Electricity was included in the rent at my first apartment. Out of sheer curiosity, one day before leaving for work, I turned both the air-conditioner (Grizzlies) and heater (Cavs) on full-blast to see which would win in an epic battle of American waste. When I returned hours later, I saw that the matchup ended in a draw, as I fuse had blown. To some stories, there is no moral. The moral of tonights game is that the Cavs are a pretty good team when ball movement flows like wee into the urinals at Great Lakes Brewery and that Memphis isn’t so grizzly without Zach Randolph and Tony Allen in the lineup.
Archive for the ‘Recaps’ Category
Recap: Cleveland 105, Memphis 91 (or the day Dion Waiters chased all the Grizzlies out of Cleveland)Monday, December 22nd, 2014
If I must make an obligatory nod to Miller brewing company and “Miller Time,” (as every Northeast Ohio sportswriter is tempted to do, tonight) let me just remind everyone that High Life is the champagne of beers. Now that we have that out of the way, the Cavs beat the Nets in an ugly one that saw Kevin Love go 1-10 and still have one of his best games as a Cavalier. David Blatt successfully pushed the right coaching buttons by starting Mike Miller and moving Shawn Marion to the bench. Miller scored 21 on 7-8 from three point land, while Marion added a much needed eight points off the pine. Cleveland outrebounded the Nets 44-37 and went 24-29 from the free throw line. Cleveland overcame Joe Johnson’s 26 points and 69% True Shooting and a 47% to 40% field goal percentage disparity. LeBron added some clutch fourth quarter play, and the Cavs overcame some bad crunch time offense to outlast the Nets and notch a much needed home win.
If you can believe it, this game was knotted at zero for more than two minutes. Slowly, both teams started to see their shots trickle in. The Cavs then went on a 19-6 run prompting tweets like “that escalated quickly.” As the 1st quarter clock wound down, LeBron elicited wild reactions after he “broke” Thabo Sefalosha’s ankles and hit Matthew Dellavedova on the right wing for three. Brendan Haywood, AJ Price, and Kyrie Irving were shown in a goofy delirium and both teams went back to their respective benches. Longtime Spurs assistant Mike Budenholzer handed each one of his boys a P-Wing, Star, and Tanooki Suit and they each swallowed them all at once and chased them with ten 5-Hour Energys (giving them 50 continuous hours of super power energy). The Cavs waddled back and forth like koopa troopas before getting their shells flipped the heck upside down and kicked into oncoming Bullet Bills. Here are the highlights:
The Cavs exploded out of the gate to a 21-0 lead, the largest such start in the NBA since…well LeBron was a rookie…uh, Facebook didn’t exist, Anderson Varejao avoided mid-range jumpers like the plague (or, the stomach bug that caused Delly to lose 7 lbs!)… It was a historic start to a game. The Hornets woke up and outplayed the Cavs for about 24 minutes, but the Cavs put them back to bed with a late 3rd quarter run that re-established the proper predator/prey relationship in the Eastern Conference food chain.
The Cavaliers completed their tough four in five night stretch by dropping two straight on the road. Cleveland fans were relieved to have both LeBron James and Kyrie Irving in the starting lineup against superstar Anthony Davis. Though the Browed future of the league left the game early, the Pelicans still were able to avenge their loss in Cleveland. Let us get to it.
The Cavs, minus LeBron James, fell to the Thunder last night in a game that felt just out of reach for most of the second half. Despite a strong start that saw the Cavs jump out to a 26-18 first quarter, Cleveland lost the lead toward the end of the second when they went cold from the field, intimidated by the strong defensive play of Kendrick Perkins. The perimeter play of Westbrook, Lamb, and Jackson consistently led to good looks for the Thunder and by 1:31 remaining, OKC led by three. But the score seemed inconsequential when Kyrie Irving when down in a heap after challenging a Russell Westbrook 15-footer. On a slow, excruciating replay, it appeared that he had hyper-extended his right knee. After several minutes on the floor, Kyrie hobbled back to the locker room and Cavs Nation held their collective breath. A patented “damnit, Dion…” swish, and a Delly o-board and dish to Dion for corner three helped the Cavs finish the quarter tied at 47.
After a very long halftime, Kyrie came out to warm up for the second half. Yes, ladies and gentleman, “Daniel LaRusso’s going to fight!” Irving immediately canned a nifty floater off a Kevin Love feed, and we all exhaled.
In what may have been the most fun win of the season, the Cavaliers fought back from multiple 14 point deficits to top the Raptors for the second time in three early season meetings. After giving up 47 points in the first 16 minutes of the contest and a season high 63 in the first half, the Cavs finished the game on a 20-6 scoring run. LeBron led the team with 35 points on 21 shots, but the victory was secured by the gritty second half defense of Tristan Thompson and Mathew Dellavedova.
Brook Lopez (back) and Joe Johnson (illness) sat out for the Nets and the Cavs rode a monster third quarter — and Dion Waiters’s best game of the season — to an easy win, their seventh in a row, Monday night in Brooklyn.
Here’s what happened:
The Cavs looked to Kevin Love early again and he responded scoring the team’s first four points. But the Cavs were practically inviting the Nets to score around the basket and LeBron James was sluggish early. His first shot was a long three that barely made it there. Then, after Allan Anderson beat LeBron James and Shawn Marion in transition leading the Cavs to call a quick time-out, James air-balled a three.
Love continued to be the Cavs’ only steady hand on offense, as the 6-10 power forward used an even mixture of post moves and outside shooting to account for 15 of the Cavs eventual 22 first quarter points.
The Cavaliers methodically defeated the second best team in the NBA in a hostile environment on the second night of a back-to-back after a restless night despite giving away a double-digit lead. It’s only early December, but the Cavs’ growth is palpable. This game (much like the revenge exacted upon the Wizards) perfectly contrasted the defeat in the first meeting.
Tonight, every Cavalier not named Kyrie Irving played like garbage for three and a half quarters. LeBron James and the minimal effort supporting cast played like they knew they could beat the Knicks any time they wanted. The non-Irving Clevelanders waited till crunch time to bother to try. Then, they put the pathetic Knicks out of their misery. If it weren’t for Kyrie’s new shoes and his unbelievable first half (23 points on like 10 shots), to keep the Cavs in it, Cleveland never would have had a chance to be the stoppable force that overcame the moveable object. Kyrie was transcendent tonight, scoring 37 with an unearthly 81% true shooting. He was the best player in the building.