Posts Tagged ‘2014 NBA Draft’

Links to the Present: Report Cards, Trades, and a Presser

Friday, June 27th, 2014

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The Cavs organization must have been reading our mock draft last night because they took the same player we took with the number one pick, Andrew Wiggins.  No wonder the grade for that pick is so high.  Although we didn’t take Joe Harris with our 33rd pick in the mock draft, writers are pretty high on him too.

The head draft expert at ESPN, Chad Ford, awarded the Cavs an A.  He didn’t give out an A+ to anyone.

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Wiggins-credible: Cavs take Andrew Wiggins at One

Thursday, June 26th, 2014

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As recently as last Thursday afternoon, the Cavaliers draft strategy seemed set. They were poised to draft Joel Embiid, the 7-1 center from the University of Kansas, who many draft analysts considered to be the tip of the consensus top-three, that also included fellow Jayhawk, Andrew Wiggins, and Duke forward Jabari Parker.

The discovery of a stress fracture in Embiid’s right foot — and his subsequent surgery that inserted two screws to stabilize it — sent the Cavs and the entire NBA draft into a weeklong whirl-a-baloo of trade rumors and a dizzying back-and-forth between the remaining two, Wiggins and Parker.

In the end, the Cavs stayed put and went with Wiggins, a 6-8 200 pound SG/SF whose length and elite athleticism immediately helps out the Cavs’ soggy perimeter defense and finally extinguish the tire fire that has been their small forward position since the summer of 2010. Wiggins possesses jaw-dropping athleticism and, until Embiid’s emergence, was considered a lock to be the first player taken in this talent-laden draft. While he is by no means a finished product, he excels in the open court, which should have Cavs fans readying their salivary glands in anticipation of all the above-the-rim finishes off passes from Kyrie Irving and Dion Waiters. His shooting is inconsistent, but the form on his shot is good enough to expect his long range accuracy to only get better.

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The Point Four-ward: Spoken Words Edition

Wednesday, June 25th, 2014

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Sights and sounds from the NBA Draft media session at the Westin Hotel in Times Square:

Each year, the day before the draft, the NBA does its best Jaws impression, taking its top prospects — as if by the bucketful — and dumping them into the blogger-bloodied water to be picked clean of everything from how they felt they were utilized in their college offense to their favorite video game to play (spoiler: it’s almost always “Call of Duty”). This is the one time of year where these elite athletes will watch us perform. They are ushered into a hotel conference room 8-10 at a time, shown to a small round table bearing their name — time for a deep breath, maybe a count to ten — and then it’s all arms, microphones, shouts for their attention and just a general jostling for position as every media member tries to get his/her question in and still have time to hit all the other tables. Good journalism, it seems, makes for bad manners.

Welcome to the NBA, gentlemen. We will continue to behave like this.

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6 Deep: Coming into Focus

Tuesday, June 24th, 2014

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1.) Your favorite NBA finals moment was?

Tom: Ginobili’s dunk on Bosh.  Had I been in San Antonio I would have rushed the court.  Before security could get to me I’d have run up to Bosh to say “good job, good effort!”  I’d do LeBron’s push-up dance as I was being hauled off.  Maybe sneak an elbow to the nuts on Ray Ray in revenge for Varejao.  #neverforget

Ben: Manu’s leap-back 3 (steps don’t cover 8 feet) with the crowd already delirious from his Throwback-Throwdown. As I was still bouncing around from the dunk, I just started giggling when I saw him gather his footwork. There are some shots that you just know are going in.

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The Point Four-ward: Coaching Search A-Go-Go

Friday, June 13th, 2014

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Four points I’m thinking about the Cleveland Cavaliers…

1.) If, as reported, the Cavs have interest in Maccabi Tel Aviv head coach, David Blatt, then this past Wednesday was an important day. June 11th marked the end of Maccabi Electra’s season where they lost to Maccabi Haifa 84-82, but still won the club’s 51st Israeli League championship on account of winning the first of two Finals games with Haifa by four points.

I’ll repeat: they lost the game, but still won the championship.

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The Point Four-ward: Four Things I’m Thinking About the Cleveland Cavaliers

Thursday, May 29th, 2014

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1.) An interesting name popped up amidst the New York Knicks current coaching search: Luke Walton. Walton, the former Laker and Cavalier, has never been more than tangentially connected to the top spot on the Knicks’ bench and his name was floated mostly in the same way that anyone who has a previous working relationship with Phil Jackson has been linked to the job at some point post-Steve Kerr pursuit (and, yes, it is too bad that Shaquille O’Neal is part owner of the Kings now taking that tasty morsel off the rumor rotisserie). But Luke Walton as a head coach is not as crazy as it might sound.

Anyone who watched Walton and Shaun Livingston run a fluid, efficient second unit offense for the Cavaliers in 2012-13 could tell just how much the game is in his bones. Walton has had the benefit of growing up around the pro game and then learning under two of the better coaches around: Lute Olson at the University of Arizona and Phil Jackson in Los Angeles (sorry, Byron Scott… we’re leaving you off this particular list). During the NBA lockout of 2011-12, Walton spent his extra dose of free time by joining former AU assistant coach Josh Pastner’s staff at the University of Memphis. Then following the conclusion of his playing career, Walton was named player development coach for the Los Angeles D-Fenders.

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