Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Three and Oh - What a Feeling

The Price is Right have moved to 3-0 after their last victory against the Dream Team 59-49.

The team has previous wins over against Winking Lizard 52-39 and Boston Road 62-59.

So what have you missed over the past three games?

Ryan Stuver hit a game winning shot; despite the 3-0 start, the team is shooting 29% from beyond the arc; and the team will have some roster battles to deal with over the course of the rest of the year.

Ryan Stuver (2.7 ppg, 3.3 rpg - 3 games played) was one reason why the PiR moved to 2-0 earlier this season.  With the game in doubt against the Boston Road Stuver hit the go ahead bucket with under 10 seconds to play to push the team to the 62-59 victory.

With top scorer Brandon Hunter (20.4 ppg, 5.8 rpg) being forced into tough shots, only connecting on 6 of his 18 total tosses, the team needed to find scoring elsewhere and turn up the intensity on the defensive end.

Enter Kyle Komer. 

Komer, a recent signing this season after appearing in a few games in the fall, stepped in to fill the void on the offensive side of the ball.  With 25 points, making all 7 of his threes, a big one coming in overtime, really gave the team an added boost on that side of the ball.

"I felt good, comfortable, and in a groove offensively," he said after the contest. "I had open looks.  I had looks that I took in rhythm.  It's good to come in and help the team get a big win."

Komer is averaging more than 14 points and 4 rebounds in the five total games this season.

Boston Road has been a thorn in the side of the PiR organization.  They are the team last winter season that ended up defeating the then named Mailmen in the Championship game.

"A huge win for us," coach Jason Hunter said afterward, "especially against these guys.  Hopefully it gives us a lot of confidence going forward."

The other members of the Price is Right are filing in right where they left off last season.  Big man Kerry Hunter is topping 10 rebounds per game and has been the linchpin underneath.  Andy Kempf is down in rebounding this year at 8.2 per contest, but that may be due to Hunter taking some of those boards from him.  Coach Hunter is averaging 9 and 3 in points and rebounds respectively and has upped his defensive effort this season.  Mike Petrilli (2 points, 2 rebounds per game) is still looking to find the range that the team signed him for this past year.

Brent Hunter also performed in his first and likely final game of the season against the Dream Team, topping 23 points and grabbing 8 rebounds.  He is playing overseas for the Czech Republic and was given one reprieve game for the holidays.

With the offensive struggles, it shines hope on the season with the 3-0 start.  If the team can begin to find the bottom of the net more regularly, especially from beyond the arc, the wins will come easier, especially with their defense getting better and better with each coming game.

The team has yet to suit up Rob Cruise as he is also involved in the same Czech Republic team that Brent is playing for.  Yet his contract overseas makes it easier for Cruise to join and play more regularly with the PiR, he has missed the 5 games of the year.

Kyle Komer has also recently signed a pro deal with a team Germany, the same team Andy Kempf was playing for in the fall.  The PiR organization gives all of their athletes free reign on where they want to play, especially if it aids their careers in anyway.

Komer may miss most, if not all, Monday contests from now on.

All of this, in turn, shows the need for scoring to come from the leaders of the old offense, brothers Jason and Brandon Hunter, while getting everyone else easy layups or shots in rhythm.  The two leading scorers in the organization must improve their 21 and 33 percent shooting from three point range, especially when the roster is limited in scorers.

Here is to hoping Santa delivered a hot hand for both as the season progresses.

The team will continue play next Sunday the 6th at 6:25 against Wacky Waver, a team still looking for their first victory in the regular season.

Happy holidays.

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Preseason Basketball

The Price is Right have done well this preseason leading up to the Winter League in the BMRL.

Finishing a spotless 2-0 after Sunday's win, the team is looking strong heading into the regular season.  The PiR defeated Darice and Fancus, totaling 154 points in the two combined efforts.

The team is also shooting much better than where it ended in the Fall League this past season.  The PiR shot 42% and 32% from the floor and beyond the three point line respectively during the Fall, but is shot 51% and 38% so far this Winter.  Leading scorer Brandon Hunter has seemed to worked out the kinks during the fall season, raising his shooting average from beyond the arc from 32% to 48% so far.

"The last few months have been a struggle," Brandon said, "I think it not only hurt my game, but the team as well.  I've found a groove right now where everything feels good.  I like the confidence I can bring to the floor when I am shooting well, it shows."

The younger of the Hunters is averaging 29 points in two games this winter.

The roster has undergone some minor changes from the fall until now.  Kyle Knapik, who played in only two games during the fall, was waived.  Andy Kempf (6.5 ppg, 8.5 rpg) was given his full release from Germany and will now be with the team full time along with fellow forward Ryan Stuver (6 rpg).  Big man Rob Cruise will be vying for a spot in the rotation as well, after playing in three of the six games during the fall, he has been jumping from the regular roster and the D-league roster over the past month or so.

The regulars from the fall have carried over.  We spoke of Brandon Hunter, and his family counterparts Jason (12.5 ppg, 60% FG), and Kerry (58% FG, 11 ppg, 10 rpg) join him.  Kyle Komer (13 ppg, 64% FG, 75% 3p) and Mike Petrilli will be the other guards, along with Kempf, Stuver, and Cruise.

The winter schedule has yet to be released, but the good guys will likely be slated in Division 2 for the third year in a row.  The team was bounced from the playoffs in the middle rounds two years ago, then lost in the championship game last year after losing early in the double elimination tournament and fighting to the final game.

Thursday, October 11, 2012

Some Good, Bad, and Ugly as RiR move to 3-2

Since we last spoke, the Price is Right has won one and lost one in their shortened Fall series in Brunswick.

Where should we start?

The Good

-  The team is shooting 35% from three point range in 5 games which is one of the highest marks in team history.  Leading the way is coach/captain Jason Hunter who is hitting a staggering 54% of his chucks from back there.  He has been around a 30% shooter from deep over the past few years. 

-  Brandon Hunter is finally starting to find his game.  B. Hunter was 5/8 from inside the arc in the loss this week vs. Old and Slow.  He had 25 points and again made all of his free throws.  He is shooting 73% from the line this season and the team again is shooting a team record high 64%.  Hunter has also begun to slowly find some range from deep as he has increased his 3P% this year from the mid-20s to 32% over the past few games.

-  Kyle Komer has been a great add.  Komer has been running the point more often than not and also adding speed and quickness to the top of the 2-3 zone.  With Pat Cripple being out for the near and long future, Komer has not only filled his shoes, but added another dynamic which the team has never had: the ability to get to the bucket and run an offense.  Komer is shooting 50% from inside of three and has made 12/18 free throw attempts while averaging over 10 points a game (10.5).

-  Andy Kempf returned...briefly.  Andy Kempf saw his first action with the team this past Monday and started where he left off last year, grabbing 12 boards and adding 6 points.  He will help solidify the inside of the 2-3 zone moving forward and provides a great body for screens on the offensive end.

-  The team beat its bitter rival Boston Road last Monday 64-63.  Boston Road has been the team that has always put the stop to PiR's winning ways, but the team found a way to win last week.  The team had a team high 20 free throws and made 15 of them (75%) which really helped control the offensive end.  Always undersized, Jason Hunter ended up playing the post position in the 2-3 zone and recorded 5 rebounds.  The 2-3 zone again did its job and kept the opposition out of the key and caused turnovers and fast breaks.  It was a great rebound win after losing to Boston Road in the championship last season

The Bad

-  The team did lose this past Monday to Old and Slow 70-58 as injuries again have become a mainstay as the teams weakness.  Not only was the team without Ryan Stuver (D-league stint), Mike Petrilli (illness), Rob Cruise (illness), and Kyle Knapik (D-league stint), but Kyle Komer had suffered and broken thumb in the game against Boston Road and was battling injured all night long.  The PiR signed a 10-dayer to help fill the void, but it was not enough down the stretch.  Team chemistry becomes and issue at these points.

The Ugly

- Big man Kerry Hunter's finger.  During the loss this Monday, not only did Kerry bang his head after a "possession charge-block" no-call, he also tore ligaments in his middle finger, leaving it awkwardly bent during the second half.  The team has now official listed him as "out" and has around a 6-8 week recovery coming up leaving the team even smaller than it was before.  The team plans on calling up Ryan Stuver this week to play in the game Monday but is still determining if they want Kyle Knapik as well.  The team is still also monitoring Petrilli and Cruise as they recover from their illnesses.


The team will host The Metro Stars who they were defeated by earlier this season at 9:10 this coming Monday.  It will be the final game of the Fall season before the league is broadened to the 14 team Winter league.  The PiR will likely battle again for the Division II crown, where they came up one game short of winning the championship last season.

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

An Offensive Onslaught as The Price is Right moves to 2-1

Last week we highlighted the ordeal that was the poor offensive side of the basketball for the PiR.

Not a lot of complaints this week.

The PiR scored 68 points on 51% shooting to beat the Ballers by 4 this past Monday.  The 51% is the highest percentage team shooting wise in the organizations short 3 year history.  Another stat to add, the team shot 56% from beyond the arc.  The last time they did this?  March 5th, 2012.  Finally, one more to add with your breakfast, lunch, or dinner.  The last time the team shot over 60% from the free throw line while taking 10 or more free throws?  You'd have to go back to the 30th of January of this year to find a stat like that.  The PiR hit on 18 of the 22 attempts they took from the line Monday.

The hits just keep on coming.  After stalling offensively the first two games of the season, Brandon Hunter finally found his range going 5 of 10 from three, making 7 of 15 shots from the field and totaled a team high 12 free throws (making 10).  He scored 29 points, added 9 rebounds, and controlled the pace from the beginning.

Going on, coach and captain Jason Hunter (18 points, 7 rebounds) has been shooting right around 30% from beyond the arc in these two plus years in the organization.  He is shooting 61% on the year (11/18) and is right around 50% for a total mark this season.

"After last week, this was a great showing for us.  Everything really came together," coach Hunter said after, "We battled all night and kept returning punch for punch, almost figuratively."

The game did turn into quite a physical battle against the Ballers.  Battling inside, for loose balls, and taking the ball to the basket, no one left this game unscathed.  Recently acquired guard Kyle Komer (9 points, 3 rebounds) has left both games bloodied.  A sight that wasn't normal last season.

"You do what you have to do to win the game," Kyle said at his locker after, "I can see where these guys are coming from with how we have to play to win and what kind of respect we get from other teams.  It feels great to win a game like this."

The PiR dressed only six players on this particular night.  Ryan Stuver and Kyle Knapik were out for undisclosed reasons and Andy Kempf is still in a legal battle overseas.  Rob Cruise started at the other big man position and gave the Price is Right something that they usually don't have inside: size over the other team.

The game went back and forth throughout.

A "momentum" type play happened with only 0.5 seconds to go in the first half, the game tied at 35.  Inbounding from the near sideline, Jason Hunter slipped away and was seemingly uncovered as he took a pass running towards the basket.  With no time to dribble the captain, caught, turned and fired a shot about five feet from beyond the three point line.  It was nothing but net heading into halftime.

"We drew that up perfectly" Jason laughed.

Brandon elbowed his way into the ring of reporters, "Yea, he's wide open because they knew they should be doubling me!"

The Price is Right will face Boston Road next Monday at 7:25 EST.  They were 1-1 as of this writing.

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Price is Right Notches First Victory

The PiR defeated Wilson Group this past Monday 53-35 to achieve their first win of the season.  Even though they are still not playing the kind of basketball they would like to, especially on the offensive end.

The new faces may have something to do with the inconsistency so far this season.  The team also added free agent guard Kyle Komer this past weekend ($3m/yr) to help fill a need at the point guard position. 

The lack of offense does not seem to bother coach and captain Jason however.

"You know that will come," he said on the teams phone interview Tuesday morning, "we won last night and we were in the game the night before even without our best offense, so that has to account for something."

The team shot only 24% from three last game after shooting nearly 33% from there in their first contest.  The team did only shoot 31% from three in all of last season, but they still want to be better than that.  Leading scorer from last season Brandon Hunter has struggled mightily in the first two contests, hitting on only 4 of his 19 three point attempts (21%).

Brandon could only shake his head when asked about it, "It sucks.  That's pretty much what I have to say about it.  Guys look for me to put the ball in the basket and I'm just not doing that right now."

"It sucks."

Newly acquired Kyle Komer worked into the team nicely, helping control the pace on both ends of the floor.  Komer had 8 points and 6 rebounds in his first game as a member of the Price is Right and solidified the top end of their 2-3 zone which forced the Wilson Group to work harder on each offensive possession.

"I felt good, comfortable," the newly signed guard said yesterday, "I think I know my role with these guys.  It went well."

Team defense is something that the PiR is not lacking, a staple from the teams previous seasons.  The defense put on a show Monday holding Wilson Group to 35 points and creating fast break baskets on the other end.

"If we can play this well defensively night in and night out, we will have a chance to win every night we step on the floor," big man Kerry Hunter (11 points, 7 rebounds) said last night.

"It's what we do," he continued, "play great D and win the second half."

The good guys play Ballers next Monday at 6:30.

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

New Look

There is a new look in the Brunswick Men's Rec Basketball League this year and it goes something like this:

Wrinkles aside, that is the new look for the old/new team The Price is Right.

You know some of the faces:
Brandon Hunter - coming off a near 21/8 season, leading the team ($8m this season, FA 2013)
Jason Hunter - coach and captain, who shot 43% from inside of 3 last season ($3.67m next 3 years)
Kerry Hunter (Z)- over 7 points and 8 rebounds per game (resigned - $1.45m/yr)
Andy Kempf - team leading 9.4 rebounds per game last season ($2m/2012, $3m, 2013)

Some past faces:
Mike Petrilli - 3 point technician (resigned, $2m/yr)
Ryan Stuver - resigned after some time overseas ($1.45m/yr)

And some new faces:
Rob Cruise - newly signed big-man to add to the middle ($1.37m/yr)
Kyle Knapik - another forward brought up from the Developmental League ($1.05m/yr)

These 8 make up your roster for the upcoming, though short, 6 week season this fall.

The season began yesterday albeit, a loss, to Metro Stars 59-67.

The PiR were down 34-24 at half and as their games usually go, battled back to a 47-47 tie near the middle of the second half of play.  Coach Jason Hunter found his stroke early, hitting on three of his five threes in the first 20 minutes.

"It was good to come out of the gates this year and play well.  I struggled last year shooting from three.  We went over some tape in the summer, changed up my form and technique for this year.  It's working so far."

The second oldest Hunter was 5 for 8 from three in this contest and totaled a team high 20 points.

It was for not however, as the Metro Stars found ways to aggravate the PiR ball handlers all night.  Jason and Brandon Hunter found their pockets picked on several occasions and a few costly turnovers in the second half led to their demise.

"It was frustrating," Brandon Hunter said afterword, "you think you were by them and all of a sudden they were going the other way with it."

Brandon and veteran big man Kerry Hunter got into it a little on the court during the game after a stolen dribble.  Both seemed to brush off the on court altercation.

"Oh that's no big problem," Kerry said, "it's heated because we were both frustrated.  When you want to play well and we aren't, that's going to happen.  We do this once a game, it's nothing new and we are fine."

Brandon simply smiled, "We get into it off the court too, it's how we are, that's our relationship.  There is no ill will on either side."

The PiR was without leading rebounder Andy Kempf tonight and may be without him for a few other games.  He played summer ball with a German national team and they are unwilling to let him out of his contract as of now.  We will keep you updated on any further ongoings of this situation as it unfolds.

In his place, Rob Cruise and Kyle Knapik got their feet wet totaling 4 points and 10 rebounds between the two of them in sparse play.

"They played well," Coach Hunter said, "when you have new guys, and new older guys trying to get back into the flow of what's been going on here it can be an adjustment at first.  We had some slight miscommunication on both sides.  I ran into Brandon twice on offense.  It's the first game, we will get better as a team."

The Price is Right will host Wilson Group next Monday at 6:30.


Where is Crip?

Pat Cripple was viewed by most as the team's second best player, and even best player on some nights, last season.  Reporters wondered, where was he?

Word from the organization is Cripple, along with Andy Kempf both had opportunities to play overseas in the summer, and took them.  Both now are struggling with their teams in contract situations trying to get back home to play. 

Kempf may get to see some action this fall season as negotiations with the German national team seem to be moving along.  Crip's other team, the Chinese national team, has held stern on when and where Pat can play in 2012.  We have been told he will likely miss all of the fall season and his missed playing time could also leak into the winter.

In 2011, Pat was signed to a $3.5 million dollar, 2 year deal.  He would lose a portion of his US paycheck if he misses all of the 2012 fall season.

Thursday, May 24, 2012

To Mr. James

Hey LeBron,

Remember us? Cleveland? You know us right...that team, that city, you walked away from back in good ole 2010, leaving our NBA franchise out to dry.

Well we seem to be doing OK now, not playoffs OK, but up-and-coming OK, then maybe .500 basketball OK next year, then probably playoff basketball OK in two years and.....and then....

....and then.....

that leaves us, well right around the 2014 mark.

The year where, you sir, can opt out of your contract with your current team, the Miami Heat.

Sure things are great there, went to the championship game last year, deep in the playoffs so far this season.  Paces giving you quite a run and quite a scare right now though?  Without the 3rd of the Big Three Chris Bosh out (who knew??), you guys seem to be faltering a bit coming down the stretch.  No worries.  I know you'll probably pull this game out tonight and head to the Eastern Conference Finals...

...but maybe not.

You know reports came out a little ways back about your camp, and yourself, not being entirely happy with your new Miami home.  Something about the management not being to forthcoming with a lot of the treatment you received here, you're real home state of Ohio.


You know I know we made a big stink, me included, about you ditching town, throwing the economy of downtown Cleveland into one of those steaming, off-putting sewers that fill the streets.  You know, embarrassed us on national television, no heads up, no warning, just a sneaky, "don't want my wife to know I'm coming back home at 4am" kind of way.

No big deal.

I thought to myself today, "Self, it's been over two years.  Sure you'll remember that day when Mr. James left for the rest of your life.  You'll remember where you were (my mom and step dads house), where you were sitting (on the couch in their smaller living room), and what you were doing (eating dinner with the extended family).  But we have to least forgive, right?"


"Self, maybe it's time to put it all in the past.  He' a grown man, I'm sure there are plenty of people in this town who may have done the same thing.  Well, maybe not quite the same thing.  But you get the gist of what I'm saying right?"

Wait...confusing myself if I'm still talking to myself or at myself...

Let us get back to it.

Right now, at this very moment, you are preparing to battle the Indiana Pacers, looking for a second straight trip, with your new team, to the Eastern Conference Finals.  Maybe you get there.  Maybe you get to the Championship...

Maybe....just win the whole thing.

But as I pointed out before, before last game, you guys seem to be struggling without the presence of the Predator at the 4 spot.  You know maybe you come up short tonight...then in game 7.  Or maybe you take the series tonight, go on to face your bitter nemesis the Boston Celtics...

...remember when?

I know, we know you do.

Wasn't it fun?  Look at that smile.  You don't see that smile anymore LBJ.  Where did it go?

You had everything here in C-Town. Everything.

When the Cavs failed in the Finals against the Spurs, then against Orlando...we didn't blame you.  You had to deal with the Eric Snow's and Devin Brown's of the world.  You might have took the NBAs worst looking roster ever to the Finals.  There was Boston...something looked different in Boston, it didn't feel right.

Maybe you felt it too.

Maybe your mind was made up already.  That happens.  We all find ourselves at a job we don't want anymore and maybe a new job is on the way.  So we check out.  Mentally, physically...emotionally.  It happens.  Sure the people at the old job might not like us, the way we leave, the way we make our exit.  But hey! Look!  Here comes the new guy to the new job and the new town and everyone is just JACKED to have you here.


Good luck to you tonight.  Good luck to you over the next two years.  Maybe you get your ring this year, I'd bet against it.  It looks like, in my opinion, the trophy stays out West for another year, but maybe.  Or maybe next year, you guys add some more depth on the bench, a steady big man, you have your health and that's when you grab your first ring.  Well if not then, well maybe 2013-2014.


To be honest, I don't want you to win a ring.

Not yet.

Maybe after the 2014 season, four failed attempts at a Championship with the Big Three, you're more homesick than ever.

You see Kyrie Irving, possibly the best true point guard in the game in 2014 pushing the Cavs farther and farther each year.  Maybe in 2014 they make the playoffs.  Maybe they even face your Miami Heat.  Do we beat you?  I would bet against that.  Two years from now I don't see us having the potential to beat you guys if you all maintain your health, your chemistry improves along with your bench...

...but maybe.

Do I not want you to win a ring because I am bitter?  Maybe.  Do I not want to win a ring because I hate you? no.

The reason sir, I do not want you to win a ring down there in Miami... because I want you to win your first one here.  Your home.

Just think.  It's 2014.  You're 30 years old.


You have to want it more than ever right?  Maybe Kobe gets one more before he retires.  Maybe Durant has his ring, maybe he has two...or three.  Maybe the New York Knicks finally figure it out and steal one.

What then?

You look at the Cavs roster.  You see Irving, now a two-time All-Star and getting better every year.  Tristan Thompson, who maybe can't shoot it like Bosh does, but who will out-rebound him, block shots (NBA Defensive Team), and run the floor with you.  Maybe your buddy Varejao is still there, doing the dirty work that no one likes to do.  Hell, maybe your boy Boobie is still around....maybe.

But besides those guys you see that we added another scorer at the 2 (James Harden? Eric Gordon? OJ Mayo?)...maybe a legit 7 footer (Andre Drummond from UConn, Fab Melo from Syracuse).  We have bench depth with Alonzo Gee, Bradley Beal from Florida....and you think to yourself...

"I can do this."

And you can...and you should.

You could be that missing piece.  Instead of us trying to fit pieces around you, why not you come back, be that missing piece for Cleveland?  Be that missing piece...that sends us to a NBA Championship.

Hell if the fans show Mr. Dan Gilbert that we would welcome you back, you don't think he would?  He would.  Dan loves this city and its people.  Yea he may have stepped a little over the line...I loved that he stuck up for his town.  Who wouldn't love a guy like that?  You guys can patch things up, its been over four years right?  Sure, maybe his letter to the city was right, maybe you didn't win that ring yet and maybe we do win one before you...

...but maybe you help us do it.

Would I like to think that we can do it without you?  Certainly.  I don't want the fate of the Cleveland Cavaliers to fall on you coming back home in 2014 or 2015.  The way I laid it out for you, we are in the playoffs in 2014.  Maybe in 2015 we find that right piece (that maybe isn't you) and we bring one home for the good guys.  I am more on board with the Cavs than I ever was. Maybe because of you.  Maybe because I felt the team needed fan support more than ever now.  But they are young, they are hungry, and we will be a team to beat in a few years.

But can you imagine it?  I can.  You know you hate being a villain out there in South Beach.  You are booed everywhere you play.  And really, when you look up at those seats in the American Airlines Arena, those empty red seats just staring out at you enjoy that?  Wouldn't you rather be at the Q, 20,000 fans...adoring, loving fans...rocking the place, deafening cheers....for you, for your old team...

...your hometown.

I am on board the 2014 LeBron James comes back to Cleveland bandwagon.  Maybe I'm the only one, maybe I'm driving it, starting to pick up Clevelanders here and there...but soon enough we will be fill up.  Soon enough it won't be bandwagon fans...they'll be your fans again.

Maybe you're there October 27, 2014/2015, at the Q, back in your maroon and gold...listening to the announcers fill the arena with the names of the opposition...then you hear this...
...and highlights of you being drafted, your Rookie Season, All-Star games, the playoff battles against Washington and Detroit, the dunks over Damon Jones, Tim Duncan, KG play on the big screen....

...then Ahmaad takes over, doing what he does best Kyrieee Irrrrvingggg!..."The Wild Thing" Andersonnn Varejaoowwwww!...Tristaaan Thompsonnnn....!

...starting at the other forward, from St. Vincent St Mary, number 23, lets welcome him back home! LeBrooooon Jaaaaaaaaames!!!....

And the crowd erupts...just loses it and they stand...they stand when you score your first basket, they stand through the entire first quarter, they erupt when you finally getting a breather after scoring 15 in the first...

This is where you belong.  You know that, I know that...the people of Cleveland know that, or they will.

Your Legacy and a city, reborn.

Your image, untarnished.

The Q, hanging with banners.

Your gold.

Think about it.

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Mailmen Fall for Third Time Against Boston Road

The Mailmen suffered another defeat to Boston Road Monday, 41-58. The team had to battle with only 4 regular starters and a 5th who they signed for 10 days, Mike, no last name given. The flow of the game was off from the start as the newly acquired player did not have a feel for his Mailmen teammates. "There were breakdowns defensively and offensively we just weren't the team we need to be," Coach Hunter said. "A lot of easy, easy baskets underneath for them. We just don't have a good chance with 5 guys against them, that's all there is to it." The Mailmen have suffered injuries at the worst time. Pat Cripple was unavailable last night with the flu. Reminder, Giardina, and Weigel are also out for various reasons. "Reminder has had back problems and scheduling conflicts, which we won't get into. Having Crip out last night really put us behind the 8 ball. If he was healthy, that game is a lot closer down the stretch. Giardina is still nursing the ankle and Weigel's situation is a whole other issue." Weigel was signed through the remainder of the year a few weeks ago, but has only played in one playoff game thus far. Some rumblings seem to be stating that he is upset with his contract and may be looking for a long term deal. None of the team was looking to comment on the situation. The Mailmen will be going up against M&M who they beat by 13 last game. Hopefully the team will be able to dress 5 or 6 when they play this Thursday at 6:30. If the team happes to win tomorrow, the Mailmen would have to beat Boston Road twice in order to win the championship game. "We have to be ready to give whatever it takes," leading scorer Brandon Hunter said. "That's all there is to it."

Monday, April 16, 2012

A Final's Berth

The Mailmen have worked there way into the Brunswick Men's Rec League final this past Monday, defeating M&M 74-61.

The team was paced by scoring forward Brandon Hunter who had 33 points and 11 rebounds. But this was far from a one man show.

Captain Jason Hunter had 15 points (7 of 11 from the floor), Pat Cripple added 16 points and 8 rebounds, Andy Kempf continued his rebounding with 8 boards, and big man Kerry Hunter totaled 6 points and grabbed 9 rebounds of his own. Clinton Weigel also had 2 points and 4 rebounds.

The Mailmen move to 2-0 in the playoffs this year and will face their rival Boston Road next week on Monday.

"The big game for us is next week," Coach Hunter said in a phone interview yesterday, "Boston Road has beat us twice, but I think we are there. We only had 5 players last time we went against them and just about everyone struggled from the floor. We don't have too many days where everyone is off their game. We stand by getting our chance taken away the first time we played them and we just played poorly the second time."

"It needs to come together on Monday."

The Mailmen are shooting a dismal 26% (14 of 53) from three point range against Boston Road this year.

"We live and die by (the three pointer)" leading scorer Brandon Hunter said, "I am guilty of it at times and so are others. We need to maybe get to the basket a bit more to start, maybe that will get the ball rolling sort of speak."

The team is shooting slightly better, 36%, from anywhere inside of three points, and even shot 46% against their bitter rival the first game they played.

"36 percent? Wow that's awful," Kerry Hunter replied after hearing it from reporters during the shootaround today, "You know that looks bad on me because I don't step too far from the basket. We as a team just need to take good shots and make them. We have done a great job the past few games of breaking down other teams zone defense. Finding cutters, hitting the open man and knocking down shots."

While Brandon Hunter has been scoring well in the playoffs 48 points in two games, his shot hasn't been as consistent. 10 of 35 from three (29%), 8 of 22 from two (36%), and only 2 of 6 from the free throw line.

Crip rebukes some of that stat line, "He took a lot of shots Monday because he was feeling it and he get's contested inside, whether he gets the call or not. We go as he goes most nights, those numbers will come back up."

Where the numbers havent been for the true scorer, they have been for Cripple and the Captain. Pat is shooting 45% from the floor inside of three (14 of 33) and Jason 69% (9 of 13) from two and 42% (5 of 12) from three. He also hit on all three of his free throw attempts so far in the playoffs.

Jason smiled and shook his head, "It's a good feeling, I won't lie. I felt like I struggled all year finding some consistency. I worked hard with the shooting coach, my teammates still had faith in me, found me open looks. I'm happy to be knocking them down now."

"Maybe he was sandbagging throughout the year," Brandon Hunter replied with a smile.


Injury updates

Center Kerry Hunter says his new structured knee is "feeling fine" after the two playoff games. Seems to be operating at around 75% but has been a consistent and much needed help through the first two rounds; Mike Giardina is still "highly questionable" as coach Hunter put it this week wit ha high ankle sprain. Fear is he might be done for the season which is why Weigel has a much needed increased role, especially on the defensive side of the ball. Backup center Johno Reminder has also notched two DNPs for the playoffs but we have been told he is battling "a bad back". His return is "less than highly questionable" (coach Hunter) for the game Monday and continuing playoffs.

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Mailmen Updates; Playoffs Begin, Team Works for Win

The Mailmen have had some ups and downs the past few weeks.

It started with a injury to Mike Giardina. He has been out for nearly three weeks with a high ankle sprain. Mike missed the teams first playoff game last night and is still in doubt for the playoffs

Then, the Mailmen suffered their worst loss of the year 60-43 versus Boston Road. The good guys only hit on 17 of 66 shots (26%). Brandon and Jason Hunter combined for a 7 of 25 showing from three point range (28%).

Next, the team, missing Jason Hunter, Mike Giardina, yet added back big man Kerry Hunter (his first game in over a month), soundly defeated Presley 70-9 for the biggest point differential of the season and for the league. The first game back for Kerry after a long recovery process, he scored 10 points off of 5 of 6 shooting and grabbed 8 rebounds. Brandon added 23 and 7 while Pat Cripple scored 18. Andy Kempf continued his dominance on the glass with 9 rebounds.

Finally, yesterday, the Mailmen started the playoffs right with a 56-45 win over the leagues "sleeper pick" Tune Squad. The game didn't start off the right way with Tune Squad hitting on 4 three's to start the game. The Mailmen found themselves down 16-5 early, but battled back and held a two point lead 28-26 at the half.

"We found our stroke in the later half of the first and brought it into the second," captain Jason Hunter said, "our second half has been our most dominant throughout the years I've been with the organization. This night was one in the same."

The Mailmen had a rough first half, turning the ball over time and time again. They found open lanes inside, but tried to fight tough passes in, often times too many passes, that led to tips, fumbled passes, and breaks the other way.

The second half, was a different story.

The team found Kerry Hunter in the middle of the 2-3 defending zone and cut through, scoring layups and hitting open threes. Jason had one of his better nights of the season, hitting on 4 of 8 from three and 3 of 6 from the rest of the field. He also made all three of his free throws.

"I felt great, comfortable," he said, "smile on my face. I was never worried."

Brandon Hunter (15 points, 14 rebounds) added to that sentiment, "It was good to see. I struggled a bit from the floor, so having him hit the shots he adds another dynamic to our team. We are tough to beat if everyone is on their game...especially when other people aren't."

The Mailmen also dominated the glass. Three members, Brandon (season high 14), Kerry (season high 19), and Andy Kempf (third 15) found rebounds all around them. The smaller Tune Squad rarely got second chances, if any, at all.

Andy Kempf has been more than stellar on the glass with 62 rebounds over the past 4 games. That's over 15 a game.

"Just doing what I am supposed to do," Kempf smiled, "my job is to battle the glass and play great D."

His smile broadend, "...and hit the occasional three."

"One all year!" Pat Cripple yelled from across the locker room.

"One more and I'll be shooting better than you!" Andy cried back.

Cripple shakes his head with a grin, "Two is still better than one."

The Mailmen will have to wait some time until their next playoff matchup. The team will likely face M&M Buckeye, who the Mailmen beat by only 2, 42-40, earlier this season.

Saturday, March 10, 2012

Brandon Hunter hits season high as Mailmen roll on to 10-2

Brandon Hunter was in rare form this past Sunday night, totaling 41 points on 15 of 26 shooting from the field. He added 4 rebounds and helped lead the Mailmen past Shawn Kemps Kids 78-41.

The Mailmen saw over 50% of their three pointers fall hitting on 11 of 21. They were 7 of 10 from behind the arc in the first half, pushing to a 42-11 lead.

The Mailmen went into cruise control as they finished out Kemps in a 78-41 route.

"We were locking down defensively and Brandon couldn't miss," Coach Jason Hunter (9 points, 6 rebounds) said after, "I love our defense, but we lost a key part early tonight when Mike went down. Hopefully he can come back within the next few weeks."

Guard Mike Giardina went down early in the first half with an ankle injury jumping for a defensive rebound. He did not return and will be doubtful for the next few weeks team officials said.

Mike was icing the ankle in the trainers room after the game, "I have a pretty high tolerance for pain. But when I came down, I knew it was bad, swelled up pretty quick."

Reports on the ankle after the game were unofficial, but players were describing that it looked like the size of "a baseball" on the way back from the game.

"He twisted it up pretty good," Kerry Hunter said, "he will be evaluated by team doctors later in the week."

The rest of the Mailmen contributed in style as well. Andy Kempf recorded his second double double in as many game with 12 points and 15 rebounds. "Probably my best game ever," Kempf said.

John Reminder added 10 more rebounds and a slew of block shots, Pat Cripple went for 10 and 5 rebounds. He also, to quote himself, "hit a three finally". Cripple had been 1 of 12 from beyond the arc before the game.

The Mailmen take on a tough test this Sunday, facing Boston Road, who had recently lost their first game of the season this past weekend. They are 11-1 on the season.


Giardina doubtful for game against Boston Road
Preliminary tests on Mike's ankle showed no signs of a break, but the ankle is still "pretty sore and swollen" according to team doctors. He will most likely miss tomorrow's game and will be re-evaluated during the week.

Clinton Weigel will have increased minutes in Giardina's departure.

Cripple's fine "paid"
The team reported that Cripple decided to pay the team back in his own way following this past Sunday's game.

"I took the team out, we hashed things over....we had a good time."

Thursday, March 1, 2012

Mailmen Score Big, Win Big; Move to 9-2

Brandon Hunter paced the Mailmen with 27 points (13 rebounds) as the team went on for a 74-41 victory against Firehouse.

It was a similar result to the last time these two teams played, Firehouse has not won a game this season.

The Mailmen dominated in every aspect of the game. The 74 points is well above their season average of right around 60. The Mailmen crashed the glass as well, totaling 49 rebounds, 12 boards over their season average this year.

"You can't look past anyone," Coach Jason Hunter (10 points, 3 rebounds) said after, "I wanted to make a statement and I believe we did. Firehouse came out in the first half and hit some early shots, got us going. We may have cruised a bit the latter half of the game, we just need to make sure we keep our head straight moving forward. We need a good push into the playoffs this year."

Kerry Hunter agreed, "I get to see a lot of the action now being in street clothes, and we look pretty solid. We want to press on defense and work for good shots on offense. I think our defense will really push us deep into the post season. We are looking to add a press defense in the upcoming weeks, just another piece of our team that we think will help."

The Mailmen found scoring and rebounds from everyone. Pat Cripple added 13 points, John Reminder 13 rebounds, Andy Kempf recorded his first double double this season with 11 points and boards, and newly signed Clinton Weigel added 7 points and 4 rebounds. Mike Giardina was out due to a family situation.

The Mailmen will battle Shawn Kemps Kids who are 7-4 on the year.


Cripple's fine lifted

After a further investigation into Pat Cripple's ankle injury, it was reported as a miscommunication between the organization and Cripple's agent. Cripple was competing in a charity basketball game when he rolled his ankle a little over a week ago. The team and Cripple have reached an agreement and the money from the fine will be matched by the team and sent to the charity event for next year.

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Hunter - No the Other One - Leads Mailmen in Blowout

Jason Hunter may finally be finding a groove. Coach Hunter dropped a season high 21 points, five of eight from three, as the Mailmen roll past Drizzle 57-26.

Brandon Hunter added 14 points as the two Hunter brother's outscored the opposition by themselves. John Reminder had 12 (8 rebounds) and Andy Kempf grabbed 8 rebounds as the team moved to 8-2 on the year.

It was a lower scoring game for the Mailmen. But that could be due to the large deficit after the first half. The Mailmen defense stepped up again and allowed a total of 2 points to Drizzle at the end of the first half. The Mailmen lead the league in opposition scoring, only 392 points, or about 40 points per game. The lead the league by over 50 points in that category.

"It was good feeling," Jason said after, "very smooth, very confident. Hopefully this gets things moving in the right direction for me offensively. If I can do this on a nightly basis, I think that makes us pretty tough to beat. We can defend just about anyone, just comes down to us making shots. If I'm making shots, we have a lot of offense. Really hope this can continue for me."

J. Hunter has shot much better the past two games, 8 of 15, from three. He was in a slump as of late, shooting under 30% from the year from deep.

The Mailmen will battle Firehouse this coming Sunday. The good guys beat on them pretty well in their last meeting, 70-27. Firehouse has yet to win a ballgame this year.

"We cant look past them," Kerry Hunter said, "playoffs are coming up and we have to continue to roll. One game at a time."


Weigel signed through year The Mailmen added Clinton Weigel for the remainder of the season. With big man Kerry Hunter out and no timetable for his return, the team added depth with Weigel. Pat Cripple was also out last week after an ankle injury. Weigel had 4 points and 4 rebounds against Drizzle.

Cripple fined by team Word from the Mailmen front office is Pat Cripple was fined an undisclosed amount following his ankle injury. He sprained it playing basketball outside of the organization. Cripple is questionable for this Sundays game.

Monday, February 13, 2012

Size Does Matter as Mailmen Fall to Jalepenos

The good guys battled, but came out short, literally, against Jalepenos, 57-53.

The teams were involved in a physical battle all night. Three technical fouls were given, two to the Jalepenos, and one against the Mailmen (John Reminder). Tempers flared and the intensity was high all night long, unfortunately the Mailmen faltered down the stretch and came up short.

Brandon Hunter paced the team with 21 points on 7 of 15 shooting, 5 for 11 from three. He hit his first four shots to start the game, all three pointers, but only managed one the rest of the way. Pat Cripple added 10 and Jason Hunter came out of a season-long shooting slump, hitting on three three pointers totaling nine points.

The Mailmen suffered inside and on the rebounding end against the taller, longer Jalepeno team. Getting to the basket was no problem, but shot after shot was swatted away underneath, and offensive rebounds for the Jalepenos killed the momentum.

"We had a shot to win this game," Kerry Hunter said, "we battled, we just came up a little short tonight."

"As tough as we play," Crip said after the game, "you figure we'd get some brownie points. But our tough play seems to go against least in the refs minds and whistles."

The foul calls were a bit one sided after the first half, 6-0, against the Mailmen. It ended 11-10 with the Mailmen still on the losing end, but it did not look as close as it was.

Jason just shook his head after hearing a question about the refs for the second time this season, "I don't have deep pockets, I'm done talking about it. I just know we play hard and scrap and do what we can, especially when we are undersized. We won't change how we play, we can't if we want to win."

The Mailmen will play a rare Saturday night game this weekend and then a Sunday game following. The Saturday game is a makeup for Super Bowl weekend. They go up against Rockout With Your Lockout who was 2-5 as of this writing.

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Mailmen Shoot Well, Win Big

The Mailmen improved to 6-1 on the season after a 61-39 route of Darice.

Brandon Hunter returned to form, somewhat, scoring 21 points and grabbing 7 rebounds. He only hit on 5 of 16 shots, but filled it up from the line going 9 of 11.

"It was good for me to get back on track," Brandon said, "I still didn't shoot as well as I would have liked, but I got a lot of calls tonight going to the basket and took advantage there."

Pat Cripple had the best game of his season, scoring 16. But most of those points came off of steals at the top of the 2-3 zone. Crip, Mike Giardina, and Jason Hunter suffocated the Darice offense up top, tipping passing, creating double-teams and turnovers. This led to fast break points and easy lay ups, which exhausted the opposition in the second half. Giardina and Cripple had a 4 to 5 possession stretch where passes were tipped, balls were stolen, and lay ups ensued.

"We've been locking down defensively the past few weeks," Coach Jason Hunter (8 points) said afterward, "When we can't score, we defend. We are starting to create easy baskets, which helps us greatly. We have struggled the past few games percentage wise, but the free throws and lay just don't miss those."

The team shot 42% from the field, 38% from three. The Mailmen had a tremendous night at the line, 15 of 20, way above their season free throw percentage (55%).

The Mailmen have an off week next weekend for the Super Bowl. Play will resume for the team February 12th, when they go up against Jammin Japaleno's. They were 5-1 as of this writing. The team has some unfinished business with the Jalapeno's as they were the team that ultimately eliminated the Mailmen, who were the Reignmaker's then, from the playoffs last year.

Kempf says "4", only finds basket once
Andy Kempf wanted everyone to know he was going in big time this past game.

"I said I was going to score 4 tonight," Andy smiled, "but I didn't get the ball where I needed it...with score."

That's when Brandon Hunter yelled from across the locker room, "Yea, when he dribbles coast to coast, it's never an opportunity to score!"

Kempf laughed, "I'm not a ball handler."

Monday, January 23, 2012

Mailmen Overcome Poor Offensive Outings, Win 2 Straight

If I had told you the Mailmen shot 5 of 33 (15%) from three, 31 of 88 (35%) from two, 9 of 21 (43%) from the line and leading scorer Brandon Hunter managed only 6 points in one of two games...would you have thought the team would come away 2-0?

"Defense wins championships," said Mike Giardina after a 42-40 victory over the previously undefeated M&M Buckeye last night. Giardina actually paced the team with 13 points and hit the only three pointer (out of 16) for the team.

He would seem to be right. The Mailmen held Buckeye to 40 and Team Eric to 30 points as the Mailmen moved to 5-1 in the regular season, slotting them #2 in the power rankings for the league.

Offense has come few and far between the past two games. The team is well below their season average of about 61 points per game in the past two only mustering 42 and 45 respectively, the past two outings. The Mailmen are usually paced by scoring forward Brandon Hunter, but he has only managed to hit 3 of his last 15 three pointers, a place where he had been shooting better this year, than last.

But where Brandon couldn't fill, others stepped up. Against Buckeye, Mike Giardina had a season high 13 (6 rebounds), Pat Cripple 11 (6 rebounds) and Jason Hunter 10 (season high 7 rebounds).

Defense also played a valuable part in the victorys. Mike, Pat and Jason locked up the top of the key and arc forcing tipped passes and grabbing some takeaways. The rest of the big men contested shots inside and gave the other teams only one opportunity to score.

"We didn't give up a lot of second chance points," injured big man Kerry Hunter said, "we did a great job or bodying, especially late in the second game. We couldn't score, but neither could they. With us in the lead, that's all that matters."

Andy Kempf and Johno Reminder once again battled inside, defending shots and gobbling up the glass. Brandon did his part against Buckeye as well, leading the team with 9 rebounds.

"Poor night from me shooting, worst night of the season," said Brandon, "but with us winning, it's good to see that I can have an off night and we can still come away with it."

Jason agreed, "We usually don't have to work this hard to score. Brandon usually paces us, but everyone else stepped up. Good to get a well fought W."

The Mailmen play a rare Monday night game next week against Darice.


Coach Hunter struggling offensively
Jason Hunter has yet to find his mark from deep. Shooting only 19% (5/27) in six games so far this year.

"I actually felt comfortable this past game against Buckeye. I need to start shooting the same way each time. I fade in and out of styles depending on where I catch it and how open I am. The form I used tonight I shot it the same way all 4 attempts. They'll start to fall. I'm going to continue to go to the basket more, seem to do well inside right now."

Jason is shooting 53% (16/30) from inside the arc this season.

Kerry Hunter back to the IR
After two games, center Kerry Hunter is back to street clothes and coaching the sidelines.

"The twisting and turning might just be too much for my knee right now. During the game I feel fine, but afterward, it's just too much too soon I think."

No details on when he would return. But hopefully after a few more weeks of rest, Hunter would be ready to go. He is averaging 6.5 points and 5 rebounds in two games so far this season.

Saturday, January 14, 2012

A Post Between Games

I have been hearin rumblings that people want more out of my blog than just posts about the rec bball I am going to try to give you all a little bit of that right now.

I want to give my opinion on what the Cavs and Browns should do in the upcoming off-seasons. The Indians are on a whole different level, there's way too much going on right now...and in all honesty, I would rather see the Cavs and Browns do well, if I had my choice.

I'll work on the Cavs first...

Cleveland Cavs 2012 off-season

2012 Season Moves

If Jamison decides to become a better shooter this year, as hovering around 40% will not do it, you may be able to trade him away to a contender looking for a scorer off the bench. You would have to take on an awful contract as well, seeing as Jamison makes around $14 mil this year. But maybe Atlanta bites, giving to their first rounder/Etan Thomas. The Celtics? Would hurt to give a Division rival a scorer but they could give a first rounder/Nenad Kristic or Jermaine O'Neal. Pacers maybe into the mix for a first/Louis Amundson. There are potential suitors out there and finding a way to add another pick in the draft could play big dividens at the end of the year.

Find a way to retain Alonzo Gee. I debated Semih Erdan here, but I guess I haven't seen enough of him yet to determine if he's worth a shot next year. He's only 27, so he still has plenty of basketball left. Gee on the other hand may get handed the starting SF role here later this season if he continues to play well. He's outplayed Casspi so far, but since we traded Hickson for him, Casspi was basically handed that role. I had better hopes for him and maybe he will improve. But Gee right now is the guy I want next year at that spot.

Sign Sessions long term. If someone puts a over the top deal on the table for Ramon during this season...something you can't pass up, I'd say take it as long as you're getting at least a first rounder and maybe even future picks (the same would go for Andy in this spot, but that deal would have to be absolutely too great to pass up (think first/second/future picks and another, young talent)). But Sessions is easily the best back-up point guard in the league and could start for probably half of the teams in the NBA now...Knick fans are practically drooling over him. Having him behind Irving keeps the offense moving when Kyrie needs a break.

Anthony Parker is either traded or just retires at the end of the season. I could see him being brought back as a coach of some kind in 2013. He's a great locker room and team guy, but his role is limited even more next year.

2012 Draft

After looking at the board a few times and understanding the Cavs will probably be looking at drafting in the top 10 (I know they are off to a great start now, but the schedule gets tougher and a young team will hit speed bumps), there are plenty of options.

Considering the following statements above and we bring back Gee and possibly Erdan the Cavs roster looks like this:

PG - Irving, Sessions, Gibson
SG -
SF - Casspi, Gee, Eyenga
PF - Thompson, Samuels
C - Varejao, Erdan

Sorry Harangody and Hollins, but if the Cavs have at least three draft picks this offseason, I can't see you guys coming back. Maybe Harangody as the 14th or 15th guy, but nothing more.

So let's say the Cavs can give Jamison away for a late first rounder. The Kings pick that we received will probably not be received this year, as the Kings are terrible and the pick is protected if Sacramento in in the draft lottery. The Cavs will ultimately pick in the top 10 as well, even considering their hot start.

I see the Cavs picks as follows:
First Round - 7, 26
Second Round - 35 (JaBron trade), 37

Four picks would be a fantastic thing this year for a Cavs team on the rise. This years draft will be a great one, with a lot of players coming out who held off last year.

This will probably be an interesting pick for the Cavs. SF isn't really a spot the Cavs desperately need as SG would need to be filled immediately. I don't really see the Cavs trading down, unless they are concrete on who they want a little later and get a decent deal at 7. has Michael Kidd-Gilchrist going at #7 and I would agree with this pick for the Cavs. It may come down to picking the best player available and someone who can creat their own shot. MKG fits this bill perfectly. As much as I would love Harrison Barnes here, he will most likely be gone well before 7 and even my second choice, Jeremy Lamb from UConn will also be off the board here. Kidd-Gilchrist is a prospect who has been given great grades on character and a willingness to improve. He's also a great defender, which fits into Coach Scott's game plan to a tee.

Wherever the Cavs pick down here is just an added bonus. has Mason Plumlee from Duke here and he wouldn't be a terrible pick. The Cavs may need to look for a future Center here or just go after more scoring. Other picks that I would like to see late in the first round incluce UNC PF/C Tyler Zeller (another big body, closer to 7 feet than Plumlee), IUPUI guard Alex Young (scorer, JR Smith-like off the bench), and William Buford from Ohio State who can also fill it up from anywhere on the floor.

With the Heat pick I look to add more depth at Center, especially if we took another shooter late in the first round. Robert Sacre from Gonzaga, Reggie Johnson from Miami, and Henry Sims from Georgetown are all legit centers who will probably be on the board here. Sacre would have to add some strength where as Sims and Johnson would be projects to sit behind Varejao and Erdan to learn from some vets.

This last pick you can always take a flyer on someone or look overseas for some untapped potential. Eyenga was late in the second round and is actually turning some of his potential the past year. Quincy Acy from Baylor, Robbie Hummel from Purdue, JaMychal Green from Alabama, or Augusto Lima from Brazil could all be potential picks in this spot.

The picks at 35 and 37 would most likely be end of the bench guys or even D-leaguer's depending on any free agents the Cavs could bring in.

Free Agent Moves
There is a good list of guys any team would want after the year is over. Ray Allen, Kevin Garnett, Derrick Rose, and Andrew Bynum to name a few. The Cavs list is going to have to be shortened. Top-tier talent wont truly look to come here, even as much as Dan Gilbert would look to pay them.

Side Note: Keep up the GREAT work Mr. Gilbert and Chris Grant. Huge trades last year have put this team years ahead of the Browns and Indians

Some names that may be off your radar's out there include these guys:

DJ White, Omar Asik - Both big men have improved a lot over the past year. DJ White slipped into the Bobcats starting role while Tyrus Thomas was hurt and played well beyond his means. He's averaging around 10 points and 7 rebounds in about 25 minutes a night. Asik is 25 years old and a legit 7-footer. Last season in only 12 minutes a game Asik grabbed around 4 rebounds. You can't truly just double stats if you double his minutes. But even at 20 minutes a night, Asik would be good for 6-8 rebounds and over 55% shooting from the floor. Asik minutes have increased this season to around 18 and his totals have improved to around 6 boards and over a block a game.

Michael Beasley, Anthony Randolph - With the Wolves looking to lock up Kevin Love long term and now the emergence of Rubio and the draft of Derrick Williams last year, either both or one of these two lengthy forwards will likely be a free agent. Beasley has bounced around a bit and could be a bit of a head case. But maybe another change of scenery, a starting spot or sixth-man role and an ability to run the floor could make him a good fit. Randolph also plays above the rim and blocks shots. Both are young, mid-20's and play enough defense to please Scott on that end.

Other notable FA's - Bill Walker, CJ Miles, Jodie Meeks, and OJ Mayo

If all went to how I would work it. The Cavs would sign Asik and Mayo. I would love Randolph, but with Thompson and Samuels there, I don't see a need at the PF spot. Beasley would also create a jam at SF and could potentially leave less time for MKG at the 3.

Here's a look at how the roster would break down for the 2012-2013 season.

PG - Irving, Sessions, Gibson
SG - Mayo, Alex Young
SF - Gee, Casspi, MKG
PF - Thompson, Samuels
C - Varejao, Asik

13-15 and D-league
Erdan, Eyenga, Pick 35 and 37

This roster leaves us a little short, but if Mayo isn't signed, Erdan or one of the big's picked in the 2nd round easily fill out the roster and give us a 5th big man. Picking Zeller or Plumlee late in the first round instead of Young also gives us that depth.

Big Move in 2013
Without really looking at the 2013 draft, the big acquistion I look for in 2013 is James Harden. The Thunder will have big money locked up in KD, Westbrook, Ibaka and Perkins. Someone will have to be the odd man out. With Gibson's contract expiring and Casspi off the books, thatwould leave the Cavs more space to sign a big name talent. Harden immediately solidifies the SG spot. Having him run the floor with Irving, Thompson, and MKG the Cavs would have a extremely young, yet experienced starting 5. A playoff run in 2013 is easily expected if Harden is added. The Cavs would have four roster spots filled for years to come.

I'm not saying this would be the perfect outcome for the Cavs. Things can change. The Cavs could actually compete at around .500 all year and potentially pick later in the first round. Maybe the Kings turn it around and the Cavs end up with 3 picks in round one and five total. Maye Varejao, Sessions, and Jamison are all gone by the end of the year. But if this is how the Cavs looked to end 2012 and to start 2013, I wouldn't be upset at all. The core seems to be coming together. Irving and Thompson will be cornerstones, now they just need to find another scorer and add depth and you could be looking at the Cavs being back in the playoff picture as early as 2013.

Brown's options later...

Thursday, January 12, 2012

Back on the Wagon

The Mailmen, despite not playing for two weeks, got back into their winning ways by taking care of Tune Squad, 69-62 this past Sunday.

"It was good to get back on the floor, we hate weeks off," Coach Jason Hunter said after, "it's where we struggled the most last year. A lot of our losses came after weeks off."

The Mailmen were limited depth wise. Center John Reminder missed the team bus to the game and was unavailable, leaving the team with only 6 players to dress.

Luckily, big man Kerry Hunter made his debut off of his knee surgery and had a fantastic showing. Hunter posted 10 points shooting 50% from the field (4/8) and hitting on two free throws (2/4). He also grabbed 7 rebounds, taking advantage of his size underneath.

"It was good to get back out there. I don't have the same lift yet...not that I had much to begin with," the veteran big man smiled, "but I'm glad to be back out there and helping us win."

The game looked to be in good hands after the first half. Leading 37-29 at the break, the good guys usually take their game to the next level in the second half. But weary legs seemed to take their toll as the Tune Squad hit 15 three pointers total, eight of them coming late in the second half. The lead was cut to four late, but some free throws from Brandon Hunter and Kerry Hunter sealed the victory.

Brandon Hunter paced the team with 21 points and 14 rebounds. Kerry (10 points), Jason Hunter (11 points), and Pat Cripple (11 points) also added double digit scoring. Andy Kempf and Mike Giardina, 7 rebounds a piece, helped control the glass.

The Mailmen take on Team Eric this coming Sunday. Team Eric was 0-3 as of this writing.

Saturday, January 7, 2012

First Loss; Coach Fined; Realignment

There has been a whirl of activity over the past two weeks since the Mailmen played, and lost, their last basketball game to Boston Road 71-68.

After the loss the team, rightfully so, wasn't in the best state of mind.

"Well, we got outplayed down the stretch," injured big man Kerry Hunter said after, "I don't like to make excuses and talk about the officiating, it didn't feel like the best officiated game. But we didn't shoot well from beyond the arc and just made mistakes down the stretch."

Other team members weren't as willing to quiet their discontent for the officiating.

Brandon Hunter - "I don't want to talk about it, I really don't. You see us out there busting our (expletive) just as much as the other guys. We are shorter, so guys can knock us around and jump over our back. Terrible. We didn't lose this game. Not the way I saw it."

Pat Cripple - "Inside we didn't stand a chance, 7 players on one side, 5 on ours."

Coach Jason Hunter - "I'll come right out and say the officiating was terrible tonight. You know you try not to complain during the game, we just try to make our point known. But after awhile of going to the basket and getting hammered, then coming down to the other end and getting a phantom call on us. C'mon. C'mon. They lost the game for us, they really did. We play the same kind of basketball every night. Scrappy, fast-break. I think once we started talking to the refs it was over. Over for us. Just the worst job of officiating I've been a part of since we've been in this league."

A week after the comments made, Jason Hunter was fined $5,000 from the league.

"I knew that the sanctions would come down on me afterward," Hunter said in a phone interview this past week. "But it had to be said, have to stick up for my guys out there. We just want a fair deal out there."

The Mailmen led last in the second half when Boston went on a short run, tying the game. Boston had a chance to win in as time expired, but a corner three was off the mark. That's when fouls called against the Mailmen came into effect, and the full court shot by Andy Kempf at the end of overtime missed its target and the team fell to 2-1 on the regular season.

The Mailmen shot poor from behind the arc. Only mustering 24% (6/25) which is well below their 33% shooting touch on the year. They also missed an opportunity on the free throw line, only managing 2 of 6. The tean battled back inside however, getting to the basket. They worked up 46% of everything inside three, a touch better than their season average.

"We recognized the three wasn't falling," Kerry said after the game, "It was good that we got to the hoop, had some good follows. We have to battle more inside since we are always the smaller team on the floor."

The Mailmen should get taller this Sunday however as Kerry Hunter may make his season debut coming off of knee surgery.

"I ran a lot this week, more than previous weeks," Kerry said in a phone interview today, "it's getting better. I'm probably still not at 100%, but I feel strong enough to give it a go. Hopefully I help more than I hurt Sunday."

The Mailmen will take on a new divisional opponent, Tune Sqaud (0-3) as the league was realigned after the last league games. Make It Drizzle was also moved to the 2nd Division as both teams were not faring well in Divison 1. This realignment was used to balance the play from both Division's and now teams will only play most other teams in their division once. All teams will still make the playoffs.

Let's hope for a W and no settlements off the hardwood.