July 24, 2014

LeBron has talked to Kevin Love about playing in Cleveland

The murmurs continue: LeBron James has reportedly talked to Kevin Love about the possibility of playing together with the Cleveland Cavaliers. Yahoo’s Adrian Wojnarowski and Marc Spears reported the news on Thursday evening.

Love is enthusiastic about the idea of teaming with James on the Cleveland Cavaliers, sources said. James’ decision to sign only a two-year contract that affords him the option of again becoming a free agent at the end of next season has not tempered Love’s interest in joining James on the roster.

The report stated that a deal is still not imminent, but again cited sources on the topic of the Cavs’ willingness to include Andrew Wiggins. An interesting new caveat: A third team would indeed be likely for the deal to make plausible sense. Otherwise, the Cavs would likely be depleting their roster too much.

Golden State remains reluctant to include Klay Thompson in a potential trade for Love. Such a deal with the Warriors — including forward David Lee — would perhaps be a bit more logical. But with LeBron’s persistence, anything can change in a hurry.

We’ll keep you posted on anything new. Although a deal might not happen by the weekend, there’s certain to be continued buzz and updates.

WFNY Roundtable: Should the Cavs trade for Kevin Love?

WFNY_roundtable

And you thought that the Cleveland Cavaliers were done with lightning-rod debates for the summer? No, my friend, they are just getting started.

During the four days since LeBron James’ letter, Twitter has been on fire with all sorts of takes on the potential for a trade for Minnesota Timberwolves star Kevin Love. To get a sense of where we all stand, I asked my Waiting For Next Year colleagues for their brief responses to the current rumors. Stay tuned for more posts to come soon and share your thoughts in the comments.

Scott Sargent (@WFNYScott): This won’t make for great debate, but I somewhat feel that the Cavaliers—especially David Griffin—will be in a no-lose situation. The decision, reduced to its most simplest terms, comes down to winning more games sooner, or delaying potential dominance, but with the window open a bit longer. [Read more...]

On defensive analytics and the Cavs’ recent issues

Cleveland Cavaliers v Dallas Mavericks

“Math is winning out on offense in the NBA.”

These were the words of Grantland’s Zach Lowe, the man whose writing represents basketball’s best combination of analytics with the league beat. But what does Lowe mean by that exactly? And where can we see information relevant for the struggling Cleveland Cavaliers, owners of the NBA’s worst defense since Luol Deng’s debut last month?

Looking into those questions requires background information on the rise of basketball analytics and a look into what we actually do know about defensive analytics in the game today. [Read more...]

Home is Where the Hope Is: On the Cavs’ bizarre inability to win on the road

Kyrie Irving knees

The mighty Cleveland Cavaliers are one of just nine teams to be undefeated within the confines of their own home, toppling would-be contenders in the Brooklyn Nets and Minnesota Timberwolves in addition to the upstart Philadelphia 76ers. The woeful, scream-from-the-Twitter-mountaintops version of the Cleveland Cavaliers are one of just eight teams to have yet been dubbed victorious within the confines of an opponent’s abode, dropping contests to teams ranging from the undefeated Indiana Pacers all the way down to the somehow-still-in-the-league Charlotte Bobcats. The head-scratching, hope-emitting, angst-producing Cleveland Cavaliers are one of two teams (Chicago Bulls) to somehow belong to both groups.

There are countless ways to look at this bizarre Venn diagram, the angle and point of view largely derived by a formula which uses coffee and/or alcohol consumption, general outlook on life, and depth of Cleveland Sports Scorn as the independent variables. [Read more...]

Kyrie Irving admits to changing Mike Brown’s plays

Coach Brown was calling for Andy to come set a screen and I really don t need that screen at the top of the key against J.J. Barea, no offense. Especially at the end of the game, I want to take it upon myself to be aggressive in that moment. At the top of the key, everybody’s flat, it’s my chance to kind of go to work.

— Cleveland Cavaliers point guard Kyrie Irving following Monday night’s 83-82 win over the Minnesota Timberwolves. Irving finished the game with 15 points, eight rebounds and six assists, but also committed nine turnovers, six of which were in the second half as the Cavaliers squandered a 23-point lead.

[Related: Cavaliers and Wolves: Beyond the Box Score]

(Source: Jason Lloyd, ABJ)

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?]

The Diff: Regression to the mean and the Cavaliers

For my entire archive of The Diff at WFNY, check out this tag. Last week’s edition tackled an aggregate of 60 mock drafts from around the Internet, which obviously didn’t prove that fruitful when the Browns took Barkevious Mingo (projected by only 3 mock drafts). Oh well.

The Diff

Back in my second-ever version of The Diff, on Jan. 23, I wrote over 3,000 words on six specific franchise comparisons for the current iteration of the Cleveland Cavaliers. Obviously, much has been written here at WFNY and elsewhere since about the hopeful trajectory of the Cavs organization, especially with the re-addition of head coach Mike Brown. Today, I’ll hope to share even more analytics behind previous NBA rebuilds and some statistics behind their variability. [Read more...]

The Diff: Franchise comparisons for the Cavaliers

Thanks to all for your really positive feedback about my first-ever edition of The Diff last week about Kyrie Irving’s potential. I’m back today with more talk about the Cavs. Hope you enjoy yet again.

The Diff

For weeks and weeks, one of my favorite NBA topics has been exploring and researching possible franchise comparisons for the Cavaliers and where they stand right now. I believe my mini-obsession with this topic started with Andrew’s excellent article last month titled “Is There Any Hope Beneath the Frustration for the Cavaliers?” This post really got my stats-focused brain a-churning. [Read more...]

NBA Rookie Rankings: Jedi Drummond, Bradley Beal heating up

Drummond light saberWith the Cavaliers having two rookies playing prominent minutes, WFNY thought it would beneficial to see how the fresh meat around the league is faring in comparison with the Cavalier rookies. Each week, we’ll have NBA rookie power rankings where we’ll rack and stack the freshman class of the NBA. The rankings will be weighted with the most recent games carrying the most importance, but the whole body of work will be taken into account. Great beards and great celebrations may also play a large factor.

1. Damian Lillard (Last Week: 1)

It’s been another good week for Damian, collecting December’s Rookie of the Month honor and getting the approval of the King. The Blazers have won four straight and 12 of 15, including wins against LeBron and the Heat, and against fellow rookie Alexey Shved and the Timberwolves. Against Minnesota, Lillard hit step back jumper after step back jumper, leaving the defender no chance to stop him. As the ‘Wolves sagged off, Lillard rose up and buried shots from deep. But the highlight that sticks with me most is his attack off a high ball screen and finish through the contact from mountain man, Nikola Pekovic. With just two explosive dribbles from the top of the key, he manages to get all the way into the lane, onto Pekovic’s body,1 get the ball up on the glass, and in to the hoop.

The Blazers and Lillard are both much farther along than anyone expected them to be. Lillard is the clear frontrunner for Rookie of the Year honors, while Portland has cemented themselves in the middle of the murky Western Conference playoff picture. Not a bad time to be a Blazers’ fan. [Read more...]

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Footnotes:

  1. Being on Nikola Pekovic’s body, every lady’s fantasy []

NBA Rookie Rankings: Anthony Davis not living up to the hype

With the Cavaliers having two rookies playing prominent minutes, WFNY thought it would beneficial to see how the fresh meat around the league is faring in comparison with the Cavalier rookies. Each week, we’ll have NBA rookie power rankings where we’ll rack and stack the freshman class of the NBA. The rankings will be weighted with the most recent games carrying the most importance, but the whole body of work will be taken into account. Great beards and great celebrations may also play a large factor.

1. Damian Lillard (Last Week: 1)

The Blazers are playing their best basketball of the season, but the same cannot be said about their rookie point guard. Despite hitting a cold blooded three at the buzzer, the last few weeks have been pretty “ehhhh” for Lillard. Earlier in the year, the three point shot had been Lillard’s weapon of choice, shooting over 6 per game.  But as the old adage goes, “live by the three, die by the three.” Early on in the season, boy was Lillard living. His three point shot was opening up the lane for penetration, leading to easy buckets for himself and for teammates. However, in the last couple weeks the Portland point guard has been on life support from behind the arc, shooting just 8 for 28 in his last four games.

As his three point percentage has dropped so have his assists. In those same four games where Lillard shot just 26% from downtown, he is averaging 2.5 assists lower than his season average. True point guards are counted on to hit open threes and set up teammates but it’s becoming more and more clear that Lillard is not a true point guard. Instead, he’s an attacking guard who is never afraid to try and make a play. Although his numbers may be hurting recently, his team is succeeding. Teams are being forced to pay extra attention to Lillard, leaving more room the rest of the Blazers to play ball. With the way Portland is playing, if Lillard can find his stroke from deep once again, the Western Conference will have to start taking notice of the team up in Rip City.

2. Anthony Davis (Last Week: 2)

Anthony Davis is taking much longer than most thought to become a star in this league. It’s far, far too early to say he’s not living up to his predraft hype, but he’s not living up to his predraft hype. With Lillard coasting, the door has been wide open for Davis to ascend to the top of the rookie class. Davis is slowly creaking open that door, but hardly stomping his foot through it like most expected.

Davis is playing like a rookie. One night he looks like he has the potential to be the best big in NBA, and the next he looks like Tristain Thompson. The Brow will always be a force on the defensive end with his length and athleticism but he needs to start scoring consistently if he wants to be a star, let alone the rookie of the year.

Only four times this year has Anthony Davis scored over 20 points. Here is just a short list of other bigs within 1 point of Davis’ scoring avearge.

JJ Hickson, Glen Davis, Chris Kaman, Thaddeus Young, Serge Ibaka, Paul Milsap, and Metta World Peace1

I know Davis isn’t billed as a “scorer” but if you’re the number one pick, and the face of the franchise, you better be able to put the peach in the basket.

3. Michael Kidd-Gilchrist (Last Week: 3)

Speaking of struggling to score…MKG has failed to score in double figures in over a third of Charlotte’s games. His offense is not his strength, everyone knows that, but like Davis, Kidd-Gilchrist is a high lottery pick, and the face a franchise. Along with those two distinctions come the expectation you’re going to be able get your team points.

Unlike fellow rookies, Lillard, Waiters, and Beal, Kidd-Gilchrist does not have his finger stuck on the trigger. He is yet to take 15 shots in a game, while Lillard, Waiters, and Beal have combined to do so 39 times. We all know MKG is great teammate, leader, and utility man, but it might be time for the Bobcats’ first round pick to start to try and score.

When you’re team has lost 18 straight games2 being a team player might have to go out the window. It’s all about getting work in for the future, so let it fly MKG.

4. Alexey Shved (Last Week: 4)

Now that’s some fresh facial hair

I’ve made little effort to hide my love affair for Alexey Shved. He’s got the european flair, the ability to play the one or two, and the moxy to rock a crisp looking goatee. Although the Shved/Rubio backcourt hasn’t quite reached the level of success I had once predicted, it’s hard to find many more young backcourts in the league as exciting as the two Europeans3.

Shved is avearging just over 14 points and 6 assists over his last five games. Over that same stretch Damian Lillard, is averaging a similar 17 and 5 but with 1.5 more turnovers. Shved may not have the upside Lillard has, but White Russia is has cemented himself in the discussion for the best guards in the 2012 rookie class.

5. Andre Drummond (Last Week: 5)

Andre Drummond and the Pistons have won 5 of their last 6, which has taken some heat off Piston’s coach Lawrence Frank for limiting the minutes of Drummond. Slow and steady continues to be the approach as Detroit tries to develop the raw rookie from UCONN. Drummond is 6th in the NBA in rebounding percentage, ahead of rebounding machines Dwight Howard, Kenneth Faried, Kris Humphries, and Tyson Chandler.

More impressively, Drummond is tied for the league lead in offensive rebounding percentage with Anderson Varejao. Varejao is wildly renowned as a monster on the offensive glass, and sooner or later Drummond will get the same recognition. Fans around The D are even starting to compare Drummond to Big Ben Wallace. Although he may have far to go to gain Big Ben status4, but he may be able to get a Kid Rock song written about him.

Honorable Mention

Dion Waiters

After three rough shooting nights in a row, Dion was moved into a role as 6th man for the Cavs. Waiters thrived in that role at Syracuse and flourished once again coming off the bench against Sacramento. Waiters scored 20 points in his reserve role, and did so shooting 42% from the field. This was only the 3rd time in the last 13 games Waiters has been over 40% from the field.

 

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Footnotes:

  1. I know Metta isn’t exactly a big, but like I said a few months ago, I’ll take any excuse I can get to type “Metta World Peace” I can get. []
  2. Yes they’re the Bobcats, but 18 straight. C’mon man! []
  3. Lin/Harden are the best followed by Irving/Waiters, Curry/Thompson,  and Crawford/Wall/Beal in no particular order []
  4. 4 straight ECF appearances, and a title to be exact []

NBA Rookie Rankings: Davis climbing, Lillard beats buzzer

Left Cameron Browne NBA Getty Images. Right Steve Dykes USA TODAY Sports

With the Cavaliers having two rookies playing prominent minutes, WFNY thought it would beneficial to see how the fresh meat around the league is faring in comparison with the Cavalier rookies. Each week, we’ll have NBA rookie power rankings where we’ll rack and stack the freshman class of the NBA. The rankings will be weighted with the most recent games carrying the most importance, but the whole body of work will be taken into account. Great beards and great celebrations may also play a large factor.

The past seven days have been kind to the top of the 2012 rookie class. Signature games from the Kentucky boys, Davis and Kidd-Gilchrist, and a signature moment from Damian Lillard highlight the last week in fresh meat action.

With the top 3 shining, the rest of the rookie class is struggling to keep up. Top 4 picks, Dion Waiters and Bradley Beal continue to chuck the pumpkin with little success, while big men Andre Drummond and Jonas Valanciunas contribute solid but unexciting minutes off their respective benches.

The top 3 sees a minor shakeup while the 4th and 5th spots continue to be a revolving door.

Vamanos! [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

 

The Boots: Talkin’ Cleveland Cavs Season Preview

As I’ve been doing for years, The Boots are my way to assign Boot Up or Boot Downs to various items in the sports world. As a reminder, I got the nickname “Boot” from my older brothers when I was young, and thus, I continue to use this segment as my personal sports writing payback.

Boot Up: Optimism for the Future – The Cavaliers are going to be a much-improved team in 2012-13. I do not doubt that at all. While I tend to be a bit of a pessimist with this squad, and I explain that more below, I wanted to share my optimism first. Here are five things that have me really excited to watch this team play real games soon:

1. Kyrie Irving: Now he’s a household name. One of the 30 best players in the NBA, undoubtedly. He’s a budding star and hasn’t even played a full college basketball season or full 82-game NBA season yet. This should be tremendous fun to see him on the court this year and knocking down shots against Eastern Conference foes. Now it actually starts to matter. [Read more...]

Cavs Bounce Back From Toronto Loss, Win Over Wolves

The Cleveland Cavaliers improved to 4-3 last night with an impressive road win over the young and improving Minnesota Timberwolves. Byron Scott’s club methodically ground down the Wolves over the first three plus quarters, building an 18 point lead in the fourth and cruising comfortably to their second road win of the season. The Cavaliers took the lead in the final minute of the first quarter and, aside from the few short runs by the Wolves, never really looked back.

Much of the hype coming into the game focused on the rookie point guard matchup between Kyrie Irving and Ricky Rubio. Irving, along with veteran Ramon Sessions, got the better of the Minny backcourt all evening. Irving finished with 14 points, five rebounds, and five assists from the starting point guard spot. The rookie had a season-high turnover night, however, giving it away seven times. [Read more...]

NBA Trade Rumors: Cavs Discussing Three Team Deal to Land 1st & 2nd Picks in Draft

Chris Broussard is reporting this afternoon that the Cavaliers are discussing a potential 3 team trade that would net them the 2nd pick in the draft.  The Cavs would then take Kyrie Irving at number one and Arizona’s Derrick Williams at number two.

The deal would involve the Timberwolves and the Pistons.  The Cavs would take on Rip Hamilton’s contract via the trade exception and also acquire Detroit’s 8th pick.  They would then spin the 4th and 8th picks into the 2nd overall in a deal with Minnesota.  Broussard added the disclaimer that the trade is being discussed at this point and nothing is imminent.

WFNY’s Scott is reporting that particular deal tweeted by Broussard is unlikely.  An initial source with the Cavs put considerable doubt on that specific trade rumor, indicating that the Pistons would demand more, and that the Cavs don’t value Williams enough to burn picks – they’d rather use the 1st, 4th, and 8th picks in that hypothetical.  A second source told Scott the reported deal is “bogus.” All this stems from the Pistons desperate desire to unload the expensive, aging, and disgruntled Hamilton.  It’s still early in the process with a lot of “discussions” taking place.  No trade is imminent.

It’s certainly an appealing scenario for Cavs fans.  Coming away with Irving and Williams in one night would be a delicious outcome.  Thus, a third source told Scott that the deal between the three teams is not far-fetched.  We have a month to go but, as is his wont, Dan Gilbert is exploring all options, including those where the Cavaliers take on more money to gain the opportunity to add young talent.  Follow WFNYScott on Twitter for the latest draft rumors.

Cavaliers Should Be Watching What Minnesota Does With #2 Pick

Predicting what teams will do in the draft is hard enough on its own merits. When it comes to trying to guess what a mercurial and enigmatic GM like David Kahn of the Minnesota Timberwolves will do in a draft makes things even more difficult.

Yet, if we are to give any consideration to what the Cleveland Cavaliers should do with the #4 pick in the draft, we must try to ascertain which players will still be there when they are back on the clock. When it comes to the Timberwolves, the general consensus seems to be that they will take Derrick Williams with the 2nd pick, leaving the Utah Jazz to take Brandon Knight at #3 and giving the Cavaliers their pick of foreign prospects at #4. [Read more...]

Cavs’ Fan Guide to the NBA Playoffs

Over the weekend when I wasn’t watching the Tribe sweep the Orioles, I was checking out the NBA playoffs.  I saw on Twitter that some of the rest of you were doing the same and it got me thinking.  There were many theories about how to root in the playoffs in order to best represent the interests of Cavs fans.  Obviously, rooting against the Heat is an easy one and we can get that one out of the way early.  After that, it gets a lot more difficult.

I saw some people rooting for the Oklahoma City Thunder.  That makes sense because the Thunder have an amazing budding superstar named Kevin Durant who is easy to get behind.  This is a guy that announced his extension with his current club on Twitter.  This is a guy who went through the building process with his club and wants to be the glue that holds it all together as they strive toward the ultimate NBA prize.  You think Cavaliers fans can get behind something like that?

Only problem is he plays for a franchise that ripped the basketball heart out of the city of Seattle.  Many will try to claim that it is the city’s fault or whatever, but they said the same things about Michael White and the Browns.  The Sonics fans lost, regardless of who was to blame. [Read more...]

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.

2010-11 NBA Blogger Previews – Northwest 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 Northwest 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...]