Podcast Episode 70: Finals Game 2 (Your Cleveland Grindaliers)

June 9th, 2015 by Nate Smith

We couldn’t podcast Sunday night. Our voices were all too ragged from shouting our way through the GREATEST CAVALIERS VICTORY OF ALL TIME. A day later, Ben Werth, Tom Pestak and I stocked up on Earl Grey with honey and stepped into the podcast studio for a bull session worthy of the Cavs’ GOAT game (so far). We discussed our game two experience, the adjustments that both teams can make going into game three, the Delly factor, Steph Curry, Cleveland’s offense, Tristan Thompson, the Buzz in northeast Ohio, David Blatt holding his own against the NBA coaching Golden Boy, LeBron Raymone James, and — of course — memes. Enjoy.

We can be heard above, on Soundcloud, or on iTunes. We’re three games away, folks, and because I didn’t say it on the pod, Go Cavs!

NBA Finals Game 2 Recap: Cleveland 95, Golden State 93 (OT) (or, the Wombat Rises)

June 8th, 2015 by Nate Smith


I stopped checking out the media on Friday. I stopped talking to most of my fellow Cavs fans. I couldn’t take the negativity, the self pity, and the inevitable sense of doom so many had with regards to the Cavs and their finals chances. Fortunately, it seems the Cavs ignored all that too. In the junkiest finals game in NBA finals history, the Cavs beat the Golden State Warriors on their home court to capture home field advantage and go back to Cleveland, tied 1-1. The Cavs have won their first NBA finals game in franchise history.

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Finals Live Thread: Game 2 Cavs @ Warriors

June 7th, 2015 by Nate Smith

In case you didn’t check out EvilGenius’ superior piece from earlier today, “On Determination,” it should get you sufficiently pumped and in the right mindset for tonight’s game. After that, check out this Uninterrupted video about LeBron’s mindset for game two. Then, note that Delly’s starting tonight.

Let’s finish that off with the greatest motivational speech in the history of motivational speeches. I’m not talking the Gipper either. Here’s the final verse of Alfred, Lord Tenyson’s Ulysses, the poem of an aging King, older, home, and returning to the sea to take on new quests with his wizened mariners, the outcomes of which are unknown.

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On Determination

June 7th, 2015 by EvilGenius


1. Firmness of purpose; resoluteness.
“He advanced with an unflinching determination.”
Synonyms: resolution, resolve, willpower, strength of character, single-mindedness, purposefulness, intentness; staunchness, perseverance, persistence, tenacity, staying power; strong-mindedness, backbone; stubbornness, doggedness, obstinacy; spirit, courage, pluck, grit, stout-heartedness; Informal: guts, spunk, balls, moxie; Formal: pertinacity. “It took great determination to win.”

In the wake of yet another season-ending injury to a member of the Cleveland Cavaliers’ “Big Three” (and the third major injury to an original starting five that now features only the “Chosen One”), the easiest path to take is the least painful one… the one of least resistance. The world expects Cleveland (the team and the town) to quit, to tap out, to “Cry Uncle!” after the loss of Uncle Drew. They’d like us to believe there’s no shame in surrender. After all, our team is thin. We’ve lost two of our best three players. Two All-Stars. Even LeBron, as great as he is, can’t possibly carry the weight of this team, this franchise and this city on his muscular shoulders by himself… Can he?

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BREAKING NEWS: Kyrie Irving Out 3-4 Months with Fractured Kneecap [Updated with Kyrie Response]

June 5th, 2015 by EvilGenius

Kyrie Irving has a fractured left kneecap and has been ruled out for the rest of the NBA Finals, the Cavaliers announced Friday. He limped off the floor midway through overtime of Game 1 and left the arena on crutches.

According to the team, Kyrie will have surgery and is officially out for 3-4 months, putting his status for the start of next season in jeopardy. The injury was discovered in an MRI taken earlier today.

Kyrie looked good following the eight day break between the Eastern Conference Finals and The Finals, recording 23 points, six assists, four steals and a game-saving block on Stephen Curry in the final seconds of regulation. But he went down midway through overtime with an injury to his already ailing knee.

Sincerest wishes to Kyrie for a speedy recovery from all of us at C:tB.

Recap: Warriors 108, Cavs 100 OT (or, It’s the Little Things…)

June 5th, 2015 by EvilGenius

After more than a week of off-days, re-hashed narratives, overheated theories, injury smokescreens, supreme anticipation and absolutely zero actual basketball games, Game 1 of the 2015 NBA Finals finally got underway last night at Oakland’s Oracle Arena. What was advertised by many (outside of the State of Ohio anyway) as the beginning of an expectedly lopsided series between the “best team in the NBA” and the “best player on the planet” was decidedly much closer in its outcome.

The Cavs shelled the Warriors early, building as much as a 14 point lead on their wide-eyed hosts, before letting Golden State’s deep stable of bench workhorses charge their way back into the fray by halftime. From there, both squads traded blows, drawing even at the end of each successive quarter, and forcing the issue to overtime, to the delight of impartial fans of the game and network executives who suffered through a paucity of Conference Finals contests.

For Warrior fans, the final shot of regulation that fell just centimeters short resulted in a sigh of relief at dodging the closest of calls. For Cavalier fans, a groan at seeing a small window for stealing the opening game on their opponent’s floor evaporate into five of perhaps the toughest minutes of the season. After all, close rarely counts, and sometimes, the small stuff just sweats you.

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Preview/Live Thread: The Finals Game 1

June 4th, 2015 by EvilGenius

Never before has eight days seemed like such an eternity. But in just four hours, we will finally witness an end to that excruciating wait with the tip-off Game 1 of The Finals. The storylines have been dissected, regurgitated and picked apart ad nauseam. Articles have been written. Pods have been cast. Analytics have been scrutinized. Debates have raged. And now, the games will, at long last, be played.

Can the best player on the planet overcome the best team? Exactly what percentage of Kyrie will be available? Can either the current MVP or the four time MVP be stopped? Who will Delly be accused of knee-capping next? Which “rookie” coach will pull off the unimaginable? Will TT or Draymond be the bigger man underneath? Which “Son of Akron” will bring home the hardware? All of these questions and more will finally be put to the test on the NBA’s two grandest stages.

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Podcast Episode 69: The Finals!

June 4th, 2015 by Nate Smith

OMG The finals are here! Northeast Ohio is buzzing.  Excitement and anticipation are in the air. After nine days of hype, David Wood, EvilGenius and I jumped in the podcast booth to give a hard core Finals breakdown: stopping LeBron and Steph, the rebounding battle, the turnover breakdown, x-factors, Steph’s Horoscope, the Shaq factor, prop bets, and more. Are you as excited as I am!?

You can listen above, on Soundcloud, or on iTunes.

The Point Four-ward: Let’s Get It Started, Already!

June 3rd, 2015 by Robert Attenweiler


Four points I’m thinking about the Cleveland Cavaliers as they are about to tip-off their NBA Finals match-up against the Golden State Warriors…

1.) A lot of talk leading up to the Finals has been about each team’s likely inability to shut down the opposing team’s star player: LeBron James for the Cavaliers and Stephen Curry for the Warriors.

Just ask James how to stop Curry and he gives you the same answer as when you ask him how the Warriors might slow him down: “You can’t.”

The Finals will come down to more than just James vs. Curry, but it’s still tough predicting how these teams will attack each other — and how more or less likely one team is to shut down the other — come down to two things: 1.) the small sample size of head-to-head match-ups between these two teams and 2.) the fact that this is now the third (at least) iteration of the Cleveland Cavaliers that we’ve seen this season, so who knows what the Cavs will bring?

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On Motivation

June 2nd, 2015 by Tom Pestak

Recently our insider scout, Elijah Kim, did some digging on an Ohio-based apparel company whose wares have been increasingly showing up on the heads and frames of some of the most motivated personalities of sports, music and culture (including our own LeBron James). He met up with TACKMA clothing’s Danny Victor to get a sense of the company’s unique vision.

I’ll admit I had never heard of TACKMA. FunDisclosure: I buy all my clothes at Goodwill minus my Cavalier T-shirts and other garb.  Also, I don’t watch press conferences.  But Elijah put together a summary of TACKMA and the LeBron connection (read his thoughts below) and it snapped my brain back to a topic on which I often muse: from where do people draw motivation?

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