This loss was an especially tough one to witness. My PTSD from watching four years of LeBron James less Cavs triggered some pretty dark thoughts. This one was the scariest: “Pau Gasol scored 46 points for the Bulls two nights ago, and he’s not even their best player. I even lived in Chicago for a few years. Being born and raised in a city doesn’t really mean that much.” I’m here though and recapping, so I guess I’m still a fan.
The Cavs reverted to good old isolation ball as the mode of offense this game, and defensively, they refused to try. It was pathetic. DeMarcus Cousins boogied his way to 26 points on 11-23 shooting, and also had four steals, three blocks, and 13 rebounds. He made hook shots, drained jump shots, and whipped cross-court passes with five guys crashing to the paint to stop him. He even completed more fast breaks than the Cavs guards did. His partner in crime, Rudy Gay, added 23 points and did a little posting up of his own to show his wide range of non-Toronto appropriate basketball skills. When it was all finished, the Kings looked efficient mixtaping the Cavs in transition and letting Kyrie Irving and Kevin Love beat themselves with poor shooting and high turnover performances. This was a well deserved loss. Read the rest of this entry »
Timofey Mozgov practicing primal screaming to get relaxed for the game tonight.
The Cavs are taking a ride to the Sleep Train tonight to do battle against DeMarcus Cousins and Rudy Gay. It will be a a test game for Timofey Mozgov, as he will be asked to stop the league’s most efficient center in Boogie.
This season DeMarcus is posting a PER of 26.33, which is the sixth best in the league, and he has been putting up 23.8 points a game to go with 12.3 rebounds. He’s also almost getting two blocks a game. He will provide a matchup issue if Timofey gets into foul trouble early on.
Fortunately for the Cavs, they have a matchup advantage almost everywhere else against the Kings. At the small forward spot, Rudy Gay can be problematic, but he can also shoot Sacramento into oblivion. The Kings also are giving up 103.9 points a game, while the Cavs a giving up 99.8 right now. The Cavs just win on paper automatically, right. Read the rest of this entry »
Each week there is a ton of NBA media pertaining to the Cavs and the league in general that deserves recognition. A lot of it goes unread because there just isn’t enough time to keep up with it. Don’t worry. I’ve got you covered with six to eight notable reads/videos (the last two reads are up in the air just like the Cavs bench production this season) from the past seven days to get you through the weekend feeling entertained, caught up, and much smarter. I’ll throw in Dion’s Neon Man Of The week and some other features to add to the entertainment.
It’s been two weeks since I’ve given an update, and a lot has changed for the Cavs. Dion Waiters is now an ex and has been replaced with a shiny new streak shooter who likes to untie shoes named J.R. Smith and someone who will replace Anderson Varejao as the two-thirds of a season man if he stays on the team, Iman Shumpert. It’s rebounding time for the Cavs, so they aren’t with just two new people. They also picked up a hot Russian side piece named Timofey Mozgov. This breakup is one that will hopefully lead to greater things for all parties involved. This week’s catch up is going to look at some pieces that deal with exes, renewed relationships, and new flings. It’s time for me to summon my inner Maury Povich. Read the rest of this entry »
The Cavs lost on the road to the best team in the NBA. The final score doesn’t really indicate how competitive the game was – it was a 5-point game midway through the 4th quarter. GS blew it open in the final four minutes. The Cavs hung in there despite some abysmal outside shooting from the guys brought in specifically for that purpose. J.R. Smith had a strong game at both ends, and Timofey Mozgov really made a difference in the limited minutes he received. Kyrie Irving was like a quiet assassin at times. Ultimately, the Cavs couldn’t stop Klay Thompson and the Warriors got so many easy baskets there was just no way the Cavs were going to overcome being without LeBron.
Cavs take on the best team in the NBA tonight. After Dion helped the Thunder defeat the Jazz tonight with 15 points, 50% shooting, and four steals. Let’s hope J.R. Smith steps up to the pressure to match his production.
Meanwhile, Tina Fey Mozgov joins the Cavs tonight, having passed his physical. Can he help Cleveland slow down the splash brothers?
When Dion wasn’t in the starting lineup as previously advertised for the 76ers game, I knew there could be only two possible reasons for his absence. I assumed he was in the locker room throwing up from the stomach bug that’s going around (or a pool party hangover), or he had been traded. Sadly, it was the later. I began feeling a bit under the weather myself the night of the trade. When I awoke the next day, I knew I had the bug. I threw up Glacier Freeze G2 all day. In a fitting symbolic end to the Saint Weirdo era, even my bile was Oklahoma City Thunder light blue. My favorite Cav has traded walleye for whips and I’m without a guy to irrationally root for on the roster.
Cleveland hung with the Rockets for three and a half quarters, until Cleveland’s inability score and keep the Rockets off of the offensive boards put Cleveland in a hole. Kyrie Irving was unstoppable for those three three and a half quarters, scoring 38 on a dazzling array of drives, jumpers, and unbelievable dribble moves. J.R. Smith’s debut was full of excitement, misses, and turnovers, but he wasn’t the worst. That was reserved for tonight’s officials who seemed to officiate on reputation more than actuality, and for Kevin Love’s jump shot. But that’s not why the Cavs lost. The inability to focus and effectively defend shooters were the nail in Cleveland’s coffin tonight. It’s about time Cleveland started defending the corner three. Sadly, I can’t play the video from Glengary Glenn Ross that our subtitle references because it’s a profanity laced dressing down of dilatory salesmen. But if I was coaching this team, this is the video I’d make Cleveland’s dilatory defenders watch. Always be closing (out (shooters)).
The 23-11 Houston Rockets come in with a healthy Dwight Howard. They’re 5-5 in their last ten, but that’s against a schedule with only one bad team on it. Dwight is averaging 14 and 9 in the last five games, but only .6 blocks in just under 30 minutes a night. The key to stopping Houston is stopping MVP candidate, James Harden who’s shooting a scintillating 62 TS% for 25 points, 4.4 boards, and 3.6 assists with only 2.6 turnovers in 32 minutes a night. Oh, and keep him off the line where he’s shooting 96%.
J.R. Smith and Kyrie Irving will suit up tonight for the shorthanded Cavs, who have a tall order in shooting down the Rockets. Let’s go Cavs.
ESPN reporters Brian Windhorst and Marc Stein said the Cavs were engaged in talks with the Denver Nuggets to aquire center Timofey Mozgov at 4:03 PM. The Cavs would supposedly be parting with two protected first round picks, one from Memphis and one from Oklahoma that was acquired just Monday night.
Fourteen minutes later Adrian Wojnarowski swooped in and confirmed the trade as originally stated by ESPN.
Yahoo Sources: Cleveland acquires Denver center Timofey Mozgov for two first-round picks. http://t.co/kuo7O9YDay
Four points I’m thinking about the NBA and the Cleveland Cavaliers…
1.) Speaking purely from that place where we sports fans can still grow attached to players in purely sentimental ways, I will miss Dion Waiters very much. He was the first professional athlete I ever interviewed face-to-face and I’ll always be a sucker for his unique personality which always seemed to be running on those parallel tracks of inflated self-regard and never feeling properly regarded.
I was firmly in the camp that thought Waiters could experience a real break-through in his this season, his third. But I was also one of the people (along, apparently, with the crossed fingers of everyone else on the Cavs) who thought Waiters would be able to adapt to playing with LeBron James, becoming more of a catch-and-shoot player who could focus on being a stout defender with the starters and sate his appetite for dribble-driving against second units. That, it turned out, wasn’t Waiters game.
So, I thought he could be an offensive spark plug off the bench… and sometimes he was. But if his long-two jumper wasn’t falling, the positives that the team got from Waiters dropped off a cliff. I’d defended Waiters for his whole Cavs career, but even I found myself saying to a friend over the weekend, “This might just not be working [with Waiters].”
Nate Smith is an Associate Editor. He grew up in Anchorage, Alaska, and moved to NE Ohio in 2000. He adopted the Cavs in 2003 and graduated from Kent State in 2009 with a BA in English. He can be contacted at email@example.com or @oldseaminer on Twitter.
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