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“I sat on my couch last night feeling completely confident that he was going to score again after the Denver Nuggets regained a one-point lead in the final seconds. After watching Kyrie Irving just convert two three-point plays prior to that last opportunity, there was no doubt in my mind that he had one more in him. Not just one more shot, or one more basket, but one more winning play than the other guy’s got. However many plays that calls for. Just as soon as I felt this air of confidence fall over me, for what felt like the first time in my Cleveland sports fan life, he raced from one end of the court, to the other, and scored again. ” [Brendan/Stepien Rules]
“Of course, I have to factor the natural tendency of any Cleveland fan to think their top players are underrated and disrespected by the infamous “national media,” and by association, the rest of the nation. It is a bias I can’t control. You are probably not a real Cleveland fan if you don’t have a little of this. The proverbial chip on the shoulder.
I just want to make sure that our readers are informed. I understand if you are not yet on notice. You might not have seen Kyrie take over the fourth quarter in Denver earlier this week, punctuated by a coast-to-coast drive (on which he was picked up at his own free throw line) to take the lead with four seconds left. You probably missed Kyrie’s lockdown defense on lightning-fast Ty Lawson on the game’s final play, too.” [Scribe/Legend of Cecilio Guante]
Enough Kyrie, how about the Cavs other rookie- “I’m hesitant to make too many claims based on the statistics of rookies who spent more time on the bench than on the court, but the numbers illuminate a few things. In a couple of places, we can see where a player had an NBA-ready skill in their rookie season. Serge Ibaka’s block percentage and Anderson Varejao’s rebound percentage illustrate that, even as overmatched rookies, they did one thing incredibly well. (And Tyrus Thomas, who is not particularly great at blocking shots, takes a blowtorch to this premise, but let’s chalk that up to him being Tyrus Thomas.) Thompson, like Varejao and Ibaka, has a terrific rebounding percentage, which bodes well for his ability to grab double-digit boards once he’s given sufficient playing time.” [McGowan/Cavs the Blog]
We concur- “Lakers: Most Pressing Need: Point guard. Possible Targets: Ramon Sessions (Cavaliers); Kyle Lowery (Rockets); C.J. Watson (Bulls). Summary: Sessions will likely cost them one of their two first-rounders in the upcoming draft. Lowry would likely cost them Gasol. Watson could be had cheaper, but would be really be much of an upgrade. What They Should Do: Odds are against the Lakers finding a player of Sessions’ caliber with either of their draft picks. Even they do, next season will be too late. So give up a pick and go get him.” [Amico/FSO]
“It was a small moment in sports, no match for the hyperventilation over Jeremy Lin and claims of a bounty system for injuring opponents by the New Orleans Saints and now the Peyton Manning sweepstakes. The way in which Manning spoke, and the heart with which he did speak, will probably be forgotten by the time this column lands on the website. What will continue is the endless and silly sportswriterly sport of where Manning will end up, because no one knows with any surety where Manning will end up. It is just more grist for the hyperventilation/speculation mill, another opportunity for supposed experts to prove their expertise by acting like they are experts.” [Bissinger/Daily Beast]
Finally, if you haven’t done so already this week, please vote WFNY in the Cleveland Magazine Nothing but Net tournament. [Cleveland Magazine]