affiliate in Erie, Pa. So Chris Grant isn't entirely allowing things to just play out. He's tinkering with the end of the bench. Baby steps.
Nigerian Scam Letter of the Night:
Dear Good American,
I come to you in this Hour of Great Need, for my Soul is Bruised by the Consistent Torment of my Superior, Lord Byron Scott of Cavaliers Formerly Contending Basketballs Club of Ohio Cleveland USA, North America.
Times were not always of these; for once I had Cushiony Position of Catching Passes from MR. JAMES LEBRON for easy layups. This unfortunately made me to be a Future Franchise Cornerstone, and when Mr. LEBRON took his man parts to the hot Latina action of South Beach, I was Looked Upon for Leadership and Creating Shots of my own, for which I am not suited.
This has made me the Object of Ridicule from MR. BYRON and the whole of Cleveland public, who can eat my rear parts.
I submit to you Great Proposition of Peace and Joy. For in this time, I shall consign to you my basketball earnings for remainder of 2010-11 Basketballs Playing Season for your efforts in trading me to Miami Heat, where I can once again catch the Balls from JAMES LEBRON and average 8 scoring points per game night whilst on mental auto-piloting.
All that I ask is that 20 percent of my earnings go to the Orphans, Widows and Farmers assailed by the Boll Weevil Plagues of Mkubutamba. And to you, you shall receive Total Consciousness on your Deathbed. Which is nice.
For this to be Consummated, I shall need the following from you, sent to my Attorney in Such Matters, Mr. KWAME BOB FRANK AKUBUMA SANCHEZ of Lagos, Nigeria:
Your Birth Date:
Your Date of Death (if already dead):
Your Pertinent Bank Numbers:
Your t-shirt size, for Limited Offer "Team Hickson Best Happy No. 1 Fan!!!" shirt, to first 4,000 responders:
Thank you to the ends of the Birch Trees on the Serengeti, and may the bat guano be easily chipped off your hut roof.
Mr. HICKSON, J.J.
MINISTER OF NOT REALLY TRYING VERY HARD
242 LISTEN KID TELL YOUR DAD TO DRAG DWIGHT HOWARD UP AND DOWN THE FLOOR FOR 48 MINUTES BLVD.
CLEVELAND, REPUBLIC OF AMERICA, NIGERIA, ASIA M34BMPK1
Kyle Singler Watch:
Since the Cavs are steaming toward a load of ping-pong balls in next May's draft lottery, it is up to you to be an informed consumer. First, you should know that there is an impending labor stoppage on the horizon in the NBA. It could last well into the 2011-12 season, if not cancel it altogether, and it could alter the labor rules of the league on a large scale.
The impending labor stoppage could dissuade many of the top underclassmen and international prospects from declaring for the 2011 draft, which could severely weaken the available talent pool.
In fact, the only players who will be obligated to declare for the upcoming draft are those with no further amateur eligibility -- ergo, college seniors.
In the worst-case scenario (interchangeable with the term "Cleveland scenario"), the draft might consist primarily of seniors. And according to nbadraft.net, Duke's Kyle Singler is the top senior in the '11 draft. He's a 6'-9" scrappy hustle player who "does a little bit of everything." Which is exactly like saying a girl has a "great personality."
Armed with this knowledge, the Cavs will almost certainly win the lottery this coming spring, and have first choice in a historically weak draft. But pick first they will, so you need to keep tabs on the recent performances of Future Cav Kyle Singler:
12/11 vs. St. Louis: 33 MIN, 21 PTS, 5 REB, 1 PF, 2-6 3PT, 8-15 FG
12/20 vs. Elon: 37 MIN, 24 PTS, 7 REB (4 offensive), 3 PF, 3-5 3PT, 6-16 FG
2010-11 season stats: 32 MPG, 17 PPG, 5.5 RPG, 38.3 3PT, 44.6 FG
Up next for the Cavs:
At Charlotte, Wednesday, 7 p.m.