August 26, 2014

Forbes’ most miserable sports city is…Atlanta?


Apparently Cleveland’s “letdown factor” has led to a bit of numbness as Atlanta, Georgia tops this year’s edition of Most Miserable Sports Cities as constructed by Forbes. So, just how did Atlanta—with it’s stretch of post-season play and general transient population—get the nod?

We grade the misery of major sports cities (only those with 75 cumulative years in the NFL, NBA, Major League Baseball and the NHL are considered) based not so much on sheer futility as the “letdown factor.” That is, which teams have been good enough to build up fans’ hopes only to fall short of the brass ring in the end. Those that probably pop into your mind right away: the Braves (19 postseasons; one championship), the Phoenix Suns (eight trips to at least the Western Conference Finals, no championships), and the Buffalo Bills (one AFL championship in the pre-merger days, then 0-for-4 in Super Bowls). All three of those cities make our top five.

Phoenix, as mentioned above, comes in at No. 2 while our beautiful Cleveland, Ohio comes in at No. 3 with the last title coming in 1964. San Diego and Buffalo (Cleveland’s typical rival in these sort of battles) come in fourth and fifth, respectively.

Hope are, that come this June, we no longer have to bank on this kind of notoriety.

Box Score: Hawks 83, Cavaliers 99

With the news of Varjao’s surgery combined with injury absences for CJ Miles and Daniel Gibson, this looked like it might be a rough night for the Cavaliers. Instead, we got one of the most inspired efforts from the Cavaliers this season as they came away with a really nice win against Atlanta.

Kyrie Irving stole the show in the 3rd quarter. The team looked out of sorts to start the 3rd and it was starting to look like another rough 2nd half. Irving put the team on his shoulders and scored 18 points in the 3rd quarter alone to give the Cavaliers a comfortable lead.

Tristan Thompson had yet another really strong game as he finished with 11 points and 14 rebounds for his 8th double-double in the last 10 games. Alonzo Gee opened the game on fire from outside with 4 threes in the first quarter.

All in all, this was the kind of effort I think Coach Scott has been looking for out of this team for a while now. It was a nice win as the team prepares for yet another west coast trip.

1 2 3 4 T
ATL 28 12 23 20 83
CLE 29 20 28 22 99



Starters Pos Min FG 3Pt FT +/- Off Reb Ast TO Stl BS BA PF Pts
K. Korver
G 38:12 4-8 4-8 0-0 -17 0 7 1 0 0 0 0 0 12
J. Teague
G 32:01 7-11 0-1 1-1 -5 1 2 8 3 1 0 0 3 15
Z. Pachulia
C 25:40 4-7 0-0 0-0 -2 3 10 1 3 0 1 1 5 8
A. Horford
F 36:11 7-18 0-0 0-0 -2 1 5 3 1 0 0 1 1 14
J. Smith
F 35:53 8-16 1-5 0-2 -13 3 8 4 2 0 6 0 2 17
Bench Min FG 3Pt FT +/- Off Reb Ast TO Stl BS BA PF Pts
Totals 37-84 7-22 2-5 11 46 19 13 4 7 3 17 83
Percentages .440 .318 .400 Team Rebounds: 6
L. Williams
20:52 2-8 1-4 0-0 -14 0 1 0 1 1 0 0 2 5
J. Jenkins
16:10 2-7 1-3 0-0 -14 2 3 0 1 0 0 1 1 5
D. Harris
12:08 0-2 0-1 0-0 -2 0 1 0 0 1 0 0 2 0
M. Scott
8:30 1-2 0-0 0-0 0 1 3 0 1 0 0 0 0 2
I. Johnson
7:29 1-3 0-0 1-2 -9 0 2 0 0 1 0 0 1 3
J. Petro
3:27 1-2 0-0 0-0 -1 0 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 2
A. Tolliver
3:27 0-0 0-0 0-0 -1 0 3 2 1 0 0 0 0 0
A. Morrow
DNP – Coach’s Decision


Starters Pos Min FG 3Pt FT +/- Off Reb Ast TO Stl BS BA PF Pts
K. Irving
G 33:12 11-15 5-6 6-6 +15 0 1 4 2 3 0 0 1 33
D. Waiters
G 28:30 4-11 1-2 0-0 +8 1 1 4 2 1 0 1 2 9
T. Zeller
C 37:24 3-8 0-0 5-6 +9 2 12 3 2 0 0 0 3 11
A. Gee
F 34:25 5-12 5-9 0-2 +13 0 6 3 2 1 1 2 2 15
T. Thompson
F 33:54 5-11 0-0 1-3 +13 6 14 2 1 2 1 3 1 11
Bench Min FG 3Pt FT +/- Off Reb Ast TO Stl BS BA PF Pts
Totals 37-81 12-23 13-20 12 45 25 10 10 3 7 13 99
Percentages .457 .522 .650 Team Rebounds: 4
K. Jones
22:04 1-4 0-0 0-0 +12 2 4 0 0 1 0 1 2 2
S. Livingston
20:43 4-6 0-0 0-1 +6 1 4 5 1 1 1 0 2 8
O. Casspi
13:35 2-8 1-5 0-0 +3 0 2 1 0 0 0 0 0 5
J. Pargo
13:35 2-5 0-1 1-2 +3 0 0 3 0 1 0 0 0 5
J. Leuer
2:37 0-1 0-0 0-0 -2 0 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
D. Gibson
DNP – Coach’s Decision
C.J. Miles

Cavaliers Say Goodbye to November with a Trip to Atlanta

One more road game and November will merciful drift away into our memories.

The Cleveland Cavaliers (3-12, 13th in the East) travel to Atlanta where they will try to say farewell to a trying and disappointing opening month by trying to upset the soaring Hawks (9-4, 4th in the East). The combination of injuries and a brutal schedule, spent mostly on the road, have left the Cavaliers looking weary and sporting an uglier than expected schedule.

Don’t get me wrong, none of us expected the Cavaliers to be good this year. But most of us expected better than 3-12 at this point. Who are the teams worse than Cleveland so far? The Toronto Raptors are half a game back at 3-13 and Washington is a game behind the Cavaliers at 1-12. That’s it. Only two teams in the NBA are off to a worse start than Cleveland. [Read more...]

Cavaliers Preview Game #4: Hawks at Cavs

Atlanta Hawks (3-0) vs
Cleveland Cavaliers (1-2)
Quicken Loans Arena, Cleveland, OH
Tuesday, November 2, 2010
7:00 PM EST

The Cleveland Cavaliers are a team in desperate need of a momentum recovery. Having dropped 2 consecutive embarrassing losses after the emotional tip off winner, the Cavaliers now face one of the 5 best teams so far in the NBA. This will be the last home game for the Cavaliers before a mini 3 game road trip, so the team will be desperate for a way to pull off a win. Mo Williams will hope he can provide an answer as he makes his 2010-11 debut, but in a game where the Cavaliers have matchup deficits at every position, playing a hungry team eager for respect in their own right, it’s going to be a tough fight to say the least. Unless the Cavaliers can find a way to correct some of their problems from the last 2 games, tonight’s game is going to get ugly pretty quickly. [Read more...]

Cavaliers Preview – Game #76: Hawks at Cavs

Cavaliers vs Hawks
For anyone that remembers my last Cavs game preview, let me reiterate: “first and foremost, my apologies to any and all of you hoping for an Andrew novella in preview to this game. A lot of times when you go to a pinch hitter late in a game, you have to talk yourself into thinking a part-time .260 hitter can come through in the clutch. Buckle up.”

It’s simple: if the Cavs win tonight, they guarantee at least a tie with Orlando for best record in the East, and lower their best-in-the-NBA magic number to one. That’s really the only focus of this game. Yes, it would be nice to see them shoot better from the free-throw line, and/or to see some improvement in areas such as guard play and not giving up easy buckets on defense. At the end of the day, though, the team is really just on cruise control and is coasting in their “war of attrition” move to clinch the overall #1 seed going into the playoffs.

[Read more...]

Cavaliers Shouldn’t Overlook Joe Smith

Joe SmithYesterday we touched on how Leon Powe can help the Cavaliers by giving them some depth at the power forward. The issue there, however, is that Powe is currently rehabbing his knees after tearing his left ACL and having microfracture surgery. Even though the Cavaliers signed him now, they know he will not be able to play in the first half of the season, and according to Brian Windhorst, the team realizes that, potentially, “Powe may not be able to contribute on a meaningful level until the end of the upcoming season.”

This is where Joe Smith can come into play. [Read more...]

Josh Smith Possibly On The Trade Block?

Josh SmithGenerally I don’t raise my eyebrows at NBA trade rumors too much. This time of the year, you usually get so many names tossed into the ring that after a while, it all becomes a bunch of white noise. It seems like about 75% of the rumors thrown out there are generally unrealistic anyway, so it can sometimes be kind of tough to take them seriously. None the less, it can sometimes be fun to dream.

We’ve already heard the rumors about Rasheed Wallace, Charlie Villanueva, Shaq, Antawn Jamison, and even Carlos Boozer. This morning, it was a new name that really caught my eye and made me sit up a little bit. The name being thrown into the rumor mill this time was the Atlanta Hawks’ Josh Smith.

ESPN’s Chad Ford first mentioned this rumor in his Draft Buzz column [ESPN Insider link] yesterday afternoon. He wrote,   [Read more...]

Round Two Game Four Numbers and Words

LeBron JamesThe Cavaliers sweep again! This game wasn’t pretty by any means, but the Cavaliers escape with the win and with the double digit victory streak intact. The 84-74 series clinching victory may not go down in history as one of the most memorable Cavalier games, but several aspects of it truly were memorable. What follows is my analysis in numbers and words.

-The MVP of this game once again was hands down Delonte West. I know, I know, it’s not fair to LeBron to take for granted a 27-8-8 night, but at this point in the playoffs, we do just that. We take it for granted. On this night, though, LeBron needed some help, and it came in the form of Big Red. Delonte chipped in with 21 pts on 7-13 shooting from the field. He also added 4 rebounds, 6 assists, and 1 steal to go with 3 turnovers (an improvement for him lately). While LeBron was on the bench in the 2nd quarter and with Mo Williams struggling to find good looks, it was Delonte who was aggressive in getting to the hoop and leading the Cavs back from their first 1st quarter deficit of the series. Delonte’s +7 wasn’t as impressive as Mo’s surprising +18, but it was certainly better than LeBron’s +1 for the game.

-Now that we have the MVP out of the way, lets think about this game. In many ways, the box score of this game is fairly enigmatic. At face value, it’s hard to explain how the Hawks were ever in this game. The Hawks shot just 31.5% from the field (compared to 42.9% for the Cavaliers), 15.4% from three on 13 attempts (compared to 55.6% for the Cavaliers on 18 attempts), and were outrebounded by a 48-33 margin. Those numbers simply don’t add up to a close game. Throw in the 22 assists for Cleveland compared to the 13 the Hawks had and it the picture gets even more cloudy.   [Read more...]

Round Two Game Two Numbers and Words

LeBron James Another home game, another blowout. Thursday night the Cleveland Cavaliers used an unbelievably suffocating defense to shut down the Atlanta Hawks offense, and the Cavs ran away with the 105-85 victory. The Cavaliers’ biggest worry now goes from rust to over-confidence. At 6-0 and yet to be tested in the playoffs, the Cavaliers are still looking for their first taste of real adversity. What follows, though, is my analysis in numbers and words.

-The Hawks, for all the things that went wrong in this game. and have gone wrong for the whole series so far, continued to shoot the ball well from the outside. They shot 8-17 from three (47.1%) in this game. The Cavaliers aren’t going to worry about that if the Hawks are going to shoot 34.9% from the field overall, but if the Hawks ever actually figure out how to score inside, the Cavs will want to tighten up the perimeter defense a bit. It’s tough, because the Hawks have some lengthy 3 point shooters and the Cavs backcourt is undersized. It may be nitpicking a bit, but I had to point out something the Cavs could do better in Game 3, especially since the series heads to Atlanta where the Hawks tend to play dramatically better than on the road.    [Read more...]

Round Two Game One Numbers and Words

Cavaliers FansThe Cleveland Cavaliers picked up right where they left off in round one of the 2009 NBA Playoffs and had their way with the Atlanta Hawks in Game One by a final score of 99-72. A good omen for the Cavaliers? It is when you consider that no team has ever come back to win a playoff series after losing Game 1 by 25 or more points since the 1985 Finals. Just something to think about what. What follows, though, is my analysis in numbers and words.

-If there was anything I was worried about coming into this series, it was Game 1. I was a little worried about the Cavaliers being a little slow, sluggish, and off with their shot. I was worried about a slight MVP hangover effect. I was worried about a brash, young Hawks team coming in and using their speed and athleticism to jump out to a quick lead. Well, all of that happened in the first half of the 1st quarter. That’s when the resiliency of this Cavs team kicked in and they quickly jumped on the Hawks to regain control of the game, and by the end of the quarter, the Cavs were actually ahead, despite their slow start. I thought that was huge.   [Read more...]