The Cavs ran into the NBA’s equivalent of a mythical nine-headed monster last night in Atlanta. Dangerous because of the ability to kill you in so many different ways, and from so many different places, this Hawks team (like the monstrous hydra) lived up to its lethal label.
The Cavs were determined early to cut off the head responsible for three point shooting, but where one head got severed, two more sprouted in its place… in this case to kill them with pick and roll and guard penetration. And just when they seemed to be getting somewhere, that first head reared up one last time to bite them. Add in a few self-inflicted wounds… and it was a pretty poisonous night all around for the Cavs. Read the rest of this entry »
Fresh off of outscoring the Raptors in an old-fashioned barn-burner, the Cavs roll into the ATL looking to ground the high-flying birds and show them exactly who the EC is going to run through in the playoffs. But Atlanta has had a couple of days off to figure out the best ways to hard foul LeBron in the paint stop LeBron from scoring.
The Cavs are looking sharper in the alt blue unis…but are they lucky?
Though seemingly mothballed after the home loss to the New York Knicks for what could only have been karmic reasons, we’ve seen a recent resurgence of the Cavs alternate blue uniforms. Since their unfortunate debut, the Cavs have evened up their record in the alt unis to 2-2. It remains to be seen if this positive trend continues, but for now it appears that the blue will factor more heavily in the mix.
However, this seems like all the uniform experimentation we can expect as Cavs fans this season (not including the forgettable special “first name” X-Mas jerseys). We’re seeing a plethora of new designs and color schemes being used around the NBA this year, and it’s curious that the Cavs aren’t at the forefront of that… especially given the connections two certain all-stars have with a certain major shoe and athletic apparel company.
WOW. If this was a playoff game it would have been an all-time classic. The Cavs caught the Raptors foaming at the mouth with revenge and somehow overcame a 69 point half. They blew a 19-point lead and honestly when the Raptors took the lead 93-91 on a backbreaking Lou Williams’ triple I thought the Cavs might lose by 19. But the Cavs absorbed everything the Raptors had to give, and silenced a raucous crowd over and over and over and over. There were a month’s worth of big shots in the second half alone. The Raptors stayed supernova hot, but LeBron James is the cosmic equivalent of a quasar – and his massive presence overshadowed everything that happened down the stretch.
The Cavs travel to America’s Cap tonight to battle the uneven Toronto Raptors, who have lost seven of their last 12 games but notched impressive victories against the Clippers and Hawks. Kyle Lowry has been struggling and may sit this one to rest some nagging ailments. If the Cavs win they will own the season series 3-1 and will move into a “virtual tie” with the Raptors for possession of the 2-Seed in the East. So there’s a lot at stake. Tonight’s blog sub-theme: Game Shows!
First, if you haven’t read David’s excellent recap of last night’s win over the Celtics, do that first. Then, continue on to—
Four points I’m thinking about the Cleveland Cavaliers…
1.) All of the MVP talk that sprouted up around James following the Cavs brilliant performance against the Golden State Warriors last Thursday got me to thinking: what is the most number of games a player has missed in a season and still won the NBA’s Most Valuable Player award?
In two games this past week, James came out with guns blazing against the current MVP front-runners, James Harden of the Houston Rockets and Stephen Curry of the Warriors. Against the Warriors, James was magnificent, scoring 42 points on 15-25 shooting in what turned into a relatively easy victory against the team with (at the time) the league’s best record. Against Houston, James shot poorly (15-25 from the floor, 3-11 from the free throw line) but played as spirited and springy on defense as he has in a very long time. Regardless of how it ended, put his team in the position to win a game on the road against one of the league’s best teams without the help of the team’s all-star point guard.
Did James do enough in those two games to convince me that he’s still the game’s best player?
The Cavs dominated for 36 straight minutes tonight. They could have done so for 48 minutes. However, going into the fourth quarter ahead by 42 points is usually enough. There’s no need to pile on against any team, especially one that started a bunch of young guys and one seasoned vet. The story of the night was the Cavs: The Blog Haiku comment challenge. The commenters committed to the Haiku format and that helped the Cavs win big. And, my fellow blogger Nate Smith was at the game eating all he could (he had all you can eat seats). So we’ll add Haiku-commenting and Nate eating at the Q to the list of ways to help the Cavs win. Read the rest of this entry »
The Cavs face off against the Celtics in just under an hour. The Wine & Gold need this win to snap a two game losing streak. David Blatt was without Kyrie Irving the last game, but Irving is supposed to play tonight. Kevin Love, however, is listed as a game time decision. Apparently, the Big Three are a tag team with one man stuck on the apron these days. Kevin needs to pull some ropes and get into the game tonight. 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 notable reads/videos from the past seven days to get you through the day 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.
The MIT Sloan Sports Analytics Conference ended over the weekend, and Grantland writer/Harvard professor Kirk Goldsberry received first place honors for his paper. His analytics study redefined how NBA players can be evaluated on the defensive end of the floor. It shows how certain players’ defense affects other players’ shooting efficiency and habits (see chart below). A non-math-inclined person version of the paper can be found here. The academic one for people who really understand stats is here.
And, the Rockets beat the Cavs in overtime, 105-103. Houston’s general manager, Daryl Morey, is officially in a good mood. He attended the Sloan conference, which he co-founded, and watched his team take out another top tier organization. Read the rest of this entry »
For fans of nationally televised, playoff-intensity basketball, it didn’t get much better than this overtime thriller between the Cavs and Rockets. And for fans of MVP-style match ups, there wasn’t a much better one to be had than The King vs. The Beard. Though the Cavs came out on the short end in this one, they fought hard against the third best team in the West and had a shot to win in the end. But, it’s hard to win on the road against good teams… and harder still when plagued by turnovers, rough shooting nights from downtown, too much MVP-ISO ball and (most importantly) poor free throw shooting. Read the rest of this entry »
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.
Tom Pestak is an Associate Editor. He's from the west side of Cleveland and lives and (mostly) dies by the success and (mostly) failures of his beloved teams. You can watch his fanaticism during Cavs games @tompestak.
Robert Attenweiler is a Staff Writer. Originally from OH, he's long made his home in NYC where he writes plays and screenplays (www.disgracedproductions.com) some of which end up being about Ohio, basketball or both. He has also written for The Classical and the blog Raising the Cadavalier. You can contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org or @cadavalier.
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