There were potentially three reasons to tear yourself away from March Madness to witness this late-season contest between the Cleveland Cavaliers and Philadelphia 76ers…
1) To see if the Cavs would snag their 16th straight home victory
2) To see if LeBron James would pass Patrick Ewing to crack the top 20 NBA scorers of all time
3) To see who would win the battle of the flat-tops… Nerlens Noel or Iman Shumpert
Unfortunately, the pain of watching what deteriorated into a brickfest for the ages pitched defensive struggle for much of the second half, made it difficult to stay tuned for the full 48 minutes (unless you’re a fan of train wrecks and Turkish rookie Centers…).
In what could win the award for “Ugliest Win of the Season,” the Cavs were able to keep their home win streak alive, primarily because the Sixers kept refusing to accept their generous offers to end it. And for a while, not even KLove bobble-head night seemed like it could prevent the Cavs or the sellout crowd in attendance from nodding off into oblivion.
In true March Madness tradition… the Cavaliers will go for their own “Sweet 16″ as they try to win their 16th straight home game today against Sam’s Club the 76ers.
The lottery-bound Sixers were blown out Friday 119-98 by the Clippers, although they have two more shots before the end of March to tie their season best of six wins in a month. Philadelphia has only three wins over teams with winning records, but one of them was against a depleted Cavs team on the eve of the trade that sent Dion Waiters packing.
After the nearly flawless game played against the Grizzlies, the Cavaliers were feeling very good about themselves. The punctuation win over Memphis after all the Love chatter must have been very satisfying. So it is hardly a surprise that the Cavs came out a bit flat in Brooklyn. Having a celebratory evening in NYC can frequently lead to uninspired play. Let’s get to it.
1st Quarter: With Thaddeus Young out, the Nets started Mason Plumlee. Their twin tower look must have been incredibly intimidating as it took all of eleven seconds for the Cavaliers to call a timeout. Granted, it came because J.R. Smith couldn’t inbound the ball after a Nets deflection, but terror boredom was in the Cavaliers’ eyes.
Let’s hope Mozzy can still run after killing all those Brew Burgers.
The Nets host the streaking Cavaliers Friday night sitting only a half game out of the eighth spot in the Eastern Conference. The NBA’s Sweet Sixteen might not be the same accomplishment as it is in NCAA ball, but Brooklyn would certainly feel better about themselves if they were to squeeze into the playoff picture. The Nets have been a particularly boring bunch this season, falling victim to injury and general comatose. Any team that relies too much on Deron Williams’ legs and the venerable Jarrett Jack is probably not going to strike fear into hearts around the league.
I don’t know if you’ve already heard this mea culpa sentiment from other former doubters, haters or pessimists, but I for one can say in all honesty that I completely misjudged what your impact on this team would be from the start. Read the rest of this entry »
Occasionally, amazing things happen in this life. One of those things was the Timofey Mozgov ad for the Brew Garden that I wrote 1,700 words on earlier today. However, just that writeup did not fully quench my thirst for knowledge about the 15 seconds of pure magic that is Timofey Mozgov firing a competitor plate aside and declaring that he is hungry for Brew Garden. So I called the Brew Garden and got some initial details from a bartender who was present for the shoot of the ad, and was able to get some information for her. I also left my number for the owner of the Brew Garden, the true mastermind of the ad, in the hopes that I could get the full breakdown of the ad. A few hours later, he called me back. The following is a transcript of what he told me about the ad. Read the rest of this entry »
Sometimes, things are perfect. This is one of those times. Cavaliers center Timofey Mozgov recently did a 15-second commercial for The Brew Garden, and quickly had the type of positive impact on the Brew Garden and Commericals that he’s had for the Cavaliers since being traded to the team. According to NBA.com, Mozgov has the second best raw +/- on the entire team, trailing only LeBron James. Since the number of times I have thought about the Brew Garden has gone from “0” before I saw this commercial to “560,000” in the three hours since I have seen it, I believe his +/- impact on the restaurant may be even more dramatic.
We’re going to break down each of these 15 precious seconds as completely as possible. The ad demands at least this much from us.
:00 — We open with a shot of what appears to be a sandwich, some kettle chips and a side of cole slaw on a plate behind a sign that says “COMPETITOR.” A very large hand is next to the plate. Behind the plate is a yellow shirt.
In an away game, the Cavs handed the number two team in the West their biggest loss of the season. Memphis shot 44% and made only four 3-pointers. The Cavs, on the other hand, shot 51% and drained 14 3-balls. Kevin Love led the Cavs by keeping Marc Gasol from doing what he normally does offensively. Gasol struggled to get easy post points, pass to open guys, or even rebound. Love also destroyed Memphis offensively, making 10-13 shots for 22 points from everywhere on the court. He even had 10 rebounds to go with four assists. The Grizzlies couldn’t figure out how to defend him, or any of the Wine-and-Golders. The Cavs led by as many as 29 points in the 3rd quarter, a quarter in which all 14 of their baskets were assisted. It was the best ball movement of the season. Let’s go to the action. Read the rest of this entry »
The Cavs are facing a team going the opposite direction of most NBA teams. The Grizzlies play at a bottom five pace (92.1 possessions per 48 minutes). They run the ball through two true post behemoths, Marc Gasol and Zach Randolph. And, defensively, they hold teams to 95.2 points per game, which is second in the league. Read the rest of this entry »
Nate Smith is an Associate Editor. He grew up in Anchorage, Alaska, and moved to NE Ohio in 2000. He adopted the Cavs in 2003 and graduated from Kent State in 2009 with a BA in English. He can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org or @oldseaminer on Twitter.
Tom Pestak is an Associate Editor. He's from the west side of Cleveland and lives and (mostly) dies by the success and (mostly) failures of his beloved teams. You can watch his fanaticism during Cavs games @tompestak.
Robert Attenweiler is a Staff Writer. Originally from OH, he's long made his home in NYC where he writes plays and screenplays (www.disgracedproductions.com) some of which end up being about Ohio, basketball or both. He has also written for The Classical and the blog Raising the Cadavalier. You can contact him at email@example.com or @cadavalier.
Benjamin Werth is a Staff Writer. He was born in Cleveland and raised in Mentor, OH. He now lives in Germany where he is an opera singer and actor. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Cory Hughey is a Staff Writer. He grew up in Youngstown, the Gary, Indiana of Ohio. He graduated from Youngstown State in 2008 with a worthless telecommunications degree. He can be contacted at email@example.com or @coryhughey on Twitter.
David Wood is our Links Editor. He is a 2012 Graduate of Syracuse University with an English degree who loves bikes, beer, basketball, writing, and Rimbaud. He can be reached on Twitter: @nothingwood.
Mallory Factor is the voice of Cavs: The Podcast. By day Mallory works in fundraising and by night he runs a music business company. To see his music endeavors check out www.fivetracks.com. Hit him up at Malloryfactorii@gmail.com or @Malfii.
John Krolik is the Editor Emeritus of Cavs: The Blog. At present, he is pursuing a law degree at Tulane University. You can contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org or @johnkrolik.
A monster lives in the comments section of Cavs: The Blog, and he likes to feed on comments. We have very little idea about when he will strike. What we do know is that comments with 2 or more links will get filed into the spam folder, as will comments with foul or discriminatory language. The comment monster also seems to enjoy extra-long comments, so if you have a long comment, you may want to press copy before submitting a long comment and break it into multiple pieces if the monster eats it. If you are having particular trouble with the monster, email one of us and we will talk to him for you.