Archive for the ‘Recaps’ Category

Summer League Recap (or, THAT Was a Waste of $5…)

Thursday, July 16th, 2015

On a night where the ESPY Awards were my only other semi-sports related viewing option, I decided to finally break down and fork over a virtual Abe Lincoln to for the privilege of watching the “Cavs” play the “Bulls” in the first round of the Las Vegas Summer League “playoffs.” Although I went in with low expectations, even despite the Herculean “Cavs” comeback from 21 points down to the “Bucks” two nights ago to seize an improbable overtime victory on the back of a Smokin’ Joe Harris 13 point flurry, I was still somehow unbelievably underwhelmed.

Most of this was because two of the three players I had tuned in to take a peek at (the aforementioned Smokin’ Joe, and the man they call Christmas), remained firmly affixed to the pine for the duration. This left me with the unenviable prospect of slogging through 96 minutes of forgettable, just above pickup game at the Y-level basketball, featuring Sir (No)Pointer and his band of future D-League wannabes. But such is life in the NBA Summer League after your stacked team has just gone to the Finals, so I let the memories of this past year’s playoff run, and visions of next year’s, console me at the loss of a little bit of time and money, as the “Cavs” lost this meaningless game 91-73.

Although, in hindsight, I probably shoulda just spent the $5 on beer and watched Mr. Robot…


Recap: Free Agency Fireworks So Far (or, Some Sizzle… Some Fizzle… Some Duds)

Saturday, July 4th, 2015

Happy Fourth of July Cavs fans! Well, we wanted fireworks… and we got some. A little more than three days into the 2015 Free Agency, and there have already been pyrotechnics galore. From the moment the clock struck 12:01am (EST) on Wednesday, the deals, rumors and reports on this year’s NBA Free Agents have filled the air like so many spectacular burning embers.

With deals exploding faster than the salary cap will next summer, the Cavs have been right in the thick of it all, and putting on a heck of a show thus far. Others have joined them in the celebration, popping off with record-setting numbers to retain their own Free Agents and to lure others to come check out their displays. While a few of the former big guns of the league have experienced some failure to launch in their bid to find new ways to wow their crowds.

Here’s a quick breakdown from the bombs bursting in air, all the way down to the sparklers, black snakes and smoke bombs from the past week…


Finals Game 6 Recap: Warriors 105, Cavs 97 (or, The End… Yet Only The Beginning…)

Wednesday, June 17th, 2015

Endings are difficult. No matter how prepared you think you are for them, the emotions can be a challenge to process once the clock hits zero and the reality settles in. It’s hard to come so near a goal, but to ultimately fall short no matter how hard you tried. In the end, sometimes no matter how much grit, determination, perseverance or sheer will you possess can overcome the odds when they are stacked well against you.

None of us can truly understand what LeBron James and the rest of his Cavalier teammates are feeling right now, but we can certainly take LeBron’s word for it and empathize…

“There’s not much you can say really. It’s really no great feeling when you lose,” said LeBron. “When you fall short, it hurts and it eats at you, and it hurts me to know that I wish I could have done better and done more and just put a little bit more effort or whatever the case may be to help us get over the hump. But it just wasn’t our time.”

And so it was that the Cavs fell just shy of achieving their goal of winning the first championship in franchise history (and the first championship of any kind for the City of Cleveland since 1964), losing in Game 6 to a deeper, healthier and (as a result) more talented Warriors squad. Yet, despite bad luck, injuries, and fatigue, they still made an incredible run at the title, going down swinging as best they could, a run that bodes well for the immediate future of this team.


Finals Game 5 Recap: Golden State 104, Cleveland 91 (or, Maybe Save Something for the Swim Back?)

Monday, June 15th, 2015

AP Photo/Ben Margot

In a fantastically contested game, the Cavs hung with the Warriors for 43 minutes, until two straight Andre Iguodala threes gave the Warriors a seven-point lead. Steph Curry then destroyed the Cavs’ chances with a dancing, playground style, three-pointer and then a layup to put the Dubs up ten. LeBron tried valiantly to bring the Cavs back with a 27-footer, followed by a successful Hack-guodala strategy, but Matthew Dellavedova missed a three that would have cut it to five at 1:39. Then, Steph Curry slung an ice dagger at the net from 29 feet, and routed the armies of the North Coast.

The other lousy bookend to this game, the first five minutes, looked like a plate full of baby puke as the Cavs had only a Delly junkball deuce and five turnovers on their tray. But Cleveland went small, relegating Timofey Mozgov to the bench, and ran with the Dubs till late in the fourth to the tune of 20 lead changes and 10 ties. Cleveland just turned the ball over five more times the rest of the game, but the 11 offensive rebounds surrendered to Golden State were the difference as much as Curry’s shooting.


NBA Finals Game 5 Quick Hit: Warriors 104, Cavs 91

Sunday, June 14th, 2015


LeBron James notched another triple double with 40 points, 14 rebounds and 11 assists, but it wasn’t enough to get the Cavaliers a win in Oakland. Stephen Curry led the Warriors with 37 points on 7-13 shooting from three and the Warriors pulled away from the Cavaliers late on their way to a 104-91 win and a 3-2 lead in this best-of-seven series.

The Cavs followed the Warriors lead by going small for much of the game. One game after scoring a career high 28 points, Timofey Mozgov played just over nine minutes of Game 5, posting goose eggs on all positive stats. James attacked the basket relentlessly and was much more efficient than in Game 4 where he went 7-22 for 20 points. He finished his second triple double of this Finals series going 15-35 from the field and 7-9 from the line. James even dropped in three triples (in eight attempts).

J.R. Smith had a strong first half, but disappeared in the second finishing with 14 points on 5-15 from the field. Tristan Thompson finished with 19 points and 10 rebounds, but posted a team-worst +/- of -22 as the Cavs couldn’t hit their big shots late.

Golden State did. Curry was helped by 14 points from Andre Iguodala and a surprising 13 points off the bench by reserve guard Leandro Barbosa.

The Cavs will look to stave off elimination in Game 6 Tuesday night back in Cleveland.

Check back soon for Nate’s full recap.

Recap: Warriors 103, Cavs 82 (Or, Losing On Their Own Terms)

Friday, June 12th, 2015


The Cavs’ game plan throughout this series has been to shut down the Splash Bros., and let the Warrior’s role players beat them. Well, they got exactly what they asked for tonight. Steve Kerr switched up his starting lineup for this pivotal game four, and it worked out perfectly. He put Andrew Bogut on the bench and started Andre Iguodala at the four. Steph Curry and Klay Thompson combined to shoot 12-26 for just 31 points. However, Iggy, Harrison Barnes, and Draymond Green combined to go 18-35 for 52 points. They were 10-21 from beyond the arc.

Steve Kerr also started to double-team LeBron James when he was in the post, and trapped him on pick and rolls. LeBron made the correct passes tonight, but it just didn’t matter. The Cavs went 4-27 from 3-point land. Tonight wasn’t one to remember, but let’s remember it anyways.


Cavaliers 96, Warriors 91 (Or There’s Always This Year)

Wednesday, June 10th, 2015


The first Finals game at The Q in eight years was a star studded affair. Rascal Flatts sang the national anthem, and Ohio sports legends Urban Meyer, Jim Brown, Mark Price, Jim Thome, and Larry Nance were in attendance. The boys in wine and gold didn’t disappoint as they led from the opening tip until the final buzzer sounded.


NBA Finals Game 2 Recap: Cleveland 95, Golden State 93 (OT) (or, the Wombat Rises)

Monday, June 8th, 2015


I stopped checking out the media on Friday. I stopped talking to most of my fellow Cavs fans. I couldn’t take the negativity, the self pity, and the inevitable sense of doom so many had with regards to the Cavs and their finals chances. Fortunately, it seems the Cavs ignored all that too. In the junkiest finals game in NBA finals history, the Cavs beat the Golden State Warriors on their home court to capture home field advantage and go back to Cleveland, tied 1-1. The Cavs have won their first NBA finals game in franchise history.


Recap: Warriors 108, Cavs 100 OT (or, It’s the Little Things…)

Friday, June 5th, 2015

After more than a week of off-days, re-hashed narratives, overheated theories, injury smokescreens, supreme anticipation and absolutely zero actual basketball games, Game 1 of the 2015 NBA Finals finally got underway last night at Oakland’s Oracle Arena. What was advertised by many (outside of the State of Ohio anyway) as the beginning of an expectedly lopsided series between the “best team in the NBA” and the “best player on the planet” was decidedly much closer in its outcome.

The Cavs shelled the Warriors early, building as much as a 14 point lead on their wide-eyed hosts, before letting Golden State’s deep stable of bench workhorses charge their way back into the fray by halftime. From there, both squads traded blows, drawing even at the end of each successive quarter, and forcing the issue to overtime, to the delight of impartial fans of the game and network executives who suffered through a paucity of Conference Finals contests.

For Warrior fans, the final shot of regulation that fell just centimeters short resulted in a sigh of relief at dodging the closest of calls. For Cavalier fans, a groan at seeing a small window for stealing the opening game on their opponent’s floor evaporate into five of perhaps the toughest minutes of the season. After all, close rarely counts, and sometimes, the small stuff just sweats you.


Recap: Cavs 118, Hawks 88 (and, “WE’RE NOT DONE!”)

Wednesday, May 27th, 2015

That’s a lot of confetti… Fortunately, the Cavs brought their brooms…

Cavs fans… After 82 regular season games, and a scant 14 playoff games, including one last evisceration of the number one seeded Atlanta Hawks… we can finally say the six words we hoped we could following a summer of lottery luck, midnight signings, Love, and The Return of the King… THE CAVS ARE IN THE FINALS!!!

And now that we have that primal roar out of our collective systems, it’s time to embrace the four word subtitle of this recap, so sagely given during the euphoric post-game ceremonies by the first “rookie” coach to reach the NBA Finals since Paul Westphal (who did it in 1992 with the Phoenix Suns), David Blatt, with a preamble about the Land, its players and its people…

We’re in Cleveland. Nothing is easy here… But there’s a lot of love, and the best support in the world… and the people care… and the players give everything they have… And we’re not done.”