The Cavs travelled to Columbus to play Philadelphia’s merry band of tank artists Monday evening. Many players missed the game with injuries, including Jarrett Jack, Tyler Zeller, and of course, the maybe-maybe-not ready for basketball Andrew Bynum. Also not featuring were Dion Waiters and Earl Clark. C.J. Miles and Alonzo Gee got the starts alongside the core of Irving-Varejao-Thompson.
Archive for October, 2013
It’s hard not to be down on the Thunder heading into this season. For a team that features one (and often two) of the game’s transcendent talents, a team whose rise to contender-dom has been so studied as to have a rebuilding model named after them, a team that features so many cool backpack/bow tie/dark-rimmed prescription-less eye glasses, it’s tough to think that the bloom may already be off the rose. Of course, one (lingering) knee injury, a widely criticized trade, so-so coaching and general silence in the offseason can do that. Let’s check in with OKC:
Let’s see how this goes; despite having NBA TV, League Pass, and living in Indianapolis, it appears I will watch the Cavs – Pacers game via a sketchy online stream. So, with kids up, and no pausing, this could be an intermittent recap. This will be kept simple, with “Things I liked” and “Things I Didn’t”.
If nothing else, this off-season showed us that there’s not just one way to blow up an NBA roster. When it’s time to hit the reset button, NBA fans, you don’t have to settle for seeing your franchise cornerstone get traded and watch while all the other contracts on the roster are flipped for dimes on the dollar. Oh, no. You could be like the Utah Jazz who proved, to only slightly misquote Gerard Manley Hopkins (yeah, English majors!), they also tank who only stand and wait.
Last Season: All season long, the Jazz dominated … or, at least, they dominated for the title of “most trade rumors involving your team’s two best players.” In the end, though, neither Al Jefferson and his 17.8 points and 9.2 rebounds a game nor Paul Millsap’s 14.6 points and 7.1 boards were moved. As a result, the Jazz weren’t horrible at playing basketball well past the trading deadline, only falling out of the race for the final Western Conference playoff spot in the season final week. The Jazz finished a meh 43-39 behind the meh head coaching of Tyrone Corbin and were staring at a roster of equal parts developing young players and veterans that were either full-on meh or just a little bit meh. Where could all this meh be headed, you ask?
Preseason (Photo Essay) Recap: Cleveland 74, Charlotte 92 (or welcome to Canton and preseason malaise)Wednesday, October 16th, 2013
It’s official. After three games, the grind and meaninglessness of preseason has set in. With the Cavs kicking off the first of six preseason games in nine nights, most of the Cavs starters played as if this game didn’t matter at all (which it doesn’t). After racing out to an early lead of 27-16 at the end of the first quarter, the Cavs scored 47 points in the final three quarters, and gave up 75. In their defense, the Cavs were missing Varejao, Jack, Zeller, Karasev, and Felix, plus, Gee left after the first quarter. It wasn’t pretty. Though the Cavs defense looked decent at times, the offense was atrocious and haphazard.
A story about Anthony Bennett maybe/maybe not struggling with his conditioning is making the rounds this week. The Plain-Dealer’s Jodie Valade revealed in a story on October 10th that Bennett is slightly above his playing weight of 240 pounds and his conditioning is far from a finished product. This is standard fare for this time of the year, especially for players who used the summer break to heal injuries before the start of the regular season. When an athlete can’t play basketball for a solid quarter of a year, its reasonable to expect a refractory period and Bennett has been out since the workout phase of the annual pre-draft buildup.