April 21, 2014

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...]

Do the Cavaliers Need LeBron James to Contend Again?

LeBron James and Kyrie IrvingIn the podcast I did with Craig over the weekend, we talked a bit about the Miami Heat winning streak and whether it’s actually as impressive as it seems. Now, don’t get me wrong, winning 27 straight games in the NBA is always impressive. I cannot emphasize this enough…Their run is amazing.

Yet, I still can’t help but feel underwhelmed by it when I look at the rest of the NBA. I think this is a one team league right now. We can debate whether that’s more about the dominance and greatness of Miami or more about the lackluster play of the rest of the Association. I personally think a team doing this in the late 80s/early 90s when every team had a star would have been more impressive. In this current climate where all the stars are migrating to a select few teams, it has created a situation where Miami can beat arguably 85% of the other teams without breaking a sweat.

But even on those teams who have been arms race winners (Clippers, Knicks, Lakers), only the Clippers are really a threat to Miami1. Instead, it’s the two home-grown teams (Thunder and Spurs) who appear to be the biggest threats to the Heat’s throne. [Read more...]

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Footnotes:

  1. and probably not a serious threat even at their best []

Some Thoughts on the NBA on the Eve of Season Tip-Off

Happy NBA Season Eve everyone!

Tomorrow the NBA season kicks off with a TNT double header featuring prime matchups between the Celtics and Heat, and the Mavericks and Lakers. But there is one other game tomorrow night, and it’s the most anticipated and sure to be the most watched game of the three.

That’s right, tomorrow night one of the great “rivalries” in the NBA resumes when the Washington Wizards visit our beloved Cleveland Cavaliers. Ok, yes, I’m being facetious. Nobody outside Washington and Cleveland cares about this game, and the Wizards and Cavaliers are not “rivals”, and they never were. But that doesn’t mean we Cavalier fans shouldn’t be filled with excitement over another season about to tip off.

We’ll cover more on the Cavaliers specifically tomorrow, but for today, I wanted to kick off general NBA coverage with some overall generic thoughts on the NBA as a whole. There’s been some huge moves in the offseason, and another monumental shift occurred this weekend when the Oklahoma City Thunder traded James Harden to the Houston Rockets. So lets get into some of the main storylines of this NBA season (along with some musical interludes to enjoy as we go along). [Read more...]

So, Dan Gilbert Was Wrong

“I PERSONALLY GUARANTEE THAT THE CLEVELAND CAVALIERS WILL WIN AN NBA CHAMPIONSHIP BEFORE THE SELF-TITLED FORMER ‘KING’ WINS ONE”

You can take it to the bank.

If you thought we were motivated before tonight to bring the hardware to Cleveland, I can tell you that this shameful display of selfishness and betrayal by one of our very own has shifted our “motivation” to previously unknown and previously never experienced levels.

Some people think they should go to heaven but NOT have to die to get there.

Sorry, but that’s simply not how it works.

This shocking act of disloyalty from our home grown “chosen one” sends the exact opposite lesson of what we would want our children to learn. And “who” we would want them to grow-up to become.

But the good news is that this heartless and callous action can only serve as the antidote to the so-called “curse” on Cleveland, Ohio.

The self-declared former “King” will be taking the “curse” with him down south. And until he does “right” by Cleveland and Ohio, James (and the town where he plays) will unfortunately own this dreaded spell and bad karma.”

–Dan Gilbert, July 8, 2010 [Read more...]

NBA Playoffs Showing Cavaliers How Hard Building a Championship Team Really Is

Even with Kyrie Irving in place, the Cavaliers still have much work to do

With the NBA Finals drawing near, it’s only natural for fans of teams not currently playing basketball to look on from a distance, wondering what it must take to be one of the teams representing their conference in the Finals.

Make no mistake about it, the Cleveland Cavaliers are a very long way away from getting there. The first key component is in place. Kyrie Irving was everything the Cavaliers were hoping for, and more, in his rookie season, but when you consider the 4 Conference Finalists, it’s clear that much work needs to be done.

In the West, the Oklahoma City Thunder have Kevin Durant, Russell Westbrook, and James Harden1 as part of their “Big 3”. The San Antonio Spurs featured Tim Duncan, Manu Ginobili, and Tony Parker.

The Eastern Conference Finals have their own clash of “Big 3s”. The Boston Celtics have the original Big 3 in Kevin Garnett, Paul Pierce, and Ray Allen. Not to mention Rajon Rondo, who is currently better than any of the original Big 3. The Miami Heat have the most infamous Big 3 in the NBA with LeBron James, Dwyane Wade, and Chris Bosh. [Read more...]

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Footnotes:

  1. if you count Serge Ibaka in that group, they actually have a “Big 4” []

Familiar Faces Return to Cleveland as Cavaliers Host the Miami Heat

Cavs have one last chance to stop LeBron and the Heat this season

The LeBron James circus is in town Friday as the Miami Heat (23-7, 2nd in the East) and the Cleveland Cavaliers (11-16, 10th in the East) square off for the final time this season.

In each of the first two matchups between these two teams, the Cavaliers played tough, hanging in there with Miami through 3+ quarters. But just as an older brother sometimes lets his younger brother hang around before ultimately playing hard at the end to beat him, so too did the Miami Heat manage to play hard in the final minutes and put the Cavaliers away. We’ll see if the 3rd time is the charge for Cleveland or if the injuries and talent deficiency will just be too much to overcome yet again.

Cleveland will once again be without Anderson Varejao, Anthony Parker, and Daniel Gibson. With their only two true SGs on the team out, the Cavaliers will turn to Alonzo Gee to start at SG, leaving Ramon Sessions and Ben Uzoh as the only guards on the bench, and both of them are PGs. I’d expect to see a lot of Sessions at PG with Irving sliding over to SG when Gee is needed either at SF or on the bench. It’s not an ideal situation to move guys around when playing a team as tough as the Heat, but this is part of why the Cavaliers’ flexibility was listed as a team strength before the season. There are a lot of interchangeable combo players on this roster, and it should make things a little easier to adjust. [Read more...]

Cavaliers Taking Their Struggles To South Beach to Face the Heat

Wait, we’re not tired of the “taking my [blank] to [blank]” jokes yet, are we?

The struggling Cleveland Cavaliers (6-9) must go to Miami where they will face the reigning Eastern Conference Champion Heat (11-5).

In some ways, both teams are having similar starts to their seasons as they had last year. The Cavaliers started off showing some spunk, winning games here and there, threatening the .500 mark, before the wheels came off.

The Heat started off better this year than they did last year, but they come limping into their first game with Cleveland, a team not exactly having things go as smoothly as they had hoped.

Of course, we all remember what happened in last year’s December 2nd matchup. The Heat sparked their season back into form and never looked back. The Cavaliers never looked back either. They just allowed defeat into their hearts and went on to set an NBA record losing streak.

So what’s going to happen this time? [Read more...]

@CavsDan: If what looks like might happen does, don’t say anything

It’s quite possible that when the final horn sounds in this NBA Finals Series, a large majority of the twitter universe will be turning their collective gaze towards Cleveland.  

If that horn happens to sound on Sunday, those people will be looking at Cavs owner Dan Gilbert specifically to see what he has to tweet about it.  If it is the Mavs on top in the end, I sincerely hope he says nothing.  

I continue to have no issue personally with the letter he once typed in a font rarely used for publication.  I understand the way the letter was interpreted outside of Northeast Ohio, and I could care less.  I also realize that the negative connotation of bitterness and spite his message was perceived to include is something that we’ve since worn as Clevelanders over the last year.  The material provided as a result became the low-hanging fruit used by wannabe sports comedians everywhere, and a plethora of Cleveland punchlines ensued.  But I’m fine with all that too.  

What the world outside Cleveland will never understand is why people like me appreciated that letter.  Good or bad, politically correct or otherwise, it had to be said both in that moment and at that moment.  [Read more...]

On the Bright Side for the Cleveland Cavaliers, Things Could Always Be Worse

Chin up, Cavs fans. As the Cavaliers head into tonight’s game with the Denver Nuggets, the team is hoping to avoid their 19th straight loss and 29th of their last 30 games, I know many are feeling fatigued with the epic failures of the team this year.

But today is Friday, the weekend is upon us, and it’s time for us to take stock, have a little fun at other teams’ expense, and realize that things could always be worse. You know the stats for this year. You’re surely aware that the Cavaliers are attempting to become the lowest rated team in the NBA in both offensive and defensive efficiency; you know that their average margin of victory is twice as bad as anyone else’s; you know that this offense is 27th in points per game despite being 11th in the NBA in pace, meaning it takes them an inordinate number of possessions to score their pathetic 93.4 ppg. You know this hasn’t always been fun. [Read more...]

Forgetting LeBron James

I love the movie Forgetting Sarah Marshall, and not just because Mila Kunis is in it.

For those who have never seen it (*spoiler alert*….but why haven’t you seen it yet?), the movie stars Jason Segel as a guy named Peter Bretter, a musician who writes and composes the musical score for a hit television show. He’s been dating the show’s star actress, Sarah Marshall (played by Kristen Bell) for a long time and he assumes everything is going great. He’s shocked when she drops the hammer on him and tells him it’s over and that she’s leaving him for a rock star named Aldous Snow.

Anyway, needless to say, Peter Bretter is absolutely crushed by this. His work begins to suffer and everything in his life seems to be crumbling to pieces. He decides that he’s going to get away from it all and he books a vacation at a Hawaiian resort. The joke is on him, though, as Sarah Marshall is staying at the exact same resort with her new boyfriend Aldous Snow. I won’t get into what all happens from there on, but the crux of the movie is about the manner in which Peter and Sarah are trying to coexist in this awkward situation as well as how Peter works to move on from Sarah and find both new love and personal fulfillment in his professional life.

By now I can hear you asking “what on earth does any of this have to do with LeBron James and/or the Cavaliers?” Well, let me explain. [Read more...]

Cavaliers Preview Game #25: Cavs at Heat

Cleveland Cavaliers (7-17) vs
Miami Heat (18-8)
AmericanAirlines Arena, Miami
Wednesday, December 15, 2010
7:30 PM EST
FSOH/WTAM

Well, here we go again. The Cleveland Cavaliers are set to take on our dear old friend and his freshly rejuvenated Miami Heat. 2 weeks ago in my Miami preview, I climbed upon my soapbox and I preached about closure and beginning to let go before approaching the game with a mixture of excitement, sadness, anxiety, and most importantly, hope. Most of those feelings are gong this time around. And not because the Cavs aren’t playing good basketball. My passion for this team hasn’t changed one bit. What’s different this time around is that I honestly don’t care that the Cavs are playing against LeBron. Maybe it’s just me, but this game doesn’t feel all that much different than any other game. I think I was able to exorcise most of my anger and sadness last game and now I’m all business. So let’s buckle up and get ready to try to figure out how the Cavaliers can win this basketball game. [Read more...]

Cavaliers Preview Game #18: Heat at Cavs

Miami Heat (11-8) vs
Cleveland Cavaliers (7-10)
Quicken Loans Arena, Cleveland, OH
Thursday, December 2, 2010
8:00 PM EST
TNT/WTAM

Tonight, the Cleveland Cavaliers welcome the Miami Heat into the friendly confines of Quicken Loans Arena for what should be yet another memorable matchup among many between these two franchises. After signing his extension with the Cavaliers this summer, LeBron James has led the Cavaliers to yet another blazing hot start to the season, and now we get to live out another epic duel between LeBron and Dwyane Wade as these two great players square off head to head. Time and time again these two players have staged true ‘can’t miss’ games with each player trading highlight plays back and forth in an attempt to will their teams to victory. Tonight should be no exception.

Well, when I close my eyes at night and dream, this is the way this game plays out, anyway. The real nightmare plays out when I’m awake and staring at reality. Alas, the Cavaliers are not exactly going to be “welcoming” the Miami Heat anywhere tonight and the confines of The Q are going to be anything but friendly. The NBA was robbed of this premiere head to head battle when LeBron and Wade decided it would be easier to team up than try to beat each other. Fans in Cleveland, the very same fans who have made The Q one of the greatest sporting environments in the world over the last 7 years, were robbed of watching elite basketball night in and night out and that honor was passed on instead to fans in Miami who, quite frankly, don’t give a crap about basketball, the Miami Heat, or LeBron James. [Read more...]

LeBron Brings Talents Back to Cleveland, and With Them, a Chance at Closure

The circus is coming to town. When the schedule was announced, December 2nd sounded like a long time to wait, but the “Return of the King” is now just one day away. With his return, there is a swirling of emotion and anticipation not just in Cleveland, but even nationally. Across the country pundits are peering in with morbid curiosity just to see what might happen. Will Cleveland embarrass itself? Will Cleveland prove to be a scapegoat for LeBron’s defection? Will we boo? Will we laugh? Will we chant? What’s going to happen?

Of course, nobody really knows for sure what will happen, but there’s an insulting undertow to this national storyline that has taken hold. There’s this bizarre belief that somehow this upcoming basketball game is a referendum on the city of Cleveland itself. As if the actions of the vocal minority or a crazy individual should speak for a region as a whole. [Read more...]

For Cavaliers Fans, Tonight’s NBA Tipoff Is a Bittersweet Affair

Make no mistake Cavs fans, this was a breakup and we were the jilted lovers. We’re the ones still standing by the altar, flowers in hand, waiting for our prince charming to show up and give us what we have wanted all our lives. But he’s not coming because he has run off with our younger, better looking sister. And so we continue to wait.

That’s what life as a fan of the Cavaliers (and really, Cleveland sports in general) is like. We are the proverbial bridesmaids forever waiting for it to be our turn to be the bride. Now we have to deal with the aftermath of our very public and humiliating breakup that took place in front of the whole world on national television. I can think of no better way in the world to begin the healing process than by turning back to NBA basketball and the games themselves. And that brings us to tonight. [Read more...]

2010-11 NBA Blogger Previews – Southeast Division

Yep, it’s that time of year again already. Once again, CelticsBlog are hosting the annual Blogger Previews for every team in the NBA. How this works is simple, every day a certain NBA team is up and bloggers who write about said team will offer their previews for that team in the upcoming season. Then, once a division is completed, all the bloggers throughout the NBA who are participating will post links for all the previews for that division.

Next up is the Southeast Division. All the previews are linked below, and I encourage everyone to take a few minutes, click on the links, and check out what writers from across the nation are saying about their own teams. As a reminder, our preview of the Cavaliers’ upcoming season can be found here.

[Read more...]

Will There Be a Singular Plan for LeBron’s Return?

This website has tried to steer clear of a lot of the fan-led initiatives since its inception.  We link to things and report on different ideas floating around, but we try not to get involved too much in leading the charge in that realm.  Dawg Pound Mike had his walkout idea last season which didn’t seem very palatable to any of the people involved with the site if I remember correctly.  Even though I think as a site we pretty well supported the counter-attack about fans don’t miss kickoffs, I think our support was more tacit than a direct promotion.  Of course all of us as individuals say any number of things in individual posts and on Twitter.  Still, as a site, we don’t generally take up a “cause” in Cleveland sports.  This brings me to December 2nd and the return of LeBron James. [Read more...]

Walking Out On Cavaliers A Bad Idea

I realize this may be a little premature, but this is something that’s been brought up a lot on Twitter lately, and with the leaked info of the NBA schedule, it seems appropriate to talk about it now.

As we now know, LeBron James will make his first return to Cleveland to play the Cavaliers on December 2, 2010. What remains to be seen is how Cavs fans will and should react to seeing their former King play against them.

We know there will be plenty of yelling, lots of jeers, a bunch of booing and probably more than a fair share of rude obscenities being sent LeBron’s way. Some fans, though, have wondered if a more organized effort was appropriate here.  [Read more...]

“The Decision” May Have Cost LeBron James In More Ways Than One

By now we’re all beginning get an idea of what LeBron’s “Decision” has cost him. For all the opportunity he supposedly gained, he has lost just as much in terms of brand, likability, and public goodwill from NBA fans across the nation.

People have said LeBron gained an opportunity to win multiple Championships, which is funny because I thought he had that opportunity to do the same in Cleveland. Perhaps it will prove to have been harder to do in Cleveland than in Miami, but as LeBron himself said that fateful night “One thing you can’t control is you never know.” For now, that opportunity is rooted in speculation until they prove that 3 great players (Wade, LeBron, Bosh) surrounded by a couple average players (Mario Chalmers, Mike Miller, and I suppose Udonis Haslem) and a whole bunch of below average players (everyone else on the team) can win a title. [Read more...]

It’s a Business, Except When It’s Not

How many times have we heard athletes say that professional sports is a business?  I am not stupid.  I understand why they say it.  In the NFL it is especially important as a player to have that phrase as a defense mechanism.  In the NFL you make your bonus money and then as soon as you are perceived to no longer be earning your keep, the team cuts you.  From that perspective, I get it that sports is a business. Funny enough, if that was truly an inarguable fact, none of us would buy into the prospect of watching sports and rooting for teams.

It has happened a lot in the last few years where people have become fans of companies like they would sports teams.  The most recent examples are people clinging to their cell phone carriers.  Even more appropriately do you remember the satellite radio wars?  How silly do the Sirius vs. XM people feel today?  Well, let me tell you.  I am an XM guy and I feel pretty stupid now that the companies merged and XM barely exists at all.  That is what happens when you apply fandom to a company or business.  Trust me when I tell you that the professional sports can’t sell that, even if the players say it constantly. [Read more...]

LeBron, Loyalty, and the Suffering of Cleveland Sports Fans

Loyalty in sports is dead. It’s been dead for quite some time, actually, but we’ve been too blissfully ignorant to open our hearts and let the truth in. We deluded ourselves into believing that even though Cleveland continuously gets stomped on and left behind by stars, that LeBron was going to be different. He’s from here, so he’s going to be the one to change everything. We heard for 7 years about what a loyal person LeBron is and how he loves this community and the people here and how he understands what it is to be a Cleveland sports fan.

The only problem is, we all forgot that loyalty in sports is dead. [Read more...]