Cleveland Cavaliers

Around the Rim: It was downright scary in Cleveland on Halloween

1. Trick or, errr, Trick!
It didn’t take long for a team to get blown out of the water, but nobody expected it to be the Cavs whose battleship got sunk. The Mavericks torched Cleveland to the tune of 92-74 last night. 18 points might not sound like much, at least not by blowout standards, but the Cavaliers looked rustier then your grandpa’s clunked out ’58 Chevrolet Apache. LeBron James finished with just 10 points after getting nada during the first half. Behind Jason Terry’s 24 points, Jerry Stackhouse’s 17 and Dirk Nowitzki’s 15, the Mavs never allowed Cleveland to take the lead. Perhaps the most amazing stat out side of Zydrunas Ilgauskas’ gaudy double-double (17 pts, 18 reb) was the incredible shooting accuracy displayed by Big D (FG: 33-69, 3FG: 9-18, FT: 17-20). If this is all Cleveland’s got then it shouldn’t take long for Boston to grab hold of the Eastern Conference reigns.

2. “I’m out!”

Scratch Dallas off the possible future destinations for the most coveted trade bate in the league. According to Mavericks owner Mark Cuban, Dallas isn’t looking to make a trade for Kobe Bryant and, contrary to rumors, there was never a deal in the works. “We haven’t talked to them,” Cuban told ESPN’s Lisa Salters during a sideline interview. “It’s not going to happen. We’ve got a great squad. We like it.” And thank goodness for that, talk about the rich getting richer. But it sure could have been fun to watch Cuban squirm as he tried to divide his man-love down the middle.

3. Joey Crawford is back behind a whistle
Referee Joey Crawford returned to the court for the first time since he threw Tim Duncan out of a game because he giggled and supposedly challenged Timmy to a fight. Well, no punches were thrown and no questionable ejections occurred as Crawford officiated Indiana’s 119-110 overtime win against the Wizards. We love how David Stern is trying to `clean up’ the league, but yet he continues to employ the same dirt bag refs. If Stern wants people to take his initiative seriously then he needs to just clean out all the current officials’ lockers and start from scratch. Sure, it’s kinda harsh and a bit drastic, but other than missing out on Bavetta vs. Barkley II, do you really care?

Wednesday’s Player of the Day: Manu Ginobili @ Memphis 31 min, 30 pts (FG: 6-14, 3FG: 5-9, FT: 13-14), 5 reb, 7 ast, 2 stl, 1 blk

Thursday’s Game to Watch: Phoenix (0-0) @ Seattle (0-1)

The Suns are quite possibly the most exciting team in the NBA and the crew is looking for revenge after they feel they were screwed out of the playoffs. And after the flaming bag of referee/gambling scandal was splattered across the league’s front doorstep for the world to see, the San Antonio Screw Job could be a reality. But Phoenix can’t worry about the past when the future is here and now. First there is the future of the league in Kevin Durant. The Sonics dropped their opener to Denver on Wednesday as KD finished with 18 points on a horrible shooting performance. Still he showed plenty of promise and the potential for major mismatches. One of the guys responsible for guarding Durant will be Shawn Marion, the same Shawn Marion that over the summer said he wants out of Phoenix. With Steve Nash and Amare Stoudemire locked down, the Suns might think Marion is an on-court expenditure but, that’s quite possibly the most ridiculous mistake the NBA.

Buzzer Beater: Lamar Odom is missing the opening portion of the season after having shoulder surgery in the off-season, but it wasn’t his shoulder that was hurting him on Tuesday. It turns out that Odom was involved in a car accident that morning and sustained a minor concussion. Just like in real life, any drive that ends with contact is probably going to send Odom to the pine. But, hey, at least Lamar showed up to the game, unlike some people. Lakers owner Jerry Buss missed the season opener as well after David Stern suspended him for two games and fined him $25,000 for his drunk driving arrest in May. Life in LA just keeps getting better for the Lakers.

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