Recap: Atlanta 117, Cleveland 98 (or, requiem for a season)

April 4th, 2014 by Nate Smith

This was a depressing one, Cavalier faithful. For the Cavs playoff hopes, this game could only be described as a “must win.” Unfortunately, Cleveland came out flat and failed to match the energy and focus of the Atlanta Hawks. As a result, Cleveland was dominated on offense and defense by the Hawks, who won in a rout. Cleveland shot 39.6% while Atlanta shot 58.5%, and 48% from three. While the Cavs are mathematically alive for the playoffs, they trail Atlanta by four games in the loss column. This means that even if the Cavs go 5-0 over their final five, Atlanta only has to has to go 3-4 to make the the playoffs, as they own the tiebreakers. As Campy Russell said, “It wasn’t the loss that hurt so much as the way they lost.” Cleveland’s body language was subdued all night, they lacked energy and fire, and their communication and execution on offense and defense seemed non-existent.  For the umpteenth time this season, Cleveland failed to compete.

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Shooting the Breeze with Windy…

April 4th, 2014 by Robert Attenweiler

hi-res-6666924_crop_north

On a cool, but sunny, spring, afternoon, I grabbed a couple of steaming hot beverages and sat along New York’s Bryant Park with longtime Cavaliers pulse-feeler, Brian Windhorst. Brian, as most of you know, covers the NBA for ESPN and is one of the more insightful and thoughtful writers covering the NBA today (and has been so for a while). We talked Cavs playoff chances, Kyrie and Dion, extending Tristan Thompson and exactly why people need to write about Cleveland star players wanting out.

CtB: How much of Tuesday’s win against the Magic shows how far the team has come and how much of it was how little the Magic have to play for at this particular point in time? 

BW: They’ve owned the Magic all year. Even when they were playing [poorly] they beat them. To me, the season can be defined by the two games in New York. I think it was the Cavs only TNT game and the Knicks were horrible at the time. The effort level that the Cavs put forth in that game was as bad as any I’ve seen in my 12 years covering the NBA. To play like that when you’re on national television – even if you hate your teammates, even it you hate your coach – have some pride not to get ripped by Charles Barkely. Have some pride. The effort they put forth in that game was an absolute abomination. I was in the locker room after the game in disgust. I ended up ripping Kyrie that night because I’m like, “Who are you? Are you a superstar? Start acting like it.”

Then when they come and they play New York later, New York is on an eight-game win streak, they’d won eight or nine in a row at home too – hugely important game for the Knicks – the Cavs come in and win playing with ten times more effort. And I’m not generalizing. It was ten times more effort.

And, to me, that’s the Cavs season: the one team that didn’t [care] and the one team that came back to New York when the game really mattered and they won.

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Links to the Present: Getting Ready Edition

April 4th, 2014 by David Wood

rube cavs

When Friday hits, you have to get prepared for the weekend.  Some people get haircuts. Other people go grocery shopping for a family gathering. People like me contemplate why they hated on Kyrie coming back after he had an amazing game against Orlando. A few people just grab a six pack of their favorite beverage and turn their television on to watch their NBA team.  If you’re a Cavs fan, this weekend you’re going have set aside time to read about their playoff situation to fully appreciate them battling the Atlanta Hawks on Friday and the Charlotte Bobcats on Saturday.

Mary Schmitt Boyer of The Plain Dealer has the playoff situation covered.  She points out the harsh reality that the Cavs really aren’t in total control or even moderate control of their playoff chances.  They are going to need some lucky losses from both the Knicks and the Hawks, since they don’t own the tie breaker against either of those teams. Read the rest of this entry »

Podcast Recap: Cavs 119, Magic 98

April 3rd, 2014 by Tom Pestak

waiters_drive

The Cavs completely dominated the Magic. Any worry that CavsNation had about Kyrie and Dion playing together were quickly dispelled. They were completely unstoppable and played the way we’ve been begging them to play for over a year. Kyrie was incredible, finishing 7-8 from the field, converting a bunch of awesome contested shots at the rack, and playing the role of distributor/defense-magnet quite well. Waiter was 10 of 15 shooting. He splashed all three of his 3s, and nine of his other 12 shots were taken in the paint. Perfect. Spencer Hawes, TRUE PATRIOT, flashed his passing and his 3-point stroke and Tristan Thompson was too much to handle. He made all eight of his free throws.  Jarrett Jack and SuperDOVA managed the PG position well and Jack threw down a huge dunk. (I’m serious!) The execution tonight was just insurmountable, whether the Magic cared about winning or not. Even the shots the Cavs missed were open. They finished with 62 points in the paint and scored 70 points in the first. The Cavs are making it interesting!

Nate and I hopped in the ole podcast booth to talk at length about the Cavs. Mallory is in the process of posting to SoundCloud and iTunes, but, for now, the Podcast is available at Mixcloud

http://www.mixcloud.com/oldseaminer/0044-magic-recap-trade-madness-heroes-suits-and-the-playoff-race/

Tune in to find out about the game, the playoff race, #CavsRank, who the best dressed bench Cav is, which Cavalier legend I get to meet this weekend, and the details of our bet on whether the Cavs make the playoffs.  Go Cavs!

Links to the Present: Luke Warm (On Kyrie) Edition

April 2nd, 2014 by David Wood

DION-KYRIE

Two weeks has passed since Kyrie Irving injured his left bicep against the Clippers.  He has been reevaluated and can participate in full contact practice according to Mary Schmitt Boyer of The Plain Dealer. Irving’s status for tonight is, reportedly, a game time decision

Irving wants to be back, though, according to ESPN,  in this piece about his return.

“I feel good,” Irving said. “It was great to be back out there. It was definitely hard for me these last two weeks just sitting on the bench. But as always, if I go down, I’m the biggest cheerleader. ”

“If I’m ready to go, I see no reason to stop me,” he said. “But obviously everyone has their reason, as we know in this business. Obviously, you have a respect for it, but as a basketball player and as a competitor, there’s an inner drive to be back out there. We’ll see what happens.”

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The Cavs Really Should Trade Kyrie Irving (Probably)

April 1st, 2014 by Nate Smith

In the words of Magnum P.I., I know what you’re thinking: “Nate is nuts.” Kyrie Irving is a 21-year-old two time All-Atar who was just the NBA All-Star Game MVP, was the No. 1 pick of the draft and rookie of the year in 2012. In the NBA, players like that are untouchable. But the dirty little secret of this Cleveland playoff push is that the Cavs may play better without Kyrie, and at the very least, they don’t play any worse. I’m actually worried about the Cavs missing the playoffs if Irving comes back. Am I a hoops blasphemer?

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#CavsRank Number 1: Mark Price

March 31st, 2014 by Tom Pestak

mark_price

“But we’d play catch.  I’d pretend I was Bob Feller.  He was my father’s favorite pitcher.  I wanted to please him.  I loved the moments when we were done, when he’d put his arm around me as we walked into the house.  He seldom said a word.  But I can still see the genuine smile on his face.”  – Terry Pluto, Our Tribe

There are few bonds in this world stronger than the love expressed when a father teaches his son the game that he loves, and the son, unknowingly, teaches the father what really matters in this world.  Growing up, I recall the players my father loved: Rocky Colavito, Lenny Barker, Joe Carter, Sandy Alomar Jr., and Mark Price.  Growing up, I idolized Mark Price, and my dad fostered the starry-eyed relationship between child and pro-athlete.  To my dad, Mark Price embodied character worthy of my aspirations, on and off the court.  “Practice your free throws; the games are won and lost at the free throw line,” he’d say.  And I did.

William “Mark” Price was born in Bartlesville, Oklahoma, on February 15, 1964, the son of Oklahoma basketball legend William “Denny” Price.  Denny led Norman High School to their first ever state championship and set the Oklahoma tournament record for points in a game.  Denny went on to play college basketball for Oklahoma, and embarked on an illustrious coaching career, rising all the way to assistant coach of the Phoenix Suns.  Mark, certainly, embraced his father’s love of God, family, and hoops.

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Recap: Cleveland 90, Indiana 76 (or, competitiveness, glorious competitiveness)

March 30th, 2014 by Kevin Hetrick
MVP!  MVP!  MVP!

MVP! MVP! MVP!

Today’s matinee loomed large for the Cavs’ fleeting playoff hopes, entering three games behind Atlanta and trailing New York by 1.5, with none of the teams having more than ten games left to play.  Normally, playing the Pacers, sans Kyrie, would look like another nail in the coffin of this season.  In a brutal March that features 18 games though, Indiana has won only 8 of 16.  Their offense is completely dysfunctional and their defense declined from “historic” to “very good”. Playing at the Q, it seemed the Cavs had a chance.

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Recap: Brooklyn 108, Cleveland 97

March 28th, 2014 by Nate Smith

Cleveland traveled to Brooklyn, tonight, nursing a three game win streak, with a chance to make up ground on Atlanta and New York. Unfortunately, Mike Brown and the Cavs contracted amnesia and completely forget about the last time that the Cavs played the Nets or the fact that the previous game gave the entire NBA a blueprint for beating Cleveland: make Tristan Thompson guard outside shooters. Instead, Brown decided that playing Tristan Thompson at power forward against Paul Pierce could somehow be effective, even though Pierce and Teletovic destroyed TT last time they played. Thompson, bless his heart, cannot guard 3-point shooters, and could not resist the urge to consistently drift toward the key. This didn’t stop coach Brown from trying to beat a square a dead horse into a round hole in the ground as Brooklyn gleefully launched wide open 3s throughout the game, making 14 of them at a clip of 48.3%. The flawed game plan ultimately doomed them, as Brown tried to find ways to guard the Nets stretch lineups and still score points. He failed at both those tasks.

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#CavsRank #2 – LeBron Raymone James

March 27th, 2014 by Tom Pestak

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“It’s fitting in my mind that LeBron James finished in second on #CavsRank. He’s the most talented and decorated player to ever play for the Cavaliers. Whether you like it or not, at some point in the future the Cavaliers will retire his number for all that he accomplished on this team. But he was never able to get to that top spot in his time here; in his surrender and retreat he not only left an incomplete legacy, but a trail of destruction that the franchise is still trying to recover from to this day.”

[Justin Rowan - Fear the Sword]

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