Archive for the ‘Recaps’ Category

Recap and Podcast 57: Hawks 109 Cavs 101 (Or, moral victories may not be anything but they sure beat the hell out of getting embarrassed)

Wednesday, December 31st, 2014

Charlie Brown

Check out the podcast that Nate and I recorded tonight. It’s available at Soundcloud , and iTunes. (CtB Episode 57!) Here’s a short and sweet recap to supplement your insatiable desire for Cavs analysis.  The Cavs moved the ball well in the first quarter and played the Hawks to a draw.  They completely choked when the Hawks turned up the intensity in the second quarter and then Kevin Love left the game with back spasms.  The Cavs, without LeBron, Love, or Marion, started the second half by watching Kyle Korver drain a couple of threes to push the lead to 17.  It looked like the Cavs were going to get blown out of the gym.  But they fought back behind the wizardry of Kyrie Irving, the power and relentlessness of Tristan Thompson, and some gutsy-if-not-quite-effective defense throughout the contest.  They were within striking distance throughout the fourth quarter in a back and fourth affair where they cut the deficit three on three different occasions, and to two with 4:43 left.  The Hawks absorbed the blows and settled into some two-man action between Jeff Teague and Paul Millsap, eventually putting the Cavs away.

Kyrie Irving finished with 35 points and nine assists (and almost none of his shots were easy looks) but he coughed it up eight times in a game where the referees refused the blow their whistles for three quarters without a coroner on the scene and flipped the switch in the fourth – needing little more than pantomime routines to stop the action.  Irving looked a lot like he did last year – dribbling through double teams, taking a lot of those “why not” 3s from five feet behind the line, and of course, finishing at the rim from impossible angles.

Tristan Thompson had a really nice game.  His energy, offensive rebounding, and finishing abilities infected the Cavs in the 3rd and 4th quarters.  His alley-oop execution of Jeff Teague was a sight to behold.  He finished with 18 points on 12 shots and 13 rebounds.  He was old-man-at-the-gym’d by Paul Millsap all night long with the help of the referees, but he played a valiant game.

Dion Waiters and Kevin Love didn’t show up, figuratively speaking, and since LeBron James and Shawn Marion literally didn’t show up this game tested the Cavs’ depth.  Joe Harris was 3/4 from beyond the arc and had a few heady plays (and a gut-wrenching layup attempt that licked every inch of the rim before willing itself out).

Someone put on James Jones’ jersey and a Mission Impossible 2 mask because at least three times I had to double take “wait…James JONES just rejected Paul Millsap at the rack!?”  He missed a bunch of wide open 3s and was supremely active on defense.  Not your mother’s James Jones.  Over/under on the number of days until JJ has three steals and two blocks again?  I’m going infinity days.

All in all it was nice to see the Cavs dig deep when the dam was about to burst and make a game of it.  The Hawks are a really good team and will be a formidable playoff foe.  Their offensive talent was too much for the Cavs to stop in the waning moments of the game.  Ultimately the Cavs need to play like this every night (a scrambling defensive effort for 48 minutes) and at full strength they will win more than they lose.

Recap: Detroit 103, Cleveland 80 (or The Best Player in the World?)

Monday, December 29th, 2014

AP Photo/Tony Dejak

Cleveland laid an egg tonight. After being up 32-17 in the second quarter, they were outscored by 38 and lost to the Pistons going away. The Pistons had 17 three pointers, the same number of free throws they attempted. (Second time for a Cavs opponent this year!) I did a running diary tonight, and by the third quarter, I was really regretting that choice.

First Quarter:
11:27 Kevin Love drains a left baseline jumper and follows that up by taking a charge on the defensive end. He still didn’t have his hands up, but it’s better than I have seen in a while.

9:00 Tristan Thompson grabs two straight offensive rebounds, which leads to a LeBron iso jumper over Singler from the right wing. Tristan follows it up with a 12-footer a minute later. I see you working, TT.

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Recap: Cavaliers 98, Magic 89(Or, Just Keep Doing That)

Friday, December 26th, 2014

The Cavaliers climbed back from a mild deficit to defeat a young Orlando Magic squad. The Magic have some fantastic pieces with which to work, but without a dominant player, and very short on shooting, they struggle to finish games. This one was no different. Orlando scorched the nets in the first quarter setting a season high in points and percentage. Cleveland took the body blows and rallied behind the strong performances of LeBron James, Dion Waiters and Kevin Love.

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Recap: Heat 101, Cavs 91 (or, I Got My Youth Back For Christmas)

Friday, December 26th, 2014

Plush-Sherpa-throws-like-this-are-great-gifts-for-elderly-parents-and-perfect-to-taking-to-the-hospital1

Santa decided to get Dwyane Wade a little taste of his youth for Christmas, and little Dwyane used it up to beat his old buddy King James. Wade had 24 points in the first half, and the Cavs aided the rest of the Heat by tossing away the ball ten times. They also decided to give the Florida natives the present of acting like a soft blanket in the paint for the first 24 minutes and were out hustled in every way possible to be down by 14 going into half-time. During the second half, the Cavs shook off their Christmas hangovers and played much tighter, but there weren’t enough sandpaper plays in the world to rough up that blanket they gave Miami early on. (more…)

Recap: Cavaliers 125, Timberwolves 104 (or, Three Minutes to Win It)

Wednesday, December 24th, 2014
Where's the page about taking a giant lead?

Where’s the page about taking a giant lead?

The Cavs came away with the decisive victory, but it cost more than they thought it would. Anderson Varejao went down with a leg injury in the third quarter and didn’t return to the game, and Andrew Wiggins showed exactly what an athletic wing can do to the Cavs. It took the King’s Men two and a half quarters to start caring for the ball and playing defense. Wiggins used all his opportunities correctly to shoot 9-16 for 27 points. Gorgui Dieng somehow snuck in at spots to suck up 11 boards (three offensive), put down 20 points, and punch four balls towards the atmosphere. Yet, those two couldn’t stop the Cavs big three who combined for 73 points, 11 assists, 14 rebounds, and four steals.

Let’s relive this gradual climb to a three minute period of dominance. (more…)

Recap: Cleveland 105, Memphis 91 (or the day Dion Waiters chased all the Grizzlies out of Cleveland)

Monday, December 22nd, 2014

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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.

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Recap: Cleveland 95, Brooklyn 91 (or it’s Mike time)

Saturday, December 20th, 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.

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Recap: Hawks 127, Cavs 98 (Or, revenge is a dish best served engulfed in flames)

Thursday, December 18th, 2014

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:

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Recap: Cavs 97, Hornets 88 (Or, Feeding on the Weaklings)

Tuesday, December 16th, 2014
Big night for this trio

Big night for this trio

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.

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Recap: Pelicans 119, Cavaliers 114 (Or, May I Escort You to the Bucket?)

Saturday, December 13th, 2014

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.

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