The Point Four-ward: MVP! MVP?

March 4th, 2015 by Robert Attenweiler

First, if you haven’t read David’s excellent recap of last night’s win over the Celtics, do that first. Then, continue on to—

Four points I’m thinking about the Cleveland Cavaliers…

1.) All of the MVP talk that sprouted up around James following the Cavs brilliant performance against the Golden State Warriors last Thursday got me to thinking: what is the most number of games a player has missed in a season and still won the NBA’s Most Valuable Player award?

In two games this past week, James came out with guns blazing against the current MVP front-runners, James Harden of the Houston Rockets and Stephen Curry of the Warriors. Against the Warriors, James was magnificent, scoring 42 points on 15-25 shooting in what turned into a relatively easy victory against the team with (at the time) the league’s best record. Against Houston, James shot poorly (15-25 from the floor, 3-11 from the free throw line) but played as spirited and springy on defense as he has in a very long time. Regardless of how it ended, put his team in the position to win a game on the road against one of the league’s best teams without the help of the team’s all-star point guard.

Did James do enough in those two games to convince me that he’s still the game’s best player?

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Recap: Cavs 110, Celtics 79 (Or, Haikus for the Win)

March 4th, 2015 by David Wood

Kyire

The Cavs dominated for 36 straight minutes tonight. They could have done so for 48 minutes. However, going into the fourth quarter ahead by 42 points is usually enough. There’s no need to pile on against any team, especially one that started a bunch of young guys and one seasoned vet. The story of the night was the Cavs: The Blog Haiku comment challenge. The commenters committed to the Haiku format and that helped the Cavs win big. And, my fellow blogger Nate Smith was at the game eating all he could (he had all you can eat seats). So we’ll add Haiku-commenting and Nate eating at the Q to the list of ways to help the Cavs win. Read the rest of this entry »

Live Thread: Cavs Vs. Celtics

March 3rd, 2015 by David Wood
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The former Cavalier, Tyler Zeller, is visiting.

The Cavs face off against the Celtics in just under an hour. The Wine & Gold need this win to snap a two game losing streak. David Blatt was without Kyrie Irving the last game, but Irving is supposed to play tonight. Kevin Love, however, is listed as a game time decision. Apparently, the Big Three are a tag team with one man stuck on the apron these days. Kevin needs to pull some ropes and get into the game tonight.  Read the rest of this entry »

Links to the Present: Rockets/Mental Health Edition

March 3rd, 2015 by David Wood

Morey formula_L

Each week there is a ton of NBA media pertaining to the Cavs and the league in general that deserves recognition. A lot of it goes unread because there just isn’t enough time to keep up with it. Don’t worry. I’ve got you covered notable reads/videos from the past seven days to get you through the day feeling entertained, caught up, and much smarter. I’ll throw in Earl’s Pearl of the Week and some other features to add to the entertainment.

The MIT Sloan Sports Analytics Conference ended over the weekend, and Grantland writer/Harvard professor Kirk Goldsberry received first place honors for his paper. His analytics study redefined how NBA players can be evaluated on the defensive end of the floor. It shows how certain players’ defense affects other players’ shooting efficiency and habits (see chart below). A non-math-inclined person version of the paper can be found here. The academic one for people who really understand stats is here.

And, the Rockets beat the Cavs in overtime, 105-103. Houston’s general manager, Daryl Morey, is officially in a good mood. He attended the Sloan conference, which he co-founded, and watched his team take out another top tier organization. Read the rest of this entry »

Recap: Rockets 105, Cavs 103 (or, an Epic Battle for MVP…)

March 2nd, 2015 by EvilGenius

LBJHARDEN

For fans of nationally televised, playoff-intensity basketball, it didn’t get much better than this overtime thriller between the Cavs and Rockets. And for fans of MVP-style match ups, there wasn’t a much better one to be had than The King vs. The Beard. Though the Cavs came out on the short end in this one, they fought hard against the third best team in the West and had a shot to win in the end. But, it’s hard to win on the road against good teams… and harder still when plagued by turnovers, rough shooting nights from downtown, too much MVP-ISO ball and (most importantly) poor free throw shooting. Read the rest of this entry »

Live Thread: Cavs @ Rockets

March 1st, 2015 by EvilGenius

Sorry for the delay guys!

LeBron is back and looking to take down another MVP rival in The Beard…

Cavs look to get back on the winning track (even without Kyrie). Going to be a challenging one today against the Rockets… I believe the Cavs will ride another strong performance from LBJ to victory…

Prediction: Cavs 115-111. Fire up the comments!

Podcast: In Studio ESPNDayton

February 28th, 2015 by Tom Pestak

Got another chance to chat in studio on ESPN Radio Dayton with my friend Mark Neal.

This was a fun one – talking about the big men of old, the modern point guard, what LeBron needs to do to win MVP (hint: dominating Steph Curry on Natl TV was step 1), and the value of tanking/draft/rookies.  We took calls too.  Nate called in to defend my honor after a previous caller took exception to me saying that rookies almost never become difference makers on good teams.

If you are a fan of The Buckeyes, Reds, Browns, or Bengals, Dayton Sports Scene with Mark Neal is one of the best sports radio shows I’ve come across.  And of course every Thursday between 5 and 6 I bring the Cavs to the forefront.

You can listen live, download podcasts, and there are even apps for iphone and android.

Recap: Pacers 93, Cavs 86 (or, All Kinds of Stuck… and Stuckey)

February 28th, 2015 by EvilGenius
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The Cavs’ high octane offense ran into a mud patch against the Pacers.

Well… even though a Cavs loss was not the way I had hoped to start my first shot at a full recap, there was still a lot of heart to be found in the wine and gold squad last night. Though they were missing Kyrie (due to a shoulder strain) and LeBron (due to Coach Blatt’s decision to rest him), the rest of the team definitely came revved up to play.

Unfortunately, they got caught in the quagmire of the muddy pace of the Pacers for much of the game. Read the rest of this entry »

Live Thread: Cavs @ Pacers

February 27th, 2015 by EvilGenius

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Don’t be alarmed… there is no need to adjust your screen. This is not a jailbreak or a hijack situation. The C:tB crew have just graciously allowed me to help them cover the occasional live thread and recap as the Cavs enter the stretch run of the season… so let’s have some fun!

The Cavs pull into the Bankers Life Fieldhouse after putting the brakes on the high-octane Warriors in convincing fashion last night, but in need of a pit stop with both Kyrie and LeBron out for injury and rest respectively. Unfortunately, the Pacers have been hard charging of late, powered by the surprising Rodney Stuckey and having also run over the Warriors before getting lapped by the Thunder in OKC on Tuesday. They’ve been off since then and have been tuning up for their showdown with the (now depleted) Cavs.

Even though the wine and gold machine owe this Pacers crew one for spinning them out of their earlier win streak, this will be a tall order without two of their big three tonight. But never fear… Rudy is here! Delly gets his chance to run David Blatt’s motion offense for an extended period of time (let’s hope it’s not 48 minutes) and the opportunity to answer even his harshest critics… or not. Cavs will also need big games from KLove, Moz, JR, TT and Shump, as well as probably some extended time from the Champ and Perk.

This tilt had “let down game” written all over it being the second night of a back-to-back, following an emotional victory over the best team in the NBA on national television… and that was before it was official that both Kyrie and LBJ would be on the shelf. But maybe the Pacers will be a victim of overconfidence… What the heck… I’ll say Cavs edge the Pacers at the finish line… 93-92.

Gentlemen… start your engines!

Recap: Cleveland 110, Golden State 99 (or “Statement Game”)

February 27th, 2015 by Nate Smith

Joshua Gunter/Northeast Ohio Media Group

Thursday’s showdown between two of the league’s hottest teams was kind of a big deal — so big that LeBron was reportedly out two hours early to practice shooting. The preparation showed, as LeBron shot his way to a season high 42 points on 70% true shooting. After a close first half that saw the Cavs claw their way to a five point lead at the break, Cleveland blew the doors off the Warriors in the third, stretching the lead out to 16 at one point and holding the Warriors to 38% from the floor. The Cavs remained in control the rest of the game, and never let the game get too close. In many ways Cleveland won because they controlled their emotions better than the Warriors, who seemed to lose their composure when the calls weren’t going their way in the third. (To be fair, Cleveland shot 35 free throws to the Warriors 19). Let’s get to it.

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