Archive for the ‘Opinion’ Category

The Point Four-ward: The Great American Lineup Buffet

Friday, August 22nd, 2014

buffet

Four points I’m thinking about the Cleveland Cavaliers…

1.) The Cavaliers recent signing of Shawn Marion continues an off-season theme for the team. No, it’s not “sign guys nearly as old as Robert,” though I do appreciate David Griffin’s signings allowing me to talk knowledgeably about the late-90s with some degree of relevance for a change. It’s this: from LeBron James to Kevin Love to Mike Miller and rookies Joe Harris and Dwight Powell, Griffin has been limbering up his roster to give head coach David Blatt lineup flexibility that could, Griffin hopes, put your bikram yoga instructor to shame.

While Blatt may tinker a little in training camp, the bulk of the regular season will probably feature some pretty conventional lineups and there’s no telling at this point what this team’s most successful version of itself will be. Still, it’s difficult to look up and down this roster of players who can play multiple positions and not see some fun potential five-man units. Here are some of my favorite combos:

Kyrie Irving-Dion Waiters-James-Kevin Love-Anderson Varejao

This is the Cavs’ presumptive “best” lineup should you happen to fall on the positive side of the Waiters conversation. This is the line-up that, if it does not start games, will likely finish them. What it lacks in paint-bullying rim protecting it more than makes up for with a.) well-documented chronicling of how this team lacks a rim protector and b.) an offensive unit that features five outstanding passers, enough shooting (probably), four guys who can create their own shot and pick-and-roll pairings galore.

(more…)

Shawn Marion, by the Numbers

Wednesday, August 20th, 2014

Over this last weekend, “The Matrix” committed to the Cavs. Shawn Dwayne Marion has been an all-star, an NBA champion, and an offensive and defensive Swiss Army knife throughout his career in the NBA. But Marion is also 36 years old, has played 15 seasons, and has just under 39,000 regular season minutes under his belt (eighth among active players). There’s no doubt that as a veteran minimum signing, Marion is worth having on the team. He’s a bargain at that price, if just for his experience and professionalism alone. But coming off a mediocre season, it’s worth exploring whether the Cavs should commit significant minutes to Marion. Is he still a solid performer, or has the game mostly passed him by?

(more…)

The Point Four-ward: Get Those Hands Up!

Thursday, August 14th, 2014

15389207-mmmain

Four points I’m thinking about the Cleveland Cavaliers…

1.) Still finding yourself on the fence about whether or not to embrace Kevin Love? Well, sipping from a frosty, ice-brewed, beachwood-aged mug of Kevin Love highlights should put some flash back in your step, mister. I’d been resisting spending too much time aboard the Love Boat this summer, but since we’re in that dangerous stretch between Summer League and Team USA games (where madness truly does lie), I thought I’d spend a minute or twenty with the Cavs presumptive 2014-15 starting power forward. And you know what? Kevin Love does all those Kevin Love things that everyone says he does. But the thing that really stuck out was how much of his 10-minutes plus of highlight footage spanning an 82-game season came on the two occasions where Love was matched up against Tristan Thompson.

(more…)

Cavs Haiku Throwdown

Wednesday, August 13th, 2014

8303649_orig

Kevin Love is coming to Cleveland, LeBron James wants to stay in Cleveland, Kyrie Irving is locked up for five years, and vets are flocking to the Cavs.  It’s a whole new era now after being one of the craziest off seasons for the Cavs since the King left. As an exercise in meditation and reflection, The Cavs: The Blog bloggers have crafted some heartfelt basketball related Haikus.  Do you have some basketball Haikus that have been brewing in your brain during this off season?  Let us hear them.

(more…)

The Point Four-ward: So, You Wanna Be a Rock N’ Roll Star?

Thursday, August 7th, 2014

140806-presser-5

Four points I’m thinking about the Cleveland Cavaliers…

1.) Andrew Wiggins said it several times leading up to and just after the NBA draft: playing basketball for Kansas University was like being a rock star.

When I first heard him say it, he was wading through a torrent of questions at the NBA Draft Media Day which takes place the afternoon before the draft. He was answering a question about how his one season of college ball had prepared him for the rigors of life in the professional game and said that playing at KU — with the media scrutiny and fan mania that such a hoops hotbed brings with it — made him and his fellow teammates feel like “rock stars.” He smiled after he said this and everyone chuckled at the thought. But then the reporter asked a follow up: “Is that good?”

Wiggins thought about it for a moment, clearly not expecting to have to think about it for a moment and then said what every one of us probably would have said at 19 years old. He said, “Well, who wouldn’t like that?”

(more…)

A Grumpy Old Cavs Fan

Wednesday, August 6th, 2014

Cleveland has three of the last four No. 1 draft picks on its roster. The best player in the NBA is putting on a Cavs uniform this fall. The Cavaliers are the most buzzworthy team in the NBA. So what’s my problem?

First, let me just get this out there. The “plan” to trade Kevin Love for Andrew Wiggins is the biggest example of groupthink since the invasion of Iraq. My thoughts on the matter are on record. But let me just reiterate the key points.

(more…)

LeBron International (Cleveland’s Eurotrip)

Monday, August 4th, 2014
Forget sausage legs on the beach. My bald head in Sicily.

Forget sausage legs on the beach. My bald head in Sicily.

I rounded the southern tip of Ortigia, the island city center of Siracusa, Sicily. Drinking in the sinking Ionian sun, I glanced to my left at a small sicilian boy rocking a Miami Heat hat. For a split second, my vacation euphoria was replaced by the dull ache of disgust. Then a beautiful thing happened. Almost immediately, the feeling gave way to an open-mouthed giggle that brought the boy’s eyes to mine. “Go Cavs!” I cheered. I don’t think he understood what I said. I didn’t care. What was more important to me in that moment was the realization that this time next year, another little boy’s hat would be displaying a Cavalier’s sword. Or even better, the word: Cleveland.

(more…)

The Point Four-ward: Love and Loveless Edition

Thursday, July 24th, 2014

image

Four points I’m thinking about the Cleveland Cavaliers…

1.) There’s a reason that the two sides of the Kevin Love/Andrew Wiggins debate are so equally passionate about the other side being horribly misguided. This is not necessarily an argument about the personnel moves made by a basketball team so much as it is a larger struggle between Reason and Imagination. Love, supporters of the trade that would send Minnesota a package headlined by the Cavs’ recent number one pick say, immediately makes this Cavs team a contender (at least in the East) and, still only 25, would keep the Cavs championship window open well through LeBron’s prime, the new extension on Kyrie Irving’s contract, as well as whatever new contract the Cavs cadre (Lake Erie’s new answer to the Miami mafia) convinces him is worth the signature either prior to or just after the 2014-15 season.

They are, of course, entirely right. If the only thing we can be sure of in professional sports is what we already know, then Love is a no-brainer. Whenever you have the assets to nab a top-12 player who has yet to enter his prime (which is really the scariest thought here) while still keeping the middle of your batting order together, you do it. You do not think about Anthony Bennett, reason says. You do not think about the type of player Andrew Wiggins might develop into.

(more…)

Not a (Summer League) Recap: Houston 96, Cleveland 90 (or, Let’s Rant)

Friday, July 18th, 2014

After spending a lovely evening watching the Akron Rubber Ducks dispatch the Erie Seawolves at Canal Park, I returned home to discover my DVR had eaten the Cavs game.  So no formal recap, sadly. Houston eliminated beat the Cavs in Summer League play in a game in which Cleveland was without Matthew Dellavedova who’d been excused to join the Australian national team. Will Cherry started in his place and did not disappoint, finishing with 21 points, three dimes, and four boards on 8-14 shooting. His strong play has earned the attention of NBA and Euro scouts.  But let’s not kid ourselves, this game was all about Andrew Wiggins.

(more…)

All You Need is Love?

Thursday, July 17th, 2014

Was John Lennon full of it? There’s been a lot of debate of late on whether the Cavs should parlay some of their good draft fortune over the last three years into an elite, “win now” NBA talent. The trade target most emblematic of that “win now” ethos: Kevin Love. The below look at the Cavs salary cap, as of Thursday morning, is courtesy of Basketball Insiders. To make this a complete roster, the Cavs have several players to add, and not a lot of cap room to do it.  The cap is set to $63.065 million, which leaves the Cavs approximately $2.44 million under the cap. (As I understand it*, the “room exception” that the Cavs have offered to Mike Miller will only be in effect after the Cavs reach the salary cap. Miller — and now James Jones on a league minimum– won’t sign a contract till after that.) Given those constraints, let’s examine how Kevin Love would fit on the Cavs.

(more…)