The Pre-Re: Recap of the Cavaliers 106-100 preseason win over the Milwaukee Bucks

October 14th, 2014 by Robert Attenweiler

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In a game that saw three of the Cavs’ presumptive starters sitting out — Kyrie Irving (ankle), LeBron James (rest) and Tristan Thompson (shoulder) — the pressure was on its remaining two, Kevin Love and Dion Waiters, to step up and fill the void. The void was filled all right; filled up like the basket on one of Love’s five three pointers in seven tries on an evening where he scored 25 points in just 20 minutes on the court. It was filled up like Waiters on his way to 23 points. It was also filled by having to play a Milwaukee Bucks team that was missing regulars Larry Sanders and Brandon Knight and, well… you know, is the Bucks. Still, it was nip and tuck for most of the way, with the Cavs bench putting it away late to improve their preseason record to 3-0 with a 106-100 win at The Q.

Save for a Cavs mini-run in the first quarter that put the team up by 11, the game remained close throughout. Yes, Love and Waiters were the main story — and we’ll get to them — but here was the lineup David Blatt went with for much of the fourth quarter with the game’s outcome still in doubt: A.J. Price, Joe Harris, Chris Crawford, Shane Edwards and Alex Kirk. The Bucks, meanwhile, rode their regular rotation through the tight fourth — Ersan Ilyasova, Zaza Pachulia, John Henson, rookie Jabari Parker and Giannis Antetokounmpo, starting at point guard for the first time — and still couldn’t quite get over the hump.

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Links To The Present: Old Point Guard Edition

October 14th, 2014 by David Wood

Heat vs. Nets Game 2

The Cavs are facing a bit of an injury situation right now.  Jason Lloyd is reporting that Kyrie Irving will probably miss the next two preseason games before returning from his ankle injury while LeBron James will be missing one of the next three preseason games to rest.  LeBron has a sore back.

“Kyrie moved around a good bit today, not in live practice, but in terms of the drills that we had. That’s a good sign,” Cavs coach David Blatt said. “He’s coming along. We’re not going to rush it, we’re being careful because we want him back on his feet full strength. But he did take a step forward today, no question.”

“I haven’t quite figured it out,” James said of which game he would skip. “I’m going to talk with coach and go from there. They’ve been managing it pretty good. I’m feeling pretty good right now and I want to continue that.”

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Atlantic Division Preview

October 13th, 2014 by Mallory Factor II

Atlantic-Division

 

The Atlantic Division – the teams here are filled with greatness, with history, with winning…except in 2014. What was once a division held to the highest of standards – Larry Legend! Dr. J! Walt! Vince Carter! (haaaa) – is now replete with mid-level mediocrity. To make matters worse, unlike their Eastern brethren to the south and west, the majority of Atlantic teams won’t see substantial improvements in the upcoming years. In short, don’t expect much from the Northeast this year. Lets examine…

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Links To The Present: All Hugs Edition

October 13th, 2014 by David Wood

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LeBron James was feuding with Chris Bosh and the Heat.  The Cavs and Heat were even trying to avoid each other in Brazil; furthermore, Bosh said LeBron is hard to play with, and ultimately, feelings were hurt.  Feelings are miraculously unhurt now.  Shandel Richardson of the Sun Sentinel witnessed a true show of affection between the former Heat player and Chris Bosh.

James squashed the thoughts of their strained relationship with a hug at midcourt before Saturday’s tip-off between the Miami Heat and Cleveland Cavaliers at HSBC Arena. The players supposedly were feuding once James announced he was leaving the Heat to return to the hometown Cavs. Both denied any rift.

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Preseason Recap: Cleveland 122, Miami 119 (OT) (or, This is the Game that Never Ends)

October 12th, 2014 by Nate Smith

The Cavs were in Rio for the last four days: bonding, seeing the sights, avoiding the Heat, and working on becoming awesome. The trip culminated in Saturday evening’s preseason match-up with Miami. The starters and rotation guys did not disappoint, pushing the lead up to 19 in the third quarter. Unfortunately, lackadaisical offense by one starter, and most of the deep bench guys let Miami back in this one, and a fourth quarter that should have been a cakewalk stretched on endlessly until Shabazz Napier and James Ennis led Miami to an improbable overtime which was highlighted by an equally improbable Cavs victory. But a win is a win is a win.

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Pacific Division Preview

October 10th, 2014 by David Wood

 

Who gets to make the next three?

Who gets to make the next three?

The Pacific division looks better than it actually is on first view. However, when you really examine all the Pacific teams, it’s hard to see any of them making it to the finals. These teams are second tier at what they may do best. The Warriors might be able to run and get a bunch of threes, but the Thunder can run faster and probably shut some teams down on the defensive end. The Clippers have a hyper efficient offense led by the brainiac Chris Paul, but the Spurs offense is still better. Even the revamped Mavericks could challenge any team in the Pacific behind a Dirk led offense and Rick Adelman/Tyson Chandler anchored defense.

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Northwest Division Preview

October 9th, 2014 by Ben Werth

Skinny no more.

Editor’s Note: This is the first in a six part series of division previews, here at CtB. Ben Werth tips it off with a Northwest Division preview. Key to every team in this series will be the teams’ additions, subtractions, storylines, and most importantly, the threat level they represent to the Cavs championship hopes (on a scale of 1-10).

Oklahoma City Thunder:

Coming off his first MVP award, Kevin Durant is poised to take the next championship step in his NBA career.  At least that is the narrative for an OKC Thunder squad that remains largely intact after a quiet off-season. The 2013-2014 team was arguably the second best team in the NBA after losing a tough Western Conference Finals to the Spurs. A rested Kevin Durant(sans USA play) and healthy seasons from Russell Westbrook and Serge Ibaka should ensure another 60 win season.

Additions: Mitch McGary (rookie), Anthony Morrow (New Orleans), Sebastian Telfair.

Subtractions: Caron Butler (Detroit), Thabo Sefolosha (Atlanta) Derek Fisher (Knicks coach) Hasheem Thabeet (Pistons)

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Links To The Present: TV Deal Edition + Kyrie in a Walking Boot + Updates

October 8th, 2014 by David Wood

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The NBA has announced their new media deal with Turner Sports and ESPN.  From the 2015-2016 season all the way through the 2024-2025 season, the league will receive $24 billion.  The last deal only paid $7.5 billion, and it was over eight years.  The new deal means one thing for certain.  The cap is going to go up a large amount at some point; however, it isn’t clear when.  Larry Coon, the NBA salary cap professor, explained the new deal’s implications.

Since the salary cap is directly tied to revenues, this means we would expect the cap to increase significantly. The league sets the cap each year based on its projected revenues for the upcoming season. By the league’s convoluted salary-cap math, a $1.1 billion increase in national TV revenues would equate to a nearly $16 million jump in the 2015-16 salary cap, above and beyond its expected increase without the infusion of new TV money.

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The Point Four-ward: Keepin’ That Bench Warm

October 8th, 2014 by Robert Attenweiler

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Four points I’m thinking about the Cleveland Cavaliers…

1.) The preseason is a time, much like one’s college years, where a certain amount of experimentation is to be expected, so too much shouldn’t necessarily be made of where one’s decisions might get one. For instance, there was a point in the final minutes of the first quarter of the Cavs’ 107-80 preseason win over Maccabi Tel Aviv on Sunday where head coach David Blatt’s substitution pattern yielded a lineup of Matthew Dellavedova, Mike Miller, Shawn Marion, Anderson Varejao and Lou Amundson. This group saw a grand total of 90 seconds of action together, but it did highlight that, for the bevy of players the Cavs have who can routinely create their own shot, they are still capable of putting a five-man unit that is… well, decidedly less able to do that.

I know, I know, it was 90 seconds. That’s all. In fact, it was a 90 seconds where the Cavs even outscored Tel Aviv 6-3. But if you take away Dellavedova’s buzzer beating J with three defenders on him, that 90 seconds was essentially the Cavaliers’ version of the Island of Misfit Toys and featured such unlikely plays as Varejao feeding the ball to Amundson like he was Amundson’s grandmother (and Amundson finishing off his plays like he was, say, my grandmother). Marion didn’t look comfortable trying to create for himself, missing an eight foot hook shot right before Delly’s heroics, and, Miller didn’t take a shot as part of this lineup.

In fact, Varejao’s insistence that he and Amundson become the next Steve Nash-to-Amar’e Stoudemire seemed like it was done partly in fun (and only partly, you know, because Amundson was open under the hoop) as you could almost see the players in that lineup look around and said, “Really? With these guys??”

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ALL THE REBOUNDS!

October 7th, 2014 by Tom Pestak

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If you tuned into the Cavs preseason opener against Maccabi Tel Aviv Electra (pretty sweet name…Electra) you may have noticed the Cavs dominated the boards.  I mean, completely and utterly dominated.  The final disparity was 64-36.  Varejao, Love, and Thompson all had double-digit rebounds and they had 15 offensive rebounds between them.  If a preseason game against a non-NBA opponent isn’t piquing your interest, I’ll just cut to the chase: Love, Varejao, and Thompson, are ELITE rebounders.

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