Game ball goes to CJ Miles tonight, because, ummm...why not?
After an afternoon wondering whether a stomach bug claimed Kyrie’s evening, it served as a pleasant surprise for him to trot-out with the starters. The next seven minutes were less pleasant, as the offense looked stagnant, with neither Irving or Waiters looking to attack. While the Cavs plumeted to a thirteen to six deficit, Gee and Zeller combined to use eight of the team’s first fourteen possessions, while the young starters tallied one assist; this is probably not the recipe for winning basketball. The subs checked in, and the offense stabilized; Walton found a cutting Kyrie for his fourth dunk of the season, as the squads played evenly for several minutes. Then, with time expiring, Gee nailed a sixty-footer; 19 to 23 Cavs at the end of the quarter…easy stuff. Tristan performed solidly, with a couple of buckets and two nice passes, and I really liked the Kyrie back-door cut; Dion needs to take some pointers. Memphis piled-up ten assists though, as scoring was a little too easy.
The second quarter opened with the Cavs announcers discussing Greg Oden’s attendance at the game. Was he there visiting high school teammate Mike Conley…or were the Cavs’ brass wining & dining him? I think we know the answer to that question. The bench unit repeated a fairly regular routine of sweet ball and player movement resulting in easy buckets: a driving Livingston floater, a Miles and-one off the give & go with Luke, Walton from deep thanks to an Ellington dime, and finally the deadly Livingston fadeaway. Memphis kept answering though, and the score sat at 33 to 38 when the first-unit started checking in. Inspired by their bench brethren, the starters gained a lead and pushed to a 51 to 48 half-time margin. Overall, the first half effort was very well rounded, with nine Cavaliers scoring, and seven players dishing an assist. A-Gee lead the way with 10 points, while Tristan posted 8 points, 6 rebounds, and 2 blocks. Dion Waiters had neither a point or an assist.
Then, everything unravelled. The offense atrophied, the defense wilted, and the Grizzlies sprinted out on a 14-to-2 run. Dribble penetration by Conley could not be contained and Marc Gasol unleashed a torrent of uncontested jump shots. Memphis registered nine assists, with Conley distributing six. Combining only one turnover and 64% field goal shooting pushed the Grizz to a 32-point quarter, and an eleven point lead heading to the fourth. The offensive display was pretty miserable, and we shall never speak of it again.
But then, it was time for the Herculoids, right? Well, um, only sort of. The first two possessions of the quarter were a perfect microcosm of what this group brings to the table. First, Walton tossed a sweet bounce-pass to a cutting Livingston on the baseline, who continued towards the basket, before kicking out to Miles for a wide open-three. Next time down, Ellington and Walton ran the pick & roll, with Walton catching a pass in the paint, before quick-touching it to Speights for a lay-up. One minute, two offensive sets, three players per play, at least four passes, all five guys involved, and a Memphis lead cut to six. The Cavs never managed to get closer though. Kyrie checked in and drove for a layup, briefly carving the deficit to four, but Cleveland couldn’t find enough stops or buckets from there out. Memphis cruised 15 to 8 over the final five minutes, eventually closing out their double-digit victory.
Tough loss, with all five starters finishing MINUS, and all five subs ending PLUS. Memphis has the NBA’s second-best defense though, and is on a roll, winning 11 of 12, with the only loss coming at Miami. It’s time to dust off the passports and head to Canada. We’ll be back on Sunday, hopefully covering a bounce-back game against the Raptors.
Onto a few bullets:
Earlier today, Tom ascribed much of the team’s recent success to the bench. I claimed that a bit of an over-simplification, but tonight it was definitely true. The starting unit couldn’t generate anything, allowing Memphis runs at the start of the game and third quarter. The athleticism and individual skill level of the young guys exceeds their veteran cohorts, but hopefully while watching the bench, they perform ample note-taking about how to run a fluid NBA offense. This definitely applies to…
Dion Waiters didn’t see the court in the fourth quarter, and that was deserved. In a two minute span during the third, he shot four free throws and threaded a nifty assist to Tristan. In his other eighteen minutes? Three field goal attempts with zero assists, with two of the shots being jumpers and the other an isolation drive to close the first half. He wasn’t bad so much as he was invisible; not sure what was up with that. Was he intimidated by Tony Allen? Is he sick? Does he need to figure out additional means to generate offense when paired against a vicious on-ball defender? Is it hopeless to think he will ever be able to play effectively with Kyrie (this last one is tongue-in-cheek)?
The starters combined for 9 assists and 10 turnovers. The bench…10 assists and 5 turnovers. Kyrie flexed his muscles with 24 points on 55% true shooting, but unfortunately it was paired with three dimes and four give-aways.
Not many members of the Wine & Gold played outstanding games. CJ Miles played impressively, with 13 points and 3 steals, including two and-ones, and a SUPER-MEGA Drive & Dunk. Tristan finished with an efficient, yet bare-minimum double-double; 10 points and 10 rebounds. His interior passing is much improved this season, and in addition to his two assists, nice interior passing earned a few trips to the free throw line for teammates.
Alonzo Gee had some nice moments, but was trying (or forced) to create waaay too much offense, finishing with 12 points on 13 field goal attempts and a couple of fumbled possessions.
Mo Speights dropped 9 points on his former teammates, but struggled to 1 of 5 shooting and grabbed only one rebound in 24 minutes. Wayne Ellington hit some big shots, scoring 7 points on three of five from the field.
Zach Randolph and Darrell Arthur sat with injuries, which opened up some playing-time in the Grizzly front-court. Who took advantage? Jon Leuer had 4 points and 3 rebounds on 2 for 2 shooting in 12 minutes. That would have been his best game as a Cavalier, right? Revenge is a dish best served cold, like the ice-water in Leuer’s veins.
Mike Conley and Marc Gasol combined for 39 points, 16 assists, and 4 turnovers on 69% true shooting. They had their way with the Cavs defense all evening.
As I write this, there’s 2:34 left, and Ryan Hollins from deep off the Clippers bench just dunked to stretched the lead even further north of twenty. I shiver as a repressed memory from 2011 sends me to the fetal position.
This game was a dominated from the tip off by L.A. They intimidated the Cavs around the basket all night on offense and defense. The Cavs hung around from about ten points down till late in the third, even cutting it to five at one point, but could never make it more than a two possession game. Nasty, unrelenting defense, shooting that defied the laws of physics and statics, and an officiating squad that will probably be asking the Clips for “Lob City” autographs after the game led to a tipping pint. At six minutes left in the fourth when Jamal Crawford and Chris Paul slit the Cavs throats with consecutive threes and stretched the lead to 18, anyone with a brain knew that the Cavs had no chance to win this game.
I just looked at the box score: and the only thing I can say is, Jamal Crawford missed six shots? I don’t recall him missing any. From 4 point daggers in the corner to pull-up jumpers from 22 feet with guys draped all over him as the shot clock expired to a ridiculous 25 footer from the right wing that went in off the freaking glass, everything this guy shot fell in tonight. Tip your hat, Cleveland and play again next week.
Chris Paul is currently the greatest table setter in the league. 15 assists in 33 minutes? Do you remember any highlights he had? I don’t. He was just heady and solid all night.
The inside game was dominated by DeAn”Tree” Jordan and Blake Griffin. There was nothing easy all night for the Cavs, and Griffin’s 11 board, 3 blocks, 3 steals and 5 uncalled fouls were evidence of just how good he’s gotten on defense. The 50 to 28 points in the paint advantage understated just how dominant the Clips were inside — mostly on lane filling fast breaks, layups, putbacks, and DUNKS. Oh and Jordan bowling over Cavaliers in the post.
But enough of the Clippers respect fest. Cleveland had some nice moments while they were keeping it close. Tristan Thompson had a positive game with 15 and 12 and seemed to relish the challenge of going after Jordan and Griffin. Dion Waiters had another excellent game: 17 points and 6 assists in 28 minutes. He had possibly the best dunk of his career in the third quarter, and possibly the most egregious uncalled foul against him a few plays later when Ronny Turiaf challenged Dion’s dunk attempt with his left arm and pushed Waiters down with his right arm. This is what Dani Socher and I hate about Byron Scott. If that were me, I’d've walked out to mid court in the middle of the Clippers’ fast break, pointed at Monty McCutchen, and said, “if you don’t start calling some fouls, you’re going to get my players hurt,” which is probably one of the thousands of reasons I’m not an NBA head coach right now. But anyway, Dion Waiters was really good.
Shaun Livingston had a decent game with 10 points, but could not make the offense sing like he has been. He had two and-1′s to keep it close though. It just seemed like there were two Clippers around every time each Cavalier touched the ball. C.J Miles kept the Cavs in it going into the early fourth with a some conscienceless shooting. His 16 points in 27 minutes were well needed. Even though he shot 7 threes, he moved well without the ball and had just enough cuts to keep the Clippers honest. Ellington’s plus minus came back down to earth with a -15 for the game, despite his 9 points and 3 dimes in 31 minutes. Trying to check the human parabola launcher that is Jamal Crawford is enough to kill anyone’s advanced stats.
The center spot deserves a special note. Tyler Zeller was called out all night by Austin Carr, and rightly so. I wouldn’t say he was “soft” per se, but his play was definitely this side of al dente.He was hesitant all night around the basket: afraid of getting blocked. He was pushed around and intimidated, and perhaps if Byron Scott was more interested in winning he’d have given some of Tyler’s 30 minutes to Speights, who played 18, but posted 10 points and 3 boards in that time, as opposed to Zeller’s 9 and 5. But this year is about development. And nothing teaches like having your butt handed to you. I think.
UPDATE: The initial box scores which this article referenced were not all correct and have been revised.
Well, Milwaukee battles Houston as I type this, with Cleveland potentially moving within 8 games of the playoffs (actually Milwaukee won on a buzzer-beater). I jest, but who thought this four-games-in-five stretch would net three wins? Or what about dual wins on back-to-back nights minus Kyrie? What was the money line in Vegas for that? The Cavs polished off Toronto to move to 15 and 15 in their last 30 games. Thirty games! Five-hundred! This is fun.
We couldn't get Kyrie to start in the All-Star game, but at least Dion earned Eastern Conference Rookie of the Month, right?
The early stretch of the first quarter served as a worst-case scenario. The Raptors sprinted to a 21 to 7 lead. Tristan started 0 for 4, with a charge, while Jonas Valanciunas repeatedly abused Tyler, scoring a couple of times early and man-handling Cleveland’s rookie center for two offensive boards. Toronto stretched a 19 to 2 run, as the Cavs played like a tired team that lacked their best player. But then, in checked the bench unit…their hearts beat as one; their voices fuse into an immutable chorus…they forge 13 – 4 runs at the end of quarters to cut depressing early deficits.
That squad started the second frame, but with Waiters stepping in for Livingston. Dion netted two free throws and assisted Walton and Miles for threes; Speights hit a put-back; Ellington drilled an and-one off a fadeaway post-move; Dion hit a jumper; and finally, a laser pass from Walton to Ellington for a reverse layup. Midway through the quarter, Cleveland leads 40 to 35. As the starters returned, Waiters maintained the momentum, upping his first half tally to 14 points, while TT pitched in four points, two rebounds, and an assist in a handful of minutes. The Wine & Gold carried a 57 to 48 margin to the locker-room.
The second half initially saw Toronto trim the lead to two. DeMar Derozan found twine on four jumpers and seven free throws, while Rudy Gay routinely abused the smaller Alonzo Gee. The Raptor wings posed defensive issues all night, as this duo totaled 58 points. Then, just as things got nerve-racking, Tristan scored six points in three minutes, guiding a seven-to-nothing run…
That the super-subs carried into the fourth quarter. It wasn’t always pretty; Speights missed two dunks…one possession lasted 66 seconds…but after a beautiful Walton / Livingston give & go garnered a filthy reverse-slam, suddenly Cleveland’s lead sat at fifteen, 86 to 71. Alas though, as soon as things got comfortable, Toronto mounted their own surge, cutting the lead to six as the squads entered crunch-time. Fortunately, just like last night, Cleveland comported themselves as the composed, unflappable unit. Walton found Miles for a MONSTER dunk; Waiters drained a huge jumper after Toronto cut the lead to three; Livingston found Gee for an easy slam; and then the show-stopper…a between the legs pass from Walton to Ellington…jumper is good, 99 to 92 Cavs (back to the Wellington?). Cleveland closed on a 10 – 2 run, as grown men cried across Canada.
This was a tough stretch of games: four cities in five nights, two playoff-bound opponents, and the young Cavs finished with three wins and a +32 margin, while missing Kyrie for two games. Things have definitely gotten interesting at the Q.
A few bullets:
Is there competition for Eastern Conference Rookie of the Month? Dion netted 16 points per game on 57% true shooting with 3 assists and 1 steal. Cleveland won 7 of 12…I would put his February over any rookie in the NBA, really. Waiters finished tonight with 23 points, 6 assists, and 3 turnovers, on 59% true shooting, as he manned the point for the Cavs for significant stretches. He played the entire second and third quarters. Take a day off, young man; the Clippers come to town on Friday.
An odd season continued for Tristan. For nearly two months, he paced the league in getting his shots blocked. Then, for six weeks, he legitimately played liked an All-Star. Now over the last 8 games, a return to 10 points, 9 rebounds, and 44% true shooting. Early in the third quarter, Tristan made old-reliable, his righty-hook, while Dwane Casey screamed, “No middle, no middle, no middle” at his guys; they didn’t listen. Time for Tristan to head back-to-the-lab and master additional moves and countermoves. As long as he keeps hustling on the boards and busting his ass on D, his future looks rosy. His free throw shooting sits around 66% for the last three months, and certainly this season displayed flashes of a scintillating future. Tonight featured 14 points, 8 rebounds and perfect 6 of 6 foul shooting, bolstering his TS to 51% for the evening.
Has there ever been a less likely, amazing bench unit? Ellington, Speights and Walton were given to the Cavs as salary-cap fodder. Livingston couldn’t cut it with the Wizards. CJ Miles ventured into free agency and netted a guaranteed $2 million. None of them has played together before this season. And they’re AWESOME…night-in and night-out polishing off their over-matched substitute foes. Heading into tonight, in 291 minutes, Cleveland outscored opponents by 13 points per 100 possessions when Wayne Ellington played. Against Tonroto, he was +18, Walton ended +20, and Miles +11. Walton posted 5 points, 7 rebounds, and 7 assists; he and Livingston netted 13 assists with one turnover. Ellington offered 13 points on 70% true shooting, and Miles, 10 and 56%. They are wily and smart, move themselves and the ball well, and have been a great surprise.
Tyler Zeller needs put on a massive HGH program in the summer…I jest…6 points and 2 rebounds tonight.
It was not a great game for Speights. Eleven points on 3 of 12 shooting, with two missed dunks, and an odd play where he knocked an apparent CJ Miles made-three out of the basket from underneath. He snagged nine boards though, and plays tough. His 12 points per game with the Cavs rank fifth in the Eastern Conference of bench players.
When the Cavs last defeated Central Division Rival (read: 4 chances a year) Bulls I was in graduate school, unmarried, and in possession of about 20 LeBron-related articles of clothing. Today, I am happily married, gainfully employed, a proud father, and there is an orphanage in Jamaica full of witnesses. The Bulls have terrorized the Cavaliers for quite some time (with and without Derrick Rose). Tonight, the Cavaliers got the monkey off their back without superstar Kyrie Irving in an exhilarating and herculoidian effort. Unlike the last podcast, which came on the heels of a loss, tonight there was plenty to celebrate. So I’m going to keep this recap relatively short. No running diary tonight.
And lo on Sunday, the twenty fourth day of February in the year of two thousand thirteen, the faithful struggled to defeat the firey Heat of Miami. Led by the the righteous baller Kyrie Irving, and the prodigal slasher Dion Waiters, the Cavaliers of Cleveland fell to the army of King James, and Dwayne of Wade, whose game was dirty as the floors of a stable… Inspired by the marksmanship of Calvin Andre Miles, the Cavaliers twice fought back from the precipice of oblivion and overcame a score of points to stand poised to take victory. But nay, the young defenders of Cleveland could not overcome.
Kyrie helped lead the Cavs to an easy victory against the Magic.
The Cleveland Cavaliers romped to a blowout against the Orlando Magic tonight, as Kyrie & Co. dished dimes and dropped buckets to the tune of a 24-point victory. The Cavs bench actually scored 59 points. Guess who else scored 59 points? The Cavs starters. That, ladies and gentlemen, is called a balanced attack. This balance, combined with some spectacular highlights, made the Cavs look like an elite team- which, to say the least, is a rare occurrence.
The Cavs started off hot, and had a great first quarter. Kyrie Irving’s jumper is silky as hell. But it wasn’t just #2. Alonzo Gee started off hot as well. When Gee is hitting midrange shots, you know it’s a special night. Also, for the record, Marreese Speights has an underrated nasty streak. He absolutely loves throwing his body around in the paint and dunking on people. The second quarter was a little more up and down. Sure, the Cavs were scoring, but they were also allowing all of the following players to get buckets: Kyle O’Quinn, Dequan Jones (?), Beno Udrih, Aaron Afflalo, Andrew Nicholson. Yeah, yeah, Afflalo is underrated and Nicholson is a blogosphere darling.Who cares? The defense was truly awful, and the half ended in a tie. CLE 51, ORL 51
Alonzo G33 started off the half with five straight points in under a minute, and it was awesome. If he scored at that rate all the time, he could average 180 points per 36. Wow! The Cavs generally kicked ass in the third quarter, which is to be expected when the offense if being run through E’Twaun Moore. Also, who is Daquan Jones? Does anyone know? Anyway, the Magic hit a few shots to end the quarter down seven. Immediately after the fourth quarter started, C.J. Miles starting bombing from deep. He has a gorgeous stroke when he’s on. Within minutes, the Cavs were up fifteen and Kyrie (from the bench) started grinning ear to ear. The Herculoids were out in full force in the final frame, with Marreese Speights bullying everyone in the post. Also, Luke Walton should play back up point guard, for comedy’s sake and for comedy’s sake alone. Kevin Jones sighting! He has a nice jump shot. The Cavs ended this one smirking, with a 24 point victory. CLE 118, ORL 94
- Kyrie mostly played the facilitator tonight, which was a nice change of pace. We don’t usually see 12 point, 9 assist lines from him. And that off the backboard alley-oop to Alonzo was sweet. (Cue people saying that they can’t wait until it’s Lebron receiving those passes.)
- Alonzo and Tyler Zeller tie for player of the game honors, wherever such honors are handed out. Both of them played well on offense, and managed to shut down their assignments on the offensive juggernaut Orlando Magic.
- Dion: 5/16 from the field. Ugh.
- The Herculoids won this game. Shaun Livingston, Luke Walton– revelations. Wayne Elligton was solid.
- Tristan was pretty godawful tonight. He kept rebounding, though.
"Bring it Uncle Drew". "Young blood, do you even know what I'm capable of?"
The Cavs represented themselves well in front of a national TV audience and (more importantly) a very enthusiastic home crowd. I could get used to this script. Act 1: Cavs come out with a purpose and a dedication to the defensive end. Act 2: Cavs offense looks like a well-oiled machine. Act 3: Cavs show off the bright spots and ugly warts of being a young team, putting on a clinic in the first part of Act 3 before reverting to stagnant iso-ball and chaotic breakdowns on defense. Act 4: Cavs bench holds the line, Uncle Drew brings em home to MVP chants. Yeah, I could get used to that script.
Overall, I was very impressed with the tone the Cavs established at the outset and carried through until Buckets Unlimited™. They came out with a purpose, particularly at the defensive end. I’ve been one of the Cavs’ most vocal critics, citing a lack of defensive intensity, cohesion, commitment, etc. Tonight was like watching a different team. A few notable examples: Kyrie was fighting picks all night. Over, under, through the woods, whatever. The rest of the Cavs were making a concerted effort to identify pick and rolls before they developed, and anticipate the direction of the penetration. They were very successful to that end. They also did a nice job staying home with the scouted 3-point shooters. At least 4 times I noticed the Cavs’ defensive big man hedge on the pick. Thompson, Zeller, and Speights all did it on occasion. Tristan was particularly effective, as he showed so strongly he forced the ball-handler to retreat halfway to the timeline before he hustled back and the Cavs were able to regroup. This was a staple of Mike Brown’s “little engines that could” defenses, particularly when Zydrunas was hitting his twilight years. It’s a very effective maneuver and it’s been missing since Mike Brown left. On offense, the Cavs were stagnant at times, but they showed a committed to attacking, despite the Hornets length inside. Dion Waiters and C.J. Miles in particular were super effective at slashing into the teeth and finishing despite a crowded paint. The scoring was balanced – everyone that played contributed. The bench guys did what we’ve come to know and love, and Kyrie put on an offensive clinic from the moment he re-emerged in the 4th.
The format for this recap is going to be a running diary. I admit that this might seem clunky or hard to read, but honestly, I’ve noticed how much more excited I get about individual moments in real-time than when I’ve had 48 minutes to let the “nuance” and “balance” and all those horrible things cloud my hyperbolic judgement. The reality of this team is, they are young, and promising. Game recaps need not be (individually) characteristic of the season, the team, or the trajectory. Each game is its own story, and it’s worth diving into all the highlights and lowlights. So I present my running diary – and of course more over-arching analysis during timeouts and halftime. Love it or hate it, just let me know either way.
Actual quote -> "I can now give myself my own advice." [http://goo.gl/m90vR
Cavs win tip – Tristan jumps out of bounds to save ball. Ball swings, Gee hits corner 3. Great start.
Pick n foul-line-extended pop for Zeller (more his range than the 20 footers). Drains it.
Cavs defense force two straight out of rhythm Js to start game.
Cavs anticipating screens and ball movement early. (good sign)
Waiters goes strong to the hole! (EXPLOSIVE) Jon Barry likes the Waiters draft pick.
Tristan Thompson with a beautiful step through move that draws a whistle (boooooooo get that prescription checked ya bum!)
Kyrie fighting under screens early (another good sign)
Waiters another drive – gets into teeth – nice interior pass to Zeller who flips it in.
TT tosses in an OLD SCHOOL Jump Hook! Throwing it DOWNWARD towards the net.
Oh my TT’s handle.
NO is a “long” team. OKC being the original “long” team.
Kyrie tried spinning curve-ball bounce passes twice already in the 1st quarter. Pretty low-percentage pass. He might have to learn how to pass with his left. We already know he’s basically ambidextrous with his shot – but he likes to bring it back to the right side to pass.
Tristan working hard to get shots at the rim – but he’s pressing a bit. Needs to get comfortable and get that euro-touch back.
Cavs being kept off the O-boards. Every possession is 1 and done.
Bill Cartwright hits his second 3.
This is a real man’s game in the 1st. Intensity is high – every shot being challenged. Lots of blocks and body checks. Kinda jarring after the all-star game.
Kyrie hits his veteran Andre Miller bank shot. Then gets doubled, finds Luke Walton who finds Speights for the money 17 footer.
Cavs trapping now. I really like that they’re mixing it up. And that was maybe the 5th travel called in this game.
Jon Barry laughs off LeBron to Cleveland rumors – says people can keep dreaming. [ok?]
Kyrie shows Barry why any free agent should give Cleveland a look – just a sick dribble move and floater.
Cavs use their FOUL-TO-GIVE!! (don’t even care that Ryan Anderson hit a circus 3). Byron Scott gets a huge air high-five from me for that quarter. Cavs played very well at the defensive end, mixed up their D, used their foul to give, and Kyrie played with an intensity on D that I haven’t seen from him in a while.
Herculoids/Speights cowboys in.
Whoa – don’t talk about the video of that Shaun Livingston injury. Yeesh that makes me more queasy than the blood donation questionnaire.
Walton backdoor pass to Livingston drains 8 footer. I love the Herculoids.
Brian Roberts? I feel like there is a Brian Roberts in every professional sport.
C.J. MILES puts his head down and does his best Dion Waiters impression. Jon Barry remarks how C.J. Miles played well early this season, which proves that ‘early’ is a relative term. And yeah, he’s right, at this point, December was early in the season.
Walton with another gorgeous pass. Doesn’t lead to a bucket though. Pelicans defend the rim pretty well.
Wayne Ellington can shoot. I really love his game – hope he’s a Cav for a long time. It’s very valuable to have role players that know their role, and fulfill their role. It’s not an easy job in pro sports to be that guy, the pinch hitter you can count on etc etc. You see lots of guys make a career out of playing within themselves and leveraging their talents – as opposed to trying to be dynamic scorer. [Heed Baloo]
C.J. Miles goes strong AGAIN this time with a soft high layup in traffic. Roger Mason! Wow I remember him draining wide open 3s all night long for SA after the trade from Wash. Didn’t even know he was still in the league. Feel like he had a negative PER or something a few seasons back. (checks bball-ref…nah 7.2)
Austin River is like a 3rd-world-orphan-man’s Kyrie Irving.
Was that the 9th travel called?
C.J. Miles is playing like a man possessed – Jumps passing lane, throws down monster 2-handed dunk.
Waiters having a REALLY great game so far. He just hit a step-back, contested 2 but unlike every other step-back, contested 2 this was actually a good shot in rhythm. C.J. Miles just swatted a ball out of bounds. (!) Seriously that dude is ridiculously athletic. He’s just too nice of a guy. Someone needs to disrespect his family’s honor or something – he needs a mean streak. @RichMcCreedy the floor is yours…
Waiters hits another long, contested 2. But it was end of the shot clock and it was in rhythm. Well done, FREON.
Tyler boxes out Geico Caveman and the refs correctly call an over the back.
Tristan doing a good job getting in position – just tossing up bowling balls. Cavs working really hard on D but a great defensive possession ends with Tyler Zeller getting pump-faked out of his shoes. He really has poor lateral quickness. And Zeller turns it over…
Byron Scott calls a “quick” timeout off two bad Zeller possessions. B Scott winning me over this game.
The play is getting physical and the onus is really being put on the refs, and I feel like they’ve gotten almost every call correct, even if they are being a little overzealous with the traveling calls.
Just did a bball-ref check of Brian Roberts. Here are some interesting tidbits. He’s a 27 year old rookie from Toledo. He’s hit 51 of 55 FT this season, which is eerily similar to C.J. Miles’ 50-54.
Dion tries a hurry-up offense and draws a non-shooting foul. Shoots after the whistle and drains it. He is engulfed in flames right now.
Cavs playing really good D right now. As usual, the starters are a little bit stagnant – iso-oriented on offense, but they are attacking the rim which is always good. TT with a nice boxout draws free throws.
Dion pushing in transition off a steal, and Anthony Davis spikes it so hard into the ground they might have to replace some hardwood at halftime.
Kyrie with just a DEVASTATING pump fake dribble drive – Gee hits his 3rd triple. Cavs end half up 2. A very solid 2nd quarter, Cavs played that half like they have a good in-game coach. Have I given you a clue?
1st Half Analysis:
The Cavs came out focused and determined in this game – which is commendable. As a fan, it’s really fun to watch a team compete on defense. They were even mixing up their coverages. During a recent podcast, you may have heard a 9-hour-long back and forth between Mallory and I about the offensive style/execution differences between the starters and the bench. If you happened to remember my analysis, this half is very characteristic. The starters like isolation. TT likes to face up and take his man to the hole, Waiters likes to explode to the rack, Kyrie as we all know is one of the top 5 one-on-one players in the NBA right now (prediction, he will go down as a top 5 ALL-TIME one-on-one player alongside Michael Jordan, Allen Iverson, Kobe Bryant and an old timer that I’m overlooking because I’ve only seen grainy highlights of a few playoff games.) At any rate, the starters are fairly good in transition – Kyrie is ridiculous in transition (he’s always ridiculous), Waiters is learning how to finish in traffic, Alonzo Gee is certainly better suited to some chaos which may help him get open, and Thompson and Zeller run the floor very well. The second unit, comparatively, is much better at executing half-court offense. They showed that in this half. Luke Walton is the half-courtiest of players, and Wayne Ellington and Shaun Livingston really understand how to use screens to create spacing. Walton is an elite passer and Speights is really a dynamic half-court scorer for a big. That high release allows him to score from a lot of different ‘pops’. C.J. Miles showed up in a HUGE way in that half. [We interrupt this half-time analysis to point out the Pacers are up FORTY on the Knicks right now and it’s only the 3rd quarter] C.J. Miles is 3 of 3, has 2 boards, a NASTY swat, a steal, and is +7 in 9 minutes. About all you can ask for. The Cavs bigs have struggled so far against the length of the Hornets frontcourt. Al-Farouq Aminu is listed as 6’9″ but he looked silly-long on a few blocks. Just checked his measurable – he is not human. He has a 7’4” wingspan? Laaaawd have Mercy. Between him, AD, and Caveman Lopez, this team can protect the rim. Tristan was pressing a bit in the 1st half and wound up 1-5, as did Speights. The good news is the Cavs interior D has been making life difficult for the Hornets bigs as well, and both teams are protecting the offensive glass.
I’ve been pretty agnostic about Byron Scott since he was hired, but he has earned some brownie points with me tonight. Besides the Cavs coming out focused and competing hard on defense, there were a couple “good coaching/awareness!” plays in the first half. The Cavs used their foul-to-give with a few ticks left in the 1st half and even though Ryan Anderson took exception and hit a circus buzzer-beater after the inbounds – it was nice to see the Cavs do a ‘veteran’ thing. B Scott also called a super quick timeout after a sequence where Tyler Zeller got burned trying to close out on a pump fake, and then turned it over right away at the other end. Not used to seeing that, a lot of times he lets his young guys hit rock bottom. Good to regroup the troops and halt any momentum the visitors may have gathered.
Robin Lopez comes out with two nice post moves from the left block. Monty Williams calls him “the most coach-able player he’s ever had”. I’m sure Robin appreciates the atta-boy.
Waiters with a huge GTWSOH chase down on Austin Rivers. Both teams starting the 3rd with intensity.
Kyrie with a filthy crossover and J and then one of those traffic layups that only he can pull off. Fans getting into the game.
TT block-fouls Anthony Davis and I swear before the whistle he put his hand up like “I got him”. The Cavs are a bunch of gentlemen I tell ya.
Tyler Zeller quietly having a decent game. Has bounced back from an early blown dunk and is switching like a madman on defense. Fairly effectively too.
TT MEETS LOPEZ AT THE APEX!! GET THAT WEAK STUFF OUTTA HERE!
Cavs continuing with some supreme defensive intensity.
LOPEZ MEETS TT AT THE APEX!! (TT FOULED) (…but having trouble at the line tonight)
Tristan showing how far he’s coming, thrashing about among the long-johns for a man’s rebound and draws another trip the line. His FTs look flat but he finally hits one.
Cavs show a full court press. Byron +1.
Waiters not too bad at the falling-8-feet-to-the-side jumpers when he’s inside 17 feet. He’s still engulfed in flames tonight. He cares not for the Cavalier jersey-burning stigma. - and THERE’S the bad-Waiters shot. NBA JAM rules trump logic – Freon is neutron star hot right now. Monty Williams calls time.
[GASP] A LUKE HARANGODY D-LEAGUE COMMERCIAL! [re-inserts jaw] And it’s freaking AWESOME!
Tristan with a great job attacking the PnR ball handler and then retreating. Austin Rivers making some creative buckets.
Alonzo Gee finally misses an open 3.
Waiters is having such a great night. Blows by transition defender and realizes he is way out of position – but finds Zeller following the action with a crazy twisting pass. Alonzo Gee steals inbounds pass (this defense!?)
Cavs playing some really good D and Hornets just being patient and finding ways to make shots after the first few options break down.
Cavs with a couple defensive breakdowns – looking like the 3rd grade soccer defenders suddenly.
Alonzo Gee should probably come out of the game now. Cavs 11 point lead evaporates in a hurry.
Tristan just wants it more. 3 towering bigs all over him and he just keeps on going strong. Going back to the line after the timeout.
I remember when Chad Ford described Austin Rivers as [paraphrasing] a guy that thinks he’s Kobe Bryant but has the game of Ricky Davis. (BUCKETS!) He’s looked very good in this game. NO caps off a 10-0 run with a steal and a vicious flush. (The Rivers exchange between Simmons and Ford is biting. http://www.grantland.com/story/_/id/8100861/ford-vs-simmons) Refs still calling travels. Cavs in a rut right now. Hornets have all the momentum – they look bigger, faster, stronger and they are out- executing. I’m starting to get a sinking feeling those free throws are going to haunt the Cavs when this one is all said and done.
Kyrie makes a tough blowby layup look easy and does it with enough time for a 2 for 1. Then Kyrie gets a little too dribble happy, and NO smartly doubles him with about 2 seconds left – he’s forced to give it up and the buzzer goes off before the eventual C.J. Miles shot.
Roger Mason is ALIVE.
C.J. Miles makes a bad shot. He’s now 4-4. Cavs need to start executing and getting some easy baskets again.
Cavs have done a good job making sure Ryan Anderson doesn’t get good looks. In general they’ve done a good job chasing 3-point shooters off the line. C.J. Miles follows up a heat check 3 that he missed with a LeBron-esque power drive and finish. Geez. And Miles throws up another heat check! He’s not getting cheated out there.
Cavs have made 3 more shots than the Hornets but are only 6-15 from the line (Hornets are 14-16).
Cavs have on at least 3 occasions tonight had the big hedge on the PnR, stopping the penetration and then retreating quickly enough to recover. Maybe digging into the Mike Brown archives in the underground bunker at the Q. (Same bunker where the aliens that took over LeBron’s soul in the Celtics series are buried)
Cavs getting quite frustrated with the ball-possession calls in this half. At least 4 times guys were genuinely convinced it should have been their ball. Brian Roberts with a layup that makes contortionists cringe. Kyrie back in. UncleDrew time? (7 minutes left Cavs down 2)
Brian Roberts bodies Kyrie – which seems like a smart thing to do since you can’t back off him, and Kyrie spins around him and pops one in while getting fouled. Tie game: 79 all.
Cavs playing super small right now, trying to spread the floor for Kyrie (seems to be working) but the Hornets are trying to create mismatches at the other end (also working). Kyrie got caught in no-man’s-land on the switch and eventually Tristan had to leave his man to stop an easy dunk.
TT with a nice job forcing Lopez into a tough hook shot and then immediately turns to box him out.
Kyrie just destroyed whatever member of Kingdom Animalia that just tried to check him.
Oh and Kyrie with a PUJIT from 27 feet. BOTTOM. Lot of time left but Cavs have taken over the momentum behind Irving’s prodigy-enous scoring. (the fusion of prodigenous – a word that Uncle Drew’s contemporaries probably used to describe him and prodigy – which is what Kyrie is.)
Kyrie grabs a rebound, goes coast to coast through 9 guys and lays it in softly despite going full speed. Oh, and then he takes a charge. MVP chants coming? Caveman Lopez fouls out.
Kyrie defers to Dion who is on the weak side and has a flat-footed defender just staring at him. But Freon freezes up before kicking it back out to Kyrie with 2 seconds left. But after a shot with 0.6 that captures iron, the Cavs get the ball back. This time Dion spins past a double team, kicks out beautifully to Kyrie who somehow misses an open 3. Cavs get 2 more offensive rebounds and I can’t even keep up – this game in frenetic. But Kyrie just did a sick inside-outside dribble and up-and-under scoop for another layup. After Anthony Davis’ first basket, Kyrie draws a foul on a pull-up. THERE’S THE MVP CHANTS.
Cavs up 9 after the free throws. I think the Cavs have made the last 10 or so free throws. Anthony Davis with a tip-in off an Austin Rivers drive.
Cavs not exactly looking like the Spurs right now but there is a spring in their step as the crowd is really taking them home. They are getting all the rebounds and Kyrie is just securing the livelihoods of ‘ankle doctors’ everywhere.
After a NO 3, they foul TT, who’s 3-10 tonight at the line. Rubber rims the first one in. Nails em both. Earning the right to be on the court in crunch time.
(Beaver) DAM. Ryan Anderson hits a 3. Four point game with 40 seconds. Ellington does a good job avoiding the foul before passing off to Waiters. Rook’s turn to hit some pressure free throws.
Calmly nails both. Cavs are now 18-28 from the free throw line.
Brian Roberts drives unimpeded for a fingeroll. Wayne Ellington again does a great job getting across the timeline and drawing the foul. And swishes both free throws. I see what’s going on here. Cavs purposely letting NO score instantly to pad their FT stats. (Or maybe just going for Chalupas?)
Roberts hits a long 3 and this is the longest minute in NBA regular season history? Ellington back to the line. Drains em both. Cavs were 6-15 from the line and have since gone 18-19.
Game finally ends. Really strong all-around game for the Cavs, who beat a team playing better as of late.
Everyone played well tonight. Some fans on twitter were expressing boredom in the game or pointing out a lack of execution by the Cavs. I disagree. This game had a very different feel to it than most Cavs games. The Cavs did the little things to stay in the game when the offense went stagnant. They played hard for 48 minutes and were rewarded with a W. Now, I’d like to gush about Kyrie Irving a bit.
I could probably write 10,000 words gushing about Kyrie Irving. But I just want to point out a couple things. The guy who, in my opinion, has the best handle in the entire NBA (yes, even better than CP3) just WON the THREE POINT CONTEST. Steve Kerr made a comment after Kyrie drained back to back corner 3s in the actual all-star game that “3s aren’t even his specialty”. And I totally get that sentiment! Look at the rest of that field! Other than Steph Curry, who can shoot off-the-dribble almost as seamlessly as spotting up, the rest of those guys are in the NBA [dramatic pause]BECAUSE spot-up 3s ARE their specialty. Matt Bonner is in the NBA because he makes almost half of his spot-up 3-point shots. As I anxiously waited for the 3-point contest to start I thought: “Kyrie is the best scorer of this bunch, but he’s lethal when he uses his dribble to create rhythm for himself. He’s really not a spot-up 3-point shooter.” [Incidentally Reggie Miller echoed this sentiment during Kyrie's first round] And he went out and almost broke the record…on National TV.
People are running out of ways to describe Kyrie Irving. He’s not even 21 and the comparisons to other players are already becoming meaningless. We’ve already established he has the best dribble in the NBA, and he just won the 3-point contest and is a legitimate threat to be a 50-40-90 guy. I’m gonna add another accolade. When Kobe Bryant started slowing down he was lauded for things like “footwork” and “precision” and “creativity”. Lots of subjective terms that indicated it was very difficult to keep Kobe Bryant from getting to the spots he wanted to get to and getting the shots off that he wanted to get off. I’d like to submit, for your approval, that Kyrie Irving, is the most “creative” 20-year-old scorer the NBA has ever seen. Many players have been more athletic, more explosive, more savvy, or whatever. But what Kyrie is doing is unstoppable. You back up? He’ll drain a 30 foot buzzer beater. Body him up? He’ll spin right around you (like in this game) and make you dizzy. Get happy feet? He’ll break your ankles and unlike Iverson he’ll drain the mid-range shot. But it doesn’t end there. In Transition? Devastating. PUJITs? PU3ITs? He can split double teams. He’ll throw in soft floaters, layups from every angle with either hand, including those patented up-and-under layups with crazy english. He’s got inside-outside dribbles, euro-steps, and THIS. And the ones that always make me shake my head are those leaning bank shots, when that’s the only angle the defender gives him – he can kiss it softly off the glass. There’s like 5 guys in the entire NBA that even attempt that shot.
He’s the most creative scorer I’ve ever seen play in the NBA. Admittedly, I’m not a big Kobe Bryant fan, and I feel that many of the game’s truly great players leveraged a few (effective) go-to moves. Kyrie’s like an all-star pitcher that has total command over 10 different pitches (if there ever was such a pitcher). Every time you watch him it’s like “how’s he gonna figure this one out” and more often than not, he does. And this is from a guy that has only played 105 NBA+College games combined. It’s been said, but it bears saying again. ”What’s not to like?”
As long as the scores are close, the only thing that matters in an all-star game are the last eight minutes. This exhibition was no exception was no exception. The game bounced back and forth for three quarters with some up and down play. Highlights of the first three quarters included:
Joakim Noah playing like the crazy guy at the gym who doesn’t realize that no one else is really trying.
Kyrie Irving with a nice sequence in the mid 2nd with a couple nice pretty decent feeds and then a patented pick and roll split dribble into a two handed soft slam. He followed this up with a three, a nice lob pass, and lots of joshing around on the sideline like he belonged.
Jrue Holiday with an explosive left handed slam in the 2nd that surprised everyone.
Craig Sager’s suit:
Blake Griffin scoring 19 points, almost entirely on slam dunks, and most off ridiculous feeds from CP3.
Chris Bosh being routinely isolated on guards and then destroyed. The best moment came when Paul passed to himself on the dribble between Bosh’s legs for a layup (see the pic below).
Kevin Durant “falling out of bed and scoring 30 points” (that line courtesy of Reggie and Marv).
Kevin Hart on the halftime show talking about being a two time celebrity game MVP with Charles, Kenny, Ernie Johnson, C-Webb, and Shaq; replete with riotous laughter and and lots and lots of short jokes. This segment went on for at least fifteen minutes. I really had no idea what was going on. Did anyone else find this laughing gas infused sequence as inscrutable as I did?
A pretty brutal 3rd quarter sequence with both teams trading missed pull up three point attempts on six consecutive possessions. I believe one of these was by Brook Lopez. Ugh.
A bizarre Craig Saiger sideline interview with Dwight Howard that made about as much sense as the Kevin Hart sequence.
A VERY nice game by Paul George, who had 17 points in 20 minutes on drives, finishes, three pointers, and post ups. He’s a poor man’s Kevin Durant. If George could put it all together on a consistent basis (and if he had a better point guard), he could average 24 ppg.
Crunch Time officially starts at 8:41 left in the 4th. The score is 119-109 West after an 11-5 run to start the quarter. After a Tyson Chandler free throw, Kyrie cans two left corner threes in a row. One point game. Wow. That escalated quickly. Then the moment Clevelanders have been waiting for happens: LBJ checks in. He and KI are on the floor together in crunch time for the first time ever. And then? Kyrie starts to press.
First, he misses a heat check three and two possessions later gets his pocket picked by Chris Paul. KI does get a runout layup, and then with 3:19 left tries to go in amongst the tall trees and loses the ball to Blake Griffin. His two turnovers resembled the ones that have come at the end of recent Cleveland losses: trying to do too much — over-dribbling and not simply passing to the open teammate.
Meanwhile… A subplot has developed. Chris Paul and Kobe Bryant have made this personal. Chris Paul seems a little annoyed at all this Kyrie talk. It’s almost as if someone has told him about Reggie Miller’s hyperbole from the first half: “Kyrie Irving best skill set of any point guard in the NBA.” Taking the ridiculousness of that assertion as motivation, CP3 goes on a mini tear: feeds Durant, then Blake Griffin, then makes a sweet layup on Kyrie at an impossible angle, and then makes a pullup 25 footer all in the space of about 3 minutes. He’s checking Kyrie, and the ball pressure has gone from nonexistent to well, at least regular season level.
CP3, your all-star game MVP, or "Momma, there goes that man."
Kobe has made this personal too, and LeBron seems to be wearing his “why doesn’t Kobe like me?” face during the middle of this West run. Kobe converts a vintage layup driving from the left wing to the right side of the basket, and then COMES FROM OUT OF NOWHERE to block a 19 foot LeBron jumper, leading to a calmly laced Durant dunk. 136-126 West. All the chatter heading into the time out is about the Jordan comments on picking Kobe over LeBron because of five rings to one and how these comments are fueling Kobe’s fire.
(LeBron’s rebuttal to Jordan’s comments was lame and equivocating. It boggles my mind that LBJ didn’t have the brains, fire, or nuts to just say, “Why would you take team building advice from a guy who drafted Adam Morrison over Brandon Roy and Rudy Gay?” Jordan would’ve thrown a dagger like that without blinking an eye. LeBron just seemed pained by the whole thing. And this is why LeBron will NEVER be better than Jordan. He’s just not the –rhymes with bass troll– that His Airness is.)
Kyrie is replaced by Paul George at 2:32 after this 7-0 West run. 37 second later, Chris Paul engraves his name on the MVP trophy with a 26 foot three to ice the game. Paul George tries to make it interesting with two quick threes off of Noah led fast breaks (I love how Joakim never quits), cutting the lead to 139-134.
Kobe then rips LeBron which leads to a Blake dunk, and then block’s LeBron’s shot from 5 feet. James definitely did not get the memo that said, “coffee’s for closers,” or the one that said, Kobe will eat your children if you let him. Kobe’s barking about how LeBron can’t score on him, after which LBJ tries to bull move him into the post and gets a pity free throw. Man, that was lame, LeBron.
Melo cuts it to 4 on a three pointer, and then CP3 hits 1-2 at the line, timeout. West up 143-138 with 20 seconds left in the game. Kyrie comes in for Noah, and the play out of the timeout is Paul George for three? I was laughing on my couch. Is there any way that Kobe’s not shooting that shot for West if the situations were reversed? I’m pretty sure Spoelstra was protecting LeBron’s ego by not drawing up that play for him. Game over. West wins. Two years of LeBron punking out in the all-star game in a row… Please pretend that the Heat can’t be beat.
Chris Paul killed this game, with 20 points, 15 dimes, 3 turnovers, and 4 steals. He proved the old Bill Simmons assertion that all-star games are always better when a great point guard is getting everyone involved. The East didn’t have that great point guard. KI needs to watch this game and realize how Chris Paul makes everyone around him better, and goes for the right decision instead of the highlight play. Right now KI is trending more towards Allen Iverson’s game and not Chris Paul’s, and long term, I’m not sure this is a good thing. But he’s only 20: a youngblood. I have to keep remembering that. He had a mostly scintillating all-star weekend. I just hope it doesn’t go to his head.
Kyrie Irving was horrendous, the Cavaliers played the best team in the NBA…and somehow, they only lost to the Spurs by a single point. How on Earth did that happen? Let us delve into the details.
Kyrie bricked a deep three to start the game, and it was all downhill from there for him. In a rare turn of events, though, just about every other Cavalier was productive and efficient in the first half. The Cavs looked energetic on defense for once, running around and trapping like demons. Alonzo Gee got a few breakaway dunks, and Tyler Zeller simply looked like a different player from the indolent young man who’s been missing layups and clanking 17-footers all year. And Dion BALLED OUT. Slicing and dicing through the Spurs defense, dumping passes off to open big men, this was the player Chris Grant envisioned when he drafted the young sixth man from Syracuse. The second unit stepped up as well. Luke did Waltonian stuff (pass well, defend poorly) while Shaun Livingston nailed that funky turnaround jumper a few times. Kyrie Irving simply sucked. The only facet of the game he contributed in was distribtion. He fed the big men for some easy buckets, and found C.J. Miles on a beautiful cut (layup was blown). But man, was his defense awful. Tony Parker simply ran by Kyrie to the hoop, over and over and over again. Not to mention no. 2 couldn’t hit a shot to save his life. Still, a positive half for the Cavs. It ended with an eight-point lead! CLE 54, SAS 46.
Ugly start for the Cavs in the third quarter. They missed a lot of shots, and the Spurs did all the things Gregg Popovich asked them to do. And he’s a genius, so that generally works out well for them. Tony Parker simply ravaged the Cavaliers tonight. If it weren’t for Dion Waiters, this game might have been over before the fourth quarter started. He dropped 10 in the third- all on drives- and was awesome. Kyrie continued to be awful on defense and offense. Then the fourth quarter came, and Cavaliers Nation readied themselves for the entrance of the second unit, the mighty group known as the Herculoids. For all the flak Marreese Speights gets about only shooting jumpers, the man has some great second jump-ability when offensive rebounding. He just hops around until the ball gets in the hoop. The offense was sub-par, but the defense was great. Shaun Livingston is worlds apart from Kyrie when it comes to man-up D. The game went back and forth in the fourth, and when Kyrie hit a pair at the line (giving him a whopping six points on the night!), the Cavs were up 93-90. And then Gary Neal hit an absolute dagger, tying the game. He’s an assassin. Kyrie had a big steal, setting the Cavs up with a chance to take the lead. He wisely got out of the way as Dion calmly drained a 22-footer for the two-point lead. And then the next possession….ugh. An AWFUL decision by Dion to over-help on Tony Parker penetration led to a wide-open Kawhi Leonard corner three….money. With two seconds left, Kyrie managed to slip, commit a carrying violation (no call) and miss a one-handed, falling-down “jumper.” Ballgame. SAS 96, CLE 95.
-Maybe the worst game of Kyrie Irving’s young career. I can’t remember him ever looking this out of sorts on offense. 2-15 from the field, six points, five fouls. Sadly, we’re all used to seeing him looks this out of sorts on defense. Tony Parker is a great point guard, but he went to town on Kyrie tonight. Utter decimation.
-Tyler Zeller: 16 points, nine rebounds, four assists, one block, and fantastic defense on Tim Duncan. Timmy D was helpless most of the night, as Zeller’s length and speed were the perfect remedy to the Big Fundamental’s collection of slow hooks and turnaround jumpers.
-Dion was sublime. If he starts to play like this on a regular basis, the rest of the NBA had better watch out. He is an absolute terror on offense when he decides to be aggressive, and is a very solid passer. A lot of his attributes as a player remind me of Monta Ellis, which is not necessarily a negative comparison, and certainly not one that should bother Cavs fans. A stronger Monta Ellis with a higher basketball IQ would be a force to be reckoned with.
-Ideal Alonzo game. Seven points on five shots, and a few rim-rattling dunks.
-The bench as a whole was very solid. C.J. Miles and Shaun Livingston in particular played very well. Speights shot a little poorly. Wayne Ellington was only OK, and is losing ground in the battle for the official “mediocre three-point gunner who only sorta plays defense and only drives once a game” title to Miles.
Colin McGowan is the editor in chief of Cavs: The Blog. He has written for Deadspin, The Classical, and ESPN.com. You can contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org or on Twitter @cs_mcgowan.
Kevin Hetrick is a contributing editor at Cavs: the Blog. He is a civil engineer who grew up in Northeast Ohio as a fan of the Cavs, Indians, and Browns. He now lives in Indianapolis. His email is email@example.com, and he's on Twitter at @hetrick46.
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