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Recap: Cleveland 97, Atlanta 89 (or, “You tryin’ to get the pipe?”)

Thursday, May 21st, 2015

JR Smith submerged himself in icewater after the game, just so he wouldn’t set his apartment on fire when he got home. Smith was a human torch, scorching the nets for 28 points on 10-16 shooting, including eight three-pointers (a Cavs playoff record). LeBron added 31 points, Tristan and T-Mo chipped in double digit rebounding performances, and the Cavs’ perimeter defense held the Hawks to 4-23 shooting from behind the arc.

After an 18 point lead in the fourth, sparked by JR Swish, the Hawks cut it to 11. The Cavs reverted to their “ball control” offense with eight minutes left and drained the life out of the shot clock on every possession, and eventually wrung the seconds out of the game clock. The Hawks made it close, cutting the Cavs lead to four points with under a minute left, but a King James drive for an uncontested dunk stretched the diff to +6 with just 37 seconds left. Paul Millsap missed a three, and that closed the door for the Hawks.


Live Thread: Cavs @ Hawks, ECF Game 1

Wednesday, May 20th, 2015

It’s been a long week. If you’re like me, you didn’t know what to do with yourself while the Cavs weren’t playing. Fortunately, we hoops junkies get our fix tonight, as the Cavs take on the Hawks. Some great storylines heading into this one: Kyrie seems to be at the healthiest he’s been in a few weeks, according to Chris Fedor of the Northeast Ohio Media Group.

I feel good,” Kyrie Irving said. “This is a lot of days resting and getting treatment but also finally feeling good and actually being out there with my teammates preparing again. It’s a totally different mindset than being in the training room or being on the court watching film. Now it’s time to get started, roll the basketball out and go play.”

That’s good to hear, and it’s a key factor for this playoff series. When taking a look at the matchups, peak Kyrie is superior to Jeff Teague, but the Kyrie we saw for most of the Bulls series comes out on the negative side. I believe the week off is going to do wonders for Kyrie (He’s only 23. He still heals like a young guy.)


On Leadership

Tuesday, May 12th, 2015

Yesterday was about as hyperbolic as it gets in the NBA media world. Pundits across the new media sphere took it upon themselves to analyze the Cavs victory over the Bulls on Sunday. Their favorite talking point: head coach David Blatt, who was weighed in the balance and, by many, found wanting. Coach Blatt was called to task for his attempt to call a timeout when he had none (and was saved from the mistake by Tyron Lue), and for his initial final play call: to have LeBron inbound instead of shoot.

Much of the media’s questioning and “analysis” reached a level of groupthink and rabid mob demagoguery that was surprising, even for those of us who regularly and wade into the murky waters of NBA mainstream and social medias.


Podcast Episode 66: ‘Bron’s Windy City Winner

Monday, May 11th, 2015

On the heels of an epic and exhausting Game 4, Tom, EvilGenius, and I got in the studio for an emergency podcast to break down where we were when LeBron hit the shot heard round the Association. We broke down the game, the play, coach Blatt, and the war of attrition that has been this series.

Click above, on SoundCloud, or on iTunes to listen.

Quick Hit: Cavs 86, Bulls 84

Sunday, May 10th, 2015

The video above shows you all you need to know, as the Cavs won ugly in the United Center. In the fourth, J.R. Smith got hot, and Delly and LeBron found Earl the third as he scored 11 fourth quarter points, to overcome a seven point deficit at the start of the quarter. After Cleveland clawed to a seven point lead produced by Mozzy, JR, and Bron, Dunleavy hit a tech, and Cleveland milked a six point lead for 3:39 to hold on to beat Bulls in Chicago. It was their “run out the clock offense.” They would barely get it over the timeline and then take it down to 10 before they even ran any action, usually an LBJ pick and roll. They slow rolled Chicago to hang on to a a two point lead with the ball and 18 seconds left, until an offensive foul call gave the ball back to the Bulls. Rose scored a filthy right side layup over Tristan to tie it, and after a James drive, on which Joakim Noah mauled the King with no call, Chicago knocked the ball out with .8 seconds left. After a review which gave the Cavs a chance to draw up a play, the officials put 1.5 on the clock, and LeBron caught an inbound on the left baseline and drained the game winner.


Recap: Cleveland 106, Chicago 91 (or, headband’s back, yo)

Thursday, May 7th, 2015

The Cavs were shot out of a cannon tonight, led by the King in a white headband. As Charles Barkley remarked postgame, “God said I’m gonna make me a perfect basketball player… I’m gonna give him everything but a full head of hair.” The banded one got his butt into the post and led Cleveland to a 13-2 start. Then, they kept a comfortable lead throughout this “must win” game. Even with a 14-0 Bulls run in the third quarter, the Cavs lead remained double digits, and they were able to avoid being gored. Cleveland played Mike Brown 1.0 style basketball: winning with defense, isolations, rebounding on both ends of the court, and limiting turnovers.


Podcast Episode 65: Love and (Playoff) Basketball

Thursday, April 30th, 2015

With all the Cavs news floating around this week, we figured we needed to bring in a ringer. Former CtBer, Colin McGowan, joined me and Tom in the podcast booth for a marathon discussion. “The Mess in Massachusetts” weighed heavily on our minds, as did Kevin Love’s future with the Cavs, and that was just the start. Then we asked the tough questions. Who’s going to step up for the Cavs? Were the Cleveland and Boston suspensions just? Can the Cavs win in the next round? We broke down the playoff match-ups for the Cavs and the rest of the East, and gave our latest finals picks too. Then the Kevin Love surgery news broke! After lamenting, we added our thoughts on David and EG’s Hack-a-DeAndre duel, video games, the the champagne of beers, and, of course T-Shirts! WHEW! Thanks to @cs_mcgowan for a very fun podcast, despite the bad news. Here’s Colin’s Kevin Love article from Wednesday, plus his pieces on the Boston Game, J.R. Smith, and free-throws.

Click above, on SoundCloud, or on iTunes to listen.

blackorangeTime is also running out to buy your CtB t-shirts! Get yours in red or black! The campaign ends Monday. All proceeds go to the Lauren Hill, “The Cure Starts Now” foundation. Get swagging!


Recap: Cleveland 101, Boston 93 (or, Game and Blame)

Monday, April 27th, 2015

Cleveland’s Cavaliers defeated the Celtics in Boston, Sunday afternoon, and eliminated them from the playoffs, and I was never so angry after a Cavs win. Sadly, the most memorable stories from this game had very little to do with basketball. Kevin Love is in a sling, Jae Crowder allegedly went to the hospital, Kendrick Perkins and J.R. Smith are probably facing suspensions, Isaiah Thomas made a mockery of professional basketball, and Tony Brothers and his incompetent officiating crew let it all happen. Celtics players, Cavs players, both coaching staffs, Tony Brothers and Co., the NBA, and even the announcers let this game and this series devolve into some of the dirtiest and least professional basketball since the “the Malice at the Palace.”


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

Friday, April 17th, 2015


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


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


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 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.