Don’t forget to check out (and comment on) Ben’s recap.
After the nearly flawless game played against the Grizzlies, the Cavaliers were feeling very good about themselves. The punctuation win over Memphis after all the Love chatter must have been very satisfying. So it is hardly a surprise that the Cavs came out a bit flat in Brooklyn. Having a celebratory evening in NYC can frequently lead to uninspired play. Let’s get to it.
1st Quarter: With Thaddeus Young out, the Nets started Mason Plumlee. Their twin tower look must have been incredibly intimidating as it took all of eleven seconds for the Cavaliers to call a timeout. Granted, it came because J.R. Smith couldn’t inbound the ball after a Nets deflection, but
terror boredom was in the Cavaliers’ eyes.
The Nets host the streaking Cavaliers Friday night sitting only a half game out of the eighth spot in the Eastern Conference. The NBA’s Sweet Sixteen might not be the same accomplishment as it is in NCAA ball, but Brooklyn would certainly feel better about themselves if they were to squeeze into the playoff picture. The Nets have been a particularly boring bunch this season, falling victim to injury and general comatose. Any team that relies too much on Deron Williams’ legs and the venerable Jarrett Jack is probably not going to strike fear into hearts around the league.
I have two words for you… I’m sorry.
I don’t know if you’ve already heard this mea culpa sentiment from other former doubters, haters or pessimists, but I for one can say in all honesty that I completely misjudged what your impact on this team would be from the start. Read the rest of this entry »
Occasionally, amazing things happen in this life. One of those things was the Timofey Mozgov ad for the Brew Garden that I wrote 1,700 words on earlier today. However, just that writeup did not fully quench my thirst for knowledge about the 15 seconds of pure magic that is Timofey Mozgov firing a competitor plate aside and declaring that he is hungry for Brew Garden. So I called the Brew Garden and got some initial details from a bartender who was present for the shoot of the ad, and was able to get some information for her. I also left my number for the owner of the Brew Garden, the true mastermind of the ad, in the hopes that I could get the full breakdown of the ad. A few hours later, he called me back. The following is a transcript of what he told me about the ad. Read the rest of this entry »
Sometimes, things are perfect. This is one of those times. Cavaliers center Timofey Mozgov recently did a 15-second commercial for The Brew Garden, and quickly had the type of positive impact on the Brew Garden and Commericals that he’s had for the Cavaliers since being traded to the team. According to NBA.com, Mozgov has the second best raw +/- on the entire team, trailing only LeBron James. Since the number of times I have thought about the Brew Garden has gone from “0” before I saw this commercial to “560,000” in the three hours since I have seen it, I believe his +/- impact on the restaurant may be even more dramatic.
We’re going to break down each of these 15 precious seconds as completely as possible. The ad demands at least this much from us.
:00 — We open with a shot of what appears to be a sandwich, some kettle chips and a side of cole slaw on a plate behind a sign that says “COMPETITOR.” A very large hand is next to the plate. Behind the plate is a yellow shirt.
In an away game, the Cavs handed the number two team in the West their biggest loss of the season. Memphis shot 44% and made only four 3-pointers. The Cavs, on the other hand, shot 51% and drained 14 3-balls. Kevin Love led the Cavs by keeping Marc Gasol from doing what he normally does offensively. Gasol struggled to get easy post points, pass to open guys, or even rebound. Love also destroyed Memphis offensively, making 10-13 shots for 22 points from everywhere on the court. He even had 10 rebounds to go with four assists. The Grizzlies couldn’t figure out how to defend him, or any of the Wine-and-Golders. The Cavs led by as many as 29 points in the 3rd quarter, a quarter in which all 14 of their baskets were assisted. It was the best ball movement of the season. Let’s go to the action. Read the rest of this entry »
The Cavs are facing a team going the opposite direction of most NBA teams. The Grizzlies play at a bottom five pace (92.1 possessions per 48 minutes). They run the ball through two true post behemoths, Marc Gasol and Zach Randolph. And, defensively, they hold teams to 95.2 points per game, which is second in the league. Read the rest of this entry »
Four points I’m thinking about the Cleveland Cavaliers…
1.) Not long after Steve Nash announced his retirement last week, this story broke: had Nash asked for a buyout from the Lakers around the trade deadline, the Cavs had interest in bringing the 18-year vet on board to spell Kyrie Irving for limited minutes. The move made some sense because a.) LeBron James has always been a big Nash fan b.) both Cavs GM David Griffin and Director of Player Administration Raja Bell are close with Nash from their time together with the Phoenix Suns and c.) the Cavs, at least at the time they were considering this move, were looking to shore up their backup point guard spot.
Nash, however, chose to stay a Laker, the organization with which he wanted to end his career. And, really, you have to wonder if Nash would have been able to give the Cavs even the 10-15 minutes a night they were looking for, as he has not played in a game all season and has only played 65 games for the Lakers since they acquired him prior to the 2012-13 season.
Editors Note: This piece was published with editorial contributions from Nate Smith and EvilGenius, and with scouting contributions from Ben Werth. Also, please check out David Wood’s Links to the Present published earlier today.
On January 13, the Cavaliers lost their sixth game in a row to drop below .500 (19-20). Kevin Love played particularly poorly, shooting 3-11 from the floor and posting a team-worst -19 in under 27 minutes. He rode the pine for the entire fourth quarter. (It was not the first time Love had been benched for the entire fourth quarter of a non-blowout: on December 26th, Coach Blatt, searching for answers, ran with an ultra-small lineup of LeBron-Delly-Dion-MMiller-TT in the fourth quarter and it worked – the Cavs outscored the Magic 27-14 and won by nine.) Despite the fact that Markieff Morris (or as LeBron referred to him “one of the Morris twins”) torched King James in the fourth, Kevin Love’s lackluster defense and poor shooting was the story of the game, and the “Kevin Love’s Not Fitting In” theme was an undeniable reality of the young (but not that young) season. But ten weeks later, is that “theme” still even relevant?