August 1, 2014

The Diff: Three intriguing stat-lines to watch for the Cavaliers

The Diff is your weekly WFNY look into the amazing world of sports statistics. For a complete log of articles, click this link. Last week, I answered some WFNY playoff questions for the Cleveland Indians. This week, it’s preseason basketball talk about the Cavaliers.

The Diff

Last night was the return of basketball to the Quicken Loans Arena. It was a fun atmosphere; albeit one prefaced with the damnation of “preseason.” Mike Brown’s defensive style was certainly in showcase, one first half defensive miscue-forced timeout at a time. With the regular season now just three weeks away, previews ablazing, today’s the perfect day to look at three underrated stat-lines to watch with regards to the hard-to-predict 2013-14 Cleveland Cavaliers. [Read more...]

NBA News: Nets reach out to Shaun Livingston

The Brooklyn Nets have reportedly reached out to point guard Shaun Livingston in hopes of replacing former reserve guard CJ Watson.

The NY Post reports that Watson (a player in whom the Cavaliers had interest) is on the verge of a deal with the Indiana Pacers, leaving a hole in an otherwise rebuilt roster.

In 66 games last season between the two teams last season (most of which was with the Cleveland Cavaliers), Livingston averaged 7.2 points, 2.5 rebounds and 3.6 assists per game while shooting 50.2 percent from the floor.

With his free agency looming, Livingston told reporters that he would play for the highest bidder in 2013-14. Though the Cavaliers are also in need of a back-up point guard, it was believed that all Cleveland would offer the 2004 fourth-overall pick would be the veteran minimum.

The Cavaliers have also expressed interest in free agent point guard Darren Collison.

[Related: Cavaliers need to just walk away from Andrew Bynum]

Cavalier Film Room: An Assist From The Bench

WFNY Cavaliers Film RoomLast week, I went over some winning plays on the defensive end against the Jazz in a come from behind victory. This week, I’m getting to a topic that’s long overdue. Sure, I talked about Marreese Speights’s energy and scoring a while back, but that’s just really scratching the surface of a larger theme. Today, I’ll give a round of applause to the entire Cavs’ second five-man (now four with Livingston in the starting lineup) unit of Speights, Wayne Ellington, Shaun Livingston, Luke Walton, and C.J. Miles. There’s no doubt that this group’s new blood and veteran play have sparked the Cavaliers as Coach Scott can now rest his starting five without the fear of a game getting out of reach. The bench’s greatest asset may be that the veteran group functions as a unit, making the right passes, hitting timely shots, and playing stretches of fundamental defenses. Without anymore stalling, let’s get to it. [Read more...]

NBA News: Kyrie Irving to miss second consecutive game with sore knee

The Cleveland Cavaliers have listed PG Kyrie Irving as out for tonight’s game against the Toronto Raptors-

“Cavaliers guard Kyrie Irving (sore/hyperextended right knee) is listed as OUT for tonight’s game at The Q against Toronto. His status remains day-to-day and will be updated as appropriate.

Cavaliers guard Daniel Gibson has rejoined the team and will be ACTIVE for tonight’s game.”

Irving missed last night’s game in Chicago with the sore knee, a game in which the Cavaliers snapped an 11 game losing streak to the Bulls. Cleveland is in the middle of a 5 game in 7 night stretch. Don’t be surprised to see the Cavs be cautious with Irving during this stretch.

Shaun Livingston started in place of Irving last night, and will likely do so again this evening at the Q.

[Related: Kyrie Irving out due to knee injury]

Box Score: Cavs 106, Bobcats 104

Maybe Kyrie Irving was reading all of our content today about his inept fourth-quarter performances? Whatever it was, he scored 16 of the team’s 20 points in another awful final frame, as the Cavaliers barely held off the Charlotte Bobcats for a 106-104 victory.

The Cavaliers (8-26) are now one game below the Bobcats (8-24) in the Eastern Conference standings. Also noteworthy: Tristan Thompson had arguably his best game of the season with 19 points and 13 rebounds, and new reserve guard Shaun Livingston saw 26 minutes off the bench.

CLEVELAND CAVALIERS 8-26 (Won last 1)

CHARLOTTE BOBCATS 8-24 (Lost last 1)

Team 1 2 3 4 Total
CLE 29 33 24 20 106
CHA 23 25 26 30 104
Starters Pos Min FG 3Pt FT +/- Off Reb Ast TO Stl BS BA PF Pts
C.J. Miles G 38:58 7-14 4-9 0-0 +11 0 3 0 0 2 1 0 4 18
K. Irving G 37:34 10-21 3-4 10-10 +1 0 5 6 5 4 3 0 4 33
T. Zeller C 30:12 3-8 0-0 3-6 -2 1 5 2 1 0 3 0 4 9
T. Thompson F 37:12 8-10 0-0 3-4 +11 2 13 2 2 0 0 1 2 19
A. Gee F 34:27 3-7 0-1 2-4 +3 0 7 5 1 0 0 1 4 8
Bench Min FG 3Pt FT +/- Off Reb Ast TO Stl BS BA PF Pts
Totals 39-78 7-16 21-29 6 40 23 13 9 10 3 22 106
Percentages .500 .438 .724 Team Rebounds: 7
S. Livingston 26:20 3-6 0-0 0-0 -2 2 3 5 0 2 0 0 2 6
D. Waiters 17:59 3-6 0-0 3-5 -4 0 1 2 3 1 2 0 1 9
L. Walton 17:18 2-6 0-2 0-0 -8 1 3 1 1 0 1 1 1 4
O. Casspi DNP – Coach’s Decision
D. Gibson DNP – Inactive
K. Jones DNP – Coach’s Decision
J. Leuer DNP – Inactive
J. Pargo DNP – Coach’s Decision
S. Samuels DNP – Coach’s Decision
A. Varejao DNP – Inactive

Charlotte

Starters Pos Min FG 3Pt FT +/- Off Reb Ast TO Stl BS BA PF Pts
G. Henderson G 32:49 6-11 4-5 1-2 -2 0 2 2 1 0 0 2 2 17
K. Walker G 24:12 4-8 1-3 2-4 -9 0 3 5 3 1 0 1 2 11
B. Biyombo C 15:35 1-2 0-0 0-0 -12 0 7 0 1 0 0 0 2 2
J. Taylor F 26:32 5-10 1-3 0-0 +13 1 2 0 0 1 0 1 4 11
H. Warrick F 11:42 1-4 0-0 2-2 -12 0 1 2 2 0 0 1 1 4
Bench Min FG 3Pt FT +/- Off Reb Ast TO Stl BS BA PF Pts
Totals 37-82 8-17 22-28 8 43 25 14 5 3 10 24 104
Percentages .451 .471 .786 Team Rebounds: 8
R. Sessions 35:09 4-11 0-2 12-12 +1 0 5 6 0 1 0 1 3 20
B. Haywood 27:42 0-0 0-0 1-2 +12 3 7 3 1 0 2 0 3 1
B. Gordon 27:32 11-20 2-4 3-4 +7 1 2 4 4 1 1 1 2 27
M. Kidd-Gilchrist 21:07 3-10 0-0 1-2 +1 3 9 2 2 0 0 3 1 7
T. Thomas 12:33 2-6 0-0 0-0 -7 0 4 1 0 1 0 0 2 4
J. Adrien 3:19 0-0 0-0 0-0 -2 0 1 0 0 0 0 0 1 0
D. Diop 1:48 0-0 0-0 0-0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 1 0
B. Mullens DNP – Inactive
R. Williams DNP – Coach’s Decision

Josh Smith: Shaun Livingston a great addition for Cavs

[Shaun Livingston] had a horrific injury. I tip my hat off to him, the hard work that he put in just to get back into the NBA let alone play. He’s still a great talent in this league. I think that if that injury wouldn’t have happened, no doubt in my mind that he’d be a max player. But, you know, things happen in life. I don’t think he’s hanging his head from it — I think he’s just continuing to try and play while being humble as he’s always been. I think he’s a great pick-up for the Cavs.

– Atlanta Hawks power forward Josh Smith on Cavs guard Shaun Livingston. Smith and Livingston were two of the eight players selected in the first round of the 2004 NBA Draft who opted to skip playing at the collegiate level. Smith has gone on to play at a very high level and will likely sign a max deal this coming offseason. The Cavaliers recently claimed Livingston off of waivers (Washington).

[Related: Win in Washington shows young Cavaliers what it takes]

NBA News: Cavs acquire Shaun Livingston off of waivers

Late on Christmas night, the Cleveland Cavaliers announced that they have claimed guard Shaun Livingston off waivers from the Washington Wizards, waiving guard Donald Sloan to clear the roster space. 

Livingston, 27, has appeared in 17 games (four of which were starts) for the Wizards, averaging 3.7 points, 2.2 rebounds and 2.2 assists in 18.8 minutes per game. The 6-foot-7, 175-pound guard out of Peoria Central (IL) High School is in his eighth NBA season and has career averages of 6.6 points on .457 shooting, 2.6 rebounds and 3.4 assists in 22.4 minutes over 341 games (110 starts).

In 2007, Livingston — the fourth-overall pick in 2004 — tore three of the four ligaments in his left knee, requiring 8-to-12 months off of the floor. He has played for seven other teams (one in the NBDL) since returning to the game of basketball. This past October, it was Livingston who had been outplaying Jeremy Lin in Houston, only to be released in order to, per Yahoo! Sports, avoid a point guard controversy. He was waived once again, this time by the Wizards, for Shelvin Mack.

Donald Sloan played in 20 games this season, averaging 4.1 points, 1.4 rebounds and 1.9 assists in 12.9 minutes per game. Sloan was signed by the Cavs from the Erie BayHawks of the NBA Development League on March 16, 2012 and has appeared in 53 games (11 starts) during his two-year NBA career, averaging 5.0 points, 1.8 rebounds and 2.7 assists in 17.5 minutes per game. He had a back-and-forth depth-chart battle with guard Jeremy Pargo, but seemed to have fallen out of favor due to the defense and scoring ability of his competitor.

[Related: Cavs can’t find answers, fall to Pacers 99-89]