Talking Cavs with Mark Neal

I got in studio with Mark on Thursday evening just before the Cavs put the Celtics to bed.  We spent a lot of time talking about the likely Cavs/Warriors matchup, how well Kevin Love and Kyrie Irving are fitting in with LeBron James, and a whole lot more how the rest of the NBA might respond to the Cavs and Warriors dominance.

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Hot Sauce
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Hot Sauce
1 year 7 months ago

I feel like this series is beyond analysis — so many things can break in so many different ways with all of the role players, different lineups, 3-point barrages from both sides, Mike Freakin’ Brown, etc.. I just can’t wait for them to play the games. All I know is we will have the best player on the court for 42-44 minutes a game. That gives us a real chance.

mgladstone
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mgladstone
1 year 7 months ago

The Cavs in 6. This will be a series of adjustments – both in going small or big and match-ups. The Cavs have a secret weapon that makes me very confident- Mike Brown. He coaches not to lose and can’t hold a candle to Steve Kerr’s ability to adjust on the fly. He will depend too much on Durant and Curry and make the others on the Warriors less significant than they will need to be. All that and LeBron and Kyrie. I agree with Jeff Van Gundy. I wished they had just canceled the playoffs and made this series best of 11. Finally, we will get to watch great basketball matched by great basketball. When either team has played great to date, they blew their opponents off the floor.

Cols714
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Cols714
1 year 7 months ago

Steve Kerr sucked last finals

mgladstone
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mgladstone
1 year 7 months ago

Seriously Cols714 – you are turning into the Donald Trump of forums.

Cols714
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Cols714
1 year 7 months ago

He did though. He played freaking varajaoe in game 7!! And gave way too many minutes to other sucky players. Meanwhile the Cavs knew not to play their scrubs.

Admiral Ack-Bron
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Admiral Ack-Bron
1 year 7 months ago

Like Mo Williams?

Kevin
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Kevin
1 year 7 months ago

He had to play Festus a lot after Bogut went down. Cavs destroyed him any time he was on the court, especially in game 7.

Cols714
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Cols714
1 year 7 months ago

Which is what’s going to happen if they actually believe that McGee is useful. He sucks.

7000MilesAway
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7000MilesAway
1 year 7 months ago

Cavs in 6. I’m basing this off the amount of people pissing me off before the Finals get a chance to start lol.

Cols714
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Cols714
1 year 7 months ago

Love that first caller

Cols714
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Cols714
1 year 7 months ago

Amazingly LeBrons teams have only been favored in two of his eight Finals. The mavericks one and the first Spirs heat one.

JB225
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JB225
1 year 7 months ago

To me one thing that should be clear for the Cavs on offense is that they can’t hold the ball too much against this team, they need to attack all the time and make quick decisions on offense. They need to use their depth and play with great pace all series.

Cols714
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Cols714
1 year 7 months ago

It’s nice we have a backup PG we can actually play this year in the Finals.

JB225
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JB225
1 year 7 months ago

Agreed, I hope he doesn’t get caught up in the moment. He and Kyle Korver should help the Cavs a lot.

CLF
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CLF
1 year 7 months ago

Wouldn’t it be funny if the Cavs pull a 2014 Spurs and just come out and dominate the series and completely ruin a super-hyped Finals? I kind of feel like the build up is to the point where we could very easily be let down either way… Obviously I’m hoping it’s in the Cavs’ favor.

Cols714
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Cols714
1 year 7 months ago

The Spurs were favored in that series though.

Kevin
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Kevin
1 year 7 months ago

I see warriors fans are already gloating that McGee is going to be the X factor. I can’t wait for the first time they switch him onto Kyrie out at the three point line.

believeLAND
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believeLAND
1 year 7 months ago

Lol. Kyrie, Lebron K-Love, and TT will destroy McGee. He’ll be unplayable.

Cols714
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Cols714
1 year 7 months ago

McGee sucks. He’s so bad.

JRL
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JRL
1 year 7 months ago

McGee won’t be a factor. If he gets in a roll and has a few stoppages at the rim, Lue will bring in Frye or play Love at the five and get him away from the basket.

On the offensive side, if McGee is the deciding factor, we really don’t stand a chance.

I say go at them early. LeBron and Ky need to attack and get them in foul trouble from the go. Klay has been shooting in the .38% range, so his shot has been missing. If any one of the big four is to take shots, let him. Live with the consequences.

Cols714
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Cols714
1 year 7 months ago

LeBron is right though. We really should just soak t all in.

JB225
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JB225
1 year 7 months ago

Lol

Cols714
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Cols714
1 year 7 months ago

Let’s not forget these lessons

JB225
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JB225
1 year 7 months ago

Well ESPN Gives the Cavs a stunning 7% chance of winning the championship. ???Thoughts?!

MikeO
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MikeO
1 year 7 months ago

That’s about what I would give them. Doesn’t mean the Cavs suck, the Warriors are just that loaded. I think they have the best 1-6 in NBA history. I had the Cavs with about a 15% chance last year, and that was looking pretty accurate until Bray became Bray and got suspended. I think the Cavs would need something similar to happen to have a legit shot this year. Adding Durant to that team without killing their bench in the process is just stupid.

JB225
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JB225
1 year 7 months ago

On paper the Warriors should win it you are right about that but I believe the Cavs have a decent chance to beat if LeBron keeps playing at the same level he is been playing so far. The Cavs would need to play at a great level defensively.

John B
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John B
1 year 7 months ago

Seems a bit low. However, I get it. Durant, not by himself, but added to the warriors presents a huge problem for everyone including the Cavs for the foreseeable future.

JB225
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JB225
1 year 7 months ago

I agree with you, it’s obvious that if you keep the core of a 73-9 team and then add a 2 time MVP to it well it’s kind of obvious that they will be the favorites. I just keep wondering how the NBA fans will react if the all sudden the Warriors beat the Cavs in 5 or less games after sweeping all the Western conference opponents?.
To me it’s kind of lame watching a league in which you already now who’s going to win it all.

JRL
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JRL
1 year 7 months ago

Wow 7% is pretty​ low. I would say it’s a 60/40 in favor of the Warriors. I hate to say it but they are really good. The Cavs will need to play at their absolute best to have a shot at them.

Now, if Kwahi had not gotten hurt in game one and instead it happened in game two, and the Spurs had won game one, as it looked like it was going to happen, do you guys think the percentages would be different?

I think Golden State, the same as the Cavs to be honest, were given an easy path to the finals with all the injuries. With that, it made them seem unstoppable. Had LeBron not been sick in game three, I also think that percentages would be different.

At the end of the day, LeBron needs to be the best player on the floor and Kyrie and Love need to be their very best. If not, we are in trouble.

JB225
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JB225
1 year 7 months ago

All I have to say about the Odds is that​ if they come through and all of the sudden the Cavs get swept then the league will have a really bad situation IMO. So the league will go back to teams like the Old Celtics that won all those titles in a row? In other words, ratings could be really affected.

CLF
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CLF
1 year 7 months ago

I actually think the Spurs being injured benefitted the Cavs. GSW was tested for 2.5 quarters… that’s it. Had they faced a full Spurs team, they would’ve gotten a lot better getting pushed by Pop and Co…. they would’ve gotten some battle scars with KD for the first time.

As it stands now, the first adversity they’ll face all playoffs will be the Cavs. How is a head-case like JaVale McGee going to handle the pressure for the first time??? How is KD going to handle the pressure being with this group for the first time??? At least with Deron Williams and Kyle Korver, they’re veterans who are ring-hunting… they’re very hungry. And the difference between Williams/Korver and KD ring-hunting is that Williams and Korver just have to play their roles… they don’t have to be a feature guy like KD.

believeLAND
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believeLAND
1 year 7 months ago

What is this ESPN bull***t? Man, ESPN can irritate the heck out of me. This is bulletin board material for the Cavs. Disrespectful as hell. Lebron will shock the world.
http://www.espn.com/nba/story/_/page/nbarank_finalsstars/is-cavaliers-warriors-round-3-most-star-studded-nba-finals-ever-nbarank

believeLAND
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believeLAND
1 year 7 months ago

Ah, never mind. They fixed it.

Kevin
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Kevin
1 year 7 months ago

I’m picking th Cavs. But I don’t see LeBron and Kyrie getting much help. Role player three point shooters never seem to show up for the Cavs deep in the playoffs. So I’m counting out JR and Korver contributing much on the offensive end. But if they can keep hustling on defense, they can play meaningful minutes.

Cols714
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Cols714
1 year 7 months ago

????? JRs run in the 2nd half of game 7 saved us.

Kevin
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Kevin
1 year 7 months ago

Yep. It did. Where was he the rest of the series? Or in 2015 when the Cavs desperately needed someone to put up points?

Cols714
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Cols714
1 year 7 months ago

He was bad in 2015. But that’s when he had to be the #2 option due to inured. He’s the 4th option now. There’s no reason to think he will disappear.

Also. For as bad as JR was in 2015. He still shot a higher percentage than Delly who everyone thinks was awesome in that Finals.

Kevin
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Kevin
1 year 7 months ago

I don’t care about Delly and never have. JR is immensely more talented and needs to be held accountable for rising to the occasion.

JRL
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JRL
1 year 7 months ago

JR is not a second option. The pressure gets to him in those type of situations. He was the best 6th man of the year for a reason.

Will he step up in the finals? Who knows. But to say, without a doubt that he won’t, that’s a little far fetched.

I think if he’ll come through when needed, just like KK. Well… I hope so lol

Simmo
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Simmo
1 year 7 months ago

Long session! Love the first caller’s optimism & he’s convinced me. Cavs FTW.

Scotch
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Scotch
1 year 7 months ago

Tom you’re analysis always puts me ahead of the water cooler conversation on basketball (although I run my business from home so maybe I’m not a great example). But one thing that guy who asked about how Lebron and kawhi are similar had going for him is that the Spurs also play scheme defense. They also have a lot of older guys and they also aren’t the greatest one on one defenders outside their best player. I am legitimately worried about injuries…but we have enough hustle and enough motivation to put the warriors in their place, I think. We are just as big a juggernaut offensively…not enough has been said about how the warriors will be exhausted trying to defend us as well. Curry is as weak as Isaiah on d. We can punish him over and over again. Durant will win them two games…but it’s cavs in 6. It just is.

cinemikem
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cinemikem
1 year 7 months ago

Thanks for these; they always seem to help increase my b-ball IQ no matter how much I think I know.

Cols714
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Cols714
1 year 7 months ago

I will listen to this

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