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Links to the Present: Warriors Edition

Friday, April 10th, 2015

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Sometimes trying to come up with a unifying theme for a links piece is next to impossible. This week the theme came easily. During my hours of research, massive coffee consumption, and periodic breaks to take my dogs outside, I realized a bunch of the pieces pointed out that the Warriors are pretty awesome. Their TNT game against Portland last night just solidified that fact for me. (more…)

Recap: Cleveland 104, Milwaukee 99 (Or, The Division is Won)

Thursday, April 9th, 2015

Angry

The Cavs came away with the victory last night, and it was sloppy. They are now the Central Division Champions. I’m going to say it’s because they pulled off this gritty win, but even if they’d lost, they still would’ve had the division title won thanks to the Bulls falling to the Magic.

The Wine & Gold started the game getting the ball into the post, and then used that action to hoist open three-pointers. They followed that plan for much of the night, but they racked up an astonishing 18 turnovers trying new stuff. Whenever they moved away from this game plan, they had some trouble scoring. However, in an ironic twist, it was the ISO-play down the stretch that won the game for them. LeBron James hit a three-ball off the dribble to put the Cavs up five with 14 seconds left in the game. The Cavs needed that shot, since somehow they managed to squander a 15 point lead in the third quarter and entered the fourth up by just two points. Kyrie led the team with a 17 point second quarter. He ended the game with 27 points, nine assists and four rebounds.

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Live Thread: Cavs @ Bucks

Wednesday, April 8th, 2015

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The Cavs travel to Milwaukee tonight to face the young Bucks. The Bucks have lost three of their past five games, although two of those losses came against the Hawks and Warriors. This team has been a surprise the whole season. Coach Jason Kidd has utilized his team’s length to make passing against them next to impossible. The Bucks are causing 16.3 turnovers a game, which is number one in the league. They swipe 9.4 balls per game, which is good for 3rd in the NBA.

If the Cavs pull off a win tonight, they will clinch their fourth Central Division banner and the number two seed.

Get excited to watch the massive length of the Bucks battle the ball handling talents of the Cavs. I’m picking the Cavs to win this one 103-98.

Links to the Present: Defending the Defense Edition

Tuesday, March 31st, 2015

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This fact gets repeated whenever “the Cavs” and “NBA Finals” are mentioned in the same breath: Only three teams in 37 years have won a championship with a regular season defensive efficiency rating outside of the top ten. The last championship team without a top ten defense was the 2000-2001 Lakers, and they had Shaq and Kobe. The fact that these players are first name only guys sort of explains a lot about that Lakers run. (more…)

Recap: Cavs 111, Grizzlies 89 (Or, Kevin Love is Really Versatile)

Thursday, March 26th, 2015

$_35

In an away game, the Cavs handed the number two team in the West their biggest loss of the season. Memphis shot 44% and made only four 3-pointers. The Cavs, on the other hand, shot 51% and drained 14 3-balls. Kevin Love led the Cavs by keeping Marc Gasol from doing what he normally does offensively. Gasol struggled to get easy post points, pass to open guys, or even rebound. Love also destroyed Memphis offensively, making 10-13 shots for 22 points from everywhere on the court. He even had 10 rebounds to go with four assists. The Grizzlies couldn’t figure out how to defend him, or any of the Wine-and-Golders.  The Cavs led by as many as 29 points in the 3rd quarter, a quarter in which all 14 of their baskets were assisted.  It was the best ball movement of the season.  Let’s go to the action. (more…)

Live Thread: Cavs @ Grizzlies

Wednesday, March 25th, 2015

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The Cavs are facing a team going the opposite direction of most NBA teams. The Grizzlies play at a bottom five pace (92.1 possessions per 48 minutes). They run the ball through two true post behemoths, Marc Gasol and Zach Randolph. And, defensively, they hold teams to 95.2 points per game, which is second in the league. (more…)

Links to the Present: Sorta Obvious Edition

Tuesday, March 24th, 2015
Kevin Durant's foot

Kevin Durant’s foot

Kevin Durant has been out since his second surgery of the season on February 23rd.The procedure was supposed to relieve pain resulting from the above pictured screw he had placed in his foot earlier this year for a Jones Fracture. KD was re-evaluated a week later. At that time, he was given another week or two off. Now, it’s pretty much decided that Durant will be out for the season since his pain persists. If asked in February, “Was Durant coming back after that second surgery,” I could have said “no” right away. It’s relatively simple. (more…)

Links to the Present: Loving Edition

Wednesday, March 18th, 2015

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Each week there is a ton of NBA media pertaining to the Cavs and the league in general that deserves recognition. A lot of it goes unread because there just isn’t enough time to keep up with it. Don’t worry. I’ve got you covered notable reads/videos from the past seven days to get you through the day feeling entertained, caught up, and much smarter. I’ll throw in Earl’s Pearl of the Week and some other features to add to the entertainment.

About 36 hours ago the Cavs lost a stinker of a game to the Heat. Let’s pretend that loss never happened by looking at articles mainly praising the Cavs. There is no shortage of them right now. (more…)

Recap: Cavs 123, Magic 108 (Or, No Defense Required)

Sunday, March 15th, 2015

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After searching for several streams to watch this game and almost giving up, I’m thankful I kept looking for one. This game was all offense, and I love me some bucket-getting. Defense is just so boring. The Cavs shot 59% from the field and 51% from behind the arc to drain 18 long balls. The Magic shot 47% from both the field and 3-line. While the Cavs just didn’t feel like closing out and were amazed a big man like Nikola Vucevic can shoot so well, the Magic played good old ineffective Mike Brown every man in the paint on every drive defense. Vucci Mane had 22 points, 15 rebounds, and three assists for the Magic. The Cavs were led by Kyrie who had 33 points, dropping five of six threes. He also had four assists. LeBron was pretty awesome too handing out 13 dishes, sucking up eight boards, and scoring 21 points on 9-14 shooting. (more…)

Live Thread: Cavaliers @ Magic

Sunday, March 15th, 2015

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The Wine & Gold are in Florida to take on the Magic. This game is going to be the opposite of the thrilling overtime game against the Spurs. The Magic are full of young talented guys playing in a system that seems to not maximize the talent. They have just 21 wins to date.

Big man Nikola Vucevic leads the Magic in scoring with 19.5 points per game and rebounding with 11.2 boards per game. At seven feet tall, he’s a legitimate center. His ability to pretty much hit any shot aside from the three could make Timofey Mozgov have to run a little bit more than usual. Tristan Thompson might have to box out even harder if matched up against this big guy. Vucci Mane gets his stats regardless of the situation.

ESPN points out that Elfrid Payton has averaged 16.8 points and 6.8 assists the past four games. The Magic have also lost three of their last five.

The Cavs should win this game easily, but perhaps it might be a trap. Cleveland has won the last ten games against the Magic. And, the Cavs are also topping a ton of categories these days according to NBA.com’s preview:

During their 23-5 stretch since Jan. 15, the Cavs rank 1st in the NBA in points per game differential (+11.1), 1st in three-pointers made (320), 2nd in field goal percentage (.468), 2nd in points per game (108.1) and 5th in three-point percentage (.375). Defensively since that time, the Cavs are 7th in opp. field goal percentage (.428), 3rd in opp. three-point percentage (.324) and 10th in opp. points per game (97.0).

I’m not really scared though. I think it’s safe to say the Cavs are past trap games now (unless the idea of jinxing something is real). However, I’m a little worried Elfrid (See above) might overtake Anderson Varejao for the best hair in the NBA title.

Cleveland Cavaliers v Atlanta Hawks

What are your predictions for today? I’m calling for a win, but it won’t be a blowout. There’s going to be some Kendrick Perkins post plays by the end of the fourth quarter tonight.

Kevin Love is sitting out to rest. Shawn Marion is listed as active.