Archive for the ‘Previews’ Category

Cavs vs Pistons Game Thread

Monday, December 23rd, 2013

The Cavs have won 5 of 6 at the Q while the Pistons have won 6 of 7 on the road.  So something’s gotta give tonight, the last game the Cavs play before Christmas.

Dion Waiters is still out with a wrist injury.  The Pistons lead the NBA in offensive rebounding percentage, while defending against o-boards has recently been an area of concern for the Cavs.  The Pistons are a strange team in that they have a deep roster of talent and absolutely no glue guys to make the concoction palatable.  They have a team of black holes: Drummond, Monroe, and Stuckey, and two gunners that are forced to create offense for said black holes: Jennings and J Schmoove.  They lead the NBA in points in the paint, which makes sense given their personnel and offensive rebounding acumen.  You can find some games where appear terrifying – like the time they beat the Heat by 10 in Miami with a total team effort.

Let’s hope the Cavs break out of the Waiters-less funk they’re in tonight.

Sound off in the comment section during games.

 

Sizing Up the Rest of the Northwest … and the Clippers

Monday, October 28th, 2013

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It was a decision made in the heat of a waning summer. We, your Cavs: The Bloggers, would look to irrigate the NBA’s barren season by checking in with every NBA team — we’d look at their off season and imagine how they might match up with your Cleveland Cavaliers — because previews … previews, young reader, are what August and September are all about.

And we came so freaking close to getting them all done!

But, as Alonzo Gee will tell us in November and Earl Clark will remind us in March, starting is not what’s important. Finishing is what’s important.

So, without further ado, here is you Cavs: The Blog super-short, insultingly quick primer to the 2013-14 Minnesota Timberwolves, Denver Nuggets and (in a Pacific Division oversight) Los Angeles Clippers.

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Sizing Up The Northwest: The Oklahoma City Thunder

Monday, October 21st, 2013

imageIt’s hard not to be down on the Thunder heading into this season. For a team that features one (and often two) of the game’s transcendent talents, a team whose rise to contender-dom has been so studied as to have a rebuilding model named after them, a team that features so many cool backpack/bow tie/dark-rimmed prescription-less eye glasses, it’s tough to think that the bloom may already be off the rose. Of course, one (lingering) knee injury, a widely criticized trade, so-so coaching and general silence in the offseason can do that. Let’s check in with OKC:

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Sizing Up the Northwest: The Utah Jazz

Thursday, October 17th, 2013

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If nothing else, this off-season showed us that there’s not just one way to blow up an NBA roster. When it’s time to hit the reset button, NBA fans, you don’t have to settle for seeing your franchise cornerstone get traded and watch while all the other contracts on the roster are flipped for dimes on the dollar. Oh, no. You could be like the Utah Jazz who proved, to only slightly misquote Gerard Manley Hopkins (yeah, English majors!), they also tank who only stand and wait.

Last Season: All season long, the Jazz dominated … or, at least, they dominated for the title of “most trade rumors involving your team’s two best players.” In the end, though, neither Al Jefferson and his 17.8 points and 9.2 rebounds a game nor Paul Millsap’s 14.6 points and 7.1 boards were moved. As a result, the Jazz weren’t horrible at playing basketball well past the trading deadline, only falling out of the race for the final Western Conference playoff spot in the season final week. The Jazz finished a meh 43-39 behind the meh head coaching of Tyrone Corbin and were staring at a roster of equal parts developing young players and veterans that were either full-on meh or just a little bit meh. Where could all this meh be headed, you ask?

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Sizing Up The Pacific: The Phoenix Suns

Tuesday, October 8th, 2013

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Cleveland fans, you know a thing or two about what happens to a franchise after parting ways with an iconic star, don’t you? You went through all of the steps: the roster gut, the accumulation of talent, the awkward adolescent period of figuring out which talents will blossom and anchor your franchise for its next incarnation and which ones will wind up as talking points at the press conference announcing your new GM or coach has received le boot. Sure, you can argue that the Cavaliers are still smack dab in the middle of their awkward period but, by now, you can recognize the process enough to cast your gaze out west and see the next franchise trying to answer the age old question of “Who the heck are we without Player X?” That’s right, it’s Year Two of the post Steve Nash era Phoenix Suns. Let’s get excited!

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Sizing Up the Pacific: The Los Angeles Lakers

Wednesday, September 25th, 2013

Every year, there are a handful of questions I ask myself to gauge exactly how I’m going to approach the upcoming NBA season. These questions range from, say, “how good do I expect my own team, the Cleveland Cavaliers, to be?” (passable, at the very least … I like to start slow) to “what team will I be irrationally attached to this year?” (possibly the San Antonio Spurs … after last year’s Finals, I might not be able to quit them) to “what team will I be sitting on my hands waiting to self-destruct?” (I’m looking at you, Detroit!). One question, though, is constant and possibly the most telling of them all: “Do I hate the Los Angeles Lakers?”

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Sizing Up the Southwest: The Houston Rockets

Saturday, September 21st, 2013

A couple of years old, but you get the idea...

To conclude the Southwest, I present to you the unquestionable  “winner” of this off-season – the Houston Rockets.  Will it all work out?  Will they really be that much better?  Lets discuss…

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Sizing Up the Southwest: The Dallas Mavericks

Wednesday, September 18th, 2013

Mallory was originally supposed to do this post, but he just sent me an email that said, “They’re going to suck. Mark Cuban regrets the last two years.  Blah.”

As with all things in life, it’s not quite that simple.

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Sizing Up the Southwest: The New Orleans Pelicans

Wednesday, September 18th, 2013

It’s an inaugural season of sorts down in the Big Easy. Gone is the name “Hornets,” which beat a teal stained path back to the good people (if not the good team) of Charlotte, NC after owner Tom Benson decided to brand his recently purchased team with a certain bird of local import. The 86-year old Benson then pressed GM Dell Demps to move the team’s rebuilding effort demonstrably forward and whether you call them the Pellies, the ‘Cans or take the time necessary to say all three syllables of Pelicans, the NBA’s New Orleans franchise is one of its more intriguing (which is not to say, necessarily, one of its better) going into the 2013-14 season.

Last Season: In its final season as the New Orleans Hornets, the team saw its two main building blocks, rookie Anthony Davis and shooting guard Eric Gordon, miss 18 and 40 games respectively. Davis’s missed games not withstanding, he turned in a promising rookie campaign averaging 13.5 points, better than 8 rebounds and nearly 2 blocks in only 28.8 minutes a game. In terms of PER and adjusted per minute stats, Davis compares favorably to the early seasons of Tim Duncan (who played over 40 minutes a game as a rookie… woah!) and Kevin Garnett (who began playing exclusively at power forward in his third season). So much of New Orleans’s projected future success, depends on Davis taking a step firmly toward that stratosphere, Gordon staying healthy enough to be the B to Davis’s A and Austin Rivers avoiding a second straight historically bad season. A nice, but unspectacular, rotation of Greivis Vasquez, Ryan Anderson and Robin Lopez rounded out the team to make them 27-55 and, staring at a dearth of franchise changing talent in the draft, seemed to be (like another team we know…) settling in for a long, patient rebuild.

What they’ve done this off-season: On draft night, the Pelicans hit the accelerator. They hope.

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Sizing up the Southwest: The San Antonio Spurs

Monday, September 16th, 2013

Last season: Evil triumphed over good, and the Spurs lost a HEART-BREAKING (but ridiculously entertaining) 7 game series to the Axis of Ego.  Had it not been for the gut wrenching disbelief that followed game 6 and into game 7, I’d have ranked this the best Finals since the Bulls once again denied Stockton and Malone that elusive NBA championship banner.  Had it not been for LeBron James’ epic bricks that missed so badly that normal rebounds didn’t apply, the NBA landscape, and championship paradigm, could look dramatically different today.  The Spurs should have defeated the most devastating collection of talent in decades with the following recipe: fundamental, unselfish offense, featuring mostly pick and rolls, help defense that rarely fouls, and (over)reliance on limited role-players.  They are the anti-Heat – a team predicated on physicality, drawing fouls, and defending with positionless, ultra-athletic (and long) players capable of switching everything.  Most importantly, they were assembled organically, like the underdog Hoosiers that won with coaching, unselfishness, a system, and just a smidge of Jimmy Chitwood star-power.  Ok, that’s a lie.  Even you, reader, probably agree that Tim Duncan is one of the top 5 PF/C (whichever way you lean) of all-time.  The thing is, you are probably underrating him.  Tony Parker too.  Only a few contrarians mention Parker each year as the top Point Guard in the league.  The Spurs like it this way.  Winning is all that matters – and each player assumes a critical role in a well-oiled machine of basketball purity.  Oh how I wish the Spurs had knocked off the Heat, while the talking heads obsessed over the right ratio of plays run for Dwyane Wade.

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