April 25, 2014

While We’re Waiting… MISSING MASCOT!!

Cleveland sports fans are waiting. Thus, while we’re all waiting, the WFNY editors thought you might enjoy reading. Because you never know how long we might be waiting. So here are assorted reading goodies for you to enjoy. Send more good links for tomorrow’s edition to tips@waitingfornextyear.com.

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“Can a superstar-less team win a championship again? The last occurrence of that feat came in 2004, via the Billups – Hamilton – Prince – Wallace Brothers starting five. Last season though, two of the NBA’s final four were superstar-less. The Pacers and Grizzlies greatly resembled those 2004 Pistons. Arguably, current day, 36-year old Tim Duncan isn’t a superstar on the level of in-their-prime Lebron James, Kobe Bryant, Kevin Garnett, or Duncan; ESPN’s #NBARank considers him the league’s 16th best player. Three of last year’s final four teams put themselves in near position to win a championship without a current #NBARank top-ten player, and with a few lucky breaks (or maybe more appropriately, a sprain, perhaps to Lebron’s ankle) could win one this season. As a team in a market like Cleveland – similar to Indy or Memphis to some extent — isn’t that the target to build towards? Other than Kevin Durant, recent “superstars” in a non-marquee market have bailed on the franchise that drafted them.” [Hetrick/Cavs the Blog] [Read more...]

NBA Rumors: Cavaliers interested in veteran guard Chauncey Billups

In need of a reserve point guard and some veteran leadership, the Cleveland Cavaliers are reportedly expressing interest in the 36-year-old Chauncey Billups.

Yahoo! Sports’ Marc Spears reports that, with the Los Angeles Clippers recently acquiring J.J. Redick and Jared Dudley, Billups could be on the outside looking in. The Cavs—along with the San Antonio Spurs, Dallas Mavericks, Sacramento Kings, Brooklyn Nets and Minnesota Timberwolves—are, in turn, looking to take advantage. This news follows a recent report stating that Billups was “interested” in joining the Miami Heat if things did not work out in Los Angeles.

Billups started all 22 regular-season games he played at shooting guard for the Clippers last season. He spent a good portion of the year rehabilitating from a Achilles surgery, but reportedly has no intentions of retiring despite the desire to have a front office position following the end of his playing days. Though averaging just 8.4 points per game for the Clippers in 2012-13, Billups averaged 15.0 points and 4.0 assists per game a season earlier.

Following the drafting of forward Anthony Bennett and guards Sergey Karasev and Carrick Felix, Cavaliers GM Chris Grant discussed the importance of veterans in a locker room full of younger players. The Cavaliers have also been linked to point guards Darren Collison and C.J. Watson, though it appears the latter is going to sign with the Indiana Pacers upon the July 10 window being opened.

[Related: The NBA Draft may be complete, but Chris Grant’s job is just getting started]

NBA Lockout: Cavs PF Samardo Samuels is Working on His Jumper

Former Cavalier assistant coach Chris Jent may no longer be employed by the Cleveland NBA franchise, but this has not stopped him from helping improve the shot of players who don the Wine and Gold. 

Following in the footsteps of forwards LeBron James and JJ Hickson, 22-year-old power forward Samardo Samuels has reportedly spent time with Jent during the impasse-ridden offseason, hoping to improve his game away from the basket.  Per The Plain Dealer’s Mary Schmitt Boyer, Samuels has been working on his game for the last several months, ranging from private workouts to Impact League basketball out in Las Vegas, teaming up with the likes of New York Knicks point guard Chauncey Billups.

Within the interview with Boyer, Samuels spoke highly of being able to play alongside guys who know how to win basketball games - “Everybody can dunk these days,” the 265-pound bruising big man said, “but you remember wins.”  And while the fun and winning and high-level intramural basketball is all well and good, it is his work with Jent that could help transition Samuels from a player who contributed to a 19-win team to one who could help be a key contributor to an NBA team beyond his early-20s.  [Read more...]

Cavs Fall Apart Late in Loss to Nuggets. Troubling Sign or One Bad Game?

LeBron refereeNuggets 99, Cavaliers 97 [Box]

Well that was not too much fun to watch. Coming into the contest, hopes were high as the Cavs looked to gain a game on the major four powers in the NBA. Earlier in the day filled with great basketball action, the Lakers, Celtics, Magic and Spurs all lost their games, giving Cleveland a late-night opportunity to gain some ground on all of these elite teams. Instead however, the Cavs laid a goose egg of a performance at the Pepsi Center in Colorado, collapsing late while playing sloppy offense throughout.

For the second time in as many Western Conference road trips, the Cleveland Basketball Cavaliers began by playing one of the top-tier teams in the other conference that was missing a star player. Dirk Nowitzki was not on the court when Tim Thomas and the resilient Mavs took down Cleveland in Dallas and this time, the Nuggets were without both Carmelo Anthony and rookie sensation Ty Lawson. That would not matter again tonight, as LeBron James had one of the worst performances of the year (despite finishing with 35 points, six rebounds and seven assists) and the Cavaliers blew a three-point lead with less than two minutes to go.
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Cavaliers Preview #38: Cavs at Nuggets

71797820MM003_Cavs_NuggCleveland Cavaliers (28-9)
at Denver Nuggets (22-13)
Pepsi Center, Denver, CO
Friday, January 8, 2010
10:30 PM ET
WTAM 1100 AM, ESPN/HD

The Cavaliers begin their epic five-game Western swing tonight with a meeting against the Nuggets at the Pepsi Center. The site of the first big game of LeBron’s career against fellow 2003 draftee Carmelo Anthony will host a different setting tonight. Still one of the hottest teams in the league, the Cavs will look to keep their momentum rolling tonight against a constantly banged-up Denver team. Chauncey Billups returns from the disabled list this evening but Carmelo Anthony remains doubtful along with two other reserve injuries for the Nugs.

Once this road trip is completed, the Cavaliers will have played 27 of their first 42 contests of the season on the road. That number will by far lead the league, but a few wins will definitely be necessary for that mark to look impressive at all come March or April. Denver, Portland and Utah are three perennial playoff contenders in the West while the team cannot afford to slip up against the Clippers or Warriors as well. Things kick off on the West coast tonight with LeBron and his club looking to get started off on the right foot against the Nuggets.
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Should The Lakers Be Worried?

nuggets

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An Open Letter to Antonio McDyess

Antonio McDyessIt wasn’t all that long ago that you, Antonio McDyess, were traded by your team, the Detroit Pistons.  You were a part of a trade that many can now look back and say was the beginning of the end in terms of the era - Chauncey Billups to Denver, where he is now helping his team put up historical wins in the post-season.  And in a strange twist of fate, the Nuggets released you not long after, allowing you to sign with whomever you chose after a 30-day waiting period.

You were persued heavily by the the Boston Celtics as well as the Cleveland Cavaliers.  At the time, Ben Wallace was a bit banged up and our front court was not doing very well.  While it is not certain what terms you had turned down, the Cavaliers could have offered you multiple seasons, that would have paid you at least $5 million this year alone.  Instead, you opted for the remaining $1.9 million from the Pistons, claiming “obligation to finish what you had started.”  Something that we could respect, but not something that made us very happy as Cavs fans.

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Detroit Series Story Being Told in Denver (Again)

chaunceybillupsI know most of you can’t stay up late enough to watch the NBA playoff matchup of Nuggets vs. Hornets.  Both of the first two games of the series started at 10:30 PM EST.  Well, after game two, Denver is up by two over Chris Paul and the Hornets.  Also, game two can be described using two words that are really very painful for fans in Detroit.  Chauncey Billups.

Last night (err this morning. Thanks NBA!) Chauncey Billups did to the Hornets what he used to do to the Eastern Conference.  He dominating while facilitating.  Last night Billups had 31 points on 8-15 shooting including 4-6 from three point land.  All the while, he had 4 assists and 4 rebounds.  His ability to finish off the ball as a spot up shooter allowed Carmelo Anthony and Kenyon Martin to get 15 assists last night combined. [Read more...]

While We’re Waiting… Edwards-to-Giants Dead?, Big Ben Chimes In, Whither Chauncey, and Jackets Fans Preach Patience

While We’re Waiting aims to be the round-up of the recent WFNY-esque information for your morning viewing. DP takes a stab at it this morning. If you like these links, thank DP. If you don’t, it was all Scott’s fault. Have something you think we should see? Send it to our tips email in the sidebar.

edwards-actual-catch

Perhaps we haven’t given the Nard-Dawg enough credit: “According to a source familiar with the situation, the Giants no longer see any hope of acquiring … Cleveland receiver [Braylon Edwards] and are moving forward with their plans to take a receiver early in the NFL draft. The sticking point still appears to be GM Jerry Reese’s refusal to part with the Giants’ first-round pick and the Browns’ refusal to take anything less. It’s pretty much been that way since Reese and Browns GM George Kokinis first talked about Edwards in February, but until very recently there was at least some optimism inside the Giants’ organization that one of the two sides would blink. Reese has no plans to blink, the source said, and the Giants are now convinced that Kokinis won’t either.” [Ralph Vacchiano/NY Daily News]

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Did Terry Pluto Just Jinx the Cavs?

Don't Believe in Witch Doctors

Don't Believe in Witch Doctors

This morning Terry Pluto put all the nails in the coffin of the Pistons even before the playoffs begin.  He wrote an article stating that the Pistons could win a game or two, but that they have “None.Zip.Nada.” chance of actually beating the Cavaliers.  He even goes on to say in the article that he is sure fans are “revving” up their emails about how Pluto has just jinxed the Cavaliers and inspired Detroit.  So, did Terry just jinx the Cavaliers?

Simply put, no.  He hasn’t “jinxed” the Cavaliers.  You know why?  Jinxes aren’t real and Terry Pluto doesn’t have special powers.

The Cavaliers are truly this good.  If they fail to show up and play against Detroit they could lose the series.  If someone gets hurt and is unable to perform, the Cavaliers could lose the series.  But, if the Cavaliers show up at their capability level, they will beat Detroit at their maximum.  It is as much a statement praising Chauncey Billups and the Pistons of old as it is a statement about the Cavaliers. [Read more...]

While We’re Waiting… More on Shaun Rogers, Celtics Lose to Clippers, and a Delonte West Injury Update

While We’re Waiting aims to be the round-up of the recent WFNY-esque information for your morning viewing. Have something you think we should see? Send it to our tips email in the sidebar.

Another thought on the Shaun Rogers/Eric Mangini issue: “The NFL collective bargaining agreement ends at the end of the 2010 season. This brings some uncertainty to free agency and the dollars teams will be able to spend. The threat of Lockout by the Owners is making agents and players approaching their peak earning years very, very nervous. Players are looking to cash in now under the current agreement. Rogers may just be the first in line of players looking to opt out and sign a short term, high guaranteed dollar contract, vs. a long term, high total dollar contract. (notice the Nnamde Asomugha contract. Biggest contract in the NFL. HUGE dollars in the first two years, all guaranteed, with a club option for the third year. If the CBA changes the salary cap structure, the Raiders can opt out of the top contract in the league in year 3).” [Shaver Sports]

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Mo Williams, Boobie Gibson Spark Comeback Win Over Detroit

LeBron James blows past Rasheed Wallace (Photo by D. Lippitt/Einstein/NBAE via Getty Images)

LeBron James blows past Rasheed Wallace (Photo by D. Lippitt/Einstein/NBAE via Getty Images)

Cavaliers 90, Pistons 80 [box]

Somewhere in the midst of a twelve hour Super Bowl pregame, the Cleveland Cavaliers were duking it out on a national stage against their division rivals.  A team that has had their only speed bumps of the season when not in the confines of The Q was once again on the road, heading to a place where things did not exactly fair well during their last visit.  Still down a key portion of their team in Delonte West, the Cavs appeared to be on their way to another road loss.

Down eight points in the third quarter, the Cavaliers appeared stagnant at best.  Diverting from the motion offense that had done them wonders earlier in the season, there were several moments where LeBron James would bring the ball up the floor – with Mo Williams taking a back seat – and then launching a jump shot of some sort.  They looked tired, uninspired and simply bored at some points.  I commend any fan that was able to watch this game without screaming at the television at some point; but if you did, at least two members of the Cavaliers heard you: Mo Williams and Daniel “Boobie” Gibson. 

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Iverson for Billups Rumored Close

Chauncey BillupsAccording to those ubiquitous “sources” that seem to be quoted so frequently in the media, the Nuggets and Pistons have agreed in principal on a trade that would really change the landscape of the Cavs’ division and the East overall.

According to ESPN

The Nuggets and Pistons have agreed in principle on a trade that would send Allen Iverson to Detroit and Chauncey Billups, Antonio McDyess and Cheikh Samb to Denver, sources have told ESPN.

The deal has not been finalized.

I am not sure exactly how I feel about this yet. [Read more...]

How About Chauncey Billups?

Chauncey BillupsI know that we may be a bit late in covering this, but I felt that it was very apropos given the current state of the Cavaliers. As you all know, the Detroit Pistons have been bounced from the Eastern Conference Finals yet again. While I wish it was at the hands of the Cavs, you can’t help but think that they are just as frustrated as Clevelanders are. They’ve fired their coach, and GM Joe Dumars is not happy.

How unhappy? Well, it looks like he’s blowing up the team – the same team that has been atop the Central for as long as I can remember. The one that won a Championship not all too long ago, and the one that features several All-Stars each year. At the the top of the list of players likely to be moved?

Point guard Chauncey Billups. [Read more...]

Cavaliers Embarrassed On The Road…Again

LeBron James“Embarrassed” actually may be an understatement for this one. Heading in to Detroit for a much-needed win, it seems as if the only “W” that LeBron James was able to Witness was thanks to Stephen Curry of Davidson in the NCAA game the night before because losing by 14 to a division rival is simply awful when you’re one year removed from the NBA Finals. Yes, it’s great that this game clinched a playoffs spot for the Cavs, but at this rate we won’t be playing very many games in the post season because this team simply has a TON of work to do if they are going to be successful.

I mentioned earlier this week that with all of the injuries that this team has recently sustained, they have been unable to find a perfect rotation. Reading Brian Windhorst’s blog regarding the game, it appears that this is more troubling than I had originally thought. Not only has the rotation been an issue, but the plays and the ability to answer different defensive sets is apparently still in a state of flux.

Based on my conversations with players and coaches, I think of one the reasons the Cavs and LeBron couldn’t answer the move to put Rip Hamilton on him was due to the limited plays they have installed on offense. I am told they are not yet ready to operate with LeBron in the post because they aren’t crisp with how to handle the double teams. These are the penalites you pay when you make an 11-player deal this late in the season. Not everyone is up to speed, things have been forgotten, things are in disarray.

Disarray may have been putting it kindly. When you’re unable to fully utilize one of the best players in the game due to the personel changes surrounding him, this late in the season, you could be in some big, big trouble.

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