5 on 5: 2014 Tipoff

October 29th, 2014 by Nate Smith

One more day! The NBA tipped off last night, and the Cavs tip off tomorrow. Our summer of waiting is almost over. In that spirit, we asked five Cavs the Bloggers to answer five questions about what this team will look like to start the season.

Tipoff is Thursday! What are you most excited about as the Cavs open the regular season?

Cory Hughey:  I look forward to the inverse of LeBron’s first return to Cleveland with Miami. The emotion will gather like condensation on the outside of a cold beer mug. For those fortunate enough to be there, they will share a two-hour moment that transcends normal consciousness with 20,000 strangers. Instead of venom, there will be love. Instead of Samardo Samuels there will be Kevin Love.

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Fantasy Notebook: The Autodraft Hangover

October 28th, 2014 by Robert Attenweiler

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Yes, yes, I know; autodraft is a cruel mistress. It’s a tale full of sound and fury, signifying nothing. It’s a lightning rod for venomous hyperbole. It is the cruel thumb of fate made all too real as it presses down to take from each of us any hope for individual agency, much less the occasional hollow victory. It may not be the most satisfying version of fantasy basketball but, as the saying goes, it’s the version of fantasy basketball that we have. Well, here at Cavs: The Fantasy League, at least.

Each of the twelve staunch and ready participants in the inaugural CtFL went to bed last night (except for Ben, who was probably just waking up) with dreams of sugar plums and LeBron James dancing in their heads, only to wake up faced with, in the immortal words of Mallory Factor, “DeMarcus Cousins and a pile of poo.”

Mr. Irrelevant, the final player taken in the autodraft, was former Cav C.J. Miles, who wound up on Team PESTAK.

And… well, full disclosure, yours truly wound up with the randomly generated (for serious!) first pick and the auto-LeBron selection. So… well… you know… that worked out.

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Southwest Division Preview

October 28th, 2014 by Cory Hughey

Editor’s note: This is the final installment in our series of Division Previews for 2014. In case you missed them, here are the previews for the Atlantic, Southeast, Central, Pacific, and Northwest divisions.

The Southwest is the best division in the league. There’s not even close second. Last season, the division posted a combined 249 – 161 record (.607), besting the second place Northwest by a ridiculous 35 wins. The defending champion San Antonio Spurs reside here along with their playoff peers from last season in Houston, Dallas and Memphis. New Orleans, the runt of the division, isn’t too far from the playoffs themselves. The battle for divisional supremacy spilled off the court this summer, as three significant players changed teams within the division.

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Thompson Talks

October 27th, 2014 by David Wood

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Talks with Tristan Thompson about a contract extension before the Halloween deadline have stalled according to ESPN and Brian Windhorst. The talks represent more than keeping the “big man who specializes in offensive rebounding.”

Thompson is represented by Klutch Sports and James’ agent and business partner Rich Paul, who has worked with Thompson since he was drafted in 2011.

Both league executives and agents are closely watching how the Thompson talks play out as a gauge for how involved James is making himself in the team’s front-office moves. James signed a one-year contract with a second-year player option over the summer to try to take advantage of a rising salary cap. But it had the ancillary effect of keeping the team a little uncomfortable about the future.

If Tristan isn’t re-signed, it will allow people to comfortably say LeBron is not performing as quasi general manager for the Cavs. If TT is re-signed, people will speculate about what influence The King had on the decision to re-up him and the resulting contract. Gossip will be inevitable. Read the rest of this entry »

Paying off a Bet; Throwing Down a Gauntlet

October 27th, 2014 by Nate Smith

So Tom Pestak and I made a bet last spring on whether the Cavs would make the playoffs. I lost. The stakes? An embarrassing video. I tried to duck him for months, but he finally threatened to beat me with a mini-golf putter unless I paid up. So here it is, a re-enactment of an infamous moment in Cavs history. Little does Tom know, I’m using this as an opportunity to test his Cavs faith.

Here’s video of the classic David Wesley layup, just so you can compare.

So as if the Cavs didn’t have enough motivation to bring a championship to Cleveland, now they have to worry about me having a heart attack if they don’t. Go Cavs, and Happy Halloween!

Reading Six Pack: Helping Each Other Out Brew

October 24th, 2014 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 during the work week. Don’t worry. I’ve got you covered with six notable reads/videos (much like the six beers in a six pack) from the past seven days to get you through the weekend feeling entertained, caught up, and much smarter. I might even suggest a beer to enjoy while reading these pieces.

This batch was fermented with an extra handful of teammate yeast. Sports Illustrated published an article by Lee Jenkins from their October 27th print issue online. Mr. Jenkins focuses on LeBron James’ development as a teammate. It’s taken the King a long time to become the transcendent creator and floor general fans witness each night, but the wait was worth it. He’s completely game changing when he facilitates.

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Opening Day News

October 24th, 2014 by David Wood

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ESPN correspondent Dave McMenamin has received confirmation from David Blatt and the Cavs organization that Anderson Varejao and Dion Waiters will be starting alongside the Cavs big three of Kyrie Irving, Kevin Love, and LeBron James. Andy beat out Tristan Thomspon for his spot. However, Blatt was careful to say that the Wild Thing didn’t earn the starting role by playing better than Big T.

Blatt said that the decision came down, in part, to Varejao’s history of playing alongside James after the two were teammates from 2004-10 already.

“That was more or less the idea of beginning with Andy just because those two guys are so good together,” Blatt said. “And Tristan is equally as efficient in either case. So, that’s more or less the basis, but it doesn’t mean that Tristan won’t be starting some of the games. I’m sure he will be. Just right now, that’s the way we’re looking to go.”

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LeBron James Through The Years

October 24th, 2014 by John Krolik

 

Hi. I’m John. I started this website in 2008, and was its Editor-In-Chief until after the 2010-11 season. I spend lots of time doing law school-y things now, such as going to law school. This season, I’m going to be doing a weekly column, as well as some other things as time allows. Over the past 11 seasons, I have watched LeBron James play basketball an unhealthy amount, and I’ve learned a few things about his game over that time. (These columns will be more varied as the season goes on, but don’t be surprised if the first few are LeBron-centric: I’m still getting to know this brand-new Cavs team, while I have 11 years of intense LeBron-watching under my belt.)

Since LeBron James now plays for the Cavaliers again, I thought it would be useful to go back through the last decade-plus of LeBron, and see how he got from the 18-year old kid out of St. Vincent/St. Marys to the four-time MVP and two-time champion who will be suiting up for the Cavs this season. One of the (many) things I always say is truly incredible as LeBron is that he not only came into the league as the most talented prospect of the modern era and lived up to the hype right out of the gate, but he’s improved and changed his game more from when he was first successful to when he hit his prime as much as any player in NBA history.

Follow me past the jump for more (a lot more):

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Preseason Recap: Memphis 96, Cleveland 92 (or, Games are won in the Trenches)

October 23rd, 2014 by Ben Werth

Cleveland closed its 2014 preseason with an incredibly physical game with the Memphis Grit and Grind. If you like to watch amazingly large athletes slam into each other in the paint, circle December 21st and March 26th on your calender. Though only preseason, it was clear that any meeting between these two frontcourts will be an all-out sumo match. The Memphis style of play gave the Cavaliers a chance to see how Blatt’s adapting system functions in a slowly paced game. Shawn Marion started in place of a resting LeBron James. Anderson Varejao was in the circle for tip-off. Though competitive throughout, the game was clearly an evaluative exercise for both franchises. Starters saw limited minutes in the second half.

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League Pass Champs

October 22nd, 2014 by David Wood

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Today, Bill Simmons and Zach Lowe of Grantland unveiled the second part of their NBA League Pass rankings. After reading part one of their rankings yesterday, I felt relieved that the Cavs weren’t in the bottom fifteen. It would seem illogical for them to be considering they have LeBron James, Kevin Love, The Wild Thing, and Kyrie Irving, but being born and raised in Cleveland has taught me to expect the worse for my sports teams.

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