Archive for April, 2011

Harrison Barnes Staying at UNC

Monday, April 18th, 2011

Bad news, you guys:

North Carolina forward Harrison Barnes, the 2011 Atlantic Coast Conference Rookie of the Year, will return to the Tar Heels for his sophomore season.

Meet Bismark Biyimbo

Monday, April 18th, 2011

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From Scott Sargent at WFNY:

[With] the team’s desire to add post defenders, Byron Scott’s athlete-focused offense and a potential multi-year rebuilding process, Biyombo could find himself as the second Congloese-born player selected by the Cavaliers in the last three years.

If you have been perusing Twitter and/or draft sites over the past month or so, you’ve heard Biyimbo in connection with the Cavaliers’ second first round selection. If you’re unfamiliar, this WFNY piece serves as a solid introduction to the Congo native, who stands 6’9″ and has a 7’7″ wingspan.

Links To The Present: April 15, 2011

Friday, April 15th, 2011

“The Cavaliers allow me to stay attached to my home while attending school on the other side of the country. I woke up in the morning and proudly put on my Cavaliers sweatshirt. Being a fan allows you to become part of a family, something that is much bigger than yourself.” [Conrad Kaczmarek]

“The Cavs have 13 players under contract for next season — everybody who finished the season with the team, except Anthony Parker and Alonzo Gee. They have four draft choices — two firsts and two seconds — plus a $14.5 million trade exception, so there will be changes.” [Mary Schmitt Boyer]

“The idea of veteran Baron Davis and Irving in the backcourt makes it worth waiting for next season.” [Terry Pluto]

“I had a moment where I wanted to kill everybody on the team, but not necessarily, ‘What did I get myself into?’ Just more of, ‘What am I going to have to do to get these guys to understand?’” [Byron Scott on his first season with the Cavs]

And Derrick Williams has officially declared.

On The Twitters

“Again, I still have trouble believing Barnes won’t come out. Maybe Dan Gilbert should write him a letter. We will see…” [Zac Jackson]

“Sources say Wolves, Cavs, Raptors, Jazz and Kings would all take Kyrie Irving 1. Wizards, Pistons & Bucks – Barnes or Derrick Williams” [Chad Ford]

“Via @chadfordinsider #Cavs options with 2nd lottery pick are Walker & Knight with Fredette not out of the running provided Irving isnt there” [Michael A. Young]

Links To The Present: April 14, 2011

Thursday, April 14th, 2011

“Though the Cleveland Cavaliers will play their final 48-minute contest of the 2010-11 season, several players on the Wine and Gold are already discussing offseason plans to practice together even once team facilities have closed for the summer.” [Scott Sargent]

“I’m going to learn from this experience of having a losing season, not being as good as we thought we could be — but you have to deal with the injuries and take that into consideration. But for the most part, I look at it as a learning experience and it drives me for the next year to get better.” [Byron Scott, who is humble]

“I would like to play another month or so. Our young guys are starting to get it and understand what’s going on.” [Byron Scott, who has got to be flipping kidding me]

On The Twitters

“I can’t imagine Harrison Barnes would really come back to school, but maybe the thought of playing for the Timberwolves really is that bad.” [Zac Jackson]

“Still thinking it over, say reports. Decisions, decisions. RT @cfaddict: I thought Harrison Barnes was staying another year?” [Eric Knappenberger]

“Ryan Hollins, a $2.5mm player option for next season, says he wants to be back in Cleveland. #Cavs” [Scott Sargent]

A Format Note

With the regular season over and daily Cavs news slowing down, I’m going to start posting individual news items rather than doing a daily roundup–sort of a “news as it becomes available” format. So if Kyrie Irving works out for the Cavs, I’ll let you know. If there are trade rumors swirling around Antawn Jamison, I gotcha. If some fat guy who looks a lot like Baron Davis is spotted at a chicken wing joint with hot sauce in his beard, I will put my head through a wall, then provide you guys with a link and some commentary.

I’ll be doing Links To The Present through the end of the week, then I will start posting relevant Cavs news as it happens. With the monotony of a dreadful regular season finally concluded, we now have the offseason and all the optimism that comes with it. I’ll do my best to chronicle it for you guys, so we can all talk about how Draft Pick X’s ability to create off the dribble is Jason Kidd-esque and maybe feel a little less dead inside.

Recap: Cavs 100, Wizards 93 (Or, The End)

Thursday, April 14th, 2011

Overview: The Cavs ended their season by picking up their 19th win of the season. Ramon Sessions led all scorers with 27 points, and J.J. Hickson added 15 points and 13 rebounds.

So Long, and Thanks For All the Swish:

The season’s over. It doesn’t really feel right, does it? For the last five seasons, this is the day where the real fun started. Not so this season. It’s over, and there won’t be any more Cavs basketball until the start of next season, and we don’t even know when that will be.

All we know is this: the worst is over. LeBron left. The process went poorly. The team got bad. The team got very bad very fast. The team lost more consecutive games than any other NBA basketball team in the history of the universe.

As much as I’d like to say they were fighting hard during that stretch, the truth is they were not. Everything has to go wrong to lose 26 games in a row, and everything did. There were injuries. There were important role players missing. But most importantly, the team just didn’t seem to compete on most nights. Maybe they didn’t know how to, maybe they didn’t want to, but the fact is that they did not play like anything resembling a basketball team on a lot of those nights.

Slowly, something happened. The light bulb finally went off for J.J. Hickson. Ramon Sessions played like an All-Star in February, and after an adjustment period, he started to look good as a scoring threat off the bench. The team started to care about defense, if only a little bit. Ryan Hollins looked like a competent offensive center when he could dunk at the rim. Baron Davis, to my utter surprise, gave the team a huge shot in the arm and the on-court leadership it needed.

All those players will be back, and more are coming. Varejao will be healthy. The team will, hopefully, have learned from last season’s training camp and focus on implementing a solid defensive system from day one. Two lottery picks are coming. There is something here. It won’t turn around overnight. It might not turn around in one season. It might not turn around for two seasons. But there is something here.

This team is not going anywhere. These fans are not going anywhere. The season is over. The worst is over. There are better times ahead, and the journey to them will be so much fun.

Links To The Present: April 13, 2011

Wednesday, April 13th, 2011

“That’s anybody’s opinion. I play the game to win, whatever it takes for my team to be successful… I’m a player. I’m a basketball player first. Whatever the coaches ask of me, Ill do. I’m just trying to help my team out and I’m glad we won that game.” [Ryan Hollins, on his tough guy reputation, via Mary Schmitt Boyer]

“[In] a nearly empty gym, Scott admitted he had never experienced or imagined anything like the 26-game losing streak. Or the depressing home loss in December to Miami when LeBron James came to town. That’s despite 10 years as a head coach, two as an assistant and 14 more as a player.” [Terry Pluto]

Sean Deveney argues that Kemba Walker would be a good fit for the Cavaliers, and he might fall to them if other teams with young point guards decide to pass. I like Kemba and all, and if he falls to the Cavs at, say, seven, they should take him, but is anyone else worried about an undersized, shoot-first point guard who doesn’t have a great jumper? I wouldn’t bet my life on Walker having a particularly good NBA career, though I am rooting for him.

And Sam Amico has the best Joe Tait piece you will read all day.

On The Twitters

“Got an advanced copy of ‘Have a Good Night Everybody,’ Joe Tait’s special on Fox Sports Ohio. Definitely tune in. It’s special.” [Bob Finnan]

“One more night, then I start rooting against King boy and for the meteorite that must be out there with his name on it.” [Bill Livingston]

“Just had a great team bowling party. Whole team showed up. @BooBysWorld1 bowled a high of 240 yaya… Thx @becksinla LOL” [Baron Davis]

Links To The Present: April 12, 2011

Tuesday, April 12th, 2011

“You’ve got to be careful with the quiet ones, right?” [Charlie Villanueva on his post-ejection outburst]

“Did you see Ryan Hollins’ face? Anyone who has ever had a little brother with whom they were competitive will recognize that face. It is a playful version of Jack Nicholson’s “Here’s Johnny!” from The Shining.” [Craig Lyndall]

“Coach Byron Scott bemoans the fact that Hollins just doesn’t rebound like he wants him to. Erden didn’t get a rebound in 19 minutes on Monday. He had five points and was 1 of 5 from the field, 3 of 4 from the foul line.” [Bob Finnan]

Anthony Parker is well aware that tomorrow night’s game in Washington could be his last game in a Cavaliers uniform, and possibly, with the looming lockout, his last game in the NBA.

“Now that there is zero incentive for losing Wednesday’s season finale, the Cavs owe it to their fans to leave everything on the court to close this season with a victory.  It will be the last game of Joe Tait’s career, and the last game of professional basketball we may see in Cleveland for quite some time.  It has been a long, cold winter for Cavs fans – how about we end it with a Springtime victory that sends everyone home happy?” [Michael Curry]

On The Twitters

“Feels weird typing this, but the #Cavs are currently going through their last practice of the season.” [Scott Sargent]

“That game today was too funny….” [Samardo Samuels]

“If I was one of the 300 fans still in The Palace right now, I’d certainly be chanting ‘Let Them Fight, Let Them Fight.’” [Zac Jackson]

Recap: Cavs 110, Pistons 101 (Or, WE’RE NOT THE WORST! TECHNICALLY!)

Monday, April 11th, 2011

August 2, 1957 — see The Complete Peanuts 1955-1958

Overview: The Cleveland Cavaliers won their 18th game of the season when they played the Detroit Pistons on Monday. The Cavs will not have the worst record in basketball this season, at least not outright. Also, Charlie Villanueva went insane.

It could have been worse, Charlie Brown Bullets:

- The Cavs came out completely flat on the road, Baron didn’t provide anything, and the team still managed to battle back and win the game. It’s hard to read into games that neither team actually cares very much about too much (with the exception of Charlie V), but that’s not something the Cavs have really showed this season. That’s promising.

The young players are kind of an Island of Misfit Toys, but everybody has something to offer. Hollins can finish around the rim and doesn’t take bad shots, but he gives silly fouls and can’t rebound. Also, he gets into fights sometimes. Eyenga is a shocking athlete who is in love with his jumper and can’t draw a foul. J.J. Hickson can score and rebound, but his defense is an issue. Semih Erden is tall and bad at basketball.

Even though Razor Ramon was legally murdered by Rodney Stuckey on the defensive end, he did a great job running the team on an off night for Baron. Props to him.

So if the Timberwolves lose or the Cavs win the last game of the year, the Timberwolves have the worst record in the league. I wouldn’t have believed it in a million years. Kind of amazing. That said, if the Timberwolves get the #1 pick and take Irving because Beasley couldn’t be bothered to make a free throw with 8 seconds left in a tie game tonight, I will eat a beehive. YOU MADE YOUR BED WITH RUBIO. NOW YOU MUST SLEEP IN IT. ALSO JONNY FLYNN. THE PICKS YOU FORFEITED FOR ILLEGALLY SIGNING JOE SMITH WERE MORE USEFUL TO YOUR FRANCHISE.

Links To The Present: April 11, 2011

Monday, April 11th, 2011

“Two games are left. That’s it. Two games for the Cavaliers to end this season of lots of growing and pain — and getting a little better at the end.” [Sam Amico]

“Alonzo Gee was moved into the Cavaliers starting lineup 21 games ago because of his willingness to play defense, but he’s also providing some much-needed scoring.” [Mary Schmitt Boyer]

“The time is approaching when the Cavs must figure out what to do with J.J. Hickson.” [Jason Lloyd]

Bob Finnan breaks down who’s staying and who’s leaving this offseason as the Cavs retool.

On The Twitters

“Manny Harris will start if Anthony Parker’s back still bad. Also, Samardo Samuels probably out for season (2 games), BScott said.” [Mary Schmitt Boyer]

“The final post on @FreeDarko – a stellar last hurrah, rife with top-tier hoops speak http://dlvr.it/N9VYN” [Scott Sargent]

Recap: Bucks 108, Cavs 101 (Or, DREW GOODEN GOT A TRIPLE DOUBLE ARE YOU FREAKING KIDDING ME)

Saturday, April 9th, 2011

Overview: Drew Gooden got a triple-double, and the Cavs are not going to win 20 games this season.

Freaking Drew Gooden bullets:

It’s been a season full of comic misery, but Drew Gooden recording a triple-double against this team may be single most bizarre and ridiculous indication that this team is not good and does not play defense. The Bucks scored 108 points on 50%/40% shooting and 31-10 AST/TO ratio, and their coach hates scoring.

The Cavs actually regressed to their early-season bad habits on defense — they didn’t defend the three-point line, and they were absolutely torched by a good wing scorer. Also, they came out flat and had to try and play catch-up, which is something they have done less frequently in the last part of the regular season.

Hickson had something of a regression game, but he did get his double-double, and you have to remember that Luc Richard Mbah a Moute is an absolute monster on defense.

Poor defense, slow start, no chance. In case you’re wondering, one other player has recorded a triple-double with at least 13 rebounds and assists while fouling out since the 1985-86 season. Try and guess who it was, then click the link for the answer.

Two games left to go.