Archive for the ‘5 on 5’ Category

C:tB Reader 5-On-5 (Finals Edition)

Tuesday, June 2nd, 2015

Gimme five!

Way back in February, during the All-Star Break when the Cavs were in the midst of their massive second half resurgence, the C:tB crew reached out to five of their long tenured and more prolific readers/commenters and gave them a chance to respond to five questions about their views on many things Cavalier. For some reason, I got selected to be one of the lucky candidates on that occasion, and I was supremely flattered to have the opportunity to contribute my opinions beyond the comments section.

Little did I know, that 5-on-5 piece would be the proverbial gateway drug to me becoming a full-time contributor to this amazing site. The overwhelming support and comments I’ve received in the months since then have really served to add an entirely new dimension, not just to my Cavs fandom, but to my life in general. It’s also given me some genuinely unique perspective on this “Season of Wow.”

Consequently, I thought it was only right to pass along the opportunity to contribute to another quintet from the Commentariat. This time around, the questions go right to the heart of being a Cavs fan, what a potential championship might mean, and some of the more memorable moments from an amazing season at C:tB. So, kick back and enjoy the responses from your readership brethren: Phil Hubbard, cwzagger, Joey B (no he’s not Joey Bosa, but it was the best visual I could come up with), Underdog (who is switching back from U-Dog in honor of the Cavs being “underdogs” in the Finals), and NOMAD (WHO NATURALLY RESPONDED IN ALL CAPS).


5-on-5: Larry O’Brien Edition

Monday, June 1st, 2015

1. Who or what is the key to the Warriors winning the series?

Ben: Harrison Barnes. If the Tar Heel can legitimately guard LeBron, it frees Draymond Green to compete on the defensive boards. The Warriors are not a great defensive rebounding team. If Green is busy on LeBron for long stretches, it allows Tristan Thompson to go crazy on the offensive glass against a weaker positional rebounder in Barnes. Green loves to grab the rebound and push the ball on the break a la Charles Barkley. The Cavaliers will eliminate many of the Warriors’ advantages if Barnes can’t handle The King. TT gives the Wine and Gold extra chances while limiting the Dubs’ transition game. If Harrison is up to the task, Golden State becomes roughly impenetrable. Green and Bogut are great weakside defenders. If they are free to cover space, the Cavs are in trouble.


5-on-5: Your Eastern Conference Champs! — Updated

Wednesday, May 27th, 2015


Still buzzing after the Cavs 118-88 Game 4 Win over the Atlanta Hawks that moved the Cavaliers four wins away from the city’s first major professional sports championship in 51 years, Cory, Tom, Nate, Mallory and I had a little chat about your Eastern Conference Champion Cleveland Cavaliers…

1.) At what point in the season did you start to believe that this team could return to the NBA Finals?

Nate: It happened twice. The first time was when the Cavs dismantled Memphis on March 25th to win by 22 points. The Grizz were the second best team in the West at the time, and the Cavs gave them one of their signature third quarter floggings. Kevin Love scored 22 on 13 shots; Irving, 24; LeBron, 20; Moz, 14… After Kelly’s killer armbar, we all had our doubts, but David Wood’s revelations about the Cavs super D lineups (featuring TT, Delly, Bron, and Shump) gave me faith. I was fully aboard the Finals bandwagon again after Game two versus the Bulls. I knew if the Cavs could get a split at home without J.R., they’d be OK. Cleveland jumped all over the Bulls, racing out to a 20 point lead in the first quarter, and LeBron rediscovered his post game. Cleveland turned into a team that’s impossible to beat with a lead in the fourth, and I knew the Bulls were hosed.


Five on Five: Conference Finals Edition

Tuesday, May 19th, 2015


1. If you’re the Cavs, what worries you the most going into a series against the Atlanta Hawks?

Tom: I worry about the Cavs being able to match up with the front line of the Hawks.  They got away with playing James Jones because Joakim Noah with so useless offensively. But that’s not going to work against Paul Millsap or Al Horford. they’ve had slow start with Timofey Mozgov and Tristan Thompson playing together. The key to the series may be LeBron James guarding Paul Millsap.

Cory: Kyle Korver shot a sizzling .492 3P% on 449 attempts during the regular season, but has struggled from downtown against the Wizards. Bradley Beal blanketed Korver through their series and it was effective as Korver shot just 12 for 42 from beyond the arc. He’s due to breakout of his shooting funk.

Ben: Dennis Schröder. That kid is insanely slippery. He walks around the court like he owns the place and it rubs some people the wrong way. There are also the Rondo comparisons that lead many to assume he is a headcase. And hey, his German status has confused people into thinking he dominated a chair in his youth. However, he is a very fine player who is only getting better. He is incredibly long on the perimeter. (I was just chatting with a German buddy of man who got yanked from his youth game after Dennis picked his pocket on four consecutive trips). He and Teague should be able to give Kyrie some trouble even if Uncle Drew feels fresh like Nephew Drew. Schröder is a much better shooter than Rondo every dreamed of being and has already mastered the change of pace drive going either way. He has a knack for getting his shoulder by the defender as if it were buttered. The Cavs have had some trouble against lightening quick PGs. It will probably be up to Shump to shut him down.

David: I’m worried about the Hawks offense starting to look like it did in the middle of the season. When the Hawks destroyed the Cavs by 29 points in December, it was because their guards would cut into the paint and then whip the the ball to the open shooter. If Kyrie is still running around like he has a stick taped to his leg, there would be even more pressure on Mozgov to mean mug away possible penetration. Delly might have to play 48 minutes then too. Relying on those two guys full-time scares me.

Robert: The Cavs need to be very cautious about starting games as slowly as they did against Chicago. I don’t think you can expect this Hawks team to take a quarter off from scoring like the Bulls often did to let the Cavs claw their way back into the game.


Five on Five: Second Round Edition

Monday, May 4th, 2015


First off, today is your LAST DAY to get your CtB T-Shirts. Remember, all proceeds go to the Lauren Hill, “The Cure Starts Now” tribute fund. Red or Black. You choose. Secondly, we thought we’d give you a second round preview. We assembled five members of our crack staff to give you their expert and/or off-the-cuff analysis. Enjoy.

1. Stephen Curry won the MVP, are you cool with it?

Robert: Curry had a ridiculous (and healthy) season for a Warriors team that was dominant from start to finish. Parts of the season had me leaning more toward James Harden — because of what he was able to do with a Rockets team that was missing its second best player in Dwight Howard — but this was just Curry’s year.


Five on Five: First Round Edition

Monday, April 20th, 2015


1. Which player with no playoff experience breaks out in the first round?

Ben: Anthony Davis. Too many national media members have slept on the best player of 2014-2015. While it is premature to officially name him “best player alive,” his regular season was historical. He is already in the conversation with LeBron, James Harden and healthy Kevin Durant. That’s the list. As a destructive two way force, his smooth movements give the impression that he is playing on ice. With that size, instinct, and soft jumper, I think he uses this series with the Warriors as his coming out party. After a slow start to game one, Davis brought the Pelicans back to make the fourth quarter interesting. His 35 points came late in the game, but sometimes late game success in a blowout can lead to good things the following game. The series may still be short, but the NBA world will be prepared for Anthony Davis ascension to league’s top player in 2015-2016.


CtB Reader 5 on 5

Tuesday, February 17th, 2015


I’m super psyched for this piece because we’re featuring the one thing that makes our little corner of the internet superior to all others in the blogaverse: our readers! Last week we polled some of our longest tenured and most prolific commenters to see if they wanted to contribute to the blog, and they graciously accepted. Cols714, Arch Stanton, EvilGenius, Mac, and C6H12O6 (the artist formerly known as Matt Gordon) all responded to our questions and showed what makes our Cavs fans the best Cavs fans. I can’t tell you all how much I enjoyed editing this piece, and how great it is to have you all (and not just these five guys) as readers! Enjoy, everyone!

Who/what is your Cavs fandom “spirit animal?”

C6H12O6: A narwhal for both bizarre and literary reasons. The bizarre being the Narwhal is a near mythical mammal often mistaken for a sea unicorn found in two of my favorite childhood storybooks: 20,00 Leagues under the Sea and Moby Dick. A long suffering Cavs fan might also be accused of being a Unicorn especially during the bad years. I too am a bizarre mammal because I started liking the Cavs in 1979-1980 because their players had unique names (Campy, Bingo, Foots, Willoughby) and Walt Frazier was a wizard even though he was older. (more…)

All-Star Five on Five

Friday, February 13th, 2015


Five questions, five CtBers. It’s all-star weekend! Stick right here for coverage of Friday, Saturday, and Sunday night’s events!

1. Who is the most deserving player to be left off the East All-Star squad?

[Editor’s Note, Ben and David’s entries were written before Korver was named as an injury replacement]

David: Kyle Korver should have made it. He’s shooting 52% from the 3-line, and the season is halfway over. He makes 3.1 long balls a game, which is tied for second place in the NBA with Klay Thompson, so he isn’t a fluke. Oh yea, he also trains by running under water holding a boulder, which is just cool. And finally, the Hawks created an offense that utilizes him to alter how people play against their team. His shooting ability eliminates the idea of a weak side help defender for opposing defenses. How many players affect what a defense does that much?


Midseason 5 on 5

Monday, January 26th, 2015

Cavs fans, here’s five questions for five Cavs the Bloggers. And when you’re done with this, head on over to, for a peak at the newly created weekly TrueHoop Network Roundup. We’re really trying hard to create an “ESPN TrueHoop Network Revival.” Please take a minute or ten to check out the great content on our sister sites. In the mean time, here are the questions that have been burning a hole in our brains.

1. How are you feelings about the Wiggins/Love trade now?

Tom: I hadn’t slept in weeks so I decided to check myself into therapy. Now I realize this is all my parents fault. If they hadn’t nurtured me and put up that basketball hoop in my driveway I never would have fallen in love with this God-forsaken sport. [Reaches for pills…hands shaking]


Five On Five: First Quarter Edition

Thursday, December 18th, 2014


We’ve just past the quarter point in the season and the Cavs stand an unimpressive 14-10 thus far. We’ve asked five of our Cavs the Bloggers to answer five questions to summarize their feelings on the bi-polar performance of the team thus far. 

1. Who has pleasantly surprised you?

Nate: Tristan Thompson has been a revelation. The guy has the serious hops back. As Tom noted, he’s finishing almost 8% better inside of five feet. His five to nine foot stuff needs work, but those shots will start falling. Yes, he the beneficiary of playing with LeBron, and yes, his defensive rebounding is down (whose wouldn’t be with Love), but the explosiveness difference is noticeable. He’s getting higher on his dunks, blocks, and rebounds. He’s back to being “Tigger” (the unfortunate nickname some here wanted to bestow upon him during his rookie year). His block percentage is way up too, and he’s done this without increasing his foul rate. Canadian Dynamite’s improved play may put Griffin in a bind next summer. He really ought to be starting over Andy right now, and when he does, it’s going to make Tristan’s contract demands that much stronger. Griff and Gilbert probably should have extended him. The contracts next summer are going to be bananas.