February 27th, 2014 at 12:09 PM
By Pat Murphy
It really has been a strange season for the Cleveland Cavaliers. The expectations were high coming in and the let down began early. After a six game winning streak, the Cavaliers lost three in a row following the All-Star break.
Last night, Cleveland beat the NBA's second best team, the Oklahoma City Thunder, 114-104 with their best fourth quarter of the season.
The Cavs were led by All Star Kyrie Irving, who had one of his best games in the Wine and Gold in some time. Irving finished with a game-high 31 points, nine assists, five rebounds, and four steals. Best of all, the guard was efficient, shooting 10-19 from the floor, 4-7 from three point range, and making all seven of his free throw attempts.
Irving overshadowed big nights from the Thunder's stars. Kevin Durant just missed on a triple double, recording 28 points, 10 rebounds, and nine assists. This continues a great run of form from Durant, but he was unable to get his team over the hump in the fourth quarter. Russell Westbrook had one of his best nights since returning from his third knee surgery with 24 points and nine assists.Read more... Join the Conversation...
February 26th, 2014 at 7:38 PM
By Pat Murphy
Here is a segment from Bill Simmons' Mail Bag from earlier today that probably speaks to Cleveland Cavalier fans everywhere:
Q: Here’s a quick list of the things that make me want to give Chris Grant a jab to the kidney:
1. Every Jarrett Jack contested two.
2. Every time Tristian Thompson gets an offensive rebound only to miss an easy bunny or get his shot blocked.
3. Every time Mike Brown is shown on the sideline.
4. Every time I get a SportsCenter alert notifying me that Anderson Vaejao will be sitting out today’s game.
5. Every time Luol Deng gets that look on his face like he’s seriously considering what wrong he committed to end up in Cleveland.
6. Every time Mike Brown is shown in the huddle.
7. Every time Alonzo Gee takes a shot.
8. Every time Anthony Bennett is shown wheezing with hands on hips.
9. Every time Mike Brown takes a timeout to draw up a play with 4 seconds left in a seven point game.
10. Every time that play drawn up takes 4 seconds and ends in a Jarrett Jack contested two.Read more... Join the Conversation...
February 26th, 2014 at 5:52 PM
By Pat Murphy
When the Cleveland Cavaliers made the trade for Spencer Hawes at the trade deadline, questions began to emerge about how the power forward/center would be used.
The Cavaliers already had their front court rotation set with big men Anderson Varejao and Tristan Thompson as their starters and Tyler Zeller and rookie Anthony Bennett in the rotation and none of those players went back to the Philadelphia 76ers in the trade.
In his first two games with Cleveland, Hawes came off the bench but with Varejao still out – with an injury that may have been the motive behind the trade – and a two game losing streak, Hawes was inserted into the starting lineup in place of Zeller in Tuesday's game with the Toronto Raptors.
The Cavaliers still lost the game 99-93, but in the fourth quarter, the Cavs got a glimpse of a combination that may be fruitful for them moving forward.
With just over eight and half minutes remaining in the game, Hawes checked in to play alongside Zeller for the first time that night. Though Cleveland conceded the lead, it was not due to the play of the two big men on the court.Read more... Join the Conversation...
February 26th, 2014 at 4:20 PM
By Pat Murphy
For the second straight game, the MVP of the All-Star game was left in the shadows of a fellow Eastern Conference All Star and for the the third straight game, it cost the Cleveland Cavaliers.
Toronto Raptors' shooting guard DeMar DeRozan scored scored a game-high 33 points – 16 in the fourth quarter – and had six assists with no turnovers on the night. Kyrie Irving on the other hand finished with 25 points and nine assists, but was not the impact player the Cavaliers needed down the stretch to get the win, falling 99-93.
The game was similar to these two team's meeting four days earlier. The Raptors led most of the way, but Cleveland made a late comeback and had a chance to win.
Tyler Zeller's two made free throws with just over three minutes to play gave the Cavs a 89-87 lead, but Toronto closed the game out on a 12-4 run to seal the victory. DeRozan scored eight of his 16 fourth quarter points over the last two and half minutes after Terrence Ross hit a three to give the Raptors the lead.Read more... Join the Conversation...
February 24th, 2014 at 12:01 PM
By Pat Murphy
After six consecutive wins, it was only a matter of time before the Cleveland Cavaliers slipped up. Winning streaks don't go on forever, especially for a team that has struggled to start them over the last three years.
This weekend the winning streak did not only stop, but the Cavaliers began another losing streak.
On Friday night, Cleveland traveled to take on the Toronto Raptors and fell 98-91 and then dropped a game to the Washington Wizards at home Sunday 96-83.
Friday's game was an ugly display by both teams, as the Raptors shot just 33% from the field in the first half. Toronto did finish shooting 43% for the game, which was ultimately what earned them the win.
After trailing at the break, the Raptors opened the second half with a 17-4 run that gave them a 58-52 lead. The Cavs were not able to fight back, allowing the run to swell to 30-10 and the lead to grow to as much as 15 before eventually falling by seven.
Terrence Ross led his team with 20 points and Jonas Valanciunas added 18 points and eight rebounds. Toronto also got 14 points from both Demar DeRozan and Kyle Lowery. Lowery also added nine assists and six rebounds.Read more... Join the Conversation...