Preview & Live Thread: Cavs vs Warriors

February 26th, 2015 by Nate Smith

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They say to be the best, you have to beat the best. With that thought in mind, tonight’s match-up is the biggest of the season. The Golden State Warriors come in to Cleveland with the league’s best record: 44-10 and are 8-2 in the last ten games (as are the Cavs). We all know about the brilliance of Golden State’s starting back-court — Curry and Klay combine to score 46 points and 11 assists and eight rebounds per game while posting all-time shooting percentages. But there’s more than just these two that make Golden State click.

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The Point Four-ward: Empty the Bench

February 25th, 2015 by Robert Attenweiler

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First off, if you haven’t read Ben’s excellent recap of the Cavs win in Detroit last night, please do yourself that favor. Then, it’s onto—

Four points I’m thinking about the Cleveland Cavaliers…

1.) On a recent Cavs telecast, I heard something that gave me pause. It concerned the overall league ranking for the Cavs bench. Anyone want to guess what it was?

Try 30th overall. That’s right, the Cavs bench is ranked dead last in the league averaging just 23.6 points per game according to hoopsstats.com. That is not something that inspires much confidence when talking about a team whose recent stretch of torrid play has vaulted it back in the thick of the championship contender conversation.

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Recap: Cavs 102, Pistons 93(Or, The Resiliency of Love)

February 25th, 2015 by Ben Werth

The Cavaliers rolled into the Palace at Auburn Hills looking like a budding title contender. The Wine and Gold looked to sweep their three game road trip after destroying D.C. and NYC.  The Detroit Pistons, fresh off a roster makeover, wanted to continue their momentum toward a playoff spot. With Tayshaun Prince and LeBron James back with their original teams, it felt like old times. Let’s get to it.

1st Quarter: The game’s scoring started in rather emblematic fashion. Reggie Jackson used a double screen to get himself a 15 footer off the bounce with a semi-contest from Kyrie Irving. Yes, he made it, but it was a theme throughout the evening. The Cavs were happy to let Jackson try to beat them with Heroball.

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Live Thread: Cavaliers at Pistons

February 24th, 2015 by Ben Werth

Thunder No More. Welcome to the Central Division.

After turbulent starts, the Cavaliers and Pistons have experienced similar turnarounds to their seasons. The post Josh Smith Detroit squad has gone 18-10 after a 5-23 start putting them in the race for the playoffs. The recent trades for Reggie Jackson and old favorite, Tayshaun Prince have further changed the face of the Piston lineup. Jackson was “crying tears of joy” after the trade. He apparently didn’t enjoy the Dion Waiters experience. Prince joins his third team of the season after providing surprisingly solid play both in Memphis and Boston. Greg Monroe and Andre Drummond have been huge since Smith’s departure freed up floor spacing. The Detroit starting bigmen each average a double-double in roughly 30 minutes per contest.

Meanwhile, the Cavaliers are obliterating teams since the famed bowling trip. The Wine and Gold have gone 15-2 with the current starting lineup healthy and intact. Over the last 25% of games, the Cavs are plus 13.27 according to Hollinger’s rankings. Matrix is out for two weeks with an injured hip, but Kendrick Perkins could make his Cavs debut. For the first time this season, the roster appears to be set. Sound off.

Links to the Present: Cold Edition

February 24th, 2015 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 notable reads/videos from the past seven days to get you through the day feeling entertained, caught up, and much smarter. I’ll throw in Earl’s Pearl of the Week and some other features to add to the entertainment.

This edition of links is called “Cold” because it’s just cold out today. I woke up this morning and read Andrew Schnitkey’s “While We’re Waiting” column on Waiting For Next Year. He notes that today is the coldest day of the year yet in Ohio. I, living in North Carolina, obviously thought that this cold would not reach me. Yet, it has. I checked my email and learned that it’s panic time in my little city. My work is having its second snow day in a week, and the rest of the city is equally troubled. I must note these two snow days have occurred because of six total inches of snow over ten hours. It’s also 24 degrees here. The South isn’t Northeast, Ohio, weather-wise, but I’m still going to pretend it is. So, if you’re inside because of the elements, enjoy these distractions because you have nothing better to do. If you’re somewhere warm, enjoy these pieces because you truly care about the NBA and the Cavs. Read the rest of this entry »

Recap: Cavs 101, Knicks 83 (Or, What Happens if You Have to Start Your Bench)

February 23rd, 2015 by David Wood

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The Cavs picked up an easy win against the Knicks. The Wine & Gold led by as many as 30 points and held New York to 37% from the field. J.R. Smith stuffed the stat sheet this afternoon getting 17 points on 7-11 shots to go with four assists, two blocks, and a steal. The Knicks received their best play from Lou Amundson and Quincy Acy. Amundson had ten points on ten shots to go with three offensive and three defensive boards. Acy had 11 points hitting 4-10 heaves and pulling down three offensive and two defensive rebounds. Those two guys played fine games, and if they were featured behind a premier scorer, they might have helped the Knicks to remain competitive today. That was not the case as they both played over ten minutes a piece. Let’s see what happens when a team starts five guys that wouldn’t see the floor for the Cavs. Read the rest of this entry »

Live Thread: Cavs @ Knicks

February 22nd, 2015 by David Wood

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The Cavs are taking on the Knicks today at Madison Square Garden. The Knicks are without top scorer Carmelo Anthony (24.2 ppg), who is out for the season due to knee surgery, and top rebounder Amar’e Stoudemire (6.8 rebounds), who was bought out because he just didn’t feel New York anymore and New York wasn’t feeling his salary. In their places, Cleanthony Early and Lou Amundson, respectively, are now starting. Read the rest of this entry »

Rejoice, for Kendrick Perkins shall sign with the Cavaliers

February 21st, 2015 by John Krolik

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This Cavaliers season has been one of highs and lows. The team won the draft lottery, LeBron came back, Kevin Love came shortly thereafter, and all was good. Then, the team, and Love, had some serious struggles out of the gate, and woe came down upon us all.

Recently, the Cavs have been on an absolute tear since getting healthy and acquiring Timofey Mosgov and J.R. Smith, and now things get even better: The Impossible Dream has happened, and Kendrick Perkins will now be a Cleveland Cavalier, according to ESPN.com’s Royce Young, who previously wrote what must be considered the definitive post-Celtics Perkins piece earlier this season.

Perkins is mainly known for his ability to set lots and lots of screens, many of questionable legality, and his individual post defense. He does very few other basketball-related things well. Out of 346 qualified players, Perkins ranks 335th in PER, which is not good. He has one of the worst True Shooting percentages in the league at 46.1%, which is impressive since he’s a center who rarely shoots, and he has the highest turnover ratio in the league. (However, his True Shooting percentage is still higher than Dion Waiters’, so there’s that.)

Perkins’ Real Plus-Minus is kinder to him, however, and puts him right about in the middle of the pack among NBA centers, which backs up the notion that he contributes with screens, post defense, and rim protection in ways that don’t show up on the stat sheet. (It should be noted that RPM has not been nearly this kind to Perkins in years past.)

It’s clear what Perkins provides: A battle-tested veteran who can be relied on to give spot minutes in the playoffs and give Mozgov a rest in the regular season, and a guy whose myriad of deficiencies will be mostly covered up by playing with three guys who can keep the floor spaced and will have the ball in their hands for the vast majority of the time.

Recap: Cavs 127, Wizards 89 (Or, “That was kind of devastating” – John Wall)

February 21st, 2015 by Tom Pestak

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[Editor’s Note] The Cavs went into DC to battle a team they were looking up at in the standings.  John Wall apparently called this a “must win” game for the Wizards.  The Cavs led by as many as 40.  With the win, they leapt over Washington to claim 4th place in the East.  The Cavs even dominated garbage time, which never happens.  The C:tB crew was inactive tonight (we didn’t perfectly align our all-star break), so we tapped some of the veteran commenters for the recap.

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CtB Podcast, Episode 61 — Trade Deadline Musings

February 20th, 2015 by Nate Smith

After a frenetic trade deadline which saw 9% of the NBA moved, David Wood, Mallory Factor, and I answered the call of the CtB staffer’s conch, and assembled to podcast. We discuss trade day winners and losers, how Thursday’s trades effect the Cavs, our predictions for the the rest of the regular season, and Kevin Love’s highly retouched GQ cover. Also, included on this podcast is a fun episode of, “Story Time with Mallory.” We approach each subject with our brand of somewhat detail-oriented analysis and late night punchiness. Listen on Soundcloud above, with this link, or check us out on iTunes.

–Update: Technical difficulties scuttled the first Soundcloud post. Computers… am-I-right? All should be well now (though if the iTunes link isn’t updated yet, just wait for it).

Update II: Thanks to @pinwheelempire for the awesome trade deadline 2015 flowchart. Check out the full version here.