Archive for the ‘Links To The Present’ Category

Links to the Present: Bynum for Gasol trade?

Tuesday, December 31st, 2013


For the next week, rumors will continue about Bynum’s status with Cleveland.  The latest, is a report that the Cavs are talking to the Lakers about a Pau Gasol trade.  Pau has not been happy in LA, or at his most productive this year, but he is certainly an upgrade on Henry Sims.

Links to the Present: (Or, all you had to do for an extra $6 million was show up, and not be an a-hole)

Monday, December 30th, 2013

Here’s former CtB editor Colin McGowan on Andrew Bynum, the Cavs’ huge mistake. Included is the Amico tweeted nugget that the Cavs will not be trading Bynum, having found no takers, but will instead be releasing him outright.

Bynum’s suspension was very abrupt, according to Jason Lloyd.

Bynum’s locker hadn’t been cleaned out yet at Quicken Loans Arena. Among the items left behind was a pair of headphones. He is also still part of the pregame introduction video. The team did not hand out his Fathead on Sunday, as was previously scheduled. They also did not hand out game-day programs, called “Tipoff Tonight,” because he was featured on the cover. To make up for the Fathead issue, kids 14 and under received a certificate to redeem for future Fathead packs… Fond memories.

Scott Raab doesn’t paint a rosy picture for Cleveland sports right now…

Kareem Abdul-Jabbar and Kevin Ding talk about the “free spirit” that is Andrew Bynum.

I empathized with Andrew in my Dear Santa… post, calling him one of my favorite persons in NBA.  But the greater the disappointment, the greater the scorn.  Now I think the guy will go down with Albert Belle, Delonte West, and Shawn Kemp as one of the great mentally dysfunctional A-holes in Cleveland Sports history.  That’s a pretty impressive feat to accomplish in four months, Andrew.  So long, and thanks for all the scowls.


Andrew Bynum Suspended Indefinitely

Saturday, December 28th, 2013


Andrew Bynum was suspended indefinitely and did not travel with the team to Boston.  Not a lot of details available currently.  The Andrew Bynum era has been: extremely down, then kind of up, then very down again.  Soon his contract becomes guaranteed for the remainder of the season, so this could be a harbinger of the end of his time in Cleveland.  We shall see.

So far this season, the Cavs offense has been 7.3 points worse per 100 possessions with Bynum on the court.  The defense suffered too, performing over one point per 100 possessions worse with the physically limited former all-star.  The faaaar end of the bench features a 23-year old seven-footer in Tyler Zeller that the team drafted 17th in 2012.  In limited minutes this year, he looks improved from last season.

Long story short, the loss of Bynum may be addition by subtraction.  If he is done with the Cavs, a best case scenario would be to package his non-guaranteed deal with a few draft picks and get something useful from a tanking or financially burdened team.  Again, we’ll see what the next couple days or weeks hold.

Links to the Present, the Fun Anthony Bennett Edition

Friday, December 20th, 2013

Who’da thunk it – Anthony Bennett can be a charming guy!  While he’s struggled…um…mightily on the court, that didn’t stop Bennett from being the inaugural “contestant” on Grantland’s “Tough Calls”

While Bennett may not be very good at basketball, at least we can take solace that he’s got a sense of humor.  That’s got to count for something, right?

Elsewhere, the Plain Dealer’s Mary Schmitt Boyer discusses the need for the Cavaliers to get Bynum the ball more often, something I’m sure all Cavs fans can agree on.

Finally, despite struggling mightily pretty much all season, Kyrie Irving was named last week’s Eastern Conference Player of the Week.

The Cavaliers were 2-1 for the week as Irving averaged 29 points (fourth in the league), 6.3 assists (tied for fifth in the conference) and 2.33 steals (tied for third in the conference). He also hit 9-of-22 (.409) three-point field goals on the week.

Here’s to hoping KI is finally back on track!

Links to the Present

Thursday, December 12th, 2013

Kyrie Irving appears to be on his way to an all-stardom, again. In fact, he’s on his way to starting.  Irving is currently second in all star votes among Eastern Conference guards, with 365,712 votes, trailing only Dwayne Wade.  Proving that the player who’s having the best season doesn’t always get the love, Uncle Drew leads John Wall by almost 140,000 votes. (It’s also a brutal year for Eastern Conference guards).

Ken Berger from CBS Sports writes about how the Lakers changed their players’ eating habits, and how the “paleo” diet helped Dwight Howard regain his “Superman” form. This is some fascinating stuff. Someone get this article to AB15′s chef, stat! (Note, the article does not specifically refer to the diet as “paleo,” but if it looks like a fish and acts like a fish…)

Speaking of food, Matthew Dellavedova has been writing for the Bendigo Advertiser. He reflects on Chris Paul, Jamaal Crawford, and Brazillian cuisine.

Andy Varejao took Sergey Karasev and I to a Brazilian restaurant. The other people were joking that we would get sick of it because he likes to go there so much. We thought they were joking about that. I think we have eaten there about three or four more times since then, but Sergey and I still aren’t sick of it, it’s great.

Brian Spaeth appears on the WFNY podcast.  After a eulogy to Paul Walker, he and Craig Lyndall reflect on… Who is number 9 for the Cavs? Is Kyrie Irving the next Steve Francis? Is Dion Waiters the next Vinnie Johnson? Is Tristan Thompson the reincarnation of John “Hot Rod” Williams? Who eliminated the center? The joys of quitting Twitter… The awesome power of Candy Crush…

Sergey Karasev, Carrick Felix, and Henry Sims were assigned to the Canton Charge last night, and helped the Charge to a win in overtime versus the Tulsa 66ers, 94-91.  Those players took a back seat to Kevin Jones, though.

Jones led Canton with 24 points, including 10-of-10 from the foul line, with nine rebounds in 43 minutes. In his first-ever NBA D-League game, Cavs assignee Sergey Karasev scored 16 points on 6-of-12 shooting with three rebounds in 30 minutes. Henry Sims added 12 points, nine rebounds, one block and one steal in 24 minutes… Carrick Felix added five points, five rebounds, and three assists in 19 minutes.

I’m hoping to catch them all, Friday or Saturday, against the Erie BayBawks. Friday is Zombie Night, and Saturday is Ugly Sweater Night. I plan on wearing a white sweater and a black dickey à la Cousin Eddie. Hope to see you there.

Report: Cavs looking to Trade Dion Waiters

Wednesday, November 27th, 2013

Stop playing “buddy ball”

According to Chris Broussard, sources are indicating that Cavs are trying to find a trade partner for Dion Waiters.  It seems like Waiters is on board with the idea.  Can’t say I blame him.

“Irving called the meeting after the game and every player spoke. When Waiters was given the floor, he criticized Thompson and Irving, accusing them of playing “buddy ball” and often refusing to pass to him. Thompson took umbrage with Waiters’ words and went back at him verbally. The two confronted each other but teammates intervened before it could escalate into a fight

However, the two guards are not close. Waiters believes the Cavaliers have a double standard when it comes to Irving, sources said. He feels that while Irving is allowed to get away with loafing defensively, making turnovers and taking bad shots, he is taken out of the game for such things. Waiters has shared his views with Brown and Grant.”


Links to the Present: “Steaming Mad” (turkey) edition.

Wednesday, November 27th, 2013


Happy Thanksgiving, fans. Sorry for the lack of content this morning, that roundtable wore us out, and we’re all trying to get all our cooking done before T-Day. John Krolik will have the recap tonight. Enjoy the game, everyone, and please have a wonderful and safe holiday.

To the links! First off, in case you didn’t hear it, a former Cleveland hero is returning to town tonight. That’s right, Norris Cole is back in Cleveland.

Brian Windhorst was on the Really Big Show with Tony Rizzo and Aaron Goldhammer on ESPN850 this morning. Highlights include:

  • The LeBron James/Cleveland detente.  There’s definitely a “thaw.”  People are “letting go of the fear and hatred that existed two years ago.”
  • “The Heat’s grip on LeBron has never been tighter than it is right now… LeBron is going nowhere right now… but, it doesn’t matter where things are right now.  It matters what happens in July.”
  • Dan Gilbert is “steaming mad.  He expected this to be a much improved team. I know he stomped out of the arena the other night after the latest home loss, red faced.”
  • Cleveland is going to make a trade this year. The Kings pick could actually end up out of the top ten, which means it would go to the Cavs, because the East is so bad.
  • On Chris Grant, “His drafts are under fire right now.  But, you can’t change his draft. So you have to see how his players play out. And you’ve got to give him the opportunity to make adjustments during the season… Firing the general manager in the middle of the season is a terrible idea.”
  • “Kyrie has to prove that he is a max player… he’s not showing leadership.” But, he is the only “untouchable.”
  • “The Cavs have too many power forwards… they have to turn one into a small forward… and they have to bring in more talent.”
  • “It would really help if some of their young players would play up to their potential. Some of them aren’t.”
  • Luol Deng “absolutely” will be available in Febuary, and the Cavs have the assets to get him.

Jacob Rosen of WFNY has a nice article entitled “Making Sense of Dion Waiters’ present and future.“ Noted in that article is that Dion is much better at catch and shoot than he is on pull-ups. From Dion’s effective field goal percentage 64.6% on catch-and shoots (he almost exclusively shoots threes in catch-and-shoot situations) vs. 33.1% on pull-ups and 38.2% on drives.  Notice Dion’s shot chart. He’s 7/10 from the corners, 19/55 at the basket. The Moral? Dion should should be camping out in the corners and the wing, and moving for catch-and-shoot opportunities, and putting the ball on the floor less.

Anderson Varejao believes LeBron could come back some day.  “It could happen… Bron is from Akron. Akron is not too far from here. Eventually in his career, he probably wants to play at home.”

The Beacon Journal’s Marla Ridenour on the Bring Home LeBron movement, highlighted by the addition of 2012 court stormer, James Blair.

Before the Cavs host the Heat, Raggi, Blair and supporters will pass out 2,000 bright green T-shirts at three tables outside the Q from 5:30 to 7:15 p.m. Those who take a picture wearing the shirt and tweet @ComeHomeLebron will be eligible to win 2014-15 Cavs season tickets.

Kyrie Irving says the Cavs are “in high spirits,” in this completely unconvincing video.  “Every time not only myself but my teammates get a chance to play in front of the hometown crowd, it’s always exciting for us.” Let’s hope Kyrie is replaced at press events by the Kyrie-bot 5000 with inspiration mode.  Come on Kyrie, it’s Thanksgiving! Everyone needs to smile at Thanksgiving! Like in the picture!

Link to the Present: Windhorst + Mike Brown Podcast Edition

Monday, November 18th, 2013


Brian Windhorst’s “Below the Rim” podcast with guests Mike Brown and ESPN’s Marc Stein.


In general, Windhorst’s Below the Rim podcasts are excellent (the best NBA podcasts to which I’ve listened)

Links to the Present: pick-me-up edition

Thursday, November 14th, 2013

I’m sure we’re all feeling a little apoplectic after last night’s shellacking. Here’s some drops to make you feel better. Up top we have Parma native Donny Newman, with “In Cleveland,” A Chinese language rap video praising the metropolis of the Western Reserve. It’s an infectious ode.

Next, we have this scintillating news from Alex Kennedy: The Kings and Cavs are both working the phones, looking for trades, today, after less than promising starts (and not necessarily with each other). So chew on that, while you enjoy the best of Cleveland and superior Mandarin flow.  Because — hey — it’s just basketball.

— Update —

Now that you’re smiling, it’s my sad duty to present this: the clip of what is assuredly the low point of Anthony Bennett’s career so far. Make sure you check out the .gif at the top of the comments section for a shot of what redemption looks like.

Links to the Present: November 11, 2013

Monday, November 11th, 2013

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“The Cavs weren’t surprised by Bynum’s candid comments. They believe it’s natural for him to feel that way at this point, and that’s likely true. He tweaked his knee coming down from a dunk Wednesday and grimaced in pain. He was able to continue, but it was yet another reminder of his road ahead.

Still, no one on either side believes Bynum will actually retire in the middle of this season — barring a significant setback. He’s worked too hard, come too far to walk away now.

“His heart is in this place,” one source with close ties to Bynum said this week. “Everybody knows he’s a different kid. He’s never sought the limelight of L.A. or New York. The organization and people of Cleveland have been wonderful to him and he’s very happy.”” [Jason Lloyd - Akron Beacon Journal]


“The Cavs say Bynum has worked extremely hard to get back to where he is now. He’s nowhere near where he once was as a player with the Los Angeles Lakers. Will he somehow find a way to regain that athleticism? It would be a wonderful story if he did, but it’s unlikely.
He’s a proud man, and a very intelligent one. I can’t see him continuing with this comeback unless he has a breakthrough, some kind of renaissance.” [Bob Finnan - The News Herald]


““I felt it was the right time to experiment,” Brown said. “It makes us that much more dynamic [offensively]. They can all create, shoot and pass. It was a neat thing to watch those guys feed off each other. The trust and belief was there.”

What it gives the Cavs on offense it can take away defensively, which is why Brown may have to be careful when he uses it. Both Irving and Jack are listed at 6-foot-3 and Waiters is 6-4, which could leave the Cavs vulnerable against some of the league’s bigger wings.” [Jason Lloyd - Akron Beacon Journal]


“For the record, Mays wound up hitting .274 that first year. He batted .284 after the 1-for-26 start. He played only 34 games (.236 average) in 1952 before being drafted into the Army, missed all of 1953, then returned to lead the National League in batting in 1954 and catch Vic Wertz’s fly in the World Series.

So there is that.” [Bill Livingston - Cleveland Plain Dealer]


- 15 - The combined number of offensive rebounds and blocks  from Andy and Tristan. The energy and hustle from this front court duo wreaked havoc on Philly all night long, generating extra possession after possession. In a game this close, every possession matters. The Cavs out rebounded Philadelphia by 6 and blocked 7 more shots than the 76ers. While there was some difficulty containing the uber athletic Thaddeus Young, both Andy and Tristan ended the game with double-doubles.” [Ryan Jones - WFNY]


“Waiters is aggressive for all of his minutes.   He has made critical baskets at the end of the third quarter when he has played 43 minutes.  He is still driving, still finding his way to the basket.  He has retrieved his own missed free throw.” [Cleveland Jackson - Stepien Rules]


“Kyrie Irving, meet Derrick Rose. For the first time.” [Sam Amico - Fox Sports Ohio]