Archive for September, 2013

Links to the Present: Party Like it’s 2007 Edition

Monday, September 30th, 2013

The Tribe play Wednesday in their first playoff game since ’07.  The Browns are tied for first place in the AFC North.  Ohio State’s football team is 5-0 and ranked number four in the nation.  Heck even the Bengals and Reds don’t look too shabby.  The air is crisp.  The leaves are turning.  Days of apple cider, haunted houses, and hay rides are right around the corner.  Things haven’t been this right with the world of Ohio sports since before the LeBrocalypse.   …2007, when the Browns, Tribe, Buckeyes, and Cavs were all — you know — good.   Tomorrow, training camp opens for the Cavaliers, and suddenly the pressure is on.  Given the recent tide of local successes and the slow, painstaking rebuild that the Cavs have been through over the last three seasons, anything less than a trip to the playoffs for this young Cavaliers team would be considered a disappointment.

So, amid this backdrop, Monday was Media Day at the Q, the day when the 2013-2014 Cavs were introduced to the world.  Tuesday, training camp starts.

Joe Gabriele of Cavs.com recaps the days events, here.  It appears Kyrie is ripped, Andy is a happy newlywed, and Tristan Thompson is a charismatic, “Media Day master.”

The Cavs rounded out their 2013 training camp roster with some familiar names: Australia’s and St. Mary’s Matthew Dellavedova, Miami’s Kenny Kadji, St. Bonaventure’s Michael Lee, Georgetown’s Henry Sims, Memphis’ Elliot Williams, Jermaine Taylor of Tavaris HS (FL), and our old pal, DeSagana Diop.   According to The Plain Dealer’s Jodie Valade, Diop tore his achilles in 2011, and had knee issues in Charlotte last year, but he is ready to go.

I’m 31 in age, but I’m probably like 26 because I haven’t played since I left Dallas… I feel fresh. I’m healthy. This is the best I’ve been in a long time.

Diop is beyond a long  shot to make the squad, which has 15 spots, and 13 guaranteed contracts, with Matthew Dellavedova being partially guaranteed.  (Interestingly, C.J. Miles contract is not guaranteed.  If you’re looking for a surprise training camp cut, he’s the only possibility).

The news out of Media Day was overwhelmingly positive, with Kyrie Irving saying he wants to be “the best player in this league,” and that he’s, “ready to take responsibility for it by helping us make the playoffs.”  Jarret Jack soliloquized that the Cavs shouldn’t be happy with just making the playoffs.    Andrew Bynum has been cleared for “basketball activities,” but not full contact practice.  Some people like Kurt Hellin, are skeptical as to what this actually means.

New father, Dion Waiters, is still seeking out your submissions for a charity that he and his Focused on the Future Foundation will support this year.  Submissions are due by Oct. 10th.

Here’s some pic links.  Mike Brown, looking exacly like 2007 Mike Brown.  For those of you worried about Anthony Bennett’s waistline, does this scare you?  Sergey Karasev looks villainous, and then, not so much.  And finally, how’s this for the “awkward team photo” of 2013?

Cavs: The Podcast 0038 – T-Minus One Month

Sunday, September 29th, 2013

skewby-wealmostthere

Aaaaand we’re in the final stretch!  Just a mere month until real, live, actual basketball!  What better way to celebrate the waning days than a podcast?

Colin, Robert and I hopped on the line to discuss the biggest off-season surprises and disappointments, the contract extensions of Cousins, Wall, and George, The Washington Wizard’s improvements, and whether or not draft picks have become over valued (this question thanks to a tweet from reader Andy P).

We at CtB apologize for the technical difficulties in the podcast – we’re working out the off-season kinks all around.

As always, we can be found on SoundCloud at: https://soundcloud.com/cavstheblog/0038-t-minus-one-month

And on iTunes at:  https://itunes.apple.com/us/podcast/cavs-the-podcast/id528149843?mt=2

Links to the Present: September 26, 2013

Wednesday, September 25th, 2013

ESPN offered up the next 75 players in #NBArank.  From 276 to 300, no more Cavs.  At 270, in slides C.J. Miles.  If last year serves as indication of where @masfresco’s prime heads, his spot is ascendant for next year. The next 25 include T-Zell at #250 and Alonzo Gee at #241; not a bad spot for the 9th and 10th ranked players on a team.  No way Norris Cole should be above them though; definitely some fevered experts there.

As the rankings head into solid rotation players, eight Cavs still remain: Kyrie, Tristan, Dion, Varejao, Bynum, Jack, Anthony Bennett, and…Earl Clark?  Did I miss him somewhere?  If not, playing in LA did well for his reputation.  Earl, I’m rooting for you, but no way do you belong (50 spots) ahead of 3J Miles.

In other news, USA Today declared the Cavaliers the NBA’s tenth most watchable team.  Damn straight; get your popcorn ready.  Reasons obviously include Kyrie, and more obviously, Andrew Bynum’s hair.

Finally, a lengthy article from Crain’s Cleveland Business about the Cavs’ use of Sports VU, the data tracking cameras that are taking over the NBA.   What did you do before you knew that Tristan Thompson ran 2.31 miles per game?  Did we even exist before having a dribble-count for CJ Miles at our finger tips?  I don’t remember, nor do I want to.

Seriously though, massive quantities of data tracking are  coming to every NBA arena this year.  Read the article.  Cleveland “wouldn’t disclose the size of (their) beefed-up analytics department, but it’s evident the organization, in the words of Mr. Carper, is going ‘all in’ with the data.”

And in the biggest news, Cavstheblog will be shutting down for the weekend, for a long overdue upgrade.  Maybe the comment monster will finally be vanquished.  The plan is to be operational again by Monday.

Sizing Up the Pacific: The Los Angeles Lakers

Wednesday, September 25th, 2013

Every year, there are a handful of questions I ask myself to gauge exactly how I’m going to approach the upcoming NBA season. These questions range from, say, “how good do I expect my own team, the Cleveland Cavaliers, to be?” (passable, at the very least … I like to start slow) to “what team will I be irrationally attached to this year?” (possibly the San Antonio Spurs … after last year’s Finals, I might not be able to quit them) to “what team will I be sitting on my hands waiting to self-destruct?” (I’m looking at you, Detroit!). One question, though, is constant and possibly the most telling of them all: “Do I hate the Los Angeles Lakers?”

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Sizing up the Pacific: The Sacramento Kings

Monday, September 23rd, 2013

The Sacreattle Superkings were the subject of a protracted and fairly nasty relocation struggle last year, a struggle which highlighted how highly sought after NBA franchises are since the one in the tussle was a fairly terrible one. The Kings, now of Sacramento for the foreseeable future, have been trudging through 6 seasons of awful basketball. Unlike their elite early-2000′s contemporaries, Sacramento flamed out pretty bad after their highest point, even less gracefully than the Suns. However, their ownership group appears to be of a more (read: not actively trying to sabotage their team’s on court fortunes) supportive kind.

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Sizing up the Pacific: The Golden State Warriors

Sunday, September 22nd, 2013

One of last season’s darlings, the Golden State Warriors made big moves this offseason.  How do their future prospects look and what does it mean for the Cavs?  Let’s see…

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Sizing Up the Southwest: The Houston Rockets

Saturday, September 21st, 2013

A couple of years old, but you get the idea...

To conclude the Southwest, I present to you the unquestionable  ”winner” of this off-season – the Houston Rockets.  Will it all work out?  Will they really be that much better?  Lets discuss…

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Links to the Present: September 20, 2013 – #NBArank; The Worst Two Hundred Players

Friday, September 20th, 2013

ESPN is progressing through the NBA’s top-500 players.  Currently, the countdown includes the bottom 200.

Of Cavs at this point:

  • Carrick Felix resides at 472.
  • Sergey Karsev finds himself 314.

That’s it; so ESPN’s conglomerate of experts deems 11 Cavaliers as legitimate NBA rotation players this season.  Glad to hear it.

In other news, Anthony Bennett returned to unrestricted 5-on-5 play this week.  He “needs to get in much better shape”, a story that Colin intends to watch very closely.

Finally, Terry Pluto reports that Cleveland is “in no rush for (Bynum) to play early in camp”; a little tidbit in what is certainly the foremost saga of the preseason.  Fingers crossed…

Sizing Up the Southwest: The Dallas Mavericks

Wednesday, September 18th, 2013

Mallory was originally supposed to do this post, but he just sent me an email that said, “They’re going to suck. Mark Cuban regrets the last two years.  Blah.”

As with all things in life, it’s not quite that simple.

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Sizing Up the Southwest: The New Orleans Pelicans

Wednesday, September 18th, 2013

It’s an inaugural season of sorts down in the Big Easy. Gone is the name “Hornets,” which beat a teal stained path back to the good people (if not the good team) of Charlotte, NC after owner Tom Benson decided to brand his recently purchased team with a certain bird of local import. The 86-year old Benson then pressed GM Dell Demps to move the team’s rebuilding effort demonstrably forward and whether you call them the Pellies, the ‘Cans or take the time necessary to say all three syllables of Pelicans, the NBA’s New Orleans franchise is one of its more intriguing (which is not to say, necessarily, one of its better) going into the 2013-14 season.

Last Season: In its final season as the New Orleans Hornets, the team saw its two main building blocks, rookie Anthony Davis and shooting guard Eric Gordon, miss 18 and 40 games respectively. Davis’s missed games not withstanding, he turned in a promising rookie campaign averaging 13.5 points, better than 8 rebounds and nearly 2 blocks in only 28.8 minutes a game. In terms of PER and adjusted per minute stats, Davis compares favorably to the early seasons of Tim Duncan (who played over 40 minutes a game as a rookie… woah!) and Kevin Garnett (who began playing exclusively at power forward in his third season). So much of New Orleans’s projected future success, depends on Davis taking a step firmly toward that stratosphere, Gordon staying healthy enough to be the B to Davis’s A and Austin Rivers avoiding a second straight historically bad season. A nice, but unspectacular, rotation of Greivis Vasquez, Ryan Anderson and Robin Lopez rounded out the team to make them 27-55 and, staring at a dearth of franchise changing talent in the draft, seemed to be (like another team we know…) settling in for a long, patient rebuild.

What they’ve done this off-season: On draft night, the Pelicans hit the accelerator. They hope.

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