News » Magic can hang with Cavs ... and then some

Magic can hang with Cavs ... and then some

Magic can hang with Cavs ... and then some

Game Time: Magic 99, Cavaliers 88

In taking over the game in the second half, Orlando reminded both Cleveland and Boston that there's a legitimate three-team competition for supremacy in the East.

Here's how the Magic won this critical game:


Early on, they took advantage of Ben Wallace's attempt to guard Dwight Howard without any help. The result was Howard's shooting 4-for-6 and revealing once again that Wallace's best days are a distant memory.

If you have a question or comment for Charley Rosen, submit it below and Charley may just respond.


Guys like Don Collins, Anthony Mason, Larry McNeill, Freddie Cofield, Pace Mannion, Elston Turner, Duane McClain, Clint Wheeler and Kevin Williams all had fairly extensive careers in the NBA. So I'll concentrate on either CBA-lifers or guys who just had a cup of coffee in The League.

TICO BROWN (Georgia Tech) had powerful legs and a rather scrawny upper body, but he could shoot the lights out, jump to the moon and create his own shots. He was a bigger and much better version of J.J. Redick, and should have enjoyed a long and glorious career in the NBA.

STEVE BURTT (Iona) could defend like a tiger, strike at the basket like a cobra, and play with incredible intensity. Trouble was, he wasn't a reliable jump-shooter when he came out of Iona — a flaw in his game that he eventually remedied. Plus, at only 6-2, he was deemed to be too short to play his natural shooting-guard position. Steve was another player who deserved to be a long-term NBAer.

GEFF CROMPTON (North Carolina) was remarkably nimble on his feet for a 6-11, 330-pound big man. But gaining weight was his problem. Indeed, Geff would routinely stash a dozen Big Macs under his bed in case he woke up hungry in the middle of the night.

ANDRE GADDY (George Mason) was a powerful, long-armed, rebounding, shot-blocking, and jump-and-hook shooting big man who led the Albany Patroons to the CBA championship in 1984. Even though Andre was a lock to make the NBA, he quit basketball in favor of getting a real job to support his family.

BILLY GOODWIN (St. John's) could get into the paint and find a good shot against anybody. All that he lacked was reliable shooting range and sufficient focus on defense.

GLENN HAGEN (St. Bonaventure) was a crafty point guard whose slickness belied his toughness. He'd compare to a smaller, quicker, better-passing version of Delonte West.

LEWIS JACKSON (Alabama State) was a step too slow to play a wing position, but he could defend even quick-footed opponents. Lewis was also a formidable shooter, driver and rebounder, as well as being a dynamic clutch scorer.

GREG JONES (West Virginia) was a 6-2 scoring machine who, like Steve Burtt, was considered too short to play shooting guard.

RICK LAMB (Illinois St.) was a 6-7, 255-pound powerhouse who was unstoppable in the low post. He could drive, pass, rebound and even play defense — but he couldn't play away from the basket. Think of him as a stronger, slightly slower Nick Weatherspoon. After playing in the CBA for a couple of seasons, Rick moved on to a new career in professional wrestling.

JIM LAMPLEY (Ark-Little Rock) was a 7-footer who could do everything but bang and be serious about his game.

RALPH McPHERSON (Texas-Arlington) was rawhide tough. He could do whatever his team needed to get over the top — hit a jumper, score in the pivot, come up with the key rebound, pass, loose ball or defensive stop. At 6-9, 220, the only reason he didn't make the NBA was a failure of vision by the league's general managers and scouts.

McKINLEY SINGLETON (Alabama-Birmingham) was another dynamic point-maker who could score from anywhere on the attack-side of the time line.

Charley's NBA tour

Charley's Charley Rosen has been watching every team closely this season. Now he has a scouting report on each one.

AL SMITH (Jackson State) was a 6-6 jump shooter with unlimited range and extraordinary quickness. Could easily have been a productive player in the NBA.

RON SPIVEY (Louisiana Tech) was the best defender ever to play in the CBA. He could also hit an occasional mid-range jumper, pass and play with unusual intelligence and intensity. At 6-7, 230, Ron was the CBA's version of Dennis Rodman minus the wedding dress and D-Rod's other self-referential stunts.

RON VALENTINE (Old Dominion) only went right but (like Elgin Baylor and Jerry West who had the same limitation) was literally unstoppable. Long-distance jumpers, running hooks, pull-ups, post-ups — Ron could score any way but going left.

Honorable mention: Perry Moss (Northeastern), Derrick Rowland (Potsdam State), Ronnie Williams (Florida), Kelvin Upshaw (Utah), Derrick Taylor (LSU), Rob Rose (George Mason), Luther Burks (Oklahoma City), Daren Queenan (Lehigh), Barry Mitchell (Norfolk State) and Clarence Kea (Lamar).

Travels with Charley

Gerald Paddio was a good-looking rookie wing man from UNLV. At 6-7, 205, he could run, fly and shoot — but wasn't particularly interested in either passing or playing defense.

Just before the 1988-89 CBA season was to begin, the Rockford Lightning held a party at a local bistro that was designed for the season-ticket holders to meet and greet the players. It was a festive occasion, with plentiful alcohol and food. All of the players were smiling, shaking hands and being as friendly as possible.

Except for Paddio.

He was in a dark corner participating in some light-to-medium smooching with his girlfriend.

I ambled over and suggested that he at least make the rounds of the room since there were so many fans who wanted to say hello.

Imagine my surprise when he said this: "Nah. This league is nowhere, man."

What exactly did he mean?

"I'm making like five hundred bucks a week here, right? Hey, man. That's peanuts compared to what I was paid at UNLV."

So I let him be, went to the nearest phone, and traded him to the Rochester Flyers — where he averaged 14 points, while his team set a record for going winless on the road.

Eventually, Paddio played three seasons and a total of 129 ineffectual games for Cleveland, Seattle, New York and Washington.

Another case where the wrong coach at the wrong college instilled the wrong attitude in the wrong player. Not even the CBA could get Paddio's head straight.

Author: Fox Sports
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Added: January 30, 2009


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