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Over the span of an 82-game NBA regular season, the statements made in December and January are generally lost by the time the winter ice thaws. By the time warm weather arrives and the league's playoff brackets have been pared down to a final four, the battles of wintertime are pages in dusty, seldom-opened history books. With that in mind, what the Cavs did to the Lakers in two regular season meetings this year could have little to no bearing on what might happen should the teams, who lead their respective conferences, meet again in the NBA Finals. And yet, it's hard to deny that something happened in these two games, spaced a little under a month apart.
Daniel Gibson may not be able to handle the ball or distribute it like most NBA point guards but the dude can shoot it. And Gibson's three-pointer with eight seconds left gave the Cavs a two point lead that even they weren't able to foul up with a turnover or a missed free throw. The Boobie three gave the Cavs a 100-99 win over the Thunder on a night when they found themselves down to their third string point guards. It was a completely entertaining basketball game but it will not be part of any introductory course in basketball fundamentals. Brian McPeek tells us about it.
The newest member of the Cleveland Cavaliers Cedric Jackson was all smiles at yesterday's Cleveland State game. The former Cleveland State point guard will sign a 10-day contract with the Cavaliers today and be suited up for tonight's home game against Oklahoma City (7:30 p.m.). Jackson averaged 14.7 points, 7.6 assists, and 4.6 rebounds, starting 14 of 25 games, during his rookie season for the NBA Development League's Erie BayHawks, the affiliate of the Cavs. Tom Mieskoski had a chance to talk to Cedric last night about this opportunity of a lifetime.
You might want to know, but Sam Amico doesn't have a real answer. He cannot tell you who is better: LeBron James or Kobe Bryant. He can't base it on the fact that James and the Cavs have swept the season series, winning 93-87 on Thursday in Cleveland. He can't use the logic that Bryant has won four championships (to zero for James). And he can't come closer to a decision after watching James score 37 and grab nine rebounds, and Bryant score 31 with a bandaged index finger on his shooting hand. Sam's just happy he is getting a chance to watch these living legends perform in their prime.
The Lakers came into The Q last night with revenge on their minds against a Cavaliers team missing Mo Williams and Jamario Moon due to injuries and shot out of the gates quick, cruising to a 9-0 lead to start the game. But the Cavaliers, despite the attrition, despite a black hole in the backcourt, despite turnovers, despite second and third looks given up, stayed within contact. Then, with some fierce defense and on the broad backs of a couple of all-time greats, one young, one old, they took over at winning time. They wrested control of the game from Los Angeles down the stretch and came up with perhaps their grittiest win of the season, a 93-87 thriller that gave Cleveland the season sweep. Jesse recaps the win.
Tonight's game against the Lakers is going to have a playoff feel. And it has J.D. Shultz in the playoff discussion kind of mood. If the regular season ended today, the Cavaliers (32-11) would enter the NBA Playoffs as the #1 seed in the Eastern Conference. They'd be playing the #8 seed Chicago Bulls (18-22), and would then move on to play the winner of the #4 Orlando Magic (27-15) / #5 Charlotte Bobcats (21-19) series. In J.D.'s latest, he starts to take a look at the potential bracketing, the manuevering that may take place these next few months, and how things may end up shaking out once it's playoff time.
Forty-six years and counting Cleveland fans. 1964. Our last pro sports title. Some call it a curse. Jesse Lamovsky calls it a drought. And in this latest series from Jesse, he's taking ten of the biggest heartbreakers of the Cleveland Sports Drought, putting them under his microscope, and giving our readers his somewhat-educated opinion on whether or not any of these disasters really deprived us of a World Championship for the city of Cleveland. Today, he starts with the 1976 Cavaliers and their "bad break".
Even if you don't care about the Cavaliers, you care about tonight. You care about our beloved city, and how much it will mean to Beat L.A. You remember how the Cavs had their way with Kobe Bryant and the Lakers on Christmas Day; how our so-called insignificant part of the world bent Hollywood over its knee and gave it what it deserved. You remember Lakers fans throwing those foam fingers on the floor, angry over the officiating ... angry over the loss ... angry over the fact a team from Cleveland kicked its butt. It's round two, tonight, Lakers at Cavs. Sam Amico previews tonight's epic tilt for our readers.
If the Cavs have shown nothing else all season, they've shown that are willing and able to play pretty much any style of basketball and win while doing it. You want to go Western Conference, up-tempo, push the ball at any opportunity and run until the cows come home? The Cavs can go small and run right with you. You'd rather play a plodding, physical, squeeze the clock and pound the ball down low style? Go ahead and take your chances with Shaquille O'Neal and a bigger lineup and have it at. Tuesday night at ‘The Q' the Cavaliers employed a little bit of both styles in beating the red hot Toronto Raptors 108-100. Brian McPeek talks about it in his recap of the Cavs latest win.
It was a light week for the Cavaliers. Just two games. Both thrilling affairs that went down to the final shot. The Cavs lost out in Utah, and then went west to LA and beat the Clippers. The 1-1 week leaves the Cavs with a record of 31-11. Thanks to the Celtics and Magic both stumbling into losing streaks, the Cavs have now opened up a bit of a margin in the Eastern Conference, as they lead the Cs by 2.5 games and Orlando by 4.5 games. Just as importantly, the week marked the end of the Cavs' longest road trip of the year, as well as the end of their last West Coast swing. With 11 of their next 13 games at Quicken Loans Arena, the Cavs are set up well. John talks about it in his latest piece for us.
The 2010 NBA Trade Deadline is February 18th at 3:00 P.M. Eastern . . . which means that we are exactly one month away from finding out whether Danny Ferry will be able to pry a rotation player away from an under-performing team in cost-cutting mode. The latest rumors have the Cavs inquiring with New Orleans about power forward David West, and in J.D. Shultz's latest, he addresses those rumors, and also lays out all the chips that Danny Ferry has at his disposal that may interest some of these teams that are looking to make a deal.
The best way to get over a one-point loss? Pick up a one-point victory. The Cavaliers bounced back from Thursday night's heartbreaker in Utah, this time surviving a last-second shot attempt to edge the Clippers at Staples Center, 102-101. Cleveland struggled for much of the night, falling behind by double digits at various points in the first three quarters, but for the second consecutive year put together a strong fourth quarter on the road against the junior-varsity representatives from Los Angeles. Jesse Lamovsky tells us about the win.
Successful poker players may lose many small pots and still be totally happy, for their goal is to win the occasional big ones. The same thinking comes naturally in football. When the "Browns are in a fourth down, "moving all in", in the meaning of going for it, is worthwhile only if the odds for success are good enough. In most other cases, it’s probably wiser to just "fold" the hand, as in punting the ball away. In the same way, winning or losing a single yard means nothing as long as they manage to get a first down.
Talk about a tough pill to swallow after staying up 'till 1:30 AM. The Cavaliers fell 97-96 to the Utah Jazz last night, losing on a last second three pointer from Sundiata Gaines, just called up from the D-League, and in for an injured Deron Williams. And this was after a furious, LeBron James led comeback, as the King scored 20 fourth quarter points to bring the Cavs back from a 18 point Jazz lead in the final stanza ... only to see the team undone by missed free throws and a prayer three pointer from Gaines in the final seconds. Sam Amico tells our readers about the heartbreaking loss.
With today's game in Utah, the Cavaliers will have reached the midpoint of the 2009-10 season. Next Monday, January 18, will mark one month and counting until the NBA's trade deadline. In the often-referenced words of Yogi Berra, it gets late early around here. For the Cavs, a team pulling out all the stops to try and win the NBA title this spring, time is especially of the essence. Danny Ferry isn't just trying to win a championship. He's making his closing arguments to LeBron James, who will dive headfirst into the free agent waters on July 1. If the Cavaliers do make a move, its likely to be the addition of a power forward. Erik Cassano gives us his thoughts on a few of the options Ferry might conisder.
The Cleveland Cavaliers (30-10) are 40 games into the 82 game schedule, which means it's time for our inaugural 48.8% of the Way Through the Regular Season Stat Check. Why now? Well, you know everyone's going to be over-analyzing the crap out of everything at the halfway point, so we're going to sneak some over-analyzing in a game early . . . in the hopes of beating everyone to the punch. Pretty tricky, huh!? So we did some digging and found a few mildly interesting statistics . . . to share a few interesting facts and oddities that you may not have realized, while watching the individual games. J.D. Shultz breaks it down for us.
Has it really been half a season already? Technically, it hasn't been. The Cavs' game at Golden State last night was their 40th of the year, so they are just shy of the halfway pole for the 82 game season. But it's close enough. At the almost-halfway mark, the Cavs find themselves with an Eastern Conference-best 30-10 record and they hold a 12-game lead in the Central Division over Chicago. In this weeks column, John Hnat looks back at the last week of Cavaliers basketball, makes some of his usual amusing observations about the team, and attempts to Jedi Mind Trick Antawn Jamison into forcing a trade to Cleveland. Enjoy!
The NBA schedule maker is a sick, twisted, sadomasochistic piece of work. A night after the Cavs played the Portland Trailblazers in Portland they were right back at it on Monday night against the Golden State Warriors in Oakland. The Warriors aren't exactly a slow, plodding and deliberate group. Golden State uses Oracle Arena as an indoor track with hoops at each end and apparently with the mantra that you can't score what you don't shoot. They may not dazzle you with execution but they can overwhelm you with sheer volume of shots and a dizzying pace. And that's not exactly the second game of a back-to-back set that you're looking for on the road. That makes the Cavaliers 117-114 win over the Warriors all the more impressive. Peeker tells us about the win.
Coming off a disappointing loss to the Carmelo-less Nuggets Friday night, the Cavs needed a win last night in Portland to kick start the road trip they find themselves on. Mission accomplished; although the 106-94 victory wasn't as easy as it looked from the outset. Cleveland had the game won early in the second half but had to win it back down the stretch as the Blazers rallied from a 17-point third-quarter deficit to tie the game late I the fourth. It took a brilliant individual effort by LeBron James and some stalwart performances by the supporting cast to subdue Portland and, hopefully, turn another Western swing in the right direction.
It's hard to put a finger on it exactly, but it seems that the Washington Wizards were doing a lot of running and not enough gunning on Wednesday night at ‘The Q'. Maybe they just missed the firepower Gilbert Arenas gives them. One thing about last night's game was clear though. Just hours after Arenas was suspended indefinitely by NBA Commissioner David Stern for gunplay in the locker room, the Cavaliers unloaded all barrels on Washington in an easy 121-98 win. Peeker tells us about the Cavs latest beating of the Wizards.
That's right - we're in the Dead Zone of the NBA season. The novelty of the new season has long since worn off, but it's still several weeks before the playoff jockeying begins in earnest. The Cavs took two from Atlanta, sleptwalked through a win in Jersey, then fell at home to the Bobcats this week. In his regular Tuesday piece for us, this week John Hnat looks at those four contests, the performance of coach Mike Brown, the J.J. Hickson Watch, the performance of the Cavs bench, Gil Arenas pulling a gun on a teammate, and the week that lies ahead for the wine and gold.
Sometimes, figuratively speaking, a good kick to the rear end will get one re-focused. Consider the Cavs kicked. The Charlotte Bobcats took advantage of an error-prone and disinterested Cavalier squad and escaped Quicken Loans Arena with their first ever win in Cleveland by a score of 91-88. After looking disinterested for most of this one, the Cavs scrambled late to shave a seven point Charlotte lead down to one before a late game brain lapse ultimately ended up doing them in. Brian McPeek rehashes the loss for our readers.
It might just be a convenient excuse, but it sure looked like the Cavs were a little groggy for the 1:00 PM start for Saturday afternoon's game in New Jersey against the Nets. To be honest, it would be easy for fans who were still a little groggy after the Buckeyes' victory last night to doze off during this one, because it was wasn't particularly eventful. After sleepwalking through the first quarter, the Cavs took a one-point lead into the half which they never relinquished. A strong defensive effort in the third quarter helped the Cavs stretch their lead to eight points, and that would prove to be their final margin of victory. Nick Allburn recaps the win.
When Anderson Varejao buries a 3-pointer, you know it's gotta be your night. When LeBron James turns 25 and the only number anyone is talking about is 48, you figure the Cavaliers probably pulled out a win. When the Atlanta Hawks are using phrases like "no comment" and words like "protest" after the game ... well, it's not hard to figure out they suffered their second loss to the Cavs in as many nights. And that's exactly what happened, as the Cavs' used another strong fourth quarter to grind out a 106-101 victory Wednesday at the Q. Sam Amico tells us about the win in his latest.
The final year of the first decade of the 21st Century was, once again, devoid of world championships for Cleveland's teams. But even without trophies or rings, there was still plenty to remember from the sports year 2009 in Cleveland. From the good (anything involving LeBron James or Josh Cribbs) to the bad (another Tribe fire sale) to the ugly (Braylon Edwards slugging a friend of LeBron's, then getting traded) it was another eventful sports year on the North Coast. Erik Cassano has been counting down the top ten biggest Cleveland sports stories of 2009, and today, brings us his #3 moment.
There has been a lot of talk about the Atlanta Hawks fast start and their place amongst the elite teams in the NBA's Eastern Conference. It's probably a good time to cease and desist on that talk. The Cavaliers went into Atlanta for the first game of a home and home series with Atlanta and the Cavs, as Austin Carr might say, completely shut off their water. They certainly did that for nearly the first nine minutes of the 4th quarter. The Cavaliers scored just eight points themselves in that nine minutes but increased their 75-74 lead after three quarters to 83-74 before Atlanta put their first points on the board. The Cavs ended up cruising to a 95-84 win, and Brian McPeek tells us about it.
They're elite again. Well, that's what the national media would have you believe about the Cavaliers. That they were a sort-of elite team heading into the season, then dropped off the face of the earth after a terrrrrible 3-3 start. But the Cavs have now won their last four games and nine of their last ten. Anyway, the Cavs' hot streak - and particularly that trouncing of the Lakers - has several of the national commentators saying that the Cavs are back in the title picture. We'll let them believe that they are "back" ... but in truth, they never really left. John Hnat gives us The Good, The Bad, & The Summary of what was a great week of Cavaliers basketball.
Sunday night's meeting with the visiting Houston Rockets at the Q had "Trap" written all over it. And for the first few minutes of Sunday's game the Cavaliers were flat. They spotted Houston an early twelve-point lead and were noticeably less active than the Rockets and their water bug of a point guard, Aaron Brooks. But it didn't take long for Cleveland to flex its newfound muscle. The Cavaliers ate up Houston's lead and then exploded early in the second half on the way to a decisive 108-83 victory. Jesse recaps the win.
A blowout win over the previously unbeaten at home Phoenix Suns. A thrilling overtime victory in Sacramento over an emerging young Kings team. And the Christmas Day Massacre in Los Angeles over the defending champion Lakers. Just a week ago this team looked listless and like they were just going through the motions, rightfully drawing the ire of the Cavalier Nation. But they answered a lot of questions we had about them this this week. Brian McPeek is more than happy to eat a little Christmas Crow, and talks about this last week of Cavs basketball in his latest piece for us.
Now, that's how you finish a road trip. The Cavaliers neatly tied a Christmas bow on a 3-1 Western swing, routing the Lakers, 102-87, in Staples Center. It was perhaps Cleveland's best overall performance of the season, as they performed smartly and precisely on offense and hammered the defending World Champions with a mailed fist on defense. The Cavaliers shattered the Lake Show's eleven-game home winning streak, sending the home team, and their fans, into a total meltdown in the process. Jesse Lamovsky recaps the exhilirating win.
Nate Thurmond was a tall, gangly kid out of Akron who had been a star for Central High School. Thurmond starred as a Bowling Green Falcon, and was acknowledged as having raised the stature of the MAC. Drafted in the first round by the San Francisco Warriors, Thurmond found himself under the wing of all-time great Wilt Chamberlain, where he eventually thrived after Wilt The Stilt was dealt to Philly. Here in the Coliseum, Coach Fitch has the Cavaliers contending for the NBA title. Getting the players to believe in themselves is widely credited to the final piece- the team's glue and foundation: Nate Thurmond. Greg Popelka takes a look back at Nate The Great.