April 20, 2014

Cavs vs Timberwolves Behind The Box Score: Another Blowout

They say box scores don’t tell the whole story. Behind The Box Score is a new series where from time to time we will attempt to look behind the box score and tell more of the complete story of what happened in the game.

Kyrie IrvingI’ve been staring at a blank page for about 10 minutes trying to figure out how to start writing about a game like this. I rarely second guess myself when it comes to basketball. I watch a lot of basketball and it generally makes sense to me. That’s not to say I’m never wrong about things. I most certainly am. But I never doubt my understanding of why things happen and how I came to the conclusions that I have.

Yet tonight I find myself questioning a lot. I don’t have any answers for what’s wrong with the Cavaliers this season. I can’t figure out whether this is just a young team going through some early season growing pains, or if this is a serious problem. I find myself questioning if I was wrong about Byron Scott. Is it possible that this is just a collection of players who don’t care and who give up at the first sign of things going sideways?

I generally try to trust my instincts, so here’s what I think after a game like this. I think outside of Indiana and probably Miami, the Eastern Conference is filled with nothing but flawed basketball teams. I think making the playoffs is still something the Cavaliers will be fighting for all season. I think the Cavaliers will eventually start playing better basketball and go through some stretches of winning basketball. I think Mike Brown is doing everything he can to get through to this team. Whereas Byron Scott was content to sort of just let games like this play out, Mike Brown was continuously calling time outs, mixing up lineups, and searching for anything to spark this team. [Read more...]

Cavaliers Still Searching For First Road Win of the Season

Dion Waiters vs Minnesota“Are the Cavaliers at home or on the road tonight?”

If you ever find yourself pondering this question, there’s a simple exercise to help you figure out the answer.

Step 1: Look at a Calendar and notice the month

Step 2: If the calendar says “November” the Cavaliers are almost certainly playing on the road.

The end. The Cavaliers are basically living out of suitcases in November thanks to an unfriendly schedule draw to start the season. On Wednesday night the Cavaliers must travel north to take on the Minnesota Timberwolves for what feels like about the 20th road game of the season1. While playing on the road obviously isn’t preferred over playing at home, it certainly isn’t the end of the world for most teams. For the Cavaliers, it has been.

The Cavaliers join the Utah Jazz as the only 0-5 teams on the road this season2. Cleveland could certainly use a road win to get this monkey off their back, but breaking the streak in Minnesota is no small task. [Read more...]

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Footnotes:

  1. it’s actually “only” the 6th road game of the season []
  2. there are a few 0-3 road teams as well…Brooklyn, Detroit, Chicago, and Memphis…Orlando is 0-4 on the road []

Uncle Drew returns with a new commercial featuring Nate Robinson as ‘Lights’

Kyrie Irving’s Pepsi Max character Uncle Drew debuted a new commercial spot on Monday. Last season Kyrie and Pepsi brought Kevin Love into the mix as Drew’s teammate. Today they brought in Nate Robinson and Maya Moore.

[Related: Five Cavalier storylines worth monitoring]

The Diff: Did #NBARank actually overrate Kyrie Irving?

The Diff is your weekly WFNY look into the amazing world of sports statistics. For a complete log of articles, click this link. Last week, I wrote about an estimate of Kirk Goldsberry’s new ShotScore statistic. This week, I’m writing about arbitrary player ranking systems, for some odd reason.

The Diff

#NBARank is a fabulous concept. It’s scientifically proven that people love lists … just ask BuzzFeed. And what else should ESPN.com do in the usually unexciting waning moments of the NBA preseason? Either way, the 215-person forecast panel has done a fairly good job over the last two years. There are always going to be head-scratchers, undoubtedly. Yet now, I’m left wondering this question: Is Kyrie Irving suddenly overrated after being ranked #8 in this year’s edition? [Read more...]

2013 NBA Draft – Kirk breaks down the candidates and potential trades – WFNY Podcast – 2013-06-27

WFNY Podcast LogoKirk and I took the last opportunity before the draft to talk about all the possibilities. I also signed off by saying “Don’t drink too much” so there’s that.

  • The Kevin Love rumors and what that might have meant
  • Quantity vs. quality and Bill Simmons’ thoughts that four quarters don’t always equal a dollar
  • The trade rumors with the Pelicans and Greivis Vasquez
  • Do you think Chris Grant’s board is really so equal at the top or is it all smoke?
  • The Thomas Robinson trade rumor for the #19 pick
  • Houston trying to make a run for Dwight Howard
  • Thomas Robinson was supposed to be NBA ready
  • Nerlens Noel and the concerns about him
  • Noel might be an athlete and not a basketball player
  • Does Alex Len have the chance to be Hibbert?
  • Could Alex Len be Rick Smits?
  • Anthony Bennett and what he can be for the Cavs
  • Anthony Bennett’s dribbling ability and three point shooting ability
  • Victor Oladipo and his chances of being the number 1 pick
  • Victor Oladipo has the highest floor of any of the top six
  • Defense translates from college to the NBA
  • Ben McLemore and the Ray Allen comparison
  • Otto Porter from Georgetown
  • Otto Porter has the potential to be a complete basketball player
  • The Tayshaun Prince comparison
  • Sergey Karasev and the chances to have him with Dallas’ pick

[Read more...]

NBA Rumors: Timberwolves reject Cavs offer for Kevin Love

The Minnesota Timberwolves reportedly turned down a loaded trade proposal from the Cleveland Cavaliers for All-Star big man Kevin Love.

According to ESPN’s Andy Katz, the trade offer was the following: forward Tristan Thompson, guard Dion Waiters and the No. 1 pick in the 2013 draft. Per Katz, new Minnesota team president Flip Saunders won’t move Love and thus rejected the offer.

The trade rumor proposal was the headliner in Katz’s report late this afternoon on the Cavs continuing to shop the top pick in Thursday’s draft. Katz wrote that Cleveland is high on their two young players, but would love to nab a current All-Star to pair with Kyrie Irving (and not just in Pepsi Max commercials).

The rumored deal immediately became the talk of Twitter with some national writers saying that it makes sense for Minnesota to decline the offer. Certainly, the 24-year-old Love was one of the premier young stars in the league before battling injuries over the past year. He played just 18 games during the 2012-13 season. These writers shared how the Cavs’ offer was not of significant value or enough star power.

Love, the No. 5 pick in the 2008 draft, had a career-low 17.9 PER in his limited minutes this past year. He also posted career lows with 35.2% shooting along with 70.4% from the free-throw line. Over the previous two seasons, he averaged 22.7 and 14.4 per game with a 24.8 PER.

Thompson, 22, averaged 11.7 and 9.4 in playing all 82 games in his sophomore season. He was much improved down the stretch as the Cavs played without their best big man, Anderson Varejao. He developed an effective push shot and increased his True Shooting percentage to a respectable 51.6% from a disappointing 46.9% his first season.

Waiters, 21 and nine months younger than Thompson, averaged 14.7 and 3.0 in an up-and-down rookie season. He shot only 41.2% from the field, yet improved his shot selection and efficiency over the course of the year.

The Cavs’ No. 1 pick in the draft has been much criticized with no unanimous favorite among pundits. Previous rumors had the GM Chris Grant making a pitch to the Portland Trailblazers for LaMarcus Aldridge. Indications are that the team is over-valuing the pick, hence leading to varied trade rumors and speculations.

[Related: Are the Cavaliers on the verge of making a huge mistake?]

2013 NBA Draft, 2013 NBA trade scenarios and more with Kirk – WFNY Podcast – 2013-05-29

WFNY Podcast LogoKirk wrote a fantastic article exploring the trade market available to the Cavs and I wanted to go over it and push him further on it since it has been out there a few days. Of course we also talked about some other stuff like Dwight Howard.

  • Kirk’s NBA Draft Rumors article
  • Being an eighth seed and the pains of it
  • The finishing of one three year plan and starting another to compete for a title
  • Oklahoma City trading Harden one season too early to Houston
  • Should OKC have played one more year and taken a CLE deal?
  • Did people expect Harden to be as good as he’s been this season in Houston?
  • Demarcus Cousins and how scared we all are of him
  • Luol Deng and why he might or might not work
  • Joe Johnson contract hell
  • Deron Williams and the Brooklyn cap space situation
  • Dwight Howard and whether or not you can gamble with him
  • Would you take a chance on Dwight Howard with the Cavs? (hypothetically)
  • The Dream scenario and how Kevin Love is not a possibility
  • What if the Cavs do nothing?
  • How coachable are the Cavs’ young guys like Kyrie Irving, Tyler Zeller and Tristan Thompson?
  • Missing Delonte West and loving his game
  • Ben McLemore and Nerlens Noel and who they can become [Read more...]

2013 NBA Draft Lottery – Cavs win! Nerlens Noel, Kevin Love, Chris Bosh? – WFNY Podcast – 2013-05-22

WFNY Podcast LogoScott joined me for about 20 minutes to discuss the Cavaliers goings on since winning the NBA draft lottery last night. Here’s what we talked about more specifically.

  • The turmoil of having the first overall pick in the draft

  • What do you think about the trade down cuteness?

  • Due diligence and just how little fans and media can do

  • Nerlens Noel and how good he needs to be in order for Grant to justify taking him

  • Do you trust Chris Grant to avoid the tendency to chase height and need?

  • Kevin Love and how unavailable he really is

  • James Harden wasn’t available until he was either

  • Lamarcus Aldridge and his availability

  • Marc Gasol and his ability to be moved

  • Chris Bosh’s name and how nobody has talked about it yet

  • Free agency pool and who you would look at in free agency

  • Zach Lowe’s critique of the NBA lottery event and the Cavs

  • Players and how goofy they look on the dais [Read more...]

While We’re Waiting…Kevin Love and the Cavs, and Nick Swisher is a character (literally)

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.


“Braxton Miller’s 2012 was more than nice as he led the Buckeyes to a perfect 12-0 season on the way to capturing the Big Ten’s Offensive Player of the Year award and the Chicago Tribune’s Silver Football as the league’s MVP.

But the franchise isn’t resting on his laurels. Via Twitter comes news that he’s currently working with renowned quarterback guru George Whitfield Jr. in San Diego.

The Massillon native, through his training programWhitfield Football, has worked with some of the best quarterbacks in the game today, a list that includes Andrew Luck, Cam Newton, Johnny Manziel, Ben Roethlisberger, Landry Jones, and Tajh Boyd.” [Priestas/Eleven Warriors] [Read more...]

Box Score: Timberwolves 91 Cavs 73

The Cavs fell behind on a Kevin Love jump hook in the first minute and never could quite catch up to the Timberwolves on Friday night. Scoring continues to be the Cavaliers’ glaring weekness, which is the worst weakness to have in a game where you try to outscore your opponent. The Wine and Gold shot just 34.5% from the field and scored a season low 73 points.
 
Alonzo Gee led the Cavaliers with 20 points. CJ Miles and Donald Sloan were the only other Cavalier scorers in double figures with 13 and 10 respectively. Anderson Varejao saw his streak of 10 straight games with 15 rebounds come to an end, pulling down only 14.
 
For the Timberwolves, Kevin Love was his usually monster self, scoring 36 points to go with his 13 rebounds. Rookie standout, Alexey Shved, had one of his worst games of his young career, and was a non factor all night.
 
The Cavaliers are back at home Saturday against Detroit. Detroit has lost two in a row since beating Cleveland on Monday.
 
Cleveland
Team Statistics: Starters for Cleveland Cavaliers
Starters Pos Min FG 3Pt FT +/- Off Reb Ast TO Stl BS BA PF Pts
D. Gibson G 27:20 2-7 1-4 0-0 -16 0 0 4 2 4 0 0 2 5
J. Pargo G 16:52 2-9 0-2 1-2 -15 0 2 2 2 1 0 2 2 5
A. Varejao C 33:37 2-10 0-0 0-0 -20 4 14 2 2 0 1 1 5 4
A. Gee F 30:55 7-12 2-6 0-0 -14 0 1 1 1 0 1 1 0 16
T. Thompson F 24:48 3-7 0-0 0-0 -13 0 3 0 2 2 0 1 5 6
Team Statistics: Bench for Cleveland Cavaliers
Bench Min FG 3Pt FT +/- Off Reb Ast TO Stl BS BA PF Pts
Totals 30-87 7-24 6-9   11 41 15 18 15 2 8 24 73
Percentages .345 .292 .667    
D. Sloan 31:08 4-11 1-2 1-2 -3 0 5 1 3 1 0 3 0 10
C.J. Miles 23:12 5-12 2-5 1-2 -3 0 1 0 5 1 0 0 1 13
T. Zeller 15:23 2-6 0-0 1-1 0 4 7 2 0 1 0 0 5 5
O. Casspi 14:33 2-6 1-3 0-0 -3 1 4 1 1 2 0 0 0 5
K. Jones 8:33 1-3 0-0 0-0 +3 2 4 0 0 1 0 0 0 2
L. Walton 6:50 0-2 0-2 0-0 -5 0 0 1 0 2 0 0 2 0
S. Samuels 6:49 0-2 0-0 2-2 -1 0 0 1 0 0 0 0 2 2

Minnesota

Team Statistics: Starters for Minnesota Timberwolves
Starters Pos Min FG 3Pt FT +/- Off Reb Ast TO Stl BS BA PF Pts
L. Ridnour G 30:33 6-12 0-1 0-0 +15 1 5 7 1 1 0 0 3 12
M. Lee G 20:19 1-5 0-3 4-6 +5 0 8 0 2 1 1 0 2 6
N. Pekovic C 24:30 0-3 0-0 4-4 +15 1 1 1 2 0 1 0 4 4
K. Love F 35:11 10-19 2-5 14-18 +18 6 13 0 3 1 1 1 0 36
A. Kirilenko F 30:50 4-5 0-1 0-0 +23 3 7 6 3 4 3 0 1 8
Team Statistics: Bench for Minnesota Timberwolves
Bench Min FG 3Pt FT +/- Off Reb Ast TO Stl BS BA PF Pts
Totals 30-70 4-19 27-35   13 53 18 21 13 8 2 17 91
Percentages .429 .211 .771    
A. Shved 23:31 3-8 0-4 1-3 +4 0 4 2 5 1 1 0 3 7
D. Cunningham 22:47 2-6 0-0 2-2 +9 2 6 0 1 3 0 1 2 6
J.J. Barea 19:41 3-5 2-3 2-2 +9 0 3 2 2 1 0 0 1 10
J. Howard 19:06 1-4 0-2 0-0 -2 0 3 0 1 1 0 0 1 2
G. Stiemsma 13:32 0-3 0-0 0-0 -6 0 3 0 1 0 1 0 0 0
L. Amundson DNP – Coach’s Decision
D. Williams DNP – Coach’s Decision

 

Kyrie Irving receives tweets of support from Kevin Love and…Nick Cannon?

With news surrounding the four-week shelving of Cleveland Cavaliers guard Kyrie Irving, fans of the Wine and Gold came out of the woodwork to show their support of the injured star. Also jumping in was friend and co-star of the latest Uncle Drew spot for PepsiMAX ((Spoiler Alert)), Minnesota Timberwolves power forward — and fellow USA Basketball cohort – Kevin Love, who also sustained an early-season injury.

While the Love love was somewhat expected, Irving also received some bizarre support from the host of NBC’s America’s Got Talent, Nick Cannon.

Irving’s appreciation for musicals is well documented. Whether or not he enjoyedDrumlineis still unknown at this time. A mutual admiration of Mariah Carey, perhaps?

[Related: 2-8 Records: The Cleveland way]

Video: Kyrie Irving stars In “Uncle Drew: Chapter 2″

Youngbloods beware, Uncle Drew is back. This time, he has a pick ‘n roll partner and a hoops legend as co-stars. Kyrie Irving, the star of Pepsi Max’s “Uncle Drew” commercial, returns for a second installment with Kevin Love as “Wes”, his old teammate, and Bill Russell, who reminisces about the way the game used to be played.

[Related: As the curtains are raised, the new-look Cavaliers win one for Cleveland]

Timberwolves 129, Cavs 95: NBA’s Worst Team Right Now?

Following an emotional blowout to the Miami Heat two nights ago, the Cleveland Cavaliers responded with one of the worst performances in recent franchise history. Allowing a record-breaking night to the lowly Minnesota Timberwolves, the Cavs fell 129-95 to prompt questions or whether they are currently the worst team in the NBA.

Anytime a team allows 37 points in the first quarter and then 36 in the second, you know that it is going to be a long night throughout. That’s exactly what happened to Cleveland Saturday night as young forward Kevin Love provided 28 points and 19 rebounds to pace the Wolves. The defense was awful, the rebounding was awful, the offense was fairly abysmal, and it left head coach Byron Scott scrambling for words after the game.

Not too many people with the guts to break down the narrative of last night’s blowout, so let’s just handle a few statistical disclaimers to show the epic nature of this loss:
[Read more...]

Cavaliers Preview Game #19: Cavs at Timberwolves

Cleveland Cavaliers (7-11) at
Minnesota Timberwolves (4-15)
Target Center, Minneapolis, Minn.
Saturday, December 4, 2010
8:00 PM EST
FSO/WTAM

The Cavaliers look to get back on the winning track tonight with a road date against the streaky Minnesota Timberwolves. Led by young forwards Kevin Love and Michael Beasley, Kurt Rambis’ squad has shown flashes of improved play thus far in the 2010-2011 season. The team has a nice 3-5 record at home, but their road struggles along with another loss Friday night to San Antonio have led to what looks to be yet another lottery season in Minnesota.

For the Cavs, this will be a chance at a tiny slice of redemption following their embarrassing performance on nationally television against Miami Thursday night. The 29-point loss lost fans searching for any remote signs of optimism, and could increase the talk of just starting over from scratch. Sure, Minnesota is not one of the elite or even playoff teams we should be striving to become in the future, but a win here is absolutely vital for the well-being of Byron Scott’s club. Let’s see how Ramon Sessions and Ryan Hollins perform against their former team, and how Cleveland can respond at all tonight.