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Tag:Cleveland Cavaliers
Posted on: March 8, 2012 9:12 am
Edited on: March 8, 2012 2:12 pm
 

Wednesday Night Game-Winner Power Rankings

By Matt Moore and Ben Golliver  


Wednesday night was one of those nights in the NBA. Multiple game winners, so many that we decided we need to break them down, power rankings style. 


1. Rose does MJ: Derrick Rose's game winner had to be the best of the night for pure elegance. It had everything we look for from a winner: at the buzzer, walk off, isolation, high degree of difficulty, total calm, nothing but net. So much was going on in this one. He read the defense patiently, unleashed some crippling dribble moves, created and took the exact shot he wanted and even had large swaths of a road crowd cheering for him. Watch that thing and try not to think Michael Jordan.



2. Kyrie Irving's end-to-end. Irving's dash to the rim for what would be the game winner wasn't 94 feet of basketball brilliance, but it was as close as you want it to be. The fact that Byron Scott had the confidence in Irving to navigate all that space and the tactical knowledge to know the Nuggets wouldn't expect Irving to just get a running start and barrel to the basket deserves some points, while Irving's approach to switch hands on approach shows off his handle. That kid is something special. 



3. Isaiah Thomas read-and-react. Thomas, at his best, is the type of undersized guard that just makes you marvel. That he was the 2011 NBA Draft's "Mr. Irrelevant" just makes the story that much better. Thomas was at his best on Wednesday night, intercepting an idiotic entry pass at full stretch and with perfect timing. Thomas' game is all action/reaction/action and he made an incredibly heady play to move the ball forward to a streaking John Salmons, hitting him in stride. No second-guessing, no covering the ball to allow the defense to react. Just pure open court instinct in a very unusual game situation. The only downside is that it wasn't a walk off winner, or the Power Balance Pavilion might have stormed the court. Thomas' growing reputation for putting smiles on faces continues to grow.

 

4. DWill trusts Farmar. What? Why aren't people flipping out over Deron Williams passing up the crucial shot in the Nets' win over the Clippers like they did with LeBron James? Regardless, Williams made a great play and Farmar didn't get too excited or go hero-mode. He just lined up and knocked down the open jumper. You know, the right basketball play. On the opposite end of the spectrum,CP3 was never going to take that pass, and gambling on it meant he couldn't run Farmar off. Big mistake as Farmar's been en fuego from the outside this year.  



5. Nick Young has daggers on daggers.  If this was later in the game, it would be a top-three candidate. After all, Young did rise and fear to knock off the master of rise and fire. But alas, we had more free throws and missed Kobe Bryant threes to get through before it was said and done. But make no mistake, Nick Young's dagger to punch the Lakers' comeback attempt was the game winner in the Wizards' stunner over L.A.. 

Posted on: March 8, 2012 12:23 am
Edited on: March 8, 2012 12:25 am
 

Video: Kyrie Irving end-to-end game winner

By Matt Moore

With 15 seconds left, down 1 to the Nuggets, the Cavaliers inbounded from their own basket, eschewing advancing the ball to half-court in favor of getting Kyrie Irving at full-speed going to the rim. The Nuggets essentially only needed to get in front of him as he was the Cavs' whole offense down the stretch. Instead...

 

Ty Lawson would miss a driving layup and the Cavaliers hang on to win, 100-99. 

You have to give credit to Byron Scott for trusting Irving in that situation and for getting him the room to operate by inbounding full-court. It goes against traditional thought and involves trusting a rookie to go basically 94 feet against a defender. For Denver, what in the world were they thinking letting him get all the way to the rim? Unbelievable let down by the Denver bigs who needed to step up to help there. 

Irving is 19 years old. Wrap your head around that.
Posted on: February 28, 2012 5:30 pm
Edited on: February 28, 2012 5:42 pm
 

Antawn Jamison, the consummate pro

With his career winding down, Antawn Jamison is still a consummate pro. (Getty Images)

By Matt Moore
 

I've called for Antawn Jamison to be traded, to be benched, to be removed from the Cavaliers by any means necessary. I have an extraordinary quick trigger with rebuilding projects. Lose your best player? Trade absolutely everyone not on a rookie contract for picks and space, bring in D-League guys to try and find a diamond in the rough (like, you know, the Knicks found in Jeremy Lin, because they were lacking in star power). There's no point in veterans on a team like that, no value to their contrct taking up space, their consistent if unspectacular play drowning out younger players. Jamison has no long-term future with the Cavs, is shooting 42 percent from the field, and his usage is tied for fourth higest in his career. 

But beyond all that, you still have to be in the locker room, to talk to these guys to understand why players get the time they do, why Antawn has the role he still has on the Cavaliers (outside of his 19.2 points per 36 minutes and 17.9 PER). Ohio sports blog Waiting for Next Year did a phenomenal post on Jamison and his role with the Cavaliers. A few things struck me:

  • Jamison, despite the God-awful torrent of the past two years of his life which have included the Gilbert-Arenas-gun-fiasco, failing to be the piece to help LeBron get a ring in Cleveland, the 26-consecutive-losses debacle a year ago, and the fact that he started this season horribly, still talks after the game, still goes in depth on every loss like it's something new. That doesn't mean much to fans because, well, who cares about a guy making the media's job easier? Everyone hates the media. But Jamison isn't helping the media, he's taking the responsibility for the team, he's not ducking away or hiding. That takes some brass.
  • He worked out over the summer with Stephen Curry and Anthony Morrow during the lockout in North Carolina. There are so many guys in this league who do nothing to pay forward the help and mentorship they received from older players, so to hear Jamison taking that kind of role in his offseason along with working hard to develop a brotherly relationship with Tristan Thompson is really pretty incredible. 
  • Byron Scott is hard on rookies, like a lot of coaches. The fact that he can count on Jamison to do what he's supposed to is pretty vital. Scot has given Kyrie Irving a shot to lead this team, to take the reins of the franchise. The fact that Jamison is still doing enough to provide support for that and isn't causing issues, like, say, Stephen Jackson is remarkable. (It should be noted Jackson is a reknown teammate and emotional leader for guys.)
  • His story only serves to make the fact that the Cavaliers couldn't win a title that much worse. Boston was such a tough matchup for that team, and was on a such an unlikely and desperate roll. That Cavs team is considered such a failure, but it really was good for most of the year, even if Jamison was still learning to fit in.  
It's worth realizing in this story that there are reasons players aren't traded that have little to do with on-court performance. Jamison's minutes are going to go somewhere, why not to a veteran who creates a positive locker room enviornment? Why not to a leader who does as his coach asks? There will be time for Tristan Thompson, there will be time for others, and Jamison will take that demotion in stride like he did last year when J.J. Hickson (!) replaced him in the starting lineup. 

But maybe it's OK that teams don't run for the hills of youthful failure at warp speed. Maybe there's still room in this superstar, ego-driven league for players like Jamison, good guys who just do their job.  

(Via WFNY
Posted on: February 22, 2012 12:22 am
 

Report Card: Pop gets an A, his team gets an F

Posted by Royce Young

Popovich made a smart move, but his team didn't back him up much. (Getty Images)

Each night, Eye on Basketball brings you what you need to know about the games of the NBA. From great performances to terrible clock management the report card evaluates and eviscerates the good, the bad, and the ugly from the night that was.


Gregg Popovich
The Spurs got destroyed by the Blazers, 137-97. So an A for Popovich? What? Nobody keeps the big picture in mind better than Coach Pop. Even though the Spurs were working on an 11-game win streak, Popovich decided to sit both Tim Duncan and Tony Parker, essentially conceding the game to the Blazers. The Spurs were coming off a game the night before and have another tough one Thursday against the Nuggets before the All-Star break. By sitting Parker and Duncan, Popovich was buying his guys some much-needed rest at the back end of their rodeo road trip.
Dwyane Wade
The Kings looked to be game for the Heat early on, but behind Wade's 30 points (on 11-16 shooting), 10 assists and four rebounds, the Heat were able to pull away late.
Portland Trail Blazers
The Spurs brought their b-team to the Rose Garden Tuesday, but the blowout sure was impressive regardless. In starting for Raymond Felton, Jamal Crawford was brilliant and Felton was actually solid off the bench. A night after getting it handed to them in Los Angeles, the Blazers bounced back and put it on the Spurs, a team that had won 11 straight.
Cleveland Cavaliers
The Cavs rallied from 17 down to come back and beat the Pistons. Not the craziest feat in the world and yeah, it was the Pistons but I continue to be intrigued by this young team. Kyrie Irving led the spark that did it finishing with 25 and any time a growing, evolving team can put these type of wins in their pocket, it means a little more than just having another tally in the win column.
Isaiah Thomas
The rookie point guard finished with 24 points and hit four 3s in the third quarter. Problem was, he didn't score in the fourth. Still, a nice game in a losing effort to one of the league's three best teams.
Detroit Pistons  They blew a 17-point lead to the Cavs and were outscored 35-22 in the fourth quarter. They wasted really nice games from Greg Monroe and Brandon Knight. In other words, just another night for the Pistons.
San Antonio Spurs
Yep, Popovich gets an A, but his team gets an F. Just because he made a smart move sitting Duncan and Parker doesn't mean the rest of the team is allowed to completely take a dump on the game.

E FOR EFFORT
Roy Hibbert (30 points on 11-for-17 shooting, 13 rebounds and three blocks in a win over the Hornets)
Antawn Jamison (32 points, 11-for-22 shooting and 10 rebounds in a win over the Pistons)
Greg Monroe (19 points, 11 rebounds and seven assists in a loss to Cleveland)
Marc Gasol (15 points, 14 rebounds and seven assists in a win over Philadelphia)

Posted on: February 17, 2012 11:09 pm
Edited on: February 18, 2012 1:20 pm
 

Report: LeBron denies camp contacted Dan Gilbert

Posted by Ben Golliver 

LeBron James reportedly denies that he or his camp have made overtures to Cavaliers owner Dan Gilbert. (ESPN)

On Thusday, Miami Heat All-Star forward LeBron James opened up a pandora's box for rumors, acknowledging that he would consider returning to play in Cleveland for the Cavaliers at some point in his career. 

"I don't know. I think it would be great," James said, according to the Associated Press. "It would be fun to play in front of these fans again. I had a lot fun times in my seven years here. You can't predict the future and hopefully I continue to stay healthy. I'm here as a Miami Heat player, and I'm happy where I am now, but I don't rule that out in no sense."

On Friday, Yahoo! Sports reported that it wasn't just an idle thought, that James had actually reached out through backchannels to Cavaliers owner Dan Gilbert about a potential return.
This was no accident, no misspeaking, nothing out of context. Before mentioning Thursday his openness to playing in Cleveland again, James months ago had an emissary or two carry that message to the Cavaliers’ front office, league sources told Yahoo! Sports. His camp wanted the message delivered to owner Dan Gilbert, sources said, but so far, the response has been silence.

“He has started to lay the groundwork, and he’s waiting to see what Dan Gilbert’s reaction to it is,” one league source with direct knowledge told Yahoo! Sports.

The Heat, of course, were in Cleveland to face the Cavaliers on Friday night at Quicken Loans Arena, a game they won easily, 111-87. James finished with 28 points, 5 rebounds, 5 asssists, 1 steal and 1 block on 11-for-19 shooting in 30 minutes.

After the game, James denied that that he and his camp had reached out to Gilbert.

"It's not true, it's not true at all," James said, according to the Sun-Sentinel.

When James announced he was headed to Miami during a nationally-televised special called "The Decision," Gilbert publicly accused James of disloyalty and betrayal, guaranteeing that the Cavaliers would win an NBA title before the Heat.

On Thursday, James said that was all water under the bridge and admitted that he didn't handle his departure in the proper manner. 

"I don't hold grudges," he said, according to ESPN.com. "I hold them a little bit but I don't hold them that long. He said what he said out of anger. He probably would want to take that back, but I made a mistake, too. There's some things I'd want to take back as well. You learn from your mistakes and move on."

The Plain-Dealer has reported that Gilbert will not respond to James' comment for fear of receiving a fine from the NBA league office.

James' current contract runs through the 2015-2016 season. He has an early termination option for 2014-2015 and a player option for the final year of the deal, according to StoryTellersContracts.com. He will be 31 years old when the entirety of the deal is completed.

James, 27, spent his first seven NBA season with the Cavaliers. He is averaging 28.0 points, 8.2 rebounds, 6.8 assists and 1.7 steals in 36.9 minutes per game this season, and he's a leading NBA MVP candidate.
Posted on: February 16, 2012 2:34 pm
Edited on: February 17, 2012 11:11 pm
 

LeBron James: Return to Cleveland is possible

Posted by Ben Golliver 

LeBron James says a return to the Cleveland Cavaliers is a possibility. (ESPN)

LeBron James set aflutter the hearts of basketball fans in his former NBA home on Thursday, telling reporters in Cleveland that he would consider a return to the Cavaliers later in his career. James' Miami Heat are in Cleveland to face the Cavaliers on Friday night. 

The Associated Press reports that James, an Akron, Ohio, native, said that a return to Cleveland was a possibility, although he is happy with how things have turned out in Miami. Of course, he made international headlines by bolting the Cavaliers during the summer of 2010 to form the Miami Heat's Big 3 with All-Stars Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh.
 Asked if he could play for the Cavs again, James initially paused before giving his answer.

 "I don't know. I think it would be great," he said. "It would be fun to play in front of these fans again. I had a lot fun times in my seven years here. You can't predict the future and hopefully I continue to stay healthy. I'm here as a Miami Heat player, and I'm happy where I am now, but I don't rule that out in no sense.

"And if I decide to come back, hopefully the fans will accept me."
"Anything is possible," Wade told the AP regarding a possible James return to Cleveland. "Hopefully, I'm retired."

When James announced he was headed to Miami during a nationally-televised special called "The Decision," fans in Ohio burned his jerseys and Cavaliers owner Dan Gilbert publicly accused James of disloyalty and betrayal, guaranteeing that the Cavaliers would win an NBA title before the Heat.

On Thursday, James said that was all water under the bridge, according to ESPN.com, and admitted that he didn't handle his departure in the proper manner.

"I don't hold grudges, I hold them a little bit but I don't hold them that long," James said. "He said what he said out of anger. He probably would want to take that back, but I made a mistake, too. There's some things I'd want to take back as well. You learn from your mistakes and move on."

The Plain-Dealer reports that Gilbert will not respond to James' comment for fear of receiving a fine from the NBA league office.

When James returned to Quicken Loans Arena for the first time during the 2010-2011 season, he was met with heavy booing and dozens of signs and shirts mocking him.

"It doesn't sting anymore," James said, according to the AP. "The booing isn't as bad as it was last year so it's not even a big deal."

In case you were wondering, James' current contract runs through the 2015-2016 season. He has an early termination option for 2014-2015 and a player option for the final year of the deal, according to StoryTellersContracts.com. He will be 31 years old when the entirety of the deal is completed.

James, 27, spent his first seven NBA season with the Cavaliers. He is averaging 28.0 points, 8.2 rebounds, 6.8 assists and 1.7 steals in 36.9 minutes per game this season, and he's a leading NBA MVP candidate.

Posted on: February 15, 2012 1:00 pm
 

Kyrie Irving (concussion) cleared to return

Kyrie Irving has been cleared to return after suffering a concussion. (Getty Images)
Posted by Ben Golliver 

The Cleveland Cavaliers will get their point guard back.

The team announced Wednesday that standout rookie Kyrie Irving has been cleared to return to the court for Wednesday night's game against the Indiana Pacers.
Cavaliers guard Kyrie Irving has been cleared to resume game play by Cavaliers Team Physician Dr. AJ Cianflocco of the Cleveland Clinic. Irving suffered a concussion during the fourth quarter of the Cavaliers game at Miami on Feb. 7 and missed the past three games. He will be active for tonight’s game against the Indiana Pacers at The Q at 7:30 p.m.
Irving missed three games after sustaining the head injury against the Heat last week, missing a Cavaliers win over the Los Angeles Clippers and losses to the Milwaukee Bucks and Philadelphia 76ers.
 
A front-runner for Rookie of the Year, Irving is averaging 18.0 points, 5.1 assists, 3.5 rebounds and shooting 49.2 percent from the field in 29 minutes per game. Prior to the concussion, Irving had appeared in every game for the Cavaliers.

Last Wednesday, Irving was listed as day-to-day before Cavaliers coach Byron Scott announced last Friday that Irving would miss last weekend's games as he awaited medical clearance.

At the start of the 2011-2012 season, the NBA implemented a new policy for handling concussions and a player's return to the court. 

In other Cavaliers injury news, the team announced last weekend that big man Anderson Varejao suffered a fractured wrist and is out indefinitely.
Posted on: February 11, 2012 4:48 pm
Edited on: February 12, 2012 2:13 pm
 

Cavs F Varejao (wrist fracture) out indefinitely

Anderson Varejao has sustained a broken wrist. (Getty Images)
Posted by Ben Golliver

The hard knock life continues for Cleveland Cavaliers big man Anderson Varejao. 

The Cavaliers informed the media via press release on Saturday that an MRI revealed that Varejao fractured his right wrist this week. He will be sidelined indefinitely. 
Cavaliers forward/center Anderson Varejao received a follow-up exam and MRI on his injured right wrist today at the Cleveland Clinic’s Center for Sports Health with Dr. Thomas Graham and Dr. Tom Anderson. The injury occurred during last night’s Cavaliers game against the Milwaukee Bucks at The Q in Cleveland with 9:01 remaining in the third quarter. Varejao did not return to play the remainder of the game.

The results of today’s MRI revealed a non-displaced fracture of the wrist. He is now listed as Out and a timeline for his return to action will be established next week after further testing and examination is conducted at Cleveland Clinic. His status will be updated as appropriate.
Varejao, 29, appeared in just 31 games last season after a torn tendon in his leg required season-ending surgery in January 2011

Thanks in large part to Varejao and star rookie point guard Kyrie Irving, the Cavaliers are just outside the playoff picture in the Eastern Conference, with a surprising 10-15 record that put them in tenth place in the East standings. An extended absence from Varejao kills their playoff hopes, as he was Cleveland's only true big man playing meaningful minutes. Cavaliers coach Byron Scott will likely elect to fill the minutes void by offering more time to 2011 lottery pick Tristan Thompson

Varejao was averaging 10.8 points, a career-high 11.5 rebounds, 1.8 assists and 1.4 steals in 31.4 minutes per game this season. Through Friday, he was the NBA's No. 1 offensive rebounder, according to Basketball-Reference.com.
 
 
 
 
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