According to the Israeli web site, Walla Sports (don’t bother clicking unless you can read Hebrew), Omri Casspi is attempting to negotiate a buyout with the Cavaliers. HoopsHype originally linked/translated this story.
Via Twitter, Mark Spears of Yahoo Sports reports that Daniel “Boobie” Gibson has been excused from the team to attend a personal matter, and did not travel to Orlando.
Cleveland.com/The Plain Dealer’s Jodie Valade discusses Kyrie Irving’s increasing popularity among NBA fans. Fans voted to put the Cavs on national television for the second time in a week, picking Tuesday’s game at Chicago for NBA TV’s Fan Night Matchup. Also included: Byron Scott on Jerry Buss.
LaughingCavs previews tonight’s match-up against Orlando, link here.
Well, there’s barely any time left, and the NBA Trade Deadline will have soon passed. The Cavs don’t have much going on this year, but let’s take a look at some rumors:
Jason Lloyd reported that the Cavs are trying very hard to get another first round pick, one way or another.
Sam Amico reported that the Cavs were approached by the Lakers about Daniel Gibson, but talks stalled. He also says: “If Spurs’ bid for Redick fails, may settle by making bid for Cavs’ Daniel Gibson at last minute, source says. Would offer 2nd-rd pick.” Interesting.
Hoopsworld reported that Casspi-Speights is a package the Cavs could move. Perhaps for Dejuan Blair?
Chris Grant is really, really tall. Could he back up Tristan for 15-20 MPG?
Lots of links and goodies await. Once more unto the breach, dear friends, once more.
- The Cavs have discussed trades involving Marreese Speights, but don’t seem interested by the picks being proffered thus far. I’m all for trading Speights if a 16-22 type pick can be had. But as every NBA fan (and Daryl Morey) knows, you can never have enough picks/young players.
- Greg Oden is putting the brakes on a contract until this summer. This slightly reduces the Cavs’ chances of signing him, but the smart money still has Oden playing in Wine and Gold next year.
- Jeremy Pargo has found a home in Philadelphia for the rest of the season. Good luck, Jeremy. The memories of the two or three alley-oops you threw down in garbage time will live forever in our hearts, as will those of the 28 points you dropped the night after Kyrie got injured.
In case you didn’t hear about All-Star weekend yet, here’s a Kyrie-centric recap: 32 points in the Rising Stars game, a three-point contest trophy, and 15 points in the All-Star game itself.
Sam Amick wrote a great article about Kyrie’s All-Star experience and how Kyrie feels about the Lebron-returning rumors.
Kyrie straight-up owned Brandon Knight when they went mano a mano at the end of the Rising Stars game.
And, for anyone who expected to see Uncle Drew this weekend: “No. I already have enough to do. That makeup would take four hours out of my day, man. I don’t think I have time for that.” Bummer. (source: cleveland.com)
But more or less, that kind of rivalry with me and B. Knight has been happening since high school, since we started playing against each other. We were battling for the one and two spot in high school. He’s a good friend of mine. It’s great competition.
In a sign that the summer of 2014 is going to reach ridiculously inane levels of hype, Mary Schmitt Boyer spends 375 words talking about how LeBron and Kyrie weren’t talking about something.
(Please note, that this isn’t meant as a criticism of Scmitt Boyer or Amico, who are just doing their jobs: feeding the sporting public’s appetite for wish fulfillment).
Finally, Cavs the Blog’s own Mallory Factor does his best Chris Grant impersonation in a mock draft for The TrueHoop New Orleans affiliate, Hornets247.com. With the #4 pick after a colossal whiff by Washington at #3, Mallory takes Shabazz Muhammad :
It would be a blessing if Muhammad fell to Cleveland at 4. With the recent injury to Noel, and the Cavs’ drafting of Dion Waiters last year, the obvious choice is the highly touted small forward. Though Cleveland could easily take a center with this pick, the most glaring need is a natural swingman. After two years of the Alonzo Gee/Omri Casspi experience, it’s time to find a real starter.
To read the more of what they had to say on Muhammad and the rest or the draft lottery, click here.
Sometimes it seems like all that Cavs fans want to talk about is weighty, depressing stuff: Kyrie’s horrendous defense on the pick-’n-roll, Dion’s off-balance 22-footers, or Tyler Zeller’s general awfulness. Which makes sense, of course. The Cavs are a pretty terrible basketball team. But with a young team like the Cavs, with a young star like Kyrie Irving, sometimes stories come out about the Cavs that just make you smile, stories that don’t require general hysterics about Greg Oden’s knees.
For example, this one. Apparently Byron Scott has issued a three-point shooting challenge to Kyrie Irving, in preparation for Kyrie’s performance in the NBA All Star Three-Point Shootout. From Uncle Drew himself: “I just read something today where coach Scott unofficially challenged me…that’s something a third-place winner would do, go behind my back and challenge me.” Byron Scott finished third in the Three-Point Shootout himself in 1988, after finishing dead last in 1987. Is there anyway the Cavs can get this televised?
There’s a bunch of stories floating around the web today that have some ties to the Cavaliers.
“Livingston always knew he would return in some capacity. So did his grandfather. “People ask me that question and I say I expected it,” Frank Livingston said. “I expected him to do well. I don’t expect us to fail. I expect us to do well.“ Profile of Shaun Livingston. [Jonathan Abrams - Grantland]
“We’ve got to continue to grow and these guys have got to continue to learn how to play with each other,” Scott said. “But right now, they are vibing. So we want them to keep vibing.” [Jodie Valade - The Plain Dealer]
“Then you start to think about it and realize that this is more serious than I thought. A week after the surgery I was at home thinking about how I could be gone right now.” Anderson Varejao’s Blood Clot Scare[Marc J Spears - Yahoo! Sports]
“Michael Jordan, Larry Bird, Magic Johnson, Isiah Thomas — the generation of stars that made the NBA a force — all wanted to lead all-time great teams. LeBron wanted that in Cleveland and won 66 regular-season games in 2009. Unfortunately, he bought the hype and surrendered to the NCAA/NBA Combine culture that subtly preaches team greatness is irrelevant, individual greatness is all that matters. Only the ring matters.” [Jason Whitlock - FoxSports]
“I’m just proud of him. He didn’t start listening to what everybody was saying. He stuck to doing the things we felt he needed to do. Now he’s starting to see the progress he’s making.” -Byron Scott on Tristan Thompson [Bob Finnan - The Morning Journal]
Courtesy of Jason Lloyd, the buzz around C-Town is that the Cavs are going to offer Greg Oden a multi-year deal as soon as the trade deadline passes. Everything sorta makes sense: Oden played at OSU and is currently living in Columbus. The Cavaliers have a strong partnership with the Cleveland Clinic and Oden comes with a history of debilitating injuries. There is hope that Cleveland is exactly the sort of environment someone like Oden needs to restart his career. Consider this tidbit from the Plain Dealer in October: Zydrunas Ilgauskas was one of Parker’s patients in 2002 when the now-retired 7-foot 3-inch center was plagued by foot injuries. An innovative surgical procedure kept him in the game, and “Z” will join Ironman world champion David Scott on Monday to talk about the practical impact of the latest technology in sports. ‘Parker’ is Dr. Richard Parker, the chair of Orthopedic Surgery at the Cleveland Clinic. Also still in town, is BIG Z. Think a 7-footer whose career almost ended before it started because of chronic foot problems could help Greg Oden? I do.
How about emotional support? Greg Oden’s not a Nintendo cartridge after all – can’t just pop out his knees, blow on them, stick em back in, and enjoy endless hours of fun. He’s had some documented hardships during his short NBA career. I’d recommend this interview to anyone interested in getting to know Greg Oden a little more. It seems to me that Greg Oden is going to need an emotionally-nurturing environment. (On and off the court) I’m probably not an expert on the lifestyles and accompanying temptations that young professional athletes deal with, so I’ll just defer to Greg on this one: “For starters, Portland isn’t a great city to live in if you’re a young, African American male with a lot of money,” Greg explained with an embarrassed grin. “But that’s especially true if you don’t have anybody to guide you. Since I was hurt the entire season, I was on my own a bunch and didn’t have veteran teammates around to help me adapt to the NBA lifestyle.”
Having lived in Cleveland and spent some time in Portland – I think Cleveland is a better place for a young professional looking to get his career off on the right foot (pun not really intended until it seemed too obviously intended). After all, [Portland] and Greg Oden is not interested in retiring. In addition, the Cavaliers have a pretty good history (at least in the last decade) of acquiring high character guys and keeping them out of trouble. It’s a mandate for the current front office and it’s evident in the selection and growth of guys like Tristan Thompson. Might just be a coincidence, but news of a Big Z – Canadian Dynamite mentoring first surfaced in early December. And as is well documented here at CtB, Tristan has been in straight Beast (sometimes Video Game) Mode since mid-December. Anderson Varejao has spoken on many occasions how Zydrunas mentored him and helped him adapt to the game and the lifestyle. I see no reason why the same support wouldn’t be available for and embraced by Greg Oden.
Thanks for everything, Z. Modern Day Mr. Cleveland
How about on the court? The situation is a little bit different in Cleveland today than it was 3 years ago when the Cavs drafted J.J. Hickson. There is no ‘win-now’ mandate, and Byron Scott is certainly comfortable giving a ton of minutes to a ton of young guys (except Omri Casspi – arggghhh). Also, as should be ridiculously self-evident, the Cavaliers do not have a true starting center. Varejao has filled-in admirably at C since 2010 and Thompson works hard even when he’s giving up inches and lbs, but both guys are better suited to defend the PF position. And while the Cavaliers have played much better since shoring up the bench, their interior defense is still getting abused on a nightly basis. It’s the one negative common thread between almost all of the recaps.
Advanced Stat Proof that Big Guys Own the Cavs
This brings me to the crux of the argument against the Greg Oden experiment – that he won’t play much and won’t be effective in a diminished form. I think the current NBA landscape is a bit of a mirage, especially in the Eastern Conference. There was a time, not even 4 years ago, that Dan Gilbert opened up his wallet and shelled out TWENTY MILLION DOLLARS for, literally, [I'm dead serious here] THE ABILITY TO COVER DWIGHT HOWARD WITHOUT DOUBLE TEAMING. Try to wrap your mind around that. A 66-win team that started the PLAYOFFS 8-0 with 8 double digit wins, was exposed by one guy, that just happened to be bigger, stronger, and higher than everyone else. No one was under the illusion that Shaq was brought in to be a mentor or some kind of defensive ace or to help the Cavs score more points. No. Shaq was playing distant 2nd banana in 2006. In 2010? Forget it. [Read the first paragraph]
Yeah but I was drawing all those double teams while Wade drew all those phantom whistles.
Twenty Million Dollars so that Dwight Howard, a really big, really strong center, wouldn’t be able to bully his way in the paint. And today fans across NE Ohio are saying to themselves “Greg Oden’s never going to play much, and even if he does, he won’t be effective.” My question for the doubters is: won’t be effective at WHAT? At being 7 feet tall? At weighing upwards of 300 lbs? In his injury-riddled, foul-plagued, incredibly short NBA career, he STILL averaged 2.3 blocks in under 24 minutes a game in his second season. [This is an average of 1 block every 10.48 minutes. For perspective, Dikembe Mutombo averaged 1 block every 11.19 minutes] He was a monster around the glass and he held opposing Cs to a sub 14 PER (while he posted a 24 PER). The Blazers were better on defense AND offense with Oden on the court. Check out his 82games.com numbers from his last season.
Greg Oden: larger than Dwight Howard
It doesn’t take much in the way of scouting or analysis to recognize that the Cavs, the NBA’s worst team at both blocking shots and getting their shot blocked, could use a guy that blocks a shot every 5 minutes. And who knows, maybe someday, if the East ever becomes decent again (you’re lucky as $#!^, Miami) and having a legit big is necessary to make a deep playoff run, the Cavs will have a guy that they only paid a few million dollars to so that they wouldn’t have to double-team a Dwight Howard or an Andrew Bynum, or an Anthony Davis, or even someone closer to home, like Andre Drummond or (geez, even) Nikola Vucevic. The last 3 years, Greg Oden has been defined by what he failed to do. I still remember a guy that was as dominant defensively as David Robinson coming out of college. Yes, today the NBA is no longer a “big man’s league” in the sense that centers aren’t asked to average 20 shots a night from the low block. But this game, has always been, and will always be, about buckets. And in the playoffs, it’s about getting easy buckets. And having an elite shotblocker, upwards of 7 feet tall and 300 lbs, gives your team a unique advantage – for the other guys, a lot of those buckets don’t come so easy anymore.
Kyrie Irving is shooting .429 percent from deep this year.
This All-Star Weekend is shaping up to be a good one for Cavs fans. Young superstar guard Kyrie Irving has been selected to participate in the NBA Three-Point Contest, along with Ryan Anderson, Steve Novak, Matt Bonner, Paul George (?) and Stephen Curry. Give it up for Kyrie! I’m thinking All-Star MVP and Three-Point Contest trophies, to go along with his Rising Stars MVP.
Adrian Wojnaroski wrote an article about the end of the super-team, the new salary cap rules, and Lebron’s possible return to the Cavs. Here’s the link. Make of it what you will; the bit about Lebron possibly flip-flopping on the Decision, but choosing to stick with Miami due to the Comic-Sans letter, is hard to believe. For the record, I absolutely dread the return of the King, and I think that Dan Gilbert’s angry letter was a proud moment for Cleveland sports.
Colin McGowan is the editor in chief of Cavs: The Blog. He has written for Deadspin, Sports on Earth, and The Classical. You can contact him at email@example.com or on Twitter @cs_mcgowan.
Kevin Hetrick is a contributing editor at Cavs: the Blog. He is a civil engineer who grew up in Northeast Ohio as a fan of the Cavs, Indians, and Browns. He now lives in Indianapolis. His email is firstname.lastname@example.org, and he's on Twitter at @hetrick46.
Tom Pestak is a staff writer at Cavs: the Blog. He's from the west side of Cleveland and lives and (mostly) dies by the success and (mostly) failures of his beloved teams. You can watch his fanaticism during Cavs games @tompestak.
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Robert Attenweiler is a staff writer at Cavs: The Blog. Originally from OH, he's long made his home in NYC where he writes plays and screenplays (www.disgracedproductions.com) some of which end up being about Ohio, basketball or both. He has also written for The Classical and the blog Raising the Cadavalier. You can contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org or @cadavalier.
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