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.
Even after the months of build-up, it was still surreal. There was a Cleveland Cavaliers basketball game played at Quicken Loans Arena that featured LeBron James, Kevin Love and Kyrie Irving leading the wine and gold. Once the ball got tipped, NBA basketball followed, if the preseason version of it. But the introductions took on an air of unreality, showing off all the pieces the Cavs accumulated over the summer finally together in the flesh (or, cousin to the flesh, the grainy internet stream) playing against people other than themselves. It was just the first step down a long road, one littered with broken glass, land mines, bear traps, chewed gum and the chance that Derrick Rose could always develop an outside shot, but, at least for now, it was a first step that was all spring. What this team eventually becomes won’t be realized for some time now, but there were glimpses in this 107-80 exhibition win over head coach David Blatt’s former team, Maccabi Tel Aviv, that exciting basketball lies ahead.
First off, the introduction sequence is incredible. Echoing the new hint of Cleveland skyline on the Cavs home court, the video introduction showed each of the team’s players posing with the city skyline projected on them, True Detectice-opening-credits style. Once the ball was tipped, though, Cavs fans got a taste — not a full meal, but a taste — of what this team could look like this season.
As the teams tipped off, it soon became clear that Maccabi was the more practiced team. This was the 2013 Euroleague champion’s ninth game (having gone 6-2 in the previous eight) and it showed. Tel Aviv moved the ball with a crispness that Cavs fans hope to see from their team, as they were essentially running Blatt’s system. Maccabi moved the ball, as Mr. Cavalier, Austin Carr, loves to point out “with the pass, not the dribble” and shot the ball effectively early on.
The Cavs are back. And, the Austin Carr who has an infectious smile is also back. When I turned on the stream tonight, he was the first person I noticed, and he looked happier than he has in any of the past four seasons. His exuberance is definitely because LeBron James is back with a new friend, Kevin Love. Read the rest of this entry »
I’ve often wondered about the stories of divorced couples who get remarried — especially when there may have been another relationship in the middle for one or both parties. How do couples learn to trust each other again? How do you remember the past without dwelling on negativity? How do you get over the hurt you’ve caused each other? I’ve been pondering these questions because I’d really like to repair my relationship with LeBron.
The Cavs first practice kicked off on Sunday. Kyrie Irving called it “surreal.” We here at at CtB can hardly believe it either. Our first on-the-court glimpse of this Cavs team is only a few days away. Until then, we’ll have to fantasize. While visions of half-court alley oops danced in our heads, Robert, Ben, David and I hopped in the podcast booth for a 2014 training camp preview. Who will lead this team? Are there hidden storylines? Who’s going to start? Who’s going to close? Does Mike Miller have a better ‘do than Andy? We answered all these questions and more.
You can hear us on SoundCloud at https://soundcloud.com/ctb-5/ctb-podcast-55-2014-training-1 .
You can also subscribe to the podcast through iTunes at http://feeds.soundcloud.com/users/soundcloud:users:64011415/sounds.rss .
Phew! WHAT A SUMMER!
Wait, let me say that again…PHEW! WHAT!!!! A!!!! SUMMER!!!!!!!!!!!
But seriously, has everyone caught their breath? I sure haven’t. And yet, we’re only a few weeks out from regular season basketball, and even fewer from preseason. Whether we’re ready or not, the dream will soon be a concrete, basketball-playing reality.
To put it all into perspective, Robert Nate, Tom, David, and I hopped on the line to discuss the offseason in general, the best moment of the summer, FIBA, former Cavs players (where are they now?!), Kevin Love, NBA 2k15, beer, and music.
As always, we can be found on SoundCloud at: https://soundcloud.com/cavstheblog/0053-were-back
And on iTunes at: https://itunes.apple.com/us/podcast/cavs-the-podcast/id528149843?mt=2
Note: This post was originally mis-numbered as podcast 53. It should have been 54.
Four points I’m thinking about the Cleveland Cavaliers…
1.) The Cleveland Cavaliers will hold their annual pre-Training Camp Media Day this Friday, September 26 at Cleveland Clinic Courts. No actual basketball will be played, with the only chance of sweat to be broken coming in the unlikely event that someone feels it appropriate to ask LeBron James about his “hairline rumors.” Still, Media Day is the grand public preening, the public’s first look at the 2014-15 Cavaliers assembled together, the Memorial Day to the wonderful summer that is the NBA season (which, somewhat contradictorily, takes place almost entirely during the winter… but you get the idea).
2.) With the addition of A.J. Price and Lou Amundson, Cavs General Manager David Griffin has said the team’s training camp roster, now featuring a full 20 players, is set. Or, rather, it’s set until it’s not. Griffin has made it clear that the team is still interested in adding Ray Allen, should the 39-year old guard decide he wants to play this year. There will also continue to be rumors linked to whatever big man du jour people think could help shore up the team’s biggest on-paper weakness.
So, here’s who the Cavs have busy at home writing their names on the tags of their underwear as they prepare to go to camp: