August 17, 2014

Kyrie vs Rose: (Almost) The Matchup We’ve All Been Waiting For

NBA: Cleveland Cavaliers at Chicago BullsIt’s the matchup three years in the making that all of us have been waiting to see. Well, sort of. On Monday night in Chicago, Kyrie Irving and Derrick Rose will play against one another in an NBA game for the first time. That’s the good news. The bad news is that neither player is really playing like themselves so far this young season.

Rose is certainly struggling more than Irving this season, and perhaps that’s to be expected. After not playing in more than a year recovering from his ACL tear and surgery, Rose has a lot of rust to dispose of. After averaging more than 21.8 points and 7.7 assists per game in his previous two seasons, Rose is down to just 14.4 points and 4 assists per game this season. Rose is averaging more turnovers per game than any other player in the league (5.0 turnovers per game) and his PER is a staggering 5.271. A career 46.1% FG shooter, he’s shooting just 32.0% this season. Never one to struggle going at the rim (he’s never shot worse than 52% from inside 8 feet), he’s suddenly shooting just 35.9% from inside 8 feet this year. In other words, getting back to his form has been a bit of a struggle for Rose.

Irving, on the other hand, is experiencing some troubles of his own, but very different struggles from Rose.

[Read more...]

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Footnotes:

  1. the previous two seasons he had PERs of 23.62 and 23.10 []

NBA playoffs, Armonty Bryant, Browns Draft, 2013 NBA playoffs, Death Cab, Nine Inch Nails with Andrew – WFNY Podcast – 2013-05-07

WFNY Podcast LogoAndrew and I got rolling and in what seemed like a few minutes, 50 of those bad boys went floating by. We talked about some business of sports by comparing it to the business of the music industry. We talked about the NBA playoffs, the Cavs, the Browns draft and pretty much everything else other than the Indians. We like the Indians though.

  • Spotify and the business of music

  • Ben Gibbard of Death Cab yelling at me on Twitter

  • Nine Inch Nails and their sales experiments

  • The business of baseball and the bubble

  • You can’t make it harder for people to buy what you do

  • The network battles and bringing it to the people

  • The emergence of Steph Curry as a superstar

  • The Bulls and the coaching job that Tom Thibodeau is doing

  • Derrick Rose still in the street clothes

  • Can Mike Brown coach a team to stop LeBron James?

  • Why are there no more Bruce Bowen types of players?

  • Has the lockdown defensive specialist become extinct?

  • Jason Kidd’s late career three point ability

  • Armonty Bryant and whether there’s a spot for him in Cleveland

  • Are the Browns going to be an organization that turns troubled players around?

  • Javarris James’ arrest when he was a member of the Colts

  • What about trading a pick to the Steelers?

  • Shamarko Thomas and how exactly could the Browns keep the Steelers away?

  • The Browns coaching staff and whether or not it’s better than what they replaced

  • How much Browns stigma can Browns fans thrust on new people?

  • Are Browns fans doing it to themselves? [Read more...]

NBA Talk: Kyrie Irving better than Derrick Rose?

ESPN’s Chris Palmer sure thinks so.

 

 

Those are some pretty bold statements, considering that Irving is only 90 games into his career and we haven’t seen Derrick Rose, the 2011 MVP, since he tore his knee during last season’s playoffs.

Let’s take a look at Rose and Irving’s head-to-head matchups and see how they stack up to each other….

Oh, that’s right, Rose and Irving have never faced each other. Last year, Irving sat out the late season games against the Bulls due to tanking an illness and Rose hasn’t played at all this season (making Cleveland’s lopsided losses to the Bulls even more cringe worthy).

I look forward to the day when these two Central Division All-Stars will face off. Both Rose and Irving were taken first overall in their respective drafts and both won Rookie of the Year. Rose is the better athlete while Irving is the better shooter, especially from long range (Rose is a career 31% from behind the arc, Irving sits at 41%).

Rose hopes to return to the court some time after next weekends All-Star break, but there’s no set date. If the two 6-3, 190lb guards were to face off this season, their only chance would be later this month when the Cavs visit Chicago, on Tuesday, February 26th.

[Related: Pros and Cons of Greg Oden]

What kinds of fans is the NBA catering to now?

I want to root for the Cavaliers and the Cavaliers only. I’ve stated that a lot of times over the past year. I don’t want to watch superstar matchups on TNT and crack about Craig Sager and the boys back in the studio unless the Cavaliers are playing. This season that meant that I didn’t watch a TNT broadcast all year long.1 More and more though, I think those TNT fans are the target market of the NBA. And now, I have proof, albeit anecdotal.

I was walking around Aurora Farms the other day and I ran into a pack of dudes who were probably high school seniors. Certainly old enough to drive themselves to the conglomeration of stores. They were white kids, walking around talking about the NBA all wearing jerseys.2 One had Kevin Durant. One had Derrick Rose. One had the Houston Rockets iteration of Tracy McGrady and one had Raptors Vince Carter.3 They were quizzing each other on facts about their respective guys as I happened to run into them in both the Nike and Under Armour stores.

“Hey. Do you know what number Durant wears for the Olympics?”4 They were really having a lot of fun talking about the NBA while wearing their jerseys in a clear Cavaliers market with nary a Cavalier represented among them. [Read more...]

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Footnotes:

  1. OK. I watched one game when my family and I were driving to Orlando for vacation and it was on in the hotel bar somewhere in Georgia while I was unwinding with a beer. But I didn’t control the TV and I couldn’t hear the sound, so I don’t think it counts, really. []
  2. They had neither sleeves nor the proverbial “guns” to justify going sleeveless, but that’s irrelevant to the story. []
  3. Wouldn’t it be ironic if the McGrady and Carter duo were cousins just like McGrady and Vince Carter are? []
  4. The answer is 5, BTW. []

Skip Bayless: “For next 10 yrs better believe I’ll take Kyrie over D-Rose”

Whether you love him, hate him, or are just sick of hearing him yell, Skip Bayless gave Cavaliers’ rookie Kyrie Irving a huge compliment.

Through Bayless’ twitter feed he had this to say about Irving-

“For next 10 yrs better believe I’ll take Kyrie over DRose. Much better shooter, passer. Little quicker but not as strong (yet). More clutch. Kyrie: pure PG who can score. DRose is a primary scorer/2 guard masquerading as a PG. Both good kids. But Kyrie more QB who can take over.”

Bayless earned a reputation in Cleveland for being extremely hard on LeBron James during his years in Cleveland. He consistently said James lacked a killer instinct and deferred too often in big situations before the rest of the media began to say the same.

During today’s First Take show, Bayless argued that Irving is the better shooter, has better instincts and makes better decisions already at age 19.

[Related: Byron Bucks the “Timeout Rule” En Route to Win Over Nuggets]

Cavaliers Host Bulls as Kyrie Irving Prepares for Derrick Rose

Cavaliers hope to avoid another thrashing from the Bulls

Once again, a point guard matchup will be the focus of all eyes.

Kyrie Irving, #1 pick, Rookie of the Year candidate, and hope of a rebuilding franchise squares off with Derrick Rose, former #1 pick, former Rookie of the Year, and former hope of a rebuilding franchise.

The Cleveland Cavaliers (13-20, 10th in the East) return home to the Q where they will host the Chicago Bulls (29-8, 2nd in the East). The last time these teams played, the Bulls (without Rose) dismantled the Cavaliers. It might take a miracle to avoid that fate once more.

The Cavaliers are slipping. The loss of Anderson Varejao really seems to be catching up to them now, teams seem to be adjusting to Kyrie Irving, the momentum Antawn Jamison seemed to be developing before the All-Star break has gone, and there simply aren’t enough players stepping up right now. [Read more...]

Thorpe: Kyrie Irving’s Current PER Bests Evans, Rose’s Rookie Totals

In the ever-growing arena of “maybe last year’s draft class wasn’t as bad as we thought” mea culpa-type of pieces, ESPN Scouts Inc.’s David Thorpe discussed the year-to-date play of NBA rookies. Though Minnesota’s Ricky Rubio wasn’t a part of the 2011 NBA Draft, the individual who presently stands at the top is.

Per Thorpe:

Kyrie Irving, Cavaliers
(Drafted No. 1 overall; current rookie rank: No. 1)

As a rookie, Derrick Rose posted a player efficiency rating (PER) of 16.05, well below the 18.28 that the following season’s rookie of the year, Tyreke Evans, put up. Mike Conley struggled some in Year 1 with a 12.58 PER (and an early-season injury), and John Wall finished his first season with a 15.85 PER.

So when I tell you that Irving — another one-and-done point guard taken in the top five of the draft — has a PER north of 21, it’s easy to see how special that is, especially since he barely played during his one season at Duke.

Rose, Evans, Conley and Wall all had monster freshman seasons in college and each seemed ready for the NBA when he declared for the draft. Irving likely would have as well, if not for a toe injury that limited him to 11 NCAA games. But no matter; the Cavs rookie arrived in the NBA ready to start — and star — for his franchise. Irving’s stats show the deep and varied impact he’s having already, and that includes helping the Cavs win games. With Irving as their best player, the Cavs have quickly recovered from last season’s 19-63 record and are now legit playoff contenders in the East.

The best news comes in the form of their future. Of the point guards mentioned above, only Evans regressed after his rookie season, while Rose and Conley have greatly improved and Wall looks poised to explode as this season unfolds. Considering how few games Irving has played since his last game in high school, his learning curve is even steeper than the others listed. So as he catches up, his game can take off to an even higher level.

It’s worth pointing out, especially in the instances of comparing per-game totals, that Irving continues to average less than 28 minutes per contest yet still finds himself listed at the top of nearly every rookie ranking. Both Rose and Evans averaged 37 minutes per contest during their rookie campaign.

Box Score: Chicago Bulls 114, Cleveland Cavaliers 75

Oof. Cleveland fans, this was not a good showing by the Cavaliers. Kyrie Irving got the Cavs started early with 11 quick points. It was all downhill from there as the Cavaliers shot 30% while allowing the Bulls to have their way in the paint. Chicago finished shooting 55.4%.

Oh, and Derrick Rose didn’t play.

Cavaliers:

Starters Pos Min FG 3Pt FT +/- Off Reb Ast TO Stl BS BA PF Pts
K. Irving G 22:29 5-11 3-4 0-0 -9 2 2 3 2 0 0 1 1 13
A. Parker G 18:29 2-6 0-1 0-0 -2 0 0 3 1 1 0 0 0 4
A. Varejao C 26:55 5-9 0-0 4-4 -10 4 7 0 4 1 2 1 1 14
A. Jamison F 30:42 1-10 0-2 2-3 -14 1 8 2 1 1 2 0 3 4
O. Casspi F 19:36 4-9 1-1 0-0 -8 2 3 0 0 0 1 2 1 9
Bench Min FG 3Pt FT +/- Off Reb Ast TO Stl BS BA PF Pts
Totals 27-89 7-14 14-19 18 38 13 14 7 6 16 17 75
Percentages .303 .500 .737 Team Rebounds: 5
R. Sessions 27:27 3-12 0-1 1-2 -35 0 2 3 2 1 0 1 3 7
D. Gibson 26:45 2-10 2-3 0-0 -31 1 3 1 0 2 1 2 3 6
A. Gee 24:46 2-6 1-2 2-2 -28 4 7 1 2 1 0 3 4 7
T. Thompson 17:18 2-10 0-0 0-2 -25 4 5 0 1 0 0 4 0 4
S. Samuels 9:08 1-4 0-0 2-2 -11 0 0 0 0 0 0 1 0 4
L. Harangody 6:39 0-1 0-0 2-2 -8 0 0 0 0 0 0 1 0 2
S. Erden 5:18 0-1 0-0 0-0 -10 0 0 0 1 0 0 0 1 0
R. Hollins 4:28 0-0 0-0 1-2 -4 0 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 1
C. Eyenga DNP – Inactive
M. Thompson DNP – Inactive

Bulls:

Starters Pos Min FG 3Pt FT +/- Off Reb Ast TO Stl BS BA PF Pts
C.J. Watson G 30:50 4-8 2-3 5-6 +23 0 3 7 3 2 0 0 2 15
R. Hamilton G 25:38 6-10 0-0 1-1 +15 1 3 3 4 0 0 1 2 13
J. Noah C 31:46 4-7 0-0 0-0 +19 4 10 0 1 1 2 2 1 8
L. Deng F 33:11 8-13 1-2 4-4 +29 2 8 2 4 2 2 0 3 21
C. Boozer F 31:21 9-15 0-0 1-1 +24 4 14 4 3 2 2 3 2 19
Bench Min FG 3Pt FT +/- Off Reb Ast TO Stl BS BA PF Pts
Totals 46-83 6-9 16-17 13 54 27 20 9 16 6 23 114
Percentages .554 .667 .941 Team Rebounds: 8
R. Brewer 20:50 2-7 0-0 0-0 +27 0 1 5 0 0 1 0 1 4
K. Korver 15:09 5-8 2-3 2-2 +13 1 1 2 0 0 0 0 1 14
O. Asik 14:01 2-3 0-0 0-0 +16 0 7 1 2 0 3 0 5 4
J. Lucas 9:02 3-5 1-1 2-2 +7 0 1 1 0 0 0 0 2 9
B. Scalabrine 8:26 2-3 0-0 0-0 +5 1 3 1 1 1 1 0 1 4
M. James 8:08 1-3 0-0 1-1 +9 0 2 1 1 1 1 0 1 3
T. Gibson 6:54 0-1 0-0 0-0 +6 0 0 0 0 0 2 0 1 0
J. Butler 4:44 0-0 0-0 0-0 +2 0 1 0 1 0 2 0 1 0
D. Rose DNP – Inactive

 

 

Cavaliers’ Schedule Gets Tougher With Chicago Bulls In Town

Joakim Noah, Cleveland-hater

The Cleveland Cavaliers (6-7) officially kick off the most brutal part of their schedule Friday night when they host the Eastern Conference leading Chicago Bulls (13-3) to the Q.

This game is naturally being billed as the first showdown between Derrick Rose and Kyrie Irving, a pair of young PGs who will be playing a lot of games against each other in the next few years. Of course Rose, the reigning MVP and one of the absolute best players in the game today has a pretty healthy head start on Irving. But it would still be fun to see how Irving matches up with Rose at this early stage in his career.

Unfortunately, we may not get to see that matchup. Rose has been battling a toe injury and will be a game time decision. He did not participate in shootaround this morning, though, and in my opinion it might be a long shot to see him play tonight. [Read more...]

Irving: It’s the Cleveland Cavaliers Versus the Chicago Bulls

[Derrick Rose] is a great point guard, the best probably in the game, [but] it’s just another game. I’m not really facing Derrick Rose. I’m facing the Chicago Bulls. It’s the Cleveland Cavaliers versus the Chicago Bulls. That’s what I’m looking forward to.

- Cavaliers point guard Kyrie Irving on Friday’s opponent Derrick Rose and the Chicago Bulls. Rose is questionable to play in the contest. Irving was surprised to recently find out that he was leading the Cavaliers in points, saying, “Honestly, I just feed off my teammates.”

Big Sunday in the NBA: OKC / Memphis Game 7, Chicago / MIA Game 1

It all comes down to this. Win or go home.  Who wants it more? 

These cliches and many others like them, while annoying, are to be expected frequently today from television pundits everywhere.  

Whenever Game Seven’s emerge, like today’s when Memphis travels to OKC for a winner moves on tip at 3:30, these are the things people say to describe the event. 

All true though I suppose, and after Memphis forced the issue with a Game 6 win on Friday we should have a good one today as a result. 

Kevin Durant v. Zach Randolph.  Mike Conley v. Russell Westbrook.  Tough, gritty, defense and inside play colliding with an young, emerging team built on star power.  A team originally from Vancouver going head-to-head with a team originally from Seattle for a right to play in the Western Conference Finals.  Should be fun. 

As will the 8pm game in Chicago, when the Bulls and Heat get underway for Game One of the ECF.  Not as cliche-filled of a match-up seeing as how it is only a Game One, but exciting nonetheless. 

I wish it started around 5pm ET though, but oh well.  I wasn’t up at 5 am tweeting about how excited I was for the game tonight like LeBron was this morning, so I should be able to make it to the end.  An end that would certainly produce more storylines should the Bulls somehow pull this one out.     

A primer of sorts on each game after the jump:

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While We’re Waiting…Golden State interviewed Mike Brown, and Cavs trade talk

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.

Golden State interested in Mike Brown: “Meanwhile in Oakland, a source with knowledge of the Warriors’ search said that former Cleveland coach Mike Brown and Dwane Casey met with Golden State front office officials last week and that more interviews will take place this week. Lakers assistant Chuck Person is scheduled to be among that group, with fellow Lakers assistant Brian Shaw and Frank likely close behind.

One of the sources said the Warriors had “moved past” the idea of hiring former Utah coach Jerry Sloan or former Houston and New York coach Jeff Van Gundy, and CSNBayArea.com reported Friday that both had declined interviews. Only two of the candidates are expected to eventually meet with the team’s owners, but that process won’t likely take place until after pre-draft camp in Chicago next week because co-owner Joe Lacob is out of the country.

The Warriors, who decided not to retain Keith Smart after one season, have quite the quandary on their hands. There is obviously a strong desire for a defense-first coach and culture after so many years of Don Nelson’s one-way play, but the fans that have so staunchly supported a losing product might revolt if the Warriors brass takes all the excitement away with the next hire.

Brown is certainly highly regarded as a defensive mind, but has never been accused of being a dynamic offensive coach no matter how many times he told LeBron James to go it alone on that end. Here are his team’s rankings in points per game leading up to his firing last summer: 15th, 19th, 24th, 13th, ninth.”  [Sam Amick / SI]

[Read more...]

While We’re Waiting…Travis Hafner hits a walk-off blast to win it

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.

Nice work, Travis: “On Friday night, in front of a packed house at Progressive Field, a rarity so far in this magical season, the Indians did all they could to make people believe. The latest hero was Travis Hafner, who used a titanic blast in the bottom of the ninth inning to send Cleveland to a 5-4 victory in walk-off fashion.

“That’s what you have to do in front of big crowds,” Indians outfielder Michael Brantley said. “You have to win them over, kind of. We believe in this locker room that we’re going to be a great team all year round and, hopefully, we’ll get to the playoffs and win a World Series here.”

Wins like the latest one make such lofty goals seem less far-fetched.

After an anemic night in the batter’s box, spoiling a solid effort from sinkerballer Fausto Carmona, the Indians did what they have done so often at Progressive Field this season. The Tribe rallied late and partied hard, spilling out of the dugout and storming the field under a sky aflame with fireworks.

The Indians have captured victories in their last at-bat in each of their past five wins at home. Overall, the Tribe now boasts a 24-13 record with a Major League-best 15-4 mark at home. On Friday, the Indians found the win column in front of an announced crowd of 33,774, representing the largest gathering since Opening Day.”  [Jordan Bastian / MLB.com] [Read more...]

Retiring the Sweater: Cavs to Hold Joe Tait Appreciation Night

On a night when MVP hopeful Derrick Rose comes to town with the Eastern Conference-leading Chicago Bulls, Quicken Loans Arena will have a sold out crowd on hand to celebrate a man who will not even step foot on the court.  Well, at least during the course of the game. 

Joining the greats like Mark Price and Brad Daugherty, the “Voice of the Cavaliers” Joe Tait will have his name hoisted in to the rafters of The Q.  Before Friday night’s tip-off, a special banner branding Tait’s name will commemorate his 39 years with the Wine and Gold.  In what will be his second-last broadcast before the great Tait heads into retirement, the Q-Tube will feature several video vignettes which highlight Tait’s illustrious career while featuring well wishes from friends, colleagues and fans will run throughout the evening. [Read more...]

Bulls 100, Cavs 91: Rose Dominates Third Quarter in Chicago Comeback

In typical Cavaliers fashion, a powerful first half performance against the streaking Chicago Bulls fell apart with a disastrous third quarter. And just like that, a 23-point turnaround in 12 minutes led to yet another loss for Cleveland by a 100-91 final score.

Anderson Varejao, Mo Williams, Daniel Gibson and Joey Graham all missed the game with injuries, but the depleted Cavs roster gave the Bulls a run for its money for the first half. Led by a solid start by Antawn Jamison, the best games of the season from J.J. Hickson and Manny Harris plus contributions from new starters Leon Powe and Ramon Sessions, it was a well-balanced early Cleveland attack.

But in the second half, All-Star Derrick Rose (28 points, 11 assists) led the 32-9 tear in the third to give the Bulls the lead for good. Stay tuned below the jump for bullets about the status of the team.

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The Best Move for LeBron James is to Stay in Cleveland

I am sure if anyone outside of Cleveland even reads this they will brush it off like some stupid “homer” piece. That’s fine. In a way it is a homer piece. That is, in essence, an integral part of the story that nobody else seems to want to talk about.  I know this might also be obvious to a lot of you Cavs fans, but I think it is still important for me to say these things for the record because if I don’t, then who will?  The New York Post?  Despite all the speculation and story-mongering going on every minute of every day for the foreseeable future, LeBron James’ single best option in the entire NBA is to stay in Cleveland.

That isn’t to say the Cavaliers have the best roster in the league right now. They are a deep team, but they don’t have the best second option. Derrick Rose is better than Mo Williams. Dirk Nowitzki is a better big man than anyone on the Cavs’ roster. There are handfuls of rosters that could be compared favorably to the current supporting cast in Cleveland. That isn’t the point. To be more exact, that isn’t the whole point. LeBron’s choice isn’t about making a decision around a single year. LeBron needs to make a decision that will benefit him for the next three years and probably longer. [Read more...]

About LeBron and the Chicago Bulls

Somewhere between the beginning of this NBA season and the exit for the Cavaliers at the hands of the Boston Celtics, the Cavaliers’ star LeBron James got linked to the Chicago Bulls.  The Bulls are positioned financially to give LeBron a contract with their approximate returning salaries totaling just under $32 million.  That money is spread across six players, Luol Deng, Kirk Hinrich, Derrick Rose, Joakim Noah, James Johnson, and Taj Gibson.  Add LeBron James to that core of players and it is pretty easy to understand why Chicago became the destination du jour for all the desperate scribes across the NBA landscape.  Is it that simple though?  The Bulls seem positioned slightly better than the Cavs right now because of Derrick Rose and Joakim Noah, but are two players and cap space enough knowledge of a franchise for LeBron to make that decision?

[Read more...]

NBA Rumors: LeBron James Calls Derrick Rose, Grouped with John Calipari?

As suspected, the LeBron James speculation juggernaut continues to roll through despite the next round of the NBA playoffs officially underway.  The latest slew of rumors seem to all draw us back to Chicago as this continues to be one of the five likely landing spots for James as he enters a free agency period on July 1.

The Daily Herald – a suburban Chicago news source – is reporting that James phoned Chicago point guard Derrick Rose shortly after the Cavaliers were eliminated in Game Six against the Boston Celtics this past Thursday.  While the conversation was allegedly very short, the fact that the Chicago Bulls have approximately $20 million in salary cap space and one of the better, young point guards in the league make the entire report intriguing to many.  Also a scoring threat, James and Rose could provide the Bulls with their best tandem of talent since the days of Michael Jordan and Scottie Pippen.

[Read more...]

The NBA Playoff Boots: Joakim Noah, LeBron, Boston Talking Trash and More

The Boots are my form of reporting current information from the sports world. Boot Ups and Boot Downs are assigned to various events, people or stories as I first used in my e-mail based Sports Report. For possible topics in any future articles, as always, e-mail us at Tips@WaitingForNextYear.com.

Boot Up: Joakim Noah’s Future – If there was one thing that I learned in the series victory against Chicago, it is that Joakim Noah is the real deal. The agitating former Florida Gator averaged 14.8 points and 13.0 rebounds during those five games, and was clearly the leader of that mediocre team on both sides of the ball.

Derrick Rose did average an impressive 26.8 points per game, but required 25 field goal attempts per contest to put up those numbers. The 25-year-old Noah was efficient and relatively consistent against the Cavs throughout the series. Rose surely has a higher overall ceiling as a prospect, but Noah definitely had a breakout season in 2009-2010. Combining Luol Deng, Rose and Noah with another fringe All-Star could make for an awfully good team in another year or two.

[Read more...]

Open Thread: Cavs vs. Bulls, Game 5

A lot is being made about the Cavaliers recent inability to close out a series at home.  Thankfully, LeBron James was quick to point out during his pregame interview that the team really has not had a lot of chances to close out at home due to sweeping their first two opponents last season.

James’ elbow has been deemed “ready.”  Both he and Coach Brown focused a lot of their pregame expectations on transition defense and staying aggressive throughout the entire game.

Derrick Rose and Luol Deng are both considered healthy.  Rose did acknowledge treatment to his ankle during this morning’s shootaround, but said that the swelling has subsided.

Cavs are favored by 13 points tonight.  At this rate, I’m willing to assume that fans will be alright with a one-point win.  You know, if you take away all of the mid-game heart attacks and all…

Follow along in the comments, folks.  For those looking to live chat – feel free to head over to FoxSportsOhio’s chat with Zach Jackson and company.  I’ll be occasionally dropping in via Twitter.

With all of that said… Go Cavs!