Posts Tagged ‘Kyrie Irving’

The Point Four-ward: Can He Build It?

Thursday, June 18th, 2015

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Four points I’m thinking about the Cleveland Cavaliers following their NBA Finals loss to the Golden State Warriors in six games…

1.) As a sports fan, I always dread the morning after a loss. The loss, when it is happening and immediately after, is usually a familiar cloud of disappointment and pizza and nostalgia and beer. Therefore, any real pulse-checking on how truly bad a particular loss is going to feel long term often has to wait until the page has turned and I’m faced with a bright new day.

Waking up on (an unfortunately bright) Wednesday, though, my feeling was the feeling of most Cavs fans — if Twitter is to be believed, anyway (and why should it not?): I just don’t feel too bad after this loss.

This Cavs team has been so much fun to watch — well, since the end of January, anyway — and, really, the Warriors were just too good and too deep to expect a team smarting from missing two of their top three scorers to pull off the seemingly impossible. Sometimes, after all, the seemingly impossible seems impossible because it’s pretty damn near impossible. But, man, how the Cavs fought to make us believe otherwise — that it was possible…. that it was going to happen this year… that it was the Cavs turn at destiny.

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BREAKING NEWS: Kyrie Irving Out 3-4 Months with Fractured Kneecap [Updated with Kyrie Response]

Friday, June 5th, 2015

Kyrie Irving has a fractured left kneecap and has been ruled out for the rest of the NBA Finals, the Cavaliers announced Friday. He limped off the floor midway through overtime of Game 1 and left the arena on crutches.

According to the team, Kyrie will have surgery and is officially out for 3-4 months, putting his status for the start of next season in jeopardy. The injury was discovered in an MRI taken earlier today.

Kyrie looked good following the eight day break between the Eastern Conference Finals and The Finals, recording 23 points, six assists, four steals and a game-saving block on Stephen Curry in the final seconds of regulation. But he went down midway through overtime with an injury to his already ailing knee.

Sincerest wishes to Kyrie for a speedy recovery from all of us at C:tB.

Recap: Warriors 108, Cavs 100 OT (or, It’s the Little Things…)

Friday, June 5th, 2015

After more than a week of off-days, re-hashed narratives, overheated theories, injury smokescreens, supreme anticipation and absolutely zero actual basketball games, Game 1 of the 2015 NBA Finals finally got underway last night at Oakland’s Oracle Arena. What was advertised by many (outside of the State of Ohio anyway) as the beginning of an expectedly lopsided series between the “best team in the NBA” and the “best player on the planet” was decidedly much closer in its outcome.

The Cavs shelled the Warriors early, building as much as a 14 point lead on their wide-eyed hosts, before letting Golden State’s deep stable of bench workhorses charge their way back into the fray by halftime. From there, both squads traded blows, drawing even at the end of each successive quarter, and forcing the issue to overtime, to the delight of impartial fans of the game and network executives who suffered through a paucity of Conference Finals contests.

For Warrior fans, the final shot of regulation that fell just centimeters short resulted in a sigh of relief at dodging the closest of calls. For Cavalier fans, a groan at seeing a small window for stealing the opening game on their opponent’s floor evaporate into five of perhaps the toughest minutes of the season. After all, close rarely counts, and sometimes, the small stuff just sweats you.

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Podcast Episode 69: The Finals!

Thursday, June 4th, 2015

OMG The finals are here! Northeast Ohio is buzzing.  Excitement and anticipation are in the air. After nine days of hype, David Wood, EvilGenius and I jumped in the podcast booth to give a hard core Finals breakdown: stopping LeBron and Steph, the rebounding battle, the turnover breakdown, x-factors, Steph’s Horoscope, the Shaq factor, prop bets, and more. Are you as excited as I am!?

You can listen above, on Soundcloud, or on iTunes.

The Point Four-ward: Let’s Get It Started, Already!

Wednesday, June 3rd, 2015

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Four points I’m thinking about the Cleveland Cavaliers as they are about to tip-off their NBA Finals match-up against the Golden State Warriors…

1.) A lot of talk leading up to the Finals has been about each team’s likely inability to shut down the opposing team’s star player: LeBron James for the Cavaliers and Stephen Curry for the Warriors.

Just ask James how to stop Curry and he gives you the same answer as when you ask him how the Warriors might slow him down: “You can’t.”

The Finals will come down to more than just James vs. Curry, but it’s still tough predicting how these teams will attack each other — and how more or less likely one team is to shut down the other — come down to two things: 1.) the small sample size of head-to-head match-ups between these two teams and 2.) the fact that this is now the third (at least) iteration of the Cleveland Cavaliers that we’ve seen this season, so who knows what the Cavs will bring?

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5-on-5: Your Eastern Conference Champs! — Updated

Wednesday, May 27th, 2015

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Still buzzing after the Cavs 118-88 Game 4 Win over the Atlanta Hawks that moved the Cavaliers four wins away from the city’s first major professional sports championship in 51 years, Cory, Tom, Nate, Mallory and I had a little chat about your Eastern Conference Champion Cleveland Cavaliers…

1.) At what point in the season did you start to believe that this team could return to the NBA Finals?

Nate: It happened twice. The first time was when the Cavs dismantled Memphis on March 25th to win by 22 points. The Grizz were the second best team in the West at the time, and the Cavs gave them one of their signature third quarter floggings. Kevin Love scored 22 on 13 shots; Irving, 24; LeBron, 20; Moz, 14… After Kelly’s killer armbar, we all had our doubts, but David Wood’s revelations about the Cavs super D lineups (featuring TT, Delly, Bron, and Shump) gave me faith. I was fully aboard the Finals bandwagon again after Game two versus the Bulls. I knew if the Cavs could get a split at home without J.R., they’d be OK. Cleveland jumped all over the Bulls, racing out to a 20 point lead in the first quarter, and LeBron rediscovered his post game. Cleveland turned into a team that’s impossible to beat with a lead in the fourth, and I knew the Bulls were hosed.

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Preview/Live Thread: Cavs @ Hawks, ECF Game 2 [UPDATED: Kyrie Out for Game 2]

Friday, May 22nd, 2015

While the Cavs stole home court from the Hawks and jumped out to an early series lead after winning Game 1, 97-89, they head into Game 2 with a great deal of uncertainty regarding without Kyrie Irving due to an aching left knee. Irving missed the team’s morning shootaround, instead spending the time getting a further evaluation on his knee after treatment. The latest news had him getting another MRI on the knee, and he is listed as “questionable” now out for tonight’s game.

“This is obviously one of the most frustrating things I’ve ever dealt with,” Irving said after Game 1. “We do days and days and go out there and it’s nothing like simulating a game so for me, I just have to continue to do what I’ve been doing and do whatever is necessary to put myself out there. I’m all about winning. That’s the only thing that matters.”

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The Point Four-ward: The Ballad of the Slow Gunslinger

Thursday, April 23rd, 2015

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Four points I’m thinking about the NBA Playoffs and the Cleveland Cavaliers…

1.) Nothing about the Cavs overall performance in their first two playoff games against the Boston Celtics really qualifies as reason for alarm. The Cavs have taken care of business winning Games 1 and 2 by 11 and nine points respectively. Some expected the Cavs to steamroll the Celtics a little more than they have, but these games have shown the Boston squad to be made of just the type of pluck and gumption that makes for a good story this time of year.

A good story, though, does not a winning team make.

This doesn’t mean the Cavs have played fault-free ball since the league’s second season tipped off. In fact, one of the things that has been most troubling about this Cavs team so far is that they seem to need to take a good shot from a more spirited opponent before playing their best ball.

The Celtics, it turns out, are in no short supply of shots.

The Cavs have started both games slowly, giving the Celtics shooters (I mean, if that’s what you want to call Marcus Smart…) space and allowing relatively easy access to the rim, while the Celtics have been draped over LeBron James and Kyrie Irving from jump.

So far, this Cavs team is the rare slow gunslinger who may not get off the first shot, but, in the end, is still able to walk away from the showdown.

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Recap: Cavaliers 113, Celtics 100 (Or, Do you like apples?)

Monday, April 20th, 2015

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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.

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Recap: Cavs 114, Heat 88 (or, There Is No Spoon…)

Friday, April 3rd, 2015

The Cavs took on the Heat tonight in the fourth and final meeting of the regular season. If it does come to pass that they wind up meeting again in the first round of the playoffs, this particular face-off should resonate as the one where LeBron got past the supposed mental block of facing his good friend Dwayne Wade and his former team (by realizing they are only dangerous if he believes they are).

Granted, DWade only participated in 13 minutes of this contest, due to a particularly nasty slip and fall in the second quarter, but LBJ was operating without the help of Kevin Love (bad back) and with an under the weather Kyrie. Any residual weirdness or loss of focus on Bron’s part might have sent him deep down the rabbit hole. However, his new teammates came up big in this one to help him free his mind from the head games of his old ones. He ironically didn’t even need any help from The Matrix (who was a DNP-CD for this one).

Here’s how it all went down…

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