April 23, 2014

A user’s guide to the Luol Deng trade draft picks

luol deng sixers

The Luol Deng trade was over six weeks ago. Yet it seems to still be a major point of confusion for many in the national media. With today’s trade deadline fast approaching, I felt it would be prudent to review the assets exchanged in that Jan. 7 deal.

[Update: Cavs have traded two second-rounders to Philadelphia for center Spencer Hawes. They're reportedly also shopping Tyler Zeller. We'll keep you updated.]

Both teams involved in the deal have been playing better over the past six weeks. Chicago is a very surprising 14-7 since dealing their beloved small forward, moving closer and closer to a safe spot in the Eastern Conference playoff race. The Cavs have now win six straight, their longest stretch in four years, and are 10-10 since Deng’s debut.

For help in reviewing the trade, let’s go back to the official Cavs press release that was sent out around 12:50 a.m. on Tuesday, Jan. 7. Here we go: [Read more...]

WFNY Stats & Info: Mavericks closing in on Lakers in West

The NBA regular season concludes in just 20 days on Wednesday, April 17. Between now and then, boy, there’s going to be a whole lot of exciting back-and-forth action.

Most notably as it relates to the Cavs besides their own draft position, fans should be paying attention to the Los Angeles Lakers in the Western Conference playoff race. Back on March 8, I shared an update about how the Lakers were closing in on Utah. But now, there’s a new competitor: Dallas.

Fitted with some gnarly motivational playoff beards, the Mavericks are on a 10-4 tear in March while the rest of the hopeful playoff teams continue their relatively mediocre play.

After a busy Wednesday night in the Association, here’s the most recent look at how the bottom of the West playoff standings play out right now:

Rk Team W L Pct GB Left SRS JH Rt JH Rk JH Odds
6 GSW 41 32 0.562 +3.5 9 0.75 100.8 12 98.8%
7 HOU 39 32 0.549 +2.5 11 3.90 104.1 7 98.4%
8 LAL 37 35 0.514 10 1.14 100.8 13 54.5%
9 UTA 36 36 0.500 -1.0 10 -0.17 99.8 18 26.1%
10 DAL 35 36 0.493 -1.5 11 -0.09 100.5 15 19.2%
11 POR 33 38 0.465 -3.5 11 -1.36 100.1 16 3.0%

 

Now, with data through Tuesday’s games, here is a look at these teams’ remaining schedules:

Rk Team Left P/L H/R P: H/R L: H/R W Pct JH Avg SRS Avg
6 GSW 9 3/6 6/3 2/1 4/2 0.497 100.4 0.5
7 HOU 11 5/6 5/6 2/3 3/3 0.480 99.2 -0.8
8 LAL 10 6/4 6/4 4/2 2/2 0.539 101.4 1.3
9 UTA 10 5/5 6/4 3/2 3/2 0.527 101.4 1.1
10 DAL 11 6/5 6/5 4/2 2/3 0.506 100.2 0.2
11 POR 11 8/3 7/4 5/3 2/1 0.586 103.0 2.8

 

Key: JH stands for John Hollinger’s ratings, rankings and playoff odds at ESPN. SRS is a standardized ranking system built around an average of 0.0. P/L is playoffs and lottery teams, while H/R is home and road games.

Both Golden State and Houston appear to be playoff locks with only a few weeks left. Thus, after all the positioning thus far, it appears these next four teams are battling only for the No. 8 spot.

With Wednesday’s win, the Lakers actually jumped from about 42% playoff odds to over 54%. That’s also because every other team besides Utah (win) and Dallas (didn’t play) lost last night. But it shows how the Lakers’ progress had been stagnant over the last few weeks.

In terms of remaining schedules, Dallas and Utah are both at a slight advantage over the Lakers. The Jazz play the fewest remaining playoff teams (5), while the Mavericks have the easiest opponent winning percentage, Hollinger rating and SRS rating by a slight margin.

Portland’s blowout loss Wednesday against Brooklyn (they trailed 46-17 just 14 minutes into the game) probably ended its playoff hopes. The Trail Blazers also have a brutal schedule left — facing eight playoff teams in their 11 remaining games.

[Related: The Boots: NBA Draft Lottery, John Wall and winning streaks]

NBA Rookie Rankings: Lillard vs. Kidd and Payton, Waiters can’t finish

dion waitersWith 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 mid season rookie of the year had another strong week, averaging just over 21 points and 7 assists in 3 games, including a win against Indiana that snapped the Blazers’ 6 game losing streak. Lillard has received praise from the media, coaches, and even LeBron, but now we can add future hall of famer, Gary Payton to that list.

In an interview with Kurt Helin of ProBasketballTalk, Payton gave his endorsement of Lillard for Rookie of the Year. “I like Damian Lillard because he’s from Oakland, California, and he’s a phenomenal basketball player,” Payton said. “He should be the rookie of the year, he’s playing very well right now for Portland and I love his game.” [Read more...]

Rookie Rankings: Lillard’s big fear, Waiters keeps chucking

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 in rankings.

The end of November is upon us. Halloween and Thanksgiving are distant memories as we turn toward the final month of 2012. Basketball and football overwhelm the televeision schedule in December, giving us plenty to watch while spending time with our families on December’s traditional holidays of Christmas, Hanukkah and New Years. This year, we get the treat of another special day in December because on December 21 the world may or may not end. That means we may or may not only have 21 more days of basketball to watch, 21 more days of arguing team vs. team, or player vs. player. There’ll be plenty of time to talk about Armageddon1, but for now we must talk basketball. More specifically, the NBA. Not just the NBA, but its crop of rookies. We’ve seen the surprise rise of Damian Lillard in Portland, and flashes of what’s to come for Anthony Davis in NOLA. We’ve seen Dion Waiters become allergic to passing, and Michael Kidd-Gilchrist be exactly who we thought he was. With so many rookies playing large roles for their teams the first month of the season, it’s important we take a step back and see where the NBA’s fresh meat stands after one month of play. [Read more...]

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Footnotes:

  1. Somewhere Bruce Willis and Ben Affleck are training to save us. []

Portland Trail Blazers Claim Justin Holiday Off Waivers

One of the great stories of this year’s NBA Summer League for the Cavaliers was a forward from the University of Washington. Well, even though he signed on to be on the team’s preseason roster, he is now heading back west to join a new team. Here’s the report from The Oregonian:

Justin Holiday, a former University of Washington player, will join the Trail Blazers after they claimed him off waivers, the team announced Friday.

Holiday was waived by Cleveland on Wednesday, and Portland got him during the 48-hour waiver period. The Blazers say Holiday will join them Sunday, when they practice at their Tualatin facility before leaving for a Monday preseason game at Sacramento.

Holiday, 23, is a 6-foot-6 guard/forward who gained the reputation of being a good defender for the Huskies. In four years at Washington, he averaged 5.3 points and 3.6 rebound, including 10.5 points and 5.2 rebounds as a senior in 2010-11. He is the younger brother of Philadelphia starting point guard Jrue Holiday.

Even though Holiday is an intriguing young wing, there likely was never going to be space on the Cavs’ final roster for him. Hopefully he can get some more opportunities in Portland and maybe we’ll see him back in Cleveland when the Blazers come to visit on Dec. 1.

[Related: Cavs Add Kevin Anderson, Justin Holiday to Training Camp Roster]

Cavs Set Single Season Consecutive Loss Record

The Cavaliers lost to the Portland Trail Blazers last night to set a new single season NBA consecutive loss record.  It was the 24th consecutive loss for a team that has not won a game since December 18th.  They have lost an absurd 34 out of 35 games.  They did not blow a lead in the fourth quarter as they did in Memphis on Friday but the Cavs were once again competitive throughout this contest.  The Cavaliers defense simply cannot get stops at the end of games when they need to (this happens at the beginning and middle of games as well).  There 3 point defense has plagued them all season and it was the driving reason why they lost again last night and broke the record.

[Read more...]

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...]

Cavaliers vs. Trail Blazers: Open Thread

Cavaliers vs BlazersThe Cavs return home tonight looking to right the ship after two lack-luster performances in Memphis and Houston. The good news? LeBron James has had a triple-double each of the last two times the Cavs hosted the Blazers at The Q. Three of his 25 career trip-dubs have come at the expense of Portland, in fact.

The Cavs need to get back to playing sound defense, limiting their turnovers, and getting contributions from people not named LeBron. The Blazers come in struggling—without Rudy Fernandez and Greg Oden—having lost four of six. All of the game info is after the jump… [Read more...]

Cavaliers Preview Game #40

Cavaliers vs BlazersCleveland Cavaliers (31-8) vs
Portland Trail Blazers (25-16)
Rose Garden, Portland, OR
Wednesday, January 21, 2009
10:00 PM EST
FSNOH/WTAM

The Cavaliers will try to avoid losing 2 games in a row tonight when they face the Portland Trail Blazers, but it sure won’t be easy. The Lakers showed Monday night that without Zydrunas Ilgauskas in the lineup, big teams can just pound the ball down low on the Cavaliers all game long. Well, the Blazers have plenty of size on their team and don’t be surprised if they try to mimic the Lakers’ tactics. This game will be important for the Cavaliers as they don’t want to fall behind Orlando in the loss column, and they don’t want to start any kind of significant losing streak. Time will tell if the Cavaliers can bounce back from a loss without Delonte West as well as they bounced back from losses with him.   [Read more...]

NBA Blogger Previews – Northwest Division

While we are doing our own NBA divisional previews here at WFNY, CelticsBlog (one of the absolute best in the business) is also hosting their annual Blogger Previews, and this year we were invited to participate. Next up, the exciting Northwest Division is featured. Feel free to click around and check out some of the predictions and insight from some of the absolute best NBA writers you will find on the internet.    [Read more...]

Northwest Division Preview

The Cleveland Cavaliers play their first preseason game at home on October 7th against the Toronto Raptors and then their first regular season game is October 28th against the Celtics in Boston. That gives us a little under a month until the season is officially underway, and so we will use the next week or two previewing the NBA season making predictions that will surely not even be remotely close to coming true.

First up is the Western Conference, and we begin with the Northwest Division.     [Read more...]

Cavaliers Preview Game #64

Portland Trail BlazersPortland Trail Blazers (32-30) vs
Cleveland Cavaliers (36-27)
Quicken Loans Arena, Cleveland, OH
Monday, March 10, 2008
7:00 PM EST
FSN OH/WTAM

The Cavaliers welcome the impressive young Trail Blazers into town this week as the Cavaliers look to win their fifth out of their last six games. The Cavaliers won the match in Portland in what was one of the most exciting games of the season. Now the Cavaliers will look to continue their good fortunes against Portland in the Q. For Portland, this has been a bit of an up and down year, but overall they have to be happy with their success this year despite the absence of #1 pick Greg Oden. Fortunately for them, Zydrunas Ilgauskas is still out and so they will get to take on the Cavaliers’ offensively challenged lineup. It should be another good one. [Read more...]

Cavaliers Preview Game #44

Portland Trail BlazersCleveland Cavaliers (24-19) vs Portland Trail Blazers (26-18)
Rose Garden, Portland, OR
Wednesday, January 30, 2008
9:00 EST
ESPN/FSN OH/WUAB, WTAM

Next up for the Cavaliers, they travel to the Pacific NorthWest to take on one of the most surprising and most improved teams in the NBA, the Portland Trail Blazers. The Blazers went on a 13 game winning streak earlier this season to move into place as a surprise contender in the always competitive Western Conference. Now the Cavs come in as the hot team, having won 12 of their last 15 games dating back to Christmas. [Read more...]