Archive for December, 2013

Recap: Cavs 76, Pacers 91 (or, success, success, success – wait for it – fail…)

Tuesday, December 31st, 2013

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On a New Year’s Eve afternoon that saw rumors surface that Chris Grant has been in discussions with the Lakers about flipping Andrew Bynum’s expendable contract and pieces for former all-star forward/center, Pau Gasol, the roster as it is currently comprised tipped off for a holiday matinee against the best team in the Eastern Conference.

After a string of frustrating near-misses, all of which showed flashes of good, bad, then some more good, and then the ugly for the Cavaliers, the boys of wine and goldens tried to put a complete one together against a team that has beaten them seven straight times.

Overall, the Pacers came into the game winners of four straight by an average of over than 20 points.

Makes you really feel that New Year’s optimism, huh?

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Brews and Bruises – Another Year, Another Beer

Tuesday, December 31st, 2013

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In the series Brews and Bruises: Life as a Drinking Cavs Fan, I’ll playfully explore the mixture of pain associated with Cavalier fandom and the glory associated with drinking.  As always, drink responsibly (and legally, ya kids!)

Another year, another reason to drown our collective sorrows in a nice, cold, tall glass of beer.  Bynum is gone, the record stinks, Kyrie and Dion wont stop fighting, Mike Brown is still Mike Brown, and Cleveland is cold.  Lets face it: times are tough.  But with the arrival of 2014, we as Cavs fans can take solace (or hope) in potential improvement.  Right?  If not, what left is there?!

While the typical sports fan would expect improvement to come through the gym; ya know, hard work, tireless effort, etc. etc., I tend to look at things a little differently.  Maybe if our boys could find their magic elixir, their perfect beer, they’d be able to find their groove.

So what should our players be drinking to get their game up?  Lets discuss:

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Links to the Present: Bynum for Gasol trade?

Tuesday, December 31st, 2013

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For the next week, rumors will continue about Bynum’s status with Cleveland.  The latest, is a report that the Cavs are talking to the Lakers about a Pau Gasol trade.  Pau has not been happy in LA, or at his most productive this year, but he is certainly an upgrade on Henry Sims.

Links to the Present: (Or, all you had to do for an extra $6 million was show up, and not be an a-hole)

Monday, December 30th, 2013

Here’s former CtB editor Colin McGowan on Andrew Bynum, the Cavs’ huge mistake. Included is the Amico tweeted nugget that the Cavs will not be trading Bynum, having found no takers, but will instead be releasing him outright.

Bynum’s suspension was very abrupt, according to Jason Lloyd.

Bynum’s locker hadn’t been cleaned out yet at Quicken Loans Arena. Among the items left behind was a pair of headphones. He is also still part of the pregame introduction video. The team did not hand out his Fathead on Sunday, as was previously scheduled. They also did not hand out game-day programs, called “Tipoff Tonight,” because he was featured on the cover. To make up for the Fathead issue, kids 14 and under received a certificate to redeem for future Fathead packs… Fond memories.

Scott Raab doesn’t paint a rosy picture for Cleveland sports right now…

Kareem Abdul-Jabbar and Kevin Ding talk about the “free spirit” that is Andrew Bynum.

I empathized with Andrew in my Dear Santa… post, calling him one of my favorite persons in NBA.  But the greater the disappointment, the greater the scorn.  Now I think the guy will go down with Albert Belle, Delonte West, and Shawn Kemp as one of the great mentally dysfunctional A-holes in Cleveland Sports history.  That’s a pretty impressive feat to accomplish in four months, Andrew.  So long, and thanks for all the scowls.

 

Why All the Super Small Lineups?

Monday, December 30th, 2013

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On Saturday, I posted a brief article opining on the team’s severing of ties to Bynum as a potential first step towards turning the season around, saying “the pieces are there”.  Today brings a qualifier.

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Recap: Cavs 104, Warriors 108 (or, All’s Bad That Ends Badly)

Sunday, December 29th, 2013

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Another close game, another disappointing loss for the young Cavaliers.  After two straight games of near-victories, the Cavs came into this one firing on all cylinders, shooting a fantastic 52.2% at the half, while holding the hot-shooting Warriors to 44.4%.  The difference in shooting in the first was clear – the Cavs moved the ball as well as they have all season, never settling but instead looking for the open shot.  On the defensive end, the played moved well, forcing the Warrior’s heralded offense into forced shots, turnovers, and charges.

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Recap: Cavs 100, Celtics 103 (or, The Rabbit Hole Deepens)

Saturday, December 28th, 2013

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Fresh off a morale eroding last second loss to the Hawks on Thursday — well, in terms of my morale, anyway — the Cavs looked to show me that my morale was made of weaker stuff by showing up strong and confident in this early-afternoon contest against a beatable Celtics team that hadn’t played organized NBA ball in nearly a week.

But, in order to really start the day on the right foot, they first had to suspend their starting center.

Yes, Cavs, it’s my morale that’s the problem. Clearly.

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Hope Where Perhaps There is None

Saturday, December 28th, 2013

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It was one year and one day ago, that I wrote a Young Player Profile on Tristan Thompson.  At the time, I felt Tristan was receiving an unfair shake.  He was contributing the little things, was still young, and was starting to show improvement.   As another calendar year rolls by, while not an All-Star, there is no doubt that TT can be a solid contributor in this League for a long time.

I have a somewhat similar feeling of optimism about the entire franchise right now.  Again, it feels out of place.  It is possible it is because I am dumb.  Hopefully not.

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Andrew Bynum Suspended Indefinitely

Saturday, December 28th, 2013

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Andrew Bynum was suspended indefinitely and did not travel with the team to Boston.  Not a lot of details available currently.  The Andrew Bynum era has been: extremely down, then kind of up, then very down again.  Soon his contract becomes guaranteed for the remainder of the season, so this could be a harbinger of the end of his time in Cleveland.  We shall see.

So far this season, the Cavs offense has been 7.3 points worse per 100 possessions with Bynum on the court.  The defense suffered too, performing over one point per 100 possessions worse with the physically limited former all-star.  The faaaar end of the bench features a 23-year old seven-footer in Tyler Zeller that the team drafted 17th in 2012.  In limited minutes this year, he looks improved from last season.

Long story short, the loss of Bynum may be addition by subtraction.  If he is done with the Cavs, a best case scenario would be to package his non-guaranteed deal with a few draft picks and get something useful from a tanking or financially burdened team.  Again, we’ll see what the next couple days or weeks hold.

Not a Recap: Cleveland 125, Atlanta 127

Friday, December 27th, 2013

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Due to general holiday weariness, no one signed up for a recap last night, so this will be short.  The Cavs lost a tough one to fall to 10 wins and 18 losses on the season.  They led 95 to 91 with two minutes remaining in regulation.  They led 108 to 105 with seven seconds remaining in the first overtime.  They led by five early in the second overtime.  Alas, the Wine & Gold never closed out the win though, as Jeff Teague hit a buzzer beater that rattled around the rim six times.

Kyrie finished with 40 points on 17 of 33 shooting, with 9 assists, 4 steals and 6 turnovers.  There were portions of the game where he was completely unstoppable, but also portions when it would have been nice to see more ball movement.  Tristan tallied 22 points on 66% true shooting, with six rebounds and two blocks.  Dion scored 20 points on 67% true shooting, aside a handful of nice passes generating buckets or free throws.  His five turnovers were ugly, but his plus-10 on-court / off-court was second best on the team…shockingly, the bench is better with Waiters around.  The team’s defense was poor, and never got the stops needed to pull out a victory for the home-court crowd.

The team heads to Boston on Saturday, hopefully to right the ship and pull out a much needed win.