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Recap: New York 95, Cleveland 90 (or “In Northeast Ohio, Nothing is Given. Everything is Earned.”)

Friday, October 31st, 2014

The words from “The Letter” came back to haunt LeBron James and the Cavaliers in this game: a game that no one in Northeast Ohio thought the Cavs could lose. LeBron looked nervous. David Blatt looked overwhelmed. And the Cavs looked like they’d bought stock in the seriously ill-conceived “big three” narrative. Honestly, there could have been about a dozen more subtitles to this recap. Examples include: “Andrew Wiggins would have blocked that shot,” “LeBron has terrible games too,” “Defense matters,” “That crowd sucked,” “Go back to Hollywood, Biebs,” or “Oh that’s right, Carmelo Anthony’s pretty good.” Ultimately though, the Knicks just played with more energy, intelligence, and focus. The energy that had infused the entirety of the city of Cleveland throughout the day seemed to drain the Cavs instead of fuel them.

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5 on 5: 2014 Tipoff

Wednesday, October 29th, 2014

One more day! The NBA tipped off last night, and the Cavs tip off tomorrow. Our summer of waiting is almost over. In that spirit, we asked five Cavs the Bloggers to answer five questions about what this team will look like to start the season.

Tipoff is Thursday! What are you most excited about as the Cavs open the regular season?

Cory Hughey:  I look forward to the inverse of LeBron’s first return to Cleveland with Miami. The emotion will gather like condensation on the outside of a cold beer mug. For those fortunate enough to be there, they will share a two-hour moment that transcends normal consciousness with 20,000 strangers. Instead of venom, there will be love. Instead of Samardo Samuels there will be Kevin Love.

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Paying off a Bet; Throwing Down a Gauntlet

Monday, October 27th, 2014

So Tom Pestak and I made a bet last spring on whether the Cavs would make the playoffs. I lost. The stakes? An embarrassing video. I tried to duck him for months, but he finally threatened to beat me with a mini-golf putter unless I paid up. So here it is, a re-enactment of an infamous moment in Cavs history. Little does Tom know, I’m using this as an opportunity to test his Cavs faith.

Here’s video of the classic David Wesley layup, just so you can compare.

So as if the Cavs didn’t have enough motivation to bring a championship to Cleveland, now they have to worry about me having a heart attack if they don’t. Go Cavs, and Happy Halloween!

Preseason Recap: Cleveland 98, Indiana 93 (or grinding out a preseason win)

Thursday, October 16th, 2014

In many ways, this was a perfect preseason victory. The starters and rotation guys played into the late third quarter and led 76-59 before fourth quarter scrub time erased that lead. Then the end-of-the-bench Cavs totally redeemed themselves and eked out an ugly victory. One thing I really like about this preseason is how well prepared and well-coached the last guys on the roster have been for the Cavs. David Blatt and his coaching staff are to be commended. Since this game celebrated all of Ohio by taking place at Cincinnati’s Xavier University, let’s hand out some Ohio themed player grades.

LeBron James: If there’s a way to coast to 26 points in 24 minutes, LeBron found a it. The economy in LeBron’s game is amazing right now. He worked himself into the post again and again like a hulkier 90s Michael Jordan. He scored with turnarounds, hooks, baseline spin moves, and yes, a Kareem-esque skyhook. LeBron was 9-12 from the floor 2-3 from three, and 6-7 from the charity stripe, and he made it look easy. After the game LBJ had a fantastic quote on forgiveness in response to a question about how he forgave Dan Gilbert. “There’s fine line between pride and progress. I’m not on the pride side. I’m on the progress side.” Grade: A comic sans lettered coffee mug that says, “the greatest basketball player in the world.”

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Preseason Recap: Cleveland 122, Miami 119 (OT) (or, This is the Game that Never Ends)

Sunday, October 12th, 2014

The Cavs were in Rio for the last four days: bonding, seeing the sights, avoiding the Heat, and working on becoming awesome. The trip culminated in Saturday evening’s preseason match-up with Miami. The starters and rotation guys did not disappoint, pushing the lead up to 19 in the third quarter. Unfortunately, lackadaisical offense by one starter, and most of the deep bench guys let Miami back in this one, and a fourth quarter that should have been a cakewalk stretched on endlessly until Shabazz Napier and James Ennis led Miami to an improbable overtime which was highlighted by an equally improbable Cavs victory. But a win is a win is a win.

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On Reconciliation

Wednesday, October 1st, 2014

lebron cutout2

I’ve often wondered about the stories of divorced couples who get remarried — especially when there may have been another relationship in the middle for one or both parties. How do couples learn to trust each other again? How do you remember the past without dwelling on negativity? How do you get over the hurt you’ve caused each other? I’ve been pondering these questions because I’d really like to repair my relationship with LeBron.

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Podcast Episode 55: 2014 Training Camp!

Sunday, September 28th, 2014

"Michael Allen Blair/Digital First Media

The Cavs first practice kicked off on Sunday. Kyrie Irving called it “surreal.” We here at at CtB can hardly believe it either. Our first on-the-court glimpse of this Cavs team is only a few days away. Until then, we’ll have to fantasize. While visions of half-court alley oops danced in our heads, Robert, Ben, David and I hopped in the podcast booth for a 2014 training camp preview. Who will lead this team? Are there hidden storylines? Who’s going to start? Who’s going to close? Does Mike Miller have a better ‘do than Andy? We answered all these questions and more.

You can hear us on SoundCloud at https://soundcloud.com/ctb-5/ctb-podcast-55-2014-training-1 .

You can also subscribe to the podcast through iTunes at http://feeds.soundcloud.com/users/soundcloud:users:64011415/sounds.rss .

Mailing It In: Rounding Out the Roster…

Tuesday, September 23rd, 2014

Lou Armundson, Andrea Bargnani

Greetings all! Our long summer is winding down, and we’ve got a ton of great content in store for you in the next couple weeks as the Cavs and the Cavs the Bloggers return from their summer sojourns. But for now, we’re not quite up to where we should be productivity wise. So we’d like to hear from you. One question I’ve had on my mind lately: “Is the Cavs roster that we see now, the same one that we’re going to see by midseason?  The end of the season?” To me, it seems the Cavs have one or two roster moves up their sleeves. “But the Cavs just added Sweet Lou Amundson!” you say? Color me unimpressed.

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Prince Kyrie Most Valuable He, All-FIBA

Monday, September 15th, 2014

prince+ali

Kyrie Irving and the USA Men’s National team won the FIBA World Cup of Basketball over the weekend and received gold medals for their efforts. After they routed Serbia in the final game, 129-92, Kyrie was named to the all-tournament team, and named tournament MVP. This is a stunning rise for Irving, who was not even the USA’s projected starter when the tournament began. After finishing 30th in points per game, and 18th in assists for the tournament, the award was unexpected. But while Harden was the top scorer for team USA, and Kenneth Faried brought unexpected and much needed energy to the squad, Irving was the man who steadied the ship for the team throughout the tournament. For the first time since I’ve watched him, Irving received accolades not as much for scoring, but for things that don’t always show up in the box score: defense, hustle, leadership, and selfless play. (Of course, it didn’t hurt that he went 6-6 from three in the final game and shot over 60% for the tourney). If this season marks the return of the King to Cleveland, Kyrie must surely be crowned prince.

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FIBA World Cup Report: and then There Were Two (Cavs)…

Monday, September 8th, 2014

Three Cavs continued their FIBA Basketball World Cup march this weekend. First off, Erik Murphy and Finland failed to make it out of pool play. Of course, since Murphy has the same odds of making the opening day Cavs roster as I do, calling him a “Cav” is generous. Kyrie, Andy, and Delly did, however, make it to the elimination round and one of them failed to advance…

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