April 24, 2014

Box Score: Lakers 94, Cavaliers 100

What a night for Cleveland sports.

First, Kyrie Irving came back for the Cavaliers.

Then, while the game was going on, the Indians made what appears to be a stellar trade.

And then, just for good measure, the Cavaliers beat the Lakers.

It was evident from the beginning just how much Irving was missed. Kyrie wasted no time in making his impact felt and the Cavaliers opened up a huge 54-39 lead at the half. The Lakers would fight and claw their way back into this game, and they set up an awesome 4th quarter showdown between Kyrie Irving and Kobe Bryant. In the end, the Cavaliers made just enough plays down the stretch to hang on and get the win.

Anderson Varejao fell 1 rebound short of yet another double-double but finished with 20 points. CJ Miles, starting for the still injured Dion Waiters, had by far the best game of his career with 28 points. And Kyrie tied Miles for the team high with 28 of his own to go with his 11 assists and 6 rebounds.

Kobe Bryant was incredible as always with 42 points, but it really did feel like Kobe was playing by himself against the Cavaliers. Credit to Tristan Thompson for some good defense on Dwight Howard, and Tyler Zeller was especially impressive on defense in this game as the Cavaliers were content to force Kobe to do everything himself.

Huge win for the Cavaliers and a huge morale boost to do it with Kyrie Irving back in the lineup.

 

1 2 3 4 T
LAL 23 16 23 32 94
CLE 29 25 14 32 100

 

LA Lakers

Starters Pos Min FG 3Pt FT +/- Off Reb Ast TO Stl BS BA PF Pts
K. Bryant G 40:43 16-28 3-9 7-10 -7 1 5 2 5 1 1 0 1 42
C. Duhon G 33:02 1-2 0-1 0-0 -2 0 3 2 2 1 0 0 1 2
D. Howard C 41:06 3-9 0-0 13-22 -10 6 20 3 4 0 0 1 5 19
M. World Peace F 35:37 5-12 2-6 1-4 -9 3 9 0 3 1 1 2 3 13
J. Hill F 25:33 1-6 0-0 0-0 -9 5 10 1 2 1 1 1 5 2
Bench Min FG 3Pt FT +/- Off Reb Ast TO Stl BS BA PF Pts
Totals 31-75 7-27 25-40 15 54 11 18 7 3 4 22 94
Percentages .413 .259 .625 Team Rebounds: 9
A. Jamison 29:21 3-10 1-6 2-2 +7 0 1 0 0 2 0 0 4 9
J. Meeks 21:17 2-6 1-4 2-2 -5 0 4 0 0 1 0 0 2 7
D. Morris 6:52 0-1 0-0 0-0 -2 0 1 1 1 0 0 0 1 0
D. Ebanks 6:29 0-1 0-1 0-0 +7 0 1 2 1 0 0 0 0 0
E. Clark DNP – Coach’s Decision
P. Gasol DNP – Coach’s Decision
R. Sacre DNP – Coach’s Decision

Cleveland

Starters Pos Min FG 3Pt FT +/- Off Reb Ast TO Stl BS BA PF Pts
K. Irving G 38:14 11-21 4-6 2-3 +12 2 6 11 4 1 0 1 3 28
C.J. Miles G 37:11 10-18 5-10 3-4 +7 0 5 0 1 1 1 0 5 28
A. Varejao C 34:51 8-13 0-1 4-7 +9 2 9 5 1 3 1 1 4 20
A. Gee F 39:59 6-14 2-5 3-4 +5 1 5 3 3 1 1 0 4 17
T. Thompson F 33:36 0-3 0-0 1-4 +1 2 10 0 1 0 0 1 4 1
Bench Min FG 3Pt FT +/- Off Reb Ast TO Stl BS BA PF Pts
Totals 37-84 11-27 15-26 8 43 24 12 8 4 3 26 100
Percentages .440 .407 .577 Team Rebounds: 11
T. Zeller 27:08 2-6 0-0 2-2 +2 1 6 3 0 2 0 0 3 6
O. Casspi 11:50 0-3 0-1 0-2 0 0 1 1 0 0 0 0 2 0
J. Pargo 9:46 0-3 0-2 0-0 -6 0 1 1 2 0 1 0 1 0
D. Gibson 7:00 0-3 0-2 0-0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
S. Samuels 0:25 0-0 0-0 0-0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
K. Jones DNP – Coach’s Decision
D. Sloan DNP – Coach’s Decision
L. Walton DNP – Coach’s Decision

Cavaliers Welcome Kyrie Irving Back as they Host the Los Angeles Lakers

Life without Kyrie Irving has not been fun. It was hard. How hard? The Cleveland Cavaliers (4-17, 13th in the East) went 2-9 without him. Sure, the Cavaliers are 2-8 with him, so there’s no evidence of the team being worse without him. But if you watched the 11 games he missed, you know the truth.

The Cavaliers score 108.3 points per 100 possessions with Kyrie on the floor. They score just 98.4 without him. It has been painfully obvious over the course of the past few weeks that without Kyrie Irving the Cavaliers just do not have the offensive firepower to win games.

There is a flipside, though. The Cavaliers’ defense has unquestionably been better since Kyrie has been out. Indeed, in the 10 games Kyrie played, the Cavaliers gave up 100+ points 8 times. They’ve given up that many just 5 times in the 11 games without him. With Kyrie, the Cavaliers allowed opponents to average 50.32% from the field and score 102.70 points per game. Without him, opponents shot 46.15% from the field and scored 98.55 points per game. [Read more...]

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: Pacific 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 some 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 tomorrow, 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 Andrew Bogut stay healthy this season, and if so, what will his impact on the Warriors be?

[Read more...]

Acquiring Andrew Bynum Might be Cavaliers’ One Shot at Building a Title Contender

An actual young All-Star could be Kyrie Irving’s teammate for the future.

There’s a story I remember from my childhood. It involves a man who is living in his house on the bank of a river. One day, a storm begins to build up strength and the rains begin to pour down. The newscaster on TV interrupts programming to warn those living on the river to evacuate because of the risk of flood. The man thought to himself, “God will surely deliver me from this flood.”

The rain continued to pour down and the water began to rise. The man had to move to his 2nd floor balcony as the first floor was now completely submerged. A neighbor who happened to have a boat was driving through the area looking for people who were stranded. He saw the man on his balcony and brought the boat over to offer him help escaping. “Thank you, but I don’t need your help,” said the man. “God will surely deliver me from this flood.”

The rain continued to fall and the water continued to rise. By now, the man had moved to his roof as the water had overtaken the 2nd floor of his house. A rescue helicopter was flying over the houses looking for people to rescue. Seeing the man on his roof, the helicopter sent a rescue diver down to get the man. “Thank you for offering, but I don’t need your help,” the man told the diver. “God will surely deliver me from this flood.” [Read more...]

Rumors of Cavaliers Involvement in Dwight Howard Trade Heat Up Again

According to NBA sources, the Cleveland Cavaliers are once again thought to be involved in a potential Dwight Howard trade. This time, the Cavaliers would theoretically be landing Lakers big man Andrew Bynum.

According to ESPN.com’s Ric Bucher:

The Cavaliers would land Lakers center Andrew Bynum for a package of draft picks and veteran power forward Anderson Varejao, according to one league source. The Lakers would receive Howard for Bynum. Orlando would get Varejao and draft picks. The source said this was merely the framework of a deal being discussed.

Obviously we’ve heard rumors like this before, so this isn’t exactly new territory being covered. But for what it’s worth, it sounds like there’s some smoke to this fire. Which, of course, means nothing is probably going to happen.

For the Cavaliers, though, it’s a chance to pair a top 5 PG in Kyrie with a top 2 center in Bynum. It’s a core that you have to believe you can build around and, frankly, gives you 2/3s of your own Big 3. It’s a risky trade for Cleveland and it throws a wrench in the rebuilding plan, but it’s probably a risk that makes too much sense to pass on for Cleveland.

Again, assuming these rumors are true.

[Related: Summer League Thoughts: On Dion Waiters, His Struggles, and More]

Cavaliers Shouldn’t Alter Rebuilding Path for the Sake of Making the Playoffs

The Cavaliers still should trade Sessions...for a first round pick

It’s funny to be sitting here a day before the NBA trade deadline and thinking about how a Cleveland trade would impact their own playoff hopes.

It’s true, though. That is the Cleveland Cavaliers’ reality. As of today, Cleveland is 1 game behind the Milwaukee Bucks for the 8th spot in the Eastern Conference. I don’t think anyone ever thought this would be an issue for Cleveland this soon, yet here we are.

With Anderson Varejao now having been out for a month, how did the Cavaliers get here? It’s really a combination of things. First, getting the 8 seed in the East is nothing special. The Cavaliers are 8 games under .500 and yet are 1 game out of the playoffs. If anything, these playoff aspirations are more about the pathetic nature of the Eastern Conference than about any perceived quality of the Cavaliers.

Were they in the Western Conference, the Cavaliers would be in 14th position, five and a half games behind 8th seed Houston. Rather than talking about how exciting the season is and having all this hyperbole about how incredible it is that Cleveland is in the playoff hunt, the talk instead would be just how far the Cavaliers have to go to be competitive with their Western Conference peers. [Read more...]

The Cavaliers and Cleveland Fans Very Familiar With NBA’s Trade Deadline

March 15th is the trade deadline in the NBA this year. As Cleveland fans, we are quite used to rumors and speculation throughout the month of February. The Cavaliers have been heavy players at the deadline for a number of years.

In fact, it would seem strange if the Cavaliers weren’t involved in trade discussions. This year the tables have turned a bit and the Cavaliers are sellers instead of buyers. We’ve been through the Anderson Varejao discussions already this season, and his injury coupled with outstanding play this season have pretty much ruled out the Cavs moving the Brazilian big man. The Cavaliers would have to be blown away to let Andy go.

Antawn Jamison is the team’s second-leading scorer behind Kyrie Irving at 17.3 points per game and just over 6.5 rebounds. He also has an expiring contract that would have been like gold previous to the new collective bargaining agreement. Now with the amnesty clause and a few other tweaks, that expiring deal is less attractive. The Cavs would have to really like a young player to take on salary to match the equivalent of Jamison’s $15 million. Contenders aren’t exactly lining up to snatch the 36-year-old volume shooter like they were when the Cavaliers acquired him two years ago. [Read more...]

It’s a Shame, but the Cavaliers Need to Trade Ramon Sessions

Sessions' time in Cleveland may be ending soon

The first half of the NBA season is now complete for the Cleveland Cavaliers. They now will enjoy a nice 5 day break (except for Kyrie Irving and Tristan Thompson, who will partake in some of the festivities in Orlando) for the All-Star Break. When they come back next Tuesday, they will play two games back to back nights, and then that is it for February.

It’s hard to believe March is right around the corner already, but even more surprising is how quickly the NBA trade deadline will be here. March 15 is just 21 days away, which means Chris Grant and company have just 21 days to decide the future for several players.

We’ve already debated trading Anderson Varejao, and Antawn Jamison is an obvious trade target due to his contract status. But the one player who the Cavaliers absolutely must trade is Ramon Sessions. It’s just too bad they have to do so.

There are actually a few decent reasons not to trade Sessions. The Cavaliers will probably never find a better backup PG than Sessions. You want to know a big reason why the Cavaliers are such a competitive team this year? It’s being able to have a player like Sessions fill in for Kyrie Irving when he goes to the bench. The losses of Anthony Parker and Daniel Gibson would have been much more brutal for the team if they didn’t have a versatile PG who could also coexist in the backcourt with Irving to trade off PG/SG roles. [Read more...]

Mark Cuban Supported Dan Gilbert’s Position On CP3 Deal, Then Trades For Lamar Odom

Dan Gilbert wasn’t the only owner who supported David Stern’s veto on the deal between the Lakers, Rockets and Hornets previously designed to send Chris Paul to Los Angeles.

His email, seemingly a private one addressed to David Stern, was the only one that leaked publicly but he wasn’t alone in his position.

We can assume that a number of other owners shared similar sentiments, but we don’t have to assume that Dallas Mavericks Owner Mark Cuban was one of them.  Cuban said as much on the record this past Friday.

Following reports that Thursday’s proposed trade was nixed by Commissioner David Stern,  Cuban offered the following statement in support of Stern’s decision to block the trade in an interview with ESPN Dallas’ 103.3 FM:

“The message is we went through this lockout for a reason,” Cuban said. “Again, I’m not speaking for Stern. He’s not telling me his thought process. I’m just telling you my perspective, having gone through all this. There’s a reason that we went through this lockout, and one of the reasons is to give small-market teams the ability to keep their stars and the ability to compete.”

“Players will always have the right to choose what they want to do as a free agent, but the players agreed to rules that said, ‘You know what? Let’s give the home team, the incumbent team, an extra advantage.’ And that’s how the rules were designed. I think they’re going to work.”

Then on Saturday night Mark Cuban’s Mavericks traded for Lamar Odom, the 6th Man of the Year last season and an integral piece in the proposed Chris Paul trade.   [Read more...]

Cavaliers Not Interested In Letting Byron Scott Interview For Lakers Job

In yesterday’s “While We’re Waiting”, Rick posted a link to an article by Fox Sports Ohio’s Sam Amico in which he laid out the case for why current Cleveland Cavaliers head coach Byron Scott would be a prime candidate for the Los Angeles Lakers’ likely vacant coaching seat. He also said something that probably made some Cavs fans uneasy, particular those fans who appreciate the work Coach Scott did last season. He said that Coach Scott would almost certainly be interested in the job.

Cleveland sometimes takes a lot of grief for the passion of its sports fans, but the sports fans in Cleveland mirror the spirit of the city. They cherish qualities such as loyalty, dedication, and hard work in ways that isn’t necessarily true in all places. As a result, Cleveland sports fans often feel that need their athletes to be just as loyal and dedicated to Cleveland as they are. Sometimes this is misplaced as inferiority complex, but that’s not really the whole truth. The fact of the matter is that Cleveland is just different from a lot of other big cities. Frequently the butt of jokes from the national media, the city has been cast in such an unflattering light nationally that it’s hard to really blame Cleveland fans for taking it all so personally. [Read more...]

2010-11 NBA Blogger Previews – Pacific 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.

Next up is the Pacific 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 later today, so stay tuned. [Read more...]

Mathematical Proof of Tom Izzo’s NBA Success

As the free agency rumor season continues, the Cavaliers coaching rumor season is also relatedly running full force.  After Danny Ferry’s resignation it appears that Dan Gilbert might just be intent on hiring a college coach, namely Tom Izzo.  Now a lot of people are especially wary of college coaches making the jump from the college ranks to the NBA.  The thinking being, how do you take a process that includes recruiting like crazy to guarantee some sort of success and then just rely on your X’s and O’s expertise to get the job done?  All the while, you have to make it happen with players who are no longer working for free, but make much much (much) more money than you do.  All practical theories aside, I set out to prove once and for all with mathematics why Tom Izzo will definitely be a success in the NBA.  The Shannon Brown Principle does this perfectly.

[Read more...]

Cavaliers Preview Game #44: Lakers at Cavs

Cavaliers vs LakersLos Angeles Lakers (32-9) vs
Cleveland Cavaliers (32-11)
Quicken Loans Arena, Cleveland, OH
Thursday, January 21, 2010
8:00 PM EST
TNT, FSOH/WTAM

I’ll take the blame for this one. I just mentioned the other day to a friend of mine that I was concerned that the Cavaliers have been remarkably healthy for the most part over the past 2 seasons. Well, now the seemingly unthinkable has happened, and Mo Williams is out with an injury. Other than LeBron himself, Mo Williams has shown himself to be a physical specimen over the last couple seasons in Cleveland, impervious to injury and fighting his way through any little tweaks/twists he might incur along the way. Now he will be missing some time with his sprained shoulder (upgraded from the initial ‘strained shoulder’ diagnosis) and the Cavaliers are in some trouble.

If anything, this signifies why the Cavaliers still need to make a trade, because an injury to Mo leaves LeBron without a scoring sidekick. Someone is going to have to step up in a major way for the Cavaliers in this game. Last time out the Cavs had their way with the Lakers, but that’s all going to change tonight without Jamario Moon and Mo Williams. Hopefully Jawad Williams can continue to play admirably in Moon’s spot and Boobie Gibson can knock off all his rust and pick up right where he left off. Otherwise, this could be an ugly one tonight.    [Read more...]

Shaq: Cavaliers = Best Team I’ve Ever Been On

Cleveland CavaliersIt’s no secret that Shaquille O’Neal has played on an abundance of great teams. Arguably one of the three best centers of all time, the Big Whatever has been in the playoffs in every season of his career except last year when the Suns fell short. He has played in the NBA Finals six times (one with Orlando, four with the Lakers, and one with Miami), and has won four titles. So needless to say, the man knows a thing or two about playing with greatness.

Thursday, when talking with the media, Shaq took the opportunity to state that this Cavaliers team is the best team he’s ever played on. The Plain Dealer’s Mary Schmitt Boyer was covering the story, and she wrote:

O’Neal raised a few eyebrows after practice Thursday by declaring this Cavaliers team “the best team I’ve ever played on. On paper, anyway.” [Read more...]

Eat It TMZ: Kobe Rocks His Own T-Shirt

Lakers Parade BasketballPerhaps they should stick to following Paris Hilton around like sad little dogs…

Today this appeared on TMZ’s site. I’m not going to say that wearing your own shirt is cool, but TMZ’s comment:

For the record — you won’t see Kobe Bryant wearing a shirt with his individual accomplishments plastered on the front of it during his championship parade today — he’s gonna let the trophy do the talking.

Um….care to try again?

In case you don’t get the shirt, that’s puppet Kobe’s hand with four rings. Not a 2009 Laker’s championship shirt. Not a 15-time champions shirt. Not even the team caricature shirt. Pretty sure that’s an individual accomplishment type of thing there. 

(AP Photo/Reed Saxon)

The 2009 NBA Finals: Who Really Cares?

NBA Finals 2009Here we are boys and girls. The dog days of summer. The grueling time when the NHL Playoffs are winding down, the baseball season is just getting good, and those silly playoffs in the basketball world come to an end. Just like has been the style for pretty much the last four decades, Cleveland fans are left apathetic about the NBA Finals atmosphere as the champions are crowned and forever remembered.

So what the Los Angeles Lakers are playing in their upteenth appearance in the Finals, or Dwight Howard finally broke through with his no-longer injury-depleted Orlando Magic. The Cavs are not playing anymore, and I really couldn’t care about either one of these teams at all. It is just like watching the World Series in 2007, or the Super Bowls in those Elway years, or the BCS National Championship last year. Sure we lost to some of those teams and those losses stung incredibly bad, but in the end, it doesn’t really matter.

This entire disease should be entitled the “Cleveland Apathy.” While the greatest champions in the history of sports are forever etched into sports glory, for the 45th consecutive calendar year it looks like we Northeast Ohio fans will not be celebrating at the very end. Seriously, how can people even stand to watch the Finals this season? I am a huge basketball fan, do not get me wrong on that at all, but after the heart-wrenching defeat suffered by the Cavaliers in the Conference Finals, I am just about sick of the NBA for this year. Come back in October stories about LeBron in 2010 or our inability to stop a low-post scorer. I need a break from all of this Cavs madness. [Read more...]

While We’re Waiting… Could LeBron AND Braylon be in Cleveland After 2010?

While We’re Waiting aims to be the round-up of the recent WFNY-esque information for your morning viewing. Have something you think we should see? Send it to our tips email in the sidebar.

we-are-all-witnesses

Mind you, this is coming out of New York: “Cleveland never seems to have the best player in any sport. Well, almost never; the one and only time it happened was when the Browns flaunted Jim Brown. So now, not only do the Cavs have the best player — he’s from Akron!  He’s local!  In modern times, even going back nearly 45 years, it’s unprecedented that an NBA team’s luminary grew up in the vicinity.  [...]  For the life of me, I cannot fathom anything the Knicks (space prohibits me from cluttering conjecture with other pretenders) can offer a performer of James’ upper crust that would make him leave Cleveland — other than basketball’s most grandiose stage.”  [Peter Vescey/New York Post]

[Read more...]

Cavs Kind of Roll Through Hawks

(Cavs 102 – Hawks 96 box)

The Cavs smashed the Hawks something fierce.  In the first half, anyway.  The Cavs held the Hawks to 35 points in the first half.  That is some good defense.  It is also some bad offense, but in the case of the Cavs at home, I won’t take anything away from them.  The Cavs played a monstrous first half and went into the locker room with a lead of 53-35.  In the second half the Cavs coasted through the third quarter and rested the starters a bit in the fourth quarter.  The Hawks pulled the score to within 6 with under a minute to play, but they never got closer than that.

The Hawks were not happy about a lot of the officiating and they picked up a lot of technicals as a result.  Coach Mike Woodson was ejected in the third quarter after getting his second technical.  Mike Bibby and Josh Smith also each picked up a technical foul.  Interestingly enough, a young guy, Al Horford sounded like an old veteran with his post-game comments.

“We shouldn’t even be talking to the refs,” Horford said. “We have to go out there and play. The Cavs are the best team in the league, so we need to go out and play. Until guys understand that, we’re going to be going through this.” [Read more...]

Enjoying The Enemy’s Pain, and Fantasy Sports News

Celtics bench

By beating the Magic last night, and with Boston giving up a million points to the Bulls the Cavaliers find themselves 4.5 games up on Boston and 5 up on the Magic with 15 games to play. “I’m not a smart man, but I know what the magic number is.” A little quick math reveals the Cavs’ magic number for home court throughout the Eastern Conference playoffs sits at 11. Any Cavs win or Boston/Orlando loss reduces that number by one. There’s a chance the Celtics slip behind Orlando as soon as tonight. Orlando travels to Milwaukee, where Dwight Howard might actually take a shot in the fourth quarter, and the Heat pay a visit to Boston.

Boston could be even more short-handed than usual. Garnett isn’t scheduled to return until Friday at the earliest, nor will Tony Allen who is still a few weeks away. Last night however, a few more Celtics got banged up. Cleveland killer Leon Powe bruised his knee and isn’t certain to play, neither is Rajon Rondo who rolled his ankle (again) and might miss a game or two. In addition Ray Allen hyper-extended his elbow and might need to rest. Now, I don’t for a second think all those guys are going to be out. They are tough guys and I don’t think they are going to let their team down. How effective they are might be another matter. [Read more...]