TLN Pre-Season Perspective: Interviewing Cavalier Attitude

    Hey Guys,

    We’re counting down the days ’til the start of the new season, and it’s about time for everyone to be making predictions. This year, instead of just doing one prediction, I decided to go out and interview one blogger for every NBA team.

    The bloggers whose opinions we will be graced with over the next few weeks are the best of the best, as all of them have featured in Yahoo’s Ball Don’t Lie basketball blog’s Blog Association, where Kelly Dwyer has been profiling the best team-centric NBA blogs out there. If you have any inclination of increasing your knowledge about the NBA, these are the blogs you need to read and subscribe to (I know I will be!).

    Today, we are honored to interview Amar from Cavalier Attitude, one of the premier Cavs blogs. Amar was was gracious enough to give up some of his time to answer some questions regarding the Lakers and Cavs.

    Jonny: Out on a limb, although backing it up with solid reasoning would be cool too, what do you think the ball park for the Cav’s 08-09 regular season record will be, and do you think it will be enough to win the East?

    Amar: I predicted 52-30 last season after the team was coming off of back-to-back 50-32 seasons. But it seems like I’d have more reasons to think that this year than last. Last season, the team was mired by contract disputes and player holdouts. This season, there’s none of that, and the team added a legitimate point guard in Mo Williams alongside LeBron James for the first time in LeBron’s career. Anything less than 50 wins is severe underachievment, and although it may not be good enough to win the East’s regular season standings, the Cavs have always proven to be far more dangerous in a postseason series.

    Jonny: Again, out on the said limb, what do you think the ball park for the Laker’s 08-09 regular season record will be, and do you think it will be enough to win the West?

    Amar: They were 57-25 last season despite having Pau Gasol for only half a year and having Andrew Bynum miss a half with injury. Los Angeles is locked at several key positions, and if they can get good health out of Kobe, Gasol, Odom, and Bynum, then they could be a threat to win 60 games. However, their failure to be a good defensive team – let alone an elite one – could be a reason that they don’t get back to the Finals. They were 19th in points allowed last season and 15th at defending the three-point line, while the team that beat them – Boston – was at the top of every defensive category.

    Jonny: How do you feel the Cavs match up with the Lakers over a 7-game series?

    Amar: The interesting thing when trying to see how this would play out is that the Cavs never faced the Pau Gasol Lakers. Cleveland has won five straight against the Lakers dating back to 2006 and six of the last seven. They’ve owned the Lakers as of late, but a guy like Gasol alongside a guy like Bynum changes everything. The supporting cast and coaching favor the Lakers, which is why I think that L.A. would probably take the series in seven games.

    Jonny: Lakers fans are split down the middle on Odom; some love his versatility, others hate his inconsistency. As an opposing fan, how do you rate Odom?

    Amar: It’s interesting that you’d ask this question since I really wanted the Cavs to make a pitch for Odom back in 2006. I think he’s the perfect guy to have as the “third wheel.” The LA fans who hated him probably didn’t like him as the primary sidekick alongside Kobe Bryant. We in Cleveland have had our share of inconsistent sidekicks in Larry Hughes and Drew Gooden, who are like Odom in that they are not All-Stars and have a bigger reputation as players than their game warrants. So in that sense, I feel your pain. But with Kobe as the alpha dog and Gasol as his wingman, Odom fits in perfectly as the third option.

    Jonny: What do you think of Kobe’s decisions to put-off surgery on his injured pinky?

    Amar:That decision kind of makes it seem like Kobe knows that it’s “now or never.” This is, by far, the best Laker team that he’s had since Shaq left, and the window for his prime is about two more years (three if he’s lucky). He doesn’t want to put in the time to have surgery and rehab when he seems driven to win the title this year itself. It’s definitely a message that it’s now or never for the Los Angeles Lakers, and it’s a big gamble on Kobe’s part. Depending on what happens during the season to that pinky, it might shave off a few quality years from the tail end of his career.

    Jonny: What is your perception on Bynum? Lakers fans have him pegged as the next *insert hall-of-fame center*, yet the rest of the league doesn’t seem to hold him in such a high regard.

    Amar:Truth be told, I’ve never been high on Bynum. He’s not Dwight Howard, he’s not Yao Ming, he’s not Amare Stoudemire, and he sure as hell will never, ever be Shaq. He’s certainly an above-average center with the possibility of All-Star Games in his future, but he’s overrated only because of the high esteem that Laker fans hold him in. Right now, though, I don’t see his value to the team being any more than Lamar Odom’s. And Odom’s not an All-Star.

    Jonny: If you could have one player for the 08-09 season, who would it be: Kobe or Lebron?

    Amar: Damn, you’re going to put me on the spot here for your readers, aren’t you? Either I’m a homer or I’m not loyal. I think that LeBron’s the better all-around player – better passer, better playmaker, better rebounder. Kobe’s the better defender, and the scoring abilities are up for debate since LeBron just won the scoring title but Kobe has 81. LeBron has done more with less before, however. He has never used sorry supporting casts as an excuse, and his teams have always overachieved because of his through-the-roof abilities. No question with who I’m going with here: King James.

    Jonny: A lot of people are wondering how much the addition of Mo Williams will affect Cleveland. what do you feel are the best and worst case scenarios for the Cavs?

    Amar: The Cavs have never had a point guard with the play-making abilities that Williams showcased in Milwaukee. As a best case scenario, Williams turns into that consistent second scoring option both from the perimeter and a slasher and opens things up both for LeBron on the outside and for Zydrunas Ilgauskas on the inside. That trio could benefit a ton if Williams brings his 17 points per game consistently. As a worst case, Williams mysteriously loses his abilities upon arriving in Cleveland like Larry Hughes did, chucks up brick after brick, shots the team out of games, and makes the same fans who praised GM Danny Ferry for getting the guy curse his name and drive him out of town.

    Jonny: What are your thoughts on the “player exodus” from the NBA to Europe? do you think a Kobe or a Lebron would ever seriously consider leaving the NBA?

    Amar: It’s in its early stages right now, but I don’t think a serious superstar will be going there anytime soon. If anything, it will probably have a huge impact on the league’s Collective Bargaining Agreement and the salary cap, possibly allowing teams to give more money as max contracts to players. That might drive the league into the same problems that led to the lockout back in ’99, but it will definitely be interesting to see how the league and its players respond to this new phenomena.

    Thanks again to Amar for his time and Insights.. Please DO NOT troll Cavalier Attitude, even if you think his ideas are totally off base (which you shouldn’t). Remember, on the Internet, you and I represent Lakers fans everywhere. Lets try to give ourselves a good name.

    • devan

      moron. takes queen james. god where is the intelligence on kobe

    • VoiceofReason

      Smart guy like me.:)

    • Richard

      That’s right “Queen James.” How many championships has he won again? Oh yeah, none.

    • varsityoptimism

      this is a brilliant idea

    • Lakers 24 7

      Bynum overrated???? He would be at Dwights and Yao’s level if he never got injured.

      And We all know Kobe can drop as much points as he wants, the scoring title was pretty much anybodies because Kobe was trying to work with his teammates more. LeBron has 1 scoring title, Kobe has 2, plus the 81 point game, plus the numerous consecutive scoring runs he’s put on and Kobe is a better on-ball defender. Kobe IS the better all-around player, and until he retires, LeBron is second best. Stats aren’t everything or stats aren’t everything atleast when Kobe puts up big numbers, but that cuz he’s a ballhog right? Homos.

      Nobody is more determined, more focused, more hungry, more talented, more skilled, more fierce, more relentless than Mister Kobe Bean F*cking Bryant, and they need to get that through their heads.

    • kb24bestever

      what that guy must be on drugs did he see the olympics..
      who had the ball at the last minutes not lebron it was mamba so without kobe they would of never won the olympics.

      so if you pick queen james in your team you must not wanna win..
      idiots now a days..

    • osm0nd

      Laker nation quit being such homers… Kobe is great, but you can’t say that Lebron is light years behind on a talent level. They are both dominant right now and you can make an argument for both players as to who is the best. The reason why I love Kobe is not because of how good he is, it’s because of how hard he’s had to work to get to where he is right now. Kobe isn’t physically blessed like some players in the league (Lebron), yet he still manages to be the best, or one of the best in the game today. It’s the work ethic that dazzles me.

    • Lakers 24 7

      [Comment ID #50729 Will Be Quoted Here]

      I never said LeBron isn’t good. LeBron is damn good, but you just gotta admit that while Kobe is still in his prime, nobody has the ability to do some of the things or maybe most of the things he’s doing or has done. I just don’t see how LeBrons the better all around player. Kobe’s the better shooter, better defender, has a better post-up game, shoots a higher FT percentage, has unlimited range and scoring abilities, is more focused on the game, I mean he doesn’t kneel down and talk to Jay-Z on the sideline.

    • lakerschamps09

      idk who he is so his homer opinions are not important to me….. bynum overrated maybe but hes just mad the cavs dont have bynum if cavs had bynum he wouldnt be sayin that shit fu kin idiot …. i hope he likes the a s s kicking his cavs get when we beat em twice… pshshshsh

    • Paul

      [Comment ID #50722 Will Be Quoted Here]

      HAHAHA. Well real talk though.. Kobe did have Shaq and the gang.

    • JoHnDo

      Why would he choose Lebron over Kobe? Kobe is the best player in the NBA because of his overall game. Great offense, great defense, always gives 100 percent, great passer, and a great player to give the ball to for last second shots. Kobe is also the hardest working player in the league. If he has one bad game, he’ll be in the gym early morning the next day. As for Andrew Bynum, to me he will be a top 5 center in the NBA if he stays healthy and if he develops his post moves. Look out for this guy. Laker fans keep putting his name out there!

    • jonny

      Guys, let’s try to avoid the homer “this guy must be on drugs/out of his mind” comments. Amar is giving us his opinion on things as he sees them, from a Cavs-centric perspective.

      Hopefully, by the end of this series, we will all have a better understanding of how the rest of the NBA views us, as well as more knowledge on the rest of the NBA as well

      Thanks again Amar!

    • http://thelakersnation.com/blog jonny

      [Comment ID #50731 Will Be Quoted Here]

      I think we actually lost both games to them last year.

      Kobe and Lebron guarding each other in both those games down the stretch was a detriment to us because Kobe couldn’t shoot over Lebron and Lebron was able to take him into the paint.

      the gap between Kobe and Lebron isn’t as big as we’d like to think. Kobe is the better shooter, better free-throw shooter, and has better footwork, but other facets of their games are looking to be ties at best.

      This year, we’ll have Lamar on Lebron, and hopefully that will change how we guard him.

    • SamV

      does he know bynum is only 20?

    • RAZOR RAMON

      This was actually worth reading! very good!

      Bynum will put his sac on igalasgus chin this season, then he’ll know who bynum is!!!

    • e

      of course when u have vlad rad on lebron for most of the game, cavs are gonna win…radman cant even guard a chair to save his life

    • roscoe

      yeah, it just speaks badly about all laker fans you guys, the actual idiots, go off on a rant about the article that the dude was kind enough to give his time to do. obv. all you guys wanna hear is people sucking kobe’s wang. dont get me wrong, im a huge kobe fan but of course a cavs blogger is gonna go with lebron.

      and btw, good idea on the interviews.

    • Freshh

      Lebron>>Kobe

      sorry guys.

      But as long as it’s Lakers>>Cavs

      It’s all good right.?

    • awaker85

      As far as who is better, Lebron or Kobe, think of it this way. How good would Lebron be if you took his skill set and put it in Kobe’s body? Sure he would be good, NO WHERE NEAR what he is now, and certainly no where near where Kobe is now. He’d probably just barely squeeze into the all-star game roster last year. Now take Kobe’s skill set and put it in Lebron’s body. Kobe would easily be considered the greatest player of all time no question. He would have surpassed MJ years ago. Such a huge part of Lebron’s game is more brut strength than skill. He has no where near the skill set that Kobe has. That being said, Lebron DOES have that body. I don’t think Lebron has unseated Kobe yet as best in the game, but he’ll certainly do that in the next 2 or 3 years for sure. But when both of their carears are played out, and Kobe’s won his 6 championships, and Lebron has 1 or 2, I don’t think anyone will even be talking about this anymore. : )

    • travis

      should at least put the date that the game will be on in the original article.

    • T.A.

      This is a horrible idea.

      CUT IT NOW

      this is only going to piss off laker fans by reading these stupid azz homers say there is team is good and the lakers are just okay

    • ryguy2303

      Worst idea in TLN history.

    • xtro

      LeBron, a better all round player??? King James can’t deliver in the clutch. Kobe has three rings. Bron has nada, zip, zero, bagel.

    • kb24bestever

      the first game its gonna be played on monday,january,19 at 7:30 on TNT.
      The second game will be played on sunday,february,8 at 12:30 on ABC.

    • LAL FAN

      I think this is a great idea to get other blogs prespectives. Laker fans should enjoy hearing what others think about their home team and the Lakers team. I’m the biggest homer of anyone, but when Lakers games are on TNT or ESPN, I always try to watch them instead of FSN or KCAL, not because I like national ones better per se, but because I enjoy hearing the national prespective. Sometimes we can be so pro Lakers that we miss what others might see. I like this new feature and would like to see it with other fan blogs around the league. Well done.

    • http://thelakersnation.com/blog jonny

      [Comment ID #50771 Will Be Quoted Here]

      we’re going to have 1 guest interview for each NBA team, including the Lakers.

    • LAker4Lyfe

      Please don’t ever put antying that has to do with this moron on this website again. After he said Bynum is overrated and Lebron over Kobe, I couldnt read the rest. Cavalier homer.

    • Victory

      Lmao you are homer’s also you idiots. Bynum is overrated but he has potential to be great. I think he will be great tho,i actually like his game. His opinion on lebron and kobe was right on also. I don’t think lebron will ever be a great shooter because of his size so if you put kobe’s skills in lebron’s body it’ll be the same thing. Lebron is 6’9 260 kobe is 6’6 216 i think. Oh yea the cavaliers have smoked the lake show 5 out of the last 6 times including sweeps the last two years. Kobe complained and put his teammates down on camera. Lebron plays wit garbage and doesn’t say anything. Give me lebron on my team

    • http://youtube.com/MvpGoesToKobe LakersNewDynasty08

      [Comment ID #50751 Will Be Quoted Here]

      lick my balls

    • barry

      um, what has kobe accomplished without shaq man playing with him?

      nothing, whereas shaq won a championship with miami.

      what did the shaq-less lakers do until they got gasol? nothing – and they still lost when the celtics pick and rolled them to death – not to mention that awful non-call on fisher when he fouled barry on that 3 point attempt against the spurs.

      so exactly how good *is* kobe? swap kobe with lebron, and the cavs probably barely .500 and clearly don’t get out of the first round.

      maybe the better question is: who is the better teammate, that is, who makes more of a positive impact on their team and makes his teammates play better? anyone outside of LA would probably say lebron.

    • cavs fan

      I read Amar’s blog and he’s pretty objective about the Cavs. I don’t think he was saying that Bynum isn’t better than Z, or that at 20, Bynum can’t become an All-Star player. He’s saying that right now, the Bynum hype is more than he currently is. And at the very least, that’s a reasonable statement, even if you disagree. He did say that he’s already an above average center. I think if the question had been “Would you trade Z for Bynum?” he definitely would have agreed.

      Same with the Kobe/LeBron question. Either is defensible. Its not like he picked McGrady over Kobe. Or Iverson. The one thing that LeBron has going for him is ‘potential’. He’s still improving each year he’s been in the league, while Kobe is at his peak. Its a hell of a peak, to be sure, but I think that for some people, there is still the expectation that LeBron will continue to improve in 08/09.

    • kevin

      i’m a cavs fan so i guess your arent gonna like this but anyway.

      You forget 2 important things: 1)Kobe plays SG and LeBron SF so it’s quite different. And their games are totally different. Yes LeBron has a big body but he knows how to use it. Not anybody is able to do that. And Kobe is one of the most athletic guys in the league dont ever forget that. If you want to compare Larry bird with Lebron then the body argument is ok.

      2) Kobe is 30 and LeBron is 23(let the kid grow)

      I also wanted to say that saying Kobe has 3 rings and James none doesnt mean anything: plenty of great players havent a rig while some not so good players have plenty!(would you say that Horry is better than Karl Malone??????).

      So my point is that we cant really compare those players. They are both great period. Maybe a comparison will be relevant when their careers will be over!(but I’d say that the 23year old Lebron is better than the 23year old Kobe)

      BTW Lebron was the best 4th quarter scorer last year and cleveland had the most comebacks in the whole league….So you cant say he is not clutch. I admit that Kobe is clutch a well dont worry.

    • lakers08-09

      [Comment ID #50742 Will Be Quoted Here]

      It’s funny and true.Shows you how long a center can hang around in the league for after years of injuries(Mimms).Bynum has that it factor.He is not afraid of Shaq.(Miami),Kobe Or Phil(in there face)Sasha give me the fn ball. Have to say James is the future.Kobe is the man Jerry calls Mr. Clutch.Hopefully he accepts a lesser role for a longer future. Portland is in the rear view mirror.The West
      has gotten better yet again.

    • iskerfan567

      [Comment ID #50804 Will Be Quoted Here]

      RAAZOR RAMON I WAS DEING OF LAUGHTER AFTER YOUR POST :lol:

    • iskerfan567

      I LOVE THIS DEBATE, I think its great that ppl are coming from there site to post to there opion here :rock:

    • kb24bestever

      ok cavs fans.
      lebron played with garbage???

      what are you talking about how many points did daniel gibson score in da eastern finals as a rookie do you hear that as a rookie in the finals name me a player from da lakers besides kobe that scored 30 points before last season when we had kwame,bynum,evans,cook,odom,minh,parker,sasha,farmar,radmanovic,walton,turiaf,aron mckie,shammond williams..
      are you serious i mean how ignorant can yall be all those players were rookies or sohpmores and the rest were some garbage come on and remember we play in the west not in the east and at the time the west was even better than the east and yall gone come here and tell me kobe put his teammates out there come on he almost beat the suns by himself.
      remeber they were up 3-1 and none of those players could step up just to win 1 more game and remember we wasnt playing da wizards,we wasnt playing the nets,the bulls,the 76ers,the pacers,toronto which kobe droped 81 on them we was playing the suns..
      against players like steve nash,raja bell,stoudamire,marion,diaw,nd barbosa..
      come on now.
      just playing against all those teams 4 times a year gets tireing.
      when you play the wizards in the first round,the nets in the second,and than the pistons i mean everyteam in the league has a chance of making the nba finals like that no disrespect to the pistons but i rather play the pistons than the suns anyday of the week..
      and when you got players like larry hughes drew gooden rookies droping 30 in the finals,ilgauskez,eric snow,pavlovic,varejao,and jones on your team and your in the east you have a great chance of making it to the nba finals specially at that time when the east was even worst but i dont kno about winning it all because we saw the example with the cavs yeah i think we all remember they got swept..
      and now i hope yall could just keep yall mouth shut because i think i proved a point.

    • Victory

      Ok you talking bout two years ago almost wit gibson. Gibson a good player but he was injured mostly all of last year. Ya’ll crazy also if you don’t think bron was the best player in the olympics after d wade

    • osm0nd

      [Comment ID #50798 Will Be Quoted Here]

      Nicely said… except the part where you started talking about Lebron’s body and Kobe being one of the most athletic guys in the league so you can’t compare the two. Kobe is one of the more athletic guys in the league, but Lebron IS the most athletic guy in the league. The dude is BIG! yes we all know he’s big, but he runs like a 4.4 or 4.5 or something too! that is just insane for a guy that is 6’8″ and weighs 260!! He is BIGGER and FASTER than Kobe, and his quickness is almost as good.

      However when it comes to the skill set, Kobe can many things right now that Lebron simply cannot. But as far as who is the better player, i feel an argument can be made for both, but me being a Laker fan will side with Kobe. It’s just amazes me that Lebron is only like 24 or something… stop hating, just sit back and enjoy the greatness in the NBA right now.

    • kobean

      [Comment ID #50753 Will Be Quoted Here]then put iverson, c-paul, and wade in kobe’s body

    • yash

      [Comment ID #50722 Will Be Quoted Here]

      I agree with you, but no one has seen the best of lebron yet. As much as I hate “the Queen”, i think he wouldve had atleast one if he had legit players, only legit players in his team now is mo will, boobie gibson, Z, and Big Ben. Kobe had Shaq in his prime, so i dont know bout that. I hate Lebron but i have to say if he had better team he wudve got atleast 1 ring

    • barry

      can anyone really say that swapping kobe and lebron would still result in the cavs taking the celtics to seven games without being labelled a MAJOR laker homer?

      THAT is the question i’d like to see responses to.

      yeah, kobe did try to involve his teammates more but it wasn’t a natural inclination, nor would i describe it as a strength for kobe, whereas. if players like ben wallace didn’t continually brick layups, lebron would have had at least 2 more assists a game for the season.

      i think a good way to look at it would be to oompare joe montana & steve young. both are great QB’s but their mindsets were different. montana was about winning by putting the ball in the hands of the guy who gives the team the best chance of winning. steve young was more about what HE could do to win the game.

      while lebron has monopolized the ball in the cavs offense, he did so largely because that gave the cavs the best chance to score. but the olympics showed that he is winning to defer for the team; he had players around him so that his monopolizing the ball actually hurt the team’s chances to win.

    • Brando

      [Comment ID #50796 Will Be Quoted Here]

      What? So just because Shaq won a title without Kobe makes LeBron the better player? Tell me what did Shaq do in that series did he win Finals MVP no it was Wade.

      Kobe Bryant is the only player in the league that is expected to win without good players now that he has a good team he is still penalized.

    • Anony

      Why do laker fans keep pointing to the fact that Kobe has rings? We all know it was Shaq! If he and D-wade had hooked up earlier Kobe would have had nadda. We saw him get shat on last year in the fnals. So what’s really hood. LeBron passed him in almost every offensive statistical category last year (except in 3′s). 80 points was 2 seasons ago. We’ll call that Kobe’s prime. But now it’s LBJ’s time to shine.

    • Anony

      “Kobe Bryant is the only player in the league that is expected to win without good players now that he has a good team he is still penalized”

      ??? Lebron won 50 games and made it to the Finals with WHO????? Ok, Big Z. And then???? wtf are you talking about.

    • Brando

      “??? Lebron won 50 games and made it to the Finals with WHO????? Ok, Big Z. And then???? wtf are you talking about.”

      Yeah and LeBron plays in what conference the EAST!?! Kobe would do much better that LeBron does in the East.

    • whipjacka

      If the cavs and the East are so terrible, why have the east won the championship three times in the last five years?

      And why did The Cavs take the Celtics to seven while the Lakers only took them to six?

    • http://hzmdesigns.com Kam Pashai

      [Comment ID #51221 Will Be Quoted Here]

      The Hawks took them to seven as well, does that mean the Hawks are better than the Lakers?

      The Celtics simple played like a totally different team as soon as they reached the ECF.