April 19, 2014

Video: Kyrie Irving and Jeff Teague put on a show in Cleveland

Though the Cavaliers would fall victim to the last-second, friendly rim heroics of Jeff Teague and the Atlanta Hawks, the entire 58 minutes of basketball was full an incredibly entertaining duel of young, electric point guards with him and Cleveland’s Kyrie Irving leading the way. Earlier this month, it was Irving and Portland’s Damian Lillard putting on a show. On Thursday night was was Irving and Teague.

Irving was just a point-producing machine, dropping 40 on 33 shots with 12 of those coming in the second overtime when he went 5-of-6 from the floor. Teague was with him step-for-step, scoring 34 points on the night, with seven of those in the second overtime including the two final points that would allow his team to leave with the win.

Bonus point for this humble and humorous tweet from Teague following the game:

[Related: Repeat offenses plague Cavs in another heart-breaking loss]

The Diff: Should Cavs be involved in an Omer Asik trade?

The Diff is your weekly WFNY look into the amazing world of sports statistics. For a complete log of articles, click this link. Last week, I wrote about Cleveland basketball’s dominant frontcourt trio. This week, it’s time to talk NBA trade rumors.

The Diff

The Houston Rockets’ self-imposed deadline for trading center Omer Asik is closing in fast. They now have just about 36 hours to make their ideal trade within the NBA’s trading calendar. And, for some unholy and unknown reason, the Cleveland Cavaliers continue to be in the mix of all the Asik rumors. Logically, as many have speculated, the Cavs could be intricately involved solely because they want to be the third team in any such deal. Let’s dive into all the gory details to see what could happen and what should happen. [Read more...]

Kyrie goes scoreless, Cavaliers go effortless

jackhawksMomentum in the NBA can best be described only as the energy you bring to the next game. The Cavaliers played two of their most complete games against Chicago and Denver at home, but no carryover was to be had in Atlanta. The Hawks lit up the scoreboard and blew the doors off the Cavaliers in the first quarter. From there, it was only a continuance of the miscues from the first. The Cavaliers trailed by as many as 29 before cutting the deficit to 12 with primarily their second unit. In the end, it was a 108-89 loss that saw Kyrie Irving post the first scoreless stat-line of his career. It also has me in a particularly feisty mood.

The first quarter stats really say it all. Atlanta shot 60%, hit five three-pointers (including a pair from Kyle Korver, which set the NBA mark for most consecutive games with a three pointer at 90), and capped it off with a 55-foot heave from Paul Millsap at the quarter buzzer that went down. Offensively, the wine and gold shot 30%, including a 0-for-9 for the starting trio of Irving, C.J. Miles, and Alonzo Gee. The movement that was there in the past few games was gone. In its wake was lazy passing and forced perimeter shots. When they did get the ball got into Bynum, they scored on all three of his shot attempts.  [Read more...]

NBA Rumors: Cleveland Cavaliers will be “vying” for Dwight Howard

The Cleveland Cavaliers were a buried mention as a potential suitor for Dwight Howard in free agency in an ESPNLosAngeles report yesterday. Cleveland was tossed in after meticulously exploring the merits of Houston and Dallas, so it’s reasonable to assume that the Cavs are going to be tossed into every discussion due the the extraordinary amount of cap space they will have this off-season.

Howard is expected to entertain the free-agency process and hear competing offers from Houston, Dallas and others, multiple sources told ESPNLosAngeles.com. Cleveland and Atlanta are teams that will also be vying for Howard, among other suitors.

If I was making the book in Vegas, I’d say there’s a 80% chance that the Cavaliers talk to Howard or his people this off-season, because you kind of have to when you have the cap space and a player of that caliber is a free agent. The idea that it would get past the talking stage and Howard would come join the Mike Brown-led Cavaliers has to be at 5% or less I would think.

We don’t know exactly how Dwight Howard feels about Mike Brown, but in Howard’s first season with Brown, the coach was fired after only five games. At minimum, it would appear that familiarity or some personal connection would be somewhat unlikely to benefit the Cavaliers should they even truly be in pursuit of the big man.

[Related: Cavalier NBA Draft Film Room: Shabazz Muhammad]

Another Cavs blowout brings more ‘fire Byron Scott’ murmurs

Chris Grant, Kyrie Irving, Byron ScottAny time your team is having a 22-47 season, it’s certain to elicit negative reactions from fans about the organization’s head coach. But it’s a very nuanced type of negativity when it deals with Cleveland Cavaliers head coach Byron Scott.

Multiple times this year — notably, after the team started 5-23 — fans have questioned whether he’s the right coach to lead the Cavs into their hopeful playoff seasons down the road. Many have questioned his rotations. Others have questioned his overall toughness. Some have recalled how previous New Jersey and New Orleans teams started to ignore him by the end of his reign.

Whatever your Byron Scott-related point of view du jour, it’s likely that you displayed it on Twitter as the Cavaliers suffered their worst loss of the season, 118-76, on Friday in Houston. This of course followed Cleveland’s loss despite a 27-point lead against Miami on Wednesday. Placed within the context of Scott’s 186 games with the organization, it’s just been another tough week on the job. [Read more...]

The Diff: Franchise comparisons for the Cavaliers

Thanks to all for your really positive feedback about my first-ever edition of The Diff last week about Kyrie Irving’s potential. I’m back today with more talk about the Cavs. Hope you enjoy yet again.

The Diff

For weeks and weeks, one of my favorite NBA topics has been exploring and researching possible franchise comparisons for the Cavaliers and where they stand right now. I believe my mini-obsession with this topic started with Andrew’s excellent article last month titled “Is There Any Hope Beneath the Frustration for the Cavaliers?” This post really got my stats-focused brain a-churning. [Read more...]

The Diff: Kyrie Irving’s potential

Today marks the start of a new era: The Diff, where I’ll write lots and lots about sports stats. Kudos to friend and fantasy football semifinalist Marc Sugerman for coming up with the article name, a shoutout to the Q’s scoreboard. And thanks as always to Mike Brenkus for the design.

The Diff

For my first-ever edition of The Diff, I wanted to focus on some thoughts I had about Kyrie Irving over the last week or so. This all started after the Cavs’ impressive 99-83 victory over the Hawks a week ago today. I was at that game with my dad. But the following conversation took place the next day on Gchat with my brother Sam, who you all might recall from our combined offseason post back in June. Hope you enjoy. [Read more...]

Horford: “Cleveland Fans Are Great”

Following last night’s win against the Cavaliers, All-Star center Al Horford was very flattering of the opponent’s fans.

Horford was teammates at the University of Florida for two seasons with another center in the association who’s not quite so fond of the city or its fans.

The Cavaliers, despite the third-worst record in the league are currently averaging just under 17,000 fans per game, good enough for 18th in the league, ahead of Atlanta’s 25th-ranked fans by nearly 2,500 fans per night. The team was celebrating “Anderson Varejao Wig Night” last night, which may have helped the turnout.

Related: Cavaliers Soar With Hawks, Crash Land At Finish

Cavaliers Soar With The Hawks, Crash Land At The Finish

The Fox Sports Ohio crew used the stat during the Washington game on Wednesday. Byron Scott referenced the stat himself last night in his post game press conference. It’s on the mind of everyone who watches the Cavaliers and follows them more closely than checking the final score alert on one’s smartphone.

“In their 24 losses, the Cavaliers have either lead or trailed by no more than six points in 20 of those contests.”

The Cavaliers put on a dazzling display against one of the team’s best for about 45 minutes. But, their offense unraveled in the final three minutes and the Hawks scored the last nine points of the game to grab a 102-94 victory in the Q to avenge Alonzo Gee’s game-winning tip earlier this season in Atlanta.

Let’s start with the fact that this was one of the most entertaining games of the season. It was a high-energy, back-and-forth affair. The Cavalier backcourt of Kyrie Irving and Dion Waiters went up strong against Jeff Teague and Lou Williams for the Hawks. For Waiters, nearly all of his work was done in the first half, as he scored 16 of his 18 with a couple of transition buckets mixed in with some jumpers. Dion had 6 rebounds and 4 assists to go with his 7-for-21 shooting effort as well. With Kyrie, it was the confidence in creating his shot over others and a flair for the dramatic. Irving hit a transition three-point heave from well beyond the arc as he passed two Hawks just before the halftime buzzer sounded. Irving would go on to score a game-high 28 points on 12-of-20 shooting including 4-of-7 from three point range. Kyrie had 6 boards and 5 dimes for the cause too.  [Read more...]

Cavaliers’ Backcourt Shines, Gee’s Putback Snaps 4-Game Losing Streak

The Hawks have been almost entirely retooled. Gone are Joe Johnson, Marvin Williams, Mike Bibby, and Flip Murray from that 2009 team the Cavaliers swept in the second round of the playoffs. In are Lou Williams, Jeff Teague, and Devin Harris and a faster paced style. One of the few remaining players, Josh Smith, led all scorers last night, but it was his failure to prevent Alonzo Gee from leaping up to grab Dion Waiters’s misfired three and putting it back in with 0.4 seconds remaining that helped propel the Cavaliers to victory 113-111 in Atlanta. Smith, primarily because of his attitude, inconsistency, lack of focus, and desire to play outside his strengths, has always been one player I’d never want on my team despite the talent.

The Hawks are an up-tempo team now as they have gotten much smaller in their backcourt. About every turnover the Cavaliers had in the first half was converted into an Atlanta bucket. The Hawks turned 9 Cavalier miscues into 13 points. Two unlikable characters from the past led the charge for the Hawks in Smith, who had 15 in the first half and Deshawn Stevenson, who was perfect on four three-point attempts. The Cavaliers got some nice output from their bench, though, especially Tyler Zeller. The rookie center had a quick eight in the first quarter including a smash over the top of Lou Williams in transition. While Tyler has shown some issues defending larger centers, it’s also clear that he gives the Cavs a boost offensively off the bench.  [Read more...]

The Boots: Talkin’ Cleveland Cavs Season Preview

As I’ve been doing for years, The Boots are my way to assign Boot Up or Boot Downs to various items in the sports world. As a reminder, I got the nickname “Boot” from my older brothers when I was young, and thus, I continue to use this segment as my personal sports writing payback.

Boot Up: Optimism for the Future – The Cavaliers are going to be a much-improved team in 2012-13. I do not doubt that at all. While I tend to be a bit of a pessimist with this squad, and I explain that more below, I wanted to share my optimism first. Here are five things that have me really excited to watch this team play real games soon:

1. Kyrie Irving: Now he’s a household name. One of the 30 best players in the NBA, undoubtedly. He’s a budding star and hasn’t even played a full college basketball season or full 82-game NBA season yet. This should be tremendous fun to see him on the court this year and knocking down shots against Eastern Conference foes. Now it actually starts to matter. [Read more...]

NBA Rumor: Cavs Among Teams That Have Interviewed Bill Walker

Forward Bill Walker is the latest correspondent for HoopsHype, and he shares his experience in the first of his free agent blog posts:

This is Bill Walker, formerly of the Boston Celtics and New York Knicks. I’m a free agent now and will blog about my experiences this summer here at HoopsHype. Hope you find it interesting.

Recently I met with people from the Memphis Grizzlies in Las Vegas and previously with the Cleveland Cavaliers and the Atlanta Hawks. It was not a personal type of interview, just business. They want to know how you are going react to certain things and see what your responses are. I think if you go in there with that type of attitude, willing to accept criticism, you’ll be fine.

Walker has averaged 5.8 points and 2.0 rebounds per game over his 157-game NBA career during the past four seasons. The 24-year-old Kansas State product is a solid scorer off the bunch who isn’t afraid to put up a lot of shots. Given the right environment, he could blossom as a premier bench scorer for a potential playoff team, such as the Cleveland Cavaliers.

Heck, I know I’d have a lot of fun seeing him as a scoring option in his precious few moments alongside Kyrie Irving on the court. That’d be plenty of fun. But given his current suitors, I don’t currently think he’ll sign with the Cavs. It seems he’s interested in returning to the New York Knicks, and that’s where I think he’ll land up eventually.

[Related: NBA Trade Rumor: Cavs Discussing Trade to Land Andrew Bynum in Magic-Lakers Deal]

Danny Ferry Wasting No Time Shaking Up Atlanta

As GM of the Cavaliers, Danny Ferry had a luxury box seat to a playoff beat-down of the Atlanta Hawks. It was 2009, and the Cavaliers wiped the Hawks off the floor four games to none. In that series the Cavaliers beat Atlanta by an average score of 96-78. Needless to say, the Hawks weren’t very impressive.

In the Joe Johnson era, the Hawks had an 18-28 record in the playoffs. They never made it to the Conference Finals. That didn’t stop the Hawks from giving Johnson a max deal in 2010. A contract that would pay Johnson a staggering $19.75 million for the upcoming season, $21.4 in ’13-’14, $23.1 in ’14-’15 and $24.9 in ’15-’16. This is not a knock on Joe Johnson. I like Johnson. But he is not a superstar caliber player that you build a championship team around.

Enter Danny Ferry.

Ferry took over the Hawks GM position last week, and has wasted no time in deciding that the only way to turn the Hawks into a championship contender is to completely start over. Ferry, as we know in Cleveland is no stranger to making trades. He is quite adept at getting rid of bad contracts as well. (Of course, some of those bad contracts were ones that he made.) [Read more...]

Report: Former GM Danny Ferry accepts deal with Atlanta Hawks

According to several reports, the Atlanta Hawks have come to terms with former Cavalier player and General Manager Danny Ferry to be the team’s GM.

Ferry was reportedly in negotiations for the open Sixers job, but the two sides couldn’t come to terms. The Hawks signed Ferry to a six year contract, with details undisclosed as of yet.

Ferry resigned from his position as Cavaliers’ GM in the summer of 2010, presumably because he had a difference in opinion on retaining Mike Brown.

[Related: Dan Gilbert discusses the departure of Danny Ferry]

Box Score: Hawks 103, Cavaliers 102 (OT)

Guh. The Cavaliers had this one won twice, but poor defense and timely shooting by the Hawks forced the game to overtime, and then cost the Cavs the game. Even still, the Cavaliers had a chance to win in the end, but Kyrie Irving’s jumper missed the mark and Gee wasn’t able to tip the ball in. Irving nearly had his first career triple double, falling a rebound and an assist short (29/9/9). Tristan Thompson had troubles hanging on to the ball in this one, and finished with 13 points after his career high 27 points the other day. After this game, the top 4 scoring performances by rookies this year all belong to Cavaliers. 3 for Kyrie and 1 for Tristan.

Cleveland

Starters Pos Min FG 3Pt FT +/- Off Reb Ast TO Stl BS BA PF Pts
K. Irving G 41:35 10-19 3-6 6-7 +7 2 9 9 7 3 0 0 0 29
A. Parker G 33:12 3-6 0-1 0-1 -11 0 3 4 1 0 0 0 0 6
T. Thompson C 41:10 5-9 0-0 3-6 -6 0 5 0 5 1 2 2 2 13
A. Jamison F 46:45 9-17 3-6 2-2 +4 4 12 2 2 0 0 3 5 23
A. Gee F 38:54 1-9 0-3 7-8 +6 4 13 4 3 1 0 1 3 9
Bench Min FG 3Pt FT +/- Off Reb Ast TO Stl BS BA PF Pts
Totals 36-78 6-19 24-33 11 54 23 19 5 3 6 21 102
Percentages .462 .316 .727 Team Rebounds: 9
M. Harris 19:53 4-8 0-2 3-5 +7 0 6 1 1 0 0 0 1 11
S. Samuels 15:36 1-3 0-0 3-4 +7 0 1 0 0 0 1 0 5 5
O. Casspi 14:06 2-4 0-1 0-0 -7 1 5 1 0 0 0 0 3 4
D. Sloan 11:25 1-3 0-0 0-0 -8 0 0 2 0 0 0 0 1 2
S. Erden 2:24 0-0 0-0 0-0 -4 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 1 0

Atlanta

Starters Pos Min FG 3Pt FT +/- Off Reb Ast TO Stl BS BA PF Pts
J. Teague G 44:19 6-9 0-0 0-0 +1 1 2 7 1 4 0 0 5 12
K. Hinrich G 37:52 4-13 2-5 0-0 -7 1 4 3 1 2 0 1 6 10
Z. Pachulia C 47:52 5-12 0-0 4-4 +13 4 7 1 2 2 1 1 4 14
J. Smith F 51:19 10-29 0-3 12-14 +4 4 17 5 1 0 3 1 2 32
J. Johnson F 44:48 7-19 3-7 5-6 0 0 6 5 0 2 2 0 1 22
Bench Min FG 3Pt FT +/- Off Reb Ast TO Stl BS BA PF Pts
Totals 37-93 8-20 21-24 11 38 23 7 12 6 3 25 103
Percentages .398 .400 .875 Team Rebounds: 9
W. Green 14:46 1-2 1-1 0-0 +6 0 0 1 1 0 0 0 3 3
J. Stackhouse 10:30 4-7 2-4 0-0 +3 1 1 1 1 2 0 0 1 10
T. McGrady 8:26 0-2 0-0 0-0 -3 0 1 0 0 0 0 0 1 0
J. Collins 5:08 0-0 0-0 0-0 -12 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 2 0

 

Box Score: Hawks 103, Cavs 87

With a new starting center and a whole new bench rotation following the departure of Ramon Sessions, the Cavaliers fall short to the Atlanta Hawks at home. Point guard Kyrie Irving had one of his better all-around games, but the Hawks capitalized on rough shooting nights from Antawn Jamison and Anthony Parker. Atlanta’s Joe Johnson showed why he’s an All-Star with center Zaza Pachulia owning the paint and Erick Dampier and Jason Collins pulling off the rare double-Club Trill.

Atlanta

Starters Pos Min FG 3Pt FT +/- Off Reb Ast TO Stl BS BA PF Pts
K. Hinrich G 37:05 6-10 2-4 0-0 +11 0 3 1 2 0 1 0 1 14
J. Teague G 35:46 8-14 2-5 0-0 +10 0 3 2 1 1 2 0 3 18
Z. Pachulia C 40:12 3-11 0-0 3-4 +10 5 12 2 2 1 1 3 4 9
J. Johnson F 35:05 11-16 3-4 3-4 +11 0 4 5 2 1 0 0 1 28
J. Smith F 29:05 3-15 1-4 0-0 +12 1 8 9 1 0 1 1 3 7
Bench Min FG 3Pt FT +/- Off Reb Ast TO Stl BS BA PF Pts
Totals 43-85 8-18 9-12 9 41 22 11 5 7 4 16 103
Percentages .506 .444 .750 Team Rebounds: 5
T. McGrady 25:49 4-9 0-1 0-0 +14 1 6 1 1 1 0 0 0 8
I. Johnson 23:41 5-5 0-0 0-1 +10 2 4 2 2 0 2 0 4 10
J. Stackhouse 8:54 3-5 0-0 3-3 +2 0 1 0 0 1 0 0 0 9
J. Collins 3:02 0-0 0-0 0-0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
E. Dampier 1:21 0-0 0-0 0-0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
W. Green DNP – Hamstring
A. Horford DNP – Inactive
J. Pargo DNP – Stomach Flu
V. Radmanovic DNP – Back
M. Williams DNP – Inactive

Cleveland

Starters Pos Min FG 3Pt FT +/- Off Reb Ast TO Stl BS BA PF Pts
K. Irving G 36:30 6-14 1-5 6-6 -6 2 3 10 2 2 2 1 2 19
A. Parker G 33:46 3-10 0-4 0-0 -12 0 3 4 1 0 0 0 1 6
T. Thompson C 34:54 3-8 0-0 1-2 -17 3 6 1 2 1 0 1 4 7
A. Jamison F 38:24 6-22 1-4 4-4 -12 4 7 2 0 0 1 1 1 17
A. Gee F 35:02 9-16 1-3 1-2 -9 4 9 0 2 1 1 1 3 20
Bench Min FG 3Pt FT +/- Off Reb Ast TO Stl BS BA PF Pts
Totals 33-84 5-20 16-20 14 43 21 14 4 4 7 16 87
Percentages .393 .250 .800 Team Rebounds: 11
D. Gibson 23:02 1-6 1-3 0-0 -14 0 8 2 1 0 0 2 1 3
S. Samuels 22:42 1-4 0-0 4-6 -3 1 6 1 5 0 0 1 3 6
O. Casspi 12:58 2-2 1-1 0-0 -7 0 1 0 1 0 0 0 0 5
M. Harris 1:21 2-2 0-0 0-0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 1 4
D. Sloan 1:21 0-0 0-0 0-0 0 0 0 1 0 0 0 0 0 0
S. Erden DNP – Coach’s Decision
L. Harangody DNP – Inactive
R. Hollins DNP – Coach’s Decision
A. Varejao DNP – Inactive
L. Walton DNP – Coach’s Decision
+/-: Team net points while player in game
TO: Turnovers
PF: Personal Fouls
BS: Blocked Shots
BA: Blocks Against

Jamison: The Last Three Games Are Worse Than Last Season

Offensively, I have no clue of what we are doing. It’s a lot of one-of-one basketball. We want to the ball to go from one side of the floor to the other and I can’t recall one time tonight when we did that. And, these are things we were preaching before the game. Until we start playing as a team on both ends of the floor, we are going to continue to see these kinds of outcomes. [...] It’s worse than last season. I know we’re better than this. To come out last night and perform the way we did was disappointing, but to come out again after what we talked about and pretty much give the same performance is even worse.  This is a problem we have to fix quickly.

- Veteran power forward Antawn Jamison on the recent three-game plight of the Cleveland Cavaliers. The Cavaliers amassed zero second-chance points in the loss to the Atlanta Hawks following a 10-point loss to the Golden State Warriors and a 39-point loss to the Chicago Bulls who were playing without reigning MVP Derrick Rose.

[Related: Cavaliers Get Smashed In Atlanta, Have Lost Last Three By Seventy-Six Points]

(Source: Tom Reed, Plain Dealer)

Cavaliers Get Smashed In Atlanta, Have Lost Last Three By Seventy-Six Points

On Tuesday Stephen Curry did not play for the Golden State Warriors when they traveled to Cleveland. On Friday Derrick Rose didn’t play in Cleveland either, and on Saturday All Star Center Al Horford was sidelined for the Cavs visit to Atlanta as well.

After being 6-6 this past Monday, the Cavaliers dropped each of those three games by 10, 39, and 27 points respectively. In the words of Martin Lawrence back in 2003, stuff just got real.

Real adversity that stared this Cavaliers team and coaching staff directly in the face with each of Joe Johnson’s game high 25 points last night. Each of Jeff Teague’s 14, Marvin Williams’ 12, as well as each of fifty-eight year-old Jerry Stackhouse’s 6.

It was that many Hawks who finished the night scoring 11 or more points for the game too, with 12 Hawks in total having scored, and this laugher was never close. Not exactly the performance you’re looking for after getting humiliated at home the previous night by 40. [Read more...]

Cavs Lose to Hawks, But Joe Tait is Back!

With the Cavaliers and Hawks squaring up for the last Sunday home game of the 2010-11 season, there was actually one moment where the entire Quicken Loans Arena was on their feet: a standing ovation for Joe Tait, broadcasting his first game of the season since undergoing heart surgery roughly five months earlier.

“The Voice of the Cavaliers” took to his perch Sunday evening, where he will be for the remaining four Cavs home games.  Unfortunately for the Hall of Fame broadcaster, he was treated to a 99-83 loss, the Wine and Gold’s 58th of the season.

Admitted to a Houston area hospital following a Cavs preseason game, Tait was diagnosed with pnemonia, but was later told that the medical staff had found a heart issue that could only be corrected with open-heart valve replacement surgery. Tait had attempted to return to his spot in the WTAM play-by-play booth several times this season, but doctors nixed each attempt due to concerns of his stamina and the stress that could be placed on Tait’s heart in the event of a high-emotion play. [Read more...]

The Hickson Goes Off, Still Needs Work

It is no secret that J.J. Hickson has spent much of the last year working on his jump shot.  Whether it be through extra practice sessions with Chris Jent or an increased amount of attempts during Summer League, the third-year power forward has endeavored to broaden his game. 

And while fans and opponents alike have seen an improvement in his form and conversion rate outside of the paint, Tuesday night’s 100-88 loss to the Atlanta Hawks saw an entirely new – and perhaps very lucky – Hickson who drained all six of his jump shots outside of the 16-foot mark, finishing with a career-high 31 points on 11-of-17 from the field.

The Hickson came out stroking, providing the Cavaliers with eight of their first 10 points, all of which came on jump-shots just beyond the free throw line as Hawks forward Josh Smith was giving the 22-year old plenty of room with which to work.  [Read more...]