#CavsRank #2 – LeBron Raymone James

March 27th, 2014 by Tom Pestak

nike-lebron-vi-chalk-2

“It’s fitting in my mind that LeBron James finished in second on #CavsRank. He’s the most talented and decorated player to ever play for the Cavaliers. Whether you like it or not, at some point in the future the Cavaliers will retire his number for all that he accomplished on this team. But he was never able to get to that top spot in his time here; in his surrender and retreat he not only left an incomplete legacy, but a trail of destruction that the franchise is still trying to recover from to this day.”

[Justin Rowan - Fear the Sword]

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Recap: Cleveland 97, Detroit 96 (Or Dion’s Rainbow Magic and Champagne SuperDova)

March 26th, 2014 by Nate Smith

What a win — the most exciting of the year: gritty, exciting, dynamic. There was so much on the line: a win streak, a playoff race, the Drummond/Dion rivalry, Mike Brown’s emerging facial hair… Would Kyrie wear another goofy shirt? Could the Cavs keep winning without him? Could Cleveland execute a late game inbounds play? Dion Waiters answered those last two questions and more.

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#CavsRank Grande Finale

March 26th, 2014 by Tom Pestak

It’s the moment of truth. Tomorrow, FearTheSword will unveil the 2nd most highly-ranked Cavalier of all time, as voted by a group of passionate Cavs fans and writers.  On Friday, we will pay tribute to the people’s champ, the winner of #CavsRank2014.  It will appear on Cavs:The Blog.  Buckle your seatbelts.  Predictions?

Get yourself up to speed on #CavsRank and start complaining about all the blown rankings and youth bias on twitter or in the comment sections.

#CavsRank Introduction and Authors

#20: Mo Williams & Nate Thurmond by Carter Rodriguez, Real Cavs Fans.
#19: Craig Ehlo by David Zavac, Fear the Sword.
#18: Lenny Wilkens by Jacob Rosen, WFNY.
#17: Bingo Smith by Scott Raab.
#16: Ron Harper by Ben Cox, WFNY.
#15: Andre Miller by Kirk Lammers, WFNY.
#14: Jim Chones by Ryan Mourton, Fear the Sword.
#13: Campy Russell by Ryan Mourton, Fear the Sword.
#12: Shawn Kemp by Robert Attenweiler, Cavs: The Blog.
#11: Hot Rod Williams by Kevin Hetrick, Cavs: The Blog.
#10: World B. Free by Scott Sargent, WFNY.
#9:  Anderson Varejao by Andrew Schnitkey, WFNY.
#8:  Kyrie Irving by Mallory Factor, Cavs: The Blog.
#7:  Terrell Brandon by Ben Cox, WFNY.
#6:  Austin Carr by Cleveland Jackson, Stepien Rules.
#5:  Zydrunas Ilgauskas by Kirk Lammers, WFNY. Nate Smith, Cavs: The Blog. Tom Pestak, Cavs: The Bog.
#4:  Larry Nance by Robert Attenweiler, Cavs:The Blog.
#3:  Brad Daugherty by Robert Attenweiler, Cavs: The Blog.
#2:  LeBron James by Justin Rowan, FearTheSword.
#1:  Mark Price by Tom Pestak, Cavs: The Blog.

Links To The Present: Maturity Edition

March 26th, 2014 by David Wood
The constant professional

The constant professional

After the first couple weeks of the season, I didn’t think mature was a word I would use to describe this Cavs team’s mindset or even my own.  It’s happening slowly, but it’s happening, and I hope the Cavs are able to hold on to this change.   When Luol Deng was traded to the Cavs, he brought an above average defense and often times struggling shot in his suitcase .  He also brought some maturity. He knows no rash emotions and it shows when he is asked about missing the playoffs for the first time in four years in this Bob Finnan piece. Read the rest of this entry »

Recap: Cavs 102, Raptors 100 (or, just add water and sunshine)

March 25th, 2014 by Tom Pestak

The Cavs built a 21 point lead only to watch it slip away.  They didn’t so much win the last six and a half minutes as lose less.  All five starters finished in double figures and took turns making an impact.  The Jonas Vs Tristan debate could go on for years, but tonight, TT won the bout in a TKO.

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#CavsRank – Number 3: Brad Daugherty (and Brad’s Bacon-Cheddar Special!)

March 25th, 2014 by Robert Attenweiler

I used the above video as header for the last piece I wrote that mentioned Brad Daugherty. Likely, I will use it somewhere in every piece I write about Daugherty.

More than his five All-Star trips in eight seasons wearing the only pro uniform he ever would — the orange “Cavs” or “Cleveland” as short a distance over his number 43 as the basketball rim was over Daugherty’s own head — more than his 10,389 career points (a club best when he retired and still good for third best now), more than his distinctive drawl and a hairline that, at times, was practically Boozerian in its encroachment (Carlos Boozer’s, of course, attacked from below, from his upper chest, while Daugherty’s threatened to cover his lower brow as thoroughly as Batman’s cowl), more than all of that, memories of Daugherty — for me, anyway — endure because he had his own card and sandwich.

bdaugherty93topps1 Beyond Brad’s Bacon-Cheddar Special, my own relationship with Daugherty the player (not the pitch man), involved decidedly less salivation.  I came to the Cavs at a time when those Lenny Wilkens-coached teams were still in their prime. But it was a post-”The Shot” world and our eventual narrative — that it was a time when a fine collection of Cleveland players just never could get over the number 23-shaped hump that was Michael Jordan — was already sketched out, if not yet fully inked in. So, the baby steps of my first rabid sports team attachment were not made in awe of how good this team was (and just how difficult it is to find players that good and make a team work that well) but, rather, in abject dissatisfaction that my chosen team was made of the stuff that breaks hearts. My dissatisfaction centered, unfairly so, on my team’s center, on Daugherty and the “soft” label that clung to him like an early-90s mock turtleneck.

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Links to the Present: Contracts Edition

March 24th, 2014 by David Wood
These shoes may some day have Kyrie Irving's name plastered all over them.

These shoes may some day have Kyrie Irving’s name plastered all over them.

The NBA revolves around contracts.  Teams give players contracts to play, and companies give players contracts to endorse.  The Knicks even signed a contract with the devil to have a win streak for the rest of the season to make the playoffs.  The Cavs null and voided that contract, but I know it was there in some way.  Look at the roster they were winning with.

Kyrie Irving’s contract with Nike is done after this year.  It’s unlikely he will go anywhere else, and Joe Sherman even thinks Kyrie is the perfect point guard for Nike to design a shoe for.  Nike currently lacks a point guard signature shoe, so that is leaving them out of the market for the nations’ dribbling and driving shorties.  Read the rest of this entry »

Recap: Cavs 106, Knicks 100 (or, we’re taking you down with us)

March 23rd, 2014 by Tom Pestak

The Cavs played dead for a half and waited until the Knicks had amassed a 15 point half-time lead before putting on a shooting clinic in the 2nd half, converting 23 of 30 shots (!!) and putting a hurting on the Knicks playoff hopes.  Jarrett Jack sliced and diced his way over, under, around, and through the Knicks en route to 31 points and 10 assists on 13 of 19 shooting, including the dagger in the final 30 seconds.

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Recap: Rockets 118, Cavs 111 (Or, the Quick and the Red)

March 22nd, 2014 by John Krolik

 

Overview: In a game that wasn’t nearly as close as the final score would indicate, the Houston Rockets blitzed the Cavaliers behind James Harden’s performance. Harden had 37 points and 11 assists in just 29 minutes of playing time, and shot 9-15 from the field and 14-14 from the free throw line. Dion Waiters led the Cavs with 26 points on 11-20 shooting, Tyler Zeller scored a career-high 23 points, and Matthew Dellavedova had his second consecutive 10-assist game.

The Rundown:

The bottom line on this one was that the Rockets absolutely played the game they wanted to play, and the Cavaliers got caught up in it. I thought the switch from Byron Scott to Mike Brown would bring in some change defensively, but that simply hasn’t been the case this season. The Cavs are tied for 18th in defensive efficiency this season, and they haven’t really been able to make their opponents feel their presence on defense at any point. The Rockets were running, gunning, and getting to the line, and the Cavs couldn’t do much to stop it.

The Rockets pushed at every opportunity, launched a 3 whenever they got a chance, and wore the Cavs down with a parade to the free throw line. The Rockets put up 118 points, and only 10 of them came on mid-range jumpers — the rest came in the paint, on 3s, or at the line. James Harden, of course, was the biggest issue for the Cavs. He really is something to watch when he has it going. He was pulling up for 3, he was slicing into the lane with that slinky dribble at will, he set up his teammates, and he found contact and didn’t miss when he went to the line. Of his 37 points, only 2 came on a mid-range jumper. He set the tone early, and the Cavs never really got back into the game after the Rockets opened things up with a 17-4 run.

The Cavs had a lot of players end up with nice box score lines because of the speed of the game and the fact that, for the second straight game, they were able to turn garbage time into really-dirty-thing time with a late run when the game was all but completely out of hand, but they really did get beat up by the Rockets. Still, the furious pace of the game did allow us to see some good stuff from a few Cavs.

As I mentioned, Tyler Zeller had a career-high 23, and I like how he’s been playing lately. He’s not settling, he’s looking surprisingly authoritative around the basket, and he’s showing that energy we’ve been waiting for. Hopefully he can build on this, and maybe develop that jumper a bit more, because I don’t think Hawes is much of a long-term answer at the pivot spot.

Waiters is proving that he is most certainly an above-average NBA rotation player — when he wants to get 20 or more, he gets it. It might take him a few more shots than would be ideal to get there, but there aren’t a ton of guards in the league who can do that, especially ones that usually come off of the bench. I feel like I’ve more or less said my piece on Waiters — I’d like to see him improve on a few things, namely his ability to finish at the basket, but the main problem is that he doesn’t have enough guys setting him up for open 3s, spacing the floor for him to go to the basket, or protecting him on defense. If the Cavs can get those things in place, he’ll be truly dangerous instead of a guy who can do a passable impression of a #1 option on offense — call it the Monta Ellis theory.

Seth Curry is here! Only 9 minutes, and his only contribution was hitting a 3, which is something we all knew that he can do. It’ll be interesting to see if he shows anything during his 10 days.

Dellavedova’s 3-point shooting and passing continue to look good, although his defense didn’t have much of an impact on Saturday.

That’s about all I have for this one. The Cavs got run out of their building, and the playoffs are all but a mathematical impossibility at this point; before this game, Hollinger’s Playoff Odds gave them a 0.6% chance of making it in, which is basically the odds of any team still left in the NCAA Tournament winning the whole thing. Not great. Until next time.

Links to the Present: Branding Edition

March 21st, 2014 by David Wood

Look at that handwriting!

Dion Waiters is branding himself as part of the Cleveland community.  March Madness is here, so Dion is taking part in the annual Plain Dealer celebrity bracket challenge with the Brown’s Josh Gordon, the Tribe’s Cory Kluber, and former Ohio State University football player Christian Bryant.  Read the rest of this entry »