Archive for the ‘Recaps’ Category

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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Preseason Recap: Memphis 96, Cleveland 92 (or, Games are won in the Trenches)

Thursday, October 23rd, 2014

Cleveland closed its 2014 preseason with an incredibly physical game with the Memphis Grit and Grind. If you like to watch amazingly large athletes slam into each other in the paint, circle December 21st and March 26th on your calender. Though only preseason, it was clear that any meeting between these two frontcourts will be an all-out sumo match. The Memphis style of play gave the Cavaliers a chance to see how Blatt’s adapting system functions in a slowly paced game. Shawn Marion started in place of a resting LeBron James. Anderson Varejao was in the circle for tip-off. Though competitive throughout, the game was clearly an evaluative exercise for both franchises. Starters saw limited minutes in the second half.

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Preseason Recap: Cleveland 107, Chicago 98 (or, Rose Might Be Back)

Tuesday, October 21st, 2014

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Tonight’s preseason game between the Cavs and Bulls was the first in a series that should lead to an intense rivalry come playoff time.  Both teams came into the game looking at it as dress rehearsal for the regular season, especially the Cavs who will probably be resting LeBron James during their final preseason game against Memphis.  This game oscillated between stellar ball movement, great individual play, and transition basketball for the entire 48 minutes.  Derrick Rose seemed like he’s back, but Kyrie Irving and Anderson Varejao didn’t let that stop them from having great games as well.

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Preseason Recap: Dallas 108, Cleveland 102 (or, how do you beat a Zone again?)

Saturday, October 18th, 2014

No longer!

LeBron James versus the Dallas Mavericks. Some Cavs fans had to remind themselves to cheer against Dirk Nowitzki and the Cuban-ators now that ‘Bron has made his celebrated return home. It’s been more than three years since Rick Carlisle’s genius and Dirk’s brilliance took down the Heatles’ first iteration for the title. The Mavs 2011 championship squad will forever have a slightly confused place in Clevelander’s hearts.

Easing the transition from residual warm feelings to mild disgust was new Maverick and Cavalier nemesis Jameer Nelson(really anyone from that dreaded 2009 Magic squad would do the trick).

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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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The Pre-Re: Recap of the Cavaliers 106-100 preseason win over the Milwaukee Bucks

Tuesday, October 14th, 2014

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In a game that saw three of the Cavs’ presumptive starters sitting out — Kyrie Irving (ankle), LeBron James (rest) and Tristan Thompson (shoulder) — the pressure was on its remaining two, Kevin Love and Dion Waiters, to step up and fill the void. The void was filled all right; filled up like the basket on one of Love’s five three pointers in seven tries on an evening where he scored 25 points in just 20 minutes on the court. It was filled up like Waiters on his way to 23 points. It was also filled by having to play a Milwaukee Bucks team that was missing regulars Larry Sanders and Brandon Knight and, well… you know, is the Bucks. Still, it was nip and tuck for most of the way, with the Cavs bench putting it away late to improve their preseason record to 3-0 with a 106-100 win at The Q.

Save for a Cavs mini-run in the first quarter that put the team up by 11, the game remained close throughout. Yes, Love and Waiters were the main story — and we’ll get to them — but here was the lineup David Blatt went with for much of the fourth quarter with the game’s outcome still in doubt: A.J. Price, Joe Harris, Chris Crawford, Shane Edwards and Alex Kirk. The Bucks, meanwhile, rode their regular rotation through the tight fourth — Ersan Ilyasova, Zaza Pachulia, John Henson, rookie Jabari Parker and Giannis Antetokounmpo, starting at point guard for the first time — and still couldn’t quite get over the hump.

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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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Not a (Cavs Scrimmage) Recap: Wine 66, Gold 52

Wednesday, October 1st, 2014

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The Cavs are back. And, the Austin Carr who has an infectious smile is also back.  When I turned on the stream tonight, he was the first person I noticed, and he looked happier than he has in any of the past four seasons.  His exuberance is definitely because LeBron James is back with a new friend, Kevin Love. (more…)

Not a (Team USA) Recap: Team USA 96, Lithuania 68 (or, Individual Play)

Thursday, September 11th, 2014

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Team USA looked bad during the first half, while Lithuania looked competent.  America’s offense looked like a bunch of guys just playing pickup ball, and the defense just didn’t exist much of the game.  The score at the end of first half didn’t reflect that though. The talent gap between the two teams was too big for Lithuania to overcome, as they entered the second half of the game down by eight.  James Harden blew the game open in the third quarter by scoring 16 points and missing only one shot. Kyrie kept the US lead growing in the fourth quarter scoring 11 points  in the period to go with two assists.  The US could have ended the game by a larger margin if they had made their free throws instead of going 11-20.

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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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