Archive for August, 2013

Sizing up the Central: The Detroit Pistons

Friday, August 30th, 2013

Closing out this week’s review of the Central Division is the Detroit Pistons.  Unlike the Chicago Bulls and Indiana Pacers, who are absolutely expected to make the playoffs, and unlike the Milwaukee Bucks, who probably got a whole lot worse by losing Jennings and Monta Ellis, the Pistons, like the Cavs, fall somewhere between bad and semi-relevent.  What does all this mean?  Welcome to your 2013-2014 7-8 seed competition!

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Sizing up the Central: The Milwaukee Bucks

Thursday, August 29th, 2013

I know you remember the game the picture above is from.  So do Dion and Andy, as they daily recollect the commitment they made to each other in this moment…”we will never let the Bucks beat us like that again”.

And they’re right; Brandon Jennings is gone.  Following up on Robert and Patrick’s looks at the Pacers and Bulls, I drew the short straw and preview Cavs versus Bucks.  On the other hand though, the Bucks were the Eastern Conference 8th seed last year; this may be the most important match-up for the young, playoff-hungry, Wine and Gold.  On to it…

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Kevin’s Pseudo-Scientific 2013-2014 Projections, Part 3!!

Wednesday, August 28th, 2013

Last week, an “unbiased” and “good case” view for the 2013-2014 Cavaliers season was offered through the lens of basketball-reference.com’s Win Shares data.  More so than any team in the NBA though, the spectrum of likely outcomes spans wide for Cleveland.  Built from an enticing mix of players young and / or repeatedly beset by injury, a 30-win or 50-win season is believable.  A sampling of outcomes driving the team toward another lottery trip looks like: (more…)

Sizing up the Central: The Chicago Bulls

Tuesday, August 27th, 2013

Yesterday, Robert looked the Pacers up-and-down and concluded they were still top dogs. Today, I’ll be peering west on I-90 and checking out how the Bulls and the Cavs match up with one another.

The Cavs augmented what was already a fun, somewhat strange team with some fun and definitely strange players. All of which theoretically play basketball with each other and then hopefully win games together. Keep in mind there is an opponent involved (this tends to slip through the cracks every offseason, as everyone tends to be overtly optimistic about team prospects), more often than not from the Central Division. Perhaps the most intriguing of this crop is the Chicago Bulls, a team whose ’13-’14 prospects are a genuine mystery.

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Sizing up the Central: The Indiana Pacers

Sunday, August 25th, 2013

Hi, Central Division. Haven’t seen you for a while. Looks like summer’s been treating you well. I mean, everyone except for you, Milwaukee. But for everyone else, yeah, summer lovin’ totally had us a blast.

As we slog steadily toward September, we here at Cavs: The Blog thought it might be good to check in on our mainly geographically linked rivals in the NBA’s Central Division. Just as Cavs’ fans are (mostly) all bonging the Bynum Kool-Aid, each of the other teams in our division, our de facto rivals, have done some thing(s) to give their own fan bases, to quote Bonnie Raitt on this blog for what I truly hope is the first time, something to talk about. Have the Cavs bettered or worsened their chances in the Central? We won’t know until the ball gets tossed, but let’s start by looking around The Division with the Pace Cars of Indianapolis, Indiana.

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Kevin’s Pseudo-Scientific 2013 – 2014 Projections, Part 2!!

Friday, August 23rd, 2013

The week began with an “unbiased” projection utilizing Win Shares for the 2013-2014 Cavaliers season.  That is a fine disposition for a Monday, but heading towards the weekend, the sun shines brighter, skies are bluer; it’s time for a cheerier outlook than 41 wins.

Transitioning to a “good case” only took three adjustments.  The end result with those modified Win Shares per 48 minutes and Win Shares is:

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Links to the Present: California Dreamin’ Edition

Thursday, August 22nd, 2013

If you follow Dion Waiters’, and Kyrie Irving’s twitter feeds, you’re  aware that the informal workouts that Sam Amico reported about last week have been going on the last couple of days.  A large contingent of Cavs appears in the pic above — taken at a post workout beach football game (and yes, that concept scares me).  Another pic’s here.  A very brief video is available here of Boobie (still in the mix!), Kyrie, and the boys taken by Keyshia Cole (warning, some comments on these links may contain offensive language).

In cased you missed it in the last few days, Anderson Varejao narrated a “draw my life” video in Portuguese with English subtitles to help promote 2016 Olympic Games in Rio (the video’s really compelling).   Joe Gabriel of Cavs.com broke down the Cavs’ competition in the East this year.  Truehoop’s David McMenamin posted an in depth interview with Anthony Bennettt.  Oh, and yesterday, the Cavs announced that they’ve signed all their 2013 draft picks.  I love the last bit of news, because it means Sergey Karasev will be in Cleveland, not Russia, next season.  He is one of the men that has a chance to be the best player from the 2013 draft.  CavsTV’s  “Summer of Sergey” shows just how electric Sergey could be.

Meanwhile, Anthony Bennett’s been getting his photo taken around townTristan Thompson starts play today in the Tuto Marchand Continental Cup for Team Canada (games can be seen, here).  And Nate Duncan of Hoopsworld posted a piece on Thompson and Waiters being the future of the Cavs — including the problems it presents, and the adjustments those players must make for the Cavs to be better.

Finally, I’ll leave you with a scintillating highlight video of Kyrie Irving from last week’s Jamal Crawford Pro-Am in Seattle.  The God Shammgod-esque handles at the beginning of the vid and at the 43 second mark must be seen to be believed.  In the video, Kyrie dribbles, shoots, dunks, passes, (and yes) defends like he’s one of the best players in the world.

And, oh.  Nice socks, Dion.

The Summer of Rationality

Thursday, August 22nd, 2013

Hi! I’m Patrick Redford, new staff writer here at C:TB. Here is Part 3 of my discussion with Nate and Tom.

Most teams exit through out door of the offseason hopeful about their future, if not their present as well. However, it’s dark inside that ride and the sun tends to blind with contrast once you’re outside. Reality will knock a lot of teams on their butts. Prospects will stall out, contracts will go unearned, and promised successes will turn into lottery slots. This is the rule of the offseason, and the zero-sum nature of the NBA obviously prevents every team from improving this year. I have a lot of expertise in this area, having also followed the Kings for years. The last few summers featured the Maloof ship actively sinking, and as it was taking on more and more water we were told, “Don’t worry! John Salmons has come back to save us!”

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The Summer of Adjusted Expectations…

Wednesday, August 21st, 2013

"I wish I could've gone to Cleveland, Steph."

Part II of a series of exchanges between CtB writers: Nate Smith, Tom Pestak, and Patrick Redford.

Nate: can you remember a milder summer?  I love it.  And no fair!  I drive the Danny Ferry bandwagon.  Yes, I really like what the Hawks did.  The setup is slightly similar to what befell the Nuggets a few years back – when Melo’s days were coming to an end (except he was a douche about it).  Anyway I suspect the Hawks will end up surprising people much like the Nuggets did and will surpass the team that landed their “star” (The Pistons).  Millsap is a baller and will be a Josh Smith foil.  He lacks the elite athleticism and overwhelming moments – but he won’t shoot the Hawks out of games and is an underrated defender.  And yes, the 2012-2013 RAPM (Regularized Adjusted Plus/Minus) ratings of Atlanta’s free agent acquisitions were very strong.  I’m impressed that they were presented a big red button and decided not to scuttle the ship.  They reloaded, on the verge of a loaded draft class.  We should respect that. (more…)

The Summer That Was…

Tuesday, August 20th, 2013

As Kevin noted yesterday, this is the time of year when we hoop geeks emerge from our blacktop pickup games, our bike treks, our summer league sojourns, and/or our hammock hibernations, and start thinking about NBA basketball again.  Though Kevin looked to the coming year, Tom Pestak and I will be joined by newly minted Cavs the Blogger, Patrick Redford, for a general discussion of the summer’s events and the season ahead.

Tom and Patrick: how was your summer?  I have to admit that I spent a little too much time obsessing over the Cavs.  As we rolled from a thrilling playoffs to a lackluster draft, to a very interesting, if perplexing, free agency period, I spent far too much time thinking about what could have been for Cleveland.  But we’ll get to that.  First, I’d like to know how you thought the off season went around the NBA.  Who were the winners?  Who were the losers?  What really surprised you?

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