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Talking Cavs with Mark Neal

Friday, November 21st, 2014

mark-studio

 

Every Thursday I chat with my friend Mark Neal, host of the Dayton’s Sports Scene radio show.

In this episode we discuss the Spurs game, the Cavs upcoming schedule, and the early returns on the 2014-2015 season.

http://www.wingam.com/Tom-Pestak-from-Cavstheblog-com-talks-NBA-Cavs-wit/17320024?pid=441197

Recap: Cavs 127, Hawks 94 (Or, Gaze in Awe at the Meteor Shower)

Saturday, November 15th, 2014

meteor-shower

The Hawks are a good team.  With a healthy Al Horford, a Spursian offense, and one of the best starting 5s in the East, this figured to be a tough challenge for the Cavaliers, who miraculously survived a much-less-talented Celtics squad last night.  The Cavs made their first six threes but could seemingly do nothing to stop the Hawks’ dribble penetration.  With three minutes left in the quarter the Cavs led just 24-21, despite converting 6/6 from downtown.  LeBron was involved in everything.  Then Coach Blatt sat LeBron down and I thought “this is gonna get ugly”.  It did.  For the Hawks.  The Cavs went on a 41-8 run, threw a lead anvil on the gas pedal, and started setting all-time records.

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Live Thread: Cavs vs Hawks

Saturday, November 15th, 2014

HawksGroup

The Cavs are back home against the high octane Atlanta Hawks.  Al Horford is healthy again and the Hawks have one of the best starting lineups in the league.

Cavs need to play a modicum of defense tonight or they won’t be as fortunate as they were against the Celtics.

Prediction: 120-110 Hawks

Live Thread: Cavs at Celtics

Friday, November 14th, 2014

rondo

The Cavs are Boston tonight to take on the Celtics.  It feels like a lifetime ago that LeBron took off his jersey in the tunnel and left a crater in his wake.  And when I say crater I really mean a Death Star->Alderaan level impact.

Brad Stevens was enjoying a showering of Atta-boys after he barely missed winning the NCAA Championship.

Rajon Rondo was just a pup…you get the point, it was a long time ago.

The Cavs have historically been terrible at the New Garden (have lost 16 of 20), let’s hope tonight is the beginning of a new era.

Dion Waiters is listed as probable.  Joe Harris’ ‘stache continues to develop.

Predictions?

Recap: Cavs 118 – Pelicans 111 (Or, Raining Down Talent Bombs)

Tuesday, November 11th, 2014

After a lackluster two and a half quarters, the Cavs really poured it on the New Orleans Pelicans in the final 16 and a half minutes, outscoring them 49-33 and earning a quality win against an upstart young team.  LeBron James had a monster game, tallying his first triple double of the season and 38th of his career: 32 points, 12 rebounds, and 10 assists.  Kyrie Irving was his full blown offensive-wunderkind self, scoring 32 points despite playing the role of distributor for most of the 1st half.  At times he was completely unstoppable.  Kevin Love came alive in the 4th quarter, draining four 3-pointers, and finishing with 22 points on 13 shots.  The Cavs survived a 32-point scare from Ryan Anderson (cloaked in NBA JAM Flames), who drained eight 3s.

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Live Thread: Cavs vs Pelicans

Monday, November 10th, 2014

cavs_pelicans

The Cavaliers are finally back home, after what seemed like an eternity.  With Dellavedova out for 4-6 weeks and Waiters questionable with a back contusion, who will David Blatt lean on tonight to shore up the backcourt?  Could we possibly some see really “big” lineups with LeBron handling the ball as a de-facto guards?

Make your predictions here.

I say 105-98 Cavs.

The Dion Waiters Zone — Updated

Saturday, November 8th, 2014

the-cleveland-cavaliers-shocked-everyone-by-taking-dion-waiters-4th-overall-in-the-nba-draft

Dion Waiters has been one of the more interesting human beings to follow since he was drafted.  Out of Syracuse he was billed as a talented scorer with as much upside as anyone not named Anthony Davis, and was favorably compared to Dwyane Wade (by both Chad Ford and Byron Scott).  Former Cavs: The Blog editor and friend Colin McGowan anagrammatically foretold the coming of “Saint Weirdo” in a post-draft prophesy, and Waiters has mostly fulfilled the moniker.

His brashness strikes me as a defense mechanism—it’s what allows him the single-mindedness that makes him great at basketball—and when it’s punctured, he retreats inward. I think that’s what happened at SU: Boeheim shouted him down a few times, and Waiters didn’t initially respond well because he felt naked and embarrassed.

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Live Thread: Cavs at Blazers

Tuesday, November 4th, 2014

West Coast action tonight, game starts at 10E/7P.  The game will be on NBATV in addition to the local Fox Sports Ohio. If you haven’t already checked out Cory’s “The Case for The Decision” do so now – great read.

For some pre-game reading that touches on both teams, check out this work from Jacob Rosen at WFNY.

I’ve scoured the news reports to learn if Will Cherry traveled with the team, or is active tonight against the Blazers.  So far, no luck.  If anyone knows, chime in below.

Send in your predictions, we’ll keep a running tally of the winners (closest total points with the correct winner).  I’m going with 104-98 Cavs.

 

Augmented Reality Coaching Center: New Wrinkles

Monday, November 3rd, 2014
Mrs. Whatsit - Mrs. Who - Mrs. Which, by far the oldest "Big 3"

Mrs. Whatsit – Mrs. Who – Mrs. Which, by far the oldest “Big 3″

The season is finally underway.   The Cavalier faithful finally (FINALLY) got to see their beloved team in action. Preseason seemed hardly characteristic of the main 82 unless David Blatt really is planning on giving Joe Harris as much burn as Kyrie. Hopefully the opening night celebration for the prodigal son wasn’t characteristic either. LeBron aggregating three more turnovers than field goals is a rare occurrence for him (although it’s extremely common when you filter by Octobers coming immediately after Decisions). David Blatt inserting just eight players better be a rare occurrence or injuries are going to strike like a thief in the night.

So with all these caveats making it difficult to take stock in the overall state of the new look Cavaliers, I decided to task a handful of our Cavs: The Blog interns to churn through game footage in our state of the art Augmented Reality Coaching Center (ARC2). The ARC2 slices and processes using a massively parallelized datacenter. We actually have content in 4D, so the interns can feel the heat from the scoreboard flamethrowers, sense the thud of a dead spot on the sideline, or take a whiff when LeBron rips one at half court.

So instead of trying to microanalyze two games worth of basketball, well below the sample size threshold of most valuable analyses, I asked our interns to uncover any new wrinkles previously unseen during the 4-year-long basketball recession.

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Recap: Cavs 114, Bulls 108 (Or, ALL THE REBOUNDS!!!)

Saturday, November 1st, 2014
See ball get ball, Tina.

See ball get ball, Tina.

The Cavs won!  They survived NBA-JAM-FIRE Kirk Hinrich, and Tristan Thompson had a Dagger OBoard+Flush in the waning moments of OT.  LeBron looked bad and still 100x better than last night.  Derrick Rose sprained his ankle, stayed in the game, left later, and never came back.

A few weeks ago I wrote about the rebounding prowess of the Cavs.  They finished with a 52-42 edge in rebounding, dominating a good frontcourt despite fighting through the second night of an exhausting back to back.

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