From Distance: Wine and Fool’s Gold

four point play….

1. “Fool’s gold” isn’t called “adequate substitute for those on a budget”. We use “a poor man’s… such and such” for that situation. I bring this up because it is easy to confuse the two when evaluating players.

One can say, “Jordan Clarkson is a “poor man’s Lou Williams,” or that “Collin Sexton is a poor man’s John Wall”.

One could say that. One would make me laugh sadly into my beer.

With every made pull-up jumper, the Sexton/Clarkson tandem leads someone to make the above claims. To me, every drained (way too early off Pick and Roll) pull-up J, makes me lament “Fool’s Gold”.

Fools.

It is frustrating to watch talented human beings consistently make poor decisions. It is obnoxious to watch those poor decisions lead to short-term “success” knowing full well that that “success” is untenable, short-lived nonsense that will only serve to reinforce basketball stupidity.

And why wouldn’t this basic flaw of humanity rear its head in our beloved sport? People are miserable procrastinators, willing themselves to overlook good long-term judgement. We wouldn’t have crumbling infrastructure and the like if people were good at tackling a problem head on.

No, we prefer to convince ourselves that things will get better through time and that simple patience solves our problems. It doesn’t. It only erodes our expectations.

It is especially damaging when a poor approach leads to good results considering our world’s obsession with outcome.

“Practice makes perfect”

Not if you practice the wrong thing. I prefer the old Vince Lombardi quote that I first read off the wall of my junior high band room.

“Perfect practice makes perfect”

In order to improve, you must change. Sometimes that means you have to actively tear down the habits that are most comfortable, the habits that may have given you a career.

The question becomes, “Do I try to realize 100 percent of my potential and risk running at only 60% on the way to that realization, or do I decide 85% of my potential is good enough, I don’t want to ever get worse!”.

If you choose the latter, you will likely convince yourself that the 85% percent version is actually the 100% version. You will actively lower your ceiling because you are scared to spend some time in the tear down phase.

I will not support that choice from the outside. Clarkson is likely a lost cause, but Sexton still has a chance to unlearn bad habits. It becomes that much harder for him to understand that those habits are indeed bad if we cheer him for making the poor shots he takes, saying things like “he is a better shooter than we thought, and he really tries!”

2. I have seen very limited growth in Sexton’s decision making. He is afraid to get out of his pull-up comfort zone. His faux tough guy defensive stance also confuses people into overlooking his basic, continuous errors.

Collin, we will support you if you truly work your game. Make the effort. I am glad your shot is falling. I am glad you care. But, if you don’t soon understand that many of those shots are fool’s gold, then you will be in for a mediocre career. If you can translate your passion into working on your understanding of the game, you have a chance to be a solid player.

a) you must continue to work your handle through contact and in tight spaces.

b) you must attack the big man in PnR with a live dribble until you either have a layup, have drawn two defenders, or have short jumper. The jumper is the LAST resort.

c) for the love of basketball, keep your feet on the ground when you are defending. A big man is never supposed to leave his feet until the last moment. The same is true with your shuffle slide. Hopping around makes you susceptible to the blow-by.

d) set active screens off the ball. You slip almost every off-ball screen I have seen you in. You and J.R. Smith have been useless on the weakside of the floor. Good screeners are rewarded with easy buckets.

e) Be as honest with yourself as you can. If you fancy yourself a smart guy, how does that translate to the floor? Can you sacrifice little moments of joy (taking a pull-up 21 footer) for the better basketball play (almost any other action)?

Who are you modeling your game after? Do you listen to the old heads in the locker room with an open mind knowing that they know more than you do about practically everything? Are you clever enough to choose and trust the right veterans?

Or maybe you are shrewdly being financially pragmatic knowing that since you aren’t supremely talented, you are more likely to be paid on your next contract if you get decent scoring numbers. Hey, chucking got Clarkson and Smith paid, didn’t it?!

I doubt it is that last one, but I wouldn’t blame the kid if it were. Without his crazy three on five game in college, I sincerely doubt Collin is a top 10 pick. It isn’t his fault he was picked that high.

It will be his fault if he doesn’t make the hard choice. Change. It is the only way to improve. And yes, it is a risk. But Collin, you are open for a reason. Teams want you to take that shot, make or miss. Stop being a fool looking for gold and aim for silver.

3. Unsurprisingly, the Cavs’ defense has improved since Ty Lue was fired. The most obvious reason is that the Cavs have been playing Larry Nance and Tristan Thompson more minutes together, and that David Nwaba has gotten more run.

The other huge reason is schematic. The Cavs are doing more show and recover on-ball, and trying to fight over picks. With another big man behind the play in either Nance or TT, the immediate roll threat is less problematic.

Nance has been a menace in passing lanes and TT is boxing out more on the defensive end than he sometimes has in the past.

Off-ball is where the real change is. There was zero off-ball defensive effort during the Cavs’ “switch (almost) everything” start to the season. Off-ball screen action wasn’t met with force at all.

The opposing offenses were able to get deep post position off simple ball swings as lazy Cavs defenders sunk deep into the paint. More often than not, non screens were switched by only one player leaving the entire defense destroyed by lazy incoherence.

Games have been watchable since Drew took over, but we should be careful not to get too excited by the blowout victory over the Hornets. While the Cavs did play well across the board, the Hornets missed a ton of wide open looks from three. Cleveland has improved, yes, but they also got lucky.

4. Count me as one guy who is disappointed by the Jimmy Butler trade. I really enjoyed watching the Sixers play ball last year. Dario Saric is quietly a very good player, filling in every gap with his massive skill-set. Robert Covington may have come up short in the playoffs, but he is a perfect fit next to Simmons and Embiid.

I can only hope that Jimmy Butler does his best to fit in next to Ben Simmons. Over the summer, there were a lot of people worried that LeBron’s theoretical arrival would stunt Simmons’s growth. Many Philly fans didn’t even want LeBron for fear it would wreck the fun that is the Simmons and Embiid duo.

Well, they didn’t get LeBron, but they got perhaps the closest facsimile in playing style. There is a chance that Butler will fit in seamlessly. He did start as a fantastic role player after all. Still, losing Saric is more painful than people realize.

Like the Leonard trade, it wasn’t just DeRozan for Kwahi. Danny frickin Green also came over. Robert Covington and Dario Saric are two B to B-plus players who excelled in their previous roles. Indeed, Jimmy Butler is an A to A-plus player at times, but if he drops Simmons from an A-minus to a B-minus, it might be a net loss.

On the bright side, Markelle Fultz seems to be out of the starting lineup. Maybe giving him less ball-handling responsibility will do him good. Or maybe Jimmy Butler makes the kid cry by week three and he goes to China.

In any case, the East has more varied talent than it has had in years. In a series, would you really take the Jazz, Nuggets, or Rockets over the Raptors, Bucks, or Sixers? Look at those roster matchups.

I am not betting against Bron, but those three Eastern Conference teams now have better wing defenders than any team out West not currently defending a chip.

I am not as sold on the Celtics yet as their top flight talent is a step lower than the other Eastern Conference giants. Still, they play regular season basketball with playoff tempo, so I am not writing them off.

The Raptors were my preseason pick to take the East. The Bucks and Sixers are making this interesting.

When your best players are two-way monsters, you are working with real gold, all the way around.

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scotch
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scotch
2 months 4 days ago

what’s insane about the warriors having a rocky patch is they are still due to get freaking Cousins back before the end of the year. What a load of bollocks. I would LOVE it if they lost in the 2nd round to like memphis or something.

Jason
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Jason
2 months 4 days ago

Bron with 51 on 19-31 FGs and 6-8 from deep in Miami. Too bad he vould never muster that for us down there.

Still nice to see. Especially with KD getting his ass beat again tonight.

MikeO
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MikeO
2 months 4 days ago

He barely tried down there when he was with Cavs. These are the type of games he’s going to have to deliver to carry that Laker team to the playoffs.

John B
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John B
2 months 4 days ago

His boys weren’t playing for Miami.

NOMAD
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NOMAD
2 months 4 days ago

A RUMOR THAT TRAVELED WAY TOOOOO FAST —WITH NO CREDENCE TO IT ——-WOW SMITH / THEISMAN LEG INJURIES– (FOOTBALL GAME ) –ON THE SAME DAY / ALMOST ON THE SAME YARD LINE BY ” 3 TIME DEF PLAYER OF THE YEARS “———EEERIE —DEJA VU !!

Jason
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Jason
2 months 4 days ago

Side notes:
1) As Columbus resident & Crew fan, I was really excited that Haslam is a part of the group that is in negotiations to buy the Crew. Team saved!

2) However, the Browns have not exactly been a well oiled machine since he has owned them. And the Crew may soon have a vacant HC position.

3) How worried should I be about Haslam as an owner given this:

http://www.espn.com/nfl/story/_/id/25310452/cleveland-browns-want-interview-condoleezza-rice-head-coaching-job

John B
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John B
2 months 4 days ago

I mean, this is a rhetorical right? She may be an extremely intelligent person, but does she have any football experience in managing teams etc.? However, Browns have denied that rumor according to dawgs by nature blog.

But this isn’t even the thing that you could start with if evaluating Haslam. Just look at his tenure, hiring and firing record, and involvement with football decisions. You think Gilbert is meddlesome, take a look at Haslam. Dude has guys in the front office that report directly to him and not Dorsey. Always been that way. He has his nose in everything football related. Hope he just lets Dorsey do his thing, but I have my doubts.

Jason
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Jason
2 months 4 days ago

Thank goodness. Was hoping that was not legit.

Hoping he is not as knowledgeable/interested in soccer so he does not meddle as much. Or he has learned something from some of the issues with the Browns.

John B
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John B
2 months 4 days ago

I mean it could have been. But that seems a stretch even for him. You have two things going there.

Dorsey has picked his guys by all accounts and that has worked out better than anyone could have imagined. So Haslam would have to see hiring respected gms and letting them do what you hired them to do reaps massive benefits.

I also doubt he is as big of a soccer fan, so you would have to assume he wouldn’t be arrogant enough to meddlesome as much. I do think he sees himself as Jerry Jones though.

NOMAD
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NOMAD
2 months 4 days ago

JASON —WHO I ALWAYS HOLD YOUR OPINIONS TO THE HIGHEST DEGREE——-THINK T.T. —WAY HE IS RECENTLY PLAYING YES —BUT WOULD NOT HESITATE ON A GREAT DEAL TO MOVE HIM ——SAME GOES FOR LOVE— ( WHO I REALLY LIKE –BUT FOR SAME REASON GIVE HIM A CHANCE TO GO TO A CONTENDER —FOR THE RIGHT DEAL )——-PRESTON –GLEAGUE SEASON STILL YOUNG —-BUT AM HAVING CONCERNS ON HIS POTENTIAL —-MIGHT BE MORE POTENTIAL WITH BONZI / OR EVEN TERRY ———HOOD IS COMING AROUND/ SEE IF HE CAN BE CONSITENT WITH HIS PLAY———–I AM A “ZZ” FAN ………………I AM ALSO ( MUCH TO EVRYONE’S ELSE ‘S CHAGRIN ) A CLARKSON FAN—-THINK HE IS WHAT HE IS / A DYNAMIC SCORER OF THE BENCH / WHICH WE NEED ………………DEKKER / HARRISON–…. HAVEN’T SEEN ENOUGH OF YET

Jason
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Jason
2 months 4 days ago

Yep. Agree 100%. No one is untouchable on this roster. If someone knocks your socks off with an offer, make the deal.

At the same time, way too early to give up on anyone. Especially Preston, who is a long term project.

Jason
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Jason
2 months 4 days ago

So, looking at our roster:

1) Keepers = 6 + 1. Love, Sexton, Osman, Nance, TT, Nwaba + Preston (2 way).

2) Vets who are fine but probably not here next year = 4. Hill, Korver, JR, Frye.

Jury still out = 4 + 1. Hood, Clarkson, Zizic, Dekker, + Harrison (2 way).

We are probably stuck with Clarkson (though he will be an expiring next year). And he has shown signs of life, as has Hood. At best, I think both could get molded into winning rotation players, but are not there yet. Best case for Dekker seems to be 12th man. Zizic as a matchup for legit Cs plus some scoring punch.

John B
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John B
2 months 4 days ago

I have seen enough of Harrison. Agree with Vintage on the others.

Wish we’d play Frye more and find a way too sign Korver to a one year deal next year, because he is such a model of professionalism and a great locker room guy like Frye. They should probably do right by KK. He also may be able to pull a late first rounder if we can ainge a playoff team desperate to win now come trade deadline. Philly could be a possibility.

If TT plays like he has it will be hard to get anything fair in return. He is worth more than a second playing the way he has. However if they could get an underused young guy that has shown flashes and potential. Unlikely, but certainly worth looking at.

They should obviously look to get what they can for the expirings.

JRL
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JRL
2 months 4 days ago

I wouldn’t keep TT. Now that he’s playing well is the time to find a way to trade him. Not sure on Preston either. Would definitely keep Nwaba, Clarkson and Zz.

Vintage
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Vintage
2 months 4 days ago

I am totally pessimistic on Clarkson and Hood. I don’t think eeither are long term rotational pieces on a playoff team. Zizic has shown flashes esp offensively, but I don’t seem him as more than a backup big in today’s NBA. Reminds me of Mozgov in that sense.

TT, JR, Frye, Korver, Hill will all be gone by the time this team turns the corner. No need to panic trade any of them and hopefully they start getting some offers as teams start to figure out roster needs.

Bottom line is that Cavs have to actually start developing players and hitting on draft picks. Sexton, Osman, Nwaba, Nance all have potential and can play but all need to make leaps. Losing for more ping pong balls won’t make a difference if the Cavs can’t draft right.

John B
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John B
2 months 4 days ago

If they have a top two next year it will be hard to woefully screw that up.

MikeO
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MikeO
2 months 4 days ago

Yep. could only mess up if someone was just an unexpected bust.

NOMAD
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NOMAD
2 months 5 days ago

SCOTCH—-SOME VERY GOOD PTS THERE ——AM GLAD SAM IS FINALLY WRITING ” HIS TRUE EMOTIONS ” OTHER THAN ATTEMPT TO COVER UP CAVS SHORTCOMINGS ——THINK WE ALL REALIZE WHAT / WHO THE CAVS ARE —-GOING TO BE —–ACCEPT THE FACT THAT THERE ARE GOING TO BE ” GROWING PAINS ‘—BUT AGAIN BELIEVE AS LONG AS WE CAN SEE CONTINUED IMPROVEMENT / COMPETIVE GAMES —WE CAN / WILL SUPPORT ———NOT SURE IF 25 WINS IS GOING TO BE ATTAINABLE THIS YEAR —STILL THINK -( EVEN WITH NBA DRAFT RULE CHANGES 0—-THE FRONT OFFICE IS GOING TO KEEP CLOSE TABS FOR THEIR COMPETITION IN THE ” ZION STAKES “—–MAN IT SEEMS LIKE FOREVER SINCE THE CAVS HAVE PLAYED—HOPING THE TIME OFF HAS GIVEM THEM SOME QUALITY PRACTICE TIME AND RECOVERY TIME ALSO

JRL
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JRL
2 months 5 days ago

You’re right Nomad – it does feel like an eternity has passed since the Cavs played last.

GreekCavsFan
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GreekCavsFan
2 months 5 days ago

EvilGenius you must be at least amused with the heat President Stevens is getting in Boston. They presumably have the most talented and “modern” roster in the East, yet they score as if this 2005. Where is the genius coach now that he has to coach egos and not just up-and-coming players? Let’s see him try to coach a favorite instead of a Cinderella team before we proclaim him the second coming of Popovich.

buck turgidson
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buck turgidson
2 months 5 days ago

Observations.. Phoenix really struggling.. i would still trade cav-nots for the suns in a heartbeat.. butler 3 gives 76ers win after kemba goes for 60 (philly won that trade, at least for this year).. Amico says the jury is still out on Osman.. what say you folks? Amico is as negative on this team and organization as i am.. i never hear you folks ragging on sam

MikeO
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MikeO
2 months 4 days ago

Amico posts a lot of nonsense, but he’s pretty chummy with the Cavs FO, fwiw. This team stinks this year, I don’t think anyone here is arguing that point, even if some were maybe over optimistic in August. Osman is one of their better players…he’s not going to carry a team, which makes him like every other player on the roster.

John B
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John B
2 months 4 days ago

Osman needs to get his confidence back bad. Maybe also needs to improve his handle a bit so he isn’t such a straight line driver. He has potential. He isn’t quite as far along as I thought at the beginning of the season though.

Jason
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Jason
2 months 4 days ago

Amico is just a rumor collector. He has no opinions of his own that are worthwhile.

The block then over the head save Butler made on Kemba prior to hitting the game winning shot was the better play.

Out west, I believe 12 teams are .500 or better. The Mavs are one under and have won 4 in a row and the T-Wolves are two under and have won 3 straight since dealing Butler.

Point being, I think we finish well behind 14 teams out West in the race to collect ping pong balls, even if we improve as we get healthier. Bottom 5: Cavs, Suns, Hawks, Knicks, Bulls (Cavs, NY, Bulls all hit hard with injuries).

scotch
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scotch
2 months 5 days ago

first of all..you provide very little evidence for your consistent pessimism besides our record. You give anecdotal evidence for your claims about this or that player being terrible.

second of all…Osman was good to above average when he was healthy last year, then was confused about his role during the coaching transition this year, and now is recovering from injury. I expect him to play better defense when he is healthy, and I expect the coaching staff to correct poor decision making for ALL our young guys going forward. I expect Sexton to choose long 2s less often…and Cedi to begin to understand when to pass during his kamakazi drives to the hoop, and I also expect if we allow drew to coach the whole season we will see an improved Zizic pick’n roll and a Nance jumper that is better than 30%.

If those things don’t happen…maybe we start to blame the players. But the reality is we have enough good folks in place to show improvement across the next 60 games. I think we’ll win somewhere around 25 games because we’ll find a rhythm late in the year.

buck turgidson
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buck turgidson
2 months 5 days ago

let’s hope that comes to pass..

JRL
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JRL
2 months 5 days ago

Lue wasted a full season of Osman’s career and development by not playing him last season. Even stupider was the fact that LeBron was here, so Osman had the opportunity to learn next to the greatest player of my generation.

I’m sure he was asked to do much more this season by Lue when the season started and although it provided some good games at the beginning, it also made him too TO prone, and now we have the injuries.

My hope is that a competent coach can bring the good out of him. I’m also 100% certain that Coach Pop would turn Cedi and Zz into B+ versions of Manu and P. Gasol. He’s that good at recognizing and harvesting talent. Maybe, just maybe, Coach Drew can do the same.

You’re extremely pessimistic. That’s not a fun way to go about life 🤨

John B
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John B
2 months 4 days ago

Agree on everything JRL. I have not been the most optimistic person on this blog. I railed against the Blatt firing, Lue over the years, the JR, TT, and Shump contracts, Gilbert’s management style, and other things, LBJs baggage, etc. but I feel like I am downright Rosy compared to some of the negativity around here.

Ten ThOsman Maniacs
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Ten ThOsman Maniacs
2 months 5 days ago

Celtics, Lakers, and Warriors all lost tonight!

JRL
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JRL
2 months 5 days ago

Good night of basketball 😉

NOMAD
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NOMAD
2 months 5 days ago

GO BUCKS !!!—-WHEW !!!—–I NEED MORE BEER : ) !!

Jason
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Jason
2 months 5 days ago

That was one hellava exciting game. WHEW!

Jason
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Jason
2 months 5 days ago

On Philly, do not forget Zhaire Smith got hurt early. They still have a very athletic rookie first round wing to unwrap. A bit raw, but a guy who should defend well.

CLF
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CLF
2 months 6 days ago

WOW…. Bucks come back from over 20 points down to tie it up! Finally woke up against the hapless Bulls.

NOMAD
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NOMAD
2 months 6 days ago

JOHNB —AGREE WITH YOU –WE NEED TO MOVE ON FROM THE KYRIE TRADE —WILL EAT YOU UP “CONSTANTLY RELIVING IT “—AND YES KYRIE WAS NOT GOING TO PLAY FOR THE CAVS EVER AGAIN (WOULD HAVE OPTED FOR SURGERY )–HE HAS MADE THAT KNOW IN MANY COMMENTS DEGRADING CLEVELAND / CAVS —-SO WE GOT SEXTON / AND ZZ —-I CAN LIVE WITH THAT—LET’S SEE WHAT THEY BOTH CAN BECOME !!!

JudeElysium
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JudeElysium
2 months 5 days ago

I’d also mention we got LNJ out of the Kyrie trade. We can complain about Hood and JC, and Hill is nothing to actively celebrate, but without the pieces from the Kyrie trade then we don’t have Nance.

Hell, we even managed to get away with lending out Channing for a few months to get him back now for a third of what we were paying him last year.

Jason
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Jason
2 months 5 days ago

Of course, Rose is looking pretty darned good. I wish we would have kept Rose or Wade last year. For all their limitations & issues, neither is afraid of the moment. We had a lot of deer in headlight guys last year.

Nate Smith
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2 months 5 days ago

Rose was awful last year.

John B
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John B
2 months 4 days ago

Legit. Awful for both Minny and us. Not the same player this year.

CLF
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CLF
2 months 6 days ago

Jimmy Butler also went off…. looks like Philly will be just fine. And Furkan Korkmaz is now in the rotation, Fultz coming off the bench, and they have minutes for Shamet. I think they made out like bandits.

JOHN B
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JOHN B
2 months 6 days ago

We’ll see. One game in and teams usually play incredible after a blockbuster like that. Remember that first game against Boston last year? Also they have to pay him this offseason at age 29 with Thibs minutes on his body……

CLF
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CLF
2 months 6 days ago

He’s played two, and they lost the first one.

They still were able to get a bonafide all-star for the price of two mediocre players and 2nd round pick. Also, it sends the message that they’re trying to win it all.

Also, the elite players are the only guys who actually can beat the aging curve, so if there was anybody to take a chance on, it would be a guy like Butler.

John B
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John B
2 months 6 days ago

Ah didn’t realize he played before tonight. I wouldn’t call Saric or Covington mediocre though. Covington was all first team d last year. Butler doesn’t really address their biggest needs though.

CLF
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CLF
2 months 6 days ago

I miss watching Kyrie when he goes en fuego… it’s fun to watch.

MikeO
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MikeO
2 months 6 days ago

Just think of the king’s ransom our FO got for him! And all so they could trade him to the freaking Celtics!

Joeyb
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Joeyb
2 months 6 days ago

We had Irving and Lebron. Gilbert refused to pay his gm a couple million and we lost both. Worst owner in bball right now.

JOHN B
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JOHN B
2 months 6 days ago
Well David Griffin certainly wasn’t a win now GM. Definitely would have sat on Kyrie even though Kyrie supposedly asked for a trade in the summer of 2017. Totally never traded away oodles of first and second round picks for veterans on expiring deals…oh wait. Does that count as kowtowing to a star player that wants to win now? Nah, you right, I guess it doesn’t. Cool now that we got that in perspective, any other Mandela effect memories people want to bring up? How is it that I have to defend Gilbert? Makes me sick. But hey, sometimes people have rose-colored goggles on. Griffin wanted Bennett btw. It is a two way street when it comes to team owners/their GMs and LBJ. LBJ and whomever he tells to do what and when. Oh wait. That is sort one way street, isn’t it? You want to keep LBJ by doing everything to win this seasonat a cost of literally the next contending next year and the future? Or say be damned, we will build this organically and build a better team, future, and likely be a better championship contender than we ever could be even during 2016 by trading away… Read more »
Nate Smith
Admin
2 months 5 days ago

Did they win a championship with Griff as GM ? Yes. Did they play in four straight finals? Yes.

I just invalidated all your arguments. Don’t hindsight the greatest championship in NBA history.

John B
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John B
2 months 4 days ago

See below. I will say they make the finals without JR and Shump. The east was just sad every year except last year. Hawks overachieved. Toronto did too. Boston was actually good. Indiana wasn’t great but they played tremendous d.

Ten ThOsman Maniacs
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Ten ThOsman Maniacs
2 months 5 days ago

I think all of these things are true: Gilbert is a bad owner, Griffin was a poor GM, LBJ is a detriment to long-term planning, Kyrie sabatoged the 2018 Cavs, and the Kyrie trade was terrible. Go Cavs!

John B
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John B
2 months 4 days ago

Yeah pretty much. My point, which was maybe not clear, is that Griffin was not the answer to all the teams solutions and that DG is was not the entire problem. There is blame to go around and we likely are in a better position to contend after 2016 without some of the decisions made by Griffin. Gilbert has his issues, but it wasn’t just him.

Griffin made plenty of poor decisions I thought were terrible at the time. Koby hasn’t done great, but he had to make trades last year. Kyrie wasn’t going to play. If he had surgery we would have had to give him away. No proof the bucks offered Middlleton and Brogdon. Bledsoe alone wasn’t worth it. We needed to have rookie or second year player like Tatum or Brown, or a pick with top ten lottery odds. They got that with the nets pick. IT was a throw in and proved beyond his inability succeed outside Bostoon that he was a cancer. So be it. They still got the nets pick out of and a player that most of this blog thought would help in Crowder.

JOHN B
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JOHN B
2 months 6 days ago

Summer of 2016

Nate Smith
Admin
2 months 6 days ago

I guess. Toronto jobbed by the Refs at the end of regulation and early in OT, and not nearly physical enough with Irving.

buck turgidson
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buck turgidson
2 months 6 days ago

It is so Fffing distressing when flat-earth goes off as he did this evening, against a very fine team.. and what is the lesson for cav-not dan and his wonderboy?? NEVER EVER EVER trade 1 unit of excellence for multiple units of mediocrity.. that my friends is a fool’s errand.. sexton may dream about such nights, but i doubt whether he will be 1/2 the player kyrie is.. So pathetically sad..

buck turgidson
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buck turgidson
2 months 6 days ago

ultimately, it distilled down to kyrie for sexton and ZZzzizic.. sorry, that just doesn’t cut it.. that is amateur hour incarnate

JOHN B
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JOHN B
2 months 6 days ago
Come on. That pick had a chance to be a top three in an utterly stacked draft. You just won’t get much more than that these days in that scenario. I have no doubt Kyrie would have had the surgery he threatened had the cavs not traded him. Was Middleton and Brogdon better? Sure. No real proof the bucks ever offered that. I have been as much of a critic of Gilbert and co as anyone, but they weren’t going to get the nets pick and Brown or Tatum. You could argue that their mid season trades were dumb. However, they don’t make the finals unless they get rid of IT for something. Likely same with Crowder since Lue didn’t have a system. Could they maybe have gotten Rozier instead of IT? Likely. Rozier is not the same player with us though. Same issue as Crowder. I am now convinced that the cavs could not have gotten a top ten pick from any other team for Kyrie if they hadn’t traded him before the season. Kyrie wasn’t going to play. If he had, he would have tanked. Butler at least tried for some games. Kyrie, if he didn’t have surgery… Read more »
Nate Smith
Admin
2 months 6 days ago

Fantastic article, Ben.

Nate Smith
Admin
2 months 6 days ago

Gah. The Celtics get the biggest homer calls.

Nate Smith
Admin
2 months 6 days ago

The second phantom call Hayward got.

Jason
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Jason
2 months 6 days ago

As far as Sexton goes, he needs to inprove:

1) His handle
2) His P & R
3) Recognition/Nashing
4) Defensive footwork
5) Screening
6) Range

But it is 14 games in. He is not Bird/Magic or Oscar/Wilt. We knew (or should have known) this would take a while.

Also, he could look better if the lane is not as clogged (when Love gets back).

Jason
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Jason
2 months 6 days ago

I would trade Clarkson for Fultz. But not because I think Fultz will be good. A PG with a Chris Dudley FT hitch is not a guy I want.

John B
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John B
2 months 6 days ago

Oh I would definitely take a flyer on Fultz for Clarkson. Philly isn’t going to trade for Clarkson though. Plus it would sort of be an issue with Sexton here.

John B
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John B
2 months 6 days ago
Couple things. Sexton is simply not confident enough in his handle to be a good p and r guard. He likely is right to be wary as he does have a bit of a loose handle. We have seen progress in 1) finishing, 2) Man defense (really really bothered Kemba on and off ball, and 3) range. He has made two threes in each of the last three games and at least one in 7 out of the last 8. He only took and missed 5 through the first 6 games. Despite his somewhat awkward ball position he is not a terrible shooter and certat we have seen much more success in finishing in traffic. He is a terrible screener, but most 19 year old rookie pgs are. He also has the footwork issue on d which I noticed again in the Charlotte game. Despite that he was still effective on ball. He is playing within his current abilities, but has shown progress and more confidence in some areas you talk about, save p and r, and running an offense. I am encouraged because he sort of looks like an nba player since Drew took over. I just think he… Read more »
buck turgidson
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buck turgidson
2 months 6 days ago

should the cav-nots try for fultz if philly wants out? or is he bust-city?

John B
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John B
2 months 6 days ago

I am sort of beginning to believe he is busy city. Unfortunate, because I think he could have been something special. Truly one of the strangest beginnings to a career I have ever seen. He just looked so much smoother and more confident in college and had a pretty good jumper. I mean can anyone think of another player that utterly destroyed his own shot like that, let alone in a single summer? Truly bizarre.

John B
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John B
2 months 6 days ago

bust city

NOMAD
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NOMAD
2 months 6 days ago

BUMMER FOR NATE—–CHARGE “SUGARDALE DOLLAR DOG NIGHT ” CANCELED —–DUE TO WEATHER / IS IT THAT BAD DOWN THERE NATE————-OH BY THE WAT BEN– GREAT ARTICLE—YOU ALWAYS “CHALLENGE ” US TO THINK OUTSIDE THE BOX—-APPRECIATE THAT !!!

John B
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John B
2 months 6 days ago
Agree. Ben is very talented at analysis both in the nitty gritty of X’s and os and in breaking down players. You were dead on with Luka. Kid looks like he will be in all star discussion every year for a long long time. Really came around to him this summer. Wasn’t convinced he would be better than Ayton. But Ayton, despite his ability on offense is such a bad rim protector. I mean he has the tools and is a smart enough kid, but he literally shies away from contesting any shots at the rim. Not sure what the deal is. Maybe he is trying to stay out of foul trouble. Maybe the motor issues are a real thing. He is about the only rookie playing a ton of minutes with an actual decent plus BPM (2.4), so maybe he is being told to stay out of foul trouble, but man he has to at least contest every once in a while. He has looked like he is actually letting guys finish after they blow by the sun’s porous perimeter d at least in the portions of games I have watched. I think they would be better served with… Read more »
Jason
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Jason
2 months 6 days ago

Hypo for the community:

WC POs: Dubs v Lakers. Who you pulling for?

GreekCavsFan
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GreekCavsFan
2 months 6 days ago

Lakers, no question. Dubs haunt my nightmares still.

John B
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John B
2 months 6 days ago

Don’t care. La is my most disliked team going back to Shaq Kobe. Still never will forgive the refs/nba for perhaps the only game and series that I actually think was purposefully thrown in , Sac and LA in I believe the 2002 WCF.

John B
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John B
2 months 6 days ago

Don’t care as in about who wins, not about your rooting interest.

GreekCavsFan
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GreekCavsFan
2 months 6 days ago

Also, it would be hilarious to watch Bray and Durant fight.

MikeO
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MikeO
2 months 6 days ago

Dubs. Only fan more vile than Dub fan is Laker fan and Celtic fan.

MikeO
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MikeO
2 months 6 days ago

Always a good read, Ben. I think one area where Sexton legit could take a lesson from Clarkson is his handle in traffic. This isn’t HS anymore, it’s a man’s game, as a probably stoned man once said. He needs to make his dribble lower and more compact, and obviously he needs to get stronger, same as most rookies.

John B
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John B
2 months 6 days ago

Handle is something that will likely only make major progress over next summer.

Joeyb
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Joeyb
2 months 6 days ago

I would take your basketball class every day and twice on Sundays.

JMay
Editor
2 months 6 days ago

Ben, Ben, Ben. Always making me think. I just have to land on Sexton having only played 14 NBA games and a shortened summer. I wish Clarkson wasn’t on this team. He’s influencing Sexton in the wrong direction I think. Especially given his recent “success”. But Sexton isn’t JUST shooting well from midrange. His three point shot is dropping at a pretty high clip. If he can gain confidence in that shot, my hope is that that will serve as a larger portion of his game then the pull up midrange.

The problem, I think, really is his handle. If he can handle it better I think he will be more confident to continue further into the paint or dribble it out a bit longer before panic sets in and he has to pull up before the ball is taken away or he gets stuck. I also feel like Sexton’s defense HAS gotten marginally better in terms of his shuffle. Yes, he’s still getting blown by far too often, but he’s also more often getting in front of his assignment. He’s a bit less jittery. A long way to go, but again, 14 games and a shortened first summer.

John B
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John B
2 months 6 days ago

Only got blown by twice against TP and Kemba I believe. Barely watched last game. But yeah, footwork will help him unlock his potential on that end.

Jason
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Jason
2 months 6 days ago

Great piece, Ben.

But consider this. While I agree the bad habits thing is a danger, there is also the danger in destroying the kid’s confidence early on by asking him to do things he cannot do yet.

He is not great finishing at the rim or Nashing around to get soneone a layup or an open 3. As those parts of his game (hopefully) improve, he will utilize them more (hopefully).

At some point you have to play with the game you’ve got, not the one you wish you had. Let the kid do some of what he is good at to build some confidence.

Nate Smith
Admin
2 months 6 days ago

Then send him to the G League to learn.

John B
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John B
2 months 6 days ago

And yet Hill is out. Clarkson is our only other point guard (nominally though he has shown some progress in looking for people). Harrison is just not an nba player. He makes Sexton and Clarkson look like all stars. He is just so bad. So you can’t really send him to g league. And he needs to play in the nba for development purposes. I don’t think there is a Gleague option on the Cavs that will be better.

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