For fans of nationally televised, playoff-intensity basketball, it didn’t get much better than this overtime thriller between the Cavs and Rockets. And for fans of MVP-style match ups, there wasn’t a much better one to be had than The King vs. The Beard. Though the Cavs came out on the short end in this one, they fought hard against the third best team in the West and had a shot to win in the end. But, it’s hard to win on the road against good teams… and harder still when plagued by turnovers, rough shooting nights from downtown, too much MVP-ISO ball and (most importantly) poor free throw shooting. (more…)
Archive for the ‘Recaps’ Category
Well… even though a Cavs loss was not the way I had hoped to start my first shot at a full recap, there was still a lot of heart to be found in the wine and gold squad last night. Though they were missing Kyrie (due to a shoulder strain) and LeBron (due to Coach Blatt’s decision to rest him), the rest of the team definitely came revved up to play.
Unfortunately, they got caught in the quagmire of the muddy pace of the Pacers for much of the game. (more…)
Thursday’s showdown between two of the league’s hottest teams was kind of a big deal — so big that LeBron was reportedly out two hours early to practice shooting. The preparation showed, as LeBron shot his way to a season high 42 points on 70% true shooting. After a close first half that saw the Cavs claw their way to a five point lead at the break, Cleveland blew the doors off the Warriors in the third, stretching the lead out to 16 at one point and holding the Warriors to 38% from the floor. The Cavs remained in control the rest of the game, and never let the game get too close. In many ways Cleveland won because they controlled their emotions better than the Warriors, who seemed to lose their composure when the calls weren’t going their way in the third. (To be fair, Cleveland shot 35 free throws to the Warriors 19). Let’s get to it.
The Cavaliers rolled into the Palace at Auburn Hills looking like a budding title contender. The Wine and Gold looked to sweep their three game road trip after destroying D.C. and NYC. The Detroit Pistons, fresh off a roster makeover, wanted to continue their momentum toward a playoff spot. With Tayshaun Prince and LeBron James back with their original teams, it felt like old times. Let’s get to it.
1st Quarter: The game’s scoring started in rather emblematic fashion. Reggie Jackson used a double screen to get himself a 15 footer off the bounce with a semi-contest from Kyrie Irving. Yes, he made it, but it was a theme throughout the evening. The Cavs were happy to let Jackson try to beat them with Heroball.
The Cavs picked up an easy win against the Knicks. The Wine & Gold led by as many as 30 points and held New York to 37% from the field. J.R. Smith stuffed the stat sheet this afternoon getting 17 points on 7-11 shots to go with four assists, two blocks, and a steal. The Knicks received their best play from Lou Amundson and Quincy Acy. Amundson had ten points on ten shots to go with three offensive and three defensive boards. Acy had 11 points hitting 4-10 heaves and pulling down three offensive and two defensive rebounds. Those two guys played fine games, and if they were featured behind a premier scorer, they might have helped the Knicks to remain competitive today. That was not the case as they both played over ten minutes a piece. Let’s see what happens when a team starts five guys that wouldn’t see the floor for the Cavs. (more…)
[Editor’s Note] The Cavs went into DC to battle a team they were looking up at in the standings. John Wall apparently called this a “must win” game for the Wizards. The Cavs led by as many as 40. With the win, they leapt over Washington to claim 4th place in the East. The Cavs even dominated garbage time, which never happens. The C:tB crew was inactive tonight (we didn’t perfectly align our all-star break), so we tapped some of the veteran commenters for the recap.
The Bulls came to play, LeBron laid an egg. A win would have been nice for the Cavs, a loss would have hurt the Bulls more than the Cavs. LeBron was -27, Tony Snell, a mutant created when Tony Allen and Ray Allen’s DNA was combined, was +29 and completely dominated LeBron at both ends.
Cavs netted the first five points of the game including a LeBron and-1. After a rebound, LeBron stumbled against the pressure of Tony Snell and coughed it up, leading to a Pau Gasol and-1 the other way: five-point swing for the Bulls. LeBron, seemingly annoyed, calmly stepped into a 3 right in Snell’s eye. And that was the last outside shot LeBron made in the half (and he took quite a few). The Bulls turned up the heat at both ends. Rumors of Gasol’s resurgence turned out to be true. He punished the Cavs inside and even stepped out and swished a corner 3. And then Tony Snell happened. In addition to hounding LeBron like a bulldog, Snell cut right down the lane on back to back possessions and threw down vicious 2-handed dunks. The Bulls continued to flash people down the middle of the lane and the Cavs really didn’t do anything to slow them down. Mozgov showed some life offensively, tossing in a nice left-handed pop shot over Joakim Noah, and drove from the foul line-extended to throw down a brutal left-handed dunk.
The Cavs played outstanding team basketball tonight; 72% of their shots were assisted. They played stellar defense too, holding the Heat to 40% shooting from the field, even after giving the ball away 15 times and letting the Heat sprint on a 21-7 run in the second quarter. The Good Guys just could not be contained and had a sixteen point lead at the end of the third quarter. With the win over the Heat, the Cavs have defeated every team in the East at least once. This was the first win against Miami in a long time. (Miami was missing D. Wade) There’s something special going on at the Q these days, and sloppy segments of basketball can’t stop it. Let’s check it out. (more…)
Los Angeles was built on persistence of vision. It’s all an illusion. A flaw in our narcissism of self-love that fits the desert oasis tight like a blood stained glove. LA is a mirage and so are the people. They contort themselves to fit the idea of LA. There were times I questioned if they were ever actually there in the first place. They just couldn’t have been real.
The Cavs win streak is over, and it’s largely thanks to their own actions and those of CJ Miles. The King’s men opened up the first two quarters ahead of the Pacers because they managed to shoot fifty percent from the field and 3-line with just four turnovers. LeBron James also took advantage of some great matchups to iso the Pacers to death for stretches. The second half the Cavs took 25 3-pointers and made just six of them, while the Pacers were 4-10 from the beyond the arc and had seven steals. Down the stretch the Cavs weren’t able to and didn’t really want to get any easy points off cuts or drives, which let the Pacers secure the win. It also helped that CJ Miles had a 16 point fourth quarter. The Wine & Gold seemed gassed as the night went on. (more…)