Recap: Cavs 115, Pacers 108 (or, Quadrophenia)

It qualifies as dramatic understatement to say that the Cleveland Cavaliers have undergone a bit of an identity crisis this season. We’ve already seen the squad that stumbled to a rocky 3-5 start… then the one that ripped off 13 straight wins during an 18-1 stretch… and most recently the one that seemingly forgot how to play defense, dropping 10 of 13 contests while sinking like a stone in the points allowed category. Well, you can’t spell squad without “quad” so perhaps this game against the Indiana Pacers marks the beginning of the next phase of personality where the Cavs start to figure some things out once again about who they are… and who they could be.

There’s no question the wine & gold were looking to avoid one dubious statistical quad on this night, since they’d already lost their previous three encounters with the Pacers (the last one exactly two weeks ago when they blew a 22 point lead in the second half). To accomplish this, they’d have to actually decide to show up and defend in ways they hadn’t recently. Part of the plan involved Coach Ty Lue making a slight change in the starting lineup… inserting one time starter Tristan Thompson back into the five slot, while shifting Kevin Love back to his natural four slot, and moving Jae Crowder to the bench. Not exactly a seismic event… but apparently enough of a tweak to get the starters (well four fifths of them anyway) back to a sense of normalcy… at least for a quarter or two.

Some may have expected (i.e. hoped for) the additional relegation of the ice cold JR Smith to the pine along with Crowder, especially given his 5-31 shooting slump in his last five games along with some flagging defense. However, Swish was able to tap into his nearly dormant pipe-laying persona to emerge as one of the heroes of the night. He was hot from the jump, nailing four triples in the first quarter and 7-13 for the game, scoring a season high 23 points… a welcome change from the JR we’ve come to expect over the last few weeks.

The game itself, though separated into quarters, was the typical tale of two halves that tends to happen when the Cavs play the Pacers. The first half was all about ball movement, good shot selection and at least a modest attempt at something resembling NBA level defense. Cleveland notched a season high 20 assists for a half, while racking up 38 points in the first quarter and 73 for the first half. In addition to riding the wave of JR Smith triples, the Cavs got some terrific distribution from LeBron James, Isaiah Thomas and Derrick Rose throughout the first 24 minutes. Including passes that only LeBron can make look easy…

The second half was unfortunately the opposite of that for the most part, with a mere seven assists (just one in the fourth quarter) and 16 of their 20 turnovers for the game. Crisp ball movement gave way to sloppy, careless errors (many by LeBron who had six of his 11 turnovers in the fourth)… which gave way to contested and ill-advised shots. Defensively, it was also very nearly a repeat of the previous game against the Pacers, as the Cavs allowed their 17 point lead to get whittled down to just five with under two minutes remaining. If not for a seven point burst from Derrick Rose in the third (in relief of an ineffective IT) and some timely defense in the final two minutes, the Cavs might have revisited their horrific collapse of two weeks ago.

Is It In My Head?

The Cavs might have avoided an 0-4 sweep by the Pacers… but LeBron became just the third player in the last 15 years (Russell Westbrook and James Harden) to log the dubious quadruple double of points, rebounds, assists and turnovers. Though it will technically go down as just a triple double (LBJ’s eighth of the year and 63rd of his career), the 11 turnovers committed by the King were the most by a player in an NBA game this season. Which is not to say that his accomplishments weren’t stellar aside from the unforced errors. He still shot an efficient 11-17 from the field for 26 points, pulled down 10 boards and dished 11 dimes while grabbing four steals. And, even the mistakes could potentially be chalked up to him playing all but a minute of the second half due to the unavailability of DRose (tired) and DWade (personal absence). Still, six turnovers in a quarter is rough even by LeBron’s frequently lax ball-handling standards. He seemed disgusted with himself after the game and blamed it on trying to almost over-pass to make plays. At least he and the team overcame the mistakes to win the game… and he even got a well-deserved video tribute and standing ovation for passing 30k points during a first quarter break…

The Real Me

Did we finally see the return of the real JR Smith tonight, or was it just an anomaly? We won’t likely know for a few more games, but this was an encouraging sign that the long drought of Swish could be coming to an end. JR looked like he decided to stop thinking about whether or not he could hit some threes… and just fire away like he used to do.

“Yeah I just told myself I’m going to just shoot it and see what happens,” Smith said. “I just said hell with it, just shoot it, if it goes in great, if I miss, shooting percentage can’t go no lower.”

Whatever it was… JR needed a game like this… and so did the Cavs. He also seemed to pick things up on the defensive end, making Pacers leading scorer and All Star Victor Oladipo work hard for his shots, while also picking up four steals.

I’m One

With Dwayne Wade away from the team for personal reasons, ironically the dude who used to be away from the team for personal reasons took charge on the second unit. DRose showed himself to be one of the point guards the Cavs could count on in this game (even in his limited time on the court), scoring 14 points in just 15 minutes on an extremely efficient 6-8 shooting. He even made 2-3 three pointers (not a mis-print! see below!)

Rose also handled the ball well and pushed the pace of the second unit, often catching the Pacers napping in transition. He was credited with just two assists, but also had several hockey assists as he helped keep the ball moving. The only real downside was that he doesn’t quite have the stamina yet to play more than 15 minutes, and had to check out in the fourth for LeBron. Otherwise, a very good game for Rose (well, except for the usual mostly matador defense).

The Dirty Jobs

Tristan Thompson was back in the starting lineup for the first time since the beginning of November… and the dividends were measurable (at least in the first half). TT almost had a double double by halftime, and finished with 10 points (on 5-7 shooting) and 10 boards. His presence in the middle helped bolster the defense a bit, and also freed Love up to play his natural position. No question TT benefitted from Indiana missing Myles Turner for this one… but at least Tristan made Ty Lue look smart for his minor move.

And speaking of cleaning up… Jeff Green again had an effective night attacking the rack. Uncle Jeff continued to bring energy and athleticism as he got up to throw down some alley oops… like this one…

Green hit 5-6 shots, had a couple of boards and assists, and one authoritative block late in the game. It’s strange to say, but he’s been a real rock for the second unit on most nights.

Love, Reign O’er Me

It was an odd night for Kevin Love. On one hand, he looked more comfortable in his traditional PF role, and pulled down a game high 13 boards and teamed with Tristan to help shore up the internal defense a bit. On the other hand, he still only got eight shots in 33 minutes, and very few touches from the elbow in. He made the most of it, hitting half of those attempts (two from downtown) for 10 points, but it really didn’t seem like his teammates were making much of an effort to get him the ball. Maybe it had something to do with the silent treatment that some observers noted that Love seemed to be giving his team. Or, maybe it was because he threw his sweatpants at Jeff Green (later debunked as playful). Or, maybe it was because of this…

Who knows if this is all still fallout from the heated meeting from earlier in the week, or if it’s just everyone wanting to read into everything Love does or has done to him by others. Either way, there will probably be more scrutinizing before it’s all said and done. But, at least we got to see a rare TD pass again…

Helpless Dancer

It’s getting hard to justify keeping Isaiah Thomas in the starting lineup… even for someone as stubborn as Ty Lue. IT had a few nice moments, but generally still looked tentative both handling and shooting the rock. He went just 5-13 from the field (2-8 from three), and turned it over as many times as he had dimes (five). There was a particularly brutal stretch in the third quarter where back-to-back turnovers led to a heated technical foul. To be fair, it did look like IT got hit on the arm, but he lost his cool and was replaced by a much more effective Rose. And, while he did have a few possessions where he at least stayed in front of his man on defense, it’s painfully obvious how much of a disadvantage he creates for the Cavs on that end of the floor. There’s also absolutely no fathomable reason the Scourge of the Fourth should be playing in crunch time of a close game, as the team doesn’t just bleed but arterially sprays points when he’s out there. Pay attention Ty…

Cut My Hair

Despite having one of his better shooting games the previous game against the Spurs, Jae Crowder was relegated to the bench in this one. He showed exactly why that probably should have happened a while ago by logging a team worst -11 in 16 minutes of play. Crowder missed all three shots he took (including a wildly errant three), and finished with just three points and three rebounds. Maybe Jae will get used to his new role and thrive more once Wade is back… or maybe that’s just wishful thinking.

I’ve Had Enough

The move of Tristan to the starting lineup had one other beneficial byproduct in that Channing Frye actually saw some non-garbage playing time for the first time in a while. He was just 2-4 in 13 minutes, but helped spread the floor and unlock the effectiveness of the second unit. I’d be more than okay if Channing got the bulk of the backup five minutes from here on out. Also, I hope the Cavs can find a way to do the George Hill deal without including Frye… especially given the factoid below…

Who Are You?

Yeah, I know this song came after Quadrophenia, but it fits the theme of this quadrophenic team. Can they find a way to co-exist and trust each other enough to get into a groove and start stringing some victories together? I’m not sure. They showed flashes of how effective they can be offensively, and how much simply moving the ball, making good shot selections and knocking down threes can positively impact the outcome. Yet, they reverted to silly mistakes, lazy rotations and rushed possessions in the second half. Ty Lue deserves some credit for the minor move he made, which had ripples through the rest of the rotation. However, it’s not enough change yet to sustain good habits against playoff teams, and it’s folly if he doesn’t recognize that correctly. Also, I’m glad LeBron was disgusted with his quadruple double tonight. He’s capable of getting triple doubles in his sleep… but enough with the unforced errors and jump passes to nowhere…

Until next time… Go Cavs

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Jason
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Jason
7 months 22 days ago

For those of us obsessing on the Nets pick, Brooklyn has all of 4 games remaining (of 32) against teams currently below them in the standings. All in March: 3/1 at Sac, 3/17 Mavs, 3/19 Grizz, 3/28 at Magic.

MikeO
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MikeO
7 months 22 days ago

It’d be a help if they deal Dinwiddie…heck, I’d take him on Cavs…

Jason
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Jason
7 months 22 days ago

Yeah, the look of a lot of the lotto teams could change pretty quickly over the next 2 weeks, depending on who gets dealt & who doesn’t.

Jazz: Favors & Hood. Hornets: Kemba. Bulls: Mirotic. Lakers: Clarkson, Randle, Nance. Nets: Dinwiddie, Harris. Suns: Chandler. Grizz: Evans.

JB225
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JB225
7 months 22 days ago

Trade IT and KLove for ADavis

Cjef
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Cjef
7 months 22 days ago

Trade IT for Delly!

TheOtherJason
Member
TheOtherJason
7 months 22 days ago

sure, and then why not JR for Durant too.

im afraid now boston has a chance at AD

Nate Smith
Admin
7 months 22 days ago

No Boston does not have a chance at ad.

MikeO
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MikeO
7 months 22 days ago

I don’t think he’s on the block for anyone this year. But for Love and IT, who knows…

Warriorsfan
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Warriorsfan
7 months 22 days ago

Boston has s chance for every FA including Bron.

JOHN B
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JOHN B
7 months 22 days ago

Hehe. I would love to see the look on Ainge’s face when Irving comes demanding a trade and threatening to have surgery on his knee if he doesn’t get it. By the way, that strategy is almost like the basketball career version of seppuku. You won’t capitulate, then I have someone stab and dig around my knee’s innards and then my season is dead.

Nate Smith
Admin
7 months 22 days ago

Bron ain’t going to Boston to play on a minimum salary.

MikeO
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MikeO
7 months 22 days ago

I’m sure Bron would be all over rejoining Kyrie.

warriorsfan
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warriorsfan
7 months 22 days ago

Well, he did pick Kyrie for all star team. If Lebron wants to stay in east, Raptors and Celtics give him best chance while Celtics have assets for a sign and trade. I think the media overstates the differences and rifts. In the end, these players don’t hate each other, they party together and all.

MikeO
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MikeO
7 months 22 days ago

Lebron is politically savvy. I imagine he picked Kyrie in part as an image enhancer. It would be kind of hilarious if Lebron went to Boston (especially if he continued to refer to Kyrie as ‘the kid’), but no way on earth is that happening.

That’s aside from the fact that the Celtics can’t sign him, anyway, as Nate pointed out. Especially after they give Smart a max contract.

warriorsfan
Guest
warriorsfan
7 months 22 days ago

Celts are not going to give Smart max contract, they will have to rescind the cap hold of Marcus Smart to have a chance for sign and trade for Lebron. I was saying more of theoretical chance that Celtics have a chance, if all the three parties willing.

Yes, it would be hilarious, what would Kyrie do, find another team or suck it up.

Nate Smith
Admin
7 months 22 days ago

It’s not happening. They’d have to find a taker for Horford or Gordon to clear the room and a sign and trade ain’t happening unless the Cavs and Celtics figure out some way to end up both under the tax threshold after the trade means a third team to take back bad contracts. Why would the Cavs and said other team want to do that?

Nate Smith
Admin
7 months 22 days ago

Again as above though. Boston’s cap situation makes it kind of impossible sign lebron

warriorsfan
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warriorsfan
7 months 22 days ago

You can sign and trade a player if your team is under apron which I believe Boston is if they let of cap holds. You could be right, just used to Celts having so much flexibility like forever.

Nate Smith
Admin
7 months 22 days ago

Both teams have to be under threshold at end of trade unless the team over the threshold only receives draft picks/rights/trade exceptions.

warriorsfan
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warriorsfan
7 months 22 days ago

got it, thanks for clarification.

Raoul
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Raoul
7 months 22 days ago

And join his favorite person, Paul Pierce.

\"newnomad
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\"newnomad
7 months 22 days ago

with conley out for the season is there a remote chance the griz would have interest in I.T.

Warriorsfan
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Warriorsfan
7 months 22 days ago

Doubt anyone wants to trade for IT, if they read these comments.

“Thomas said there hasn’t been any discussion of moving him to a backup role, calling the idea “disrespectful.” Coach Tyronn Lue also shot down the notion, replying with a curt, “No.””

Jason
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Jason
7 months 22 days ago

IT for Evans? No, I doubt they do that.

MikeO
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MikeO
7 months 22 days ago

I imagine it means they’ll go into more of a quiet tank mode. Might make them more likely to be willing to trade Gasol, though…Cavs might look into that, but that feels like a bigger move than this FO is going to make to me. Assuming Gasol is even available.

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\"newnomad
7 months 22 days ago

nba “grooming ” celts / warriors finals—take it to the bank !!

MikeO
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MikeO
7 months 23 days ago

They defend Curry normally, and he gets 49…but hey, at least Durant didn’t kill them…

MikeO
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MikeO
7 months 23 days ago

Irving having one of those games where he almost can’t miss…even that scrub Rozier just made a circus 3 to cut it to one…

Jae Jr
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Jae Jr
7 months 23 days ago

How do you call an nba player a scrub?

John B
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John B
7 months 23 days ago

One could argue Jae Crowder has been a scrub for the Cavs relative to an average NBA player this year. Context is everything.

John B
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John B
7 months 23 days ago

For real? How do you call a d1 high school player on a nationally ranked basketball factory team like Oak Hill who doesn’t go to a d1 college a scrub? Or the best d league player a scrub? Or a guy that averages 3 points a game in a four year college career at Duke a scrub? It is all relative to the competition. An NBA scrub us a great college player. A d1 college scrub is a great high school player, etc, etc. The definition is arbitrary in a vacuum and with context, relevant to the relative competition.

Jae Jr
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Jae Jr
7 months 22 days ago

Let me try this again…how do YOU call an nba player a scrub.

JOHN B
Guest
JOHN B
7 months 22 days ago

Hehe. Easy. I type the words, “Jae Crowder is a scrub,”on a keyboard, or I speak them.

TheOtherJason
Member
TheOtherJason
7 months 22 days ago

How does Popovich coach players that are better than him? A critic/coach may be able to make obective talent analysis despite lacking that talent.

MikeO
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MikeO
7 months 23 days ago

Some sloppy passing from Bray and Curry in the 4th…reminiscent of some of Lebron’s sloppy passes…really let Boston back in it…

Simmo
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Simmo
7 months 23 days ago

I feel dirty for saying this for so many reasons – but I enjoy watching Boston play. I don’t want them to win, but still.

I think….I think it’s because they try.

JOHN B
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JOHN B
7 months 23 days ago

I always want the warriors to lose. Ironically, I would probably love that team second to the cavs if they weren’t so arrogant pre-madonnas who had a bunch of dirty players that get away with more than the Jordan Bulls did relative to the rest of the league. And if they weren’t the cavs main rival. I respect their abilities, but I don’t like them as individuals except for a few guys.

JB225
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JB225
7 months 23 days ago

I agree, and to me this is a moral win for the Celtics. With no Hayward and they made the Warriors earned it because of their defensive effort.

Mike Podracky
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Mike Podracky
7 months 23 days ago

I am with you Simmo. The defensive intensity is impressive. Something the Cavs rarely display. Also it is sickening watching Kyrie ball, and seeing what the Cavs have in IT/Crowder

MikeO
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MikeO
7 months 23 days ago

Nets pick is a big baller, though…

JOHN B
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JOHN B
7 months 23 days ago

Looking better the more I see of this class. I think Bagley, Doncic, Young, Ayton will all be very good to great. Bamba could bust I think or be great. Sexton could be solid or very good I think. Porter is to me a complete unknown now, health-wise and as a player. Other than those guys I know little.

I was trying to look up scouting videos the other day, but I just found out draft express is shut down since Givony moved to Espn. Really disappointing because their videos and articles always had the best and most detailed information on the strengths and weaknesses of the top 20 or so prospects in my opinion. I haven’t really found any other site that breaks down prospects as comprehensively as they did. I get why Givony got a job at espn.

Cjef
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Cjef
7 months 22 days ago

For me Doncic is the unknown. I would take Bamba no.1 because there is very little uncertainty there. At the least he will be as good as Gobert but is a better shooter. If his offense continues to improve he will be amazing. I think offensive centers are not that valuable anymore so I pass on Ayton and Bagley for the above players and Jackson and Trae Young.

Nate Smith
Admin
7 months 22 days ago

Everyone saying baba is the biggest risk, not the lowest.

Jason
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Jason
7 months 22 days ago

Bamba won’t bust. At worst he is a unicorn defender with the largest wingspan in league history combined with very good defensive instincts and incredible agility.

Jason
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Jason
7 months 23 days ago

Nets down 37-14 in Minny. Hopefully blowout losses will sap their spirit.

MikeO
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MikeO
7 months 23 days ago

Pierce and Jalen Rose are unsufferable on this show…I immediately muted…are there people who actually like them?

Nate Smith
Admin
7 months 23 days ago

Bill Simmons. That’s it.

Nate Smith
Admin
7 months 23 days ago

All I can root for in this Celtics /Warriors game is positive PED tests.

JOHN B
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JOHN B
7 months 23 days ago

Do they actually test for PEDs in the NBA?

Nate Smith
Admin
7 months 23 days ago

Like once a year with two weeks notice

JOHN B
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JOHN B
7 months 23 days ago

Hmm. I do suspect there is less use in the nba compared to football and baseball. Occasionally, there are definitely guys that you could point to as maybe being test worthy. Dwight Howard in his peak Orlando days, Shaq, and I hate to say it, but LBJ’s final years in Miami where he was huge. However, unless these guys are using some kind of crazy PEDs like the cyclists do, I would be hard pressed to point to your typical bball player and say hey that guy bulked up by 30 pounds in a summer or all of a sudden went from an average dunker to a guy that was jumping out of the gym.

Most of these guys never get that ripped or bulky, since bulk strength doesn’t necessarily help all that many guys in bball today with the lack of monster post players. Additionally adding a huge amount of strength in a short period could screw with your shot and slow you down. All speculation on my part though.

Nate Smith
Admin
7 months 23 days ago

Totally speculation. But so is mine. I suspect there’s a few historically suspicious PED users: Malone, Ben Wallace, Dwight, Rashard Lewis

Warriorsfan
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Warriorsfan
7 months 22 days ago

I will add Westbrook to the list, speculating of course.

JOHN B
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JOHN B
7 months 23 days ago

Forgot about Malone, and Wallace. Artest was huge too in the later parts of his career, though Lewis is not a guy I would have thought of.

Nate Smith
Admin
7 months 22 days ago

Well he and turkoglu both were suspended for positive tests in their careers

JOHN B
Guest
JOHN B
7 months 22 days ago

Didn’t know that. If those guys were taking PEDs then, who knows how many other guys were/are.

Nate Smith
Admin
7 months 23 days ago

Man. It can’t shut his mouth for five minutes. One of these guys who doesn’t let his actions speak louder than his words. All he has to say is, “we all have to be better.” He’s so obsessed with the money he’s missing out on, that he can’t do that.

Jason
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Jason
7 months 23 days ago

Someone should tell him that if he helps us make the Finals, he will be taken care of.

Raoul
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Raoul
7 months 23 days ago

He could help by going to Canton and finding out if he can still play at an NBA level.

MikeO
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MikeO
7 months 23 days ago

He definitely had a ‘star complex’ last year…I’m starting to believe the reports that he had issues with teammates…

Jason
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Jason
7 months 23 days ago

Indy comes all the way back vs Orlando to win by 2. Magic last possession, down 2: miss, o board, miss noth FTs, o board, miss.

MikeO
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MikeO
7 months 23 days ago

Swaggy P should be swagging in the China leagues…

TheOtherJason
Member
TheOtherJason
7 months 23 days ago

ya know, i kinda liked the IT espn article. i think theres maybe a bit too much haterade for him right now on c:tb. only thing is i think he should be a 6th man – too bad hes not open to that after excelling in that role in the past

Raoul
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Raoul
7 months 23 days ago

I think it is about right.

I, and many others, were ready to be fans. If it was just that he couldn’t play anymore, we would be understanding. But he is playing for crap, AND is being a troublemaker AND presumably refusing to not start, let alone go to Canton to see if he can find it. Who elected him team captain to get on KL’s case?

What are the chances he gets it together?

JOHN B
Guest
JOHN B
7 months 23 days ago

A sixth man would certainly be better. However, he can’t play for the contract. That is just hurting the cavs and his chances of getting any money let alone a big payday. This team just needs a guy to be unselfish and run the offense. He does that and he will play better.

MikeO
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MikeO
7 months 23 days ago

Irving hitting anything he throws up right now…doubt that happens all game…

MikeO
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MikeO
7 months 23 days ago

Celtics are absolutely terrible on offense whenever Irving sits. They aren’t even playing offensive zero Marcus ‘Max Contract’ Smart tonight…

John B
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John B
7 months 23 days ago

Wait, Smart wants a max deal?!! Is that for real?

MikeO
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MikeO
7 months 23 days ago

It was reported last season…he thinks he’s a max player. Hope Danny enjoys that…

JB225
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JB225
7 months 23 days ago

At least the Celtics contest almost every of the Warriors shots. Not like the Cavs that will allow everything to the Warriors layups, wide open 3 pointers……. Everything.

Jason
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Jason
7 months 23 days ago

I can’t stand either of these teams. I do like Kerr & Livingston.

MikeO
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MikeO
7 months 23 days ago

I’m glad I don’t need to see Nick Young play basketball very much…

Jason
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Jason
7 months 23 days ago

That missed dunk from under the rim that went out of bounds was hilarious.

JB225
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JB225
7 months 23 days ago

If the Cavs could play defense like the Celtics do. They are really not afraid at all of the Warriors.

Jason
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Jason
7 months 23 days ago

Kyrie going 5-5 for 14 pts in the quarter would help as well. For all his flaws, he has the big game gene and is the best 1 v 1 player in the game.

JOHN B
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JOHN B
7 months 23 days ago

Warriors will probably lose this game just to spite the cavs. \s “Hey look who just beat us Lebron, your former teammate and your greatest conference rival, let that soak in your head until the playoffs.”

JB225
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JB225
7 months 23 days ago

I still believe the Warriors will win this game but I really like the way the Celtics compete defensively. Kyrie is scorching hot right niw but as soon as he begins to miss some shots the Warriors will run all over them.

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\"newnomad
7 months 23 days ago

I have to confess –before he played his 1st game I was ALL IN—FOR I.T.–( ESPECIALLY AS A PERSON ) going thru what he want thru last year—-seeing him “cheerleading on the sidelines / saying all the right things —and replacing that “villain ” flatliner Ky—-I no he had his ” shortcomings “( literally ) as a player but stil felt he would be a positive asset —-WOW 10 GAMES later —yes I have totally changed my opinion of him as PERSON AND PLAYER—-and again these other gm’s aren’t totally stupid —and it was mentioned there is not 1 team in the nba who is going to help bail the cavs out —so we might as well accept–we are stuck with I.T. / CRAWDAD’S / SHUMP / and to a lesser degree because these playes still might help or be tradeable T.T. / ROSE / SWISH —-AND OH YEAH OUR COACH —–pistons next 2 games see us at best 1-1–worst –0-2 with the game at Detroit being a double digit loss

MikeO
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MikeO
7 months 23 days ago

What a surprise, Paul Pierce thinks the Celtics are going to the Finals. Hope GS wins by 30 tonight.

Jason
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Jason
7 months 23 days ago

Magic up 70-53 at half in Indy. I guess everyone scores 70 in a half against them.

Phil Hubbard
Member
Phil Hubbard
7 months 23 days ago

The worst part of the IT article is that he and Lue both consider him untouchable as a starter.

Peter
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Peter
7 months 23 days ago

To me the worst part is that IT intends to continue chucking tons of shot regardless of his efficiency since he feels that he was acquired for his scoring.

MikeO
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MikeO
7 months 23 days ago

Nate will be happy, anyway…

Jason
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Jason
7 months 23 days ago

As long he is touchable as a finisher.

Phil Hubbard
Member
Phil Hubbard
7 months 23 days ago

Heh. Yeah, hopefully.

MikeO
Guest
MikeO
7 months 23 days ago

A good FO would move him so he couldn’t be started…

Jason
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Jason
7 months 23 days ago

Would you trade anything of value for IT at this point? I wouldn’t. If he is looking for big money, he is gone after 30 more games.

While I do not think this ends well, our best case is he finds some kind of rhythm to his offense game, and then becomes more of a willing facilitator once that is established & he doesn’t have to prove anything to anyone.

Peter
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Peter
7 months 23 days ago

I would trade IT for Avery Bradley in a heartbeat. Both could be rentals but Bradley at least gives the Cavs a defensive guy who can contain Kyrie and Curry. I think Cavs have enough scoring to offset IT’s scoring advantage over Bradley.

MikeO
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MikeO
7 months 23 days ago

Just an expiring as part of a larger trade…

Jason
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Jason
7 months 23 days ago

I would also love Bridges. We gonna get some help with that pick. Period.

Jason
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Jason
7 months 23 days ago

On the Nets pick, they currently sit 7th. 2 games forward & it would be 10th. 2 games back & it is 4th.

Fairly consensus top 7: Doncic, Ayton, Bagley, Young, Porter, Bamba, Sexton. I would gladly take any of them.

John B
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John B
7 months 23 days ago

Bamba will take years to develop. He has the body and defensive instincts but he is as raw as they come defensively. I am hesitant on Porter too because of the back injury this early for a guy who is 6’10” 210.

John B
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John B
7 months 23 days ago

Offensively

Jason
Guest
Jason
7 months 23 days ago

He does have a point. The D was awful for 40 games before he played a second.

John B
Guest
John B
7 months 23 days ago

It wasn’t during their 13 game streak. They were tenth during that stretch. Wonder if he reads cavstheblog.

John B
Guest
John B
7 months 23 days ago

I also wouldn’t have as many issues if he wasn’t being a black hole on offense. Feed love and LBJ and take open shots. If he really wants to help, he’ll go down to the charge, get his legs and full mobility back and then rejoin.

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7 months 23 days ago

JB225—THE KEY WORD IS “COACH ” AND AT PRESENT THE CAVS DO NOT HAVE A ‘LEGITIMATE ‘ NBA COACH

JB225
Guest
JB225
7 months 23 days ago

Exactly, a championship caliber team needs a highly demanding coach like a Popovich or Thibodeau.

Raoul
Guest
Raoul
7 months 23 days ago

Not always. Once the coach insisted that Wilt go to the morning walk thru and shoot around. Wilt went and then didn’t go to the game. Last time that happened.

John B
Guest
John B
7 months 23 days ago

And despite his greatness the thing that stops Wilt from being the GOaT was that. He could have won more ships with the sixers and warriors but he didn’t because he wasn’t fully committed until that first ship.

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7 months 23 days ago

NOT GOOD FOR THAT NETS PICK—MEMPHIS SHUTTING DOWN CONLEY FOR THE SEASON

Jason
Guest
Jason
7 months 23 days ago

Yeah, that sucks. If Conley plays the last 20-30 games, the Grizz catch thrm easy. They are tanking. Wisely. Still only 1 game back. If Parsons can contribute some, that would help a ton.

Vintage
Guest
Vintage
7 months 23 days ago

It only takes one stupid owner/GM to hold onto last year’s version of IT and offer him an 8 figure contract – let’s hope it isn’t Gilbert.

I’m sure a franchise could point to his Boston days and rationalize it to the fan base as signing a “star”. To the casual fan, he seems easy enough to root for and IT doesn’t have a widespread reputation as a malcontent (at least not yet). I wouldn’t be surprised to see him get a contract in the $10-15 million per year range , maybe even up to $20.

Any serious contender will stay far far away

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7 months 23 days ago

WOW —watching the okla/ala game will take either / both SEXTON –YOUNG over IT —-RIGHT NOW !!

JB225
Guest
JB225
7 months 23 days ago

The Athletic’s Jason Lloyd said:

“Thomas is a chucker. He takes bad shots. In Boston he was the only viable offensive threat, which apparently gave him a license to shoot wherever and whenever he wanted. But [with the Cavs] his shots aren’t coming within the rhythm of the offense, yet that hasn’t stopped him from shooting. It has — and continues to — aggravate his teammates. Defensively he’s abysmal.”

JB225
Guest
JB225
7 months 23 days ago

Isn’t the coaches job to tell him to get his shots within the offense? IT’s obviously looking to get his and not trying to integrate himself into the team’s offensive schemes (if they have one).
But at the same time it is Lue’s job to bench him when necessary.

MikeO
Guest
MikeO
7 months 23 days ago

Thomas chucking was as predictable as the sunrise…he’s done it his entire career, and especially last year, when Boston’s entire offense was built around him. (And the cheap foul calls he drew) Add on the fact he’s in a contract year after years when he thought he was underpaid, and it should surprise no one.

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7 months 23 days ago

good one and (pathetically so ) very accurate TOJ

TheOtherJason
Member
TheOtherJason
7 months 23 days ago

im sure ty lue’s coaching of IT is just gonna be ‘keep shooting and play your game”

or, as tom petty would say, ‘damn the torpedoes’

Mike Podracky
Guest
Mike Podracky
7 months 23 days ago

Since we are paying homage to Tom Petty, I suggest for IT: Don’t Come Around Here No More.

Phil Hubbard
Member
Phil Hubbard
7 months 23 days ago

He won’t back down. But his free-agent stock is free fallin’. We’ll probably feel a whole lot better when he’s gone.

Mike Podracky
Guest
Mike Podracky
7 months 23 days ago

Phil what do you think IT would get at this point given the injury and awful play? Maybe 1 year at $12 million from some team?

MikeO
Guest
MikeO
7 months 23 days ago

Sounds about right, but he’s going to have to finish the season looking like an NBA player to get something like that…probably a three year deal, last year team option, something like that…12 mill sounds high to me, but who knows…

Warriorsfan
Guest
Warriorsfan
7 months 23 days ago

A 2nd round pick or worse contract in return

JOHN B
Guest
JOHN B
7 months 23 days ago

Based for what I have seen, I think by the end of the season he will literally have a hard time finding a team to be interested in him. If he does, I don’t expect him to get more than a full mid level exception. 2-3 million a year is what I would think his max value will be to the teams interested. I mean the rest of the league is aware of his play this year and the story around his hip. He is just so so bad now, and his attitude and history of attitude issues probably won’t win him many fans in other FOs.

Phil Hubbard
Member
Phil Hubbard
7 months 23 days ago

Seems about right. He can only hope someone overpays based on his time in Boston.

His hip will probably improve, slowly. Might even have some good games by the end of the regular season. The storyline may change briefly to “He’s back!” Or at least “He isn’t terrible!”

And then the playoffs will start and he’ll be a huge liability again.

MikeO
Guest
MikeO
7 months 23 days ago

Nicely done. Good Breakdown of IT…

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7 months 23 days ago

TIME FOR ANOTHER MEETING—MAYBE LOVE CAN CALL OUT –I.T.—-LOVE THE GALVANIZATION OF THIS TEAM—KEEP UP THE GOOD WORK TY

MikeO
Guest
MikeO
7 months 23 days ago

Also, Lloyd reported that some Cavs players are aggravated at IT’s shot selection. Can’t exactly blame them. Another lousy night overall for the Celtic rubbish.

Vintage
Guest
Vintage
7 months 23 days ago

“Some players” better be code for LeBron

JOHN B
Guest
JOHN B
7 months 23 days ago

Probably code for Love. Last night IT had some egregiously awful attempts. I pointed out in the live thread that the only reason he had two of his assists was he was about to take an awful contested two both times and was about to get stuffed and had to weakly pass in midair to JR who bailed him out with tough threes. He also had around three similar passes intercepted for turnovers last night. The guy is a black hole gunning for a contract that will never happen. The cavs are suffering from both that and his defense.

JOHN B
Guest
JOHN B
7 months 23 days ago

The ironic thing about that is if he played within the offense and only took open shots and just tried to setup teammates, he might just be awful instead of the equivalent to a player who is barely good enough to stay in the d league.

Subsequently, buying into being a team player with a win first attitude might actually persuade a team (hopefully not the cavs) to offer him a vet minimum or even a million or two million dollar (if they were really dumb) contract next summer instead of him having to go play in China.

MikeO
Guest
MikeO
7 months 23 days ago

And amusing writeup as usual, EG.

IT is just killing the Cavs offensive production with too high usage. At the very least, Love should be getting half of IT’s shots. But this is who IT is – he’s super ball dominant, and he doesn’t really do anything off ball. Really bad fit for this team, even if he were playing better.

MikeO
Guest
MikeO
7 months 23 days ago

Part of Isaiah Thomas' struggles seems to be a reaction to the new shooting foul rules. He tries to jump into defenders a lot–and he got those calls last year. With the new emphasis on reducing those calls, he isn't getting them anymore

— Mike Zavagno (@MZavagno11) January 27, 2018

Treize Khushrenada
Guest
Treize Khushrenada
7 months 23 days ago

My least favourite Cavs ever:

1. Shannon Brown
2. DeSagana Diop
3. Anthony Bennett
4. Bob Sura
5. Darius Miles

I left Boozer out of my top 5 because my Aunt was one of his schoolteachers and said good things about him.

Raoul
Guest
Raoul
7 months 23 days ago

What about Dinner Bell Mel?

JOHN B
Guest
JOHN B
7 months 23 days ago

Why Brown and Sura? They weren’t good. I don’t remember them being unlikeable though. I always just felt kind of bad for Bennett. Granted he let himself go, but the cavs FO should have never drafted the guy.

I would throw Bynum in there along with Ricky Davis and now IT, because they are all head-cases and are/were all toxic.

Raoul
Guest
Raoul
7 months 23 days ago

Sura was actually pretty good. I think he had a long career as a starter around the NBA.

Treize Khushrenada
Guest
Treize Khushrenada
7 months 23 days ago

Bynum and Wrong-Way-Ricky were in close consideration for me too.

Maybe it’s because Brown, Sura, and Bennett seemed never to realize that you’re allowed to pass to your teammates instead of having to take bad shots every time you touch the ball.

On the other hand, Drew Gooden, Shawn Kemp, and Hot Rod Williams are my three favourite Cavs ever, and they weren’t exactly assists leaders . . .

JOHN B
Guest
JOHN B
7 months 23 days ago

Ricky Davis deserves to be in everyone’s top five if just for this:

The clown of clowns.

MikeO
Guest
MikeO
7 months 23 days ago

Complete bonehead.

JOHN B
Guest
JOHN B
7 months 23 days ago

The clip of Sloan’s face is the funniest reaction to anything I have ever seen in the NBA.

Raoul
Guest
Raoul
7 months 23 days ago

It would have been great of Sloan had come off the bench and whacked him.

Jason
Guest
Jason
7 months 23 days ago

Great recap. What is next? The man behind Lue eyes?

Cedi should get some run in the Crowder spot. Or let Calderon run with the Dinobots while Wade is out.

I still have hope for IT, but he looks awful right now. My guys I would most like to see moved: Shump, Crowder. Then IT or Rose. Keep our picks.

JOHN B
Guest
JOHN B
7 months 23 days ago

I always thought the IT quote about Boston trying more and playing harder on d than this cavs team was hilarious. Read, “waaahhh, waaaah, my old teammates carried more of my burden than you guys. I want my contract, and you guys are letting me expose my value for what it is. You guys should do more to make me look better. You guys aren’t hiding my awfulness enough, waaahhh.”

TheOtherJason
Member
TheOtherJason
7 months 23 days ago

question: how does one ascend from ‘guest’ status to Phil Hubbard ‘member’ status on c:tb?

asking for a friend

Nate Smith
Admin
7 months 23 days ago

If that’s something you want, drop me an email. Basically means you can post pics and stuff without moderation. I would then set you up a login.

Phil Hubbard
Member
Phil Hubbard
7 months 23 days ago

Well, the annual dues are a killer…

Actually I think it’s just a holdover from the early days of the current commenting system, when Nate was still experimenting with it.

Phil Hubbard
Member
Phil Hubbard
7 months 23 days ago

Evil, this recap is genius. And so fitting for this team.

“Schizophrenic? I’m bleedin’ quadrophenic.”

MJ 45
Guest
MJ 45
7 months 23 days ago

Lue and the front office need to take the decision out of LeBron’s hands: he should take off 2 full weeks around the all star break. His turnovers, sloppiness, missed jumpers and FTs recently…he’s gotta be worn down. He can’t keep playing 40 minutes and go all 82

Also, Wade without Rose works. Rose without Wade works. Lue can’t play them together.

What I’m saying is: I wish the Cavs had a better coach

Phil Hubbard
Member
Phil Hubbard
7 months 23 days ago

Aren’t we forgetting Boozer as least favorite Cav ever?

TheOtherJason
Member
TheOtherJason
7 months 23 days ago

lovely writeup

Vintage
Guest
Vintage
7 months 23 days ago

No minutes for Shump – fingers crossed a trade is near

Phil Hubbard
Member
Phil Hubbard
7 months 23 days ago

Even if it just means Lue has finally realized Shump sucks, it’s a positive step.

Nate Smith
Admin
7 months 23 days ago

This guy is a weird dude.

JRL
Guest
JRL
7 months 23 days ago

Any idea why??
Did he do that with his previous teams?

Mike Podracky
Guest
Mike Podracky
7 months 23 days ago

The few Celtic games I watched last year IT walked out just like the other players during the intro. And look at that face? His run with the Cavs will be mercifully short

Nate Smith
Admin
7 months 23 days ago

Mike Podracky
Guest
Mike Podracky
7 months 23 days ago

I am with Nate. IT has surpassed Trajan Langdon as my least favorite Cav ever. Glad the fans booed him in the 4th quarter after those hideous turnovers. Also, Lue indeed showed how stubborn and idiotic he is running James into the ground leading to 11 turnovers, while not even giving Calderon 5 mins when Rose got gassed. This kind of stupidity just can’t be justified. Nice recap, EG

Nate Smith
Admin
7 months 23 days ago

Mm. Don’t be dogging Trajan. Anchorage gotta represent.

Mike Podracky
Guest
Mike Podracky
7 months 23 days ago

Sorry to dog your Anchorage bud. Forgot you have some The Last Frontier blood

Nate Smith
Admin
7 months 23 days ago

Haha. It’s fine. He just should’ve been a second D round pick. Plus his knee injury kind of ended his nba career.

JRL
Guest
JRL
7 months 23 days ago

Thia game felt as if it was a “Don’t trade me” type of game by TT and JR. Will they continue to bring the energy and shooting here on out or will they revert back to what they have been all season? Who knows. Hopefully they get their mojo back.

Lue got bailed out by Rose/JR yesterday. He shouldn’t have gone back to IT and should had kept Rose in. He didn’t give Cedi a single minute which is mind boggling. He rode LeBron in the 4th like a crazed jockey instead of giving him some rest to start the quarter. He is not a good coach.

Simmo
Guest
Simmo
7 months 23 days ago

Post-game interviews reveal Rose was gassed and asked to come out, so Lue felt he had to put LBJ right back in.

TheOtherJason
Member
TheOtherJason
7 months 23 days ago

yeah but surely rose could have played the last few min in the 4th? cant believe i just typed that

Phil Hubbard
Member
Phil Hubbard
7 months 23 days ago

Or Calderon. Except of course Lue had not played him at all to that point, so he would have been ice cold.

Nate Smith
Admin
7 months 23 days ago

Isaiah Thomas is my least favorite Cavalier ever.

Vintage
Guest
Vintage
7 months 23 days ago

Yes, I want to root for him as a person and it sucks he is going to lose out on a ton of money from this injury but there is just ZERO hope when he is out there.

Simmo
Guest
Simmo
7 months 23 days ago

Hmmm agree, but it’s less than zero hope. He takes the floor in the 2nd half against average teams & we know it’s going to go bad. Against the top teams?

Nate Smith
Admin
7 months 23 days ago

I’m out on him as a person too. Too much “look at what a great person I am” BS features about him. Also, burned bridges in Sac and Phoenix. Plays way too selfishly for me to like him.

Vintage
Guest
Vintage
7 months 23 days ago
Leo
Guest
Leo
7 months 23 days ago

If the late turnovers didn’t happen or were cut in half and partially replaced with points Cavs win this game by 20 easily…felt they were screwing around late and trying to make ‘funky passes’ and it ended badly. There were also some shots by JR in 4th that looked like they would go in but rolled out. Thought this was best game from this team in awhile.

Lue just has to put IT on bench and start Rose or Calderon. Try it for one game and see, I think it would work benefits. Also Crowder had some shots that looked like someone who never played or shot a basketball in their life.

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7 months 23 days ago

who knows what goes on behind closed doors—and kev will never go public—but maybe –I HOPE NOT —-he has spoken with the front office to trade him by deadline—we know that the boogie / love rumors are now dead—or maybe this was just 1 game (in kev’s own way ) of going public and making a statement

Nate Smith
Admin
Phil Hubbard
Member
Phil Hubbard
7 months 23 days ago

Don’t think that’s galvanizing, but it’s hilarious.

Nate Smith
Admin
7 months 23 days ago

Great recap, EG.

Ty playing LeBron to exhaustion was another almost criminal move. Some Jose and Cedi would have been fine.

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7 months 23 days ago

didn’t see the game –usual good recap evil—-summed up the game for me —yeah 1 game –1 win —we shall see if they can SUSTAIN anything—before I go to far THAT SUCKS FOR BOOGIE —GET WELL BIG GUY —–kev needs more touches as so does korver ( both of them are TRUE PROFESSIONALS ) SO DON’T EXPECT THEM TO “SAY ” ANYTHING —-guess klove has started that already!!—-just wondering if dwade took a voluntary leave of absence –to allow ty “clueless ” more minutes / easier decision for him to make rotations / find minutes for other players —sadly it did not benefit cedi at all —-I will take the win but as long as ty is coach- can’t get excited about this team or get my expectations too high –still say we don’t make it out of the east—–go nets keep on losing

Bobby Nachos
Guest
Bobby Nachos
7 months 23 days ago

Well done EG. I agree and I hope IT is the expiring deal we send to Sacramento.

Sometimes you just need a win against a decent team no matter how you get it. This was much needed for confidence going forward. Hopefully some positive thinking and hard work will pay off. Go Cavs

Simmo
Guest
Simmo
7 months 23 days ago

Love love love the theme of this recap EG!!! WHO knew you were a WHO fan.

1. Has he stopped dancing? I would feel for anyone who is given final judgement on the way back from injury, but I feel IT’s “I can do anything, just you wait and see” attitude (commendable for bravado, but maybe not discretion) combined with Lue’s decision to play him at elite level before he is ready, and his natural limitations might just cruel his career. I sincerely hope we are all eating our words in a couple of months.

2. We know Frye can shoot from all ranges, but I’ve never noticed his D until last night. There were several plays where I noticed his positioning & those very long arms stopping a few Pacer drives that I expected to end up at the hoop based on the last few weeks. Lue has his favourites, no doubt, but if he reverts to ignoring Frye’s playing minutes for any other reason than matchups from here on….rocks in his head.

3. Rose. It’s a very big IF…but iffff he manages to hold his form for the rest of the season….we might just have that much-vaunted “deep roster” back…

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