Posts Tagged ‘Kyrie Irving’

Des Liens vers le Présent

Tuesday, April 9th, 2013

Good ol' Byron...

- Kyrie Irving didn’t exactly take a bullet for Byron Scott when asked about the coach’s future with Cavs. Instead, he declined to speculate at all. He sounded decidedly unenthusiastic, which is in direct contrast to Tristan Thompson’s passionate defense of his coach. What worries me is not Kyrie’s dispassionate response- I don’t like Scott much, either. The greater worry is the clear difference in Tristan and Kyrie’s opinions. A locker-room split could mean real trouble.

- Chad Ford has the Cavs drafting Otto Porter 4th in his first mock draft. That would be great. A 6’8″, lockdown defensive player who provides off-ball scoring? Count me in.

- Kyrie is currently undergoing perhaps the worst shooting slump of his career. Here’s a nice piece on the slump, and its possible causes.

“Whatever Happens, Happens.”

Thursday, April 4th, 2013

The Cavaliers were decimated by the Nets Wednesday night.

The Cavaliers are not a very good basketball team. The Cavs lack in star talent and depth at nearly every position other than point guard, and the remarkable Herculoids have faded down the stretch. However, no NBA team should lose games as badly as the Cavs did last night. The final deficit was only 18, but anyone who watched the game would tell you that the game was much worse than that number would indicate. The Nets led by around 30 for much of the “contest,” and the action consisted mostly of wide-open jumpers, the monotony occasionally broken by free throw attempts for Brooklyn. I’ll keep the game action recap brief.

First Half:

The Nets outscore the Cavaliers by eight in the first quarter. Marshon Brooks makes it clear that he sold his soul to the devil in exchange for Andre Toney’s jumper. Deron Williams also plays well. As the second quarter starts, the slaughter begins. Seven minutes into the quarter the deficit is 17, soulless Marshon continues to dominate, and Jerry Stackhouse dunks all over the Cavaliers. By the way, he’s 38. Deron Williams scores 11 in the last three minutes of the second, and the Cavs trail by 30 at the half. BKN 66, CLE 36.

Second Half:

The third quarter starts out a little bit better, thank God(s?). Kyrie dishes a few assists, devilish Brooks finally misses a few shots, and with 7:50 left in the quarter the Cavaliers have battled back to within 27. Brooklyn hurriedly calls a timeout, as the panicked Nets snipe at each other about defensive rotations and missed shots. The young Cavs snarl, smelling blood. The chase is on. Unfortunately, at the end of the third the lead remains 27. The fourth quarter is the definition of bad basketball. Tornike Shengelia (That’s a real person, I promise), Mirza Teletovic (Didn’t the Cavs look into signing this guy?), Chris “Funny Ears” Quinn, and Omri “Am I Even On This Team Anymore?” Casspi all make appearances. Final Score: BKN 113, CLE 95.

The pervading storyline from this game will be Byron Scott’s future, or lack thereof, with the Cavaliers. Losses are expected, accepted and perhaps beneficial this late in the season. However, no one wants to see the Cavs get run out of their own gym, and home losses this bad usually come back to the coach. After the game, Scott said “The energy, the effort wasn’t there — for whatever reason.” I agree with him– Cleveland looked flat and uninspired all night. But whose fault is that, if not the coach’s? Byron Scott may be on the way out of Cleveland. As he said regarding his job, “Whatever happens, happens.” If that’s how Scott feels, than he should by all means allow the Cavs to keep losing like they did tonight. But if he has any interest in coaching Kyrie Irving, Dion Waiters and Tristan Thompson in the playoffs next year, he’d better make some adjustments.

Links to the !!Present!!

Monday, March 18th, 2013

The Cavaliers will be without Kyrie Irving against the Pacers.

-The Cavs host the Pacers tonight. The Pacers haven’t exactly been on a tear lately, so a pre-March Madness upset special is a real possibility.

-On the other hand, an upset might be tougher without Kyrie Irving’s late game exploits, as Jodie Valade reports. One aspect of Kyrie’s game that I particularly appreciate is his steals on help defense. He’s become quite proficient at sneaking up behing small forwards and big men for steals, leading to some timely fastbreaks.

-The Cavs are in the 50% of the leage that use the SportVU camera tracking system, and it’s pretty cool. Jodie Valade, AGAIN!

-Is Byron Scott the coach of the future for this team? Jim Ingraham, writing for the New-Herald, thinks the Cavaliers’ issues with consistent effort all come back to Coach Scott. I happen to agree with him, although I think Scott’s rotations are a larger issue. His insistence on allowing the Cavs to hemorrhage points for half of the fourth quarter before bring back the starters has cost the team quite a few wins.  It leads to ten-point deficits, and that leads to Kyrie Irving hero-ball, which works about one in four tries.

-Mary Schmitt Boyer is intelligent and opinionated, and she podcasts. It’s your lucky day.

Links Here

Tuesday, February 26th, 2013

Woah there, Andy.

- Our very own, very talented editor Colin McGowan wrote a nice piece on Anderson Varejao for the Classical. Check it out.

- ESPN Insider continues the Kyrie love-fest, and I couldn’t be happier.

- A fantastic article from the Shadow League on black superstars, Kyrie Irving and the ephemeral idea of  NBA “street cred.”

- Also, this is funny as hell.

Cavaliers 118, Magic 94

Sunday, February 24th, 2013

Kyrie helped lead the Cavs to an easy victory against the Magic.

The Cleveland Cavaliers romped to a blowout against the Orlando Magic tonight, as Kyrie & Co. dished dimes and dropped buckets to the tune of a 24-point victory. The Cavs bench actually scored 59 points. Guess who else scored 59 points? The Cavs starters. That, ladies and gentlemen, is called a balanced attack. This balance, combined with some spectacular highlights, made the Cavs look like an elite team- which, to say the least, is a rare occurrence.

1st half:

The Cavs started off hot, and had a great first quarter. Kyrie Irving’s jumper is silky as hell. But it wasn’t just #2. Alonzo Gee started off hot as well. When Gee is hitting midrange shots, you know it’s a special night. Also, for the record, Marreese Speights has an underrated nasty streak. He absolutely loves throwing his body around in the paint and dunking on people. The second quarter was a little more up and down. Sure, the Cavs were scoring, but they were also allowing all of the following players to get buckets: Kyle O’Quinn, Dequan Jones (?), Beno Udrih, Aaron Afflalo, Andrew Nicholson. Yeah, yeah, Afflalo is underrated and Nicholson is a blogosphere darling.Who cares? The defense was truly awful, and the half ended in a tie. CLE 51, ORL 51

2nd half:

Alonzo G33 started off the half with five straight points in under a minute, and it was awesome. If he scored at that rate all the time, he could average 180 points per 36. Wow! The Cavs generally kicked ass in the third quarter, which is to be expected when the offense if being run through E’Twaun Moore. Also, who is Daquan Jones? Does anyone know? Anyway, the Magic hit a few shots to end the quarter down seven. Immediately after the fourth quarter started, C.J. Miles starting bombing from deep. He has a gorgeous stroke when he’s on. Within minutes, the Cavs were up fifteen and Kyrie (from the bench) started grinning ear to ear. The Herculoids were out in full force in the final frame, with Marreese Speights bullying everyone in the post.  Also, Luke Walton should play back up point guard, for comedy’s sake and for comedy’s sake alone. Kevin Jones sighting! He has a nice jump shot. The Cavs ended this one smirking, with a 24 point victory. CLE 118, ORL 94

Highlights:

- Kyrie mostly played the facilitator tonight, which was a nice change of pace. We don’t usually see 12 point, 9 assist lines from him. And that off the backboard alley-oop to Alonzo was sweet. (Cue people saying that they can’t wait until it’s Lebron receiving those passes.)

- Alonzo and Tyler Zeller tie for player of the game honors, wherever such honors are handed out. Both of them played well on offense, and managed to shut down their assignments on the offensive juggernaut Orlando Magic.

- Dion: 5/16 from the field. Ugh.

- The Herculoids won this game. Shaun Livingston, Luke Walton– revelations. Wayne Elligton was solid.

- Tristan was pretty godawful tonight. He kept rebounding, though.

Links to the Present

Saturday, February 23rd, 2013

According to the Israeli web site, Walla Sports (don’t bother clicking unless you can read Hebrew), Omri Casspi is attempting to negotiate a buyout with the Cavaliers.  HoopsHype originally linked/translated this story.

Via Twitter, Mark Spears of Yahoo Sports reports that Daniel “Boobie” Gibson has been excused from the team to attend a personal matter, and did not travel to Orlando.

Cleveland.com/The Plain Dealer’s Jodie Valade discusses Kyrie Irving’s increasing popularity among NBA fans.  Fans voted to put the Cavs on national television for the second time in a week, picking Tuesday’s game at Chicago for NBA TV’s Fan Night Matchup.  Also included: Byron Scott on Jerry Buss.

LaughingCavs previews tonight’s match-up against Orlando, link here.

Linkage of Kyrie’s Arrival

Sunday, February 17th, 2013

Kyri3 Swirving!

In case you didn’t hear about All-Star weekend yet, here’s a Kyrie-centric recap: 32 points in the Rising Stars game, a three-point contest trophy, and 15 points in the All-Star game itself.

Sam Amick wrote a great article about Kyrie’s All-Star experience and how Kyrie feels about the Lebron-returning rumors.

Kyrie straight-up owned Brandon Knight when they went mano a mano at the end of the Rising Stars game.

And, for anyone who expected to see Uncle Drew this weekend: “No. I already have enough to do. That makeup would take four hours out of my day, man. I don’t think I have time for that.” Bummer. (source: cleveland.com)

Trade Kyrie! Zeller is the Future! SAS 96, CLE 95

Wednesday, February 13th, 2013

Tyler Zeller, future MVP and franchise star.

Kyrie Irving was horrendous, the Cavaliers played the best team in the NBA…and somehow, they only lost to the Spurs by a single point. How on Earth did that happen? Let us delve into the details.

First Half:

Kyrie bricked a deep three to start the game, and it was all downhill from there for him. In a rare turn of events, though, just about every other Cavalier was productive and efficient in the first half. The Cavs looked energetic on defense for once, running around and trapping like demons. Alonzo Gee got a few breakaway dunks, and Tyler Zeller simply looked like a different player from the indolent young man who’s been missing layups and clanking 17-footers all year. And Dion BALLED OUT. Slicing and dicing through the Spurs defense, dumping passes off to open big men, this was the player Chris Grant envisioned when he drafted the young sixth man from Syracuse. The second unit stepped up as well. Luke did Waltonian stuff (pass well, defend poorly) while Shaun Livingston nailed that funky turnaround jumper a few times. Kyrie Irving simply sucked. The only facet of the game he contributed in was distribtion. He fed the big men for some easy buckets, and found C.J. Miles on a beautiful cut (layup was blown).  But man, was his defense awful. Tony Parker simply ran by Kyrie to the hoop, over and over and over again. Not to mention no. 2 couldn’t hit a shot to save his life. Still, a positive half for the Cavs. It ended with an eight-point lead! CLE 54, SAS 46.

Second Half:

Ugly start for the Cavs in the third quarter. They missed a lot of shots, and the Spurs did all the things Gregg Popovich asked them to do. And he’s a genius, so that generally works out well for them. Tony Parker simply ravaged the Cavaliers tonight. If it weren’t for Dion Waiters, this game might have been over before the fourth quarter started. He dropped 10 in the third- all on drives- and was awesome. Kyrie continued to be awful on defense and offense. Then the fourth quarter came, and Cavaliers Nation readied themselves for the entrance of the second unit, the mighty group known as the Herculoids. For all the flak Marreese Speights gets about only shooting jumpers, the man has some great second jump-ability when offensive rebounding. He just hops around until the ball gets in the hoop. The offense was sub-par, but the defense was great. Shaun Livingston is worlds apart from Kyrie when it comes to man-up D. The game went back and forth in the fourth, and when Kyrie hit a pair at the line (giving him a whopping six points on the night!), the Cavs were up 93-90. And then Gary Neal hit an absolute dagger, tying the game. He’s an assassin. Kyrie had a big steal, setting the Cavs up with a chance to take the lead. He wisely got out of the way as Dion calmly drained a 22-footer for the two-point lead. And then the next possession….ugh. An AWFUL decision by Dion to over-help on Tony Parker penetration led to a wide-open Kawhi Leonard corner three….money. With two seconds left, Kyrie managed to slip, commit a carrying violation (no call) and miss a one-handed, falling-down “jumper.” Ballgame. SAS 96, CLE 95.

Notes:

-Maybe the worst game of Kyrie Irving’s young career. I can’t remember him ever looking this out of sorts on offense. 2-15 from the field, six points, five fouls. Sadly, we’re all used to seeing him looks this out of sorts on defense. Tony Parker is a great point guard, but he went to town on Kyrie tonight. Utter decimation.

-Tyler Zeller: 16 points, nine rebounds, four assists, one block, and fantastic defense on Tim Duncan. Timmy D was helpless most of the night, as Zeller’s length and speed were the perfect remedy to the Big Fundamental’s collection of slow hooks and turnaround jumpers.

-Dion was sublime. If he starts to play like this on a regular basis, the rest of the NBA had better watch out. He is an absolute terror on offense when he decides to be aggressive, and is a very solid passer. A lot of his attributes as a player remind me of Monta Ellis, which is not necessarily a negative comparison, and certainly not one that should bother Cavs fans. A stronger Monta Ellis with a higher basketball IQ would be a force to be reckoned with.

-Ideal Alonzo game. Seven points on five shots, and a few rim-rattling dunks.

-The bench as a whole was very solid. C.J. Miles and Shaun Livingston in particular played very well. Speights shot a little poorly. Wayne Ellington was only OK, and is losing ground in the battle for the official “mediocre three-point gunner who only sorta plays defense and only drives once a game” title to Miles.

-Tony Parker PUT DA TEAM ON HIS BACK.

-The Spurs are a great team, and a one-point loss to them is the definition of a moral victory for a team as young and thin as the Cavs.

P.S.

Does this Nerlens Noel injury make him more likely to fall to the Cavs?

Kyrie vs. Byron (but in a good way)

Tuesday, February 12th, 2013

I'm rooting for Byron, personally.

Sometimes it seems like all that Cavs fans want to talk about is weighty, depressing stuff: Kyrie’s horrendous defense on the pick-’n-roll, Dion’s off-balance 22-footers, or Tyler Zeller’s general awfulness. Which makes sense, of course. The Cavs are a pretty terrible basketball team. But with a young team like the Cavs, with a young star like Kyrie Irving, sometimes stories come out about the Cavs that just make you smile, stories that don’t require general hysterics about Greg Oden’s knees.

For example, this one. Apparently Byron Scott has issued a three-point shooting challenge to Kyrie Irving, in preparation for Kyrie’s performance in the NBA All Star Three-Point Shootout. From Uncle Drew himself: “I just read something today where coach Scott unofficially challenged me…that’s something a third-place winner would do, go behind my back and challenge me.” Byron Scott finished third in the Three-Point Shootout himself in 1988, after finishing dead last in 1987. Is there anyway the Cavs can get this televised?

P.S.

Watch this Kyrie highlight reel. Immediately.

Kyrie Irving for Three!!

Thursday, February 7th, 2013

Kyrie Irving is shooting .429 percent from deep this year.

This All-Star Weekend is shaping up to be a good one for Cavs fans. Young superstar guard Kyrie Irving has been selected to participate in the NBA Three-Point Contest, along with Ryan Anderson, Steve Novak, Matt Bonner, Paul George (?) and Stephen Curry. Give it up for Kyrie! I’m thinking All-Star MVP and  Three-Point Contest trophies, to go along with his Rising Stars MVP.