Atlantic Division Preview

October 13th, 2014 by Mallory Factor II

Atlantic-Division

 

The Atlantic Division – the teams here are filled with greatness, with history, with winning…except in 2014. What was once a division held to the highest of standards – Larry Legend! Dr. J! Walt! Vince Carter! (haaaa) – is now replete with mid-level mediocrity. To make matters worse, unlike their Eastern brethren to the south and west, the majority of Atlantic teams won’t see substantial improvements in the upcoming years. In short, don’t expect much from the Northeast this year. Lets examine…

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Links To The Present: All Hugs Edition

October 13th, 2014 by David Wood

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LeBron James was feuding with Chris Bosh and the Heat.  The Cavs and Heat were even trying to avoid each other in Brazil; furthermore, Bosh said LeBron is hard to play with, and ultimately, feelings were hurt.  Feelings are miraculously unhurt now.  Shandel Richardson of the Sun Sentinel witnessed a true show of affection between the former Heat player and Chris Bosh.

James squashed the thoughts of their strained relationship with a hug at midcourt before Saturday’s tip-off between the Miami Heat and Cleveland Cavaliers at HSBC Arena. The players supposedly were feuding once James announced he was leaving the Heat to return to the hometown Cavs. Both denied any rift.

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Preseason Recap: Cleveland 122, Miami 119 (OT) (or, This is the Game that Never Ends)

October 12th, 2014 by Nate Smith

The Cavs were in Rio for the last four days: bonding, seeing the sights, avoiding the Heat, and working on becoming awesome. The trip culminated in Saturday evening’s preseason match-up with Miami. The starters and rotation guys did not disappoint, pushing the lead up to 19 in the third quarter. Unfortunately, lackadaisical offense by one starter, and most of the deep bench guys let Miami back in this one, and a fourth quarter that should have been a cakewalk stretched on endlessly until Shabazz Napier and James Ennis led Miami to an improbable overtime which was highlighted by an equally improbable Cavs victory. But a win is a win is a win.

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Pacific Division Preview

October 10th, 2014 by David Wood

 

Who gets to make the next three?

Who gets to make the next three?

The Pacific division looks better than it actually is on first view. However, when you really examine all the Pacific teams, it’s hard to see any of them making it to the finals. These teams are second tier at what they may do best. The Warriors might be able to run and get a bunch of threes, but the Thunder can run faster and probably shut some teams down on the defensive end. The Clippers have a hyper efficient offense led by the brainiac Chris Paul, but the Spurs offense is still better. Even the revamped Mavericks could challenge any team in the Pacific behind a Dirk led offense and Rick Adelman/Tyson Chandler anchored defense.

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Northwest Division Preview

October 9th, 2014 by Ben Werth

Skinny no more.

Editor’s Note: This is the first in a six part series of division previews, here at CtB. Ben Werth tips it off with a Northwest Division preview. Key to every team in this series will be the teams’ additions, subtractions, storylines, and most importantly, the threat level they represent to the Cavs championship hopes (on a scale of 1-10).

Oklahoma City Thunder:

Coming off his first MVP award, Kevin Durant is poised to take the next championship step in his NBA career.  At least that is the narrative for an OKC Thunder squad that remains largely intact after a quiet off-season. The 2013-2014 team was arguably the second best team in the NBA after losing a tough Western Conference Finals to the Spurs. A rested Kevin Durant(sans USA play) and healthy seasons from Russell Westbrook and Serge Ibaka should ensure another 60 win season.

Additions: Mitch McGary (rookie), Anthony Morrow (New Orleans), Sebastian Telfair.

Subtractions: Caron Butler (Detroit), Thabo Sefolosha (Atlanta) Derek Fisher (Knicks coach) Hasheem Thabeet (Pistons)

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Links To The Present: TV Deal Edition + Kyrie in a Walking Boot + Updates

October 8th, 2014 by David Wood

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The NBA has announced their new media deal with Turner Sports and ESPN.  From the 2015-2016 season all the way through the 2024-2025 season, the league will receive $24 billion.  The last deal only paid $7.5 billion, and it was over eight years.  The new deal means one thing for certain.  The cap is going to go up a large amount at some point; however, it isn’t clear when.  Larry Coon, the NBA salary cap professor, explained the new deal’s implications.

Since the salary cap is directly tied to revenues, this means we would expect the cap to increase significantly. The league sets the cap each year based on its projected revenues for the upcoming season. By the league’s convoluted salary-cap math, a $1.1 billion increase in national TV revenues would equate to a nearly $16 million jump in the 2015-16 salary cap, above and beyond its expected increase without the infusion of new TV money.

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The Point Four-ward: Keepin’ That Bench Warm

October 8th, 2014 by Robert Attenweiler

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Four points I’m thinking about the Cleveland Cavaliers…

1.) The preseason is a time, much like one’s college years, where a certain amount of experimentation is to be expected, so too much shouldn’t necessarily be made of where one’s decisions might get one. For instance, there was a point in the final minutes of the first quarter of the Cavs’ 107-80 preseason win over Maccabi Tel Aviv on Sunday where head coach David Blatt’s substitution pattern yielded a lineup of Matthew Dellavedova, Mike Miller, Shawn Marion, Anderson Varejao and Lou Amundson. This group saw a grand total of 90 seconds of action together, but it did highlight that, for the bevy of players the Cavs have who can routinely create their own shot, they are still capable of putting a five-man unit that is… well, decidedly less able to do that.

I know, I know, it was 90 seconds. That’s all. In fact, it was a 90 seconds where the Cavs even outscored Tel Aviv 6-3. But if you take away Dellavedova’s buzzer beating J with three defenders on him, that 90 seconds was essentially the Cavaliers’ version of the Island of Misfit Toys and featured such unlikely plays as Varejao feeding the ball to Amundson like he was Amundson’s grandmother (and Amundson finishing off his plays like he was, say, my grandmother). Marion didn’t look comfortable trying to create for himself, missing an eight foot hook shot right before Delly’s heroics, and, Miller didn’t take a shot as part of this lineup.

In fact, Varejao’s insistence that he and Amundson become the next Steve Nash-to-Amar’e Stoudemire seemed like it was done partly in fun (and only partly, you know, because Amundson was open under the hoop) as you could almost see the players in that lineup look around and said, “Really? With these guys??”

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ALL THE REBOUNDS!

October 7th, 2014 by Tom Pestak

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If you tuned into the Cavs preseason opener against Maccabi Tel Aviv Electra (pretty sweet name…Electra) you may have noticed the Cavs dominated the boards.  I mean, completely and utterly dominated.  The final disparity was 64-36.  Varejao, Love, and Thompson all had double-digit rebounds and they had 15 offensive rebounds between them.  If a preseason game against a non-NBA opponent isn’t piquing your interest, I’ll just cut to the chase: Love, Varejao, and Thompson, are ELITE rebounders.

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The Pre-Re: Recap of the Cavaliers 107-80 Preseason Win Over Maccabi Tel Aviv

October 6th, 2014 by Robert Attenweiler

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Even after the months of build-up, it was still surreal. There was a Cleveland Cavaliers basketball game played at Quicken Loans Arena that featured LeBron James, Kevin Love and Kyrie Irving leading the wine and gold. Once the ball got tipped, NBA basketball followed, if the preseason version of it. But the introductions took on an air of unreality, showing off all the pieces the Cavs accumulated over the summer finally together in the flesh (or, cousin to the flesh, the grainy internet stream) playing against people other than themselves. It was just the first step down a long road, one littered with broken glass, land mines, bear traps, chewed gum and the chance that Derrick Rose could always develop an outside shot, but, at least for now, it was a first step that was all spring. What this team eventually becomes won’t be realized for some time now, but there were glimpses in this 107-80 exhibition win over head coach David Blatt’s former team, Maccabi Tel Aviv, that exciting basketball lies ahead.

First off, the introduction sequence is incredible. Echoing the new hint of Cleveland skyline on the Cavs home court, the video introduction showed each of the team’s players posing with the city skyline projected on them, True Detectice-opening-credits style. Once the ball was tipped, though, Cavs fans got a taste — not a full meal, but a taste — of what this team could look like this season.

As the teams tipped off, it soon became clear that Maccabi was the more practiced team. This was the 2013 Euroleague champion’s ninth game (having gone 6-2 in the previous eight) and it showed. Tel Aviv moved the ball with a crispness that Cavs fans hope to see from their team, as they were essentially running Blatt’s system. Maccabi moved the ball, as Mr. Cavalier, Austin Carr, loves to point out “with the pass, not the dribble” and shot the ball effectively early on.

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Links To The Present: Dion’s Moxie Edition

October 3rd, 2014 by David Wood

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Dion Waiters isn’t planning on listening to unkind words this season. After John Wall suggested that the best best backcourt consisted of himself and Bradley Beal, Dion reacted. Waiters just said how he felt and who can blame him.

“That’s nonsense,” Waiters said after practice Tuesday. “(Beal is) supposed to say that, but I know deep down, he’s not messing with me and Ky (Kyrie Irving). I think me and Ky are the best backcourt, young backcourt. That’s all.”

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