Wednesday, May 30, 2007

That'll Be Enough

Ok, I'll say what all Cavs fans are thinking: Later Larry. Might be harsh, might be presumptive, but it really is the truth. Larry Hughes has been paid number one money for doing number two, or three work. This is going to be a popular topic throughout the blogosphere today, but I will attempt to put a different spin on it, by saying that I don't blame Larry at all. It wasn't his fault he had an injury last year, in addition to everything that happened to his brother. He is just apart of a long line of Cleveland curses. I still think Hughes has an opportunity to be a good player, just not here.

As the leader of the Washington Wizards, he was apart of the most prolific scoring trios, along with Gilbert Arenas and Antawn Jamison. Hughes also had another thing going for him: he could play defense. In his walk year, he averaged over 20 points for the first (and only) time in his career and was considered one of the better options for the Cavs, along with Ray Allen and Michael Redd.
At this same time, a new GM was being ushered in the Front Office for the Cavs, and his name was Danny Ferry. He came from San Antonio, a place where he finished his playing career and started his management career. He had all the credentials to be a GM, and he had all the money in the world in that off season.

The Cavs were expecting a lot out of him and looking back, he let us down. He gave Z a max deal, when nobody else was even putting an offer on the table. Then, he signed Hughes after losing out on both Redd and Allen. He was praised for signing Hughes, praised for essentially spending Dan Gilbert's money without any context or care. So, where does that leave us now? Well it leaves us with Sasha Pavlovic, acquired from the Utah Jazz under the Jim Paxon era, an old Eric Snow, and Cleveland's new darling.

Booby, Booby, Booby. If the Cavvies go ahead and beat the Pistons in this series, you could point back to the second quarter of Game 4 as the moment the whole series changed. The Cavs desperately needed someone to step up and be a leader, and it was Gibson who answered the call. He scored 11 points in that span, only taking two shots. Pretty fantastic, and this kid can only get better. The second quarter performance of Daniel Gibson is what Larry Hughes was hired to do.
Almost feeling the pressure of the walls closing in around him, Hughes came out in the third quarter of the game and took the first three shots of the Cavs' second half, and missed them all pretty brutally. This off-season is the time in which the Cavs, and Cleveland, need to say goodbye to Larry Hughes. I don't know how the money would work out, I don't know who I want for him, but I know that he has effectively been replaced on this team. You remember when you played Little League baseball? There was always a kid on the team who was a huge liability, and he usually was the son of the coach, almost ensuring he had playing time. Then, one day you're playing a huge game against your biggest little league rival, and, miraculously, this liability is hurt! You pretend to care for the sake of your coach who you respect, but inside you are ecstatic that this kid will not be on the field. This is the way I felt about Larry Hughes when I heard that he was going to miss Game 4. I was secretly happy inside, secretly thinking that we can finally find out how good Daniel Gibson is.
We found out last night. Mr. Ferry, it is time to earn your stripes as a GM and let Larry Hughes leave this team, a team that he failed. Hughes has the potential to be a good player again, but this is the time to figure out where that place is, because the 2007 Playoffs is quickly becoming Booby time.

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