The Hawks are a good team. With a healthy Al Horford, a Spursian offense, and one of the best starting 5s in the East, this figured to be a tough challenge for the Cavaliers, who miraculously survived a much-less-talented Celtics squad last night. The Cavs made their first six threes but could seemingly do nothing to stop the Hawks’ dribble penetration. With three minutes left in the quarter the Cavs led just 24-21, despite converting 6/6 from downtown. LeBron was involved in everything. Then Coach Blatt sat LeBron down and I thought “this is gonna get ugly”. It did. For the Hawks. The Cavs went on a 41-8 run, threw a lead anvil on the gas pedal, and started setting all-time records.
Posts Tagged ‘dion waiters’
Dion Waiters has been one of the more interesting human beings to follow since he was drafted. Out of Syracuse he was billed as a talented scorer with as much upside as anyone not named Anthony Davis, and was favorably compared to Dwyane Wade (by both Chad Ford and Byron Scott). Former Cavs: The Blog editor and friend Colin McGowan anagrammatically foretold the coming of “Saint Weirdo” in a post-draft prophesy, and Waiters has mostly fulfilled the moniker.
His brashness strikes me as a defense mechanism—it’s what allows him the single-mindedness that makes him great at basketball—and when it’s punctured, he retreats inward. I think that’s what happened at SU: Boeheim shouted him down a few times, and Waiters didn’t initially respond well because he felt naked and embarrassed.
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.
Four points I’m thinking about the Cleveland Cavaliers…
1.) Well, the bloom is officially off the rose. The Cavaliers have lost. All the tiny cracks and fissures Cavs fans have seen in their team over the first four preseason games finally busted open full and wide in the team’s 108-102 loss to the Dallas Mavericks on Friday. The turnovers. The consistently inconsistent implementation of David Blatt’s new offense. The porous defense. The less-than-fully-active roster. All of those were on full display and, in the end, the result was predictably not in the Cavaliers’ favor.
Now (he says for about the millionth time), most of this is just preseason stuff. Coach Blatt is clearly choosing to have his club ready to begin the season physically, even if that means making sacrifices in cohesion that result in all of the above. Friday was Kevin Love’s and Shawn Marion’s turns to sit, meaning Blatt hasn’t had his full roster to play with in-game since the Cavs’ preseason opening win against Maccabi Tel Aviv.
In a game that saw three of the Cavs’ presumptive starters sitting out — Kyrie Irving (ankle), LeBron James (rest) and Tristan Thompson (shoulder) — the pressure was on its remaining two, Kevin Love and Dion Waiters, to step up and fill the void. The void was filled all right; filled up like the basket on one of Love’s five three pointers in seven tries on an evening where he scored 25 points in just 20 minutes on the court. It was filled up like Waiters on his way to 23 points. It was also filled by having to play a Milwaukee Bucks team that was missing regulars Larry Sanders and Brandon Knight and, well… you know, is the Bucks. Still, it was nip and tuck for most of the way, with the Cavs bench putting it away late to improve their preseason record to 3-0 with a 106-100 win at The Q.
Save for a Cavs mini-run in the first quarter that put the team up by 11, the game remained close throughout. Yes, Love and Waiters were the main story — and we’ll get to them — but here was the lineup David Blatt went with for much of the fourth quarter with the game’s outcome still in doubt: A.J. Price, Joe Harris, Chris Crawford, Shane Edwards and Alex Kirk. The Bucks, meanwhile, rode their regular rotation through the tight fourth — Ersan Ilyasova, Zaza Pachulia, John Henson, rookie Jabari Parker and Giannis Antetokounmpo, starting at point guard for the first time — and still couldn’t quite get over the hump.
The Cavs first practice kicked off on Sunday. Kyrie Irving called it “surreal.” We here at at CtB can hardly believe it either. Our first on-the-court glimpse of this Cavs team is only a few days away. Until then, we’ll have to fantasize. While visions of half-court alley oops danced in our heads, Robert, Ben, David and I hopped in the podcast booth for a 2014 training camp preview. Who will lead this team? Are there hidden storylines? Who’s going to start? Who’s going to close? Does Mike Miller have a better ‘do than Andy? We answered all these questions and more.
You can hear us on SoundCloud at https://soundcloud.com/ctb-5/ctb-podcast-55-2014-training-1 .
You can also subscribe to the podcast through iTunes at http://feeds.soundcloud.com/users/soundcloud:users:64011415/sounds.rss .
Yesterday’s Kevin Love Wojbomb caught us unawares. We were timing our responses for August 23rd. With the CtB staff scattered across the globe: on vacation, moving, or working we sadly had no one on hand to give this monumental development the hard hitting response it deserves. Instead of sounding the conch call, and resounding the words “CtB Staff, assemble!“, we jumped in the air and then chipped in to give you some #HotSportsTakes and maybe a roster move or two.
Tom: if the details are true then this moves makes sense even as I think Wiggins will be a monster. I do find it premature that so many folks think Waiters doesn’t fit and should be moved. The Cavs must complement LeBron Love and Irving with youth and athleticism. Dion could fit quite well. A guy the Cavs could add? Kevin Love clone beta release .78: Josh Harrelson (profile courtesy of CtB alum, Kevin Hetrick).