Wednesday, January 25, 2006

Told ya so!

The Cavs took a chance on Larry Hughes, who hasn't played a full season this century and only managed it once in his entire career. Teen girls with mono don't miss as much school as Larry Hughes misses games. He just turned 27 a couple days ago (where was HIS birthday celebration?) and has been playing in the NBA since just after he became eligible to vote. Yet Hughes has played in 50, 82, 50, 73, 67, 61, and 61 games. The Cavs will probably get around 55 games from Hughes, which isn't even his average of 63 games played per season. But when you're signing a guy with a spotty health record, you need to be prepared for the inevitable injury.

Too bad the Cavs weren't. Damon Jones, who started a half-dozen games, has turned out to be Cleveland's biggest free-agent bust since Andre Rison. Now they're trying Sasha Pavlovic, who wet his pants at the end of the Cavs loss in Denver on their recent West Coast trip. Sasha did score 16 against Indiana last night in his second start, so maybe there's hope yet.

But Hughes' injury, and to a lesser degree Drew Gooden's absence from the lineup for a couple games, exposed the Cavs lack of depth. Beyond a solid starting five, there's nothing on this team to recommend. They've gone 4-7 without Hughes, despite the greatness of Lebron James. Fortunately the Cavs have lucked into the Indians strategy -- stay competitive because of a crummy division. Except for Detroit, everyone in the Eastern Conference is mediocre, and the Cavs might just wind up with the fourth spot anyway if they can tread water until Hughes comes back. Even though God hates them.

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