Live Bloggin’ – All Star Saturday

February 14th, 2015 by Mallory Factor II

453120688-e1411503677676What, you thought I wasn’t going to do this again?  C’mon!  Sure, it’s Valentine’s Day, and sure, Paul McCartney is playing Irving Plaza right now…But IT’s ALL STAR SATURDAY!

This is the first time I’ve watched with the GF…Wish me luck!

8:56 – OK, full discloure, I just got home like 10 minutes ago.  It’s Valentine’s day, and the girlfriend and I ended up up wandering around for like 5 hours.  I’m exhausted, and I missed the entire Shooting Stars competition. How will I ever forgive myself?

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All-Star Five on Five

February 13th, 2015 by Nate Smith

 

Five questions, five CtBers. It’s all-star weekend! Stick right here for coverage of Friday, Saturday, and Sunday night’s events!

1. Who is the most deserving player to be left off the East All-Star squad?

[Editor’s Note, Ben and David’s entries were written before Korver was named as an injury replacement]

David: Kyle Korver should have made it. He’s shooting 52% from the 3-line, and the season is halfway over. He makes 3.1 long balls a game, which is tied for second place in the NBA with Klay Thompson, so he isn’t a fluke. Oh yea, he also trains by running under water holding a boulder, which is just cool. And finally, the Hawks created an offense that utilizes him to alter how people play against their team. His shooting ability eliminates the idea of a weak side help defender for opposing defenses. How many players affect what a defense does that much?

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Recap: Bulls 113, Cavs 98 (Or, Tony Snell +29, LeBron -27)

February 12th, 2015 by Tom Pestak

The Bulls came to play, LeBron laid an egg.  A win would have been nice for the Cavs, a loss would have hurt the Bulls more than the Cavs.  LeBron was -27, Tony Snell, a mutant created when Tony Allen and Ray Allen’s DNA was combined, was +29 and completely dominated LeBron at both ends.

1st Quarter:

Cavs netted the first five points of the game including a LeBron and-1.  After a rebound, LeBron stumbled against the pressure of Tony Snell and coughed it up, leading to a Pau Gasol and-1 the other way: five-point swing for the Bulls.  LeBron, seemingly annoyed, calmly stepped into a 3 right in Snell’s eye.  And that was the last outside shot LeBron made in the half (and he took quite a few).  The Bulls turned up the heat at both ends.  Rumors of Gasol’s resurgence turned out to be true.  He punished the Cavs inside and even stepped out and swished a corner 3.  And then Tony Snell happened.  In addition to hounding LeBron like a bulldog, Snell cut right down the lane on back to back possessions and threw down vicious 2-handed dunks.  The Bulls continued to flash people down the middle of the lane and the Cavs really didn’t do anything to slow them down.  Mozgov showed some life offensively, tossing in a nice left-handed pop shot over Joakim Noah, and drove from the foul line-extended to throw down a brutal left-handed dunk.

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Live Thread: Cavs at Bulls

February 12th, 2015 by Tom Pestak

NBA: Chicago Bulls at Cleveland Cavaliers

The Cavs and Bulls were coronated early, and have spent the season looking up at Toronto and Atlanta.  In spite of injuries, chemistry issues, and uneven play, both teams are in a position to compete for the Eastern Conference Crown.  Tonight, the Cavs try to continue their march into the All-Star Break on a scintillating stretch of offensive dominance.  The Bulls will play without Most-Improved Player Candidate Jimmy Butler, and the Cavs will not have Kevin Love at their disposal.  In a game featuring LeBron James, Kyrie Irving, and Derrick Rose, this contest may be decided in the trenches:  Pau Gasol has turned back the clock and Timofey Mozgov has sped it up to a place few thought possible.

I’ll post this later in the weekend, but since it’s already online, sink your teeth into my studio appearance on Dayton’s Sports Scene.  We get into all sorts of cool topics and I even took some calls.

Recap: Cavs 113, Heat 93 (Or, the last Eastern Conference Foe to Fall)

February 12th, 2015 by David Wood

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The Cavs played outstanding team basketball tonight; 72% of their shots were assisted. They played stellar defense too, holding the Heat to 40% shooting from the field, even after giving the ball away 15 times and letting the Heat sprint on a 21-7 run in the second quarter. The Good Guys just could not be contained and had a sixteen point lead at the end of the third quarter. With the win over the Heat, the Cavs have defeated every team in the East at least once. This was the first win against Miami in a long time. (Miami was missing D. Wade) There’s something special going on at the Q these days, and sloppy segments of basketball can’t stop it. Let’s check it out. Read the rest of this entry »

Live Thread: Cavs Vs Miami

February 11th, 2015 by David Wood

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Revenge is a dish best served in Cleveland. The last time the Cavs met the Heat was on Christmas Day in Miami, and they lost, 101-91. The Wine & Gold have been on a kill streak lately and are looking to continue revenging losses from earlier in the season. I’m sure LeBron James wants to make this a statement game and show he has no fears playing in emotional situations. Read the rest of this entry »

The Point Four-ward: Fit In, Fit On, Fit Out

February 11th, 2015 by Robert Attenweiler

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

1.) LeBron James loves his teammates.

Sorry… change that. LeBron James loves to love his teammates.

From his days playing at Akron St. Vincent-St. Mary with Dru Joyce III, Sian Cotton, Willie McGee and Romeo Travis, to his days as a Cavalier and thier elaborate choreographed pre-game introductions, James has always seemed most comfortable when his team exudes a family atmosphere. When they’re close. When everybody fits in.

So, it wasn’t shocking to see that this weekend, as his new version of the Cavaliers continues to round into form, that James would address what he saw as the team’s squeakiest wheel going forward: power forward, Kevin Love.

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Links to the Present: no Mo

February 10th, 2015 by Nate Smith

Lots of calloffs at the CtB offices, today. Fortunately, not everyone on the internet has actual personal lives. Over on Vice Sports, CtB alum, Colin McGowan articulated what I’ve been thinking about LeBron James over the last few days: LeBron is a strange man with a lot of masks.

LeBron has, at different points of his career, played the part of a young messiah, an ultra-gregarious super-teammate, a villain, and a superstar in repose, with varying degrees of surety. Having left that last mask in Miami, he now fancies himself a leader of men. “I will be the old head [in Cleveland],” he said in his famous return letter. “But I get a thrill out of bringing a group together and helping [my teammates] reach a place they didn’t know they could go.”

…In the wake of all this bluster and pomp, it has been a letdown to see that LeBron’s leadershipping consists primarily of passive-aggressive dickishness.

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TrueHoop Network 3 on 3: Hired to be Fired

February 9th, 2015 by Nate Smith

Welcome TrueHoopers, Spencer Percy of Queen City Hoops, and Aaron McGuire of Gothic Ginobili. In this week’s TrueHoop Network 3 on 3, we’re discussing the league’s coaching carousel, the Magic, the Kings, and who’s on the hotseat.

1. Jaque Vaughn was fired this week, and interim coach James Borrego was named as interim coach. What qualities do the Magic need in their next head coach? What candidate could provide them?

Spencer: Orlando needs a coach that’s going to bring a defined style of play to this roster. Seems to me that the ultimate problem with Vaughn is that he experimented a little too much, which developed inconsistent play. This front office is well aware of the young talent it has, and it wants results now.

Names like Scott Skiles and George Karl have circulated the rumor wagon for this job and I think either guy could bring some stability to this young core of players. Karl is clearly the better overall coach that is an offensive mastermind, while Skiles is much more of a defensive minded coach. Really just depends what the front office is looking for. I’d lean Karl and I’d be willing to bet that he has some serious interest. There’s a learning curve for this roster, but not a huge one – especially in the eastern conference.

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TrueHoop Network Roundup

February 9th, 2015 by Nate Smith

Morning everyone. As a part of the True Hoop Network revival, we’re hosting this week’s Roundup and 3 on 3. Welcome TrueHoop readers. CtB readers, check out these awesome TrueHoop writers.

From Brooklyn’s Finest, David Vertsberger breaks down the play Lionel Hollins called to get Jarrett Jack a wide open three in crunch time (above): http://brooklynsfinestblog.com/2015/02/07/brooklyn-film-festival-jarrett-jacks-clincher/

The Alphabet, Giannis Antetokounmpo, set a new career high Wednesday with 25, and then broke it just days later, “On a night where he scored 27 points on 11-16 shooting, he also grabbed 15 rebounds, dished out four assists and had a highlight block.” Jeremy Schmidt at Bucksketball, says, “Come look how good he is!”

Hoop76’s Eric Goldwein makes the case that the Sixers — since their 0-17 start — have been just as competitive as all the other middling Eastern Conference playoff teams.

Every year, the San Antonio Spurs galvanize themselves with their February “Rodeo Trip,” while the AT&T center plays host to the San Antonio Stock Show & Rodeo. GothicGinobili’s Aaron McGuire examines the 12 year history of the Rodeo trip. They’re 71-29 in those trips, a 71% clip, which is even more impressive when you consider that home court advantage is worth roughly three points a night.

The Bobcats from last season and the Hornets from this season have quite a few similarities, but also some troubling differences. Queen City Hoops’ Greg Pietras compares the two here: http://queencityhoops.com/blog/transition-game-comparing-2014-bobcats-2015-hornets/

The guys at MagicBasketball give us a 3 on 3 on Jacque Gone’s firing: Fair? Unfair? Properly timed? Who should replace him? Eddy Rivera also penned a Jacque Vaughn coaching obituary entitled, “Jacque Vaughn failed to live up to his potential.

The Pelicans are passing to win says bourbonstreetshots’s Chris Romaguera.

Before these past seven games, 54.8% of their made field goals came via an assist. That was good for 26th in the league. That number has skyrocketed up to 61.2% for the streak, a number good for 10th in the league. This is clearly shown in the 3-pointers made stat, where the Pelicans went from 84.8% of their makes being assisted, to 95.7%

A Q&A on what’s possible and what’s likely for the Jazz to do at the trade deadline is presented by SaltCityHoops’ Dan Clayton.

I keep thinking the Jazz are about to turn the corner from asset accumulation into putting some pieces in place. Given how young they are, they’re certainly not keeping all those players and drafting 15 times in the next four drafts. But more to the point, the Jazz are 11-13 since December 17. They’ve clearly hit the bottom of the rebuild curve and started their way up the other side, and that’s when you have to start thinking about cashing your chips in on smart moves.

Finally, CavsTheBlog’s Nate Smith and Cory Hughey take us on a tour of the best place for cheap booze on game night in Cleveland, then they narrowly avoid a fight in the stands over Matthew Dellavedova. After these adventures and more, they try to chase the night at the Horseshoe Casino on a cold February Monday in the ‘Land.