August 26, 2014

Anderson Varejao: Cleveland’s “All-Star Guy”

The elections may be long in the rear view, but the lobbying in Cleveland may be reaching new levels. As the Cavaliers dropped yet another nail-biter to one of the NBA’s elite teams, it was Anderson Varejao who continued to keep his bruised and battered team on the positive side of the ledger, pulling down 22 more rebounds, obtaining possession of balls which he had no business being near, holding the opposition to one of their worst games of the season, and even hitting a 20-foot jump shot at the buzzer between the third and fourth quarters, giving the Cavaliers a seven-point lead.

Though said lead would dissipate as the Cavaliers would convert on a mere 20 percent of their field goal attempts over the final 12 minutes of play, it was Varejao who, once again, provided one of his most well-rounded lines of the 2012-13 season, infusing non-stop energy, adding to his league-leading per-game rebounding average and making the most annoyed opposing fan bases even more so.

“Our All-Star guy did an unbelievable job once again,” said Cavaliers head coach Byron Scott of his energetic and charismatic center. “He single-handedly takes over on the defensive end — this guy is just something else.”

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Cleveland Cavaliers End Latest Road Trip in Memphis Tonight

The Cleveland Cavaliers had an interesting Thanksgiving weekend. Last Wednesday they got things started with a big win at home against Philadelphia to end their losing streak. Jeremy Pargo had an absolutely insane breakout game in filling in for Kyrie Irving.

Unfortunately, the Cavaliers had to follow that up with another road trip. This one a three-game trip, and they have already lost the first two. Now they have to recover and try to beat one of the best teams in the NBA, the Memphis Grizzlies.

The good news for the Cavaliers is that they’ve been playing pretty decent basketball without Kyrie. I know, giving up 108+ points in consecutive losses hardly sounds like decent basketball, but really, it hasn’t been so bad. The team has stepped up and been able to get really even scoring distribution and have had their chances to win each of the last two games.

In fact, against the Heat the Cavaliers had eight (EIGHT!) players score in double digits and picked up 21 assists to just 10 turnovers. The problem, as always, is defense. The Cavaliers just can’t help themselves and routinely give up 50%+ from the field and 100+ points like it was nothing. [Read more...]

Cavaliers Give it Away in Memphis, Tie Losing Streak Record

The Cavaliers tied the NBA’s consecutive loss record last night in Memphis with their 23rd straight defeat.  It felt like this was the one to break the streak, but, as has been a trend, they squandered their opportunity with a horrendous fourth quarter to lose by 7.  Over the course of about a quarter, from the 9 minute mark in the third to midway through the fourth, the Cavaliers went from winning by 11 to losing by 12.  These Cavaliers have achieved a number of things never seen before but their mastery of the 20 point differential quarter this season is astounding.

The Cavaliers were competitive in this one due in large part to the contributions from J.J. Hickson. [Read more...]

Bring on Leon

sp_leonpowe_0233a_flDuring last night’s 111-109 overtime loss in Memphis, something was made abundantly clear to me: The Cavaliers under the radar signing of PF Leon Powe will pay big dividends later in the season and into the playoffs.

Late in the fourth quarter and into overtime, the Grizzlies and the Cavs were back and forth exchange leads. It seemed as though neither team could get the necessary stop they needed. That is a disturbing trend considering Mike Brown likes to hang his hat on the defensive end. While his team is going to be a work in progress while he sorts through the Delonte West situation, what to do with Shaquille O’Neal and Zydrunas Ilgauskas, and keeping the offense flowing, Brown has to be concerned abut what is happening on D.

During the 66-win, 08-09 campaign, it seemed that anytime the Cavs needed a big stop, they got it (minus the Magic series). So far this year, we have seen way too many average teams pick apart the Wine and Gold on the defensive end. Last night was no exception. [Read more...]

Cavs 109, Grizzlies 111 (OT): LeBron Comes Up Short

James on five“Every eight games or so the Cavaliers have one of these games.” Austin Carr

What kind of game are we talking about Austin? You are absolutely right by the way. I don’t know if you could put a number on it, but every couple of weeks the Cavaliers have an absolutely ugly game like this one. They have a game where LeBron feels like he has to do everything in order for the team to win, and nobody tells him he’s wrong.

Now, they often win these games. That might just be part of the problem. LeBron actually IS good enough to beat some teams by going to the one on five offense. Last night they committed too many turnovers and had too many defensive lapses to overcome. [Read more...]

Brian Windhorst Shoots Down SLAM-Generated Wallace/Randolph Rumors

rasheed-wallaceAs fans of the Cavaliers, we tend to selectively choose what rumors we want to believe.  It helps further our beliefs that we will one day win a championship.  Colin Cowherd hints that Chris Bosh should play in Cleveland?  Where do we sign?  Cavs to offer Rasheed Wallace $10 million per year?  Oh, heck no.

While the former fantasy still exists, Brian Windhorst has come to the rescue on the latter with his latest analysis of said rumors.  Perpetuated by SLAMOnline, we were confronted with the sheer terror of not only offering eight figures to Rasheed Wallace, but also the thoughts of having Zach Randolph as a fall-back plan.

On the first portion, Windhorst retorts with the following:

A report from Slam Magazine, a New York-based basketball publication, on Monday said the Cavs have opened negotiations with Pistons free agent center Rasheed Wallace on a two-year contract at $10 million per season. This is impossible and illegal; the Cavs do not have salary cap space to sign any player to a $10 million contract and any talks cannot begin until July 1.

It is likely the Cavs will contact Wallace at that time, as he’s probably going to be on their list of free agent targets. But he will not get a $10 million contract from the Cavs or likely any team in the NBA.

[Wipes sweat from forehead]

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NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!!

Cleveland fans probably have more questions than there are answers following the team’s disappointing playoff exit. Brian Windhorst has already answered one of those questions- namely will LeBron sign an extension this summer. (The answer is not likely, in case you missed it.)

sheedben-copy

More questions include decisions from Anderson Varejao (more than likely will opt out), Zydrunas Ilgauskas (more than likely will pick up his player option) and Ben Wallace (hinting at retirement). There are also decisions to be made about free agents Wally Szczerbiak and Joe Smith.

Everyone is sure to offer an opinion on what the Cavs will need to do in order to win a title/keep LeBron happy. One rumor floating around now is that the Cavs will sign former Piston cry-baby Rasheed Wallace- [Read more...]

While We’re Waiting… More on Shaun Rogers, Celtics Lose to Clippers, and a Delonte West Injury Update

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.

Another thought on the Shaun Rogers/Eric Mangini issue: “The NFL collective bargaining agreement ends at the end of the 2010 season. This brings some uncertainty to free agency and the dollars teams will be able to spend. The threat of Lockout by the Owners is making agents and players approaching their peak earning years very, very nervous. Players are looking to cash in now under the current agreement. Rogers may just be the first in line of players looking to opt out and sign a short term, high guaranteed dollar contract, vs. a long term, high total dollar contract. (notice the Nnamde Asomugha contract. Biggest contract in the NFL. HUGE dollars in the first two years, all guaranteed, with a club option for the third year. If the CBA changes the salary cap structure, the Raiders can opt out of the top contract in the league in year 3).” [Shaver Sports]

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Cavs/Knicks Trade Rumors Redux

A report from the Morning Journal has a lot of Cavaliers fans stirring. While the entire piece focuses on the ball-dropping summer of Delonte West, the last few bullet points were easily the most intriguing pieces to the off-season puzzle.

Rumor mill
* The rumor mill has been churning after the Williams deal. The Cavs could be talking to the Knicks about a big man.
* Technically, the Cavs can still trade point guard Eric Snow, but they wouldn’t be able to use the injury exception. There is no update on his injury settlement with the insurance company.
* A source said the Cavs could have gotten forward/center Dan Gadzuric from the Bucks in the Williams deal, but declined.

Mighty interesting. We have news about Danny Ferry turning down a possible big man. An update on Eric Snow. And most important, a rumor of possible dealing with the New York Knicks – The 2010 Enemy.

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