Utah heads to Cleveland, and the Cavs bench keeps looking more and more sparse. Tonight Anthony Bennett sits with a sore right knee. There is still no sign of Andy, Dion or Miles. All three could play Sunday, or may never play again; both things seem like possibilities.
Archive for February, 2014
#CavsRank marches on. Today at Fear the Sword, Ryan Mourton interviews Jim Chones, the center and defensive anchor of the Cavs teams from the mid-70’s. Chones ranks 6th in franchise history for rebounds and 5th for blocked shots.
To me, putting Chones 14th is the first place we #CavsRankers really got it wrong. I placed him 8th, due to production, durability, and a prominent place on a series of Playoff teams.
As per Mr. Chones, he doesn’t particularly care where he’s ranked though…he’s got a Ring.
Recap: Cleveland 93, Toronto 99 (or how does Amir Johnson’s bum conform to the “rule of verticality”?)Wednesday, February 26th, 2014
Before we start, let me just take my objective blogger hat off for a minute, to say: this was the worst officiated game I’ve watched all year. I spend most of the season giving officials the benefit of the doubt: that they do not play favorites and that they do their best to call things both ways. Then I watch a game like this and it makes me question those notions. It seemed as if, all night, the Raptors were allowed to be physical, body up players, flop, and run through Cavalier players to get loose balls and play defense, while Cavs’ players were consistently being called for touch fouls when the Floptors fell over from stiff breezes. It very much reminded me of the despicable Jazz teams from the Sloan era, or the flopping antics of a young Manu Ginobili. And let’s not even talk of my least favorite NBA officiating blunder: the pump fake where the defender jumps, yet comes down in front of the offensive player, and then offensive player throws his shoulder into the defender while he attempts a flailing jump-shot and then gets a whistle (yes, I’m talking about you, Kyle Lowry).
To compound that, Cavaliers like Anthony Bennett were being nitpicked for travel calls, while Terrence Ross and DeMarr DeRozen were getting away with equal or worse violations. (At one point in the fourth, I’m quite sure DeRozan did not have a pivot foot, but had a pivot shoe — as long as one part of the pivot shoe touched the ground, it was not a travel). The fun culminated in the last minute (click the links for video), when the Cavs were down three, and Kyle Lowry drew a charge from Kyrie Irving. Lowry started inside the charge circle when contact started (1:01), and the officials even reviewed the play, yet ruled for Lowry. Thirty seconds later, DeMar DeRozan ran through Tyler Zeller, hip checked Tyler, and got a steal while Zeller crashed to the floor as the whistle remained silent (0:31). 10 seconds later, with the Cavs down five, Kyrie Irving drove for a layup, got thudded by Amir Johnson’s backside knocking him out of the air during a layup (0:21). That last interpretation of the “rule of verticality” would have made Keith Ballard proud. But putting my blogger hat back on, I’m quite sure that my objectivity as a fan clouds my judgment of the pitched battle between the Raptors and the Cavaliers. The fouls were even, both teams shot 24 free-throws, and the turnovers were close. If I was a more objective watcher, I’m sure I’d have seen that the calls all evened out in the end.
The nice thing about #CavRank is that instead of pondering the issues of today’s team, we can instead reminisce about better days.
A couple of the initial top-20 Cavaliers of all time were veterans ending hall-of-fame careers; Nate Thurmond and Lenny Wilkens spent a memorable period in Cleveland as their time as players drew to a close. The guy at #16 is the opposite of that. Today in #CavsRank, Ben Cox at WFNY discusses Ron Harper, who began his career with the Cavs, averaging 19, 5 and 4 for the early incarnations of the Price-Daugherty teams. Alas, Harper was packaged in one of the worst trades in franchise history, dealt with two first round draft picks, for Danny Ferry. Harper went on to win five NBA championships with the Bulls and Lakers.
Hey, wait a second…#CavsRank was supposed to be fun. This one just stings. Thanks for nothing, history!
Last Thursday, the Cavs were riding high on a six game winning streak. Today, the Cavs have lost two straight and sit five games out of a playoff spot with the toughest remaining schedule in the league looming ahead. Last Thursday, the Cavs controlled four picks inside the top forty five of the deepest draft in NBA history. Today, they have Spencer Hawes, two remaining draft picks, and a five percent chance of making the playoffs.
Editor’s Note: Today’s post is a guest contribution from Scott Raab, offering a look back at one of the foundation pieces of the early Cavs teams.
The world was young once, and so was I — 18 years old when the Cavs were born in the autumn of 1970, so long ago that the Browns still had a glorious musk, and the Tribe — well, the Tribe sucked, but a general admission ticket cost $2 and you had the joint pretty much to yourself. Cleveland was another city then — bigger, richer, prouder. No one spoke of a curse, because none of that horrid shit had happened yet.