On the heels of an epic and exhausting Game 4, Tom, EvilGenius, and I got in the studio for an emergency podcast to break down where we were when LeBron hit the shot heard round the Association. We broke down the game, the play, coach Blatt, and the war of attrition that has been this series.
Posts Tagged ‘David Blatt’
Back in September, I took the time to try and figure out which Cavs five man units would be the most effective for the 2014-2015 season. I used plus-minus data for individual players and plus-minus data for five man units from the Miami Heat and Minnesota Timberwolves. To make some sense of that information, a little math was required. Plus-minus (PM) numbers don’t take into account how many minutes players and lineups played, so they need to be adjusted to per 48 minute rates. Once those rates are figured out, they can be used for all sorts of fun stuff. By comparing players’ expected PM/48 in lineups to their lineup’s actual on the court PM/48, you can see how well the players meshed. If the numbers match up, then the unit played to the players’ averages, but if the two numbers are drastically different, the unit either under-performed or over-performed. (more…)
With all the Cavs news floating around this week, we figured we needed to bring in a ringer. Former CtBer, Colin McGowan, joined me and Tom in the podcast booth for a marathon discussion. “The Mess in Massachusetts” weighed heavily on our minds, as did Kevin Love’s future with the Cavs, and that was just the start. Then we asked the tough questions. Who’s going to step up for the Cavs? Were the Cleveland and Boston suspensions just? Can the Cavs win in the next round? We broke down the playoff match-ups for the Cavs and the rest of the East, and gave our latest finals picks too. Then the Kevin Love surgery news broke! After lamenting, we added our thoughts on David and EG’s Hack-a-DeAndre duel, video games, the the champagne of beers, and, of course T-Shirts! WHEW! Thanks to @cs_mcgowan for a very fun podcast, despite the bad news. Here’s Colin’s Kevin Love article from Wednesday, plus his pieces on the Boston Game, J.R. Smith, and free-throws.
Ready for another one? After an off-day to enjoy the afterglow of their first playoff victory since 2010, the Cavs return poised and ready to try and turn the home court double play tonight at the Q, as they look to take Game 2 against the Celtics.
In game one, Kyrie, Kevin, Tristan and Delly all got to experience their first taste of playoff action, and they did not disappoint. Kyrie’s offensive explosion and awesome handle, KLove’s gritty defense and rebounding, TT’s dynamite energy and garbageman skills, and Delly’s hustle and heady play were all on full display in the Cavs 113-100 victory. Old head, LBJ, orchestrated the action, facilitating for the young fellas and preaching patience on the sidelines.
Yes, it was an impressive win for this group’s playoff debut, however, this is the playoffs, where nothing is given and everything is earned. Consequently, there’s still plenty for the Cavs to clean up as they take the floor for Game 2.
Whew. We got that out of the way. Tom Pestak and I tag teamed the recap on this lovely basketballiday. Bill Simmons’ 2016 presidential candidate, Brad Stevens (yes he’s over 35) had his scrappy Celtics squad as prepared to face Goliath as they could be, and the Cavs still covered the -12 point spread with a B- game. Once the emotions and nerves of the significance of the game settled in the second quarter the Cavs went on to out-score Boston 86 to 69 the rest of the way.
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?
Los Angeles was built on persistence of vision. It’s all an illusion. A flaw in our narcissism of self-love that fits the desert oasis tight like a blood stained glove. LA is a mirage and so are the people. They contort themselves to fit the idea of LA. There were times I questioned if they were ever actually there in the first place. They just couldn’t have been real.
“I am Kyrie, hear me roar,
With a three stroke too great to ignore,
And I score too much to go back and pretend,
Cause I’ve heard all before,
I’ve been on the ground, restricted part of the floor,
And, no one’s ever gonna stop my threes again!”
Kyrie started the night 0-7 and then proceeded to shoot 17-29 from the field on his way to a career high 55 points. He willed in 11 three pointers on 19 attempts, and had 16 of the Cavs final 20 points. And, boy is his back sore. Kevin Love scored ten points in the first quarter and nothing the rest of the game. Timofey was the second leading scoring getting just 12 points. The craziest stat of all: Irving had just three turnovers. The Blazers really put up a fight, led by LaMarcus Aldridge. He scored 38 points on 13-23 shooting and had 11 rebounds. He even made two threes. (more…)
We’ve all been thinking a lot about David Blatt, lately. Questions float around in our head… Why isn’t this working? Is it the players? Is it the coach? Is it the waning moon? Did I move my life-size cutout of LeBron too close to my stuffed Moondog, and thus cancel out their energies? It’s true that there’s no single reason the Cavs are struggling. A new person is assigned as blame tampon each week…. Mike Miller, Delly, Sir C.C., Kevin Love, and this week, David Blatt. Having a little bit of coaching experience, myself, I thought I’d offer some advice. You see, I’ve coached girl’s basketball for the last three years as my oldest has matriculated from third to fifth, so I can empathize with what coach Blatt is going through. Coaching in the NBA is a lot like coaching fifth grade girls, right?
If you haven’t read David Wood’s excellent recap of last night’s loss to the Suns, get on it!
Four points I’m thinking about the NBA and the Cleveland Cavaliers…
1.) The fallout over David Blatt’s comments after the Cavs loss in Sacramento that Kevin Love is “not a max player yet” should come as a surprise to no one. Blatt has always been known as a fiery guy who, thus far in his career (storied abroad, though it may be) hasn’t had to deal with as many of the finer points of player ego-massaging as he has this season, his first in the NBA. While he has ladled freely from the soup of praise when talking about his players, Love, LeBron James and Kyrie Irving, in particular, there was bound to be a moment when Blatt, understandably frustrated following a 19-point drubbing by a Kings squad where his team played unengaged, uninspired and… well, basically un-anything-good, would release a little steam. Unfortunately, his pressure check was in front of the media and at the apparent expense of the player who, should he leave after just one season in wine and gold, would leave the team with a lot of gold — from the yolk running down their collective face — to show for it.
Do I think Blatt thinks Love is a bad player? Absolutely not. I think Blatt believes his starting power forward is a very talented offensive player — one of the more versatile offensive bigs in the league — but to say that Blatt, in his most private moments, is without criticism of Love is probably unrealistic, as well. Blatt later backpedaled saying that what he meant was that Love has not yet signed a max contract with the Cavs and didn’t want to be accused of tampering by suggesting that those kind of discussions were had with Love.