Live Thread: Cavs vs Lakers

February 8th, 2015 by Nate Smith

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The moribund Lakers are in town, and despite rumors to the contrary, and ankle and wrist injuries, LeBron is going to play this afternoon. Cleveland looks to start another winning streak against the Lakers who’ve lost 12 of the last 13. Players to watch out for: Ryan Kelly is coming off a 20 point season high, and Jordan Clarkson’s been averaging 14 points a game over the last five games. But I don’t like the Lakers’ odds, with the Cavs being ticked off about their loss to the Pacers. Go Cavs.

Recap: Pacers 103, Cavs 99 (Or, Sometimes You Make Yourself Lose)

February 7th, 2015 by David Wood

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The Cavs win streak is over, and it’s largely thanks to their own actions and those of CJ Miles. The King’s men opened up the first two quarters ahead of the Pacers because they managed to shoot fifty percent from the field and 3-line with just four turnovers. LeBron James also took advantage of some great matchups to iso the Pacers to death for stretches. The second half the Cavs took 25 3-pointers and made just six of them, while the Pacers were 4-10 from the beyond the arc and had seven steals. Down the stretch the Cavs weren’t able to and didn’t really want to get any easy points off cuts or drives, which let the Pacers secure the win. It also helped that CJ Miles had a 16 point fourth quarter. The Wine & Gold seemed gassed as the night went on. Read the rest of this entry »

Live Thread: Cavs @ Pacers

February 6th, 2015 by David Wood

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The Cavs are in Naptown tonight to face a slightly less depleted Pacers team. Paul George is still out, but point guard George Hill recently returned and brought a little stability to the team. The Pacers have pulled out wins in three of their last five games and have won their last eight home games. While Indiana sports a record of 18 wins and 32 losses, they are still playing properly. They hold teams to a top ten ranking 97.2 points on 44% shooting; they also allow just 20.8 heaves from beyond the arc, which is sixth best in the league. Read the rest of this entry »

Podcast Recap: Cleveland 105, L.A. Clippers 94 (or Just How Good is This Team?)

February 6th, 2015 by Nate Smith

Welcome to CtB Podcast episode 60! Tom, Mallory, and I watched the Cavs disassemble the Clippers for three quarters last night, and decided that we had to podcast about it. The Cavs built a 32 point lead in the first three quarters, and completely dominated the frustrated Clippers, who picked up five techs, a flagrant foul, and a Matt Barnes ejection in the contest. Blake Griffin led the Clips with 16 and eight rebounds, but was -24 for the game. Kevin Love led Cleveland with 24 points and nine rebounds in 29 minutes, while LeBron kicked in 23 and nine assists, with only two turnovers in 28 minutes. That’s efficiency, my friends.

Using a main rotation of the starters + Tristan Thompson, Iman Shumpert, and Matthew Dellavedova, the Cavs were up 94-63 going into the final frame, before David Blatt cleared the bench. Shawn Marion, Mike Miller, James Jones, and Brendan Haywood got to play, and the Cavs starters got to rest. That led to a 31-11 quarter for the Clips, but it was all smiles in Cleveland at that point, despite a big quarter from the surly Clippers bench.

After the game, Chris Paul put his foot in his mouth when talking of standout referee Lauren Holtkamp, and had these lovely words to say about one of her calls.

There’s no way that can be a tech. … That’s ridiculous. If that’s the case, this might not be for her.

Personally, I thought Holtkamp did a nice job of not letting the whinefest from the Clippers get out of hand, and that Paul will probably face a hefty fine. The Clips seemed to want to junk up the game with hard fouls and chippy talk, and Lauren would have none of it.

Topics for this pod included the recap, discussion of our new favorite ref, positive signs from Kevin Love, Cavs win streak predictions, playoff predictions, MVP, ROY, COY,most improved, and an NBA finals argument. You can listen above, or directly on Soundcloud, or on iTunes at https://itunes.apple.com/us/podcast/ctb/id901486230 — Go Cavs!

Live Thread: Cavs vs Clippers

February 5th, 2015 by Tom Pestak

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Welcome to February.  The groundhog saw his shadow (yawn), the Cavs have just 11 games this month (as opposed to 17 in January) and six of those games are on national TV starting tonight against the Clippers, a team that is described at any given time using phrases like “I just don’t like this team” and “don’t sleep on the Clippers”.  No one seems to know how to properly rate the Clippers.

I guess the same can be said of the Cavs.  We’ve all doubted their ceiling at various times this season, even as we’ve rejoiced in some overwhelming talent-fests.  The 11-game streak, ironically enough, is the most steady basketball we’ve seen from the Cavs all season.  Let’s hope that continues tonight.

Do me a favor and give my interview with Mark Neal a listen (during halftime or commercial breaks).  It’s probably the 7th or 8th most intelligent NBA analysis you’ll hear today!

Adventures in The ‘Land (or the Night Delly Kept me Out of Jail)

February 5th, 2015 by Nate Smith

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Editors Note: This was originally supposed to be a recap, but time and life intervened, and a recap of a Monday game seems silly now. Instead we thought we’d give you a taste of the gameday experience. Sensing a probable victory, Cory Hughey and I traveled to Cleveland from our respective burghs to sample the game-night experience on a cold Monday evening in February.

Cory: I prefer to go to a game with someone who knows the game of basketball, so that I don’t have to explain what’s going on like John Madden. Fortunately, my old friend Craig Wellman could go. As teenagers we would play basketball in his driveway until the sun gave up for the night. Then we’d put up lights and play until the neighbors started yelling. It was a simpler time in life that I miss dearly. Just kids playing the sport they love and never tiring from it. The pain in me knees reminds me of it everyday.

There are multiple options for getting Cavs tickets. You can enter yourself in the Cavs single game lottery system and never get seats. You can also get fleeced on Ebay, Craigslist or by a scalper for tickets also. My personal favorite way to get tickets is via Flashseats, one of Dan Gilbert’s numerous enterprises. Flashseats is similar to gambling in a way (more on that later), have a number in mind that you and your company are comfortable with paying. For the 76ers game, my limit was $50 a seat. Don’t forget about the tax via that Dan Gilbert gets to keep (I wanna say it’s 12% but don’t quote me on that). Fortunately for the snowpocolypse, tickets were going much below face value for that particular game. I saw multiple lower-level seats going for under $30 a seat.

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The Point Four-ward: Keep Streak Alive!

February 4th, 2015 by Robert Attenweiler

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Four things I’m thinking about the NBA and the Cleveland Cavaliers…

1.) Thursday’s game against the Clippers will be a good measuring stick for these Cavs — and it comes at just the right time. The Cavs just played three of the worst teams in the league in the Sixers, Wolves and Kings and, while it would be unfair to say that the team has gotten bored of Avenge-a-palooza 2015, serving steaming piles of roundball comeuppance to a rogues gallery of disheartening losses, finally seeing a team that also plans to be playing deep into May and June (and one looking to avenge its own disheartening loss, a 126-121 Cavs win in L.A. on January 16th) is exactly what the Cavs need to resharpen their focus and keep this winning streak going.

Thus far, the Cavs have had some trouble piling it on against lesser 0pponents. Last Friday against Sacramento, the Cavs managed only 15 points in the fourth quarter, letting the Kings back into a game that should have been well out of reach. The next night in Minnesota, the young Wolves team (sporting the league’s worst defense) were actually leading the Cavs in the second half, before the Cavs defense (still sporting its new car smell) put the strangle hold on in the fourth. Then Monday night, those scrappy Sixers, got within two points in the fourth before Matthew Dellavedova stepped in to blow their candles out.

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Not a Recap: Cavs 97, 76ers 84 (Or, Heat Check Lineups and D3LLY Dagg3rs)

February 3rd, 2015 by Tom Pestak

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Nate and Cory attended this game – and I think they’re still at the Horseshoe.  So expect a more thorough recap tomorrow.  In the meantime I’ll offer my thoughts for you to sound off.  Here are 11 quick takes – Lloydian style – in honor of the 11-game winning streak.

1.) This was one of the sloppier games the Cavs have played in a while.  They continue to throw bounce passes into heavy leg-traffic.  They also go for the touchdown pass a LOT.  I think they collectively missed about six alley-oops tonight.

2.) Tonight was a nice win because LeBron and KLove really struggled shooting the ball.  They combined to go 7-24.  For all the talk about the Cavs not getting Love involved in the offense or “using him properly” – I’ve seen so many occasions this year where he spots up on the perimeter, receives the ball, and then swings it around to someone that’s not spotted up.  Tonight he passed up a perfectly wide-open 3 to give the ball to poor Delly, who had to make something happen with time running down on the clock.  Love wasn’t the only guy to do this to SuperDova.

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Live Thread: Cavs Vs 76ers

February 2nd, 2015 by David Wood

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Tonight is a crucial game for the Cavaliers and this blog. The Cavs are trying to continue their revenge tour by avenging their 95-92 loss to the 76ers on January 5th. Last meeting the Cavs blew a 17 point lead with both Kyrie Irving and LeBron James not playing. Nonetheless, that  isn’t an excuse for the Cavs poor execution. Especially since Kevin Love put up 28 points and had 19 rebounds that night. This game will be the fully loaded edition, as all three Cleveland stars will be dominating along with recently acquired game changers Timofey Mozgov, Iman Shumpert, and J.R. Smith. All three new guys are arguably better than anyone the Sixers will put on the floor tonight. It’s mind blowing to think how much the roster has changed in just one month.

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Links to the Present: Win Streaks

February 2nd, 2015 by David Wood

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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 Earl’s Pearl of the Week and some other features to add to the entertainment.

First things first, make sure you check out the TrueHoop Network Round Up here. Each week a TrueHoop blog is going to host a round up of the best content on the ESPN Blog network. Definitely check out this week because there is special 3-on-3 to discuss the All-Star selections.
 
Second, this Grantland piece by Ben Detrick is a must read. “J.R. in Cleveland: An Ohio Nightlife Guide for the Famous NYC Party Animal,” is a precocious entry into the canon of Cleveland sports journalism. It includes gems about “hanging out with Bone Thugs” and visiting Cleveland’s more pastoral surroundings.

Instead of distributing favs, likes, and pipe, via DM, he [J.R.] could escape on a scenic day trip to Amish country, where bearded farmers who look like Mark Eaton furrow the fields.

But on to more pressing matters. Right now the Hawks hold the longest win streak in the NBA at 19 wins. The Cavs are plowing along though with a ten game win streak of their own. Both of these teams are in the much weaker Eastern conference; however, each of them has faced their share of Western foes and been successful in their own way. The Hawks have a 13-2 record against the West, and they have looked dominant for much of the season, while the Cavs have an 11-11 record against the West side. Recently though, the Cavs have earned eight of their last 10 wins against the West.

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