Playoff Podcap: Boston 107, Cleveland 94 (or, Rage Quit)

Tom Pestak rage quit on this game in the third quarter. He probably made the right decision. The Cavs, after leading 51-40 with 1:40 to go in the second, were outscored 51-29 before the 7:38 mark of the fourth to put the Celtics up 11. Cleveland cut it to six with 4:42 to play, and after a terrible foul call against LeBron, Ty Lue made his most inexplicable decision in a game full of inexplicable decisions. Lue reinserted J.R. Smith, despite Smith being being mired in a hapless 0-7 game. J.R. promptly hijacked a possession to initiate a pick-and-roll with Thompson that resulted in a three-point heave, and then rage quit on the game by committing an absolutely boneheaded flagrant foul when he two-hand shoved Al Horford during a lob attempt.

The Cavs’ complete and utter loss of composure started as soon as J.R. entered the game. We collectively screamed at Lue not to play him, and the ensuing five point Boston possession basically ended the game. The Cavs lost despite Kevin Love and Lebron (42) combining for 64 points and 25 rebounds. Cleveland turned the ball over 15 times to Boston’s five, and Cleveland had three guys in double figures to Boston’s six, but it was the play when the going got rough that was the most maddening.

Nate Smith, Right Down Euclid, and a moribund Tom Pestak dragged ourselves into the podcast booth to lament the loss. They discussed the Cavs’ lack of discernable offense or defensive scheme, Ty’s continuing inability to play his best lineups, the dumpster fire that is Rodney Hood’s play, the Celtics, the future, and so much more. Don’t rage quit. This one will be cathartic.

As always, you can catch us above, on Soundcloud, Apple Podcasts or Google Play.

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believeLAND
Guest
believeLAND
5 months 3 days ago

Lebron will stay, sign a five year max. We’ll get a new coach who is briliiant, and we’ll get rid of all these horrible contracts and sucky players. We’ll get younger, more athletic, and more physical. And we’ll win chips!

Vintage
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Vintage
5 months 3 days ago

Anonymous
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Anonymous
5 months 3 days ago

I do love this so.

JB225
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JB225
5 months 3 days ago

Git to like this quote from TT:

“We’ve gotta talk,” Thompson said, via Jordan Zirm of ESPN Cleveland. “And if you don’t wanna talk, you can sit your ass on the bench.”

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\"new\"nomad
5 months 3 days ago

very good pts johnb—was thinking the same –as are many gm’s if kyrie is ‘dangled ” out there

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5 months 3 days ago

so let’s play ‘what if “—-what if ainge who is known to trade injured gaurds—would call the cavs —will trade you back kyrie for that #1 draft pick / NANCE / SAY HOOD OR CLARKSON ——would you make that trade ?

JOHN B
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JOHN B
5 months 3 days ago

I actually don’t know. Crazy, but that injury scares the hell out of me. He would have to be checked out and they would need to have absolutely zero doubts about his long term prospects. Also, last year of his contract.

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\"new\"nomad
5 months 3 days ago

SO IF THE RUMORS ARE TRUE—TY REALLY WANTED D JORDAN / ALL STAR BREAK TRADE —-IS THAT WHY TY IS STICKING WITH HOOD —–SOMEWHAT TRYING TO ‘RUB ” IT IN KOLBY’S FACE ?????????

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5 months 3 days ago

AGREE with you Jason—-LEBRON did bring us a championship—( forever grateful )—and MANY great memories —watching the greatest player wear the cavs uniform –( forever grateful )—-but it DIDN’T HAPPEN WITHOUT A PRICE TO PAY——-SACRIFICING THE FUTURE —–ABLE TO ALLOW THE GM/ FRONT OFFICE TO CONSTRUCT A TEAM—-IT WILL BE AT LEAST 5 YRS ( IF LEBRON LEAVES ) –THAT THE CAVS WILL BE COMPETITIVE AGAIN

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5 months 3 days ago

and every cavs fan or whomever that wants the cavs to draft “the next S. Curry “—trae young —will you see what you get—-if you are going for a guard– GIVE ME SEXTON !!

JOHN B
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JOHN B
5 months 3 days ago

Forgot about Sexton. I would be ok with him. I would almost prefer to roll the dice on MPJ though because he may have the tools to become a superstar. I do think Trae Young could pan out and become a super star too, but he could also not. He won’t be a bust I don’t think because he is just too skilled, but he definitely could turn out to just be a bench guard who can shoot, dribble, and pass, but can’t finish inside and is a sieve on defense.

Regardless I think Orlando almost certainly takes Young and MPJ will be gone too. I would rather have Sexton now that you mention him than Wendell Carter Junior or the bridges.

Tim
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Tim
5 months 4 days ago

Nice job by the Rockets. Reggie’s unadulterated worship of Curry is obnoxious.

Tim
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Tim
5 months 4 days ago

For example ” best 3 point shooter in the world not settling for 3.” Box score shows 1-8 from 3. Then because he’s having a rough shooting night it’s “because of his leg injury.” Nothing to do with the Rockets going after him every single possesion and wearing him down.

Mike Podracky
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Mike Podracky
5 months 4 days ago

Curry always gets excuses when he plays bad in the playoffs….which is frequently

Tim
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Tim
5 months 3 days ago

Durant, he’s scary and unstoppable, Green, scary, he’s Marcus Smart but better. Klay, scary AF, he’s smart, good defender and a true knock down shooter who can get his own. Curry literally is the Rockets best chance to win. His turnovers, silly deep 3’s early in the shot clock and awful defense are a problem. Every shot he takes, Durant can take, better.

Tim
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Tim
5 months 3 days ago

Frankly the Warriors are better without him. He’s a defensive liability, like the real kind, not because decides not to rotate a few times to conserve energy to play at an all time level after more miles on his legs than anyone ever. Curry bleeds points because he is targeted and can’t stop dribble penetration. He’s just a glorified version of IT or even Kyrie, amazing when he’s going super Nova on offense, but always a leak on defense.

Simmo
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Simmo
5 months 3 days ago

Hey Tim, I feel you and want to agree with you – I dislike Curry for many reasons (way more than Dray or any of his teammates). But the statement ”
Frankly the Warriors are better without him” simply does not hold water by any metric.

Tim
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Tim
5 months 3 days ago

Yea, lol, maybe too far. But he is exploitable on defense and gives away possessions.

Tim
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Tim
5 months 3 days ago

He stated that the team defense was too cute. Basically implying that he was getting beat but the blame goes on the help defender. Cavs aren’t the only team with ego and drama. Oh wait, forgot, Curry is God’s gift to basketball and humble as smit.

JOHN B
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JOHN B
5 months 3 days ago
I don’t like the guy, but the thing about Curry is even on an off night (game 1 and 2), his gravity opens the floor for them. I expected a let down this game. They were after all playing with free money. Is Curry’s defense exploitable? Sure. However, last night their team d was sloppy through the first three qtrs. They were nowhere near as focused on bottling up the role players. Also all of them were getting beat off the dribble, not just by Curry. The crazy thing was they were getting beat by guys like pj tucker and Ariza. Lastly, the rockets role players hit a bunch of step backs/pull-up threes throughout the game. By the time Curry lost a ton of guys on cuts in the fourth (gave up) it was already over. They were down by like 20+. He lost guys twice on backdoors earlier in the game, and a lot of the damage in the first three qtrs was not all done on him. I expect they will be more focused in the next few games. They won last night by their role players going off, but the rockets are getting gentlemen swept. They aren’t… Read more »
warriorsfan
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warriorsfan
5 months 3 days ago

You are right on. Curry also adds lot of value outside his shooting. A reminder that he averaged more rebounds than TT in last year’s finals. He setups his team mates. Also, Rockets were 7/15 in iso plays against Curry. But, more importantly, he is making them work. He is not all NBA defender but he is holding his own. This game, Rockets added more ball movement, Harden dominated ball less.

JOHN B
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JOHN B
5 months 3 days ago

Yeah. He/they made some adjustments for sure. I don’t think gs was exactly as sharp on d as they were in game one. Obviously Harden and Paul helped them in game, but I didn’t see the defense gs is capable of playing in game 2. I don’t think they were near as focused as they could be.

Jason
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Jason
5 months 4 days ago

Eff whatever Bron wanted.

He could have committed to stay. Cavs can’t deal their last rebuilding chip & watch him walk. Especially when we cannot neat the Dubs anyway.

Hexsays he wants to chase titles, but the way he operates undermines stability, growth, and the FOs ability to plan.

RC Kim
Member
5 months 4 days ago
It seems to me pretty clear from how these playoffs have played out that LeBron does not intend to come back — however, please bear in mind I am just reading the tea leaves and playing armchair detective for my own amusement, and LeBron may change his mind. It seems to me that if he were serious about staying for a couple more years, he would have insisted that Ty play Cedi, Hood, Nance and even Clarkson and Zizic heavy minutes. He knows exactly what guys like Love, JR, Tristan and Korver are capable of, and that it’s not enough to push them past the Rockets or the Warriors anyway. So this postseason should have been used to figure out what this team has BESIDES the vets from 2017 so they can retool the roster and figure out how to make a real push for the title next season. Yes, I know some of you will say “Lue’s the coach, LeBron can’t control who is in the rotation” and I will not besmirch such sweet naïveté with a cutting remark. What would be the benefit of riding himself and a short rotation of guys he trusts to the Finals? Obviously,… Read more »
Joshua Martin
Member
5 months 4 days ago

Well said.

Kim
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Kim
5 months 4 days ago

You are overthinking. Nance and Clarkson were reserves from a non playoff team. Rodney Hood was on a bad Utah team that got much better once he was moved to the Cavs. Hill was a starter on possibly the worst team in the league. Oh, he’s not exactly healthy. The Cavs were just so bad in January that any change, even for the worse, was sought.

RC Kim
Member
5 months 4 days ago

Also, I don’t see how that contradicts my admittedly speculative argument. I am saying LeBron doesn’t want to find out if these guys are any good, and your counter argument is that he knows they aren’t any good? That’s actually worse.

RC Kim
Member
5 months 4 days ago

Fair hindsight being 20/20, but that is not what you guys were saying on this board in February about these players, especially Nance and Hood. And nobody can rationally explain why Lue is not playing Cedi. The stuff about “because Lue won’t play him” gives him too much blame. He wouldn’t wipe his ass if LeBron said he couldn’t.

JOHN B
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JOHN B
5 months 4 days ago

Doubt they do that even if he wanted them to and I am sure he is likely aware the piece is more valuable in this draft than what they get in return, save maybe if they could get McCollum (not gonna happen for the 8th pick). If they had a top 3, they could probably get a haul, but they didn’t. He probably knows this and I am sure they do to. Additionally, I think both he and them will likely figure out whatever piece they got back wouldn’t be enough to put them over the top.

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5 months 4 days ago

amico hoops now reporting both ty and LeBron wanted DEANDRE JORDAN / all star trade —‘ not ‘ ALL IN ‘ for the other trades —-another ‘card ‘ for LeBron to use for his “2nd exit ‘—-let’s just get this series with Celtics over with —LeBron makes his decision ( to leave )–and get on with what the future of cavs basketball will be / look like ——I know it is a negative / pessimistic outlook —but man this season has BEEN ONE LONG / BURDESOME / DRAMATIC / NOT FUN SEASON —–ready for a change !!

MikeO
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MikeO
5 months 4 days ago

It was reported at the time that Lebron wanted Jordan, so not surprising.

running jumper
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running jumper
5 months 4 days ago

Mike Budenholzer to Bucks. Now if Giannis can hit a jumpshot and consistently play great..

MikeO
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MikeO
5 months 4 days ago

Big get for them.

Peter
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Peter
5 months 4 days ago

Al Horford’s sister has selective amnesia. Throwing venom on social media on JR. At least JR admitted his wrong doing. Horford disabled TJ Ford, gave Dellavedova an atomic elbow and stuck his foot under the jumpshooting Markieff Morris. Then Horford would say, “That’s not what I am about.”

Tom Pestak
Admin
5 months 4 days ago

HERE HERE.

Simmo
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Simmo
5 months 4 days ago

She’s a damn sight more troubled than just having amnesia, Peter.

Anonymous
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Anonymous
5 months 4 days ago

Hindsight 20/20 view. If Cavs got smart instead of Isiah, they might have this series.

RC Kim
Member
5 months 4 days ago

How would that have worked salary-wise?

MikeO
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MikeO
5 months 4 days ago

Probably could have made it work…Smart makes 4.5 million, IT made 6.2 million this year. Ainge, being intent on ripping off any trade partner and wanting to unload IT at all costs, probably would have been very resistant to throwing in Smart instead of IT.

warriorsfan
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warriorsfan
5 months 3 days ago

Actually, Ainge might have traded Smart because he doesn’t want to him max, that Smart’s demand last year.

MikeO
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MikeO
5 months 3 days ago

Maybe, but the IT contract was coming up faster…I think he was hell bent on unloading IT (I don’t blame him, but the Cavs were morons to help him out).

MikeO
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MikeO
5 months 4 days ago

Also, talk at the time was that the Cavs were demanding an ‘All Star’ back for KI….technically, IT was an All Star…

MikeO
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MikeO
5 months 4 days ago

Or if they had gotten Tatum or Brown, which they absolutely should have. If Ainge didn’t want to put up one of those guys, then sorry, no deal. And Cavs definitely should have made that demand when they learned of the extent of IT’s injury. One might say “no way Ainge does that!”. Fine, no Kyrie, then.

Anonymous
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Anonymous
5 months 4 days ago

Does anyone here fit Lue’s need?

‘Cavaliers coach Ty Lue was asked about Smart’s impact and noted, “Same impact he always has: just winning basketball. He makes winning plays. He makes tough plays. If it’s 50-50 balls, he’s going to get it. If it’s a loose ball, offensive rebound they need to have, he’s going to get it. We’ve got to be able to find someone who can match his toughness.”

running jumper
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running jumper
5 months 4 days ago

Cedi

JRL
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JRL
5 months 4 days ago

Jesus he’s such an f’ing moron.

Jason
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Jason
5 months 4 days ago

Both Gilbert & Bron are to blame for a lot of this issues. Lue as well. But mainly Bron & Gilbert.

Bron is an all-timer, top 10, greatest SF in history. He works hard on his game (post 2011), he takes care of his body, he is nit afraid to speak his mind. He turns you into a contender (pre-Durant GSW).

But a lot of the stuff has to be on HIS terms. He does not like to play with post players so you have olay 5 out or 1 dive man. He likes to pass (mainly in the first half) but HE has to be central to it. A lot of iso/kick results. His +/- numbers are awesome, but that is partly because he seems to insist on being the system & it collapses when he sits.

I stand by my no way he is the GOAT stance. But he is still great & this series is not over. GSW sweeps us if we make the Finals anyway.

Kim
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Kim
5 months 4 days ago

You are too consumed with your obsession to tell the world that Lebron is not the GOAT. Mike D’ Antoni pioneered the 7 seconds or less predicated on spacing and ball movement yet he is having his most successful coaching stint while advocating iso-ball that has led to an historic offensive efficiency.

Gordon
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Gordon
5 months 4 days ago

Sorry, but think most of this is pretty absurd. The only thing we can “blame” LeBron for is that he clearly has never been a fan of playing young guys, so his teams don’t develop them and he also never signs long term, which means you are in constant “win now” mode and eventually your roster ages and isn’t very good.

Everything else you said is just asinine IMO.

Mike Podracky
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Mike Podracky
5 months 4 days ago

+1

Raoul
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Raoul
5 months 4 days ago

All correct until the last paragraph.

NickNevers
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NickNevers
5 months 4 days ago

Now we’re gonna find out what this team’s made of. All the players said before the series was how the Indiana challenge helped them prepare, but it’s clear the physicality is creating problems again. This Celtics team is good, however they can be handled.

Let’s take care of biz in G3 and go from there. Also – play Cedi.

MikeO
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MikeO
5 months 4 days ago

Also, when Tom was sneering about Baynes, he described him as ‘sweating like a hippo’, right? That was hilarious.

Tim
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Tim
5 months 4 days ago

I’m not gonna lie, him Leroying that 3 almost made me rage quit as well lol.

Jwhodey
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Jwhodey
5 months 4 days ago

Series isn’t over. Instead of 6 it’s Cavs in 7. We’re beating ourselves. I wouldn’t mind seeing Cedi play over Hood at this point. I think the Tatum hit did effect LeBron’s play…

Jwhodey
Guest
Jwhodey
5 months 4 days ago

I think LeBron and Love in particular, but all of the Cavs, want to give the appearance that it’s easy to beat this Celtic team. They don’t want to look like they are exerting a lot of effort. That casualness/stubbornness, ended up shooting the Cavs in the foot this game. Their gonna have to hustle rest of the series and let down the veneer of an effortless series win…

daspec90
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daspec90
5 months 4 days ago

Nate’s paragraph above describing the insertion of JR is the story. It was a competitive six point game, but then Horford gets a generous foul call instead of Cavs’ ball, JR with a foolish dribble-heave followed by the frustration cheap shot on Horford. Two shots plus the ball and game over in the stretch of less than a minute.

On the bright side, the Cavs played better in Game 2 than in Game 1. They were in control for the first 2.5 quarters. Game 2 was really anyone’s until that miserable sequence.

U-Dog
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U-Dog
5 months 4 days ago

LBJ is the center of the Cavs universe. Both the good AND the bad fall on him.

The word “maddening” used to be used here regularly.

Tim
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Tim
5 months 4 days ago
Sure, dude is human, flawed and complex. But where is the faith? This blog reminds me of the Cav’s a bit, the second things don’t go brilliantly and easily the eye rolling and finger pointing overwhelms the body of work. He checked out, no doubt after the hit in the head, could have been a mental block, could have had the fight knocked out of him. Whatever it was the flow of the game completely changed from Lebron freaking James inserting himself refusing to allow a loss, to a tired dude who paced himself and waited for his moment to go for the win. This time JR and the Cav’s player rotation literally blew the game which was a 6 point game before JR happened, how different would the narrative be if they came back and won instead of a snowball of awful? Could have happened, wasn’t that far off, a couple 3’s dropping a couple possessions down the stretch with just a little bit of defense integrity and it would have been a different ball game. This is the same dude who has been to 7 straight NBA finals, same dude with 5, 40 point games and 2 game… Read more »
Tim
Guest
Tim
5 months 4 days ago

Also, there were 3 defensive plays down the stretch when it was still close which showed me something. One resulted in an unfortunate foul call on when Horford was trapped in the corner, bailed out the C’s. One was a block on scary Terry and one was a play where Lebron stood down a fast break and forced a turnover. Lebron picked his spots, no question, but those 3 plays were a great example of picking spots wisely to affect the outcome.

U-Dog
Guest
U-Dog
5 months 4 days ago

The comment was directed to the state of the franchise and the team play. Both the good and bad originate with LBJ – not Lue, not Gilbert, not JR Smith.

The team has had a run of great success with Lebron. But unless your name is Kyrie Irving – your game degrades to catch and shoot. The ball has energy. No ball. No energy.

Tim
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Tim
5 months 4 days ago

Kevin Love begs to differ. He showed up can create his own and is a bona fide star. Cav’s don’t need Kyrie, but 10 points from the PG would be nice. 10-15 from JR and Hood combined would be nice. Different ball game if they actually play like NBA players and not like drunk clowns.

Gordon
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Gordon
5 months 4 days ago

Yep. If our “complaint” about LeBron is that his game results in wide open shots for teammates, then it isn’t much of a complaint. Sorry to those upset at LeBron’s play (are you freakin’ kidding me?), but when your starting backcourt is outscored 36-3 and your shooters can’t hit wide open threes, there isn’t much chance of winning.

LeBron got tired. He put the team on his back in the first half and because he’s a human being, he isn’t able to shoot 70% every quarter throughout the game and needs some help. Green, JR, Hill and everyone else not named Kevin Love did basically nothing.

running jumper
Guest
running jumper
5 months 4 days ago

If Lebron stays (he will I guarantee you)

What is the bigger priority?

A legitimate second option on offense that would get the ball off LeBron and score bigtime when Lebron sits.

Or

Defensive center that protects the paint elite level and great pick and roll defender?

We definitely need both but with our so limited assets well..

believeLAND
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believeLAND
5 months 4 days ago

Just hoping Bamba falls to 8. Think he has tremendous potential.

Joeyb
Guest
Joeyb
5 months 4 days ago

Number one priority is coach. Number 2 is getting the pick right whether big or wing. Then big who can switch.

Tom Pestak
Admin
5 months 4 days ago

I would love a guy like Steven Adams. LeBron did some great things with Varejao

JOHN B
Guest
JOHN B
5 months 4 days ago

Option 1 in my opinion. I think Nance can become an approximation of the second given more minutes and better coaching.

running jumper
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running jumper
5 months 4 days ago

Mike Budenholzer is a very good coach and most likely better than Lue. I just have this feeling that both will have the same success with Lebron since he won’t cease control of the plays. Everything will be the same top of the key LeBron outlet pass to thw shooter scheme.

If LeBron surrenders the playbook to the coaches half of the time we’re guaranteed a better team.

JB225
Guest
JB225
5 months 4 days ago

As you just said sometimes I wonder if the Cavs bad offense or is it that Bron just want to have control of everything most of the time.

Tom Pestak
Admin
5 months 4 days ago

it’s both.

running jumper
Guest
running jumper
5 months 4 days ago

Watch T.Lue coach the next team of no stars put up 120 a night after he gets fired lol.

I think both, but it’s like 70-30 with Lebron getting the lion share of the culprit

Joeyb
Guest
Joeyb
5 months 4 days ago

Anyone still wish to defend that horrendous kyrie trade? Just a reminder that he was a sperstar on an affordable two year deal. We got the 8th pick in the draft and probably will lose the GOAT.

Gilbert has spent two years completely destroying a championship team. It is stepian level arrogance and incompetence.

Raoul
Guest
Raoul
5 months 4 days ago

Joeyb: For at least the 100th time: KYRIE DEMANDED A TRADE!!!! They had to do something.

Why do you pretend Kyrie got traded just because the Cavs are dumb?

Joeyb
Guest
Joeyb
5 months 4 days ago

I demand Gilbert give me a million dollars. Does he have to do it? The trade made us worse. If kyrie never played one second for us, we’d still be better than we are now. We’d at least have a valuable asset. The trade was worse than doing nothing. Gilbert, a supposed great businessman, negotiared from a position of weakness. Instead of waiting for the market to improve, he panicked. It has led us here. There is no defending the trade. Wasn’t then, and sure as hell ain’t now.

believeLAND
Guest
believeLAND
5 months 4 days ago

They didn’t have to do anything. They could have stayed put. They have him under contract. Superstars have demanded trades before and been denied by their organizations (Kobe),

MikeO
Guest
MikeO
5 months 4 days ago

I said this at the time, and nothing has changed since then: if you feel you have to trade Irving, Don’t. Trade. With. Freaking. Ainge. Cavs got screwed and also gave Ainge the star player he was lusting for. They gave Ainge the bailout on two players he was eager to dump. It was terrible then, and looks worse now.

Tom Pestak
Admin
5 months 4 days ago

If Ainge is smart at all he will trade Kyrie. This team is better without him. Kyrie is the most overrated superstar since Gilbert Arenas

believeLAND
Guest
believeLAND
5 months 4 days ago

Kyrie makes them worse. He could be a major trade piece. Ainge isn’t that smart by what other GMs have said, but it’s the people around him in ownership and the front office (Grousbeck, Zarren) that are brilliant.

MikeO
Guest
MikeO
5 months 4 days ago

I certainly wouldn’t be surprised if he moved Kyrie if they can get someone like Kawhi. The most infuriating thing to me is that the Cavs helped him out big time by taking the IT problem off his hands, and even Crowder, who isn’t particularly good (and whose defense fell off a cliff two years ago), and who was holding back the Celtics young players. Kyrie aside, Ainge must have loved just getting rid of those two headaches.

Terrible trade.

JOHN B
Guest
JOHN B
5 months 4 days ago

I don’t know. He was much better defensively this year. Still negative drpm but better and actually forced a number of turnovers and tried. He also carried that offense for much of the year. If he continues to try on d, force turnovers, and buys into team ball, I think he can be a number one on a stacked team like Boston is primed to have.

Tom Pestak
Admin
5 months 4 days ago

I should channel my inner Ben Werth and say “since Damian Lillard”

Joshua Martin
Member
5 months 4 days ago

I can’t wait for Ainge to move Kyrie. He isn’t worth the max in this new wing dependent NBA. Rozier can do much of the same things in that system with better defense and for a much cheaper price. Would be hilarious if we see Bron, PG13 and Kyrie all end up on the Lakers within the next 1-2 years.

Tom Pestak
Admin
5 months 4 days ago
here’s what you have to remind yourself of, Joeyb. The Cavs got gentleman-swept by the Warriors WITH a very healthy Kyrie Irving. Kyrie Irving threatened to have season-ending surgery if the Cavs didn’t trade him. You can say “they should have called his bluff” but Mo Williams did the same shit the previous season and it cost the Cavs a roster spot. David Griffin is a product of the Suns – all offense, no defense. He brought in guys that were very one dimensional. That said they were great fits against LeBron. They were also pretty old. CavsDan may have felt like the Cavs roster building was not heading in the right direction to deal with the Warriors. Clearly, the Cavs biggest need coming out of the 4-1 finals loss was a wing defender that could handle Kevin Durant (Richard Jefferson got torched). Throw all these things together, and then add the fact that with LeBron you are always in win-now mode, and the fact that Kyrie was always a weak culture guy (Griff said as much even in a podcast where he mostly was effusively praising Irving – he did offer commentary on the fact that Kyrie was NOT… Read more »
Joeyb
Guest
Joeyb
5 months 4 days ago

Here’s the thing Tal. I wasn’t against trading Irving. But if you can’t get value for that asset even if you believe he doesn’t fit the long term plan for your team you can’t make a bad trade just to make a trade. The cabs would be better off now if they had just left Irving get surgery and sit out for a year wasting a roster spot. We would at least still have an asset to trade. And that was the worst case scenario. The best case was getting a good player in return. We did worse than the worst case.

Tom Pestak
Admin
5 months 4 days ago

but Paul George went fishing before the Cavs so he may not have made a difference anyway. And Irving is in streetclothes.

Clearly, the Cavs have issues. But there is no alternate reality right now that puts them in a better position unless you think Griff would have pulled off a better midseason trade than Altman did (and for months anyway everyone in the world was singing Altman’s praises)

JOHN B
Guest
JOHN B
5 months 4 days ago
Yep. With Irving out, we may not have even made it out of the first round without Hill. Subsequently you could be in the same scenario with regards to LBJ. Impossible to say what would have happened with PG trade with Griff leading it, but I expect the same. Also, I am wary that Irving will never be the same player after this injury. Also never clear whether any other trade offers (bucks) actually materialized. Only thing I could point to that could make this truly a bad mistake is that it was trading to the biggest conference rival and the fact that apparently Boston still has Memphis pick for either next year, 2020, or 2021, AND the clippers pick for one of those years. Didn’t know that until someone posted that the other day, think RC Kim. They may have enough to get Kawhi or AD with those picks plus one of the young guns. If they do, conference is theirs for the next 6-7 years in all likelihood provided Kyrie actually can comeback the same player. Lastly the older vets and one dimensional players are due to the cavs being completely capped out. Sealed that fate when we… Read more »
Mike Podracky
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Mike Podracky
5 months 4 days ago

Agree on cavsdan. His hubris in jettisoning Griff right before the draft, and also already knowing* Irving was unhappy was beyond arrogant. James spoke in support of Griff 7-10 days before the contract wasn’t renewed, and also asked not to trade Irving. Gilbert ignored him. Cavsdan gets credit for the checkbook, but not for thinking he was the smartest person in the room on basketball moves.

running jumper
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running jumper
5 months 4 days ago

David Griffin

JRL
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JRL
5 months 4 days ago

The trade is indefensible. Cavs should had asked for a lot more in return. Unfortunately it’s done.

LeBron will end up in Houston or Philly. I’ll root for him there.

Raoul
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Raoul
5 months 4 days ago

Why do you think they didn’t?

running jumper
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running jumper
5 months 4 days ago
I don’t know. Talking about this season and beyond… Dan just extended his reach since we won the championship. He is a bit more hands-on since the beginning but he wasn’t really known as a “control freak” before we won the title. I’d give him some benefit of the doubt.. On the other hand, LeBron has always been the guy pulling the strings majority of the time ever since his first stint. Last time he fell in line? We came back 3-1. Prior to that he was a back to back champ when Pat Riley often said no to him on and off the court. We need better players and better coach/coaching. But LeBron needs to adjust more than what he does right now imo. Despite all the greatness he showed up to this point, we all agree that maybe he could’ve done some things differently that inspired the team or showed other pages on our playbook. Like getting back on defense a couple more times. Maybe he could’ve gone off-ball more or closed-out on his guy in the perimeter. LeBron is a culprit too if he doesn’t go on other plays that doesn’t feature him dribbling at the top… Read more »
JRL
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JRL
5 months 4 days ago

Completely correct. LeBron’s lackadaisical attitude towards defense (36+ minutes per game) is ridiculous and should be called out.

As great as he is offensively when he’s “on”, he becomes a negative when he metally checks out of games – for whatever the reason.

JOHN B
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JOHN B
5 months 4 days ago

I think the defense is literally a product of the minutes on his body and his age. I don’t think he could be anywhere near as effective on offense without checking out on d a fair amount. He cannot be a two way player anymore for more than a couple minutes a game if he has to do what he needs to on offense.

He is on the very tail end of his prime and in all likelihood has declined significantly due to his need to reserve energy. People talk about him being better than ever these playoffs. I don’t think that is accurate because he is incapable of playing much defense and carrying the offense anymore. He isn’t the two way beast he was in Miami and I don’t think he can be. Closing out require energy. Everything on defense kind of does.

running jumper
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running jumper
5 months 4 days ago

That’s a good counter but it would also save him energy if he lets the team run the plays outside him a little more than he does. Being a cutter more often is more energy efficient than attacking the basket every damn time. Gets other people going too where they don’t stand in the wings waiting for his homerun pass.

JOHN B
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JOHN B
5 months 4 days ago

Good point. I truly have no idea how much of the offense is on him versus Lue. I do think a fair amount is him wanting to have the reins, but he did play off ball a fair amount in Miami. I am not sure we will ever know the truth on this without seeing their practices.

JB225
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JB225
5 months 4 days ago

The lack of playmakers is hurting the Cavs big time. We point fingers at Bron for not playing defense but to be honest it must be hard for him to create plays, score points and be all over the place on defense at the same time at this level.

Nick
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Nick
5 months 4 days ago

Do they have a lack of playmakers? I would argue that there is nothing that represents an offense or promotes movement of bodies other than a PNR to get LBJ a mismatch.

JB225
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JB225
5 months 4 days ago

What I mean is that most of the players in the Cavs line up can’t create their own shot and that’s why almost every play has to be created by Bron either posting up or as you posted LeBron on PnR looking for a mismatch.
The Celtics like the Warriors have several players that can shoot from the outside, create their own shot of dribble penetration and drive to pass to others and that is a huge advantage.
The Cavs only have one since Hill hasn’t been able to create anything at all on offense.
And I also forgot to mention that most of the Celtics and Warriors players are decent to great defenders. The Cavs have only 2 decent defenders maybe.

running jumper
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running jumper
5 months 4 days ago

We need a legitimate second option to bridge the gap on offense.

Clarkson, Hill and Hood can definitely create on their own maybe 2x a game. But if you asked them to do that more than 5 times then you’re doomed.

We need the 2nd option to shoulder LeBron consistently, Love as 3rd option and the Clarksons, Hills to shoulder our 2nd and 3rd option.

believeLAND
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believeLAND
5 months 4 days ago

What do you guys think are the best run organizations? Spurs, Warriors, Celtics, Heat, Rockets, Mavericks- feel like Cavs could be there if there was just a slight adjustment in ownership’s approach.

Tom Pestak
Admin
5 months 4 days ago

Spurs, Warriors, Rockets, Jazz, Cavs, Heat, Hawks, Celtics is my order.

believeLAND
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believeLAND
5 months 4 days ago

Yea- Jazz definitely should be in there. Didn’t have them in any particular order

JOHN B
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JOHN B
5 months 4 days ago

Good call on the Jazz. Hawks I am so so on. I think letting Bud walk was a mistake.

JOHN B
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JOHN B
5 months 4 days ago

Mavs get points deducted because of Cuban’s meddling. Carlisle and Dirk are the only reasons that organization has been as solid as it has been in the 2000s. I would say

Presti is a great draft talent evaluator (Westbrook, Harden, Ibaka, Adams, Durant doesn’t count since he was the most no brainer sure thing since James) but is hamstrung by his owners. However, his coaching decisions have been pretty horrific in Brooks and Donovan and you could argue it cost him Durant and maybe George. Obviously he lost the George trade based off contracts, but no one saw that coming.

JRL
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JRL
5 months 4 days ago

You mean a new majority owner?

I think Dan is not a good owner other than realizing he needed to spend money to make money.

JMay
Editor
5 months 4 days ago

At least we aren’t Raptors fans…

JRL
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JRL
5 months 4 days ago

Well, this will be the last game I watch besides the Cavs being 3up against whomever.

I’m done. I can’t stand Lue. I absolutely think he’s the worst coach in the playoffs/NBA. I don’t care he “won” a ring for Cleveland, if he was to disappear from the face of the Earth, I wouldn’t think twice about it. He f’ing sucks.

I’ll be rooting for whatever team LeBron plays next year. 99% sure it won’t be Cleveland. 100% sure if Lue is still the coach next season.

Anonymous
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Anonymous
5 months 4 days ago

Cavs are capable of winning next two games and take the series to 7. The role players play better at home.

\"new\"nomad
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\"new\"nomad
5 months 4 days ago

nick agree with you ( probably take a lot of grief from this )—on HOOD / CLARKSON —-still think with the RIGHT coach / system they can develop to decent players / they are still young enough —–also need to develop cedi / ante / nance —ty is NOT the coach for this to happen ——and yes Jason / agree —–ky / wade / IT all saw that ty was not an nba coach who can make them better —–still believe one of the main reasons ky wanted out and why HOOD may not want to come back

Calcman
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Calcman
5 months 4 days ago

Think about who we had on the court. James and Love do almost all the scoring. JR is in la la land, Thompson can only do tip-ins and Hill is still trying to figure out why the Cavs wanted him. Lue is a terrible coach. He still doesn’t see the matchups are in the Celts favor. Give Tyron some more time off and let the assistants coach. if the Cavs come back it will be despite poor coaching!

Jason
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Jason
5 months 4 days ago

Face it. Kyrie, IT, and Wade are correct: Lue sucks. It isn’t that he cannot make good decisions or draw up a good play out of a timeout: he just does it less frequently than other head coaches while failing to implement defensive/offensive systems & develop younger players.

Plus, as good as LeBron is, he has never been good enough to beat very good teams on his own (Orlando, 2015 Warriors) and certainly not great ones (Big 3 Celtics). Heck, even with help, better teams usually take him down (Spurs 2 for 3 and nearly 3/3, Dirk’s Dallas, GSW, though the Heat paid the Truth back).

Point is, this lesson that an iso-centric offense with Bron at the center should have bit the dust long ago. 2014 at the latest. If not then, then last year certainly. But nope. Though the circumstances this year with all the turnover did not help.

JMay
Editor
5 months 4 days ago

Is anyone here still on the Lue train? We’ve pretty much agreed with Kyrie, IT, and Wade since the start of the 16/17 season.

Anonymous
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Anonymous
5 months 4 days ago

Are we still paying Mike Brown?

JOHN B
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JOHN B
5 months 4 days ago

Dan Gilbert might be since he would still have to pay out 21 million if he fired Lue. However, I have been over Lue since last year. Really I always thought they won in spite of some of his choices in 2016. He still somehow isn’t the worst coach in the league though. The bar is set low by some of these teams.

JMay
Editor
5 months 4 days ago

I’m not convinced he’s not the worst coach… I mean, these other terrible coaches don’t have a LeBron James buffer…

JOHN B
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JOHN B
5 months 4 days ago
True. But Brooks had a Durant, Westbrook, and for a brief time, Harden buffer. That is a lot. But boy was he bad and still is with Washington. Donovan by OKC blog talk is also pretty bad. I think Casey actually got his lunch handed to him by Lue in the Raptors series. The Miles at four lineup. The failure to trap James in the out of bounds (opportunity was there in the corner after the inbound) for the game winner. There were a bunch of other bad calls he made too. Actually Casey got schooled several times in the past few years. Remember horns rub and how the cavs ran that play like 12 straight times in 2016 against the raptors (game 5 if I recall) and scored/got fouled on nearly everyone of them? That can’t happen. After the third time you have to call a timeout and scheme for that play. I mean they literally ran the same action every time for like 3 straight minutes and Casey never changed his personnel or the scheme to adjust. Lue made some good calls then, in the raptors series this year, and actually made some good calls (after a delay)… Read more »
Tom Pestak
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Tom Pestak
5 months 4 days ago

Horns rub – could have revolutionized the NBA if the Cavs had chosen to keep running it after it was thwarted that one time (after 14 straight possessions with a bucket)

U-Dog
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U-Dog
5 months 4 days ago

I agree with all this.

Calcman
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Calcman
5 months 4 days ago

Why did the Cavs get Hill if Lebron is going to bring the ball up anyway? I thought the Cavs looked more energized when the King was off the court. They actually moved the ball around and took better shots. Lebron has to be part of EVERY damn play so the other guys are standing around scratching their yikas.

\"new\"nomad
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\"new\"nomad
5 months 4 days ago

YOU ARE RIGHT JMAY- (SPORTS GODS )–WE ” FUMBLED ” BIG TIME !!

\"new\"nomad
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\"new\"nomad
5 months 4 days ago

amico hoops really coming down hard on ty / rightfully so—–why can Celtics take avg players and develop them into good starters / role players ——cavs players REGRESS—–HOOD / NANCE / CLARCKSON / ANTE /CEDI —–THAT IS ON TY ——AMICO HOOPS ALSO POINTED OUT HOW MUCH BETTER THE CAVS PLAYED WITH DREW AS COACH—-ROTATIONS / GAME ADJUSTMENTS ETC ———-REALLY CAN’T FAULT PLAYERS WANTING TO LEAVE —( KYRIE / I.T. (EVEN THOUGH HE IS A DRAINO / CAN SEE HOOD NOT RESIGNING WITH THE CAVS ——-AND PROBABLY REGAINING HIS CONFIDENCE / ABALITY WITH ANOTHER TEAM )—–HEY LIKE SOMEBODY ALREADY POSTED WE CAN LOOK FORWARD TO TRAE YOUNG ‘HOISTING / BRICKING ‘ UP ABOUT 15 TRAYS / GAME NEXT YEAR

\"new\"nomad
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\"new\"nomad
5 months 4 days ago

the Cleveland “sports gods ‘ were NOT kind on us fans yesterday—cavs loss/ didn’t move up in the draft/ tribe blows a big lead to the tigers ——hey maybe this is the year of the browns —–really want to stay positive / have hope—( we were down 3-1 against the dubs –but we also had kyrie )—that game on Saturday needless to say is HUGE –GET A ‘W” / GET SOME CONFIDENCE BACK ——-mike those stats are –wow —alarming / frustrating / maddening etc.—-ainge and stevens made IT look like an all star —we bought into it —should have said either BROWN OR TATUM —OR NO TRADE ——really think the NBA wants the celts / warriors match up – (even though celts won’t win this year )—-will lead up to year of hype –Hayward / kyrie coming back with the young nucleous —cavs are “old news ” —nba/ media know they-(cavs )– would have NO chance this year of winning—need to start NEW rivalry / strory lines

JMay
Editor
5 months 4 days ago

They gave us our chances, NOMAD… The sports gods, that is.

Nick
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Nick
5 months 4 days ago
As much as this team has been a dumpster fire at times they have pieces that could make them versatile and very good. They have a mix of veterans and youth that can match-up with almost every team if put in the right spots and used properly. Unfortunately we have harped on coaching all year and have screamed for guys like Cedi to get some run. I’m not ready to give up on Hood or Clarkson yet. I think they can be valuable pieces if they can be used properly. I gave up on TT throughout the year but teams do need a guy like him. He’s overpaid but Cleveland had to do it. He’s a contributor as a bench guy. I hope they can find a way to get rid of JR. If Lebron sees something he can work with and comes back, they get rid of JR, assume they re-sign Hood, and draft Porter their roster has some versatility. One of the ESPN guys calling the game last night hit it right on the head that Boston’s young players and versatile lineups cause confusion and mismatches when they get on the break. Cleveland has players who can do… Read more »
Mike Podracky
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Mike Podracky
5 months 4 days ago

Most glaring stat in Jason LLoyd’s “final thoughts.” Irving averaged 25.8 pts vs the Celtics in last year’s ECF. This year, Clarson, Nance, Hood and Zizic have TOTALLED 23 pts through two games.

John B
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John B
5 months 4 days ago

Nance could still be a nice piece for years to come, but Clarkson and Hood were clearly Pyrite and their fanbases/organizations clearly had them pegged for what they were.

JOHN B
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JOHN B
5 months 4 days ago
Pretty bleak podcast. Can’t say I disagree with the general sentiments. Getting a top three pick would have really boosted my confidence for the prospects of keeping James. As it is, we are probably looking at one of the Bridges or Trae Young. The Villanova Bridges could be a decent rotational player and maybe the MSU Bridges develops a jump shot. However, I don’t think that is enough to sway James if they lose this series, or are swept in the finals. Trae Young got exposed and I think Michael Porter Jr. gets drafted before us. If they did pick either of them, I think that if they were to pan out they could be a huge piece, but who knows with either of them. Can the cavs comeback? Possibly. However, 94% of teams that go up 2-0 win the series (279 and 19). Additionally, Boston has simply looked like the far superior team. They look better than Indy largely because I think they have more weapons, a more balanced attack, and just as good or better d. While the Cavs d, Lue’s rotations, and the cavs offense have done the cavs no favors, I don’t see all of those… Read more »
Kevin
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Kevin
5 months 4 days ago

We’ll always have 2016. Sigh

JOHN B
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JOHN B
5 months 4 days ago
Yep. That was one for the ages too. If James leaves, it could be a long time before we are back in the playoffs, let alone in contention. I would say follow the Ainge/Grant/Hinkie model and stockpile assets again. It will be more difficult starting next year though, because the odds for the top three picks become more balanced. If James leaves, the cavs should invest a lot more in scouting. If Gilbert is serious about keeping the team and returning to contention, he needs to vomit money at the best GM candidate out there at scouting talent or headhunt from another organization. Cavs can’t have anymore Anthony Bennetts. Additionally he needs to find the GM before the COF (coach of the future) and then let the GM have complete autonomy in hiring the coach and bball related decisions. Ideally they get someone who can coach a young team, hold everyone accountable, develop personnel, and is an X’s and O’s savant, all while being a calming influence in the locker room. Basically they need to find the next Jerry West as a GM and the next Poppavich/Stevens/Kerr as a coach. Obviously it is a long shot, but great organizations that… Read more »
believeLAND
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believeLAND
5 months 4 days ago

Thank you for this comment. Points everything the Cavs organization lacks. This organization has no backbone, bending over backwards to Lebron’s every whim. Handing out insanely stupid contracts, going with a coach that he can buddy up with but doesn’t no a lick about actually coaching an NBA team. This organization needs structure and accountability, and it starts with the front office.

JMay
Editor
5 months 4 days ago

Unfortunately I don’t know if that capability is withing Gilbert. To allow complete control over something he owns to rest on someone else doesn’t seem like DG’s style, though, who knows what to actually believe. But you are spot on about everything else. If LeBron leaves (still not convinced he will regardless of the outcome of the series) then they absolutely need to salt the earth and move on.

Tom Pestak
Admin
5 months 4 days ago

great comment.

Mike Podracky
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Mike Podracky
5 months 4 days ago

A brutal assessment by Jason LLoyd of the Cavs’ ineptness and organizational errors.
https://theathletic.com/356279/2018/05/16/final-thoughts-one-loss-one-night-one-year-of-mistakes/

JMay
Editor
5 months 4 days ago

Bleak indeed. Sucks to be in this position. Lloyd talks about the organization looking exhausted, top to bottom. I’d say it includes the fans too. This has not been an easy team to watch over the past four years despite the finals runs. It’s never easy in NE Ohio…

NickNevers
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NickNevers
5 months 4 days ago

No no no, I can’t stand takes like this. You want to know what was a hard team to watch? The 4 years before LeBron came back! This has been the greatest era of Cavs basketball and there’s no way I’m going to be dragged having a woe is us mentality – 3 straight finals plus 1 chip and still have a chance for a another Finals appearance. You know how many teams would kill for that chance? I can’t agree with this at all.

Tom Pestak
Admin
5 months 4 days ago

fair take.

Tom Pestak
Admin
5 months 4 days ago

did he say anything about Rodney hood?

Mike Podracky
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Mike Podracky
5 months 4 days ago

Sorry the link wouldn’t copy given the subscription. Lloyd had plenty to say. In 12 playoff games totaling 200 minutes, Hood is -82 which is the worst among playoff players. Next worst is Utah’s Royce O’Neil at -67. Furthermore, Lloyd pointed out Clarkson has the second worse plus/minus on the Cavs in the playoffs and Nance the third worse. So, Lloyd points out the three players essentially left over from trading Kyrie that get court time are a collective -164 in the playoffs. Irving ended last year’s playoffs +128, so that is a 288 pt swing. This analysis was just part of his larger “Final Thoughts” theme on the many disastrous decisions the Cavs have made over the last 11 months. Jason has been somewhat of a homer, but he took the gloves off after last night’s debacle.

Tom Pestak
Admin
5 months 4 days ago

well, that’s potentially a gross misuse of the +/- stat. If Hood/Clarkson/Nance shared any time on the court together then the plus minute is for the whole team and adding it up is completely incorrect.

And just to re-iterate, individual plus minus (which is a team-metric applied to an individual player) over short periods (like, less than a full season) can be very misleading.

Really, +/- is the perfect stat to use when you want to accentuate a point you would have made anyway (“Rodney Hood sucks right now!”) and something you conveniently ignore when it runs counter.

JOHN B
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JOHN B
5 months 4 days ago

Yep. Unfortunately raw plus minus gets misused a lot. I am knowingly guilty of it, but I usually just bring it up when it seems to blatantly match the eye test. Impossible to truly parse quantitatively how bad or good someone is without adjusted lineup data. Without that you have no idea whether Hood spent 20 minutes in a lineup with say JC, Green, TT, and Smith and 2 minutes in a more reasonable lineup. Some of the other guys may have spent significantly more minutes with LBJ and love and subsequently their raw numbers might not be as bad. I don’t believe we have adjusted box plus minus or rpm for the playoffs.

However, in the case of Hood and Clarkson, the raw numbers do seem to be backed by the eye test, but it is impossible to quantify precisely how bad they have been based on raw box plus minus, which Lloyd leads you to believe judging by his use of raw plus minus.

Tom Pestak
Admin
5 months 4 days ago

yeah but the 288 pt swing is wrong unless Hood, Clarkson, and Nance never shared the floor with each other (which, they definitely have.)

JOHN B
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JOHN B
5 months 4 days ago

Ah I see what you mean. Yeah. Didn’t notice the combined plus minus Mike mentioned.

John B
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John B
5 months 4 days ago

He really took the gloves off with that question to Lue about Hood. Basically straight up challenged him that there were better options. Not something you usually see in press conferences where the press typically tiptoes around calling people out.

JMay
Editor
5 months 4 days ago

A good question. And one Lue failed to answer. Lloyd’s right in that Lue doesn’t have a logical reason for continuing to go to Hood. I’m sure Lloyd is as frustrated with the Cavs as we are right now. Glad to see someone finally calling out CLueless…

Boogieeels
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Boogieeels
5 months 4 days ago

Excited to listen to the podcap. No offense, but they are usually more entertaining after losses than wins! Your comments have more venom.
As far as the series goes I am still confident. As Nick Gilbert said on the draft stage, “We’ve had worse odds before, but I like our chances.” Perhaps the Cavs will show us he wasn’t talking about the draft st all….Go Cavs!!! (and please play Cedi)

Boogieeels
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Boogieeels
5 months 4 days ago

Also, I’d be surprised if Lue didn’t give Zizic a least a LITTLE run in Game 3 or 4. See if we can harvest any “trade revenge” energy out of him. Why not at this point?

Simmo
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Simmo
5 months 4 days ago

I dunno, seems like Lue always waits until it’s too late to make the change…

Leo
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Leo
5 months 4 days ago

Lue’s legacy on the line this next game, no question. He will have a weird resume if this doesn’t pan out. Im sure he’ll find other work in the league cause the NBA just recycles coaches, but man, its amazing how coaches can’t succeed with Lebron after a few years…think Spoelstra was the best by far and could’ve kept it going if Lebron stayed.

Stephens is playing some dude with a man bun, Greg Monroe (who is 3 levels washed up), and some guy I don’t know who wears #37 more than 5 minutes a game, but Lue has to play George Hill, Jeff Green, and JR over 30 minutes a game even though they don’t do anything. I really can’t believe Calderon, Cedi, or Zicic would be any worse than what we’ve seen. Also while Clarkson has been bad, I think his irrational aggressiveness would help against the Celtics, he just has to play off the ball.

Simmo
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Simmo
5 months 4 days ago

I remember the hazey fatigue of new parenthood (congrats BTW Tom!!). I could not imagine dealing with this apparent sad end to the 2.0 era in that state of mind. Tom sounded exactly as I imagine I would have. Just ugh, make it stop.

Always appreciate the CtB team backing up form a tough game to put content together. Thanks guys.

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