Smile Like You Mean It

December 14th, 2014 by David Wood

Dion Waiters has been playing a lot better the past few games, and Chris Haynes is reporting that it’s because he has had an attitude adjustment. The Neon man said that he was showing up to games heated.

“I would be mad before I even got in the game,” Waiters told Northeast Ohio Media Group. “I was mad, [but] it is what it is.”

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Recap: Pelicans 119, Cavaliers 114 (Or, May I Escort You to the Bucket?)

December 13th, 2014 by Ben Werth

The Cavaliers completed their tough four in five night stretch by dropping two straight on the road. Cleveland fans were relieved to have both LeBron James and Kyrie Irving in the starting lineup against superstar Anthony Davis. Though the Browed future of the league left the game early, the Pelicans still were able to avenge their loss in Cleveland. Let us get to it.

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Talking Cavs with Mark Neal

December 13th, 2014 by Tom Pestak
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The streak is over!

Woe is he that has to recap that beat down at the hands of the Anthony Davis-less Pelicans.  ‘He’ is Ben Werth and will provide an insightful look at what went wrong when the sun checks in on Europe.

Until then, below is a radio interview from the past – well, just about 30 hours ago, when the Cavs were riding an 8-game winning streak.  Now they’ve lost two straight.  Quite the turnaround.  But let’s soften the blow with the bubble wrap of perspective: the Japanese Navy had a 78-year run of dominance leading up to the Battle of Midway, including the devastation at Pearl Harbor, the anniversary of which we just remembered last week.  And in less than 10 minutes (nary a quarter of an NBA game) three of the four aircraft carriers in the Japanese strike force were engulfed in flames and destroyed.  (the fourth followed later that evening).  The Japanese Navy never conducted a successful offensive again.  THAT my friends, is an abrupt end to a winning streak.  Hastag HistoryLesson.  The Cavs will get back to their winning ways in due time.  They’ve been a bit lifeless and have gotten into some bad habits.  The good news is that Kyrie, Love, LeBron, and most of the rotation is healthy.

I broke it down (the winning streak) with @ESPNMark.

Give it a listen!

http://www.wingam.com/Tom-Pestak-from-Cavstheblog-com-talks-NBA-Cavs-wit/17320024?pid=444726&do=1

Live Thread: Cavaliers at Pelicans

December 12th, 2014 by Ben Werth

The Cavaliers look to rebound on the second night of a road back-to-back. Without LeBron James, Cleveland dropped a tough game to an OKC Thunder team desperate for every win. Unlike the Thunder, the Cavaliers’ next opponent was without huge preseason expectations.

Anthony Davis is on his way to becoming the NBA’s most dominant player. Though his Pelican team is still unlikely to make the playoffs in the loaded West, Davis continues to evolve into a legit MVP candidate. Currently sporting a PER of roughly 213 bagillion (32.97), the third year pro has improved in nearly every conceivable way. The arc on his jumper hydrates deserts. He doesn’t skate out of position on rotation defense. His off the dribble game has more confidence. Davis is currently the best player in the league.

Fortunately for the Cavs, The Brow doesn’t bring many talented friends to the party. Eric Gordon is out(which is the case whether he suits up or not). Tyreke Evans, though better, is still a one trick pony. Omer Asik has liberated Davis from consistently manning the center position, but is a limited contributor offensively. Ok, you’re right, Ryan Anderson is legitimately terrifying.

…and as of 7:20 It looks like LeBron, Kyrie, and their balky knees are cleared to play. The Cavaliers should have the depth of talent to take out the Pels for the second time this season — no win for the brow.

Recap: Oklahoma City 103, Cleveland 94 (Or Valiance in Defeat)

December 12th, 2014 by Nate Smith

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The Cavs, minus LeBron James, fell to the Thunder last night in a game that felt just out of reach for most of the second half. Despite a strong start that saw the Cavs jump out to a 26-18 first quarter, Cleveland lost the lead toward the end of the second when they went cold from the field, intimidated by the strong defensive play of Kendrick Perkins. The perimeter play of Westbrook, Lamb, and Jackson consistently led to good looks for the Thunder and by 1:31 remaining, OKC led by three. But the score seemed inconsequential when Kyrie Irving when down in a heap after challenging a Russell Westbrook 15-footer. On a slow, excruciating replay, it appeared that he had hyper-extended his right knee. After several minutes on the floor, Kyrie hobbled back to the locker room and Cavs Nation held their collective breath. A patented “damnit, Dion…” swish, and a Delly o-board and dish to Dion for corner three helped the Cavs finish the quarter tied at 47.

After a very long halftime, Kyrie came out to warm up for the second half. Yes, ladies and gentleman, “Daniel LaRusso’s going to fight!” Irving immediately canned a nifty floater off a Kevin Love feed, and we all exhaled.

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Live Thread: Cavs @ Thunder

December 11th, 2014 by Nate Smith

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This is always one of my favorite match-ups of the year. I’ve Aunts and Uncles and cousins in Wichita and OKC, and they pull big-time for KD and the gang. It’s fun to send some trash talk across the great plains. The Tacoma City Plunder, as I call them, come into the game finally healthy and winners of five of the last six, now that reigning MVP, Kevin Durant has returned along with All-Star, Russell Westbrook. KD hasn’t lost much in his four games back, with shooting splits of .492/.316/.889 to go along with 22 points, 5.5  rebounds, and four assists in 29 minutes a night. Westbrook has been similarly stellar, posting a 31.5 PER so far this year, and adding 24.5 points, seven dimes, and six rebounds in 28 minutes a night with splits of .433/.306/.814. Contrast that with LeBron and Kyrie… The head-to-head position battles tonight will be epic.

James Vs. Durant, Irving Vs. Westbrook, Marion Vs. Roberson?, Varejao Vs. Adams… One can’t ever forget block machine, Serge Ibaka when talking of the Thunder. Kevin Love will have his hands full. Jeremy Lamb has also emerged as a solid bench scorer for the Zombie Sonics, averaging 12 points off the bench with a 58.5 TS%. A lanky 6’5″, Jeremy will be a tough match-up for the Cavs bench guys. Add Anthony Morrow, Reggie Jackson, Perry Jones, and all-time-tough-guy, Kendrick Perkins, and this Thunder bench is intimidating. Cleveland is going to need big contributions from everyone.

Oklahoma City is still on the outside of the Western Playoff race, looking in. At 8-13 they’re three games back of eighth place Phoenix and 11 games back of the NBA best Warriors. So every game is huge for them right now. The Cavs, meanwhile, are waiting on a “Game Time Decision” to determine if LeBron James plays tonight. Fortunately, the Cavs have shown they can win without him, taking three of the the last five contests from OKC during the LeBronless years, including one of the biggest Cavs victories last season, a stunning 114-102 February victory in OKC. Given the burgeoning rivalry, I’d be shocked and concerned if the King missed a showdown this big.

Update: LeBron will sit out this game with “general knee soreness.” Matthew Dellavedova will start in his place.

Culty Catch Up: Second/All About D Edition

December 11th, 2014 by David Wood

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Each week there is a ton of NBA media pertaining to the Cavs and the league in general that deserves recognition. A lot of it goes unread because there just isn’t enough time to keep up with it. Don’t worry. I’ve got you covered with six to eight notable reads/videos (the last two reads are up in the air just like the Cavs bench production this season) from the past seven days to get you through the weekend feeling entertained, caught up, and much smarter. I’ll throw in Dion’s Neon Man Of The week and some other features to add to the entertainment

The Cavs are on an eight game win streak, and they have earned it. The wins against the Bucks, Knicks, and Raptors were by less than five points. The Raptors and Knicks games involved fourth quarter comebacks where the Good Guys held the opposition under 15 points for the final twelve minutes. The defense can get revved to the red when it needs to these days. Everyone is starting to notice. Read the rest of this entry »

The Point Four-ward: Catch Yourself Before You Wreck Yourself

December 10th, 2014 by Robert Attenweiler

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Four points I’m thinking about the NBA and the Cleveland Cavaliers…

First off, if you haven’t read Ben’s excellent recap of last night’s big come from behind win against the Raptors, what are you waiting for??

1.) Read the following quote from Cavs head coach David Blatt:

“I think it’s important that you know how to catch yourself. We didn’t have an easy time in the first half and we caught ourselves at halftime. We recognized what we were doing wrong and what we needed to improve and we did that. We had very little defensive intensity.”

Now, tell me, what game that came from.

Okay, it’s not like it was so long ago. That was Blatt speaking after the Cavs 110-88 win in Brooklyn on Monday night. But it could have easily come from last night’s win against the Raptors, as well.

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Recap: Cavaliers 105, Raptors 101 (Or, Italian for “Of the Widow”!!!!!)

December 10th, 2014 by Ben Werth

In what may have been the most fun win of the season, the Cavaliers fought back from multiple 14 point deficits to top the Raptors for the second time in three early season meetings. After giving up 47 points in the first 16 minutes of the contest and a season high 63 in the first half, the Cavs finished the game on a 20-6 scoring run. LeBron led the team with 35 points on 21 shots, but the victory was secured by the gritty second half defense of Tristan Thompson and Mathew Dellavedova.

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Live Thread: Raptors at Cavs

December 9th, 2014 by Ben Werth

The Cavaliers look to extend their winning streak against the Toronto Raptors. This will be the third meeting already between the two projected playoff teams. The Drakes are still without DeMar DeRozan as he recovers from a torn groin. Ouch. Kyrie Irving versus Kyle Lowry is always a good time. James Johnson is one of the few people on the planet who seems to actively enjoy defending LeBron.

Fire away.