July 22, 2014

Cleveland Cavaliers Midseason Progress Report

With half of the NBA season completed, now seems like a perfectly appropriate time to look at the progress we’ve seen from the Cleveland Cavaliers in the first half.

There’s no question the first half has been nothing short of a very pleasant surprise for Cleveland fans. It’s fair to say Kyrie Irving and Tristan Thompson have both been better than most people expected, Alonzo Gee has shown remarkable improvement, Daniel Gibson is playing the best defense of his career, Anderson Varejao was having a career year prior to injury, and all in all the team has shown identity, heart, effort, and a tenacity that has allowed them to win plenty of games they should have lost.

There have been growing pains, too. There have been nights off and moments of confusion, poor decisions, and poor execution. But that’s to be expected. Those are things you can live with and learn from when you are a developing basketball team. But the positives have mostly outweighed the negatives, despite the losing record, so let’s examine where the Cavaliers are now, and where we would like to see them grow from here. [Read more...]

Boobie: Cavs Have to Make Every Possession Count

This is one of the things, with us being a young team, that we have to learn. In this league, you have to value every possession and each one has to count and matter. You have to make the right play and I think we understand that as a team. When we’re on the floor, we have to make sure we enforce that.

- Guard Daniel “Boobie” Gibson following the Cavaliers’ 25-turnover loss to the Golden State Warriors

Cavaliers Live by the Three-Ball, if Just for One Night

Just one season ago, the Cleveland Cavaliers were being defeated by the three-point shot on what appeared to be a nightly basis. Whether it were the Los Angeles Lakers or Minnesota Timberwolves, the opposition drained the long-range shot with ease as the Wine and Gold allowed a league-worst 41.1 three-point field goal percentage.

Compiling their issues was the fact that the Cavs were not exactly rife with shooters when the ball was in their possession; this was even more so when Ramon Sessions (a career 21.4 percent shooter from three-point range) would sub in for Mo Williams (38.6 percent).

But just as the 2011-12 season has graced Cleveland with a breath of fresh air in terms of roster and attitude, a novation of play has apparently been instilled as well with the Cavaliers using the vaunted three-point field goal to their advantage. [Read more...]

Re-Sign or Release: Daniel Gibson

Back in May, 2008, we featured a little series called “Re-Sign or Release” where we went through every player on the Cavaliers roster and turned to the readers to see what they would do if they were the general manager of the Wine and Gold and – hypothetically, of course – all of the players were up to have their respective contracts renewed.

Same hypothetical this time around: We’re looking to build for the future; all players are restricted free agents, likely requiring a bit of a pay raise from last season.  Do you re-sign them? Andrew has already laid out the roadblocks currently facing the Cavaliers in 2011; now it’s your turn. Vote below and leave your support in the comments.

While he may look just as young (if not younger) than peers Christian Eyenga and Manny Harris, Daniel Gibson is set to enter into his sixth season with the Cavaliers.  Conversely, the shooting guard position was the second-worst on a PER-differential basis in 2010-11. Today, we take a look at what Gibson meant to the Wine and Gold in the past and ask you what he brings to the table for the future. [Read more...]

Cavaliers Season Ends with Many Important Lessons

Last night, Joe Tait fittingly put an end to an era.  I am not happy to see him go, but watching and listening to him end his career last night just seemed fitting.  I didn’t cry, but I didn’t dare say anything either with a lump in my throat the size of a grapefruit.  There never is a good time to say goodbye to those you love.  That goes for Joe Tait and the rest of the Cavaliers even as we all partook in one of the most difficult seasons in Cleveland Cavaliers history.  As Tait signed off for the last time, I couldn’t help but feel a sense of relief as this season leaves me with a multitude of feelings.  I feel tougher, smarter, hopeful and resilient to name a few.

The Cavaliers were schizophrenic in this season of change.  They embarrassed themselves and their fans on December 2nd in their first meeting against the Miami Heat.  They embarrassed us further with a 26 game losing streak.  In that stretch from November 30th  to February 11th when the Cavaliers finally beat the Clippers in overtime, the Cavaliers lost 36 out of 37 games.  One of those games was a 55-point defeat at the hands of the Los Angeles Lakers.  I could go on and on, but the fact remains that this season could have been the most miserable season ever.  Somehow it wasn’t though. [Read more...]

Cavs/Knicks: Baron Davis’ Debut, Boobie Gibson Still Out

The Cavaliers haven’t taken to the road in almost a month.  During their eight-game home stand, they managed to win their 10th straight game against the New York Knicks.

This time around, the Wine and Gold travel the Big Apple to take on the Amar’e/’Melo tandem with a new guard at their disposal as the newly-acquired Baron Davis is expected to make his debut. 

Acquired on February 24th in exchange for Mo Williams, Davis has taken part in practice and pregame shootarounds, but has not been cleared by head coach Byron Scott who wants to ensure that his reunion with Davis is not set back by injury.

[Read more...]

Cavs Come Up Short to Sixers in Final Seconds

As Cleveland has seen too many times before, a considerable lack of go-to weapons haunted the Cavaliers when they needed them the most.

Hosting the Philadelphia 76ers, down three points with less than one minute remaining, Cavs head coach Byron Scott drew up a play that would provide point guard Ramon Sessions with two different options that would hopefully tie up the contest.  Those options were Daniel Gibson and Anthony Parker who, up to that point in the evening, were a combined 3-of-19 from the floor.

Knowing that the Cavaliers would need three points and would try to find one of their two players who could convert said shot (the other two players on the floor were JJ Hickson and Samardo Samuels), the Philadelphia defense converged on Gibson and Parker, forcing Gibson to pass the ball away to Hickson who would attempt a quick shot.  The result was a smart defensive play by Philly’s Thaddeus Young and a crucial turnover (pictured above) that would ultimately end in a 95-91 win for the visiting team. [Read more...]

While We’re Waiting… LeBron Feuds With Gibson, Choo Injury, Marvin Benard?

While We’re Waiting serves as the early morning gathering of WFNY-esque information for your viewing pleasure. Have something you think we should see? Send it to our tips email at tips@waitingfornextyear.com.

The Cleveland sports Twitter-sphere exploded Saturday afternoon with reports of an argument between LeBron James and Daniel “Boobie” Gibson. Mind you, these are all rumors of course – such as these early Yard Barker and Cav Fanatic renditions – but this seems fairly logical: “Booby had a bday party at fortress downtown last night and said that he is the ‘new king of cleveland’ and Keyshia [Cole, his fiancee] is the new queen.

So #6 heard and that’s what his tweets are about. Then booby tweeted ‘complaining about someones tweets is like having the remote in your hand and not changing the channel.’ …” [@QueenB_RN/Twitter] h/t @CavsWITNESS [Read more...]

Previewing Cleveland’s Second Half Schedule

The All-Star Weekend has been nothing special for Cleveland Cavaliers fans thus far, so let’s take a look at what’s left in the 2010-2011 season.

Currently owning the NBA’s worst record at 10-46 at the break, the Cavs will hope to utilize several upcoming home games to gain some optimism heading into the offseason. After winning two of three games this past week, the team plays at the Quicken Loans Arena for six of its next seven contests beginning Wednesday, Feb. 23.

Only six more wins are necessary this season to avoid tying both the 1970-1971 inaugural roster and 1981-1982 squad for the worst record in franchise history. It’d also be nice to crack the 17 victory mark set just seven years ago as well, so let’s see what’s left on the table for Cleveland:

Thursday, Feb. 24 – The NBA trading deadline is coming up shortly, and much could be changed around the league by next Thursday. [Read more...]

While We’re Waiting… Browns Draft, Andre Miller, Troy Murphy Rumors

While We’re Waiting serves as the early morning gathering of WFNY-esque information for your viewing pleasure. Have something you think we should see? Send it to our tips email at tips@waitingfornextyear.com.

Previewing defensive ends and the Browns draft strategy: “If we are to read the signals slowly drifting out of Berea, the Cleveland Browns have quite the decision on their hands regarding the sixth overall pick in April’s draft.

Early media reports and mock draft projections, which unsurprisingly seem to parallel each other, seem to suggest that this year’s choice has not yet revealed itself. The odd combination of a 2010 uptick in player development mixed with the arrival of a largely new coaching staff has completely clouded even the most modest of draft projections.” [Dave Kolonich/The OBR Report]
[Read more...]

NBA All-Star Saturday Open Thread

Daniel Gibson will be the sole Cleveland Cavaliers participant in NBA All-Star Weekend – deservedly or not – and he has his chance to shine Saturday night. Some of the league’s top dunkers, skills competition contestants and three-point bombers will fight for some cool trophies beginning at 8 p.m. tonight.

Follow along as we see if Gibson can ride the momentum of Wednesday’s upset over the Lakers to a clutch performance in Los Angeles. For those who remember, during his second NBA season, he won MVP of the Rookie Challenge and finished runner-up in this particular event. Ball Don’t Lie previewed all of tonight’s fun, and provided this glimpse on Boobie’s chances:

“Daniel Gibson is the smallest participant in a contest that hasn’t been kind to shorter guards all that often. Steve Kerr, Mark Price, Voshon Lenard, Daequan Cook and Tim Legler have all had their luck (Jeff Hornacek had a few inches on that group), but more often than not the shorter, sweet-shooting guards fall, eh, short. Prove me wrong Daniel, and give Cavs fans a thrill in an otherwise tough season.”

Daniel Gibson Will Take His Shot, But Should He?

The All-Star break for the members of this year’s Cavalier team is all about rest, as opposed to participating in the festivities. Except for one Cavalier: Daniel Gibson who will be taking part in the 3 point shoot-out. We know that Daniel deserves to be there, his .443 shooting percentage from behind the arc is 5th best in the league, and 3rd best in the league for players with more than 150 triples attempted.

The question I have isn’t about Gibson deserving to be there, but rather should he participate given his injury troubles this year?

Perhaps I’m just too much of a team-first guy, but it seems that Daniel has struggled to stay on the court this season, and could use the full 5 days of rest the Cavaliers are scheduled for.

Yes, the three point contest is not like playing in an actual game, where there is a higher chance for an ankle to be rolled or a foot to be stepped on. Gibson though has been troubled lately with a quad strain. Last time I checked the quad was certainly used in the jump shooting motion. And it isn’t just about the 20 or 40 shots he may take in the contest. On the Cavaliers’ official site there is video of Daniel practicing for the contest. How many more times will he practice? How many shots will he take in preparation for the event? [Read more...]

Boobie Gibson to Represent Cleveland in Foot Locker Three-Point Contest

The Cleveland Cavaliers will have a representative in Los Angeles during the All-Star weekend as Daniel Gibson will be one of six participants in the Foot Locker Three-Point Contest.

Taking place on February 19, Gibson will square off against Ray Allen, Paul Pierce, Dorell Wright, James Jones and Kevin Durant.  Presently, Gibson is 10thin the NBA in three-point percentage (.439) and is fifthamong those withat least 150 attempts.  Due to missing several games with various injuries, Gibson ranks 27th in the league overall in terms of three-pointers made.

Golden State’s Wright leads all NBA players with 124 three-pointers made with  Boston’s Allen coming in third with 115. [Read more...]

Cavs Set Single Season Consecutive Loss Record

The Cavaliers lost to the Portland Trail Blazers last night to set a new single season NBA consecutive loss record.  It was the 24th consecutive loss for a team that has not won a game since December 18th.  They have lost an absurd 34 out of 35 games.  They did not blow a lead in the fourth quarter as they did in Memphis on Friday but the Cavs were once again competitive throughout this contest.  The Cavaliers defense simply cannot get stops at the end of games when they need to (this happens at the beginning and middle of games as well).  There 3 point defense has plagued them all season and it was the driving reason why they lost again last night and broke the record.

[Read more...]

The One Where Cleveland Allows Orlando to Pull Down 24 Offensive Rebounds

The Cleveland Cavaliers are among the league worst in offensive rebound rate, clocking in with a percentage of 22.87.  This statement is unlikely to surprise given that this year’s crop is chilling in the cellar when it comes to almost every statistical measure known to man.

However, when you consider that the Cavaliers are surrounded by – when it comes to ORR – Atlanta, Denver, Dallas and Boston, things may not seem so bad. It’s been a while since they were mentioned in similar breath.  Even more surprising, through the 2010-11 season, the Orlando Magic pull down approximately 25.19 percent of offensive rebounding opportunities; nothing that would normally provide a large advantage over an opponent on a given night.

Unless said opponent is the Cleveland Cavaliers. [Read more...]

While We’re Waiting… Kosar Thoughts, Jeff Fisher, Holmgren’s Packers

While We’re Waiting serves as the early morning gathering of WFNY-esque information for your viewing pleasure. Have something you think we should see? Send it to our tips email at tips@waitingfornextyear.com.

Continued perspectives on the Bernie Kosar rumors with several other NFL teams, and what the Browns should do next: “Now, merely hiring Kosar as a greeter, even a well-paid one, or as some other figurehead position haphazardly created for fan service purposes is not going to do it (See Brown, Jim).” [Doug/Cleveland Sports Torture]

I know this was on my mind as soon as this news broke: “With Jeff Fisher parting ways with the Tennessee Titans earlier this week, there is no doubt that a number of Browns fans were playing the ‘what if’ game.” [Steve DiMatteo/Dawg Pound Daily] [Read more...]

Cavs Mailbag: Boobie’s Wedding, Scott’s Commitment, and Potential Trades

Q: Will there be any teammates included in Daniel Gibson’s upcoming wedding to Keyshia Cole?  – Carolyn Cooper, @Cavalette23

[Read more...]

Losing Streak Hits 17 as Cavs Let One Slip Away to Nets

With 1.4 seconds remaining on the clock, Daniel Gibson ran off of a screen and was open in the near-side corner.  Teammate Joey Graham hit him with the pass, Gibson squared, released and watched.

In what could have been slow motion, the ball rotated perfectly, was in line, but caught just enough of the back of the rim and bounced out.  The end result was a New Jersey Nets win, 103-101, and the Cavalier’s 17th straight loss.

“I had the range,” said Gibson. “When I let it go, I thought it was good. I really thought it was good. It caught a little bit of the back rim.”

Following the miss, Gibson crumbled to the floor and sat with his head on his wrists, both resting on his knees.  The purveyor of many past three-point conversions (10th in the NBA in threes made, seventh in three-point percentage), Gibson said that all he could think about was how making that shot would have brought smiles to the faces of his teammates and the fans back in Cleveland.  [Read more...]

Cavs News and Notes: Fanatic Jerseys, Bucks Preview, and Eyenga Returns

Byron Scott won’t say it, but it appears that this Cavaliers team is continually chasing their collective tail. 

Heading into Wednesday’s game, Scott and his staff were stressing the increased use of a “show” defense to help give the young and injured Cavs a chance to win games.  The defensive emphasis worked as the Wine and Gold found themselves within three points of the visiting Phoenix Suns, only to fall short in executing on the offensive end.

On Thursday’s practice, Scott discussed how select players were having trouble with specific plays on offense despite being with the team for a full season.  Hopefully working out those kinks at the Cleveland Clinic Courts, the attention turns back to defense as the team welcomes the Milwaukee Bucks to town on Friday night.

“You have to be ready for a physical battle [with Milwaukee],” said Scott following Friday’s shootaround. “They’re a physical team and we have to be ready to match that from the start. We cannot give up a 38-point quarter to start against this team.” [Read more...]

Improved Cavs Defense Offers a Sign of Hope in Loss to Suns

Seeking to ramp up the defensive pressure, Byron Scott’s Cavaliers caught a glimpse of what hard-nosed defense can do for a team, regardless of talent level or injuries.

After allowing the Suns to run a verifiable lay-up line in the first half, converting on 52.2 percent of their shots, the young and hobbled Wine and Gold managed to trim a 17-point deficit down to three with just three minutes to go in the game.  Though the final outcome was a 106-98 loss, the Cavaliers managed to trim such a sizable point differential via defense, holding the Suns to just 41.1 percent shooting and forcing 10 turnovers.

“I thought in the first half our guys still looked a little confused on some of the things we wanted to change and some of the things we wanted to do but in the second half, after coming in at halftime and seeing (what we were doing on film), I thought they did a much better job,” said Byron Scott postgame. “Again, that’s the part we have to build on and that is exactly what I told them; not taking a couple of steps back or a step back, we have to take a couple of steps forward come Friday night.”

[Read more...]