Author Archive

The Point Four-ward: When Steady Is Exciting

Friday, September 12th, 2014

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Four points I’m thinking about the Cleveland Cavaliers…

1.) Kyrie Irving drew some compliments from commentators Marc Kestecher and Fran Fraschilla during ESPN’s broadcast of Team USA’s 96-68 win over Lithuania in the semi-finals of the FIBA World Cup. During the fourth quarter, Fraschilla mentioned how “steady” Irving has been throughout this tournament, adding that when you think about Irving’s performances it’s difficult to pick out a bad one. Irving has been “average” at worst, and generally “very, very good.”

Irving, who played a team high 34:27 minutes on Thursday, also led the team in scoring with 18 points. His +19 was second only to James Harden’s +20.

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The Point Four-ward: Getting Way, Way, Way Ahead of Ourselves

Friday, September 5th, 2014

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Four points I’m thinking about the Cleveland Cavaliers…

1.) I caught up with fellow Truehooper Graydon Gordian earlier this week. Graydon is Editor Emeritus of the Spurs’ blog 48 Minutes of Hell and this finally-August-hot September evening was the first time we’d talked hoops since the Cavs’ Hulked-Out off-season began. Possibly because I immediately demurred to his own loyalties (“There’s no way I want any part of the Spurs, should the Cavs make the Finals this year,” said I) we strolled down Hypothetical Way, talking about the likely Western Conference contenders and how, should all of the 950,000 things that must go right for any team to dream of playing into late-June go right for the Cavs this year, each of them might match up against the wine and gold from Nor’thrn ‘Hia.

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

Tuesday, August 26th, 2014

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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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Waiting For This Year: Kevin Love Trade Is Now Official

Saturday, August 23rd, 2014

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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

Friday, August 22nd, 2014

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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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The Point Four-ward: Get Those Hands Up!

Thursday, August 14th, 2014

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Four points I’m thinking about the Cleveland Cavaliers…

1.) Still finding yourself on the fence about whether or not to embrace Kevin Love? Well, sipping from a frosty, ice-brewed, beachwood-aged mug of Kevin Love highlights should put some flash back in your step, mister. I’d been resisting spending too much time aboard the Love Boat this summer, but since we’re in that dangerous stretch between Summer League and Team USA games (where madness truly does lie), I thought I’d spend a minute or twenty with the Cavs presumptive 2014-15 starting power forward. And you know what? Kevin Love does all those Kevin Love things that everyone says he does. But the thing that really stuck out was how much of his 10-minutes plus of highlight footage spanning an 82-game season came on the two occasions where Love was matched up against Tristan Thompson.

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The Point Four-ward: So, You Wanna Be a Rock N’ Roll Star?

Thursday, August 7th, 2014

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Four points I’m thinking about the Cleveland Cavaliers…

1.) Andrew Wiggins said it several times leading up to and just after the NBA draft: playing basketball for Kansas University was like being a rock star.

When I first heard him say it, he was wading through a torrent of questions at the NBA Draft Media Day which takes place the afternoon before the draft. He was answering a question about how his one season of college ball had prepared him for the rigors of life in the professional game and said that playing at KU — with the media scrutiny and fan mania that such a hoops hotbed brings with it — made him and his fellow teammates feel like “rock stars.” He smiled after he said this and everyone chuckled at the thought. But then the reporter asked a follow up: “Is that good?”

Wiggins thought about it for a moment, clearly not expecting to have to think about it for a moment and then said what every one of us probably would have said at 19 years old. He said, “Well, who wouldn’t like that?”

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The First Time Around

Wednesday, July 30th, 2014

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The Cavaliers organization is preparing to fold up the paint-splatted tarps, take down the scaffolding and scrub everyone from finger nails to elbows with Lava soap, signaling an end to one of the wildest rebuilds in league history. But, this October will not the first time LeBron James has tightened the draw-string on a pair of wine and gold shorts. So, it seems fitting to take this mid-summer’s time when the NBA news cycle has finally (finally!) receded to its yearly low tide to take a look back on some of the other Cavs teams LeBron James has led and where the starters on those clubs, those not-quite-ready-for-championship players, are now.

Let’s start at the very beginning… with your 2003-04 Cleveland Cavaliers.

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The Point Four-ward: Love and Loveless Edition

Thursday, July 24th, 2014

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Four points I’m thinking about the Cleveland Cavaliers…

1.) There’s a reason that the two sides of the Kevin Love/Andrew Wiggins debate are so equally passionate about the other side being horribly misguided. This is not necessarily an argument about the personnel moves made by a basketball team so much as it is a larger struggle between Reason and Imagination. Love, supporters of the trade that would send Minnesota a package headlined by the Cavs’ recent number one pick say, immediately makes this Cavs team a contender (at least in the East) and, still only 25, would keep the Cavs championship window open well through LeBron’s prime, the new extension on Kyrie Irving’s contract, as well as whatever new contract the Cavs cadre (Lake Erie’s new answer to the Miami mafia) convinces him is worth the signature either prior to or just after the 2014-15 season.

They are, of course, entirely right. If the only thing we can be sure of in professional sports is what we already know, then Love is a no-brainer. Whenever you have the assets to nab a top-12 player who has yet to enter his prime (which is really the scariest thought here) while still keeping the middle of your batting order together, you do it. You do not think about Anthony Bennett, reason says. You do not think about the type of player Andrew Wiggins might develop into.

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Summer League Recap: Cleveland 82, San Antonio 70 (or I’m your Ch-Ch-Ch-Ch-Ch-Cherry Bomb)

Monday, July 14th, 2014

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The Cavaliers summertime instructional team raced out to a quick lead over the San Antonio Spurs, building leads of 25-11 after one and 41-23 at the half before fending of a Spurs second-half run to notch an 82-70 victory in Las Vegas, Sunday afternoon. In what will, no doubt, come to be known as the “Crystal Ball Game” sometime around next June when the Cavs’ varsity unit puts a similar smacking on the Spurs’ A-team to win the 2015 NBA Finals and… and…

[experiences shortness of breath ... light-headedness ... reminds self of "marathon, not sprint"... counts to 10... okay, I'm back]

The Cavs Summer League team looked pretty impressive in upping their record to 2-0 in the Sunbaked Classic.

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