April 20, 2014

Cavs vs Knicks Behind The Box Score: The Return of Kyrie Irving

BtBS KnicksThey 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.

Basketball is a game of runs. That was certainly the case in this game. The Cavaliers jumped out to an early 18-point lead, but in the 2nd quarter the Knicks came all the way back. In previous seasons the Cavaliers might have folded up, but in this game the team dug in and pushed the lead back to 18 in the second half. The Knicks would close to within 13 again in the fourth quarter, but Kyrie Irving went back to work and the Cavaliers put the Knicks away for good.

For Kyrie, this game was hopefully a breakout game for him. After struggling for most of this season, Kyrie found himself facing one of his favorite teams to play, and he took advantage. He looked aggressive early, attacking the rim, pushing the tempo and looking to keep the offense engaged. This was one of his better games on defense as well. Hopefully this isn’t a one night exception, but instead the start of Kyrie’s return to  All-Star form.

The Cavs have been an up and down team this year, but they find themselves now winners in four of their last five games and have really played pretty solid basketball in five of the last seven. It’s probably no coincidence that five of the last seven games have been at home, and sure, the Knicks are a struggling basketball team right now. But the Cavs still deserve credit for fighting to turn this season around. If they can ever figure out how to bring the same effort on the road, things will really start to turn around.  [Read more...]

Box Score: Knicks 102, Cavaliers 97

The Cleveland Cavaliers got some good news and some bad news before this game started. The good news was that Kyrie Irving would be returning after missing the last couple games with a knee injury. The bad news was that Dion Waiters and Tyler Zeller were both sick and would miss the game.

Early on, it looked like the Cavaliers wouldn’t miss them too much. On the first possession Kyrie Irving made a nice pass to a cutting Marreese Speights, who was starting for Zeller, for a wide open dunk. On the next possession Irving knocked down a three and the Cavaliers were off and running to a 5 point lead. They would end the 1st quarter with a 10 point lead.

Things would only get better from there in the 2nd quarter, as Speights would go off for 21 first half points and the Cavaliers lead would swell to 22 points. Midway through the quarter Carmelo Anthony took an awkward fall and decided he had enough and went to the locker room and wouldn’t return to the game.

So easy win for the Cavs right? Nope. Instead a miserable collapse occurred in the 3rd quarter and the Cavaliers executed poorly down the stretch in the 4th to allow the Knicks to steal a win in the Q.

After letting the Knicks get ahead by 6 with about two minutes left, the Cavaliers made a mini run to make it a game and out it within Kyrie’s reach. After an Irving layup with 40 seconds left put the Cavs within two, Ray Felton came back on the other end and looked like he had a clear path to an easy layup, but Tristan Thompson came out of nowhere to swat the ball out of bounds with three seconds left on the shot clock. On the ensuing inbound play, Amare Stoudemire missed a quick jumper from the baseline, but Tyson Chandler knocked the ball back to Jason Kidd, who was quickly fouled by Irving.

Kidd would miss the first FT to open the door. He made the 2nd to give the Knicks a 3 point lead with 6 seconds left. The Cavaliers’ inbound play saw Tyson Chandler on Kyrie Irving. I’m not sure if Irving forgot how much time was left or wanted to try to give the Cavs two shots at tying the game, but rather than use his ball handling skills to create some space for a quality shot, he instead just quickly threw up an ugly looking leaner that Chandler was able to easily knock out of harm’s way. That would be all she wrote for the Cavs.

As we’re prone to saying around these parts, this was yet another frustrating game that you just feel like the Cavaliers fell asleep on and let it get away.

 

1 2 3 4 T
NY 24 25 21 32 102
CLE 34 27 13 23 97

 

New York

Starters Pos Min FG 3Pt FT +/- Off Reb Ast TO Stl BS BA PF Pts
Raymond Felton
G 33:23 3-9 1-4 1-2 +16 1 3 10 3 1 2 1 2 8
Iman Shumpert
G 19:03 3-6 2-3 0-0 -1 0 0 0 0 1 0 0 1 8
Tyson Chandler
C 34:34 4-8 0-0 0-0 +12 3 9 2 1 1 1 0 2 8
Carmelo Anthony
F 14:15 1-5 0-1 4-4 -15 0 1 0 3 0 1 0 0 6
James White
F 4:08 1-2 0-1 0-0 0 0 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 2
Bench Min FG 3Pt FT +/- Off Reb Ast TO Stl BS BA PF Pts
Totals 36-78 12-30 18-21 12 40 23 16 9 5 2 18 102
Percentages .462 .400 .857 Team Rebounds: 11
J.R. Smith
37:32 6-17 1-7 5-6 +3 1 7 7 1 1 0 0 2 18
Amar’e Stoudemire
31:54 10-15 0-0 2-2 +13 2 6 2 4 0 1 1 4 22
Jason Kidd
29:57 3-7 3-5 3-4 +5 3 8 1 1 3 0 0 4 12
Steve Novak
20:10 4-7 4-7 3-3 -3 1 3 0 0 1 0 0 3 15
Pablo Prigioni
8:18 1-2 1-2 0-0 +1 1 2 1 2 0 0 0 0 3
Marcus Camby
6:45 0-0 0-0 0-0 -6 0 0 0 1 1 0 0 0 0
Chris Copeland
DNP – Inactive
Kenyon Martin
DNP – Coach’s Decision
Kurt Thomas
DNP – Coach’s Decision
Rasheed Wallace
DNP – Inactive

Cleveland

Starters Pos Min FG 3Pt FT +/- Off Reb Ast TO Stl BS BA PF Pts
Kyrie Irving
G 36:15 9-20 2-5 2-4 -11 1 5 6 3 1 0 3 3 22
Wayne Ellington
G 26:32 2-7 1-4 2-2 -15 0 2 0 1 0 0 0 0 7
Marreese Speights
C 31:54 10-14 0-0 3-4 -18 2 8 0 1 1 0 0 2 23
Tristan Thompson
F 31:42 6-9 0-0 2-4 0 2 8 0 2 0 1 2 3 14
Alonzo Gee
F 29:40 3-9 1-4 3-4 -7 1 3 1 1 2 0 0 6 10
Bench Min FG 3Pt FT +/- Off Reb Ast TO Stl BS BA PF Pts
Totals 37-73 6-20 17-24 6 31 25 14 9 2 5 18 97
Percentages .507 .300 .708 Team Rebounds: 6
Luke Walton
28:34 1-1 0-0 0-0 +8 0 0 12 2 1 0 0 2 2
Shaun Livingston
23:16 3-5 0-0 2-2 +17 0 1 5 1 1 1 0 0 8
C.J. Miles
22:10 3-7 2-6 3-4 +2 0 2 1 1 2 0 0 0 11
Daniel Gibson
9:57 0-1 0-1 0-0 -1 0 2 0 2 1 0 0 2 0
Omri Casspi
DNP – Appendectomy
Kevin Jones
DNP – Coach’s Decision
Anderson Varejao
DNP – Inactive
Dion Waiters
DNP – Illness
Tyler Zeller
DNP – Illness

 

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...]

2012-13 NBA Blogger Previews: Atlantic Division

For the past several years, the great Boston Celtics blog CelticsBlog.com has hosted an annual NBA Bloggers Preview. Basically, every day leading up to the start of the season, one team is previewed by s0me of the best writers on their team blogs, and then once the division is done, we will post the links to all the previews.

The Cavaliers preview day is Tuesday, October 9th, so check back then for our preview of the upcoming season. In the meantime, though, check out all the excellent links below to start getting your fill of NBA goodness before the season starts.

Can the Celtics stay healthy and make yet another run? And how will Jason Terry and Courtney Lee do as replacements for the departed Ray Allen? How big of a difference can Joe Johnson make as the Nets make their Brooklyn debut? How badly will the Knicks miss Jeremy Lin and can Jason Kidd make Knicks fans forget about losing Lin? How well can the overhauled 76ers lineup gel? Will Evan Turner step up in Andre Iguodala’s absence, and how will Andrew Bynum fare now that he is out of Kobe Bryant and Pau Gasol’s shadows in Los Angeles? As Jonas Valanciunas makes his NBA debut for the Raptors, will he make the Cavaliers regret passing on him for Tristan Thompson? [Read more...]

Box Score: Cavaliers 103 Knicks 120

Well, the Cavaliers played a good first half. And then everything fell apart in the 2nd half. Some outstanding defense from Tyson Chandler, some great 3-point shooting from Steve Novak, and a nice distribution of scoring among all their players helped the Knicks run away with this one.

Really just a sad display of poor defense, poor effort on the defensive glass, and a lack of effort down the stretch from the Cavaliers. Not much more to say on a frustrating night like this. Something tells me Byron Scott is going to have a few things to say to his team in the locker room tonight.

Cleveland

Starters Pos Min FG 3Pt FT +/- Off Reb Ast TO Stl BS BA PF Pts
K. Irving G 33:51 8-18 2-7 4-4 -19 0 3 7 4 1 0 1 3 22
A. Parker G 18:09 4-4 1-1 0-2 -7 0 0 1 2 0 0 0 2 9
S. Erden C 8:47 2-5 0-0 0-2 -7 2 4 0 0 0 0 1 4 4
A. Jamison F 38:01 9-20 2-4 3-7 -17 2 10 2 3 1 1 1 4 23
O. Casspi F 20:04 1-2 1-1 2-2 -6 1 7 1 2 0 1 0 3 5
Bench Min FG 3Pt FT +/- Off Reb Ast TO Stl BS BA PF Pts
Totals 38-82 9-20 18-27 15 43 21 17 2 4 6 31 103
Percentages .463 .450 .667 Team Rebounds: 9
D. Gibson 29:51 3-7 3-5 4-4 -10 0 0 3 1 0 0 0 3 13
T. Thompson 29:27 5-9 0-0 1-2 -5 6 8 1 1 0 1 0 5 11
A. Gee 27:56 1-9 0-2 4-4 -11 1 3 0 1 0 0 2 2 6
R. Sessions 17:24 3-4 0-0 0-0 -5 0 4 4 3 0 0 0 2 6
L. Harangody 9:59 1-1 0-0 0-0 0 2 2 1 0 0 0 0 2 2
S. Samuels 6:31 1-3 0-0 0-0 +2 1 2 1 0 0 1 1 1 2
M. Harris DNP – Coach’s Decision
R. Hollins DNP – Coach’s Decision

New York

Starters Pos Min FG 3Pt FT +/- Off Reb Ast TO Stl BS BA PF Pts
J. Lin G 33:22 6-12 0-2 7-9 +13 2 5 13 1 1 0 1 3 19
L. Fields G 19:54 1-6 0-1 0-0 -4 0 1 3 0 1 0 1 0 2
T. Chandler C 31:19 4-7 0-0 5-10 +5 5 15 0 1 3 4 0 2 13
C. Anthony F 34:02 9-16 1-3 3-5 +12 1 5 4 0 0 0 2 3 22
A. Stoudemire F 27:49 4-11 0-0 6-7 -1 3 5 0 3 0 1 0 3 14
Bench Min FG 3Pt FT +/- Off Reb Ast TO Stl BS BA PF Pts
Totals 43-85 6-20 28-42 14 42 30 8 10 6 4 22 120
Percentages .506 .300 .667 Team Rebounds: 15
I. Shumpert 21:51 5-10 0-1 2-3 +14 1 2 1 0 3 0 0 1 12
J.R. Smith 20:08 4-8 0-4 3-6 +15 0 1 0 1 0 1 0 2 11
J. Jeffries 19:37 2-2 0-0 2-2 +14 2 5 1 2 0 0 0 4 6
S. Novak 17:20 6-9 5-8 0-0 +13 0 1 0 0 1 0 0 4 17
B. Davis 14:38 2-4 0-1 0-0 +4 0 2 8 0 1 0 0 0 4
M. Bibby DNP – Coach’s Decision
T. Douglas DNP – Coach’s Decision
J. Harrellson DNP – Coach’s Decision

Cavaliers Head to NY to Face Jeremy Lin and the Surging Knicks

Cavaliers hope to beat NY again, as they did in January

Let’s be honest, this is the matchup everyone’s been waiting for, right? Kyrie Irving vs the PG who puts the Lin in Linsanity. That’s right, the Cleveland Cavaliers (13-19, 10th in the East) travel to “basketball mecca” to take on the Jeremy Lin and the New York Knickerbockers (17-18, 7th in the East).

The Cavaliers will be looking to bounce back from a very tough loss last night against the Celtics. If there’s any team for the Cavaliers to bounce back against, it would seemingly be the Knicks. In their last 20 matchups, the Cavaliers hold a 16-4 edge. Last April when the Knicks beat the Cavaliers, it snapped a 11 game win streak by the Cavaliers. The Knicks haven’t won consecutive matchups against the Cavaliers since they had a 4 game streak against Cleveland in 2005-06.

Of course, most of those wins came with LeBron James wearing the wine and gold. Now it’s Kyrie Irving’s turn to carve a legacy with Cleveland against the Knicks. Standing in his way is the story of all stories, Mr. Jeremy Lin. [Read more...]

Anthony Parker sweepstakes heat up, and something about Tyson Chandler

Cavaliers fans sometimes find themselves frustrated that the Maccabi Tel-Aviv faithful were treated to the Anthony Parker basketball playing glory days instead of us. We take our anger out on AP directly for this too, and it’s unfair.

We call him things like a super-old and ancient Shooting Guard, a defensive minded player who can’t defend anybody anymore, a guy who can’t create his own shot, and even an NBA player who can no longer launch the ball up into the basket successfully.

We don’t mean any of it though, because we do love Anthony Parker. Just like a lot of other people in the NBA love Anthony Parker too.  Including the New York Knicks, reportedly.

Heading into their first full training camp with both Amare’ Stoudemire and Carmelo Anthony together, it was reported this morning that New York is interested in adding one more piece to load up for their run at the NBA championship.  That piece being a 36-year old SG from Cleveland, by way of Bradley University.

This from Marc Berman of the New York Post: [Read more...]

A great night in the Garden for your Cleveland Cavaliers

This one had to leave you almost as pumped up as Byron Scott was when Baron Davis’ three pointer secured the Cavs victory in New York last night with 10 seconds left.  It had everything you could ever want in a Cavs game. 

The Cavaliers rallied from multiple double digit deficits, and eventually erased a 12-point fourth quarter lead on their way to beating the New York Knicks  for the third time this season.  Carmelo called it a grudge match, and that’s the same way the young Cavaliers and their new lead guard treated it.

Nobody was trying to friend anybody out there, just a bunch of guys trying to not only intimidate each other but simply beat each other as well.  In a vaccuum, the type of effort on display in Friday night’s game was all we ever asked for as Cavs fans.  The fact that it was at the Garden, with Spike Lee and his Elmer Fudd looking hat sitting courtside, just made the victory that much sweeter.   [Read more...]

While We’re Waiting…Cavs snap streak, Vikings fall, and big name NBA trades

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

Cavs beat Knicks in OT: “In the end, it seemed like it wouldn’t end.  The game or the streak.  Finally, after five overtime minutes and after multiple Cavaliers played the hero’s role, the Cavs are back in the win column.

They topped the Knicks 109-102 Saturday night as the Cavaliers scored the final points in regulation and never trailed in the overtime session. Mo Williams led the way with 23, including the driving layup to send it to overtime, and 14 assists. Anderson Varejao had 14 points and 17 rebounds, and Antawn Jamison finished with 21 points and 9 rebounds.  All three were instrumental in putting the game away.

Stoudemire had 23 points and 11 rebounds, but he didn’t win his individual battle with Varejao. Stoudemire was whistled for 3 offensive fouls and committed 8 turnovers.  [FSO / Zac Jackson]

[Read more...]

Cavs culture of losing continues…10 in a row and looking for more

A number of things have come to light recently to prove my previous perceptions of the Cavaliers over the last five years - both individually as players, as well as collectively as an organization - to be quite false.

As I watched the Cavs diligently work towards extending they’re losing streak from 9 to 10 games last night against Indiana, another of these incorrect perceptions hit me squarely in the face.  It might not be a new revelation to some, but it was new to me.

For the last five years, I had completely bought-in to the idea that the Cavaliers were a “winning organization” with a “winning culture”, regardless of who was on the roster.  I basically had accepted it as fact.  I also thought, that despite the challenges this season would undoubtedly involve, the Cavaliers would still compete, and still demonstrate characteristics of an organization with that type of culture - even if they didn’t win at the clip they had over the last five seasons.

What is evident to me now, is there never really was a “winning culture” within the make-up of this organization.  [Read more...]

2010-11 NBA Blogger Previews – Atlantic Division

Yep, it’s that time of year again already. Once again, CleticsBlog 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.

First up is the Atlantic 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. We will be posting the Cavaliers preview on September 29, so stay tuned. [Read more...]

Dissecting the Knicks’ Presentation to LeBron

Yesterday, the New York Knicks spent a long time with LeBron James in downtown Cleveland making their case for LeBron to come to New York.  Later in the day, Forbes had some of the slides that the Knicks purportedly used in that presentation.  The quick summary is that the Knicks talked to the mogul in LeBron James.  They talked about international exposure provided in New York.  They talked about some mythical “up to” 15% market premium for playing in New York.  Anyway, without any more intro, here are some of the more interesting nuggets. The slides that Forbes had were created by a bigtime company called InterBrand.  Others (Matt Moore) have discussed this more concisely (and maybe more comically) than I have, but read them later.

InterBrand isn’t an advertising company really.  They work on projects dealing with a company’s brand.  In the case of LeBron James, they spoke almost exclusively of LeBron in terms of the business entity he has created.  In InterBrand’s eyes, LeBron James is a corporation.  InterBrand has a gaudy client list from Applebee’s, Dunkin Donuts, BMW, Holiday Inn, ConAgra, Prozac Eli Lilly, and Stolichnaya.  According to their website, they even helped Microsoft develop the impossibly obnoxious BING name for their re-branded web browser. [Read more...]

David Letterman Has Cleveland’s Back

I don’t normally watch late night talk shows. To be honest, these days, I’m usually in bed before 11:35 pm anyway. So it’s not every night that I watch David Letterman. However, I generally look at the late night shows in the guide and see if there’s going to be an interesting guest on, and if there is, I set my DVR to record it.

When I saw that Eminem and Jay-Z were set to perform, I decided it might be worthwhile to record. What I didn’t know was that Jay-Z was going to actually be a guest on the show as well. Once I saw that, I was really happy I had it recorded.

The interview started out boring enough. Frankly, Jay-Z may be a great entertainer, but the guy gives lousy interviews. He had quite literally nothing interesting to say whatsoever, and Dave could barely get more than 2 sentences out of him. It was a train wreck, as Dave tried to ask Jay-Z about his relationship with Eminem and why they were choosing to do their 2 shows in Detroit and New York City. Once the topic switched to basketball, though, things got a little more interesting as you can see in the video below:  [Read more...]

NBA Trade Rumors: No Clarity, Just Speculation

As the Cavs attempt to move forward ahead of the July 1st LeBron James free agency, the picture is getting less and less clear.  As we learn about more teams’ desires and positions and draft needs, it makes the world awfully complicated.  I mean, we are talking about the same league that is capable of producing three team deals with relative regularity.  With that in mind, I will not try to predict what the Cavs will do.  I will just state a few basic assumptions based on previous rumors.  Mo Williams is available.  Delonte West is available and a valuable trade piece because his buyout is only $500k.  J.J. Hickson is probably available for the right deal and despite Cavs’ fans concerns, he still has value.  With those things and Dan Gilbert’s spending history in mind, here are the rumors.  I could try and connect the dots in putting the Cavs involved in every one of these rumors, but it seems like a pointless exercise.  I’ll let Chris Grant / Dan Gilbert do their thing and hope for the best. [Read more...]

LeBron Has No Choice (In New Yorker’s Minds)

So, has anyone read the latest over at ESPN about LeBron?  Judging by Twitter, I would say a lot of you have.  Ian O’Connor is a writer who moved from the Bergen County Record to write for ESPNNewYork.  In case you didn’t know, ESPN has been branching into local coverage for bigger cities in an attempt to take over yet another segment of sports culture in America: the local newspaper.  Anyway, Ian O’Connor decided to write an article for ESPNNewYork called “Only one choice for LeBron’s kingdom.”  In the end, it turns out to be one of the largest wastes of 2,000+ words since the garbled screams and over-the-top soliloquies were captured in script form for the movie 2012.

I think I probably can guess what you are all thinking.  Why in the world would I read an article so pointless and then decide to spend my own amount of words talking about it?  Isn’t that exactly what Ian O’Connor and the brass at ESPNNY want?  Probably.  Still, hopefully I can cover this from a different perspective than the typical lines that we always spew when this comes up.  We have covered this ad nauseum on this site.  I am sure everyone can spout the “LeBron should stay” and “LeBron should leave” arguments from memory because we have talked about it so much. [Read more...]

Cavaliers Preview Game #61: Knicks at Cavs

Cavaliers vs KnicksNew York Knicks (20-38) vs
Cleveland Cavaliers (46-14)
Quicken Loans Arena, Cleveland, OH
Monday, March 1, 2010
7:00 PM EST
FSOH/WTAM

I’ll be honest, this isn’t the happiest point of the season for the Cavaliers and their fans. We’re still waiting for Z to come back, now we find out Shaq will be out 8 weeks recovering from his thumb surgery. Then you add the fact that LeBron is currently hobbled with the thigh injury he suffered against Toronto, and factor in the fact the Cavaliers are playing the Knicks, so every NBA site of course feels the need to talk about LeBron going there. All these things just add up to a somewhat gloomy and overcast feeling right now. But under the surface, there’s plenty of good things happening, too. Leon Powe has returned and is going to be seeing a lot of playing time, Antawn Jamison continues to look better and better every game, and whereas it initially looked like Hickson’s development was going to be halted due to the depth on the team, now he’s going to continue to get the minutes he needs to further his improvement. Hopefully the Cavaliers can provide fans another uplifting moment by showing the Knicks precisely what all these “inferior role players” on the Cavs are capable of doing.   [Read more...]

LeBron James To Become Mute on Free Agency Talk……Probably (Maybe?)

LeBron's MoratoriumAs if last night’s game with Orlando didn’t have enough talking points as it was (including a ridiculous discussion about LeBron’s Yankees shoes….but that’s another story for another time), LeBron James found a new way to keep his name in headlines with regards to his impending free agency. They say silence is golden, but can silence speak louder than words? LeBron is going to try to find out…..or so he says.

It’s not hard to believe that the non stop questions in every city is starting to wear on LeBron. We as fans are sick beyond belief with having to listen to the talk on every telecast, read every story about it on every major website every single day, and to have to listen to LeBron himself seemingly relish in the attention and spotlight. I’ve heard plenty of fans say ‘enough is enough already’, and now LeBron seems to finally agree with us.   [Read more...]

Larry Hughes Going Back to Cleveland? Um, No.

Larry HughesIf there was a Mount Rushmore of NBA Writers, I’m not exactly sure who would all be on it. What I can tell you, though, is that one name that would probably get some consideration (in some circles) is Sam Smith. The former Chicago Tribune writer who covered the Bulls beat in the MJ era and currently writes exclusively for the Chicago Bulls’ official site (Bulls.com) probably earned his most fame for writing his essential must-read book “The Jordan Rules”.

I cannot think of another book that influenced my love of the NBA more than this book. In a few hundred pages, Sam Smith tears down the curtain between fan and player and gives anyone who will dare to look a peek inside the world of the NBA athlete. The book followed the 1990-91 Chicago Bulls team as they overcome no shortage of inner turmoil and jealousy in order to rise above and win their first NBA Championship. But most importantly, Smith writes the book in such a way that we can’t help but feel like we’re the ones inside the locker room with the team. The book is a masterpiece and it has cemented Smith’s place in the pantheon of great NBA writers.

Unfortunately, it seems these days Smith is more interested in ruffling feathers and spreading (seemingly) baseless rumors. [Read more...]

2009-10 NBA Blogger Previews – Atlantic Division

The month of October means three things: 1) all hope and optimism for the Browns has dissipated, 2)  NBA preseason basketball is here, and 3) CelticsBlog is once again hosting their annual NBA Blogger Previews. We will be doing the Cavaliers preview next Monday, but this week the Atlantic Division was on the clock and you can read all the previews below.   [Read more...]

LeBron James: An Epic Performance

LeBron James Triple DoubleThe question I was asked the most throughout the day on Wednesday was whether or not I thought LeBron would try to top Kobe’s 61 point performance in Madison Square Garden on Monday night.

I always thought the question seemed kind of strange. First of all, I thought, LeBron has only had five 50+ point games in his career, and his career high is 56, which he dropped on the Raptors in 2005. So to try to top 61 points seemed far fetched. Besides, that’s not LeBron’s game, I told myself.

Heck, LeBron himself said he wasn’t going to try to top Kobe’s brilliant performance. After the Raptors game Tuesday, LeBron said,

“I just go out and play my game,” James said. “I’m not a video game where you can just expect me to go out there and score 60 or 70. I play the game to win the game. I’m not into individual accolades. Kobe Bryant’s performance was unbelievable. I watched every second of it. It’s not about individuals in this league.”

So no, I did not think LeBron would be able to top Kobe’s 61 point onslaught.

Only, the thing is…..I was wrong. LeBron topped it not in points scored, but in significance of accomplishment.   [Read more...]