For the Love Of…!

August 28th, 2014 by Mallory Factor II

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It’s impossible to say something that hasn’t already been said about the this off-season.  We’re all aware of the impact on the league and the region, and we’re also aware of the potential consequences that come with trading Wiggins and Bennett.  I’m not here to put the last three months into an NBA context because I wont be able to contribute anything fresh (and, lets be honest, no one really knows what will happen this season or any future season). More, I think the largest unspoken impact this summer has had, and the impact that has been largely overlooked, is on a fanbase dying for something to be positive about.

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Links to the Present: Best Summaries Edition

August 27th, 2014 by David Wood

USA v Slovenia

Today is going to start with “Not A (Team USA) Recap: Team USA 101, Slovenia 71 (Or, Making Me Proud).”  Kyrie Irving is impressing the world during these FIBA tournament exhibition games.  Once again, he showed ridiculous efficiency getting 13 points on 4-5 shooting to go with two assists.  This performance out did the other point guards. Derrick Rose shot 0-3 for three points and Stephen Curry had a 3-5 night for ten points.  Kyrie is going to be going into the NBA season red hot if he keeps up these Team USA performances. Read the rest of this entry »

Fresh from the (L)oven: Cavaliers Introduce Kevin Love

August 26th, 2014 by Robert Attenweiler

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When LeBron James called Kevin Love on July 11, just hours after announcing his return to the Cleveland Cavaliers, his message to Love was simple: come play with me in Cleveland and let’s win some championships together. Love’s response was simpler still.

“I’m in,” he said.

Actually getting to the point where Love could be photographed next to David Griffin holding up his number zero jersey wasn’t quite so easy as that exchange between the Cavs’ once-and-future star and their brand new one, but the Cavs got there. On Saturday, the trade was made official and, when opening up the floor to questions for Love, Griffin called him a man “who I believe you will be seeing here for a long time.”

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Links to the Present: Kyrie USA Edition

August 26th, 2014 by David Wood

Kyrie+Irving+USA+Basketball+Men+National+Team+rZ7-DZV8ONHlCleveland is officially on the international radar.  Kyrie Irving has competed for and has earned a spot on Team USA.  He has exceeded expectations while earning that spot, and he will be starting tonight against Slovenia.  He might even take turns alternating at the starting spot with Derrick Rose once the actual FIBA tournament starts according to Mike Krzyzewski.

“We’ll see as thing goes on. We might alternate ‘em. Both of them are going to play significant minutes.”

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Links to the Present: He’s Here! — Updated with Z’s Comeback Attempt

August 25th, 2014 by David Wood

kevin-love-mustache

Kevin Love is officially a Cavalier, and the Cavaliers officially have a big three.  The news is old, as Kevin Love to the Cavs has seemed liked a done deal for a while.  The internet has pretty much examined what the team will look like now, but there are still some new articles trickling out.

First off, for anyone wondering how Kevin Love became a Cav, Brian Windhorst examined the entire process of acquiring Love for ESPN.  It was luck, the Heat imploding, and some crafty roster moves that kept the cap clear enough to have the space for LeBron James to return.  Basically, each thing that fell into place is something that goes against the bad history associated with Cleveland sports.  The Cavs have used up all the collective Cleveland luck:  sorry Indians,  sorry Browns. Read the rest of this entry »

Waiting For This Year: Kevin Love Trade Is Now Official

August 23rd, 2014 by Robert Attenweiler

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It seemed like so much longer than just 30 days, but August 23, 2014 did eventually come and, with it, the deal that delivers Kevin Love to the Cleveland Cavaliers became official.

Now, even though everyone has been talking about this trade for weeks like it had already occurred, this trade has now occurred. The Cavaliers get the 6-10, 260 pound, three-time all star, sending the Minnesota Timberwolves the spoils of their last two years of lottery luck in Andrew Wiggins and Anthony Bennett. The Philadelphia 76ers steps in to facilitate the trade/the continued gutting of their roster sending Thaddeus Young to the Wolves and getting back guard Alexey Shved and forward Luc Mbah a Moute from Minnesota and the Miami Heat’s 2015 first round pick from Cleveland.

Wiggins is only the second number one pick in NBA history to be traded before playing his first professional game. He joins Chris Webber who was traded from the Magic to Golden State on a draft day trade in 1993. Wiggins’s post-draft summer was a little less comfortable than Webber’s, though, as he had to deal with trade rumors basically from the moment LeBron James re-signed with the team in mid-July.

Love is coming off a season where he averaged 26.1 points and 12.5 rebounds a game and his ability to stretch the floor (37.6% shooting from three) makes him the perfect compliment to James.

Because the trade has been a veritable lock for several weeks now, you know what most everyone here at Cavs: The Blog thinks, hopes, eats, prays and loves about Love. But now, at least, we can talk about an Irving-Love-James core (even thinking “Big Three” makes me throw up a little in my mouth) as a real, actual thing and look forward to watching arguably the most talented team in Cavaliers history.

You can read the team’s official release here.

 

The Point Four-ward: The Great American Lineup Buffet

August 22nd, 2014 by Robert Attenweiler

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Four points I’m thinking about the Cleveland Cavaliers…

1.) The Cavaliers recent signing of Shawn Marion continues an off-season theme for the team. No, it’s not “sign guys nearly as old as Robert,” though I do appreciate David Griffin’s signings allowing me to talk knowledgeably about the late-90s with some degree of relevance for a change. It’s this: from LeBron James to Kevin Love to Mike Miller and rookies Joe Harris and Dwight Powell, Griffin has been limbering up his roster to give head coach David Blatt lineup flexibility that could, Griffin hopes, put your bikram yoga instructor to shame.

While Blatt may tinker a little in training camp, the bulk of the regular season will probably feature some pretty conventional lineups and there’s no telling at this point what this team’s most successful version of itself will be. Still, it’s difficult to look up and down this roster of players who can play multiple positions and not see some fun potential five-man units. Here are some of my favorite combos:

Kyrie Irving-Dion Waiters-James-Kevin Love-Anderson Varejao

This is the Cavs’ presumptive “best” lineup should you happen to fall on the positive side of the Waiters conversation. This is the line-up that, if it does not start games, will likely finish them. What it lacks in paint-bullying rim protecting it more than makes up for with a.) well-documented chronicling of how this team lacks a rim protector and b.) an offensive unit that features five outstanding passers, enough shooting (probably), four guys who can create their own shot and pick-and-roll pairings galore.

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Not a (Team USA) Recap: Team USA 105, Dominican Republic 62 (or, Efficiency)

August 21st, 2014 by David Wood

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Last night, Team USA put on their most dominating performance of the summer so far.  The American team led by 22 points after the first half and 35 points after three quarters.  They were an unstoppable machine.  The Dominican Republic only has one NBA player on their squad, Francisco Garcia (Al Horford is still injured), but that doesn’t explain all of this rout. Team USA is just starting to mesh perfectly, and the effects are awesome.  When you check out the highlights from last night, full court passes are being flung behind the Republic’s defense, and alley-oops are prevalent enough you could actually get sick of them.  It’ll take a while, but this team may wear out the alley-oop.

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Shawn Marion, by the Numbers

August 20th, 2014 by Nate Smith

Over this last weekend, “The Matrix” committed to the Cavs. Shawn Dwayne Marion has been an all-star, an NBA champion, and an offensive and defensive Swiss Army knife throughout his career in the NBA. But Marion is also 36 years old, has played 15 seasons, and has just under 39,000 regular season minutes under his belt (eighth among active players). There’s no doubt that as a veteran minimum signing, Marion is worth having on the team. He’s a bargain at that price, if just for his experience and professionalism alone. But coming off a mediocre season, it’s worth exploring whether the Cavs should commit significant minutes to Marion. Is he still a solid performer, or has the game mostly passed him by?

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Links to the Present: Not A Leader Edition

August 19th, 2014 by David Wood

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Kyrie Irving had a candid chat with RealGM.  He admitted that he has not been a leader for this Cavs team.  This isn’t a surprise for Cavs fans who have witnessed Irving pout, freeze out Dion Waiters, and mentally check out. LeBron James and fellow veterans, Mike Miller and Shawn Marion, will fix Irving’s leadership issues this season, and having Irving already cognizant of them will make the process that much easier.  Here’s what Irving told RealGM:

“Everybody asks me if this is my year to be a leader … I haven’t been so far though, not at all. I’ve just been a kid trying to figure it out. There’s no perfect way to be a leader, and coming in as a 19-year-old kid and having everything bearing on your shoulders, there are a lot of ups and downs. Now it’s about being the best every single day and not being afraid.

“I’m more than excited with our new veterans. I’m really excited just from the standpoint of how the locker room is going to go and how to really be a professional. I’m not saying that the veterans that we had weren’t professionals themselves, but we didn’t have enough. Given the right and wrong things to do in the league, I’ve had to learn on my own and that’s what some of us been doing.

“Now, we have guys who’ve been in the league for years, guys who’ve won championships and have had to give a piece of their game for the greater good of the team. It’s something I admire and something I’m going to learn from.”

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