Recap: Rockets 105, Cavs 103 (or, an epic battle for MVP…)

March 2nd, 2015 by EvilGenius

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For fans of nationally televised, playoff-intensity basketball, it didn’t get much better than this overtime thriller between the Cavs and Rockets. And for fans of MVP-style match ups, there wasn’t a much better one to be had than The King vs. The Beard. Though the Cavs came out on the short end in this one, they fought hard against the third best team in the West and had a shot to win in the end. But, it’s hard to win on the road against good teams… and harder still when plagued by turnovers, rough shooting nights from downtown, too much MVP-ISO ball and (most importantly) poor free throw shooting. Read the rest of this entry »

Live Thread: Cavs @ Rockets

March 1st, 2015 by EvilGenius

Sorry for the delay guys!

LeBron is back and looking to take down another MVP rival in The Beard…

Cavs look to get back on the winning track (even without Kyrie). Going to be a challenging one today against the Rockets… I believe the Cavs will ride another strong performance from LBJ to victory…

Prediction: Cavs 115-111. Fire up the comments!

Podcast: In Studio ESPNDayton

February 28th, 2015 by Tom Pestak

Got another chance to chat in studio on ESPN Radio Dayton with my friend Mark Neal.

This was a fun one – talking about the big men of old, the modern point guard, what LeBron needs to do to win MVP (hint: dominating Steph Curry on Natl TV was step 1), and the value of tanking/draft/rookies.  We took calls too.  Nate called in to defend my honor after a previous caller took exception to me saying that rookies almost never become difference makers on good teams.

If you are a fan of The Buckeyes, Reds, Browns, or Bengals, Dayton Sports Scene with Mark Neal is one of the best sports radio shows I’ve come across.  And of course every Thursday between 5 and 6 I bring the Cavs to the forefront.

You can listen live, download podcasts, and there are even apps for iphone and android.

Recap: Pacers 93, Cavs 86 (or, all kinds of stuck… and Stuckey)

February 28th, 2015 by EvilGenius
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The Cavs’ high octane offense ran into a mud patch against the Pacers.

Well… even though a Cavs loss was not the way I had hoped to start my first shot at a full recap, there was still a lot of heart to be found in the wine and gold squad last night. Though they were missing Kyrie (due to a shoulder strain) and LeBron (due to Coach Blatt’s decision to rest him), the rest of the team definitely came revved up to play.

Unfortunately, they got caught in the quagmire of the muddy pace of the Pacers for much of the game. Read the rest of this entry »

Live Thread: Cavs @ Pacers

February 27th, 2015 by EvilGenius

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Don’t be alarmed… there is no need to adjust your screen. This is not a jailbreak or a hijack situation. The C:tB crew have just graciously allowed me to help them cover the occasional live thread and recap as the Cavs enter the stretch run of the season… so let’s have some fun!

The Cavs pull into the Bankers Life Fieldhouse after putting the brakes on the high-octane Warriors in convincing fashion last night, but in need of a pit stop with both Kyrie and LeBron out for injury and rest respectively. Unfortunately, the Pacers have been hard charging of late, powered by the surprising Rodney Stuckey and having also run over the Warriors before getting lapped by the Thunder in OKC on Tuesday. They’ve been off since then and have been tuning up for their showdown with the (now depleted) Cavs.

Even though the wine and gold machine owe this Pacers crew one for spinning them out of their earlier win streak, this will be a tall order without two of their big three tonight. But never fear… Rudy is here! Delly gets his chance to run David Blatt’s motion offense for an extended period of time (let’s hope it’s not 48 minutes) and the opportunity to answer even his harshest critics… or not. Cavs will also need big games from KLove, Moz, JR, TT and Shump, as well as probably some extended time from the Champ and Perk.

This tilt had “let down game” written all over it being the second night of a back-to-back, following an emotional victory over the best team in the NBA on national television… and that was before it was official that both Kyrie and LBJ would be on the shelf. But maybe the Pacers will be a victim of overconfidence… What the heck… I’ll say Cavs edge the Pacers at the finish line… 93-92.

Gentlemen… start your engines!

Recap: Cleveland 110, Golden State 99 (or “Statement Game”)

February 27th, 2015 by Nate Smith

Joshua Gunter/Northeast Ohio Media Group

Thursday’s showdown between two of the league’s hottest teams was kind of a big deal — so big that LeBron was reportedly out two hours early to practice shooting. The preparation showed, as LeBron shot his way to a season high 42 points on 70% true shooting. After a close first half that saw the Cavs claw their way to a five point lead at the break, Cleveland blew the doors off the Warriors in the third, stretching the lead out to 16 at one point and holding the Warriors to 38% from the floor. The Cavs remained in control the rest of the game, and never let the game get too close. In many ways Cleveland won because they controlled their emotions better than the Warriors, who seemed to lose their composure when the calls weren’t going their way in the third. (To be fair, Cleveland shot 35 free throws to the Warriors 19). Let’s get to it.

Read the rest of this entry »

Preview & Live Thread: Cavs vs Warriors

February 26th, 2015 by Nate Smith

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They say to be the best, you have to beat the best. With that thought in mind, tonight’s match-up is the biggest of the season. The Golden State Warriors come in to Cleveland with the league’s best record: 44-10 and are 8-2 in the last ten games (as are the Cavs). We all know about the brilliance of Golden State’s starting back-court — Curry and Klay combine to score 46 points and 11 assists and eight rebounds per game while posting all-time shooting percentages. But there’s more than just these two that make Golden State click.

Read the rest of this entry »

The Point Four-ward: Empty the Bench

February 25th, 2015 by Robert Attenweiler

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First off, if you haven’t read Ben’s excellent recap of the Cavs win in Detroit last night, please do yourself that favor. Then, it’s onto—

Four points I’m thinking about the Cleveland Cavaliers…

1.) On a recent Cavs telecast, I heard something that gave me pause. It concerned the overall league ranking for the Cavs bench. Anyone want to guess what it was?

Try 30th overall. That’s right, the Cavs bench is ranked dead last in the league averaging just 23.6 points per game according to hoopsstats.com. That is not something that inspires much confidence when talking about a team whose recent stretch of torrid play has vaulted it back in the thick of the championship contender conversation.

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Recap: Cavs 102, Pistons 93(Or, The Resiliency of Love)

February 25th, 2015 by Ben Werth

The Cavaliers rolled into the Palace at Auburn Hills looking like a budding title contender. The Wine and Gold looked to sweep their three game road trip after destroying D.C. and NYC.  The Detroit Pistons, fresh off a roster makeover, wanted to continue their momentum toward a playoff spot. With Tayshaun Prince and LeBron James back with their original teams, it felt like old times. Let’s get to it.

1st Quarter: The game’s scoring started in rather emblematic fashion. Reggie Jackson used a double screen to get himself a 15 footer off the bounce with a semi-contest from Kyrie Irving. Yes, he made it, but it was a theme throughout the evening. The Cavs were happy to let Jackson try to beat them with Heroball.

Read the rest of this entry »

Live Thread: Cavaliers at Pistons

February 24th, 2015 by Ben Werth

Thunder No More. Welcome to the Central Division.

After turbulent starts, the Cavaliers and Pistons have experienced similar turnarounds to their seasons. The post Josh Smith Detroit squad has gone 18-10 after a 5-23 start putting them in the race for the playoffs. The recent trades for Reggie Jackson and old favorite, Tayshaun Prince have further changed the face of the Piston lineup. Jackson was “crying tears of joy” after the trade. He apparently didn’t enjoy the Dion Waiters experience. Prince joins his third team of the season after providing surprisingly solid play both in Memphis and Boston. Greg Monroe and Andre Drummond have been huge since Smith’s departure freed up floor spacing. The Detroit starting bigmen each average a double-double in roughly 30 minutes per contest.

Meanwhile, the Cavaliers are obliterating teams since the famed bowling trip. The Wine and Gold have gone 15-2 with the current starting lineup healthy and intact. Over the last 25% of games, the Cavs are plus 13.27 according to Hollinger’s rankings. Matrix is out for two weeks with an injured hip, but Kendrick Perkins could make his Cavs debut. For the first time this season, the roster appears to be set. Sound off.