Archive for the ‘Links To The Present’ Category

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.

http://espn.go.com/espnradio/newyork/play?id=9997510

 

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

Screen Shot 2013-11-11 at 10.46.10 AM

“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]

 

 

Links to the Present: November 8th, 2013 (Bynum’s Frustration…)

Friday, November 8th, 2013

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Don’t ignore my new stuff from this morning, but this article from Brian Windhorst is required reading today.  In it, Andrew Bynum talks about the still recurring knee pain that he plays through, his angst at his current limited level of performance, and occassional thoughts of retirement.

Update: In a related vein, check out Colin’s article over on Sports on Earth where he talks about how teams handle knee injuries.  There’s a gulf between Russell Westbrook and the Cavs’ Andrew Bynum, and let’s not even talk about Brandon Roy….

Links to the Present, “Daniel LaRusso’s going to fight!” (maybe) edition

Wednesday, October 30th, 2013

The twittersphere is abuzz with the possibility that Andrew Bynum will maybe, probably, could, but maybe not play tonight. Here’s some kvetching examples from the Jason Lloyd Twitter page.

Jason Lloyd twitter

And this just in, it appears to be a “game time decision.” So we officially know nothing more than we did this morning.

In other news, while you’re refreshing your twitter feed, why don’t you wander over to gotbuckets.com, a new NBA-centric endeavor by CtBers, Kevin Hetrick, Nate Smith, Tom Pestak, and long time comment section contributor, Randall Cooper. All that APM (adjusted plus minus) jive that Kevin has been dishing out lately? Well, he explains it here.  Randall follows up with an explanation of APM’s diabolical predictive powers versus PER and WS/48.

Kevin will also be livetweeting the game tonight for ESPN’s Daily dime: @dimeupdate, @dimealert, and @dimesmash.

Feel free to leave your in game comments below, and Go Cavs!

Links to the Present: Monday October 14th, 2013

Monday, October 14th, 2013

Hoopsworld’s Steve Kyler starts us off with a piece on the Cavs’ new attention to detail, and a two minute interview with Kyrie Irving, here.

“Offense will take care of itself. The attention to detail on the defensive end is what we’re really focused on this preseason.” -K.I.

Alex Kennedy of Hoopsworld checks in too, with a Dion Waiters interview, and an article about how Mike Brown is determined to fix the Cavs defense.  There’s some really good stuff, here.

Jodie Valade of the Plain Dealer posted a piece profiling would-be Cavaliers’ back-up center, Henry Sims, here.  Bob Finnan of the News-Herald posts an article with a similar theme and some Cavs rumors, here.

“I give him [Sims] a lot of credit for doing the little things that don’t show up in the box score. Little things offensively, just being in the right spot, moving without the ball and setting side screens and running the floor the right way. He did a lot of little things the last game that don’t show up in the stat sheet that make you appreciate him as a player.” -Mike Brown

Here, Jason Lloyd of the Beacon Journal chronicles the Cavs rebuilding plan, with specific emphasis on the fact that the Cavs still do not have an above average small forward.  Somewhere, Mallory Factor is nodding knowingly.

“We can have scoring from other areas. I don’t think your small forward has to be your leading scorer or a high-level scorer in order to win… I think a small forward for us has to be a guy who is a high-level defender who has some size and toughness.” -Mike Brown

John Michael of CavsTV chronicles Monday’s practice, including interviews with M.B. and Andy, here.  The small forward position was a topic in that post, too. Look for Alonzo Gee to get the start at the three on Tuesday in Canton.

Finally, over at Sports on Earth, CtB editor Colin McGowan, contemplates the virtues of the “three-quarter throttle” NBA preseason, and why both  players and fans need it.  Read the article, here.

The preseason is NBA methadone, which isn’t something I would recommend focusing on intently for evenings at a time, but in mid-October, it piques the interest of junkies.

Links to the Present: Appendectomy Edition

Sunday, October 13th, 2013

I’m suddenly getting an Omri Casspi flashback to last year!  Tyler Zeller has been felled for the next few weeks after surgery to remove an inflamed appendix, today. USA Today has the story, here. With no complications he should be back to playing shape in three weeks, but no timetable has been set. Get well soon, Tyler.

In other news, Grantland’s Bill Simmons and Jalen Rose previewed the Cavaliers, Friday.  The video is available, here.  Jalen picked the Cavs to make the playoffs, and Simmons’ predictions were more apoplectic: the Cavs give up by February, and Andrew Bynum only plays 15 meaningful games. Ouch! However, Bill does give a lot of stock to the idea that LeBron returns to his 30,000 square foot house in Akron. Click the other video for a Wizards preview, and an exploration of the rift between D-Rose and C-Webb.

Jodie Valade of The Plain Dealer has a nice feature on Carrick Felix and his propensity for winning “50-50 balls,” here.

Jason Lloyd of the Akron Beacon Journal predicts big things for Kyrie Irving this year.

Oh, and from the I told you so department, Casspi is playing really well in preseason for the Rockets. I’ll bet a shiny new nickle that he has a better year than Earl Clark. On a golf course somewhere, I’m sure Byron Scott is stoically oblivious.

Links to the Present: Oct. 7th, 2013

Monday, October 7th, 2013

The Cavs resume their training camp today, after an off day, Sunday.  After all the sliding around on the Baldwin Wallace College floor, and a minor hip injury to Tyler Zeller, I’m sure they didn’t mind the day off.

In the biggest national news of late for the Cavs, Tristan Thompson and his hand switch were featured in Sports Illustrated.  A condensed version of that article is here.  Despite his “perfect” free throws from last summer, Thompson struggled from the line in the Wine and Gold scrimmage.  Let’s hope his form returns before Tuesday’s preseason match-up with Milwaukee.

No less important was Kyrie Irving’s Q&A with Spencer Lund of Dime Magazine, here.  Especially interesting was the discussion of Irving’s developing “in between” game (Kyrie only shot 37.5% from 5-9 feet, last year), and Kyrie’s heady analysis of TT’s hand switch.

Dime: It’s tough to do that mid-career [switch shooting hands] —
KI: — But we did the calculations. Every NBA game last year, was decided by 2.6 points. If Tristan goes from 58 percent to 78 percent, he gets us 1.25 points, I think.

The Beacon Journal’s Jason Lloyd offers up a profile of the Cavs’ “crusty” free agent pickup, Jarret Jack, here.  Crusty, “in that grizzled, tough veteran sort of way — not the smelly, stale form that is only cured with a bar of soap and some hot water.”

I know they didn’t pay for the advertising, but if you want to check out the Cavs’ preseason game (tomorrow), this is a pretty good deal.  Get up to six preseason tickets for the 10/8 (Milwaukee), 10/17 (Detroit), or 10/19 (Indiana) games, with a Pepsi purchase at Drug Mart.  Details, here.

Random Vine video of Kyrie Irving harmonizing, here.  (Chrome or phone, only)

Not much more to print.  We’re in “hurry up and wait,” mode when it comes to some real basketball.  While we’re waiting, give us your Cavs starting lineup for this year, their projected stats, and your favorite sandwich.

Links to the Present: Party Like it’s 2007 Edition

Monday, September 30th, 2013

The Tribe play Wednesday in their first playoff game since ’07.  The Browns are tied for first place in the AFC North.  Ohio State’s football team is 5-0 and ranked number four in the nation.  Heck even the Bengals and Reds don’t look too shabby.  The air is crisp.  The leaves are turning.  Days of apple cider, haunted houses, and hay rides are right around the corner.  Things haven’t been this right with the world of Ohio sports since before the LeBrocalypse.   …2007, when the Browns, Tribe, Buckeyes, and Cavs were all — you know — good.   Tomorrow, training camp opens for the Cavaliers, and suddenly the pressure is on.  Given the recent tide of local successes and the slow, painstaking rebuild that the Cavs have been through over the last three seasons, anything less than a trip to the playoffs for this young Cavaliers team would be considered a disappointment.

So, amid this backdrop, Monday was Media Day at the Q, the day when the 2013-2014 Cavs were introduced to the world.  Tuesday, training camp starts.

Joe Gabriele of Cavs.com recaps the days events, here.  It appears Kyrie is ripped, Andy is a happy newlywed, and Tristan Thompson is a charismatic, “Media Day master.”

The Cavs rounded out their 2013 training camp roster with some familiar names: Australia’s and St. Mary’s Matthew Dellavedova, Miami’s Kenny Kadji, St. Bonaventure’s Michael Lee, Georgetown’s Henry Sims, Memphis’ Elliot Williams, Jermaine Taylor of Tavaris HS (FL), and our old pal, DeSagana Diop.   According to The Plain Dealer’s Jodie Valade, Diop tore his achilles in 2011, and had knee issues in Charlotte last year, but he is ready to go.

I’m 31 in age, but I’m probably like 26 because I haven’t played since I left Dallas… I feel fresh. I’m healthy. This is the best I’ve been in a long time.

Diop is beyond a long  shot to make the squad, which has 15 spots, and 13 guaranteed contracts, with Matthew Dellavedova being partially guaranteed.  (Interestingly, C.J. Miles contract is not guaranteed.  If you’re looking for a surprise training camp cut, he’s the only possibility).

The news out of Media Day was overwhelmingly positive, with Kyrie Irving saying he wants to be “the best player in this league,” and that he’s, “ready to take responsibility for it by helping us make the playoffs.”  Jarret Jack soliloquized that the Cavs shouldn’t be happy with just making the playoffs.    Andrew Bynum has been cleared for “basketball activities,” but not full contact practice.  Some people like Kurt Hellin, are skeptical as to what this actually means.

New father, Dion Waiters, is still seeking out your submissions for a charity that he and his Focused on the Future Foundation will support this year.  Submissions are due by Oct. 10th.

Here’s some pic links.  Mike Brown, looking exacly like 2007 Mike Brown.  For those of you worried about Anthony Bennett’s waistline, does this scare you?  Sergey Karasev looks villainous, and then, not so much.  And finally, how’s this for the “awkward team photo” of 2013?

Links to the Present: September 26, 2013

Wednesday, September 25th, 2013

ESPN offered up the next 75 players in #NBArank.  From 276 to 300, no more Cavs.  At 270, in slides C.J. Miles.  If last year serves as indication of where @masfresco’s prime heads, his spot is ascendant for next year. The next 25 include T-Zell at #250 and Alonzo Gee at #241; not a bad spot for the 9th and 10th ranked players on a team.  No way Norris Cole should be above them though; definitely some fevered experts there.

As the rankings head into solid rotation players, eight Cavs still remain: Kyrie, Tristan, Dion, Varejao, Bynum, Jack, Anthony Bennett, and…Earl Clark?  Did I miss him somewhere?  If not, playing in LA did well for his reputation.  Earl, I’m rooting for you, but no way do you belong (50 spots) ahead of 3J Miles.

In other news, USA Today declared the Cavaliers the NBA’s tenth most watchable team.  Damn straight; get your popcorn ready.  Reasons obviously include Kyrie, and more obviously, Andrew Bynum’s hair.

Finally, a lengthy article from Crain’s Cleveland Business about the Cavs’ use of Sports VU, the data tracking cameras that are taking over the NBA.   What did you do before you knew that Tristan Thompson ran 2.31 miles per game?  Did we even exist before having a dribble-count for CJ Miles at our finger tips?  I don’t remember, nor do I want to.

Seriously though, massive quantities of data tracking are  coming to every NBA arena this year.  Read the article.  Cleveland “wouldn’t disclose the size of (their) beefed-up analytics department, but it’s evident the organization, in the words of Mr. Carper, is going ‘all in’ with the data.”

And in the biggest news, Cavstheblog will be shutting down for the weekend, for a long overdue upgrade.  Maybe the comment monster will finally be vanquished.  The plan is to be operational again by Monday.