Recap: Pacers 105, Cavs 90 (Or, Tired Legs, Tired Shots)

No surprises here, folks. Kevin Love was held out seeing as this was the second night of a back to back. Cedi Osman was still absent. And as you might predict, the Cleveland Cavaliers struggled to put up points against the rolling Indiana Pacers as their defense “held” the Cavs to only 90 points. I say “held” because it wasn’t always particularly stellar defense that prevented Cleveland from scoring. Unfortunately, the Cavaliers just didn’t have the legs to get anything going on the offensive end and I watched one too many possessions that ended with Collin Sexton or another guard driving right into the chest of Miles Turner. Spoiler alert, it didn’t really turn out well. Still, there were some good things to see in this one as well. The starting lineup was a patchwork of new players, rookies, and replacement level players as Cleveland trotted out David Nwaba, Collin Sexton, Deng Adel, Larry Nance Jr., and Marquese Chriss.

The first quarter didn’t start out too badly as the first points of the game for the came from a dribble drive by Sexton. The Pacers double Sexton after the screen and after stopping his forward motion and being patient, the rookie was able to shuffle it off to Nance who was open in the flats. That was followed by an almost identical drive that resulted in a pass out to an open Marquese Chriss (7 points, 3 rebounds, 2 assists, and 1 steal in 24 minutes). Unfortunately, a couple other things occurred after those good plays. First, Myles Turner hit a three and then hit another heat check as he hit his 7th straight three spanning back to their last game. Second, Sexton attempted a third straight drive that resulted in the exact same double team on the rookie. Unfortunately, Sexton, who finished the night with 16 points, 5 rebounds, 4 assists, and 4 turnovers, didn’t see any of his options and decided his only one was to dribble right into Turners chest and get the first of those turnovers. Watch one of the good drives by Collin below.

From there, things didn’t get any better. The Cavs missed plenty of open shots while not being able to put off a barrage of threes and action from Myles Turner who scored 12 first quarter points on 5-7 shots. His inside and outside action was just too much for Cleveland on this night. One of the few positives from this game came at just over a minute to go in the first quarter when Brandon Knight checked in for the first time as a Cavalier. He would finish the night with 9 points on a perfect 3-3 from distance in 12 minutes of action. Not bad for a guy that’s struggled to see the court for the past two seasons. Still, Cleveland finished the quarter down 30-17 and that is about all you need to know going forward as Cleveland just couldn’t edge their way past the Pacers, playing them almost even for the remaining three quarters.

The second quarter started out with Knight’s first made three and a turnover by Domantas Sabonis. Their next score was also courtesy of a Brandon Knight launch from distance that may have been a travel but who can tell anymore? Check out the clip below. Clarkson and Sexton contributed a couple of threes in the quarter as well. Unfortunately, a three minute drought in scoring from the 4:00 minute mark all the way to the 1:00 minute mark made it clear that these Cavaliers just didn’t have enough steam to get it done tonight. Several misses and a blocked shot later and things were about over for the half. Fortunately, not before one of my favorite pairings on the roster managed to put in five points. First, Nance assisted Delly on a three and the Australian was so grateful he served up an alley-oop for Nance with just a second left in the half. These two are a pleasure to watch on the court. The half ended with the Cavs down 54-42.

The third quarter was pretty close to even again. Unfortunately, “even” doesn’t translate to “good” as Cleveland could only get up 18 points in the frame and took the first two minutes before even getting a basket. David Nwaba (5 points, 1 assist, 1 turnover) ended the misery with a drive. A minute later Sexton got a dunk on this fast break.

From that point on the Cavaliers only scored in about one to two minute intervals. At least the last two minute scoring interval came from Larry Nance Jr. who got one three from a Delly assist with just under a minute and a half, then got another three, this one even deeper from a Jordan Clarkson assist. The forward/center would finish the night with a double-double scoring 16 points and pulling down 10 rebounds a couple assists, a couple blocks, and a steal while going 3-5 from distance. Not a bad night for the big guy. The quarter ended 74-60.

The fourth quarter didn’t change the result of the game, but it at least featured some scoring as the Pacers loosened the reigns a bit and the Cavs started to actually hit some shots. Most of their damage was done from distance in the quarter as they went 8-11 from downtown. Those contributing to the three point barrage were Knight (his third for the evening) and Clarkson, who struggled from distance going 2-7 from three and finishing the night with 18 points but also 6 assists. Yeah, you read that right, Jordan “ye of no passes” Clarkson had 6 assists to only 2 turnovers. In addition to Knight and Clarkson, Nance, Sexton, and even the ultra-rare Channing Frye chipped in a few of their own long-range bombs. Channing had a couple as he showed he still has that smooth stroke and veteran confidence even if he does only see the court in garbage time. The score ended at the final mark of 105-90.

Some Notes:

1) It was good to see Brandon Knight get in and contribute immediately. His 3-3 from beyond the arc is encouraging to see as one of the things this team has lacked so far is effective long range shooting. He’s a career 35% shooter from three so hopefully he can at least maintain and hopefully improve that number. He’s going to need to take some time to round back into form before Cleveland can see if he’s really got anything left after his knee injury, but that’s okay. Cleveland has nothing but time on that front.

2) Sexton’s games are not always turning out like his back to back pair of 25+ point outings but there are more frequently occurring encouraging signs as he works his way through the second half of the season. One of those signs is his increased patience in the paint. He’s more frequently surveying his options once he gets in the paint rather than just putting up an ill-advised shot. Yes, he’s still turning it over more than he should and he still loves his mid-range shots, but he also is still shooting well from outside. He went 3-3 in this one and is right at 40% on the season. I’ll take it given the condition of this coaching staff.

3) The real issue with this team is that they are still being forced to start guys like Chriss and Deng Adel who went 1-7 from the floor and was pretty useless overall. Once Love is playing regular minutes and Osman returns to the court, there should be a few more fun games to watch this season. Fingers crossed everyone gets and stays healthy from here out.

Not much to surprise anyone in this one. It was the second night of a back to back against a tough team who loves to get out and run. The Cavs just didn’t have enough in their legs to really get anything going and make a significant push against the Pacers. It led to a low-scoring affair for the Clevelanders. The next one should be much more competitive as they march out against the New York Knicks (who are actively tanking) on the 11th. As always, Go Cavs!

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NOMAD
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NOMAD
7 days 4 hours ago

IS T.T. ON MIN RESTRICTION ALSO—GOING TO ASUME HE IS

Nate Smith
Admin
7 days 2 hours ago

TT is out…

EvilGenius
Admin
7 days 4 hours ago

Live Thread is up… apologies for the delay…

Jason
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Jason
7 days 4 hours ago

This part of the season (with TT out) is nice to see how Love/LNJ work together as starters. If it looks good, I think TT could get moved next year. If not, Kev could.

I want to see some Love, LNJ, Cedi, Sexton +1 lineups (Nwaba, Delly, Knight, Stauskas, Clarkson, etc).

Jason
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Jason
7 days 4 hours ago

We have 4 tank offs left this year: 2 with NY and 2 with the Suns.

MikeO
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MikeO
7 days 4 hours ago

Hate to say it, but this is an important loss. Hoping for a competitive ‘L’.

Jason
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Jason
7 days 4 hours ago

Knight becomes the 18th different Cavs to start a game this year.

We lead the league in different starting Vs. They said either 23 or 26.

Sexton, Knight, Nwaba, Love, TT.

NOMAD
Guest
NOMAD
7 days 4 hours ago

JOEY B — NO SH-T HAVE TO BE CAREFUL ABOUT THE “W”—–WHAT ARE VEGAS ODDS —WOULD HAVE TO THINK THEY FAVOR THE CAVS

Vintage
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Vintage
7 days 5 hours ago

Love playing tonight. No Cedi or TT

JoeyB
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JoeyB
7 days 4 hours ago

We need to be careful. We’re in enough danger of winning as it is.

NOMAD
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NOMAD
7 days 7 hours ago

VALID PT ON SMOKIN JOE —EVERYONE HAD HIM “OUT OF THE LEAGUE ” –MATURED / GOT SOME PLAYING TIME AND CONFIDENCE —-IS NOW A STARTING PLAYER IN THE NBA—ALL STAR GAME 3 PT SHOOTING CONTEST—–SOMETIMES IT IS JUST A MATTER OF PATIENCE/ CONFIDENCE / MATURITY / RIGHT TEAM—PLACE ——-REASON WHY I AM KEEPING AN “OPEN MIND ‘ ON ALL THE ” AUDTIONERS ” —–JUST NEVER KNOW

JRL
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JRL
7 days 11 hours ago

What’s the take on Stauskas?

Is he still getting back into playing mode or is this what he truly is, a 6ppg player?

CLF
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CLF
7 days 10 hours ago

I have hope for him. He was an insanely good shooter at Michigan… just hasn’t translated to the NBA.

I hope that he’ll end up similarly to Smoking Joe Harris… Harris broke out at age 25 shooting-wise, Stauskas is 25 this season. Stauskas hasn’t received consistent minutes in two years… Harris didn’t get consistent his first two years in the NBA.

I also like the Chriss signing… he’s only 21, seems to have a decent shooting stroke and there’s a little evidence that he’s not the worst defensively. Low risk flier IMO.

buck turgidson
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buck turgidson
7 days 8 hours ago

agreed.. chriss future is in his control. he has the body.. he just needs the discipline to work.. time will tell.. re stauskus.. we need shooters.. this is a skill that should not just disappear.. it’s like riding a bicycle, at least that’s how i assume it works.. good low risk signings..

MikeO
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MikeO
7 days 11 hours ago

Is what he is, imo. Defensive liability, too, so he’ll feel at home.

JRL
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JRL
7 days 10 hours ago

Longo will love him then.

NOMAD
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NOMAD
7 days 12 hours ago

THINKING THEY DON’T RESIGN BLOSSOMGAME

Jason
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Jason
7 days 11 hours ago

He has got to be close on his 45 day limit. He has played in 27 games. Add in travel and it has to be close. Back to Canton soon.

Jason
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Jason
7 days 12 hours ago

He and Adel are both RFAs. I think Bgame has been fine. Bring him to camp next year. If he can improve the shot and add a bit off the dribble, he could be worth a longer look next year. Undersized for a PF. More a SF in my book.

We are going to be up against the tax line next year. 11 signed + 2 1st rounders leaves 2 spots. I would expect vet min/cheap contracts. A developmental guy or two makes some sense.

NOMAD
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NOMAD
7 days 12 hours ago

“GYPSY ” STAUKAS —LIVING OUT OF A SUITCASE—NEXT STOP —CANTON OR CHINA

Ten ThOsman Maniacs
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Ten ThOsman Maniacs
7 days 12 hours ago

You think he’ll make it into the football HOF?

NOMAD
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NOMAD
7 days 12 hours ago

THE : AUDITIONS ” ARE IN FULL GEAR ——-I CAN STILL STROKE THE 3—GIVE ME A CALL KOLBY : )

Jason
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Jason
7 days 12 hours ago

Just guessing:

Sexton, Knight, Cedi, Love, TT/LNJ
Delly, Clarkson, Nwaba, Chriss, LNJ/Zizic
Last 2 active: Stauskas + Adel/Bgame.
Inactive: Frye, Henson, JR.

Nwaba likely starts for a bit until Knight gets back into shape.

Nate Smith
Admin
7 days 12 hours ago

Jason
Guest
Jason
7 days 12 hours ago

Someone will be happy;

Cavaliers sign shooting guard Stauskas for rest of season

He will get a chance to play. Maybe even start?

Big Z rule does not aopky here since he was traded again and then waived by a third team.

MikeO
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MikeO
7 days 12 hours ago

He’s an okay 3 shooter…but I’m not expecting much. May help Sexton with spacing.

NOMAD
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NOMAD
7 days 14 hours ago

AMICO HOOPS WITH AN INTERESTING / FUN READ PERTAINING TO CAVS FUTURE (AND THE KNICKS )

buck turgidson
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buck turgidson
7 days 21 hours ago

miami drafted well with josh richardson.. ’15 2nd round #40.. 6.6.. 10.2.. 12.9.. 17.8.. if you know what you are doing, there is gold in them thar hills.. sadly, cavs haven’t even had that kind of success with high 1st rounders.. perhaps the middlebury kid can do some magic with those 2nds (and 1sts).. here’s hoping the deck cleaning was not in vane.. preliminary indications are positive.. but i await confirmation of competence

Jason
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Jason
7 days 13 hours ago

Cedi was round 2. As was Dwight Powell who is a rotation guy for Dallas. Harris was late 1st.

We have had hits and misses, and some of the hits are now with other teams.

Bennett being the big whiff.

buck turgidson
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buck turgidson
8 days 2 hours ago

playoffs in east should be sublime warfare..

Jason
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Jason
8 days 2 hours ago

That second round is going to be a donnybrook. As long as the Celtics do not win it, I will be happy. I would rank them 4th at the moment.

buck turgidson
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buck turgidson
8 days 45 minutes ago

celtics are toast..

buck turgidson
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buck turgidson
8 days 51 minutes ago

i think philly is going to beat the snot out of everybody.. and go head to head for the full event against GS in the finals..

buck turgidson
Guest
buck turgidson
8 days 49 minutes ago

recognizing GS is the elephant in the room, with KD and cousins.. but i do think this phiily team can beat GS.. thrilla in manilla comin up

John B
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John B
7 days 23 hours ago

They do have three elite defenders with size at their position in the starting lineup. I just don’t see it though.

buck turgidson
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buck turgidson
7 days 21 hours ago

lebon and co showed that the pretty boys of GS are soft, and can be banged around into losing their touch.. we shall see who prevails , but at the very least, blood will flow.. this is going to be a full contact finals

NOMAD
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NOMAD
8 days 3 hours ago

YEP : ) —SPELLING WAS NEVER MY TOP SUBJECT ——AS FAR AS THAT GOES CAN’T REALLY THINK I HAD A GOOD SUBJECT—-RECESS / GYM / STUDY HALLS —” GIRL MONITORING ” : )

NOMAD
Guest
NOMAD
8 days 5 hours ago

AFTER WATCHING THE “BORAN VIDEO ” THAT NATE SHARED WITH US YESTERDAY—I AM ROOTING FOR THEM TO MAKE IT TO THE FINALS SO WE CAN WATCH THIS VIDEO THROUGHOUT THE PLAYOFFS : )

Nate Smith
Admin
8 days 3 hours ago

Boban? But it is pretty great.

NOMAD
Guest
NOMAD
8 days 5 hours ago

76er’s WENT ON A “TERROR ” AFTER LAST YEARS TRADE DEADLINE -( WHEN THEY PICKED UP BELLINELLI / ILLYASOVA ) –LIKE 17-2 —–COULD SEE THEM DOING THE SAME THIS YEAR PICKING UP TOBIAS / BORAN —–GLAD TO SEE THEM OBLITERATE THE LAKERS ———DON’T THINK ANYBODY IS ” LENDING A SHOULDER ” FOR MAGIC TO CRY ON —BOO –HOO

MikeO
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MikeO
8 days 5 hours ago

Magic says Pels didn’t negotiate in good faith. Cry more, Magic. Oh, and sign Melo, and stop tampering, if you can manage it.

Jason
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Jason
8 days 2 hours ago

Lakers did not violate the tampering rules. They just didn’t. Any more than we did eith McCaw.

MikeO
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MikeO
8 days 26 minutes ago

I was really joking, but it’s more factual to say that the Lakers have repeatedly violated the tampering rules, same as most every team in the NBA.

MikeO
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MikeO
8 days 5 hours ago

Oh, and hire Jason Kidd already.

buck turgidson
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buck turgidson
8 days 6 hours ago

uncle buck is calling the whole enchilada.. take note.. Philly wins east.. easily.. GS wins west, again.. and, wait for it.. Philly beats GS in 6 or 7 games.. assuming no major injuries on either team

Vintage
Guest
Vintage
8 days 6 hours ago

Bold prediction indeed. Will be interesting to see if Philly can put it all together come playoff time.

My money is on the Raptors who currently would have the easiest road to the Finals (if playoffs started today, as #2, they would be able to avoid 2/3 of Milwaukee/Philly/Boston) and I think Kawhi has a lot to prove. I could see them pushing GS to 6.

John B
Guest
John B
8 days 4 hours ago

Very bold indeed. GS still has another gear that no one else can match. None of the trades changed that. Harris is nice, but that starting lineup doesn’t equate to GS, especially when two out of three guys don’t shoot threes.

buck turgidson
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buck turgidson
8 days 2 hours ago

they shot 50% (12/24 w/7 players) in win over LA..

John B
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John B
7 days 23 hours ago

A few more games I might buy in.

NOMAD
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NOMAD
8 days 7 hours ago

I DO TOOO!!—SO FAR NOT LOOKING THAT WAY ———I KNOW IT IS ONLY A FEW GAMES BUT GEEZ HOOD IS LIKE SHOOTING 60% FROM 3 PT LAND

Jason
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Jason
8 days 2 hours ago

He looked real good here at first as well. Remember when we stomped Boston?

buck turgidson
Guest
buck turgidson
8 days 8 hours ago

i am both guessing (and hoping) that phllly kicks the sh!t out of the lakers..

buck turgidson
Guest
buck turgidson
8 days 6 hours ago

LA 57 PHI 57 w 525 left in 2q.. lakers showing some gumption.. kuzma hitting shots.. big shaq luvs him some kuzma.. says no way he should be traded.. for anyone..

buck turgidson
Guest
buck turgidson
8 days 6 hours ago

the brow-bowl should be interesting next spring.. if lakers improve, and BOS falls flat.. NOLA may have seen the best offer for the brow

Nate Smith
Admin
8 days 3 hours ago

Highly doubtful that they’ve seen the best.

NOMAD
Guest
NOMAD
8 days 8 hours ago

AS I MENTIONED IN EARLIER POST AND JASON ALSO MENTIONED ——-THE RIGHT COACH IS OF UPMOST IMPORTANCE —GET IT RIGHT !!———-NO MATTER WHAT DRAFT SPOT ( I DON’T SEE US GETTING LOWER THAN 5 AT VERY WORSE )—KEEP IT UNLESS THERE IS A “MINDBLOWING ” OFFER –( WHICH I DOUBT )—SAME WITH LOVE –( WHICH I ALSO DOUBT )——I MAY BE OVERLY OPTIMISTIC-(NORMALLY AM )–I SEE KNIGHT RETURNING TO CLOSE TO HIS PRE INJURY FORM –WOULD BE GREAT——WE ALL LOVE DELLY / BUT HOW MUCH DO WE PAY HIM TO REMAIN IN A CAVS UNIFORM —HOW OLD WILL BE WHEN HIS CONTRACT EXPIRES

Jason
Guest
Jason
8 days 2 hours ago

If you run a bunch of mocks at tankathon, our most common landing spot is 6th.

That is from 3rd. Realistically, we can only fall to 4th entering the drawing. But we could then bottom out at 8th.

I do think the Bulls will manage to stay in front of us. Phoenix & NY? Hmmmm

Zion bowl with NY tomorrow. Wonder how many minutes Love plays? And if Cedi does.

Jason
Guest
Jason
8 days 9 hours ago

Getting the coach hire right is gonna be big.

Messina & Hammond from SA would top my list. Though one has to be Pop’s heir. They may hit reset if they do not make the POs. I could see Pop walking if that happens.

Our big decisions next year are if to keep Love, what to do with the expensive expirings (worth trying to re-sign for less or do we try to trade for assets: TT, Knight, Clarkson, Henson, Delly). Are we competing or looking to keep our pick again?

My bet is unless we get Zion, we will sell. Though we will be better next year. Think Orlando/Minnesota. If things really take off, Brooklyn/Sacramento. If things take off, we may rethink.

JOHN B
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JOHN B
8 days 9 hours ago

Selling would be a terrible idea. No guarantee of our own pick next year or as high of a draft spot, or any players as good as the non-zion rest of the top five. Draft high when you can. Nba isn’t the nfl In my opinion. Becomes much more of a crapshoot outside the top 5 in the nba.

Jason
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Jason
8 days 9 hours ago

Well, I think 11 guys are going to be back next year. Love, LNJ, Sexton, Cedi; TT, Nwaba, Delly; Clarkson, Knight, Henson, Zizic.

JR is gone. Frye almost certainly (we do not need 6 bigs). Chriss likely, though he has 25 games to prove otherwise.

That leaves 4 spots. Really only 2 as we have 2 firsts. We are close to luxury tax territory so I doubt we sign anything but vet min types. Which makes using them for fliers/looks on developmental types make more sense.

NOMAD
Guest
NOMAD
8 days 11 hours ago

BELIEVE IF NOT FOR ZION—-THEIR WOULD BE EVEN MORE HYPE ABOUT MORANT —EVEN THOUGH I STILL THINK HE GOES IN TOP 3-4 / DRAFT ———WILL KNOW MORE IF / WHEN THEY GET INTO / PLAY NCAA TOURNEY ——–WOULD BRING ALONG KNIGHT SLOWLY—-COULD BE A NICE FIND IF HE EVEN GETS BACK TO 90% OF HIS OLD SELF ———HOW SOON FORE EITHER CEDI OR T.T. TO PLAY AGAIN——-SO WE HAVE THE ” ZION-TANK ” BOWL — WHAT 4.0 AGAINST THE KNICKS —-PREVIOUS WERE GAMES AGAINST THE BULLS

NOMAD
Guest
NOMAD
8 days 11 hours ago

GOOD RECAP—MOST OF THE SEASON -I HAVE BEEN WATCHING THE REPLAY ON FOX –RECENTLY THEY HAVE DECIDED NOT TO DO THE REPLAY—-LACK OF INTEREST / MGT DECISION ?—SO YOUR POSTS DURING THE GAME ARE VITAL / AND POST GAME BLOGS / APPRECIATE——-BELIEVE SEXTON IS HEADED IN RIGHT DIRECTION–DON’T WANT TO JINX—BUT DON’T BELIEVE HE WILL EVER ‘ BE A BUST ” AND SO FAR HAS SHOWN GREAT DURABALITY –( UNLIKE A PREVIOUS PT GD WHO PLAYED HERE )——-ALL ABOUT “AUDITIONS ” THE REAMAINDER OF THE SEASON —WHO “FITS IN ” AND WHO DOESN’T —SO I AM NOT GOING TO GET OVERLY CRAZY ” CRITIQUING ” ANY PLAYERS PERFORMANCE —WILL LET COACHING STAFF DECIDE —SPEAKING OF COACHING STAFFS —HOPE UPPER MGT IS DOING THEIR DUE DILLIGENCE IN HIRING OF A NEW STAFF —-THAT CAN COACH THIS YOUNG SQUAD IN REACHING THEIR POTENTIAL——–ANY CANDIDATES IN MIND ??

Jason
Guest
Jason
8 days 11 hours ago

Nice recap and yeoman’s work.

Was nice to see Knight hit some shots. He was a legit NBA player before the injuries. Perhaps he can be again.

Our PG/combo guard lineup seems set: Sexton, Delly, Clarkson, Knight. Or at least acceptably deep. Would not stop me from taking Morant.

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