April 17, 2014

Kyrie and Dion love-fest and keeping the Wahoo narrative alive: While We’re Waiting

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The dumbest press conference ever? – Have you ever seen a press conference where teammates had to stand before the media to tell everyone how good of friends they are? I certainly hadn’t….prior to yesterday:

How would Irving describe his relationship with Waiters?

“Honestly, off the court and on the court, we’re the best of friends,” he said. “So when we come on the court, we’re just going to play basketball like we’ve been doing the past few games and our focus is on winning right now.”

Added Waiters, “On behalf of [Irving], myself, I just think we’ve been in so much media this year, and it’s not fair to either of us.

“I just think, man, throughout this whole year with us two not liking each other, it’s total BS. We’ve been friends before we even made the NBA, before any of this. I just think y’all saying we don’t like playing with one another …

“Yeah, we still need to learn certain things. But I think at the end of the day, we’re genuinely friends. I love him as a friend, teammate, everything. I just want everybody to know that. I don’t hate this guy. I’m pretty sure he don’t hate me. I know he don’t hate me. I hope he don’t hate me. Rome wasn’t built in one day. We’re still young. We’re still planning to stay together. We’re still working. As long as we’ve got great communication down, it’s fine.”

[Read more...]

Photos: Waiters, Dellavedova and Hawes take in an Indians game

Three members of the Cleveland Cavaliers took in an Indians game together on Sunday afternoon. PG Matthew Dellavedova, SG Dion Waiters and C Spencer Hawes sat on the third baseline and enjoyed the game. For the record, Hawes was not afraid to wear Wahoo.

Hawes tweeted a different shot.

The drama continues: Kyrie Irving calls out Josh Gordon

kyrie edit

The drama permeating from the Cleveland Cavaliers’ locker room has officially transcended over to Berea. All-Star point guard Kyrie Irving has shot back at Pro Bowl wide receiver Josh Gordon for comments the NFL receiving yards leader made about the Wine and Gold. From Jason Lloyd of the Akron Beacon Journal:

“Guys like Josh Gordon need to stay in his sport and mind his own business. Does he still play for the Browns? I’ll continue to root for the Browns, but in terms of this stuff here, what goes on in this locker room, he needs to stay out of it.”

Earlier this week, Gordon, speaking in an ESPN interview, said “I talked about it with Dion [Waiters]. He’s my neighbor in my building so we hang out all the time. I’m aware of the rift in the locker room. That’s just alpha males and supreme athletes trying to share the spotlight.”

In a move that isn’t likely to do much for his Q Score amongst Cleveland fans, the receiver already responded to Irving’s declaration, doing so via Instagram.

In his attempt to stay out of the middle of a war of words between two of Cleveland’s most popular athletes, Waiters said that “[Gordon] can’t put words in my mouth. That’s his opinion. That’s what he thinks. I can’t stop a man from saying that. That’s what he thinks.”

While Irving’s “does he still play” comment is a bit empty given Gordon’s recent barrage of national media attention, the message is very clear: Gordon should be staying in his lane. As if Cleveland’s trench of sports-related issues wasn’t deep enough…

Silver lining: At least Kyrie Irving roots for the Browns.

Photo: Scott Sargent/WFNY

Cavs vs Magic Behind the Box Score: Signs of a fun April?

AP Photo/John Raoux

AP Photo/John Raoux

Talk about a boring game. But boring in the best way ever.

The Cavaliers were ready to play from the start in this one, and they never let up as they absolutely crushed the Magic by a 119-98 score. This one had a little bit of everything and everyone. Kyrie Irving came back and played well, Dion Waiters just kept doing what he’s been doing, Spencer Hawes had his best game in a while, and Tristan Thompson had a double-double. So yeah, it was a good game.

With every win the Cavaliers continue to keep the playoff hunt interesting. The Knicks and Hawks are virtually tied for the 8 seed, with the Cavs lingering just two games back. The Cavs’ chances would be a lot better if they were only chasing one team instead of two of them, but still, with six games left to play, this thing isn’t over yet.

Now lets look at a few numbers… [Read more...]

Video: Dion’s buzzer beater NBA’s play of the week

On Wednesday, Dion Waiters comepleted the Cavaliers’ improbable comeback with a last second shot to beat the Pistons in Detroit. The play was Dion’s first game winner and earned him the top spot in the NBA’s top ten plays for the week.

 

Cavs vs Pistons Behind the Box Score: A game-winner for Dion

dion_winner

The Cavaliers were on the road, playing the second night of a back-to-back. For the first three quarters the team more or less played like it. The Cavaliers fell down by 16 points and it looked like that would pretty much be it.

But the Cavaliers got a surprise offensive explosion from Matthew Dellavedova, Anderson Varejao was his old rebounding-machine self, and Jarrett Jack had an enormous fourth quarter to lead the Cavaliers back to within striking distance.

The Cavs got a couple huge stops in the final minutes setting up the finale. With the Cavs down four, Jack converted an and-one to bring the Cavs within one with 53 seconds left. After tough defense forced a bad Josh Smith shot, the ball went out of bounds off Delly’s hands, giving the Pistons the ball with 28.5 seconds left. Rather than fouling, Mike Brown chose to trust his defense and Brandon Jennings missed an off balance jumper. Luol Deng grabbed the rebound and the Cavs called a timeout with 3.2 seconds remaining. That set up the real fun stuff.

Once again the Cavaliers found themselves in a critical inbound situation. After the initial Cavs timeout, the Pistons used two consecutive timeouts in a bit of gamesmanship. Then Luol Deng once again couldn’t find anyone open and had to use a timeout of his own to avoid the 5-second call. On their second try, Deng found Dion Waiters cutting to the corner. Dion took a quick dribble, stepped to his left and pulled up for a 19-foot jumper. And he drilled it. The Cavaliers erupted in joy and this team pulled off one of the more improbable victories of the season.

Now lets look at some numbers: [Read more...]

Cavs vs Raptors Behind the Box Score: One ugly way to win a game

AP Photo/Tony Dejak

AP Photo/Tony Dejak

The Cavaliers started out playing great basketball on both ends of the court. In the 3rd quarter they extended the lead to 18 points at 81-63. Then they turned the offense switch to the “Off” position, and with with just under 7 minutes remaining in the game, Greivis Vasquez hit a three point shot to put the Raptors up 95-94.

The Cavaliers would quickly take the lead back and would lead the rest of the way, but it took a little luck down the stretch. The Raptors missed a couple good looks and the Cavaliers held a three point lead with 12 seconds left. DeMar DeRozan then drove and was fouled by Alonzo Gee. DeRozan only made one of his two free throws and after a Cleveland timeout, the Cavaliers were inbounding at midcourt with 7 seconds left.

This is where the Cavaliers’ inbounding issues would strike yet again. First Luol Deng was handed inbounding duties, and when nobody was able to get open, he called a timeout. Then Varejao was given the job of inbounding, and once again with nothing really developing, he tried to throw it in to Deng along the baseline, but the ball sailed out of bounds. It looked like the refs missed a foul on the play, but regardless, its embarrassing that the Cavaliers still can’t operate an inbound play in late game situations.

Thankfully, though, the Raptors decided to return the favor with a bad turnover of their own on their last possession and the Cavaliers hung on for the 102-100 win over a playoff team in the East. The Cavaliers continue to play hard without Kyrie Irving, CJ Miles, or Anthony Bennett, it’s just a shame it’s happening now that the playoffs are but a minute possibility.

Now lets get into the numbers: [Read more...]

Has Dion Waiters (finally) arrived?

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After a season rife with rumors of trades and fistfights, is this—finally—Dion Waiters’ coming out party?

Dion Waiters stood outside of his locker, squinted his eyes and shook his head as a half-smile-half-grimace formed on his face. It was early January, just days after the calendar turned to 2014. The Cleveland Cavaliers had just lost a heartbreaker to the Indiana Pacers, contenders for the NBA title, and he came pretty damn close to pulling off a miracle that would have propelled his name even further up the ranks in the minds of Cavalier fans. The Cavs were playing in their third game without All-Star point guard Kyrie Irving who had fallen victim to a bruised knee. In Irving’s absence, Cavs head coach Mike Brown opted to go with Matthew Dellavedova at point guard, an undrafted rookie out of St. Mary’s who had grown a bit of a cult following due to his never-ending hustle, rather than Waiters, who was drafted fourth-overall just a year earlier. [Read more...]

LaQuinton Ross going NBA, Sixers keep losing, and Community: While We’re Waiting

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I’m currently writing this while fighting a fever, so this will probably be a little shorter WWW than I normally write, so please bear with me….

LaQuinton Ross going pro? I heard whispers all season long that Ohio State junior forward LaQuinton Ross would be heading to the NBA after this season. I never really believed it. I believed he wanted to, but I didn’t he was good enough to actually do it.

Well, I don’t know if I was right or wrong on whether he’s an NBA player, but he evidently really is entering the draft. I don’t really get it. I understood why Deshaun Thomas went pro last year. He had probably peaked as a scorer and he was getting in a shallow draft while avoiding this year’s supposedly loaded draft. But Ross lacks the consistency that Thomas showed and he’s entering what some consider to be one of the better draft classes in recent memory. I hope it works out for him, but I really don’t get it at all. [Read more...]

Cavs vs Heat Behind the Box Score: So close

Photo by David Liam Kyle/NBAE via Getty Images

Photo by David Liam Kyle/NBAE via Getty Images

The Cavaliers came into this game against the Heat without Kyrie Irving, Luol Deng, and CJ Miles (for the most part, anyway…CJ played just 2 minutes). A lackluster performance could have been expected. Instead, the Cavaliers played a great all around game and took the Heat, who were without Dwyane Wade, down to the wire.

The Cavaliers had their chances down the stretch, but a ridiculous no-call on a Dion Waiters drive, combined with LeBron James hitting all six of his free throws, proved too much to overcome. Waiters hurt his hip on the play as he landed squarely on it, which made things even tougher for the Cavs. Yet Jarrett Jack, who had a season high in scoring, hit a couple late threes to keep things interesting, but LeBron just wouldn’t miss any FTs and the Heat came away with the win.

But still, the Cavaliers deserve a lot of credit for the heart they showed in fighting right down to the wire against one of the NBA’s best teams.

Now lets get into the numbers. [Read more...]

Dion Waiters set to return from knee injury

Dion Waiters Dance

When the Cavaliers play host to the San Antonio Spurs, they will once again have shooting guard Dion Waiters who has missed the last seven games with a hyperextended knee.

“The knee feels good, just a little bit of aching,” Waiters said on Monday. “I’m looking forward to playing [Tuesday night], looking forward to getting out there with my team.”

Waiters’ return will mark the first time he and newly acquired center Spencer Hawes will get to play along side one another and will be a welcomed boost for a team that has been playing without Anderson Varejao and CJ Miles for much of the last three weeks. (Recall, it was Hawes who was on the wrong side of the poster that ultimately led to Waiters’ injury.) Whether or not Hawes’ floor-spacing magic can trickle down to improve Watiers’ play in addition to his teammates will remain to be seen. He was averaging 16.8 points and 1.2 3-pointers in the five games before his injury.

Everybody: High knees!

Dan Gilbert asks for fans’ help in stopping “louts” who run on court

During Cleveland’s game against the Utah Jazz on Friday night, a fan ran on the court to give Kyrie Irving a hug and presumably a message. It isn’t the first time that a fan has rushed the court to give well wishes to a superstar.

Owner Dan Gilbert took to twitter Saturday night to congratulate his security team and ask fans to help them spot those that would try something similar in the future.

Kyrie Irving had his first triple-double in the win over Utah. The Cavaliers are in Memphis Saturday night to take on the Grizzlies.

[Related: Cavs vs Jazz, behind the boxscore]

Video: Kyrie and Dion both have top ten circus shots of February

Kyrie Irving and Dion Waiters both made it into the Top Ten Circus Shots of February.

 

Your Post-Trade Deadline Cleveland Cavaliers Viewing Guide

Wut

Because masochism isn’t for everyone

I hate winter.

Seriously.

I woke up today at 7:00 a.m., barely able to breath for the fifth straight day. I spent the next two minutes trying to vacate my nasal cavity of what I suspect was approximately a fetrick muckton of the crustiest boogers known to man. I then turned towards the window directly adjacent to my bathroom sink and peeped through the closed blinds to see that once again it had snowed overnight.

[Insert barely coherent mumbled obscenities here]

[Read more...]

Breaking down the arrival of Spencer Hawes to Cleveland

 David Richard-USA TODAY Sports

David Richard-USA TODAY Sports

A detailed look at Cleveland’s newest headband-wearing big man

The Nitty Gritty

The Cavaliers acquired 25-year old Spencer Hawes from the Philadelphia 76ers in exchange for a package of Earl Clark, Henry Sims, and two second-round picks in this year’s draft. Hawes is set to be a free agent at the end of the season and the rebuilding 76ers were in a position to either trade him at the deadline or lose him for nothing at season’s end. They obviously opted for the former. Earl Clark and Henry Sims can barely be registered as a loss for this Cavs team as neither was garnering consistent minutes within Mike Brown’s rotation. The second-round picks being sent out are the Cavaliers own second-rounder this year, along with the Grizzlies’ second-round pick that they acquired last season. They still own Orlando’s second-round pick this year which, due to the Magic’s awful season, is the most valuable of the bunch.

[Read more...]

Alonzo Gee to see a boost in playing time

DSC_0566With Dion Waiters (knee) and CJ Miles (ankle) both nursing lower-leg injuries, once-forgotten small forward Alonzo Gee is expected to see a considerable boost in playing time, with Cavs head coach Mike Brown stating that Gee will get the bulk of the minutes usually eaten up by Waiters.

Gee will see plenty of burn off the bench likely playing alongside Jarrett Jack and Matthew Dellavedova. When Gee was playing 31.0 minutes per game last season, starting in all 82, he averaged 10.3 points, 3.9 rebounds and 1.6 assists. He provides limited upside on the offensive end, but is largely considered to be one of the better defenders on the roster and if anyone is going to throw down a highlight reel dunk in Dion’s absence, it’s Alonzo Gee.

Waiters was injured in the second quarter of Tuesday’s game in Philadelphia when he landed awkwardly after a dunk. General manager David Griffin stated that the team received the “best possible” news regarding Waiters and a subsequent MRI. Previously playing 24.4 minutes per game in February, and surviving the recently passed trade deadline, Waiters has been listed as day-to-day.

(Image via Scott Sargent/WFNY)

Dion Waiters says “nothing is torn” following dunk-based injury

Dion Waiters Dance

It shouldn’t be too long before Dion can do this again

While it is hardly an official medical release, it appears that Dion Waiters managed to escape serious injury following his in-traffic posterization of Spencer Hawes in Tuesday night’s win over the Philadelphia 76ers.

In the waning seconds of the second quarter, Waiters took the ball from the left wing, dribbled through traffic in that full-steam-ahead Watiersian way, elevated between two would-be defenders and obtained a bench-raising two points. Unfortunately, his left knee locked up upon his descent. While he initially stuck the landing, Waiters sat on the court for several minutes before heading to the locker room.

He was seen joking with teammates during the flow of the game, walking on his own power. He was on pace for a monster game, having 13 points before halftime, picking up right where he left off in the rising stars challenge.

It would be a considerable surprise if Waiters suited up for Wednesday night’s game against the Orlando Magic, likely leading to more playing time for CJ Miles, Jarrett Jack and Matthew Dellavedova.

Video: Dion Waiters’ monster dunk on 76ers

On Tuesday night the Cavaliers extended their winning streak to five with a dominating performance on the road against the Philadelphia 76ers. Dion Waiters threw down a monster dunk during the second quarter and hyper-extended his knee in the process.

Dion did not return to the game, but did tweet afterwards that there was nothing torn.

[Related: Cavs vs 76ers Beyond the Boxscore]

 

 

Video: Dion Waiters duels Tim Hardaway Jr. in rising stars competition

Cleveland shooting guard Dion Waiters found himself in a game of ‘anything you can do I can do better’ against New York’s Tim Hardaway Jr. in the NBA Rising Stars game on Friday night.

Waiters finished the game with 31 points, and Hardaway had 36. Detroit’s Andre Drummond was the game’s MVP with 30 points and 25 rebounds.

[Related: Video, best of Kyrie's performance]

Kyrie Irving and Dion Waiters can use All Star Weekend as a springboard for second half

Bob Donnan, USA TODAY Sports

Bob Donnan, USA TODAY Sports

As Kyrie Irving held the All-Star Game MVP trophy above his head Sunday night in New Orleans, his confident smile seemed to give off a sense of relief. In what Kyrie himself has described as one of the toughest seasons of his career, going as far as to call it “a wake-up call,” you sort of got the sense that Kyrie needed this.

This season hasn’t been much fun for anyone associated with the Cleveland Cavaliers. In one of the worst seasons of basketball in the history of the Eastern Conference, the Cavaliers somehow find themselves in 11th place in the conference with a 20-33 record. And it took a four-game win streak1 just to make the record look that good. There’s been fighting, poor play, “pouting,” confusion, insecurity, and a complete void of fun in the Cavs’ world.

But something seems to have changed in the past couple weeks. From the moment GM Chris Grant was fired, the team seemed to flip the proverbial switch. Young SG Dion Waiters has spoken openly about how he took Grant’s dismissal personally, taking accountability for his inconsistent if not poor play. But in the wake of one man’s loss, the team did something remarkable. They came together, they started winning some games, and above all else they started having fun. [Read more...]

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Footnotes:

  1. the first four-game win streak of the post-LeBron era, nonetheless []