Posts Tagged ‘Brooklyn Nets’

The Point Four-ward: Looking (Somewhat Ambitiously) Ahead

Wednesday, April 8th, 2015

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Four points I’m thinking about the Cleveland Cavaliers…

1.) J.R. Smith’s three point explosion against the Chicago Bulls on Sunday (8-17 FGs… all three pointers) had many Cavs fans on Twitter talking about the team’s starting two guard and his contract status. After all, Smith has a player option for just under $6.4 million for next season. If he were playing like he was as a member of the New York Knicks earlier this season, Smith likely would have picked up that option. And, right now, $6.4 million for the type of production Smith is providing is a bargain.

In Cleveland, Smith has thrived and the team has thrived with him. Cavs head coach David Blatt has referred to Smith as “a godsend” and LeBron James has said the 6-8 Smith has been “everything we needed and more.”

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Recap: Nets 106, Cavs 98(Or, Joe Tries and Succeeds)

Saturday, March 28th, 2015

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.

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Live Thread: Cavs at Nets

Friday, March 27th, 2015

Let’s hope Mozzy can still run after killing all those Brew Burgers.

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.

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BKN 103, CLE 100

Saturday, December 29th, 2012

Deron Williams played shut down D.

I tried writing the beginning of this recap a hundred times before I had any idea what to write. I still don’t, really. The Cavs keeping piling up losses, but it’s not the W-L column that hurts. It’s the individual defeats. I know that every team in the NBA loses, and the close ones are supposed to hurt. But man, was this one tough.

First Quarter: Brook Lopez, master purveyor of the flat-footed hook shot, dominated Tyler Zeller, he of the weak chest and propensity to be pushed around. Dominated to the tune of 19 points. Kyrie was out of sync early, and this one looked real ugly until C.J. Miles started raining threes. BKN 34, CLE 24

Second Quarter: Kyrie Irving remained mediocre. C.J. Miles, thankfully, remained supernova. His jumper has looked decidedly silky as of late, hasn’t it? The defensive effort by the Cavs in these 12 minutes was nothing short of horrendous. Jerry Stackhouse was hitting open jumpers, Marshon Brooks was getting gifted all sorts of open looks–hell, even Andray Blatche hit a three. BKN 61, CLE 53.

Third Quarter: Ew. The third quarter basically consisted of the Cavs and the Nets both missing a ton of shots, until the Cavs missed a few less shots near the end and somehow ended the period only down by five. But hey! Kyrie Irving hit two free throws, just in case, you know, you forgot he did anything other than miss contested jumpers over Deron Williams. Also, Gerald Wallace is a lot of fun to watch play basketball. He just kind of runs around and bangs into everyone, all the time. Also, Luke Walton is Bizzaro Gerald Wallace in every sense. The two of them exist to be polar opposites Neither can live while the other survives. BKN 79, CLE 74.

Fourth Quarter: Tristan Thompson and C.J. Miles were heroic, picking up the slack we sorely needed while Kyrie uncharacteristically continued to suck. They combined for 19 in the fourth, and seemed like the only Cavs interested in winning the game. Tristan, especially, showed fantastic effort on both sides of the floor, all the while rebounding like a maniac. His tip-dunk with a minute left cut the lead to three was unbelievable, and would have been Andy-esque, if Andy could jump that high. At the very end, Kyrie hit a three-pointer to cut the lead to one. Joe Johnson hit a pair, and Kyrie’s last heave rimmed out. BKN 103, CLE 100. Ballgame.

Player of the Game: Tristan Thompson had 17 and 15, with a pair of blocks and only one missed free throw. He was fantastic, and the big games have been coming often enough recently to convince me that he’s a really valuable piece for the future. He’s not nearly as good as J.J. Hickson, though…JOKE.

Highlights: Alonzo Gee continuing to get one breakaway steal-to-dunk a game, Tristan Thompson being a total beast, C.J. Miles unleashing high-volume efficiency on the Nets, Tyler Zeller on offense, did I mention Tristan Thompson?

Lowlights: Tyler Zeller on defense, Kyrie Irving on defense, Kyrie Irving on offense, Reggie Evans suddenly becoming an effective offensive weapon, Byron Scott’s rotations.

General Notes: In case you hadn’t noticed, Byron Scott lives to confound Cavs fans with his unfathomable, ridiculous Kyrie Irving Playing Time methodology. As much as Kyrie sucked this game, there was no reason for Scott to hold him out for the first five minutes of the fourth. Our offense is stagnant without Kyrie in there, and the non-Kyrie effect is larger by several orders of magnitude in the final frame, when defense buckles down. Now, should our 20 year-old star be playing 40 minutes a game? No, but there are ways to stagger minutes, and I’d much rather have Kyrie miss a few minutes earlier in the game, if it meant he could play more of the fourth. We would have been down by a lot more when he came in if it weren’t for a few unlikely Jeremy Pargo plays. C’mon, Byron.

Also: Luke Walton was one of only three players to post a positive +/- for the night, but he didn’t pass the eye test. Everyone raves about his passing, but Walton tries a little too hard to thread the needle, and often passes up good looks to further his Steve Nash-without-foot speed impersonation. 30 minutes? C’mon, Byron.

Kyrie’s Defense

Tuesday, November 13th, 2012

From the Truehoop guru himself, Henry Abbott, a Skype interview with Kyrie Irving.  They discuss Kyrie’s defense, and John Hollinger’s criticism of it. Kyrie freely admits  how awful it was last year, but claims his  issues on that side of the ball last year were  mostly conditioning-related, and that he  has already shown significant improvement. Anyways, some good stuff, and food for thought as the Cavs look to shut down a Brooklyn Nets team with one of the best point guards in the league, Deron Williams. Early on, Byron Scott has chosen a few times to stick Alonzo Gee on the star point guards, rather than watch Kyrie struggle. That may be tougher to do this game, however, as one would assume Gee will have to defend Joe Johnson. Here’s the link.