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The Cleveland View

August 12, 2009

The Cleveland Curse has officially been renamed to The Cleveland View and is now located over at please come visit us and check out all the new updates!

The Cleveland View

A Little House Cleaning

August 12, 2009

The following article is a message to the readers of the website known as The Cleveland Curse now known as The Cleveland View.  This article contains little content regarding Cleveland sports.  However, I recommend all viewers of this website read the article for an update on the state of The Cleveland View.  Thank you.

First things first, yes I am indeed still alive!  However, due to an erratic schedule over the past few months my attention to the site here has suffered or more accurately put disappeared.  The down-low on my absence can be summed up as follows.

Considering the last article I posted was on April 27th, right at the conclusion of my spring semester I can surely say preparing for exams effected my dedication to this site.  As the cliché goes… it’s all about getting your priorities in order.  To elaborate, after a hefty week of exams I quickly began my summer classes.  For those of you unaware, summer classes in college are eighteen weeks of work shoved in to a bulky six week mess for all involved.  Multiply that equation by two courses and you have my life for the entire month of May until the middle of June.  Oh, we also can’t forget my part time job either.  Needless to say these “responsibilities” distracted me from my little project here.

At the same time, I’m sure you’re wondering why I did not return after the conclusion of summer classes in the third week of June.  Answer: On June 17th, I turned 21 years old.  As a result, I had a great trip to Las Vegas for a week.  Following that trip, I began preparing for the week long ordeal that was my sister’s wedding on July 18th (By the way, it was great!).

Upon returning from the wedding and back to some sort of normalcy I soon realized fall semester was quickly arriving.  Under normal circumstances this wouldn’t have been a big deal.  However, this August, I just happen to be moving to Orlando, Florida and transferring to the University of Central Florida.  Due to this, the past three weeks of my life have been filled with as much paper work, applications, and bureaucracy as any normal person can deal with.

Luckily, for both the readers and me this hectic phase of my life is almost back to some sort of normalcy.  In the next two weeks I will be completing my move, beginning fall classes, and hopefully be finding a new job to help pay for the mountain of expenses that lies ahead of me.  Wish me luck!

On a separate note, some of you may be wondering about all the changes to the site.  The easiest way I can some it all up is that I was not and am still not 100% happy with the format in which I try to deliver the readers with information.  The problem is most of the things I would like to fix are just financially out of reach for me for the time being.  Despite this, I (with the help of some loyal friends) was able to decide on a name that suits the message I want to get across for the readers.  At the same time, the new name and design shows an original and independent idea that hopefully all my readers can appreciate.

All in all, expect to see plenty of changes in the next few months in terms of site content and quality.  I really have a passion for what I plan to accomplish with this blog and hope that each and every one of you reading this can support this site like we all support our Browns, Cavs, and Indians no matter how good or bad it gets!  Thanks for all the support and if you have any comments please feel free to post them here on the website or email me.

2009 NFL Draft Wrap Up

April 27, 2009

For Cleveland Browns fans, the past few months since the hiring of new head coach Eric Mangini and general manager George Kokinis have been quite hectic.  The new regime has obviously learned from their mentors in New England and Baltimore respectively. In the months leading up to the draft Mangini and Kokinis have spoken to the press only a handful of time. The duo has focused on keeping their philosophies heading into this past weekend’s draft as big of mystery as has ever been had in Cleveland.

Early this year, Eric Mangini mapped out the Browns draft plans moving forward.

Early this year, Eric Mangini mapped out the Browns draft plans moving forward.

The offseason leading up to the draft was highlighted by the trade of Kellen Winslow Jr. and the addition of b-list names at best in free agency.  Not to say that the players added aren’t quality but the Browns just decided to spend their money wisely for once rather than overpay and overvalue like the philosophy of ex-GM Phil Savage.  Regardless, that ship has sailed.

Entering Saturday and Sundays NFL Draft, rumors swirled of trades including Braylon Edwards and Brady Quinn.  Needless to say, nothing came of the speculation as Kokinis put any rumors to rest in his post draft press conference.

As a result, the trade rumors left a huge question mark as to where the Browns would aim in the draft.   Originally, the Browns were about a 90% lock on mocks to take Brian Orakpo.  Before long, B.J. Raji, Michael Crabtree, Mark Sanchez and Aaron Curry all had their name in the conversation for who the Browns would take with the 5th overall pick.

As it turns out, none of the above was selected by the Browns.  Rather, the biggest shock wave of the draft involved the Browns when they traded down from the 5th pick allowing the New York Jets to select Mark Sanchez.  In return for the 5th pick the Browns received the 17th pick in the draft, the 52nd pick in the draft as well as QB Brett Ratliff, DE Kenyon Coleman and S Abram Elam.  Essentially, the Browns traded one player (pick) for five players.

As the round progressed closer to the 17th pick Browns fans saw dream players slip closer and closer to the Browns pick including Ohio State bruiser back Chris “Beanie” Wells and USC LB and Browns legacy player Clay Matthews Jr.  As big of a lock as it seemed to be for the Browns to select one of the two players the team elected to trade down again.  This time the Browns added a 6th round pick allowing the Tampa Bay Bucs to move up two spots and select QB Josh Freeman.  Now at 19 both players the fans wanted were still available and they added an extra pick.  Not so fast!  The Browns elected to trade down AGAIN allowing the Philadelphia Eagles to move up two spots and select WR Jeremy Maclin in exchange for another 6th round pick.

Browns prospect Clay Matthews Jr. ended up in Green Bay after this weekends NFL Draft.

Browns prospect Clay Matthews Jr. ended up in Green Bay after this weekends NFL Draft.

Once again the Browns were on the clock with both players still available.  About this time, I as well as I’m sure everyone in Cleveland watching the draft was on cloud nine with the incredible moves the Browns made.  At this point, the Browns found a way to trade the 5th overall pick for S-E-V-E-N players including 3 new draft picks.  The Browns new pick total was 8 rather than the previous five with only two picks after the first 50.  The Browns were about to make Cleveland fans the happiest fans in the world.  But, then the bomb hit.

“With the 21st pick in the 2009 NFL Draft the Cleveland Browns select, Alex Mack – Center – California.” -Roger Goodell

I was crushed.  I had prayed and prayed and prayed for months that the Browns would find away to get Matthews or Wells and in the end they passed on both to select Alex who?!  I’m sure I wasn’t the only Browns fan in town wondering what the heck was going on.  My beloved Browns had turned an amazing start to the draft into a dud in the blink of an eye.

I began wondering, “Why do the Browns make this move?  Was center really that big of a hole that the team needed to spend a 1st round pick on the position?  Was Clay Matthews or Beanie Wells really not valued higher than Alex Mack?  Wasn’t Alex Mack projected as a 2nd round pick where the Browns had three more picks anyways?”

As the dust settled, I collected myself and picked the pieces of my Browns dreams up off the floor… again.  I began to realize that maybe this wasn’t such a bad pick.  The Steelers apparently were in love with the center as much as the Browns were and certainly that must tell you something with the quality of 1st round picks they usually select.  As it turns out, Alex Mack not only won the academic Heisman but he was also the most dominating run blocking center in the draft.  ManKok must have been thinking, “Why draft a running back when you don’t have a center worth a darn for him to run behind.”

There is no question about this one however; Alex Mack will be a dominating C in this league for years to come.  With Joe Thomas, Eric Steinbach and now Alex Mack the Browns if not right now then in one or two years at most will have the most dominating left side of the offensive line in all of football.  When you think about what that means to our running and passing games it makes you understand exactly why ManKok made the selection of Alex Mack.

Browns' 2009 1st round pick Alex Mack.

Browns' 2009 1st round pick Alex Mack.

As the first round moved to a close, Clay Matthews Jr. was quickly snatched up by Green Bay and Beanie Wells by Arizona.  It has been rumored of the past few days the Browns as well as other teams were working hard to trade back into the first round to select Wells before Arizona but it didn’t happen.  It’s unknown if no one was willing to move down or the Browns and other teams just didn’t offer enough fire power.  It’s likely the team trading down would have demanded at least a 2nd round pick and a 1st round pick in 2010 or two 2nd round picks this year.  In either case, it’s understandable why the Browns didn’t bite.

In the second round, with 1st round prospects Rey Maualuga and Everette Brown two defensive players the Browns likely could have benefited from still on the board the team made a pick that if surprising still pleased many Cleveland fans.

With the 36th overall selection the Browns grabbed Ohio State WR and Cleveland native Brian Robiskie.  The pick, at least in this house was applauded regardless of passing up on the two “1st round talent’s.”  Brian Robiskie is considered the most NFL ready WR in the entire draft and is expected to be a strong candidate for rookie of the year honors because of it.

The son of NFL and former Browns coach Terry Robiskie, Brian has everything you could possibly ask for in a receiver.  He has the size, arms, speed, toughness, smarts, route running ability, and technique to be a very solid WR in the NFL.  However, most projections have him as a career #2 man due to his lack of big play ability.  This was a concern while he played at Ohio State trying to fill the shoes of highlight reel players such as Super bowl MVP Santonio Holmes and Ted Ginn Jr.

Regardless, Robiskie has as good of chance as anyone in the draft to have a long career in the NFL and he is expected to do so starting this year opposite Braylon Edwards.  Robiskie will be able to get single coverage with Edwards on the field and make big plays as a possession receiver and a deep ball threat against undersized corners.  Overall, a solid pick by the Browns which drew much praise from fans, scouts and almost everyone.

Browns' 2009 2nd round draft pick Brian Robiskie

Browns' 2009 2nd round draft pick Brian Robiskie

As the draft continued, many 1st round players who had slipped failed to do so any longer.  When the Browns pick arrived at 50 I was clueless as to whom they would take.  My best guess was Shonn Greene RB out of Iowa.

With the 50th overall pick, the Browns made another surprising move and selected once again a WR.  This time, the pick was Georgia standout Mohamed Massaquoi.  In his collegiate career, Massaquoi caught 158 balls for 2282 yards from the eventual #1 overall pick in Matthew Stafford.  In his final season, Mohamed recorded 8 touchdowns and a stellar 15.9 yards per catch.  The one knock on the WR is his hands. Similar to Edwards he tends to drop the ball.

When the pick came in, again I was left confused.  However, it didn’t take long to analyze why the pick was made.  With the inevitable departure of WR Donte Stallworth the Browns didn’t need only one WR they needed multiple guys to come in and take the pressure off whoever the QB ends up being (BQ. Book it.)  ManKok obviously wasn’t satisfied with Steptoe, Hubbard or even Patten enough to let them take over as the 2, 3 and 4 guys in the Browns receiving corps.  As a result, the Browns and Brady Quinn/Derek Anderson have two new toys to throw to.

Two picks later at 52 the Browns again prepared to make their final 2nd round selection which came in compensation from trading the 5th pick to the Jets.

With the 52nd overall pick, the Browns opened up another bag of questions when they selected DE/OLB David Veikune out of the University of Hawaii.  Veikune is a powerful OLB prospect with great burst, fluid hips, mobility and the ability to convert from a DE into a 3-4 OLB.  David runs at 6-3 250lb which is good size for a 3-4 OLB.  As a senior he played only 4 games but for his career was a terror on defense and has the ability to replicate Osi Umenyora on the Giants with enough good coaching and practice.  Veikune has a possibility of being the player of this draft if he is able to lock down the ROLB spot which has been in question since the 3-4 was installed in Cleveland.

By the end of day 1, the Cleveland Browns drew head scratches from many fans but not many from analysts and scouts around the league.  Each of the Browns picks were considered to be very solid, tough, and intelligent and have a lot of potential to end up as stars in the league.  The best compliment received was having the Browns draft called “Bellicheck like.”

Browns' 2009 2nd round draft pick David Veikune

Browns' 2009 2nd round draft pick David Veikune

On day two, the Browns continue their search to fill holes in the secondary and at the RB position.  The Browns first pick on day two didn’t arrive until the 4th round where they selected ILB Kaluka Maiava out of USC.  It was Matthews, Cushing or Maualuga but the team managed to steal a 2nd round or 3rd round talent who fell into their laps.  Maiava started 12 games for the Trojans last year despite being in a star studded LB corps.  Kaluka is praised for being a strong, instinctive hitter who has great read and react abilities.  He is criticized for his size measuring in at a mere 6-0 230lbs.  However, Kaluka spoke himself saying Zach Thomas is no bigger than him and has consistently been one of the better LB’s in the league.  Obviously, ManKok sees no worries in the linebacker expecting him to start on special teams from day one and eventually carve into a role as a 3rd and 4th down specialist before long.  In two years, if Maiava can bulk up to 240-245lbs he could potentially be the steal of the 4th round.

(Take 3 hour break.)

Back in action for the 6th round after a 63 pick drought the Browns prepared for their three and final picks.  Two of the picks were acquired courtesy of trading down in the first rounder to the Bucs and then again to the Eagles.

With the 4th pick in the 6th round the Browns selected DB Don Carey out of Norfolk State.  Measuring up at 6-1 180lbs Carey has the size to be an outstanding DB in the NFL who can matchup against almost any receiver in the league one on one.  In 2008, Carey recorded 5 interceptions and 10 for his career.  Another intelligent pick, Carey was accepted to attend school at Yale but elected not to go due to financial ties.  The pick was a solid late round pick up and a player who is expected to come in right away and contribute on special teams and in dime situations.

With the 18th pick in the 6th round the Browns selected another DB in Coye Francies.  Like Carey, Coye is 6-1 and also adds 185lbs.  Francies attended school at San Jose State and recorded 3 interceptions in only 7 games in 2008.  Coye also returned the balls the past two seasons.  Francies is scouted as having huge upside with a lot of raw talent and football instincts.  He plays the run and pass equally well and it’s a physical player all game.

If both DB’s can increase their weight with muscle mass to the 190lb range both have a shot to step in at S or CB in the next few seasons.

Browns' 2009 6th round draft pick Coye Francies

Browns' 2009 6th round draft pick Coye Francies

With their final pick in the 2009 draft at 22nd in the 6th round the Browns selected RB James Davis out of Clemson.  At 5-11 and 210lbs, Davis set numerous rushing records for Clemson and the ACC in his four years.  With a staggering 3881 career yard total to go along with 47 touchdowns Davis had huge production despite sharing production with another back at multiple points in his career.  Davis is considered to be not only a smart player but a team leader and stays out of trouble on and off the field.  As a power running back Davis is known for his ability to escape arm tackles and has the burst to make it to the next level.  Davis also has quality pass catching ability which the Browns require badly from a back.  It is unexpected the Davis would ever be a feature back but it is certainly in the realm of possibility to see Davis and Jerome Harrison be a two back combo in Cleveland after the departure of Jamal Lewis.  Again, Davis was another steal by the Browns late in the draft according to many scouts and analysts around the league.

All things considered, the Cleveland Browns and new regime ManKok walked out of this weekend’s draft as one of the biggest winners.  Heading into the draft with only five picks the team managed to bring 11 new players to town a staggering number.  Including the pickups in free agency the duo on Mangini and Kokinis have effectively brought in 21 new players in less than four months.  I don’t care how big of a skeptic or a hater you are, that is an impressive number.  Rather than waiting and drawing out the process of rebuilding over three or four season the Browns have nearly changed half the roster over in a fraction of the time.  Also, I find it hard to believe many people would say any of the additions have been downgrades so far.  The changes made to the roster in the ManKok era have been stellar and it’s a very exciting thing.  Who knows the kind of roster we’ll be looking at in another year?  Potentially, Rogers, Jackson, Thomas and Cribbs might be the only 2008 Browns left.

As for the draft, as Browns fans we were finally brought into the though process and philosophies of the ManKok regime.  When it comes to free agency, we have learned the team will not go out and spend huge dollars on multiple free agents every year.  The team will certainly focus on acquiring as many draft picks as possible in trades rather than giving the away for the likes of Corey Williams or Terry Cousins.

In the draft, every single player picked had some very distinct qualities that I think can’t be overlooked as just coincidence.  All eight of the 2009 draft selections were both at least fourth year and in some case fifth year seniors and every player was an all conference or all American academic player.  That’s incredible if you ask me.  It shows the Browns have a system of checks and balances they will use when making draft picks.  They will aim only at players with experience and smarts which is a huge thing when projecting players to the NFL.  With the way the game is run today with so many complex schemes on offense and defense intelligence is required and experience only makes that mental and physical transition to the NFL smoother for players.  It’s a great philosophy to have looking forward and should nail us the most high quality big upside, low bust rate players possible.  I can guarantee you these two traits were taught to our guys by Ozzie Newsom in Baltimore and Bill Bellicheck in New England.

In the end, the Browns have begun establishing an identity with the team.  With the 21 new players almost 40% of the roster fits these strong characteristics laid out by ManKok and will help smooth the transition for the 2008 Browns into the new team mindset.  It will be an exciting transition to watch the team move away from Romeo’s Country Club and start building Mangini’s trophy case.

Draft Grade: A-

Final Mock Draft.

April 25, 2009

As the draft closes in with less than two hours to go Browns fans must be anxiously anticipating the picks which will soon be coming at least three times tonight for Coach Eric Mangini and GM George Kokinis.  To prepare for the spectacle, here is a final mock draft.


1.  Detroit Lions – Matthew Stafford – QB Georgia
No need to explain this.

2.  St. Louis Rams – Michael Crabtree – WR Texas Tech
This is a really tough pick because most people are thinking the Rams will go OT which would be a really smart move or even Sanchez.  But, I think with the departure of Tory Holt and Marc Bulger under contract for another four years taking Crabtree here makes plenty sense for the Rams.

3.  Kansas City Chiefs – Jason Smith – OT Baylor
I look at Pioli and see a GM who wants to build a solid core.  He understands from his time in New England that defense can be found in the later rounds unlike stud OT’s.  I think Pioli wants to have his QB and LT set for the next 5 years and that’s what this move solidifies.

4.  Seattle Seahawks – Eugene Monroe – OT Virginia
Now this is another tough one, with Sanchez and Curry both sitting there they might be guys the Seahawks would take.  However, I think Hasselback is set in Seattle for another few years and again I just don’t see teams taking a LB so high.

5.  Cleveland Browns – Aaron Curry – LB Wake Forest
Okay now this is where it gets tough because now if you’re the Browns everything you could want is available here except Crabtree.  You can go linebacker, nose tackle, outside linebacker or a number of things.  The possibility also remains the Browns would draft Sanchez here and use him as trade bait to move down in the round and swap Sanchez for a team like New York Jets or Tampa’s mid 1st rounder’s.  In the end I think in this situation the Browns take Aaron Curry.  Too many questions surround the conversion of Orakpo and Raji would be an overpaid rookie on an already overpaid D-line in Cleveland.  It remains to be known if the Browns would play Curry at inside or outside.

In the end, I think this would be an okay scenario for the Browns.  However, if this did happen I don’t expect them to take Curry; I would expect them to trade down to someone who wants Curry/Sanchez or just draft Sanchez and trade him to another team later on in the round.

Potential picks to see the Browns take at #5 would include Crabtree, Orakpo, Raji or even Malcolm Jenkins.

Players you could see the Browns move around and get include Chris “Beanie” Wells, Clay Matthews Jr., or Larry English in the 1st round.

It will be an interesting and fun afternoon.  In reality, no one can predict what the Browns will do but it surely will be an entertaining Draft for Browns fans.

14 wins and counting.

April 23, 2009

Tuesday night Cleveland Cavaliers took a 2-0 series lead over the Detroit Pistons at The Q.  In reality, the game was never close despite the Pistons coming back from an almost insurmountable deficit to force Cavs starters back into the game in the 4th quarter.  However, as the Cavs starters took the floor, business was taken care of and Detroit again was bested by the #1 overall seed in the NBA Playoffs.

Will LeBron be as strong in game 3 as he was for 1 & 2?

Will LeBron and the Cavs be as strong in game 3 as they were for 1 & 2?

Entering game two of the best of seven series the Pistons were determined to contain LeBron James from another dominating performance.  As if you didn’t already know the outcome, LeBron adjusted early to the Pistons defense and ended up with 29 points, 13 rebounds and 6 assists.  You would think by now Detroit would get with the program and understand no one not named LeBron James can stop LeBron James.

The Cavs supporting cast further established themselves as a result of Detroit’s double teams on LeBron.  Mo Williams exploded for 21 points with 7 assists while Delonte West added 20 points of his own.  Big Z shot less than 50% but still managed to put up 12 points.  As a result, it was just too much offense for the Pistons to contain.  Tayshaun Prince’s woes continued as he was held to a measly 2 points after only scoring 4 points in game 1.

The Cavaliers must now play their first road playoff game while heading into The Palace of Auburn Hills to face the Pistons for a potential back breaking game 3.

Friday night the Cavs should be expected to come out early and establish themselves on the defensive end once again.  It has been their plan for the first two games and has been successful.  On the road it will be important for the Cavaliers to start knocking down easy shots early on and the starters must be successful.  As is common, the bench players shouldn’t be counted on much for road games.

The crowd in Detroit will undoubtedly be fired up.  To adapt, the Cavs must get the fans out of the game early and set a tone similar to the first two games of the series.  It’s easy to observe that the Pistons are very close to gaining enough confidence to steal a game.  The home advantage for game 3 certainly could push them past the edge.

The Cavs need to be very businesslike for game 3 if they expect to put the Pistons in a 3-0 hole.  There will be no sitting starters in the 4th quarter and there will be no setting a fire for Boobie Gibson at half court after a big 3.  The Cavs must go in, get going early and ride that momentum to the finish line.  If they are successful the rest of the series will be all but a formality.  No team in NBA history has overcome a 3-0 deficit to win a playoff series.

Braylon Edwards breaks silence on trade rumors.

April 21, 2009

*Note: Multiple readers have talked about the possibility of the Facebook account mentioned in this article as a fake.  However, I stand by my report.  If anyone can prove the account is indeed fake I encourage you to contact me.  Thank you.*

UPDATE: A photo of the comments discussed in this article has been attached to the bottom of the report.

In the first real news regarding the Cleveland Browns in days or even weeks Braylon Edwards broke his silence regarding numerous trade rumors surrounding the future of the Pro Bowl receiver via Facebook.

Edwards updated his profile status to read “Braylon Edwards does not want to go to the Giants.”

Following the posting, numerous “friends” of Edwards replied to the status asking for his services for their favorite franchises including the Philadelphia Eagles.

Braylon soon after replied with the statement “No no no no Eli. I’m all for Philly or were I am.”

Braylon Edwards playing for the Browns in 2009 remains a real possibility despite numerous trade rumors.

Braylon Edwards playing for the Browns in 2009 remains a real possibility despite numerous trade rumors.

After, Edwards speaking out like this about Eli it’s hard to see the Giants pull the trigger on a deal they were already skeptical about.  Now, rather than speculate even further and talk about trade scenarios for Edwards to end up in Philly, our concentration as fans should be spent on the words of Edwards.

The Browns only remaining notable receiver made a plea to not only his team but to his fans that his opinions aren’t as obscene about Cleveland as some would assume.  After saying, “I’m all for… … [where] I am,” if nothing else Browns fans should feel a sigh of relief.

I can undoubtedly say that most Browns fans realize the talent level Braylon Edwards supplies the team with.  Most objective fans will also understand that whatever the Browns trade Edwards for it won’t be nearly enough.  Also, the value received for Braylon doubtfully would ever match up to the potential of Edwards.

On the other hand, I realize Edwards has a bad case of the dropsy’s and has made plenty of mental mistakes during his time in Cleveland but it’s important to understand those attributes of his play are strongly dependant on his coaching or lack thereof for the past 4 seasons.

Edwards quotes if nothing else showed that he does not hate Cleveland.  Braylon Edwards like most of the top receivers in the league can tend to have an ego.  However, when the Browns are winning no problems will exist.  Braylon’s words made it clear he isn’t concerned about leaving Cleveland to get a new contract, and that he doesn’t hate the new staff.

All in all, it’s important for Browns fans to keep perspective on the situation.  Edwards is hardly a case of addition by subtraction as some fans think.  If Braylon wants to be here and will accept the new coaching staff I have no problem with him remaining one of the most dynamic members of the Cleveland Browns for years to come.

Braylon Edwards Facebook Conversation

15 wins and counting.

April 20, 2009

Saturday afternoon the Cleveland Cavaliers lived up to playoff expectations unlike the Boston Celtics and Orlando Magic when they defeated the Detroit Pistons 102-84.  The team tipped off just as Boston was being finished off by Chicago in a 105-103 overtime thriller.  The score undoubtedly reminded the Cavs that the playoffs had come and now is not the time to sleep on a lesser matched opponent.

LeBron James wasted no time in the early goings hitting everything the defense allowed including an easy dunk and a glorious finger roll.  The shooting display was soon followed by an encore from the supporting cast who shot 52% for the game.

By now this has to be getting awfully familiar for the Detroit Pistons come playoff time.

By now this has to be getting awfully familiar for the Detroit Pistons come playoff time.

As for personal performances, Joe Smith looked like a new man out on the court scoring 13 points in 19 minutes.  Ilgauskas, West and Williams each added 12 points on top of LeBron’s 38.  Boobie Gibson also managed to continue his shooting hot streak with a nice appearance shooting 2-3 for 5 points in 14 minutes.

The highlight of the game came in the final seconds of the first half when LeBron attempted a running shot from nearly half court with less than a second remaining.  Needless to say, not only did the shot go in but James actually put it off glass.  At the end of the half he said of the shot “I was going to chase it until it went in the hoop.” The crowd exploded and it was the beginnings of what hopes to be an unbelievable playoff run for the Cavaliers.

With one win in the books the Cavs magic number lowers to 15 victories for the NBA title and 3 to make it to Eastern Conference Semifinals.

The team now looks forward to Tuesday night’s game 2 back in Cleveland at The Q.  The Cavs will aim at defending home court and put the Pistons in an almost insurmountable 2 game hole.  If the team manages to recreate its dominating performance from Saturday the rest of the series will likely be nothing more than a formality.

The key for the Cavaliers will be maintaining focus.  If the Pistons suspect any sort of disrespect it wouldn’t be surprising to see them take their anger out physically on the Cavs.  However, with LeBron James leading the team and oozing with playoff experience it’s doubtful he would make the arrogant mistake of looking past the Pistons and on to the second round not even two games into the series.

The Pistons will attempt a new technique on Tuesday night... defend LeBron.

The Pistons will attempt a new technique on Tuesday night... defend LeBron.

On a side note, Detroit’s game plan looks to make a shift before Tuesday’s game.  The “biggest” Cavs headline following Saturdays win came when Detroit’s head coach Michael Curry made the shocking announcement that the team will increase its defense on LeBron James.  Wow!

Tuesday night in Cleveland the biggest hope for Cavs fans outside winning will be to see improvement in the play of Ben Wallace.  Playing only 12 minutes in game 1 Wallace looked, well quite frankly, like a guy who hasn’t played much basketball in 7 weeks.  It will be important for Wallace to get back in game shape for the later round matchups as well as upping his work load to around 20 minutes.

Beyond the obvious, there isn’t much left to say about the Cavs first round matchup other than it looks to be a fairly quiet one.  Detroit didn’t look to cause too much of a fuss despite being severely under matched.  If the pace of game 1 maintains through the series the Cavs look to be quite healthy and fresh come the Eastern Conference Semifinals against the winner of the Atlanta/Miami series.