After outscoring the Raptors by thirteen in the first quarter because of ball movement, passable defense, and transition play, the Cavs abandoned most of those things for the next three quarters. This helped the Raptors claw their way to a two point lead by halftime and a seventeen point win at the end of 48 minutes. The Canadian guard were led by Lou Williams who insta-offensed himself to 36 points and lots of smiles from Dwane Casey. Let’s jump right into the game.
The Raptors come to town tonight after feasting on the Bucks yesterday to earn a 41 point win. Toronto currently looks like one of the top teams in the East, and they have both a top five defense and offense. The Cavs, however, aren’t looking too hot after being beat soundly by the Wizards less than 24 hours ago. The rotation inconsistencies, defensive lapses, and lack of ball movement make me worry that Mike Brown has somehow hacked into David Blatt’s body and is trying to make Cleveland fans re-experience last season. Hopefully I’m wrong about that, and this game changes my thoughts. (more…)
During the past three seasons, Austin Carr has often said, “Kyrie has got to pass the ball. He can’t just dribble it.” That’s been said with lots of enthusiasm when the Cavs have been down during a fourth quarter, and Kyrie Irving’s hero ball was being thwarted by double teams. LeBron James even said Kyrie needs to be a point guard first and a scorer second last week. While it is definitely true that assists result in a healthy offense that generates easy points, they actually are just one tiny factor in creating a transcendent offense. Let me pass you some stats to get this assist talk started. (more…)
The Cavs won. There will be no three game losing streak and no mass media panic about the state of the team. The King looked exactly like the best player in the game does. He did whatever he wanted the whole night. During the first quarter, he wanted to get guys easy shots, so he passed to get six assists. During the second quarter, he wanted to score a little bit. He played some iso ball, missed shots, and finally scored four in a row. During the third quarter, he wanted to keep the Cavs momentum going, so he made two layups. One of them utilized a spin move, which mesmerized the Nuggets so much they relaxed defensively. In the fourth quarter, Kevin Love was tired, so whenever it was possible LeBron switched onto Love’s man and defended anyone posting up. He then sealed the game with two layups at the end to make sure the Nuggets couldn’t win. The King finished the game with 22 points, 11 assists, and seven rebounds. He made sure the Cavs didn’t trail at all after going up by two points in the beginning of the first quarter. (more…)
The Cavs travel to the Mile-High City tonight to take on the Denver Nuggets. The game starts at 10:30 p.m. Eastern time and is being shown on ESPN.
Denver is using an 11 man roster right now. Seriously, 11 guys on their team are averaging more than ten minutes a game, and they are trying to run their way through a mountain with fresh legs to find wins. They have the second fastest pace in the league behind the Warriors, which makes perfect sense since their thin air tires teams. Are the Cavs up for this matchup?
Make sure to check out my recap of the Cavs Vs. Jazz here.
Brian Windhorst is reporting that LeBron James had words with Kyrie Irving not only after the game against Portland but also after the game against Utah. The King is upset that Irving isn’t playing like a point guard. He acknowledged the fact that Kyrie hasn’t had an assist in more than forty-five minutes.
“There’s a lot of bad habits, a lot of bad habits been built up the past couple years,” James said to the media moments after the exchange. “When you play that style of basketball, it takes a lot to get it up out of you.”
Irving said this about the Utah game:
“For us, it was a growing process that we have to go through,” Irving said Wednesday. “It sucks right now. For us, we’re still young, and I’m still learning what’s going on.”
Tonight was rough for anyone who has watched the Cavs the past two years. There were lots of sequences where one player just dribbled the ball for fifteen seconds while every other guy watched him thinking, “dang, he goes between the legs really smoothly.” There were lots of pick and rolls where the Wine & Gold trapped, made the second rotation to stop the roll man, and then forgot that usually there is an open shooter in the corner if his defender is in the paint. There were a few times when the Cavs said to themselves, “hey, Derrick Favors won’t rebound his team’s shot if we stand here with our arms down.”
The Cavs trailed almost the entire game. They were behind 13 at the half and down as much as 16 in the third before bringing it to within one before the fourth quarter. With 6:22 left in the fourth, the Cavs tied it. They then battled back and forth with the Jazz until LeBron James forced the refs to call a foul when he was shooting a three pointer with three seconds left in the game. The L-Train barreled into the sanctity of the game of basketball by using a pump fake before leaning into a mid-air Derrick Favors, but he still made all three shots to tie the game. The Jazz then called a timeout and Gordon Hayward screamed to the world “BALL DON’T LIE” as he sank the game winner with no time on the clock.