Finals Game 5 Recap: Golden State 104, Cleveland 91 (or, Maybe Save Something for the Swim Back?)

June 15th, 2015 by Nate Smith

AP Photo/Ben Margot

In a fantastically contested game, the Cavs hung with the Warriors for 43 minutes, until two straight Andre Iguodala threes gave the Warriors a seven-point lead. Steph Curry then destroyed the Cavs’ chances with a dancing, playground style, three-pointer and then a layup to put the Dubs up ten. LeBron tried valiantly to bring the Cavs back with a 27-footer, followed by a successful Hack-guodala strategy, but Matthew Dellavedova missed a three that would have cut it to five at 1:39. Then, Steph Curry slung an ice dagger at the net from 29 feet, and routed the armies of the North Coast.

The other lousy bookend to this game, the first five minutes, looked like a plate full of baby puke as the Cavs had only a Delly junkball deuce and five turnovers on their tray. But Cleveland went small, relegating Timofey Mozgov to the bench, and ran with the Dubs till late in the fourth to the tune of 20 lead changes and 10 ties. Cleveland just turned the ball over five more times the rest of the game, but the 11 offensive rebounds surrendered to Golden State were the difference as much as Curry’s shooting.

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NBA Finals Game 5 Quick Hit: Warriors 104, Cavs 91

June 14th, 2015 by Robert Attenweiler

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LeBron James notched another triple double with 40 points, 14 rebounds and 11 assists, but it wasn’t enough to get the Cavaliers a win in Oakland. Stephen Curry led the Warriors with 37 points on 7-13 shooting from three and the Warriors pulled away from the Cavaliers late on their way to a 104-91 win and a 3-2 lead in this best-of-seven series.

The Cavs followed the Warriors lead by going small for much of the game. One game after scoring a career high 28 points, Timofey Mozgov played just over nine minutes of Game 5, posting goose eggs on all positive stats. James attacked the basket relentlessly and was much more efficient than in Game 4 where he went 7-22 for 20 points. He finished his second triple double of this Finals series going 15-35 from the field and 7-9 from the line. James even dropped in three triples (in eight attempts).

J.R. Smith had a strong first half, but disappeared in the second finishing with 14 points on 5-15 from the field. Tristan Thompson finished with 19 points and 10 rebounds, but posted a team-worst +/- of -22 as the Cavs couldn’t hit their big shots late.

Golden State did. Curry was helped by 14 points from Andre Iguodala and a surprising 13 points off the bench by reserve guard Leandro Barbosa.

The Cavs will look to stave off elimination in Game 6 Tuesday night back in Cleveland.

Check back soon for Nate’s full recap.

Finals Live Thread: Game 5, Cavs @ Warriors

June 14th, 2015 by Nate Smith

Summoning good vibes and karma for the Cavs tonight, as we’re all trying to get up for this game. Cleveland heads to Oracle arena tonight with a welcome extra day’s rest. Cavs are 15-0 this season on two days rest, and LeBron has won his last five series that were tied at 2-2. So with that notion, I’ve got a “Good Feeling.” I’m queuing the first song on my energy jam mix. Go Cavs… GO CAVS!

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Game 5 Preview: Running on Empty…

June 14th, 2015 by Robert Attenweiler

It’s almost time for the Cavs first Game 5 of the NBA Finals in franchise history!

But don’t expect LeBron James, David Blatt and the rest of Team Intravenous Fluids to be content resting at this cozy mountain base camp when there’s still the rest of the mountain to climb. Here’s some things to look for going into this critical game against the Warriors safely back in their Golden State:

1.) Much of the narrative following the Warriors 103-82 Game 4 victory over the Cavaliers was that the Warriors had finally “figured out” the Cavs defense. How much that lopsided win had to do with the Warriors cracking the schemes that had been frustrating them through the first three games and how much it was the Cavs exhaustion that prevented the Cleveland players from being as effective against Golden State remains to be seen. The Warriors made some adjustments — particularly the insertion of Andre Iguodala into the starting lineup, relegating Andrew Bogut to just a foul-plagued cameo — that gave the Cavs problems, and the team was still only down by one point with under a minute to go in the third… despite their collective legs joining Kyrie Irving and Kevin Love in street clothes. Eventually, the Warriors hit some shots, while the Cavs couldn’t get anything outside the paint to drop — and that’s a narrative that could describe a million different basketball losses more than it sounds like one about a clearly superior team jumpstarting a Midas touch that had mysteriously gone missing for the previous two games. We’ll see.

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Recap: Warriors 103, Cavs 82 (Or, Losing On Their Own Terms)

June 12th, 2015 by David Wood

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The Cavs’ game plan throughout this series has been to shut down the Splash Bros., and let the Warrior’s role players beat them. Well, they got exactly what they asked for tonight. Steve Kerr switched up his starting lineup for this pivotal game four, and it worked out perfectly. He put Andrew Bogut on the bench and started Andre Iguodala at the four. Steph Curry and Klay Thompson combined to shoot 12-26 for just 31 points. However, Iggy, Harrison Barnes, and Draymond Green combined to go 18-35 for 52 points. They were 10-21 from beyond the arc.

Steve Kerr also started to double-team LeBron James when he was in the post, and trapped him on pick and rolls. LeBron made the correct passes tonight, but it just didn’t matter. The Cavs went 4-27 from 3-point land. Tonight wasn’t one to remember, but let’s remember it anyways.

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Finals Live Thread: Game 4, Warriors @ Cavs

June 11th, 2015 by David Wood

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I want to get very specific. Everyone watching the Cavs sort of shutdown the Warriors can recognize what’s going on: the Cavs are protecting the ball, limiting 3-point makes, slowing the game’s pace, making role players perform, and marching the NBA back to a time where games had less than 200 combined points and more than 200 combined hand-checks. Let’s check out some numbers from these playoffs to get a better appreciation for the Cavs 2-1 series lead. Read the rest of this entry »

The Point Four-ward: Expectations and Chips

June 11th, 2015 by Nate Smith

Since Robert’s on vacation this week, I’m filling in to author this week’s Point Four-ward: four things I’m thinking about as the Cleveland Cavaliers are just a couple wins from an NBA championship.

1) Matthew Dellavedova belongs to all of us now. “On Wednesday, Dellavedova had the best-selling NBA player jersey on Fanatics, the nation’s largest licensed online sports retailer,” ESPN.com reported. Dellymania has reached fever pitch.

Kyle Welch at WFNY summed up Delly fever well.

Dellavedova went to the Cleveland Clinic on Tuesday night after playing himself into dehydration and severe cramps, then showed up for practice; LeBron James endorsed Dellavedova for Australian knighthood; Dellavedova aborted Coach David Blatt’s attempt to put a minutes restriction on the recently hospitalized point guard (“No you’re not”); his hometown of Maryborough, Australia, announced they would name their basketball stadium the “Dellavedova Dome”; and coach Blatt told Northeast Ohio Media Group’s Chris Haynes that he was “full of ****” for questioning the legitimacy of Blatt’s faith in the point guard earlier in the season. And that was all in the last 36 hours!

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Cavaliers 96, Warriors 91 (Or There’s Always This Year)

June 10th, 2015 by Cory Hughey

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The first Finals game at The Q in eight years was a star studded affair. Rascal Flatts sang the national anthem, and Ohio sports legends Urban Meyer, Jim Brown, Mark Price, Jim Thome, and Larry Nance were in attendance. The boys in wine and gold didn’t disappoint as they led from the opening tip until the final buzzer sounded.

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Podcast Quick Hit! Cleveland 96, Golden State 91 (The Gattaca Game)

June 10th, 2015 by Nate Smith

WHAT A GAME. Tom Pestak, EvilGenius, and I just had to talk about it. It was intense: from Delly’s defense and late game scoring to Steph Curry and his 24 points in the fourth. But the Cavs controlled and ultimately triumphed, behind another herculean effort from LeBron and an amazing and unexpected performance from Matthew Dellavedova. Man, that was fun.

Check us out above, on Soundcloud, or on iTunes.

Finals Live Thread: Game 3 Warriors @ Cavs

June 9th, 2015 by EvilGenius

The Cavaliers did what they had to do to snag a game at Oracle Arena, and return to Cleveland with a 1-1 split. They now have seized home court advantage in the series as they get set to face the Warriors in a pivotal Game 3 at the Q, a place where LeBron and Company have a formidable 26-2 record since the King returned from his mid-season fort-night sabbatical.

With a victory tonight, the Cavs can take a firm grasp on the momentum of this see-saw battle of a Finals, and put the favored Warriors in a tenuous position. They know it won’t be easy, however, with a Golden State team that ripped off a league-high 28 games on the road during the regular season and another five in the playoffs. They also have league MVP, Steph Curry, who will be looking to get a grip on his shooting game that went south (or in this case… “down under”) in Game 2.

Though it’s likely that Curry will shoot better than the last time out, it’s also likely that the Cavs will better their 32% shooting as well, especially in the more familiar confines of home. LeBron James and his band of gritty, “grown-ass men” also seem galvanized by getting their hands on the franchise’s first Finals win ever. They will be prepared with plenty more non-cute, unsexy, grindhouse basketball, not to mention some secret motivation that is driving Bron. And as long as he can avoid the clutches of the Warrior defenders (see above photo that Dan Gilbert used to have fun at their expense), he should once again have the Cavs right there in the end.

Time to GET LOUD CLEVELAND!