General

The silver lining for the Browns and other observations from a strange Cleveland sports weekend

WFNY_generic

It was an interesting and eventful weekend in Cleveland sports, even if there were just a few games. I had a few thoughts about what happened that I wanted to share…

Browns

The silver lining in the RGIII to the Redskins mess is the timing. The Browns can now move on and prepare knowing that RGIII is out of the picture. We will likely never know for certain how the Redskins were able to outbid the Browns, and what the Browns were willing to give up to get Griffin. What I am convinced of, is that the Redskins would have always been willing to give up more than the Browns. That being the case, I think the Browns were destined to lose this bidding war.

Now I want you to imagine the scenarios they would have had to gameplan for if the Redskins and Rams waited until the day of the draft to make this move. How many discussions and meetings would have been devoted to the subject? How much time and how many resources would have been wasted if Washington had added the 2014 first rounder while the Rams were on the clock, sealing the deal?

Now every interview and pro day they attend will have a different significance. They can game plan for the 4th and 22nd pick. They can decide what players they think are worth the 4th pick, and under which circumstances they would be willing to trade out of the pick.

They enter into free agency this week with a clearer understanding of where they stand. Fans may not like where they stand, in fact the team may not like where they stand, but it is much better knowing now with time to do something about it.

Cavaliers

I don’t remember ever seeing a player in Cleveland this overlooked.

Antawn Jamison is the team’s leading scorer, just edging out rookie sensation Kyrie Irving. He is the second leading rebounder, behind only Anderson Varejao. Despite his age, he hasn’t missed a game and leads the team in minutes played. It is Jamison that has been keeping the Cavs in games for the first three quarters, before giving way to Kyrie in the fourth.

And that is almost symbolic of what is happening among the fan base.

Everyone knows that he isn’t part of the future of the Cavaliers, no matter how great of a person he is. His contract is up after this year, and the team is looking forward to that cap space, that is if they can’t find a partner to trade with and ship Jamison off for a young player or good draft pick.

Nevermind that the Cavaliers would not have won the last three games without the play of Jamison, or that he averages nearly 26 points a contest in March.

What we tend to remember is the way that Kevin Garnett was able to score at will against the Cavs in the playoffs with Jamison defending. Or the way Chris Bosh does the same when the Heat come to town.

And those are legitimate reasons that Jamison won’t be part of the team when the Cavaliers are ready to contend with those types of teams in the playoffs. But it is strange to see such an integral part of a Cleveland team get virtually no attention or love from the fans.

[Related: Browns didn’t know Redskins offer in trade talks]

[Related: Did Browns offer Rams 3 first rounders?]

[Related: Antawn Jamison profile]

  • mgbode

    Jamison wasn’t truly apart of the good past with the Cavs (as our only real memory with him is Garnett abusing him).

    Jamison isn’t likely apart of the seemingly bright future with the Cavs (for reasons you stated).

    the present has been more fun than expected but it’s tough not to think of the past or the future while watching the Cavs and also knowing not to get attached.

    oh, and he still isn’t a very efficient scorer.  his scoring is definitely needed on this particular team, and he’s on a hot streak right now, but overall he’s still mostly a chucker to get his overall points (42%-FG 35%-3pt 66%-FT).

  • Vindictive_Pat

    I’m honestly not sure what to think about Jamison.  His shooting percentages are pretty crummy and he takes a ton of shots, so it’s hard to say if anyone else would step up and claim those points if he wasn’t around.  He’s done a great job of keeping the Cavs in the last 3 games with his shooting, but there are also plenty of examples of games where he wasn’t hitting shots and it killed the team (like our last loss to the Celtics).  He also doesn’t rebound the basketball very well for a power forward.  However, he doesn’t turn the ball over much and seems to have a knack for getting open.  But he’s definitely a sub-par defender.  Man I don’t know.  The guy is an enigma.

  • Jack

    Can’t help but think last week marked some serious turning points for Ohio fans:

    1) miss RGIII – I think that will end up being a big loss 

    2) Cavs refusing to lose – worrying that the rebuild plan is going to fall apart here as quickly as it got a boost from Kyrie 

    3) OSU can’t beat MSU – missed out on the easiest regional

    Extra worried about the Cavs. Would’ve been in very good shape with one more top 5 pick. Looks like that dream is out the window. 

    Don’t feel like the teams I support got much right in the last 5-7 days.

  • steve-o

    With a year to prepare the Browns should be ready for this draft and all contingencies regardless of the events leading up to it. In the grand scheme of things the Redskins will be severely handicapped building their team around RG3, the Browns haven’t really lost anything (we still have multiple early picks), and the Rams made out like bandits. 

    Moving forward I’m wondering if the pass first/run later fad in the NFL might slow down. Most defenses are now being built to stop the pass. If we build a team with a stout defense and  an offense that can run down the other team’s throat all day, we may just be in business.

    Jamison is doing exactly what we expected when we traded for him – just two years too late. This team and coach are going to do everything within their ability to win games, and that is exactly what they should do. It is up to the management to see the big picture and make the necessary moves for the future. In a few days both Sessions and Jamison should be moved and an extra first round pick added. The cost is that the team will struggle the rest of the way this season, but we will be able to get a very good player in the T8 of the draft and then hopefully find another key piece later. When we are true contenders in a few years this season will be long forgotten, but the players we acquire won’t be.

  • Da_uber1

    I know, I know  I shouldn’t look at the intangibles as much as I do. But watching Jamison and his leadership and influence on the young players I’m beginning to think ‘Id like him to stick around. That quick off leg shot he takes is a real advantage. Ive seen boobie Gee and TT all use it lately. It seems he has the teams respect and Scott’s back. I think that is so important. I know his skills are gonna start declining but if the contract is right and he accepts a declining role it would be nice to have him here for the next run

  • cmm13

    The day I am upset that a team I support “refused to lose” is the day I turn in my fandom.

    I understand the want for a high draft pick; but I also understand the value in Kyrie developing a killer instinct and wanting to close games with a W.

    In all honesty I still do not see us landing the 8th seed and will then have to trust Antonetti makes the right moves at the trade dealine to secure additonal picks and young/cheap talent.

  • Jack

    I know; I know. It’s impossible to root for this bunch to “soften up.” And Ky as has been special. And I don’t mean “refuse to lose” as in actively pursue losing, I was just referring to the win streak…a term I never thought we’d use in conjunction with this edition of the Cavs. 

    Don’t think we land the 8 seed either, but NY is an absolute mess.

  • Lyon25

    i feel it will be more like NY lost it than Cle or Mil won it.  We may win some games, but we do still lose a lot of games we shouldn’t, see Washington Wizards for proof

  • Harv 21

    agree about NY. Funny that a team with that roster is in the middle of a 5 game losing streak in mid-season. What happens when you just throw expensive, pungent crap into the stew without considering how it might taste together. And it’s the coach who will undoubtedly take the fall.

  • cmm13

    It’s amazing to me that with all the “star power” and the NBA’s tilt of coverage towards the Knicks when Lin caught fire that they are still in the shambles they are.

    Agree with Lyon below that if we or Milwaukee squeak in; it’s because NY blew it.

    ……..leans back in chair, closes eyes and imagines Dwade on Kyrie in the last seconds of game 5.  Kyrie brings the ball up himself, makes a cut to the right where we gives to Andy.  Andy flails his elbows in a pinwheel motion to draw the defender off while Kyrie breaks for the rim.  Andy feeds the ball back to Kyrie who now finds #6 switched on him.  Kyrie stops on a dime, pulls up and away, floats a last second shot over #6’s outreached hand as the buzzer sounds.  Cleveland erupts as Kyrie takes his jersey off and hands it to #6 as a parting gift.

    #daydreambeliever

  • Max

    unfortunately, I don’t see a “run down the other team’s throat all day” kind of guy in Shurmur, Childress, Heckert or Holmgren. I see more of the “Screen pass to the line of scrimmage on 3rd and 3”

  • 5KMD

    In terms of Jamison, it’s one of the most important parts of drafting a fantasy team in hoops. Somebody on every team is going to score points. Jamison is our guy. Doesn’t necessarily mean he is doing it well.