Archive for December, 2013

Dear Santa…

Tuesday, December 24th, 2013

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Merry Christmas and happy holidays, everybody, from all of us here at Cavs the Blog. Monday was Festivus, the day for the traditional airing of grievances. We spent most of the last two recaps gathered around the Festivus pole, airing those grievances. Now it’s time to move on to more edifying holiday traditions. While we have spent a good bit of time complaining about the Cavs’ play this year, we sometimes forget how lucky we are to have a pretty decent group of guys representing our team and the city of Cleveland.

The team presents the Cavaliers as a force for positivity in the Cleveland community. Just check out the Cavaliers in the Community page. Furthermore, something that seems to get lost in the way the media covers players and teams, is that these guys are people.  They are not a collection of stats and “measurables.” In researching for this project, it’s incredibly disappointing to realize how little information there is that doesn’t have to do with points, assists, or rebounds. But we’ve done our best to find it!

So in the spirit of the season, we present the 2013 Cavaliers’ team wish list: the list of things we asked Santa to bring the Cavaliers.  Lets hope they’re sitting under the tree come Christmas morning!

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Recap: Cleveland 92, Detroit 115

Monday, December 23rd, 2013

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The Eastern Conference playoff picture is a mess.  Three teams are above five-hundred.  Cleveland, at 10 and 16, resides one-half game from the eighth seed.  The Cavs look much stronger lately, winning six of ten, with two narrow losses against Miami and Portland.  While Cleveland builds toward a better record than their current 31 win pace, several other Eastern Conference foes look poised to improve also.   Many of the assumed contenders remain on the outside looking in; Chicago, New York and Brooklyn all face varied messes.  Can the Gotham City teams stay this bad for 82 games?  Can a Bulls squad paced by Noah, Deng and Boozer really miss the playoffs in the East?  Other challengers for the final seeds in the East are hitting their stride.  Toronto won 5 of 7 since trading Rudy Gay, including two straight road victories against Dallas and Oklahoma City.  Washington emerged with three wins in a row, and sits amidst a 10 wins and 6 losses stretch.

And tonight’s opponent, Central Division rival Detroit, has won half their games since a dreadful 2 and 5 start.  Many  of these teams will move towards the middle over the course of 82 games.  Tonight, at home, it would be delightful for the Cavs to build on recent successes, and forget the relatively awful outcomes of this past weekend.  Piling up victories in games like tonight will go a long ways in determining if the Wine & Gold head to the second season, or back to the lottery.

That said, hopefully you weren’t gearing up for an extensive recap tonight.  It’s a busy time of year.  So, here is a quick and dirty look at tonight’s action.

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Cavs vs Pistons Game Thread

Monday, December 23rd, 2013

The Cavs have won 5 of 6 at the Q while the Pistons have won 6 of 7 on the road.  So something’s gotta give tonight, the last game the Cavs play before Christmas.

Dion Waiters is still out with a wrist injury.  The Pistons lead the NBA in offensive rebounding percentage, while defending against o-boards has recently been an area of concern for the Cavs.  The Pistons are a strange team in that they have a deep roster of talent and absolutely no glue guys to make the concoction palatable.  They have a team of black holes: Drummond, Monroe, and Stuckey, and two gunners that are forced to create offense for said black holes: Jennings and J Schmoove.  They lead the NBA in points in the paint, which makes sense given their personnel and offensive rebounding acumen.  You can find some games where appear terrifying – like the time they beat the Heat by 10 in Miami with a total team effort.

Let’s hope the Cavs break out of the Waiters-less funk they’re in tonight.

Sound off in the comment section during games.

 

Recap: Cleveland 84, Chicago 100

Saturday, December 21st, 2013

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UGH. The Cavs made sure to get to the post office today, to mail this one in for Christmas. The Cavs brought their lowest energy level since playing Atlanta two weeks ago, and got their butts kicked in Chicago by a severely depleted Bulls team. I’m filling this recap with Christmas references to try to keep my spirits up, because that was the crap-crap-crappiest holiday basketball game since Bing Crosby played Danny effin’ Kay. I’m pretty sure that Tom Thibideau put on his Grinch costume, and stapled a reindeer antler to D.J. Augustin’s head.  D.J. played 46 minutes, dragging that sled up the mountain, and he picked up 18 points and 10 dimes for his trouble. Thibs took all the presents, and little Delly Lou Who caught him stealing the tree. Matt was helpless to stop him.  Cleveland clearly wanted to get home and get their Christmas shopping done on Sunday.

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Not a Recap: Miwaukee 111, Cleveland 114 (OT)

Saturday, December 21st, 2013

The Cavs defeated the Bucks in overtime last night, in a game that should not have been as difficult as it was.  Give Cleveland credit for persevering.  Cleveland was minus Dion Waiters and Anthony Bennett, and Milwaukee was minus Caron Butler, Zaza Pachulia, Gary Neal, and Larry Sanders.  Giannis Antetokounmpo started his second game for the Bucks.  In a ragged affair that saw the lead change several times in the second half, Cleveland was able to tie it up with just under two seconds left in regulation. Kyrie drove the right lane and missed, but Tristan Thompson was able to tip in the miss to tie the ballgame at 96. Chris Middleton missed the ensuing two point try, and the Cavs escaped to overtime.

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Links to the Present, the Fun Anthony Bennett Edition

Friday, December 20th, 2013

Who’da thunk it – Anthony Bennett can be a charming guy!  While he’s struggled…um…mightily on the court, that didn’t stop Bennett from being the inaugural “contestant” on Grantland’s “Tough Calls”

While Bennett may not be very good at basketball, at least we can take solace that he’s got a sense of humor.  That’s got to count for something, right?

Elsewhere, the Plain Dealer’s Mary Schmitt Boyer discusses the need for the Cavaliers to get Bynum the ball more often, something I’m sure all Cavs fans can agree on.

Finally, despite struggling mightily pretty much all season, Kyrie Irving was named last week’s Eastern Conference Player of the Week.

The Cavaliers were 2-1 for the week as Irving averaged 29 points (fourth in the league), 6.3 assists (tied for fifth in the conference) and 2.33 steals (tied for third in the conference). He also hit 9-of-22 (.409) three-point field goals on the week.

Here’s to hoping KI is finally back on track!

That New Mike Brown Smell

Thursday, December 19th, 2013

 

When Mike Brown was named head coach of the Cleveland Cavaliers this past summer, the fan base was underwhelmed to say the least. From a PR standpoint, the real danger for the organization in Tenure 2.0 is that, regardless of how much Dan Gilbert or Chris Grant told us things would be different (but also the same), Mike Brown had already lost the ability to play to the imaginations of Cavs fans. Anyone who paid attention to the Cavaliers anywhere from 2005 to 2010 had seen it all before. We saw the warts, much more than the otherwise long stretches of unblemished skin. We knew what a Mike Brown Cavs team would look like. He could no longer surprise.

But, in the immortal words of a fictional boxer from Philadelphia, “If I can change… and you can change… everybody can change!”

Okay, sure, there’s still plenty of that old Mike Brown smell to remind us that this season is not entirely fresh off the lot. There have been issues with team’s offensive execution(slash “game plan,” slash “pulse,” slash “awareness that the other end of the court exists”). There have been some puzzling rotations and many nights where Brown goes 11-deep on a team whose 18th ranked pace isn’t exactly burning through many pairs of legs. There has been a sense of searching from Brown that, for lack of a better word, he describes as “process,” but that leaves others questioning the immediacy with which he leads this Cavaliers team.

But stop and take a breath. Take a really deep breath and you might notice something different. Is that hints of azaleas? Notes of coffee and barnyard? Nope. That’s just new Mike Brown smell you’re smelling.

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Recap: Portland 119, Cleveland 116 (or the best game of the season was still a loss)

Tuesday, December 17th, 2013

Basketball games are a collection of moments. This game had so many that it’s impossible to describe them all…. six blocks… 8 steals… 41 free throws… 100 rebounds… 194 shots. After 192 of those shots, the game came down to one moment. The Cavs and Trail Blazers were tied at 116.  With 7 seconds left, Damian Lillard was isolated at the top of the three point line against Alonzo Gee. Lillard’s teammates were flattened out along the baseline.  Lillard dribbled, dribbled, gave a slight shoulder fake, and with 2 seconds left, rose up for a 30 footer over Gee’s too far away hand.  As time expired expired, the ball slid silkily through the net… and after, the world felt slightly more deflated.

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Trends, Ranks, and Outliers: Season 2 Episode 2

Monday, December 16th, 2013

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-<Episode 1>-

Thirty second summary of last episode:

-Mike Brown is a slow starter / strong finisher

-At his current pace, Tristan Thompson will break Mark Price’s free throw percentage record sometime in about 10 years.

-Even in the early going, the Cavs ranked strongly in defense and rebounding

-Turnovers + terrible shot selection = awful offensive rankings in almost every category: eFG%, FTA, PitP, etc

-Anthony Bennett’s start was an outlier for a #1 pick.  The Cavs had not covered the spread in 9 straight games.

CUE late 80′s Rock Ballad Intro!

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PSA: Send Tyler Zeller and Anthony Bennett to the D-League

Monday, December 16th, 2013

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The early D-League assignments from the Cavs roster have been Sergey Karasev, Henry Sims, and Carrick Felix.  We will see how the season progresses as far as their use of the Charge, but hopefully Tyler Zeller and Anthony Bennett see time in Canton*.

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