July 25, 2014

NBA News: Ryan Hollins to Sign with Boston Celtics

This past Tuesday, a source close to Ryan Hollins told WFNY that the recently released center would “have a new home” after clearing waivers. Two days later, Hollins has in fact cleared waivers — no team wanted to be on the hook for the remainder of his $3 million player option — and it appears that a new home is indeed on the horizon.

Sherrod Blakely of CSN New England reports that a deal between Hollins and the Boston Celtics could be consumated as early as this evening with the player being available on Friday evening when Boston plays the Philadelphia 76ers.

Celtics stalwarts Paul Pierce and Kevin Garnett had the opportunity to play alongside Hollins this past offseason and reportedly feel that the 7-footer would fit in nicely within Boston’s system.

Hollins and the Cavaliers decided to split, amicably, after the center was all but completely removed from the team’s rotation to allow rookie Tristan Thompson some additional playing time. Through 24 games, in what was mostly reserve minutes for the Cavs, Hollins averaged 3.7 points and 2.3 rebounds.

The Cavaliers’ roster still stands at 14. It is expected that the team will sign either another D-League prospect or a recently released, post-trade deadline casualty.

[Related: In his Final Game at Age 19, Kyrie Irving Drops 29, 9 and 9]

(Source: CSNNE)

Cleveland Cavaliers Kick Off 2nd Half of Season Against the Boston Celtics

Kyrie Irving has already knocked off the Celtics once this season

The Cleveland Cavaliers (13-18, 9th in the East) get back to business Tuesday night when they welcome the Boston Celtics (15-17, 8th in the East) into the Q. It was a pretty good All Star break for Cleveland. Sure, Kyrie Irving didn’t fare so well in the Skills Competition, but Irving and fellow rookie Tristan Thompson both left their marks in the Rising Stars Game.

For the rest of the Cavaliers it was a period of rest, relaxation, and rooting on the young Cavaliers in the Rising Stars Game. Now that the batteries have been charged and some wounds have healed, the Cavaliers can get back to chasing that playoff berth.

The Celtics are the team standing in their way, both tonight (as the opponent) and in the long run (as the 8th seed). Perhaps no team was happier for the break than the Celtics, who carried a 5 game losing streak into the break and had lost 7 of their last 8 overall. [Read more...]

ESPN’s Bill Simmons would like Boston to trade for Anderson Varejao

“…if I were Danny Ainge, I’d offer O’Neal’s expiring, my 2012 no. 1 AND the Clippers’ no. 1 for him.2 Wouldn’t you take your chances with a Rondo-Allen-Pierce-Garnett-Varejao quintet this spring? Or am I just a complete homer?” -Bill Simmons

Ok Sports Guy. I’ll take on your proposed trade.  Here is the offer as you have laid it out.

Cleveland gets: Jermaine O’Neal ($6.226 million), plus Boston’s 2012 first round pick and the Clippers’ 2012 first round pick.

Boston gets: Anderson Varejao ($7.7 million).

Let’s take a hard look at those draft picks first. The Clippers’ pick is technically the lessor of L.A.’s or Minnesota’s pick, but you would have to imagine it would take a few monumental injuries for Minny’s pick to be worse than the Clippers’ pick. Additionally, that pick is top 10 protected this year, so injuries to say CP3 and Blake Griffin would knock them below Minnesota in all likelihood, but also into protected territory. [Read more...]

Doc Rivers: Anderson Varejao is an All-Star

[Anderson] Varejao’s energy is just amazing. It’s amazing to watch him run around relentlessly, and pursue [loose] balls…Varejao’s always an All-Star as far as I’m concerned. I think they should keep a spot for a role player. That’s what he does, he plays his role…He had 20 points and they didn’t run one [offensive] set for him…Down the stretch, he and Kyrie [Irving] were tough for us to handle.

- Boston Celtics head coach Doc Rivers on Anderson Varejao following the Celtics’ 93-90 win over the Cavaliers. Varejao amassed his first career 20/20 game, including 10 offensive rebounds.

[Related: Anderson Varejao, All-Star?]

 

Celtics-Cavaliers Set To Rematch In Cleveland

Irving with the game winner

Lets do this all over again.

Tuesday night the Boston Celtics (9-10) travel to Cleveland for a rematch with the Cavaliers (8-11).

I’m going to keep this one brief. Rajon Rondo is out again for the Celtics. Anthony Parker and Daniel Gibson are out for the Cavaliers. No word yet (as of this writing) on who will be the starting SG. Coach Scott could start Irving and Sessions together in the backcourt, but then they’d be without a backup PG. Mychel Thompson could start, or Alonzo Gee could slide over to SG to start.

If I were the coach of this team, I would probably start Irving and Sessions together and then substitute Gee in early for one of them, and from there get creative in doing circular rotations of Thompson, Sessions, and Irving from there. No matter who starts, all of the above mentioned are going to be called upon to play extended minutes tonight.

As for the game itself, Boston is going to come out looking to make a point. The Cavs snuck up on them once. It’s not going to happen again. If the Cavaliers are going to win this time, they need to earn by giving consistent effort from start to finish. [Read more...]

Irving: No Pressure With Game-Winners

There’s no pressure [with taking game-winning shots] unless you’re unprepared. It’s a game of percentages. If you miss the first, you have to tell yourself ‘I’ll get the next one.’ It’s all about feel and having confidence in your teammates. It’s a team game.

- Cavaliers guard Kyrie Irving, Monday, following the team’s practice. Irving hit what would amount to be the game-winning lay-up against the Boston Celtics with 2.8 seconds remaining. Irving claims to have hit game-winners in his past and was quick to point out that the team has an upcoming game this Tuesday when Boston comes back to Cleveland.

[Related: Cavs and Celtics: Who Gets Your Gameball?]

Video: Kyrie Irving’s Game-Winner in Boston

The de-fense chants only add to the beauty. The kid is tough as nails.

Cavs and Celtics: Who Gets Your Gameball?

Kyrie Irving is undoubtedly the cover boy for Game Winner magazine on this very Monday morning. After his high screen pirouette through Brandon Bass and Avery Bradley resulted in an off-balance, left-handed lay-in, jubilation obviously careened throughout the homes of Clevelanders who just witnessed the Wine and Gold coming from behind to take down the Boston Celtics in their own home.

Irving’s conversion with just over two seconds remaining was the shot that capped off a 12-0 run that gave the Cavaliers their first win which would firmly plant a feather in the cap of confidence. Sure, this team has won several games. Sure, they came back from a monumental defecit against the Lakers only to fall just short of a road upset. But this one, this comeback win fueled by youth and hustle, gave the Cavaliers one of those “know how to win” moments.

[Read more...]

Varejao: It’s What I Try to do Every Night

Well, it’s what I try to do every night: get the second chance and stuff like that. Tonight worked out. Tonight worked out. We had the ball back and we had the chance to win the game. And Kyrie [Irving] made the shot. And we won. Tough game. But the key for the game to me was how our defense in the fourth quarter. Through the whole game we played hard on defense. And that’s why we won the game.

- Cavaliers center Anderson Varejao following the team’s 88-87 win over the Boston Celtics. Varejao finished with 18 points, nine rebounds and two steals. His ability to harness a loose ball with 22 seconds remaining provided the opportunity to earn the win.

City of Champions – Boston Scores Again

Last night the Boston Bruins defeated the Vancouver Canucks to win the right to drink beer out of The Stanley Cup.  After the clock read zero, I tweeted my congratulations.  “You gotta feel good for those long suffering Boston sports fans.”  It had been a long 29 years of hand-wringing including a “kiss your sister” celebration of Ray Bourque’s Stanley Cup in 2001 after the long-time Bruin was traded to the Avalanche to win it.  In case you feel like attacking Boston’s sports credibility, just imagine for a second that the Heat had won the Finals this year and we had a party with Zydrunas Ilgauskas.  No matter, though.  Bourque is long forgotten now that the Bruins won it all.  Talk about a Cleveland contrast.

There is a generation of Boston sports fans who will have no idea what to do with themselves if Boston sports teams don’t win it all every couple of years.  Since the millennium, it is absolutely astonishing.  The Patriots won in 2001, 2003, 2004 and nearly missed a perfect season in 2007.  The Red Sox won it in 2004 and 2007.  The Celtics won it in 2008.  And now the Bruins have won it in 2011.  So that’s seven championships across four teams in basically a decade’s time.  And beyond that, it is a ton of contention even when they didn’t win it all. [Read more...]

Bill Simmons Says “The Decision” Worked

Bill Simmons used his recently launched venture, Grantland, to deliver an article about how “The Decision” was the best thing that has happened to the NBA in 15 years.  No. Really.  He used his new venture on Grantland, where it is supposedly not merely about driving traffic and hits, to proclaim that an event that disrupted the entire structure of the NBA was good for the league. His proclamation is based almost exclusively on ratings.  So, let me rephrase.  Bill Simmons started a venture, Grantland, where quality is derived almost exclusively by not blindly chasing Internet traffic spikes and yet the league he cares so much about was served proudly by an event of extremely questionable taste and judgment because it supposedly drove up ratings?

I don’t really want to talk about LeBron James anymore.  I don’t want to talk about my feelings or what a self-centered egomaniac I think he is.  It is all tired.  It has been stated ad nauseum and there is a specific reason that I am staying away from watching these NBA finals.  I refuse to co-sign for what occurred in the league dynamic this season.  I realize fully that my little “vote” counts for very little in the ratings book.  Trust me, it isn’t about me trying to punish anyone with a “powerful sword” that I have at my side.  It is more about not torturing myself as I vote “none of the above.”

None of that means that I don’t have opinions about the league and what it has become / is becoming.  I will always have an interest in the business of sports.  That is where I have the most problem with Bill Simmons’ latest column claiming that “The Decision” worked.

Let’s get into some of the specifics. [Read more...]

LeBron Apologizes for “The Decision”

As I’m sure you’re all aware, the Miami Heat beat the Boston Celtics to win the NBA Championship advance to the Eastern Conference Finals tonight.  LeBron was feeling particularly good about the victory and offered up some reflection and remorse –  nearly 10 months after “The Decision” and one year since that infamous Game 5 performance in Cleveland.  LeBron, in postgame comments, stated:

“I knew I had to go through Boston at some point. I went through a lot signing to be here… The way it panned out with all the friends & family & fans back home, I apologize for the way it happened.  This was the opportunity of lifetime”

Brian Windhorst tweeted a quote in which LeBron specifically referred to his old teammates back in Cleveland: [Read more...]

Why I Can’t Root for the Celtics

As the Miami Heat leads their series with the Boston Celtics, ESPN reports that the Celtics provided the blueprint for what LeBron James, Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh put together in Miami.  “Seeing guys make sacrifices to come together and play as one.  They set the blueprint and went out there and did it.  They won a championship.  They competed every year” James said.

“With LeBron losing to Boston in Cleveland in the playoffs, he felt like, ‘I gotta do more, I need to be around more to contend for a championship,’ ” Wade said. “Me feeling the same way going into the summer, saying that I needed more, it was because of Boston. They knocked us out.” [Read more...]

The Indians Help Me Ignore the NBA Playoffs

Yesterday afternoon after the Indians completed their sweep of the Detroit Tigers, I was all set to watch Boston vs. Miami in the NBA playoffs.  I had it on and I was kind of watching until I realized that I really didn’t care.  LeBron James and the Miami Heat were winning the game and instead of feeling invested in KG and the Celtics, I was actually completely apathetic.  I wasn’t angry about the Heat and their league-ruining formation.  I wasn’t interested in the farcical “feel-good” storyline that would suggest I could find a way to root for the Celtics.  As it turns out, I was more interested in watching Kathy Ireland pretend to be a kicker in the 1991 Scott Bakula vehicle, Necessary Roughness on cable.

I joked over the weekend that Chris Antonetti is a much better GM than Mark Shapiro.  The guy takes the Indians GM job and all of a sudden the Tribe gets off to one of the hottest starts in their history.  Regardless of my attempts at humor, Shapiro, Antonetti, and Manny Acta are largely responsible for putting me in a position where I don’t feel the need to be invested in the NBA playoffs.  It’s awesome though.  It is freeing to not have something so negative get a hold on you.  And to be able to replace it with something so positive?  Awesome. [Read more...]

Cavs’ Fan Guide to the NBA Playoffs

Over the weekend when I wasn’t watching the Tribe sweep the Orioles, I was checking out the NBA playoffs.  I saw on Twitter that some of the rest of you were doing the same and it got me thinking.  There were many theories about how to root in the playoffs in order to best represent the interests of Cavs fans.  Obviously, rooting against the Heat is an easy one and we can get that one out of the way early.  After that, it gets a lot more difficult.

I saw some people rooting for the Oklahoma City Thunder.  That makes sense because the Thunder have an amazing budding superstar named Kevin Durant who is easy to get behind.  This is a guy that announced his extension with his current club on Twitter.  This is a guy who went through the building process with his club and wants to be the glue that holds it all together as they strive toward the ultimate NBA prize.  You think Cavaliers fans can get behind something like that?

Only problem is he plays for a franchise that ripped the basketball heart out of the city of Seattle.  Many will try to claim that it is the city’s fault or whatever, but they said the same things about Michael White and the Browns.  The Sonics fans lost, regardless of who was to blame. [Read more...]

Cavs Finish Second Deal Under the Wire

According to reports the Cavs have made a deadline deal to send a second round pick in the 2013 draft (the one acquired in the Sessions deal) to the Boston Celtics for Turkish center Semih Erden and forward Luke Harangody. [Read more...]

NBA Trade Rumors: Cavs to Stay Put?

As the NBA trade deadline is just over 48 hours away, sources close to WFNY indicate that the most likely scenario will be Chris Grant and the Cleveland Cavaliers remaining as currently constructed for the remainder of the 2010-11 season.

The 10-46 Cavaliers have long been rumored to be shopping several players while receiving phone calls about others, but sources says that the front office is not currently looking for late draft picks, and what teams are currently offering the Cavs does not match up with what the Wine and Gold are asking for in return.  Much of the potential stalemate revolves around the pending expiration of the current Collective Bargaining Agreement, but the rest hinges on the fact that the team is fairly confident that it could purchase late first- or second-round draft selections if needed.

[Read more...]

NBA Trade Rumors: Celtics Join Bulls in Pursuit of Anthony Parker

Fresh off an 18-point, nine-assist performance, Cleveland Cavaliers guard Anthony Parker is all the buzz in the latest NBA trade rumors.

A crucial contributor in Cleveland’s upset over the Los Angeles Lakers Wednesday night, Parker already had been mentioned over the past few weeks, but potential talks are just starting to heat up now. The latest updates from ESPN.com’s Marc Stein say that the Boston Celtics now are inquiring about the 35-year-old veteran, joining the Chicago Bulls as the leading contender for his services.

The latest rumors speculate that the Cavaliers potentially are demanding a young big man or first round draft picks in any such trade. WFNY’s Andrew covered where Cleveland stands for the future just the other day in his All-Star Break feature, and Scott recently rated Parker as the team’s most likely player to be traded by the deadline on Thursday, Feb. 24. [Read more...]

On Bob Saget, Rajon Rondo and Being “Fine”

There’s a classic Saturday Night Live skit from the 1995 season where Bob Saget was the coach of a track team that looked like they should be doing just about anything that did not involve physical competition.  The skit takes place in between events, where Saget is there to help his team make what would be considered halftime adjustments. 

Glaring in disbelief at his team of obviously overmatched runners – which one could surmise without even laying eyes on the opponent – his only words of advice were to simply “run faster.”  One of his runners lost a race and the only question the coach had was “why didn’t you run faster?”  You know, as if one can just instantly become more athletic during a given event.

A similar scene is envisioned following the 106-87 loss to the Boston Celtics where the Cavaliers defenders were mere Wine and Gold-colored stand-ins, allowing their opponent to successfully execute lay-up after lay-up. [Read more...]

Cavaliers Preview Game #17: Celtics at Cavs

Boston Celtics (12-4) vs
Cleveland Cavaliers (7-9)
Quicken Loans Arena, Cleveland, OH
Tuesday, November 30, 2010
7:00 PM EST
FSOH/WTAM

Nobody is looking ahead to Thursday and everyone is focused on tonight’s game against the Celtics, right? I hope not. While it’s easy to understand the anticipation with Thursday’s homecoming game looming, this game tonight is still a big game for the Cavaliers. Sure, the Cavs are no longer the title contenders of years past, but any time you have a chance to try to beat the Celtics you should embrace how much fun it is. The Cavs-Celtics is by no means a major rivalry, but these two franchises do have a bit of a history with one another including some memorable playoff matches and it’s still a game I want the Cavs to win just a little more than most games. So for the rest of the evening, put LeBron and the Heat out of your minds and gear up for what will hopefully be another fun and exciting matchup with the Eastern Conference’s premier team. [Read more...]