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Andrew Clayman

cavsspurs2-13-13A brief defensive lapse and an on-target triple from Kawhi Leonard lifted the visiting Spurs over the Cavaliers by a whisker tonight at the Q, 96-95. Leonard’s shot—which came with just 2.9 seconds remaining-- sent the Wine & Gold into the All-Star break on yet another of those pesky three-game losing streaks. But as a far more dire consequence, it also led to the inevitable 180-degree turn in tonality on the post-game radio shows, as local hosts decried Byron Scott’s failures to will his 16-37 team over a 42-12 team in the final minutes. Yes, if Kawhi Leonard had just been kind enough to short-arm that wide open three-pointer, your upstart Cavaliers would have had themselves a touchstone victory over a league elite (with Tim Duncan back on the floor, no less), leading to a week of good feelings and boundless optimism. But Kawhi Leonard—selfish prick that he is—made the shot.

And so we carry on with the mope show.

Despite having their big three of Duncan, Tony Parker, and Manu Ginobli together on the court for the first time since January 13, San Antonio had problems all night creating any distance between themselves and the Cavs. This was especially surprising considering that the guy objectively agreed upon as the best Cav—Mr. Kyrie Irving— was shooting the rock like a cross-eyed Cedric Henderson. Kyrie himself went as far as to call his 6 point, 2-for-15 shooting performance “probably one of the worst shooting nights I’ve ever had.” And yet there were his teammates picking up the slack, rallying Cleveland to a 54-46 halftime lead.


Jeff Rich

CryingSome arguments put us in good favor with our peers, provided we take the right side, but we might upset the status quo with a minority opinion.  And hey, that's life.  At the end of the day, you should be able to discuss anything and everything with your friends, then still walk away as friends, no matter how heated the debate might be.

I understand how there might be a level of disappointment on one side, especially when the answers seem so obvious.  I totally get it; how can people of any discernible intelligence be so dense?  When you reach that level of frustration, there is nothing left to do, but say "good day" and part ways.  When I state that I won't grovel over the hype of LeBron James potential exodus from South Florida in 17 months, I'm not out to anger the masses, nor am I striving for a contrary view.

Truth be told, I don't actually want to talk about it, but since the Cavaliers are about ten wins south of the 8th line in the Eastern Conference, this is what people want to stake the future of the Cavaliers on, another wing and a prayer.  If it were up to me, I'd pass.  If the Cavs brass wants to tell the media there's going to be a pursuit of free agents in 2014, and to imply the man from Akron would be among those considered, fine.


Demetri Inembolidis

152062767 Nuggets Cavs Kyle088 2When the final buzzer rang on Monday night, the Cleveland Cavaliers found themselves facing a 100-92 loss to the Minnesota Timberwolves. On the surface, this was not one of the worst losses that Cleveland has suffered. Afterall, there are 36 available to choose from and far fewer wins. The Cavs have lost to the Chicago Bulls by 29 points. They gave up a 26 point lead to the Phoenix Suns. Both of those losses happened within the first six games of the season.

Something about this loss stung more than any other.

At shoot-around, veteran guard C.J. Miles had some thoughts on not taking the Timberwolves lightly. "The biggest thing we talked about was that we don't want another Golden State-type of thing happening,'' said Miles. He was refering to when the Cavs lost to the Golden State Warriors on January 29th. The Warriors were missing five different rotation players due to injury, were on the second night of a back-to-back and were at the end of four games in five nights road trip. Despite all of this, the Warriors beat the Cavs by a score of 108-95.

Minnesota was missing Kevin Love, Chase Budinger, Andrei Kirilenko and Brandon Roy. As we are accustomed to, it didn't matter and the Timberwolves were able to leave Cleveland with a victory. I do not know if it is a problem with the team culture, but it is mind-boggling that a 16 win team can allow themselves to be arrogant. The Cavs have been playing better as of late, but they still have a long way to go if they want to reach the postseason in the Kyrie Irving era.


Andrew Clayman

lekyrie-masksThis year’s All-Star Game will mark the first time that LeBron James and Kyrie Irving—past and present faces of the Cavalier franchise—will take the floor as teammates in an NBA game. Irving, like James back in 2005, is a 20 year-old making his All-Star debut one year after being the #1 overall selection in the draft and Rookie of the Year. Compared to the year-long coronation that was King James’ incredible sophomore season, however, the frustratingly nickname-less Irving remains just a hair under the national radar—still fighting for his recognition as one of the game’s elite point guards, let alone overall players.

No doubt, a major factor in Irving’s second tier status is his relatively brief, injury-riddled resume, which has him appearing in just 102 games over his three years in the public eye (11 at Duke, 91 thus far for Cleveland). Another obvious obstacle is the general awfulness of Irving’s current ballclub. While no one expected much of anything out of the rebuilding Cavaliers this season, it’s still a bit surprising/insulting that the team was handed a grand total of ZERO nationally televised games on the schedule. As a result, star-making performances like Kyrie’s demolition of the OKC Thunder on Groundhog Day wind up generating half the buzz that a similar LBJ effort may have garnered eight years ago. (As a side note apropos of nothing, LeBron had to wear a protective face mask for a portion of that 2004-05 season, just as Irving did for much of this year).


Thomas Moore

2012 02 cavs thumbsSomehow, while we were not looking, the Cleveland Cavaliers hit the 50-game mark and, since the calendar turned to 2013, have been playing respectable and, at times, entertaining basketball.

Starting with the Jan. 2 game against Sacramento, the Cavs have gone 9-10, a streak that includes wins in six of their last nine games heading into Monday’s game against Minnesota.

In the process, the Cavs have gone from battling Washington for the NBA’s worst record to being comfortably in the middle of the non-playoff teams in the Eastern Conference.

With the All-Star Game on the horizon, it seems like a good time to go thumbs up and thumbs down on some things that have stood out to us so far this season.


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