Recap: Boston 117, Cleveland 78 (or, that’s no clover; that’s a buzzsaw)

April 13th, 2015 by Nate Smith

AP Photo/Steven Senne

The Cleveland Cavaliers, sans Kyrie Irving, Kevin Love, J.R. Smith and LeBron James hung with the playoff hungry Boston Celtics for all of one quarter before the effects of missing four starters were too much to overcome. The Cavs imploded in the second period, when they turned the ball over eight times, and the Celtics ran rampant for 34-9 rout in 12 minutes.

Not surprisingly, the Cavs were unable to make up the 76.5 points per game that their four missing starters provide, and were outscored 62-47 in second half as well. Of course, the Cavs had little to play for with the second seed in the East sewn up, and the chance to rest their starters couldn’t be passed up. In a game like this, one must ignore the score and look for the silver linings in the clouds.

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Live Thread: Cavs @ Celtics

April 12th, 2015 by Nate Smith

Whoops! Time got away from me on a home improvement Sunday, so I’m throwing up the live thread a little late. Cavs face the Celtics for the second time in two games, and are sans J.R., Kevin, LBJ, and Kyrie. A tall order is in store for the zoo crew. After one quarter they’re hanging in. Let’s hope it keeps up. Go Cavs.

Recap: Celtics 99, Cavaliers 90

April 12th, 2015 by Tom Pestak

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Kyrie Irving and Iman Shumpert sat this one out.  The Cavs came out lifeless on offense and allowed the Celtics to break loose a bit at the end of the half.  They put together one excellent quarter, the 3rd, as LeBron pushed the tempo and Lazarus Mike Milller canned three 3s, bringing the Cavs all the way back to momentarily take the lead.  Blatt preferred Kevin Love and LeBron James call it a day after 3, and the Cavs 8 through 12 guys faltered down the stretch, ending an impressive home win streak and increasing the probability that the Celtics earn some playoff experience this season.

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Live Thread: Cavs vs Celtics

April 10th, 2015 by Tom Pestak

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Brad Stevens, Isaiah Thomas, and the Celtics visit Cleveland tonight for the start of a back to back against the Cavs (they play again Sunday).

The last time the Celtics were in town, the Cavs held a lead of 39 points in the 3rd quarter.  With the Cavs locking up the 2-seed, the outcome of this game is of little consequence for the Wine and Gold.  However, the Celtics could be a 1st round playoff opponent, so this is a good chance for the Cavs to get a feel for them and establish an appropriate level of fear.

Kyrie Irving will not play tonight with an apparent hip injury.

 

Links to the Present: Warriors Edition

April 10th, 2015 by David Wood

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Sometimes trying to come up with a unifying theme for a links piece is next to impossible. This week the theme came easily. During my hours of research, massive coffee consumption, and periodic breaks to take my dogs outside, I realized a bunch of the pieces pointed out that the Warriors are pretty awesome. Their TNT game against Portland last night just solidified that fact for me. Read the rest of this entry »

Podcast: Looking Back, Looking Forward

April 9th, 2015 by Tom Pestak

Hung out with my friend Mark Neal in studio today and we discussed the following:

-Playoff Seeding and the implications of resting against Boston

-The Cavs recent 8 out of 9 stretch (prioritizing defense, maybe settling a bit on offense)

-Reflecting on opening day, the hopes that haven’t materialized, and the massive growth that has been realized.

-The New Lob City is on the Shores of Lake Erie.

-Mozgov as the answer to so many questions.

-LeBron’s 2-week hiatus

-Kyrie Irving’s improvements: how he’s fit in the offense and worked so hard defensively (no more “fly-paper” picks)

-What’s eating Cincinnati fans

-Rookie of the Year (Wiggins / Mirotic)

-Jahlil Okafor as the #1?

-Centers in today’s NBA

Give it a listen, and give me some feedback.  What would you like to hear on the next podcast?

Preview: Potential First Round Match-Ups

April 9th, 2015 by EvilGenius

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First off, if you haven’t yet already, make sure you check out David’s excellent recap of last night’s division clinching win for the Cavs over the Bucks.

And with that victory, the Cavs have also officially locked up the second seed in the Eastern Conference, giving them more than a week to finally take a few moments to rest and start thinking about the first round of the playoffs.

Normally, with four games left to play, it would be fairly apparent who they might be facing in that first round. However, there are still no less than five potential foes in the mix to be the first opponent for the Cavs in their return to the playoffs after a four year drought. Some may have better odds than others of winding up in the seventh spot, but we’ll break them all down with impunity, and according to threat level they pose to the Cavs…

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Recap: Cleveland 104, Milwaukee 99 (Or, The Division is Won)

April 9th, 2015 by David Wood

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The Cavs came away with the victory last night, and it was sloppy. They are now the Central Division Champions. I’m going to say it’s because they pulled off this gritty win, but even if they’d lost, they still would’ve had the division title won thanks to the Bulls falling to the Magic.

The Wine & Gold started the game getting the ball into the post, and then used that action to hoist open three-pointers. They followed that plan for much of the night, but they racked up an astonishing 18 turnovers trying new stuff. Whenever they moved away from this game plan, they had some trouble scoring. However, in an ironic twist, it was the ISO-play down the stretch that won the game for them. LeBron James hit a three-ball off the dribble to put the Cavs up five with 14 seconds left in the game. The Cavs needed that shot, since somehow they managed to squander a 15 point lead in the third quarter and entered the fourth up by just two points. Kyrie led the team with a 17 point second quarter. He ended the game with 27 points, nine assists and four rebounds.

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Live Thread: Cavs @ Bucks

April 8th, 2015 by David Wood

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The Cavs travel to Milwaukee tonight to face the young Bucks. The Bucks have lost three of their past five games, although two of those losses came against the Hawks and Warriors. This team has been a surprise the whole season. Coach Jason Kidd has utilized his team’s length to make passing against them next to impossible. The Bucks are causing 16.3 turnovers a game, which is number one in the league. They swipe 9.4 balls per game, which is good for 3rd in the NBA.

If the Cavs pull off a win tonight, they will clinch their fourth Central Division banner and the number two seed.

Get excited to watch the massive length of the Bucks battle the ball handling talents of the Cavs. I’m picking the Cavs to win this one 103-98.

The Point Four-ward: Looking (Somewhat Ambitiously) Ahead

April 8th, 2015 by Robert Attenweiler

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Four points I’m thinking about the Cleveland Cavaliers…

1.) J.R. Smith’s three point explosion against the Chicago Bulls on Sunday (8-17 FGs… all three pointers) had many Cavs fans on Twitter talking about the team’s starting two guard and his contract status. After all, Smith has a player option for just under $6.4 million for next season. If he were playing like he was as a member of the New York Knicks earlier this season, Smith likely would have picked up that option. And, right now, $6.4 million for the type of production Smith is providing is a bargain.

In Cleveland, Smith has thrived and the team has thrived with him. Cavs head coach David Blatt has referred to Smith as “a godsend” and LeBron James has said the 6-8 Smith has been “everything we needed and more.”

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