July 25, 2014

Cavs 109, T-Wolves 95: Just Like Old Times

90043374_DLK019_CAVS_V_TIMBRemember all those blowouts last year? Well, things were just like old times at the Q last night. And that suites LeBron James just fine.

“A win is a win,” said James.  “We’re okay with having ones where our starters don’t have to play a lot, and we’re okay where we have to finish the game off in a heart pounder for our coaches and fans.”

The Cavaliers matched the Wolves early on, then pulled away in the second quarter with LeBron playing the point guard position. We saw a little bit of everything offensively from the Cavaliers, including the return of the “Twin Towers” line-up. Shaq and Zydrunas shared the floor for a while, though that didn’t really deter Minnesota from running their offense through Kevin Love during that stretch.

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While We’re Waiting… Mo’s All-Star Bid, Thad Gibson’s Draft Stock, and Ridiculous Rotation Players

While We’re Waiting serves as the early morning gathering of WFNY-esque information for your viewing pleasure. Have something you think we should see? Send it to our tips email at tips@waitingfornextyear.com.

Mo Williams LakersSometime Thursday morning or early afternoon, the All-Star reserves will be getting a phone call or e-mail letting them know they’re invited to Dallas next month.
Mo Williams is hopeful, but after what happened last year, he’s not going to wait by his BlackBerry. His numbers are roughly the same as a year ago, his scoring slightly down but his assists slightly up as he facilitates more when Shaquille O’Neal on the team.

But after last season, when the Cavs also had the best record in the league at this point and he was passed over, Williams can’t help but expect a snub.

“To be honest, I’m expecting not to make it,” Williams said. “I’ve learned to expect the worst. I’ve been in this situation before. My hopes are not high, I’ll tell you that.”  [Brian Windhorst]

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Coach Brown, Meet Cedric Jackson

cedric-jacksonI had the chance to talk to the newest Cavalier and former CSU Viking Cedric Jackson. When Delonte West went down with his finger injury, many commenters here were hopeful that Cedric might get the call. Known as a defensive specialist (DPOY in the Horizon League his senior year) Cedric seemed to be a logical choice for the Cavs, although Coby Karl wouldn’t have been a surprise either. Cedric was in Erie when he got the call that the Cavs wanted him on a ten day contract and Cedric jumped at the chance.

Cedric said he was excited to be back in the area and specifically to be close to his college coaches and friends. He called his call up a blessing, and a great feeling. I asked if he had any goals for the season-

“Yeah, I just want to do my job to the best of my ability when I get the opportunity.”

He mentioned his time playing against the Bobcats and Russell Westbrook and was proud of his defense in limited action. Jackson knows that his role when he comes in isn’t going to be to really run the offense, but to be a defensive stopper for whatever minutes he gets.

His first order of business might be to introduce himself to coach Mike Brown.

I asked coach Brown if he had any confidence in Cedric’s ability to run the offense despite Jackson’s short time with the team, and this was his reaction- [Read more...]

Cavaliers Preview Game #47: Timberwolves at Cavs

Cavaliers vs TimberwolvesMinnesota Timberwolves (9-37) vs
Cleveland Cavaliers (35-11)
Quicken Loans Arena, Cleveland, OH
Wednesday, January 27, 2010
7:00 PM EST
FSOH/WTAM

Rarely am I truly shocked when I do a statistical breakdown/analysis of a team in preparation for writing up a preview. If I’m being honest, though, I was truly shocked at just how awful the Minnesota Timberwolves are at all aspects of the game. They literally do next to nothing well. They’re pretty good at offensive rebounding and they’re ok at getting fastbreak points and points in the paint. That’s about it. Here are just some of the categories they are in the bottom 5 in the NBA in: PPG, Opp PPG, FG%, Opp FG%, 3P%, Opp 3P%, assists per game, opponents assists per game, turnovers per game, blocks per game, opponents blocks per game, Off eFG%, Def eFG%, Off TOV%, Off FT Rate, Off Efficiency Rating, and Def Efficiency Rating. Oh, and the Wolves opponents average a biggest lead of 18.7 points against them while their average point deficit at the end of the game is –10.2 points. So, yeah, this is not a good basketball team the Cavaliers are playing. Having said all that, we all know by now how frequently the Cavs play down to their opponents. We’ll see if the Cavs can stop that trend tonight. [Read more...]

The Ex Files: Gentlemen Jim and Kenny

LoftonIts an extremely slow news day here in the 216/440. Not exactly chock full of things to talk about, so I figured it would be nice to check in with two old friends.

Kenny Lofton, who was last seen being held up at third by Joel Skinner (UGH!), will be inducted into the Indians Hall of Fame on August 7th before a game with the Minnesota Twins. During a stellar 17-year career, Lofton’s time in Cleveland was what he is most remembered for. A four-time gold-glove winner and a five-time all-star during his three stints with the Tribe, Kenny retired (not to his liking) after the 2007 season as the Indians all-time stolen base leader. As an Indian, he hit .290 (1512-5045) with 87 Home Runs, 518 RBI, 975 runs scored, and 452 stolen bases. [Read more...]

Pre-Super Bowl NFL Notes

nfl-logoThe Browns have been out of it for what seems like an eternity.  Josh Cribbs is in his hotel in Miami prepping for the Pro Bowl.  All that we really had to cheer for last week was against people.  But I am going to go out on a limb and guess that you are all still watching some NFL.

On Overtime…

The Saints vs. Vikings game went into overtime and all of a sudden the world explodes into “controversy” about whether the current system for deciding tied NFL games is suitable.  Everyone goes to the stats to decide whether it is “fair” or not.  The thing that occurs to me is that it has to be fair because everyone (other than Donovan McNabb) knows the rules that govern the overtime before going into the game.  Don’t want to go to overtime?  Try going for two a couple times during the game.  I honestly don’t really care if the NFL changes the overtime rules or not.  I am willing to listen to anything.  At the same time, I just don’t find the current system to be anywhere near the “travesty” that many are making it out to be. [Read more...]

Holmgren Report: Defensive Line

Browns Roster Upgrade GeneralNow that The Big Show Mike Holmgren has shored up his front office roster, it’s time for him–and for us–to look at the team’s roster. We’ve borrowed from the Department of Homeland Security and will be looking at each position group day by day, finishing with a roster upgrade ranking based on need. Check back each day this week for a new position group. Previous Reports: RB, OL, WR/TE, QB, ST, DB, LB

We are coming down to the end of our reports. Yesterday DP broke down the linebackers for you. Today’s group works hand in hand with that group. In fact, they overlap quite a bit. Guys like Wimbley, Roth and Hall find themselves on occasion with a hand on the ground as DEs. In a true 3-4 the front men have a terrible assignment. They are responsible for tying up 4 or 5 offensive linemen and filling the inside rushing lanes. They are often called upon to fill two gaps. For a beast like Shaun Rogers, that isn’t really a special task though. But the Browns went with more of an unconventional 3-4 look. They swapped players around, switched positions, and rotated more players into the game than most teams do. This was especially true after Rogers went out with an injury. [Read more...]

Mike Holmgren Still Undecided About QB Situation

Derek And Brady SittingWhile the quarterback situation may not be labeled “severe” when it comes to a roster addition, it continues to be the most important part of an offense that was among the worst in the NFL through the air.  And for this reason, it comes as no surprise that team president Mike Holmgren was confronted once again about the issue during his latest interview.

On WKNR’s Really Big Show, Holmgren would not commit to any specific route when it comes to addressing the man who will play under center in 2010.

“Is the quarterback of the Browns here already? Maybe,” said Holmgren.  “If not, then we’ll have to go free agency or draft. We’ll see.”

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While We’re Waiting… Loving Delonte, Hafner Gives Back and LeBron’s “Star Treatment”

While We’re Waiting serves as the early morning gathering of WFNY-esque information for your viewing pleasure. Have something you think we should see? Send it to our tips email at tips@waitingfornextyear.com

How can you not love Delonte West? [Video Grzegorek/'64 and Counting]

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Witness the Greatness That is Lebron James

LBJI know we had a detailed recap of last night’s 92-91 Cavs win over Miami, but I must go a tad deeper. If the Wine and Gold end up as the #1 seed in the East, we will look back at this juncture of the season with true amazement. This is where Lebron James is winning his second consecutive MVP.

Sure, we knew playing without Mo Williams would not be easy, especially considering the first opponent was the defending champion Los Angeles Lakers. The Cavs stumbled through most of the first three quarters, playing from behind while trying to get used to being without the all-star sidekick. But come the fourth-quarter, when it was winning time, The King took over. [Read more...]

The 5-Hole: Blue Jackets News and Notes – 1/26/10

Every Tuesday, WFNY’s The 5-Hole brings you up to date with the goings-on of the CBJ…

5-hole

The Week That Was

This Week: 1-2-0, 2 points
Overall: 20-25-9, 49 points (5th division; 14th conference)

The Jackets had chances this week, but just couldn’t put it all together. They’ve struggled on the road all season, and despite a rally in Philadelphia and some last second heroics in Boston, there wasn’t much to get excited about this week. Minnesota never had to sweat on Saturday night to hold off Columbus, and they looked flat and defeated.

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Manny Acta Lights Up the Crowd at Town Hall Meeting

Manny Acta Townhall 2Newly acquired Indians skipper Manny Acta took to the stage last night for a crowd of season ticket holders for what was deemed a town hall meeting.  Acta gave a few of his thoughts, steered by Sports Time Ohio’s Matt Underwood, but then proceeded to take questions from the audience for a special that will be aired at a later date.  But then once the lights and cameras were turned off, Acta entertained roughly an hour of more questions from the crowd that ranged from lineup and rotation issues all the way down to the health of specific players and what fans can expect going forward.

Similar to the Browns’ Mike Holmgren, Acta owned the room for the full hour and a half, earning the praise of those in attendance.   [Read more...]

Cavaliers Don’t Have To Make A Trade, but Have No Reason Not To Either

Danny Ferry and Shaquille O'NealI love NBA trade season. Absolutely love it. Everything about it. I love spending time breaking down rumors of trades that have no realistic chance of ever happening. I love scouring the internet for every little tidbit and whisper I can find. I love debating the merits of potential trades with friends and readers of this site. I love it all because it’s fun, and it keeps me sharp. It keeps me consistently thinking about the game in new and different ways, and how the pieces in this giant puzzle really all fit together.

For all this exuberance over trade season, though, sometimes it’s worth sitting back and assessing the situation as it currently exists and asking an even more primal question: Should this team even make a trade at all? [Read more...]

Holmgren Report: Linebackers

Browns Roster Upgrade HighNow that The Big Show Mike Holmgren has shored up his front office roster, it’s time for him–and for us–to look at the team’s roster. We’ve borrowed from the Department of Homeland Security and will be looking at each position group day by day, finishing with a roster upgrade ranking based on need. Check back each day this week for a new position group. Previous Reports: RB, OL, WR/TE, QB, ST, DB

When Eric Mangini was hired, many wondered if he would keep the 3-4 defense, or adapt a defense to the seeming strengths and weaknesses of the Browns’ personnel and move to a 4-3. We all now know that he chose the former, and so it warrants mentioning that the lynch pin of a successful 3-4 defense is the linebacking corps.

Mangini went to work on trying to bolster the group of LBs by going out and bringing in some of his former Jets players (Eric Barton, David Bowens) as well as using a couple of draft picks at the position (David Veikune, 2nd round; Kaluka Maiava, 4th round). Injuries coupled with some 2009 draft picks apparently being deemed not-quite-ready-for-prime-time left an already-thin group of linebackers even more exposed as the season wore on.

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Cavs 92, Heat 91: MVP, MVP, MVP

Since this is what you want to see, let’s just lead with the dunk…

[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7oThsdhzlx4]

Here’s the caveat for last night’s game against the Heat. We were  playing a Miami team that had won 5 of their last 7 games. We were playing a team with outstanding guard play down our top 2 PGs. After big wins over the Lakers and Thunder, it wouldn’t have surprised me to see a little bit of a let down.

And truthfully we saw one. Even still, the Cavs had enough in the tank to pull it out. [Read more...]

While We’re Waiting… LeBron’s Hardware, Shapiro’s Addition, Shaq/Amare Coexisting, and 10 Cent Beer Night

While We’re Waiting serves as the early morning gathering of WFNY-esque information for your viewing pleasure. Have something you think we should see? Send it to our tips email at tips@waitingfornextyear.com.

90043311_DLK021_CAVS_V_LAKEHe’s pretty good… “LeBron James was named Eastern Conference Player of the Week for the fourth time this season and the 24th time in his career. In leading the Cavs to wins over the Raptors, Lakers and Thunder, James averaged 34 points, 7.7 rebounds and a league-best 10.7 assists on 48 percent shooting. Over the weekend, James took over the league scoring lead and is averaging 32 points per game in January.

He was named the conference Player of the Month in both November and December and is the favorite to win it again for January. James also won the award in March and April of last season, making it four in a row. No player in the history of the award has won the award every month of a season.” [Brian Windhorst]

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Cavaliers Preview Game #46: Cavs at Heat

Cavaliers vs HeatCleveland Cavaliers (34-11) vs
Miami Heat (23-20)
American Airlines Arena, Miami, FL
Monday, January 25, 2010
7:30 PM EST
NBATV, FSOH/WTAM

Despite the injury bug finally starting to catch up to the Cavaliers a little bit, the team continues to try to keep on keepin’ on as they find ways to win night after night. It’s starting to feel like the team as a whole has found their swagger and their rhythm a bit and they’ve been riding it through the past few weeks. Sure, there have been some setbacks and tough losses along the way, but with each loss this team seems to come out stronger than before. As it is, the Cavaliers ride a 4 game winning streak (with their last loss still being the Sundiata Gaines buzzer beater) into Miami. The Heat always play the Cavaliers tough no matter what the records say, and I expect tonight to be no different, particularly without Mo or Delonte in the lineup. However, Jamario Moon looks like he will play, and the Cavaliers can use his defensive versatility to help on Dwyane Wade as the Cavs’ backcourt is lacking guys who can defend him. LeBron vs Wade rarely disappoints, we’ll see if tonight is any different.  [Read more...]

NBA Trade Rumors: Finnan on Amare and Jamison

shaqjamisonThe hot topic of the day has no doubt been the news that a trade between the Cavaliers and Suns has been at least discussed in which the Cavs would get All-Star big man Amare Stoudemire. Count me in the camp that is skeptical that such a deal would be made, and also the Amare doesn’t play defense camp. The prevailing sentiment against trading for Stoudemire seems to be a preference for making the Jamison trade. In Bob Finnan’s latest piece he describes a reluctance on Washington’s part to make a deal with the Cavaliers that we have been curious about.

- The Cavs definitely want Wizards forward Antawn Jamison. One league source questions the Wizards’ willingness to help the Cavs. There are some natural competitive issues there, fueled by the playoff losses and the Larry Hughes signing in 2005. Again, things can change.

Doesn’t surprise us. I have to admit I check the scores every night to see what Washington has done. I keep thinking that the further they slip away from contention the closer they may be getting to blowing up that team regardless of who they ship the pieces off to. Washington sits at 14-29, but are amazingly only 6.5 games out of the 8 spot in the East. I can absolutely envision a scenerio in which Jamison rallies the team to an 8th place finish and then gets run again by the Cavs in the 1st round, but I digress. [Read more...]

And Then, There Were Two

Slaughter and Langhorne*Sorry, I do not put the Texans and Jaguars in this category.

As many have pointed out, the New Orleans Saints victory yesterday put them into their first ever Super Bowl. This now leaves the Detroit Lions and your Cleveland Browns as the only teams who have yet to reach a Super Bowl. The Saints are the second NFC team in two years to make their first appearance in the big game. Meanwhile, the Browns haven’t won a playoff game since 1994 and haven’t played in a conference title game since 1989. [Read more...]

Holmgren Report: Defensive Backs

Browns Roster Upgrade SevereNow that The Big Show Mike Holmgren has shored up his front office roster, it’s time for him–and for us–to look at the team’s roster. We’ve borrowed from the Department of Homeland Security and will be looking at each position group day by day, finishing with a roster upgrade ranking based on need. Check back each day this week for a new position group. Previous Reports: RB, OL, WR/TE, QB, ST

While the quarterback position is bantered about more than others, and should be the highest priority for the new front office due to the impact on the game, the Browns also have a gaping hole on the other side of the ball.  Specifically, the one that helps keep the opposing quarterbacks honest: the defensive backfield.

The 2008 off-season saw players like Jabari Greer visit Cleveland looking for a deal, only to leave without one where he would then sign with New Orleans.  Instead, the team opted for re-signing Mike Adams, drafting two late-round defensive backs and attempting to add free agents Hank Poteat and Corey Ivy – the latter did not even make the final roster.  The result of said negligence was not pretty.  [Read more...]