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Get your CtB Tees and benefit “The Cure Starts Now” fund (Or, the time we made a t-shirt).

Friday, April 17th, 2015

CtBGGW

This is a really exciting weekend for us here at Cavs the Blog. Not only are the Cavs in the playoffs for the first time in four years, but guess what? After lots of requests, and lots of hard work by our staff and selected consultants we’re proud to release your official 2015 Cavs: the blog t-shirts! Now if you’ve read this blog for any length of time, you’ll note that we’ve only ever had two ads. A StubHub ad and a video scroll bar for ESPN (both are mandated by the ESPN TrueHoop network). That’s right. We work for free and have never asked you for a thing. But we’re asking you to buy a T-Shirt. Why? Well, a few reasons.
  1. THEY’RE AWESOME! Seriously, this shirt design is tight. It features our logo, the year, and a basketball word cloud of all our writers, many of our frequent commenters, our favorite Cavs nicknames, things you’ve come to love about CtB, and all of our favorite storylines from the 2014-2015 season, “The Season of Wow.” (Click the title pic for a closeup view of the wordcloud).
  2. It comes in three different colors. If you want another color, ask. I might design one.
  3. You’re going to want to commemorate the 2015 Cavs season. Just trust me.
  4. I want to see CtB 2015 shirts in the wild. I know you do too. It will make us all smile.
  5. And this is the most important part. We’re not making a dime on these. All proceeds will go to”The Cure Starts Now” Lauren Hill tribute fund. Great swag and a great cause?! What’s not to love?

Here’s how it works. The awesome folks over at Booster.com handle all the details. We just put up the design, and aggregate our orders for two weeks, so that they can print all the shirts at once. In honor of Lauren Hill’s jersey, No. 22, Shirts are priced at a reasonable $22 ($5 shipping). You just give them your size and where you want it shipped! (Don’t worry. I’m working on international shipping. I’ll have it working by the beginning of next week, but it might cost a little more). Also, special thanks to the folks at Tagxedo.com for the wordcloud ap.

Here are your designs. Please note that these are mockups, not actual pictures of t shirts, the logo, especially should “pop” more on the actual shirt.

cardinal

Cardinal, Antique Gold, Grey, and White (The CtB color scheme). Click here to buy.

gold

Gold, Wine, and Navy. Click here to buy.

blackorange

Black and Orange. Click here to buy.

If you don’t know who Lauren Hill is, Lauren was a teenager and basketball player from the Cincinnati area who passed away from a terminal brain tumor earlier this month. Only 19, she was able to live out her dream of being a college basketball player for Mount St. Joseph university. Her courage has inspired people around the world, including many around the NBA, and in the Cavs organization. LeBron James penned a moving tribute to her on Twitter, earlier this week.

Lauren co-founded the charity, “The Cure Starts Now” which seeks to find a cure for pediatric brain cancer, and supports its victims and their families. You can read more about Lauren, here. Please know that we didn’t decide to give to this cause out of a desire to attach ourselves out of any desire to increase our own exposure. Rather, we wanted to make t-shirts, and this was the absolute best thing we thought we could do with the money.

So buy a few! You can also increase individual donations to the fund at Booster.com. Tweet it, FaceBook it, spread the word! In the past year you all have followed this blog and made it such a fun community of writers, readers, and fans.  So buy a t-shirt! Wear it with pride.

Podcast Episode 64: 2014-2015, Season of Wow

Thursday, April 16th, 2015

On the heels of a fantastic final day of regular season NBA play, we commissioned four of our finest voices to produce an epic podcast discussing the epic 82 game season we just witnessed. It’s been a long six months since October, and as Tom said, this was really three seasons in one, and now we’re on to our fourth. Mallory, Tom, David, and I look back on this season and preview the playoffs in this pod. We tackle the tough questions with our own brand of humor and and insight. Who will the Cavs challengers be? Who’s going to come out of the West? Will it be anyone but the Cavs or Hawks in the East? What were the season’s defining moments? Who does Mallory think the most “beautiful person on the planet” is? What beer have you been drinking lately? Oh, and there’s a big unveil towards the end. It’s, as always, an entertaining and informative listen — if we do say so ourselves.

You can listen above, or on SoundCloud or iTunes.

Recap: Boston 117, Cleveland 78 (or, that’s no clover; that’s a buzzsaw)

Monday, April 13th, 2015

AP Photo/Steven Senne

The Cleveland Cavaliers, sans Kyrie Irving, Kevin Love, J.R. Smith and LeBron James hung with the playoff hungry Boston Celtics for all of one quarter before the effects of missing four starters were too much to overcome. The Cavs imploded in the second period, when they turned the ball over eight times, and the Celtics ran rampant for 34-9 rout in 12 minutes.

Not surprisingly, the Cavs were unable to make up the 76.5 points per game that their four missing starters provide, and were outscored 62-47 in second half as well. Of course, the Cavs had little to play for with the second seed in the East sewn up, and the chance to rest their starters couldn’t be passed up. In a game like this, one must ignore the score and look for the silver linings in the clouds.

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Live Thread: Cavs @ Celtics

Sunday, April 12th, 2015

Whoops! Time got away from me on a home improvement Sunday, so I’m throwing up the live thread a little late. Cavs face the Celtics for the second time in two games, and are sans J.R., Kevin, LBJ, and Kyrie. A tall order is in store for the zoo crew. After one quarter they’re hanging in. Let’s hope it keeps up. Go Cavs.

Recap: Cleveland 99, Chicago 94 (Or, Bombs Away)

Monday, April 6th, 2015

In a game that saw Cleveland go 16-37 from three, the Cavs showed no remorse gunning triples. Those 16 makes? They included three buzzer beaters from 23, 41, and 52 feet. Cleveland gave their playoff rotation a dress rehearsal and only played eight players: the starters plus Tristan, Shump, and Delly. The top eight played well, tripling out to a 54-45 halftime lead, a 15 point lead in the third, and a 12 point lead with seven minutes left, but the Bulls made a charge in the late fourth to cut Cleveland’s crunch time lead to just five. Some undisciplined offense helped Chicago’s cause, but their lack of a go-to scorer hurt it. And as the Cavs scored a few clutch buckets, Chicago could never get closer than a two possession deficit as time ran out.

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Live Thread: Cavs vs Bulls

Sunday, April 5th, 2015

The Cavs follow the Thunder/Rockets Matchup on ABC, which is turning into a humdinger of a game. Let’s hope we don’t miss too much of the Wine and Gold. Bulls are missing Hinrich and the Cavs appear to be at full strength. The rumor earlier this week was that Blatt was going to try to establish his playoff substitution pattern before the Cavs take the foot off the gas, schedule wise. So let’s hope they take the, ahem, Bulls by the horns, and stay in control all game. The Bulls have won 6-8, and Pau Gasol is averaging 20 a game over that stretch. Look for him to be the focus of the defense. OK, this Houston/Tunder game is winding down, and a ridiculous battle between Harden and Westbrook is underway. As soon as that’s over, let’s go Cavs.

Podcast Episode 63: Wind(y)ing Down the (regular) Season

Wednesday, April 1st, 2015

It’s an unfamiliar place we Cavs fans find ourselves — that’s right, looking past the regular season, and forward to the playoffs! We gathered our forces from around the globe for a podcast: David Wood and Ben Werth joined me to talk Cavs and basketball. As usual, the best stuff happened after we turned the microphone off, but the stuff we talked about before that was pretty good too. The biggest topic: the Windhorst/Simmons B.S. Report from Tuesday, but topics also included the upcoming playoffs, the rest of the regular season, and as always, beer. We can be found on the above link, on SoundCloud and iTunes.

The Hinkie Letters — Part II: “Demagogues and Lemmings”

Friday, March 20th, 2015

Editor’s Note: Tuesday, we published Part I in this series of letters between Tom Pestak, myself, and reader/commenter, Mac on the state of team building in the NBA. The discussion veered off into some pretty unexpected territory: philosophy, generational tendencies, religion… The piece garnered some of the most thoughtful and interesting comments of any article at CtB in some time, and for that, I thank you all. So much has happened since we started these letters. First, the fateful day that Tom wrote us all and said, “Are we sure Mac isn’t Andrew Sharp in disguise?” Sharp’s piece in Grantland (a piece I’ve avoided reading), mirrored so much of what we were talking talking about that Tom and Mac wondered if he was reading our original comments section. The article actually pushed back the publication of this series. Additionally, the Sixers bought out Javale McGee for 100 cents on the dollar, and Sixers bloggers who more are blindly loyal than Saddam Hussein’s Information Minister praised the move. (I stole that Joke from Mac). Hoop76’s, Eric Goldwein wrote a piece that filled Mac with so much rage that he had to watch some old Lewis Black bits on youtube to remind himself “how unattractive it looks to be a goofy guy shaking with anger about some triviality.” Additionally, the first part of this series garnered so many great comments that I’ve even re-written some of my final passages to reference them. The effect may make my final response read more like an epilogue than an organic response, but you guys are too good to ignore.

From the desk of Mac:

Nate, I agree with you, if there is actually a process and it is a good one and it gets good results, nothing wrong with that. But too often these days calling something “a process” is a lot like declaring “it is what it is” . . . it is just a placeholder for having something useful to say.

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Recap: Cleveland 117, Brooklyn 92 (or, the septuple double)

Thursday, March 19th, 2015

It’s hard to believe that there are only 12 regular season games left after this one. And it’s hard to believe that there was a time not too long ago when Joe Johnson, Deron Williams, and Brook Lopez were considered elite players. Cleveland overcame a sluggish first quarter against those guys to eviscerate the Nets to the tune of 45 field goals off of 32 assists, 55% from the field, 52 points in the paint, and 15-29 from three. Seven Cavs scored in double figures as the Cavs looked electric for the final three periods. To be honest, much of this was because Brooklyn’s defense was lackluster at best. But who cares? We have dunks, threes, and dimes to discuss!

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Live Thread: Cavs versus Nets

Wednesday, March 18th, 2015

The Brooklyn Nets visit the Q tonight winners of two straight, but they dropped five in a row before downing Philly and Minnesota. The Nets currently sit 2.5 games out of the eighth spot in the East, and are miraculously, healthy for once. Unfortunately, Brooklyn’s dangerous when healthy, because they feature six guys who can put up double digits on any given night: Joe Johnson, Brook Lopez, Thaddeus Young, Deron Williams, Jarrett Jack, and Mason Plumlee. Plus Bojan Bogdanovich is a rookie who has shown a propensity to go off in games. Fortunately, the Nets are 23rd in offense and 22nd in defense, and only haven’t beaten anyone good in a while. Unfortunately, Joe Johnson has been a Cavs killer over the years, and always seems to get up to play LeBron. Fortunately, I’ve heard no chatter that anyone is sitting for the Cavs tonight. Unfortunately, the Nets are better on the road at 16-19 than they are at home (11-19). Fortunately, Cleveland is 24-9 this year at home, and they’ve won 13 straight at the Q.