Recap: Cleveland 121, Boston 99 (or, Rational Exuberance)

WHOA. The new-look Cavs hung with the Celtics in the first quarter, pulled ahead in the second, and then blew the doors off Beantown in the third and fourth quarter. The Cavs were electric from the start, and it’s amazing what going from the worst defensive player in the last 20 plus years to a good defensive player in George Hill at point guard will do for your defense. Hill looked just fine on both sides of the ball and the rest of the new look Cavs ran around like kids on Christmas morning. Let’s good to it.

The First Quarter saw all the Cavaliers defer to LeBron a little too much as they forced every action through him and most of the players seemed reticent to attack on their own. Kyrie Irving got going early for Boston with nine points and two dimes, mostly off the bounce, and Marcus Morris added eight of his own, mainly because LeBron was sagging way off of him, which let Morris get loose for a couple treys.

The Boston crowed was KEYED UP for the Cavs match-up and Paul Pierce‘s retirement ceremony, and LeBron was booed lustily every time he touched the ball. Fortunately the Cavs started getting to the line and LeBron started attacking the rack. J.R. Smith broke it loose with an early YOLO trey and then reached back into the past to throw one down over Aaron Baynes on a drive to put the Cavs up 14-12.

Smith followed that up with a nifty layup and a blocked Ojeley triple try, and J.R. finished with seven first quarter points and a pair of blocks. Cedi was active and matched up with Irving often, and often battled him to a draw. LeBron checked out at the five minute mark, and his replacement, Jeff Green, tipped in two misses and followed it up with a turnaround fadeaway on the block.

With LeBron on the bench, The Cavs ran their offense through Nance in the high post, and Junior set up Clarkson and Hood for buckets as the quarter ended with the Celtics up 32-31.

Cleveland put the clamps down on the Leprechauns in the Second Quarter as their bench dominated Boston’s and held them to 20 points. Rodney hood got it going with a three from the top as Jordan Clarkson kicked it to him on a drive. Man oh man does Rodney hood have a gorgeous jumper. He shoots it like a lefty Klay Thompson. He’s going to love playing with the King.

The Cavs were locking down and closing out well forcing the Celtics out of rhythm on the perimeter and at the basket. Clarkson had an awesome steal of a Rozier pass and turned it into a layup. Hood easily swatted away a layup attempt by Daniel Theis. Even Korver got himself a block that turned into another Rodney Hood trey off a dime from the King.

The lead see-sawed back and forth into the middle of the second, with Boston being buoyed by setups from Horford, Rozier, and Irving, but a fastball to the left corner from LeBron set up a George Hill trey halfway through the quarter for a lead Cleveland wouldn’t relinquish again. The emotional high of the first quarter led to a lull in the second for Boston, and the Cavs seized the moment to go on an impressive run. Greg Monroe assisted Cleveland as he was hapless on defense and mostly a lane clogger on offense. I’m not worried about him helping the Celtics in the least.

The Celtics started settling for threes (which they missed), and LeBron started picking them apart. If he wasn’t swishing jumpers, he was dicing the Celtics Defense with assists. Things really broke openn when Jordan Clarkson stole a bad Horford pass, then eschewed an oop to LeBron in order to throw it down himself. We haven’t seen someone get their own dunk when running with James in quite some time. Cedi Osman followed it up with another steal, and an uh… not quite so successful dunk attempt.

Despite Cedi’s rim check, LeBron was full of encouragement as they headed to a timeout and Cedi followed it up with an impressive offensive board just a minute later. The Cavs ran a deliberate ground-and-pound offense for the last three minutes to limit turnovers, yet still had so much more energy than the Celtics who were content to throw the ball away time and again. The Cavs finished strong up 64-52.

Halftime was hilarious as noted Cavs hater and flip-flopper Jalen Rose declared Cleveland the best team in the East and we all gushed about the Cavs. The Third Quarter saw more of the same as Marcus Morris punished a sagging LeBron again with a three pointer, but Hill answered with a triple of his own. James slithered into a hook/teardrop off the drive – another new trick in his book. Tristan Thompson put back a Cedi trey. And George Hill completed a nifty drive with a layup high off the glass that left me saying, “Isaiah who?” as the lead stretched to 15.

The Celtics looked poised to go on a run as their defense smothered Cavs on three straight possessions, and it looked like they were going to get it back again before J.R. elevated over the trap to bury a triple from the right wing over Morris and Jaylen Brown. It seemed to take the wind out of Boston’s sails, and the Cavs’ D ratcheted up to force a couple turnovers including this charge that Hill took from Jayson Tatum

The Celtics just started hoisting threes and missing most of them, as the Cavs held them to just four points in seven minutes while Cleveland turned on the jets. A long strided Cedi drive and another J.R. trey, set the the throttle to max, and then James, Clarkson, and Hood turned on the afterburners to score 11 points in less than two minutes.. Clarkson did his Kyrie Irving impersonation, nailing a pair of catch-and-shoot triples which sandwiched a Rodney Hood trey and another James floater. The Cavs were suddenly up 26 as boos rained in Beantown. They fought tooth and nail to close out the quarter with frenetic defense and leave the Celtics without a final bucket to stay up 95-74.

To say the start of the fourth quarter was quiet would be an understatement. The Celtics fans were stunned. I’m sure they were all feeling like Bill Simmons. I know we Cavs fans were all hopeful, but I don’t think anyone expected this. The Cavs kept it going as Boston was content to chuck treys. Clarkson walked into an unguardable pull-up J from the right elbow, and then Nance and Korver worked a gorgeous two-man-game to get Larry his first dunk as a Cavalier, which got LeBron and the bench crew off their butts to cheer. Another Nance high post dribble hand-off netted Hood a free throw line J, and a Hood steal and Clarkson swish put the game out of reach with a 29 point lead at the 9:41 mark. LeBron looks just a little bit happy in these highlights.

It was officially garbage time after that, and the Boston faithful were only able to just chant “We want Paul Pierce” to get through the drubbing. Though Clarkson got a little shot happy, and the Cleveland offense devolved into a little too much one-on-one, the wine and golders still defended and still talked on D. The exclamation point came when Larry Nance put Monroe in the blender at the top of the key and then drove to thump one in Greg’s grill, which was followed by a Kenny Powers trey. Cedi got his J going with a couple late triples from Calderon and even Zizic got on the scoreboard as the Cavs closed this one out 121-99.

YAY!

Holy Crap. That was beyond all our wildest expectations. The Cavs just came in waves. There was never a dropoff in the Cavs’ energy, talent, and athleticism throughout the game. Though the Boston starters hung with Cleveland, and you could chalk a lot of it up to a bad shooting night by Beantown, the Cavs’ bench completely outclassed the Celtics’.

The Cavs had seven guys in double digits and only John Holland failed to get a bucket. LeBron led the team with 24, eight boards, 10 dimes, and +23 with just two turnovers in just 28 minutes. That’s efficiency, my friends. Speaking of efficiency J.R. might be hearing Rodney Hood’s footsteps in the depth chart, but it didn’t affect his Jumper. Swish was filthy tonight, going 6-7 from the field for 15 points and six rebounds.

Cedi is a bundle of defensive energy who just throws opponents’ offenses out of rhythm. Despite a blown dunk, Cedi’s offense was solid (12 points). He’s just got to get the butterflies out of his stomach at the free throw line (2-4). He still is a nice driver with a quick first step, and his J is going to start gettting some respect. If he can work to get his release just a little quicker this offseason, it’s going to be a weapon as his dribble drive game is good enough that he’ll burn reckless closeouts. Oh, and his behind the back dribble and his attack in transition is only going to get better.

TT was +18 and though he had just six points and four rebounds, he defended the interior better than I’ve seen him all year. He contested so many shots. And as Arch’s first comment notes. He still owns Al Horford.

Speaking of defense, George Hill makes me sooo happy. First, the dude is cut. It looks like he’s got zero body fat and his arms are ridiculous. They’re also immense, and his six-foot-nine wingspan lets him play so much bigger than his height. He got switched on Marcus Morris once and didn’t give him an inch. He also has very good feet and defensive positioning and smarts. When this team figures out where it’s supposed to be defensively, he’s going to be the head of the snake. His jumper is also very good (12 points), and he can put the ball on the floor enough to keep you honest. LeBron also already trusts him to bring it up the floor.

Jordan Clarkson and Rodney Hood are going to be absolute nightmares off the bench. Clarkson is a microwave that can get hotter than July blacktop. Tonight he scored 17 on 11 shots in 23 minutes, including 3-4 from downtown he’s the perfect bench guard. Rodney Hood loves to shoot, and he fired up 11 in 17 minutes. I get the feeling he’s going to be on the end of a lot of plays as I didn’t see him move the ball much. He didn’t need to. Putting the ball in Nance’s hands in the high post with Clarkson and Hood might have been Lue’s best coaching move of the season. It makes Nance the playmaker and lets Hood and Clarkson focus on scoring. If I ever coach a left handed player again, I’m just going to make them watch video of Hood’s jumper. It’s so damned gorgeous.

Nance was gluier than a Walton and with the Cavs’ high usage players, a guy who does all the little things like setting screens, getting back on defense, and dishing bounce passes is soo valuable. Nance finished with five points, four boards, and three dimes in 21 minutes. He can also do this.

His counterpart,  Jeff Green (10 points) is also a gifted playmaker and his relentless attacks in transition are a part of what has made and will make the Cavs’ bench so deadly. Green’s handle lets him accelerate to the basket with just a hint of daylight and gets Jeff to the line consistently. Green also has stopped chucking up bad shots, as most everything comes in the rhythm of the offense or in early transition. Gone are the isolation chucks that infuriated us early in his career.

The Cavs played very well in their debut and as they start to get on the same page defensively and offensively, they could be even better. The sky is the limit for this squad, and when Kevin Love comes back, they’ll be 11 deep, and someone very good will be trapped on the bench. Cleveland has the length and versatility to play truly positionless basketball and the numbers to run other teams into the ground.

Congrats to Paul Pierce. I was actually a Celtics fan when they drafted him and I was so happy when he fell to them. I’d put Paul as the biggest and best villain of LeBron’s career. He and Bron’s battles were legendary and Paul always gave as good as he got. As we know. LeBron never got over the hump against him till he went to Miami. Happy Trails, Paul. You deserve it. Now get back in the booth where I can go back to hating on you.

MEH

Now the bad news. Yes, we’re excited by this game, but let’s not be irrational. Jersey retirement games are weird. They have a strange energy that throws the home team out of whack. The emotional high of the start clearly left the Celtics fans and team drained in the second and third. I don’t know why in God’s name organizations schedule quality opponents for them. As Eli asked me during Kobe’s retirement, “why don’t these teams pick a bad team so they can bump the ticket prices, and also win?” Still, as Tom texted me earlier, “I’ve seen the Cavs often lose by 30 for no reason, so watching them blow out another team is always fun.”

Also, Boston is going through a rough stretch right now. Tatum has hit the rookie wall. He’s shooting 33% from three in 2018, a full 12 points lower than December. Jaylen Brown’s also fallen off a cliff, shooting 34% in 2018 after 40% in December. Yes, the Boston twitterverse is pointing out that the C’s are missing Marcus Smart, but it’s really just the Celtics reverting to the mean and struggling to get to the All-Star break for a rest. They didn’t get the juice that playing with an all new set of teammates might get them.

Also, as an overcoached team, the Celtics thrive on scouting reports and figuring out how to stop what other teams do best. With no blueprint on this Cavs team, the Celtics had to play them straight up, and couldn’t tailor their game plans. Let’s hope Ty Lue can keep other teams guessing. I was impressed with the offense he installed on short notice.

The Celtics missed a lot of shots tonight. They were 10-38 from three and missed more than a few makeable ones. They also didn’t have the energy to work an offense and looked a lot like the Cavs did in their January doldrums with their shot selection. Even Kyrie was 1-7 from downtown, and eschewed attacking the rack. The Cavs defense was good, but the Boston offense just bad. Thank God Danny Ainge opted not to add any live bodies to the squad (Monroe doesn’t count as I’m not sure he’s alive).

The Cavs still gave up 13 offensive rebounds. They’re going to have a hard time defensive rebounding till Kevin Love comes back. None of these guys are natural box out players. Still, many of those boards came because the Cavs were actively trying to block shots around the basket. If the team is being aggressive on defense, you can live with that.

Whew.

Well, the season is fun again, and I can’t wait to see what happens next. We’ll see you Tuesday when the Cavs look to enact their revenge against the Thunder for the 148-124 beatdown a few weeks ago. Let’s hope the King holds a grudge.

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Jason
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Jason
4 months 5 days ago

Sorry if this has been posted already, and yes, it is the Ringer (though not Simmons), so some way forgo a click cause Bill is such a d!*k, but it is really worth a read.

https://www.theringer.com/nba/2018/2/12/17002930/cleveland-cavaliers-trade-deadline-drama

Raoul
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Raoul
4 months 5 days ago

That is pretty funny.

BTW, on the “Love handing IT the ball like a little kid” meme, that looked pretty natural. Bigs hand rebounds to guards like that all the time.

ShumpyOldMan
Guest
ShumpyOldMan
4 months 5 days ago

Yeah I thought that since I first saw the video…it didn’t look like anything more than handing the ball to the closest guard…I thought people were making a huge deal out of something with absolutely no intent…but I guess the media a lot of times just has to make stuff up to get a story…

Jason
Guest
Jason
4 months 5 days ago

I am counting the Suns loss to GSW early. Though Payton has 16 of their first 18 vs GSW & they have an early lead. Wins:
17 = Kings
18 = Suns, Hawks, Mavs, Magic, Grizz
19 = Nets
20 = Bulls

Tomorrow:
Hawks at Bucks
Kings at Mavs (someone wins)

Jason
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Jason
4 months 5 days ago

Nets lose again. They are awful without RHJ. He is their Draymond.

Bulls edge the Gordon-less Magic. Phoenix will lose to GSW by 50.

Arch Stanton
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Arch Stanton
4 months 5 days ago

LETS GO NETS PICK!

MikeO
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MikeO
4 months 5 days ago

Nets down 15 at the half to the Clippers…if I’m the Nets pick, I want to see some SERIOUS Okafor minutes the rest of the season…

Arch Stanton
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Arch Stanton
4 months 5 days ago

The Lakers should send IT to the Nets for cash.

MikeO
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MikeO
4 months 5 days ago

The Nets Pick enjoying IT playing for the Nets would be next level…

Arch Stanton
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Arch Stanton
4 months 5 days ago

I’d buy an IT jersey if that happened.

\"newnomad\"
Guest
\"newnomad\"
4 months 5 days ago

will make an early prediction on game tomorrow (okc //cavs )—not on winning / losing ——the thunder WILL NOT SCORE 148 PTS AGAIN !!—TAKE IT TO THE BANK !!!

MikeO
Guest
MikeO
4 months 5 days ago

Keep talking, IT. I think he may sign with the Kings this summer. So glad he’s gone…I was about to stop watching the Cavs altogether. At least IT has given everyone an easy answer to the question: “who is your least favorite Cavs player”.

\"newnomad\"
Guest
\"newnomad\"
4 months 5 days ago

don’t believe “MR ” Kolby — is hurriedly making the phone call to drose —-can you say china league derrick

MikeO
Guest
MikeO
4 months 5 days ago

TWolves fans are licking their chops…

EvilGenius
Admin
4 months 5 days ago

Ben Werth
Editor
4 months 5 days ago

I think JR has officially turned the corner. His energy on both ends has picked up, but more importantly, he is taking his patented crazy catch and release shots. His confidence is back. He he just fires immediately, he is money.

Since Hood seems okay playing off the bench and JR has struggled when he hasn’t started as a Cav, it seems a good idea to keep that starting unit until Kevin comes back.

I still worry about Clarkson occasionally shooting the Cavs out of some possessions, but he won’t have a chance to shoot them out of games if they keep defending and moving the ball. This team should absolutely roll post All-Star break.

Sim
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Sim
4 months 5 days ago

Ben ur from the best on the cavs if not -the best that I’ve read keep up the great work , however I wouldn’t be so quick to jump onto the jr bandwagon , hes old, he’s moody, he’s not active on offense just stands around most of the time , his defense is terrible for the most part, I think we got a great team now, I don’t see why we need to keep stroking his ego with soo many minutes. Time will tell …

Jason
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Jason
4 months 5 days ago

If Clarkson gets too out of control, Lue has some things he can do.

1) Stagger LeBron & Hill so one is on the court at all times.
2) Play Calderon. We are 18-7 when he starts. And raise your hand if you thought Calderon would be #4 on the team in games started at the ASG (#5 if you count the guys that got traded).
3) Lets Green or even Osman bring the ball up.
4) Run the offense through Love/Nance at the high post.

We are gonna have to live with some of it, he is an aggressive player. I think he will be less so here rather than in LA.

Richard
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Richard
4 months 5 days ago

Thank you Ben for validating what we’ve all seen and want to believe. I’ll drink at your Kool-Aid stand anytime because your analysis has been spot on since forever.

Mike Podracky
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Mike Podracky
4 months 5 days ago

Some of us wondered why Jason LLoyd wasn’t writing during this past crazy week. Here is a beautiful tribute LLoyd wrote about his father.
https://theathletic.com/238943/2018/02/12/saying-goodbye-a-legacy-defined-by-faith-and-family/

EvilGenius
Admin
4 months 5 days ago

Really poignant and touching. Very good and devastating read.

Tom Pestak
Admin
4 months 5 days ago

yes – I enjoyed that tribute by Lloyd.

\"newnomad\"
Guest
\"newnomad\"
4 months 5 days ago

KJG has their “wish ‘ list of buyout pursuits —-do like 1 of their picks —TYSON CHANDLER —–who would you take if it came down to a choice —CHANDLER OR NOEL ?

Arch Stanton
Member
Arch Stanton
4 months 5 days ago

Noel.

\"newnomad\"
Guest
\"newnomad\"
4 months 5 days ago

leo don’t knock / put down clowns like that by using Lavar’s name in same reference ( ha-ha–just being sarcastic) the guy is A TOTAL —————————-FILL IN THE BLANKS !!—-

believeLAND
Guest
believeLAND
4 months 5 days ago

The thing is, as much as I want to just appreciate a winning team that competes and plays the right way, along with the complete privilege it is to watch Lebron James- I really want Lebron to win more championships. In Lowe’s recent article- he stated how the Cavs last year at the peak of their performance were one of the best teams of the last fifteen years- but it goes completely unnoticed because of the astronomical heights the Warriors are on. As much I hate to do this, how well do we match up against GSW? Who would be the primary defender on KD? Hood? Would that really work?

Man I hate the Warriors. They’ve ruined everything.

\"newnomad\"
Guest
\"newnomad\"
4 months 5 days ago

have mixed emotions about even posting this ( and quite possibly already done–maybe I am hyper sensitive )—-would like to see some kind of tweet from LeBron to david gilbert and family —-would just show some kind of positive relationship between the 2

EvilGenius
Admin
4 months 6 days ago

Tom will be so happy…

Phil Hubbard
Member
Phil Hubbard
4 months 5 days ago

So Lue went into the desert with Don Juan and some peyote, and he had an epiphany about Osman. Overnight Cedi goes from barely getting garbage-time minutes to part of the core.

Raoul
Guest
Raoul
4 months 5 days ago

Actually it is rather common that rookies don’t play much early in the season, and then later on they become regulars.

Phil Hubbard
Member
Phil Hubbard
4 months 5 days ago

But this happened overnight, more than halfway through the season. Cedi went from averaging less than 2 minutes a game for the previous 10 games — including two DNPs and an inactive — to 30 minutes a game in the past three.

Raoul
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Raoul
4 months 5 days ago

Did you notice they just traded six guys, and now “seniority” issues are gone? That is called “waiting until the time is right”. It is common for teams to trade away older, entitled guys to make room for younger players that are ready for major time. Not everything is a conspiracy.

Phil Hubbard
Member
Phil Hubbard
4 months 5 days ago

Who said anything about a conspiracy? It only takes one coach who struggles with rotation and playing-time allotment.

It’s pretty extreme to go from almost no playing time to starting and heavy rotation overnight. That isn’t how Pop or other normal coaches develop young guys. It’s a failure on Lue’s part that he didn’t find a way to use Cedi more before.

Jason
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Jason
4 months 5 days ago

Perhaps a come to Jesus meeting with Altman?

John B
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John B
4 months 5 days ago

Cedi really isn’t giving him much choice with how he is playing. Can’t wait for OKC.

Raoul
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Raoul
4 months 5 days ago

Raoul too!

\"newnomad\"
Guest
\"newnomad\"
4 months 6 days ago

yeah evil I was researching prospects yesterday—–believe you could go / drop to 13 and still get a nice player in this draft —-like the kid from TEXAS A&M —KID IS AN ABSOLUTE BEAST—-A BIGGER CHARLES BARKLEY

Arch Stanton
Member
Arch Stanton
4 months 6 days ago

#PettyWarz

MikeO
Guest
MikeO
4 months 5 days ago

Par for the course with the NBA…maybe I’ll start liking all the vines of IT getting stuffed…I have to work though, so I don’t think I have the time for that kind of rigor…

Arch Stanton
Member
Arch Stanton
4 months 6 days ago

I kind of want IT and LaVar to start going after each other in the media. This is the kind of drama the Lakers need to provide to the fans.

TV63
Guest
TV63
4 months 5 days ago

Oh it’s inevitable .

Raoul
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Raoul
4 months 5 days ago

Maybe they will get in an actual fight. Three to one sez IT whomps LB.

JRL
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JRL
4 months 6 days ago

That would be awesome

Arch Stanton
Member
Arch Stanton
4 months 6 days ago

What a bargain. All 3 sons and a helicopter parent!

MikeO
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MikeO
4 months 5 days ago

Of course he’s full of it, but it gets him media coverage, which is what he’s looking for. He’s boring.

Raoul
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Raoul
4 months 5 days ago

Take them to Boston!

The “New Big Three”!

JOHN B
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JOHN B
4 months 5 days ago

Who would want all three of them. Lonzo is by far the most athletic one of them. The middle kid, is not an nba player. Lamelo doesn’t have the body or athleticism. Lonzo doesn’t have the shot or finishing ability.

Leo
Guest
Leo
4 months 6 days ago

this guy is a clown show good god hahaha

EvilGenius
Admin
4 months 6 days ago

LOL! Maybe it will be for the flagship team of that other basketball league that Lavar is going to start… LOL

believeLAND
Guest
believeLAND
4 months 6 days ago

What are the chances Cavs could get rid of TT this offseason, and add Rudy Gobert and Paul George? Not high, yeah – i know.

EvilGenius
Admin
4 months 6 days ago

About zero… Gobert just signed his deal with the Jazz and isn’t going anywhere and PG is either going to stay in OKC and sign for a $40M fifth year (that no other team can offer) or head home to LA…

Leo
Guest
Leo
4 months 6 days ago

i think the Cavs are bad matchup for the Celtics, especially now, but moreso they don’t really have a bench and lot of their supporting cast are scrub players that would probably not be on a lot of elite teams. The Raptors are more complex matchup….they have a decent bench and Casey has adjusted to his team much better than in past. Still think in the end, when your team has Lebron the odds are in your favor.

TV63
Guest
TV63
4 months 5 days ago

We have The Celtic Killer on the Cavs team & he didn’t even play last night. Raptors are not the same trick pony show. They have become smarter this year. They will be the ones in the Eastern Conference Finals.

EvilGenius
Admin
4 months 6 days ago

On The Jump… even Paul Pierce think the Cavs are the favorites again… mainly because LeBron looks rejuvenated…

TV63
Guest
TV63
4 months 5 days ago

and he has his Lebron vodoo doll in his pocket at all times

\"newnomad\"
Guest
\"newnomad\"
4 months 6 days ago

could live with Jackson—try to move T.T. —still concerned with the Nets going on a” little” win streak/ knicks ” gaining ‘ ground on the Nets and other teams ‘cashing ‘ it in —-if we can stay at 7 or lower that pick should be an asset

EvilGenius
Admin
4 months 6 days ago

Well, Alabama PG Collin Sexton is currently ranked 11th best prospect by SI… he’d be a terrific defensive addition who can handle the ball… so even if the Nets win a few more and the Knicks lose a few more… not worried…

Raffy22
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Raffy22
4 months 6 days ago

Right. Every other team will tank. Nets are going to play hard because players are playing for future contracts.

Jason
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Jason
4 months 5 days ago

Lakers do not have their pick either.

Guys playing for contracts or spots happens to every team.

Players don’t tank (cough, LeBron). FOs & safe coaches will.

Raoul
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Raoul
4 months 6 days ago

Wish Nick Gilbert a rapid recovery from surgery today. He needs to be in shape for the draft lottery drawing.

Sim
Guest
Sim
4 months 6 days ago

I’m just feeling uncomfortable bout lue making the best choices in regards to that

Sim
Guest
Sim
4 months 6 days ago

Awesome recap nate-as usual! When love gets back, for playoffs which 2 players should we see be out of the rotation?

Tom Pestak
Admin
4 months 6 days ago

Dave Mc just finished with Stephan A.

-yes, D Wade was a “sink”
-IT’s mouth was worse to stomach than his awful play
-LeBron and D Wade probably aren’t as tight anymore as people think
-Org believe in Ty Lue even if he hasn’t shown himself to be a great xs and os coach. Dave thinks he’s one of the best relationship coaches in the league.
-Said LeBron emphatically told Altman and Gilbert NOT to trade Kyrie (which, this is the first time I’ve heard this)

JOHN B
Guest
JOHN B
4 months 6 days ago

Ooof. Hopefully, these new trades have helped repair that relationship.

Arch Stanton
Guest
Arch Stanton
4 months 6 days ago

Wade scored 3 points in his debut with the Heat.

EvilGenius
Admin
4 months 6 days ago

He did have that sweet block towards the end tho…

Arch Stanton
Member
Arch Stanton
4 months 6 days ago

Interesting on Wade. He and LeBron are not that tight? It almost seemed like Wade was purposely sabotaging the locker room to get cut so he could play with the Heat.

I did hear about LeBron telling the FO/Owner not to trade Kryie last week by Jason Lloyd.

MikeO
Guest
MikeO
4 months 6 days ago

Imagine how annoying IT’s mouth was if it was worse than his crappy game…there have been several reports in the last few weeks that I have seen about Lebron urging them to keep Kyrie, so that story is definitely out there…

EvilGenius
Admin
4 months 6 days ago

JRL
Guest
JRL
4 months 6 days ago

Glad he didn’t take it too seriously.
Dude’s a great guy.

EvilGenius
Admin
4 months 6 days ago

Right Down Euclid
Guest
Right Down Euclid
4 months 6 days ago

Were 11 deep before any buy-outs and without Calderon. Realistically 2 rotation guys won’t get minutes in playoffs. Tough one for any coach let alone Lue.

JRL
Guest
JRL
4 months 6 days ago

I don’t know who you don’t play. I can only see Nance taking over TT’s minutes but other than that, I can see a 10 player rotation for the playoffs.

EvilGenius
Admin
4 months 6 days ago

New SI mock draft board out this morning… has Cavs picking 7th with the Nets pick and taking Jaren Jackson…

https://www.si.com/nba/nba-mock-draft-2018

CLF
Guest
CLF
4 months 6 days ago

Jackson was the best Michigan State player on the court against Duke earlier in the year. He’s a big time player. He can play defense and he can shoot the 3.

Mike Podracky
Guest
Mike Podracky
4 months 6 days ago

Texas center Bomba has risen on the draft boards. Earlier projections had the Cavs taking him, and I am hoping he is still available when the Cavs pick.

JOHN B
Guest
JOHN B
4 months 5 days ago

He has improved a fair amount. Looked insanely raw, like score 2ppg a game for his first 5 years raw, a couple months ago.

TheOtherJason
Member
TheOtherJason
4 months 6 days ago

i confess i do not understand the allure of the 5 month premature mock draft

EvilGenius
Admin
4 months 6 days ago

Just interesting more to know who the players are and how they are perceived as the year plays out… way too early to know about draft position and final rankings… Mainly, I find I discover things I didn’t know about certain players, and hear about players I might have missed that were previously under the radar…

Tom Pestak
Admin
4 months 6 days ago

The two things that stuck out the most to me as foundational components the Cavs added:

-George Hill’s isolation defense which should snuff out a lot of fuses before the dynamite explodes.
-Larry Nance Jr. rolls with authority and sets good screens. Those plays where he was screening for LeBron and then rolling hard to the rim forced the Celtics to sell out. Jordan Clarkson (who is a spotty 3 point shooter) was wide open and LeBron of course found him. The Cavs should figure out how to maximize that play. There should be a triple option every time. LeBron all the way to the rack, Lobs for Nance Jr., and wide open spot up 3s around the perimeter, especially the weak side.

grover13
Guest
grover13
4 months 5 days ago

Did you just outline the revered “Triangle” offense?

Taximike
Guest
Taximike
4 months 5 days ago

They ran it like 4 times in a row. First action was to switch Brown onto Clarkson, and then run the pnr with LNjr and LBJ. Brown bit hard on the pnr, so I guess that’s why they worked the switch first?? Even though it was his first game, it shows how great Nance’s gravity is, and was on multiple plays that game.

I’m not a physics guy, but can you imagine KK in Clarkson’s role? Who’s gravity wins out, KK’s or LNjr’s, lol. Or would the court just implode into a black hole?

Bobb
Guest
Bobb
4 months 6 days ago

Sucks for Boston. Two more years of losing to the Cavs (if LeBron stays), and by then Philadelphia will be a monster team (if they stay healthy). It feels like their window might be closed before it ever got fully open.

Taximike
Guest
Taximike
4 months 5 days ago

Not sure I agree with this. Haywood will fit in great with this team next year, Kyrie is Kyrie, Tatum is going to be an all star for years, Brown could become a very good player, and they could get lucky this year and have the 2nd or 3rd pick, via the Lakers. Even if Philly keeps the pick, they get Sac’s pick next year, and luck won’t be involved with that, as the Kings have no shot at being good.

Plus they have a top 5 coach, and the most assets if a star player wants out somewhere, and that seems to be the case every year.

Vintage
Guest
Vintage
4 months 6 days ago

Not to mention Bucks are going to get scary as Giannis gets even better and if they can get one more star with Middleton and Bledsoe

EvilGenius
Admin
4 months 6 days ago

Unless they can somehow get Anthony Davis for some of their young pieces and picks… but that’s about the only way…

Mike Podracky
Guest
Mike Podracky
4 months 6 days ago

BTW, nice headline: Rational Exuberance.

TheOtherJason
Member
TheOtherJason
4 months 6 days ago

I’d like to propose 24K as nickname for Clarkson

847A973B-B8BC-400F-9BD1-4B9D9427D381.jpeg
EvilGenius
Admin
4 months 6 days ago

The likeness is pretty striking…

Jason
Guest
Jason
4 months 6 days ago

For fun, season 3PT FG%:

PG: Hill 45.5%, Clarkson 33.2%, Calderon 45.0%.
Wing: JR 36.7%, Korver 43.2%, Hood 39.2%, Osman 40.0%.
Forward: James 36.0%, Love 40.4%, Green 32.7%.

Not everyone is great (Clarkson, Green). But if you cut out the chucks for them, I think both could be north of 35%. Green has proven he has good discretion.

And we have 6 guys who can flat out shoot the 3: Korver, Hill, Hood, Love, JR, and Calderon.

running jumper
Guest
running jumper
4 months 6 days ago
Great game by our team. Really feels so refreshing. – Of course it’s one game but it isn’t hard to see how well they really fit compared to the previous ones we had, except for Channing (miss that guy already). – I expect Hill and Nance to be steady. Hill as a steady director of the offense consistent scoring albeit on the 13-18 range. Plus a consistent outside touch and an average defense. While Nance being the intangible guy off the bench, hustle, energy and defense. – Clarkson could be a great spark plug from the bench though I expect him to be up and down many times but not in a bad way. Either nice or meh.. – Hood. He has the most potential. He can be a real high scoring 6th man. Out o the 4 that debuted he’s the one who looks like he’s being shy to burst out and kinda slowly feeling the game. He has the tools and if all goes well i hope we could grab him at a bargain this summer. Of course we all hope for the best, but what Dan and Koby brought definitely cuts us closer than before. What a… Read more »
Raoul
Guest
Raoul
4 months 6 days ago

Great recap Nate.

As far as “LeBron never got over the hump against him (Pierce) till he went to Miami”, game 7 of the first “Boston Big Three vs. LeBron” playoffs was the worst example of a team getting homered by the Refs in NBA history. I really think the league wanted the “Big 3” in the finals. If you recall, the game started with a couple dozen phantom fouls on the Cavs so the Celts built up a huge lead at the foul line. Then LeBron almost pulled it out at the end. A couple more bad calls saved the Celts. I would love to see a careful study of the refereeing of that game.

Taximike
Guest
Taximike
4 months 5 days ago

I don’t know which game you’re remembering, but the fouls were 26 by Boston, and 28 by the Cavs (but 2 were intentional in the last 15 seconds). As far as free throw disparity, well the Cavs shot 35 to Boston’s 34 (once again, 4 of which were in last 15 seconds).

They hit some big shots, they made some big plays, they deserved the win. Sucked, but blame PJ Brown if you want to blame someone.

\"newnomad\"
Guest
\"newnomad\"
4 months 6 days ago

list of available free agent posts —–HAMMONS / BOGUT / EZILI / HIBBERT / HAWES / SPLITTER / WITHEY —–any of these names “excite ” you worth calling / just wait to see what unfolds ?

Taximike
Guest
Taximike
4 months 5 days ago

I’ma hold out for Larry Sanders…

Jason
Guest
Jason
4 months 6 days ago

Not really. I would wait on Dedmon or if anyone else gets bought out.

I think we want to evaluate the new guys first. Our needs would seem to be, in order:

1) Rim protection
2) More frontcourt shooting (4/5 spots)
3) An absolute stud perimeter defender
4) A secondary creator
5) More perimeter shooting

Dedmon kind of checks two boxes. I like me some Tony Allen as well.

Arch Stanton
Guest
Arch Stanton
4 months 6 days ago

No. I don’t want any of these guys.

\"newnomad\"
Guest
\"newnomad\"
4 months 6 days ago

was thinking the same on Dedmon —-double edge sword there —if they cut him lose/ we have a chance to grab him ( which would be great –but no gaurantees )–but if they do cut him lose –chances are they are ‘semi-tanking “–would jeopardize our Nets pick

\"newnomad\"
Guest
\"newnomad\"
4 months 6 days ago

good job Jason / keep up the good work / we all appreciate —-if mavs are “so called tanking ” and buyout NOEL —-think that is cavs should go after aggressively / fits the mode of all the other younger guys —athletic / runs the floor well / defense / attitude-maturity needs to improve —but that is another body along with the Brooklyn pick that could set this franchise up for a long time

Jason
Guest
Jason
4 months 6 days ago

The Mavs call it “getting the young guys experience,” of course. But, yeah.

Will be interesting if the Hawks buy Dedmon out. He may have to go, as he keeps causing them to win games.

Jason
Guest
Jason
4 months 6 days ago

Cavs win. Hawks win. Grizz can’t beat shorthanded Thunder in OKC. Kings can’t hold a 4th quarter lead in Minny. Mavs are competitive but fall in Houston. Wins:

17 = Kings
18 = Hawks, Mavs, Suns, Magic, Grizz
19 = Nets, Bulls

Tonight:
Clippers at Nets
Magic at Bulls
Suns at Warrios

Nets have lost 5 in a row & are 1-9 in the last 10. Ditto the Suns. After sitting Evans, Grizz lost 6 in a row. Mavs are 2-8 in last 10 & Carlisle sits Dirk, Matthews, Barea, and often Barnes at the end of games. The tank is on.

\"newnomad\"
Guest
\"newnomad\"
4 months 6 days ago

“hotter than july blacktop”—that is great !!!—-what great fun- but as you point out —we need to be realistic—there will be “bumps “/ “ugly losses “—but this team is SOOOOO MUCH MORE REFRESHING / FUN TO WATCH—-gives us hope for both the present and the future —–“L-JR ” as advertised does so many little things that the avg fan doesn’t notice but are HUGE for the team —-there will be nights where he might get his 15 pts –but he is just as valuable as yesterday scoring 5 pts —–I am back to ” can’t wait until the cavs play again …….coming from DON’T EVEN WANT TO BOTHER WATCHING THE BUMS “——-ALL IS GOOD —ALL IN -THE LAND !!!!

Arch Stanton
Guest
Arch Stanton
4 months 6 days ago

running jumper
Guest
running jumper
4 months 6 days ago

Let’s go Cavs!

Mike Podracky
Guest
Mike Podracky
4 months 6 days ago

Super recap, Nate. It was so awesome to see how animated the Cavs bench was led by James and KLove. I have never seen Love that pumped. No one is more glad to have the clubhouse lawyers gone that Love. When IT was revealed as one of the players that called out Love that did it for me with Thomas. And IT was probably the mole going public on the meeting. Never so glad to see one player gone, and Rose/Crowder are a close second. It’s hard to forgive Crowder for walking over Love on the ground too. I think Love comes back very motivated like James has been.

Arch Stanton
Guest
Arch Stanton
4 months 6 days ago

And Wade too. He was apparently a locker room cancer.

Taximike
Guest
Taximike
4 months 5 days ago

Wade was a cancer last year in Chicago, so no surprise. He even rubbed some the wrong way last couple years in Miami, with his last minute ‘I’ma sit this one out’ decisions.

Also, and this is on LBJ too, his friendship with Lebron caused problems, in that it excluded the others. They did everything together, which is fine, but it turned the locker room into cliques. How many team photo’s on instagram and such do you recall this year?? Maybe this was what put JR into a funk this year?? And something seemed off with Tristan too. Who knows, but we didn’t need him anyway after the trades, so good riddance.

TV63
Guest
TV63
4 months 6 days ago

That really stunned me! I would have never guessed that at all.

JOHN B
Guest
JOHN B
4 months 6 days ago

I thought the signs were there after he was named the other primary instigator in calling out Love. Didn’t think he was this disruptive though.

Simmo
Guest
Simmo
4 months 5 days ago

I am also stunned and a little bit sceptical – until we hear actual examples of things said, this could all be down to one person who didn’t like DWade leaking to media.

JOHN B
Guest
JOHN B
4 months 5 days ago

Probably IT.

daspec90
Guest
daspec90
4 months 6 days ago

I had no idea that it was going to be Paul Pierce Day yesterday at the Garden. Wasn’t expecting to be reminded about his critical rebound in Game 7 in 2008 either (Grrr… ) Suck on that, Boston!

grover13
Guest
grover13
4 months 6 days ago
“Cleveland has the length and versatility to play truly positionless basketball and the numbers to run other teams into the ground….” This is what we have all acknowledged for years that GS does, and that the Cavs need to accumulate a similar roster to compete. It appears they’ve done it. Let’s not go overboard though. The comment about Stevens not having tape to build a detailed gameplan is appropriate, and applies to a lesser extent to the rest of the league. After about a month, opponents will start counteracting what works, and it will be on Lue to adjust again. That’s not a slam dunk. Also, as wonderful as Clarkson’s microwave impression was yesterday, there will be some (many?) nights when those shots don’t fall. Will he be able to make up for it on defense, or will he just chuck it mindlessly? TBD. Still- a wonderful premiere. I think JR Smith’s aggressiveness isn’t so much about being pushed by Hood, but more about he was afraid to be himself with all that used-to-be-MVP talent around him. He’s clearly the #2 on the court again now (with Love out), and we should see that swagger again. I’m looking forward to… Read more »
Simmo
Guest
Simmo
4 months 6 days ago

Oh, did Anna Horford have anything to say?

Tom Pestak
Admin
4 months 6 days ago

she will in the playoffs

TV63
Guest
TV63
4 months 6 days ago

Still no Ray Allen joining the festivities last night? That is one long grudge.

TV63
Guest
TV63
4 months 6 days ago

Jaylen Brown gushed over what Ty Lue has done with this team and needs credit after the game was over. What? Lue is a GM now?

ChrisKorvalier
Guest
ChrisKorvalier
4 months 5 days ago

Jalen Rose?

Raoul
Guest
Raoul
4 months 6 days ago

We have no idea how decisions are made between Ty, Koby, Dan, and ?

Leo
Guest
Leo
4 months 6 days ago

sure the Celtics missed a lot of 3s but Cavs missed some that looked like they were going in, the fact is the Cavs had so much energy in starting lineup and bench, and when they were still competitive with Lebron on the bench I knew it was over, the Celtics can’t contend with Alice Horford as their 2nd best player. And no offense to Cedi, but Jaylen Brown should not have been shut down by Cedi and thats exactly what happened. The Celtics are a year away, they need to move Smart and maybe with Hayward coming back have Jaylen come off bench for them, they have zero bench and no Rozier doesn’t scare me. GO CAVS!!

Boogieeels
Guest
Boogieeels
4 months 6 days ago

So we know this is a “What have you done for me lately?” league…anyone else feeling a little James-Harden-is-the-MVP-fatigue? Perhaps a reinvigorated Lebron the second half of the season leading a group of youngsters back to the Finals is now a more compelling MVP narrative??

Vintage
Guest
Vintage
4 months 6 days ago

I think LeBron has the numbers to be in contention but definitely needs some more Ws. I think Cavs would need to be #1 or 2 in the east for him to get serious consideration. Rockets are no joke and have been on a tear all season, and unfortunately they consider team success when the numbers are pretty close

pihc
Guest
pihc
4 months 6 days ago

I especially like the last one where the ABC announcers are talking about how great of announcers they are and how fortunate they are to work with each other while Nance Slams a dunk.

Raoul
Guest
Raoul
4 months 6 days ago

I was thinking exactly the same thing.

Boogieeels
Guest
Boogieeels
4 months 6 days ago

I liked when Jeff Van Gundy said the Cavs have no shot at winning the Finals the Warriors already have those rings locked up. Then Mark Jackson asked “Well, why even watch the rest of the games?” Then a quarter or so later JVG said he thought the Cavs could win the championship. Uh, what?

TheOtherJason
Member
TheOtherJason
4 months 6 days ago

sounds like national telecast announcers to me. last thing they ever talk about is the actual game happening in front of them. no analysis of plays. so frustrating

MikeO
Guest
MikeO
4 months 6 days ago

What stinks is JVG does occasionally analyze, and he’s good at it, but usually is content to just clown it about about nothing. I think a lot of people are kind of tired of that stuff.

Tom Pestak
Admin
4 months 6 days ago

JVG’s most annoying trait is that he can’t turn off banal commentary. In between the 5 minutes of real time that the Block, the Shot, and the Stop happened, JVG is talking about fouls to give or advancing the ball using a timeout or some thing so below the noise floor it’s comical. It’s not that he’s wrong, it’s just – WHO THE HELL CARES THE NEW NBA LOGO WAS THIS CLOSE TO BEING LEBRONS NUTS ON DRAYMOND’S FACE.

The other thing JVG does that is absolutely insufferable is feel the need to decide whether or not something was a foul or not after every replay.

running jumper
Guest
running jumper
4 months 6 days ago

Why are my post always waiting for moderation?

JRL
Guest
JRL
4 months 6 days ago

Great recap.

The new pieces fit so freaking well. I gotta give it to Dan and Altman, they did an amazing job.

You could do a hockey swap and bring 5 guys off the bench at the 5min mark. A second unit of Clarkson, KK, Hood, Green and Nance is dynamite.

#excited

JOHN B
Guest
JOHN B
4 months 6 days ago

Phil handy got some handles. Hmmm, wonder who he is prepping Jeff Green for….?

Also whatever the heck LBJ is doing on the exercise ball with the medicine ball looks stupidly difficult and insanely tiring.

JRL
Guest
JRL
4 months 6 days ago

Seems like core support workouts.

Simmo
Guest
Simmo
4 months 6 days ago

Just finished watching the replay, & the recap went online. Summed it up well Nate. I love watching George Hill play. His defense in the 3rd quarter particularly was brilliant.

Jason
Guest
Jason
4 months 6 days ago

Great cap! No more short straws in the caps, hopefully.

In short: Hill > IT. Hood > Wade. Clarkson > Rose. Cedi > Crowder. And as much as I love Channing, Nance > Frye. Whomever we get in the buyout market > Shump.

Plus, rejuvenated LeBron > pre-trade LeBron. And JR & TT are playing better with real players competing for minutes behind them.

Only gripe is Bron & Korver didn’t share the court enough.

Raoul
Guest
Raoul
4 months 6 days ago

In fact, Zero > IT, Zero > Rose. Wade has some nice moments, but if he was a problem, going home is for the best.

JOHN B
Guest
JOHN B
4 months 6 days ago

Ok I am off the bandwagon. Skip Bayless said after today, despite both trashing LBJ and Gilbert while simultaneously complimenting them both, that the cavs may have just won a championship with that trade and that they may have a 50-50 shot at gs now. That’s it, cut Hill, Nance, Clarkson, and Hood.

EvilGenius
Admin
4 months 6 days ago

Dude… why are you paying any attention to Skip Sayless?

John B
Guest
John B
4 months 6 days ago

I don’t know. Because I despise the dude and I love pointing out his hypocrisy and haterade. The guy is so warped I think he actually is hilarious I’m his stupidity and arrogance because he is so earnest yet so utterly uninformed and hypocritical.

That post was meant as a joke if it wasn’t clear.

EvilGenius
Admin
4 months 6 days ago

Oh no… I figured ;)

JOHN B
Guest
JOHN B
4 months 6 days ago

Also didn’t see the Sayless, well done sir.

Arch Stanton
Guest
Arch Stanton
4 months 6 days ago

Nice recap Nate!

EvilGenius
Admin
4 months 6 days ago

Oh yeah… and JR even surprised himself on that ridiculous throw down over Baynes…

TheOtherJason
Member
TheOtherJason
4 months 6 days ago

surprised me thats for sure

EvilGenius
Admin
4 months 6 days ago

Great cap Nate! Agree with everything… Am super excited about where this team seems headed, but also doing my best to keep it in perspective… Still, it’s just awesome to be watching watchable basketball once more…

MikeO
Guest
MikeO
4 months 6 days ago

Good read, Nate. Amazingly fun win. Yeah, the Celtics missed a ton of shots (it’s what they do!), and they’ve been in a bad stretch lately, but Cavs could have won by 30 in Boston, and they clowned the Celtics almost the entire second half.

That JR dunk was one of the dunks of the year, and it was even better since he basically just dribbled past Kyrie to get to the rim. We’ve all seen that before from the other side.

OKC should be a real test. I’ll be extremely interested in how the Cavs defend the Thunder. If the Cavs can ein that game it’ll be a huge boost goong to the break.

I wonder if Lebron, besides not trying for several weeks, was intentionally half assing shots during that time? His shot has certainly looked better since he started trying again.

Arch Stanton
Guest
Arch Stanton
4 months 6 days ago

TheOtherJason
Member
TheOtherJason
4 months 6 days ago

tt dads horford

Phil Hubbard
Member
Phil Hubbard
4 months 6 days ago

Remains true even when TT is having a crap season. Amazing.

Bobby Nachos
Guest
Bobby Nachos
4 months 6 days ago

I wonder if he and Paul Millsap get together regularly to tell stories about their father, TT.

pihc
Guest
pihc
4 months 6 days ago

that’s some good stuff right there.

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