Category Archives: basketball

Cavs down Spurs 90-88

The Cavs may have gained some confidence by winning in San Antonio.

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The Cavs beat San Antonio at their own game Thursday night. They shot better from the perimeter, created turnovers, didn’t allow easy baskets, and played physical basketball. In keeping with Cavalier basketball, they out-rebounded the Spurs, built a decent lead, then nearly blew it.

LeBron was merely ‘average’ on Thursday, actually slightly below his average. He finished with 27 points, 9 rebounds and 7 assists. He also had 2 great blocked shots, and a 3rd that was called goal tending. It probably was, but it was another great hustle play as LeBron swatted a lay-up from behind. That is becoming LeBron’s signature defensive move.

Zydrunas Ilgauskas was a force, scoring 17 on only 11 shots. He took over for the Cavs offensively when LeBron went to the bench in the 2nd. That group of Z, Daniel Gibson, Devin Brown, Andy Varejao and Damon Jones actually turned a 7 point deficit into an 8 point lead. They did it with great defense and team offense. Devin Brown had an outstanding behind the back pass to Damon Jones on a 2 on 1 fast break. That was set up by a steal from Andy Varejao. It was as if the Cavs knew they had to do more with LeBron on the bench, only this time instead of jacking up jump shots, they played as a team. They made the extra pass and fed Z on the low post. It was the best effort I’ve seen from the bench this year. Continue reading

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Filed under Anderson Varejao, basketball, Cavs, Cleveland Cavaliers, Damon Jones, Daniel Gibson, Larry Hughes, LeBron James, NBA, San Antonio Spurs, Sports, Zydrunas Ilgauskas

See LeBron Score

Memphis forward Mike Miller was not even a speed bump for LeBron James.

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Last night the FedEx Forum reminded me of the James A. Rhodes Arena in Akron. Just like in high school, LeBron James was driving to the basket at will, defenses helpless to stop him. It was a good thing too, because the Grizzles were shooting the lights out of the place.

First the numbers, the Cavs won 132-124 in OT. His highness scored 51 points, (a season high and the 4th 50+ point game in his career) had 9 assists and 8 boards. Once again LeBron came up huge down the stretch, scoring 25 in the 4th and OT. He finished 18 for 28 including 6 of 12 from triple territory. His help came from Gibson who had 18, Varejao (11), Gooden (12), and Z (14). Continue reading

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Filed under Anderson Varejao, basketball, Cavs, Cleveland Cavaliers, Daniel Gibson, Drew Gooden, LeBron James, NBA, Sports, Zydrunas Ilgauskas

James leads Cavs over Bobcats

LeBron James waited…almost too long…to take over this one.

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LeBron James led the Cavs in scoring, rebounding, assists, steals, and blocked shots. Yet, without a few of his teammates, the Cavs wouldn’t have pulled this one out. Andy Varejao came up big tonight, despite playing with a bruised knee and an Achilles sprain. Varejao grabbed 18 boards and scored 16 points in his 41 minutes. It was Andy that willed the Cavs back into the game in the second quarter when LeBron took a seat.

The Bobcats, and specifically Jason Richardson opened the game scorching hot. The Cavs managed to hang with Charlotte, and eventually opened up an 8 point lead in the second, as Richardson went cold. The Cavs finished the first half up 58-51. But, as has been the trend for the Cavs, they started the third quarter cold, and relinquished the lead. James, who had 13 points at the half, didn’t score at all in the 3rd frame. Continue reading

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Filed under Anderson Varejao, basketball, Cavs, Cleveland Cavaliers, Damon Jones, Daniel Gibson, Drew Gooden, LeBron James, NBA

Cavs Run Past Sonics

For maybe the first time this season, the Cavs dominated an opponent from start to finish.

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The Cavs turned up the defensive intensity and the result was an easy win against Seattle 95-79. The Cavs outscored the Sonics in each of the first 3 quarters and built a 20 point lead in the early part of the 4th quarter. This allowed LeBron and the starting group to get a little more rest than usual, as they have to play in Atlanta tonight.

Daniel Gibson shot the lights out, connecting on 5 of 8 three pointers, and all the Cavs seemed to get in on the defensive lock down. Larry Hughes made a nice steal leading to a thunderous LeBron dunk late in the third quarter. Andy was his usual hustling self, and even made a few baskets just outside the paint (if I hadn’t seen it myself I might not believe it.) Z never really got going, but with the pace was quicker with the steals and defensive pressure. The Cavs finished with 15 steals. Now honestly, the Sonics are to blame for a good portion of those. They did not handle the ball well. (There’s an understatement.)

Kevin Durant started slow, but showed promise, scoring 24 before leaving the game with a ankle sprain. He came down on Sasha’s foot I believe and that ended his night. He didn’t do anything extraordinary to impress me during the game, just played solid and knocked down some shots. Continue reading

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Filed under Anderson Varejao, basketball, Cavs, Cleveland Cavaliers, Daniel Gibson, Larry Hughes, LeBron James, NBA, Sports, Zydrunas Ilgauskas

Cavs Overcome Terrible Start

Hopefully that will be the headline on the season as well.
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The Cavs made Jamario Moon and his Raptor teammates look like the Eastern Conference All-Star team for the first 32 minutes of Sunday’s game. Then LeBron and company decided they wanted to win the game. They did, 93-90. They won despite waiting until 4 minutes left in the game to grab their first lead. (Much to the delight of Cavs color man Austin Carr, who had been insisting for 5 minutes that Cavs couldn’t win on the road unless they managed to get the lead. Seriously, do we not have any former players that sound half intelligent?)
LeBron brought out the Superman cape apparently because he was frustrated with some female hecklers in the front row. He proceeded to score 24 points in the fourth quarter alone. Not surprisingly the Raptors focused their full attention on James, and LeBron was happy to dish to wide open teammates who actually knocked down jumpers to seal the win.
2 of those big shots came from Damon Jones, who played with intensity today. He drained consecutive 3 pointers to draw the Cavs to within 2 when James and Daniel Gibson sealed the win. Devin Brown and Andy Varejao helped with hustle and defense. The NBA is funny though, what passes as good defense when shots don’t fall, gets ridiculed when they do.
Whatever you want to call it; luck, defense, hustle, desire…the Cavs got it done Sunday. They must continue to improve, and find the right pieces to the puzzle night in and night out. What is clear is this- don’t tick LeBron off.

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Filed under basketball, Cavs, Cleveland Cavaliers, Damon Jones, Daniel Gibson, LeBron James, NBA, Sports

A Big Start for the Big Ten

Pat checks in after the Buckeyes’ Big Ten opener against Illinois.

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Thursday night started a defense of the Ohio State men’s basketball teams 2 time regular season Big Ten title hunt. Starting the Big Ten season means basketball season is well underway and this game is the same game just a few years ago that Ohio State coach Thad Matta coached his first Big Ten game, Champaign, Illinois.

Ohio State left the Illini scratching their heads and wondering why they couldn’t score in the 2nd half, as the Buckeyes won 74-58. Led by senior Jamar Butler’s 32 points (4-7 from down town and was 8-8 from the charity stripe) the Buckeyes methodically pulled away during the 2nd half. Butler scored 15 points in a row in the 2nd half during the run that put the Buckeyes up for good. Butler also had 6 assist, 2 key ones as him and Matt Terwilliger worked the pick and pop and Terwilliger knocked down 2 big 3’s. Continue reading

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Filed under basketball, Big Ten, Buckeyes, college basketball, Kosta Koufos, Ohio State, Sports, Thad Matta

Cavs top Hawks, LeBron goes off

LeBron busts through the line of scrimmage…Touchdown! Well, what do you see in this picture?

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Someone might want to remind the Hawks what sport they play. I can’t say that I blame them however. At about the 9 minute mark in the 3rd quarter LeBron decided he’d had enough and the wasn’t going to lose this game. And he didn’t. To that point LeBron had only 5 points in the game, he would add 31 more, including 19 of the Cavs last 22 points. Said Daniel Gibson, “He got into one of those zones we all love, It was fun to watch.” Yeah, I’d buy that. Sort of reminded me of another such stretch, back in the playoffs against Detroit.

The Cavs as a team shot much better against Atlanta, including 6 of 10 from Larry Hughes. Zydrunas had a rough night, grabbing 5 boards and scoring only 3 points. His shot just wasn’t there, and they defended the pick-and-pop well, which is Z’s bread and butter. Drew Gooden had himself a good ballgame, and Varejao added 11 boards and 8 points from the bench. I was impressed with the balance of playing time the three big men got last night, and since Drew had the hot hand of the three, he was rewarded with more minutes. What a concept! Continue reading

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Filed under basketball, Cavs, Cleveland Cavaliers, Damon Jones, Daniel Gibson, Drew Gooden, Larry Hughes, LeBron James, Mike Brown, NBA, Sports, Zydrunas Ilgauskas

LeBron gets win, Kobe gets accolades

I’m sure you read the ESPN articles leading up to last night’s game comparing Kobe with LeBron. Last night when the chalk cleared, LeBron was standing on top.

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The Cavs, lead by LeBron James, rebounded from a terrible game against the Knicks on Wednesday with a gritty effort against the Lakers. It was a excellent defensive fourth quarter effort that earned the Cavs a 94-90 win. The Lakers scored a mere 12 points in the final period, and Bryant had only 2 of those. In contrast, LeBron scored 6 of his 33 points in the 4th, and grabbed 3 boards in the final frame.

If you ask LeBron who the best player in the league is, there is little question what his response would be-

Kobe Bryant is definitely the most explosive player we have in this league,” James said. “There’s no one like him.”

High praise, but if it’s all the same to you LeBron, we’ll take you in this debate. Let’s go to the video… Continue reading

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Filed under Anderson Varejao, basketball, Cavs, Cleveland Cavaliers, Daniel Gibson, Drew Gooden, Larry Hughes, LeBron James, NBA, Sports, Zydrunas Ilgauskas

Cavs scramble for 2OT win

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It took him 50 minutes of playing time, but Lebron James finally put the game out of reach when his second free throw found the bottom of the net with :14 seconds to go. James finished with 31 points, but had a rough shooting night, hitting only 10 of 25 shots, and none of his 5 three point attempts. Fortunately for the Cavs, he was money from the free throw line, hitting 11 of 13. Zydrunas Illgauskas had another big game for the Cavs, scoring 24 points and grabbing 11 boards, but perhaps his biggest play of the game was a block of Andrew Bogut that would have tied the game with :15 seconds to go. After the jump, the worst thing I’ve written all year- Continue reading

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Filed under basketball, Cavs, Cleveland Cavaliers, Daniel Gibson, Larry Hughes, LeBron James, NBA, Sports, Zydrunas Ilgauskas

James, Varejao return, Hughes stars

When we signed Larry Hughes back in ’05, this was the kind of performance we hoped to see.

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This one was over before it started. Actually, it wasn’t over until the Cavs’ trio of LeBron James, Larry Hughes and Andy Varejao took the court with 6 minutes to go in the first quarter. Then the rout was on. The Cavs slashed, dished and shot their way to a 118-105 victory, that really wasn’t that close. Larry Hughes led the way with 36 points on 13 of 17 shooting, including 5 of 8 from deep. He played only 26 minutes, but was very effective in his time on the floor. Hughes was free to roam the court playing a true shooting guard in his minutes tonight. According to coach Mike Brown, that is the role Hughes will play from now on. In fact, Brown said he intends to bring Hughes off the bench. Certainly he has the ability to energize the team and provide a boost coming off the bench. Now, let’s not get crazy and think that he will shoot 76% and score 30+ every night, but if he can provide that 15-20 point lift, especially when LeBron is resting this team is dangerous.

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Filed under Anderson Varejao, basketball, Cavs, Cleveland Cavaliers, Daniel Gibson, Danny Ferry, Drew Gooden, Larry Hughes, LeBron James, NBA, Sasha Pavlovic, Shannon Brown, Sports, Zydrunas Ilgauskas

Kidd out with migraine (wink, wink, nudge, nudge)

Pat saw this report today and passed it along to me. Very interesting.

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The original report comes from Yahoo Sports. The article insinuates that Jason Kidd, who didn’t play in New Jersey’s game yesterday against the Knicks, sat out not because of a headache as is being reported, but because he is angry with management for not building a championship caliber team. Apparently Jason would like to be traded, more specifically, to be traded in order to play with LeBron.

There was no migraine headache holding Jason Kidd out of the New Jersey Nets’ loss to the New York Knicks Wednesday night, but a superstar sending a message to a floundering franchise that he’s irate with management and teammates, several league sources told Yahoo! Sports.

As the Nets flew back to New Jersey late Tuesday from a victory over Cleveland, sources said Kidd already had decided he would be sitting out against the Knicks in the Meadowlands. Kidd didn’t tell Nets officials until Wednesday afternoon, but several people inside and outside the organization were made aware of the meaning behind his sick day.

Kidd’s agent, Jeff Schwartz, isn’t believed to have formally demanded a trade, but Wednesday’s bold act could be the precursor to starting that process. Two sources said Kidd has been a constant text messaging partner with LeBron James since playing with him this summer on Team USA and that the Cavaliers are his preferred destination.

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Filed under basketball, Cavs, Cleveland Cavaliers, Daniel Gibson, Larry Hughes, LeBron James, NBA, Sasha Pavlovic, Shannon Brown, Sports, trade talk, Zydrunas Ilgauskas

Wake me up when LeBron is back…

I got to watch the Cavs last night for the first time since LeBron’s injury. It will be my last until he returns.

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Do you have any friends that don’t believe LeBron should be the MVP, or perhaps think for some reason he is over-rated? I have the solution. Make them watch this game a few times. That was horrible. Terrible. I wish I could do Frank Caliendo’s Barkley impersonation here. The Cavs deserve it after that shooting demonstration. The Cavs shot 21 for 88! 34 percent for the game. To be honest, I was surprised it wasn’t worse. I had to stop watching after the third quarter. I couldn’t stand it.

Drew Gooden and Zydrunas couldn’t make a play because nobody knew how to get them the ball in a position to score. Drew had an off night shooting, but again he tried to do too much and play outside of his game. I can’t say that I blame him. Continue reading

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Varejao signs contract with Bobcats

Anderson Varejao has inked a deal with the Charlotte Bobcats. The Cavs now have one week to match, or the wild-haired one is free to leave.

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Credit Cleveland Sports Authority with the first scoop on this one. It seems the Bobcats have tendered a three year, $17.4 million dollar deal. The contract reportedly has an opt-out clause after 2 seasons. So the big question now, is whether or not the Cavaliers will match. $5.8 million per season is much higher than the Cavaliers have been offering their 6th man, but it also well short of the $8 million per that Anderson’s agent had offered the Cavs, and for half the years.

Do the Cavs have that much room left on the books? If they do, (and I imagine that would mean the mid-level exemption) it would be hard to imagine that they wouldn’t match. The Cavs can desperately use Varejao’s energy and defense. It is hard to imagine them as a Championship caliber team without him. He is a valuable piece, but not if he ties the Cavaliers’ hands for years to come. This deal seems to be the right amount. Let’s get it done and move on with the season.

Seems like the Charlotte Observer has an additional take on this story. Rick Bonnell seems to think this could be a favor for agent Dan Fegan to move the process along. Not that the Bobcats wouldn’t like to have Anderson, but it seems they are figuring the Cavs will indeed match.

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Filed under Anderson Varejao, basketball, Cavs, Cleveland Cavaliers, contract, Free Agency, NBA, Sports

A Tale of Two Halves

Pat checks in with a report on the Ohio State basketball team.

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Last week the young Buckeyes basketball team went through a tough pre-conference stretch. After finishing as runners-up in the pre-season NIT the Ohio State men’s basketball team was scheduled to play #1 North Carolina and #16 Butler at the historic Hinkle Field House.

To say that the Buckeyes finished as runners -up is simply nice. After playing a great semi-final game over then ranked #25 Syracuse, the young Bucks laid an egg in the championship game against Texas A&M, on one of the worlds biggest stages, Madison Square Garden, in New York City. Continue reading

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Filed under basketball, Buckeyes, college basketball, Jon Diebler, Kosta Koufos, Ohio State, Sports, Thad Matta

LeBron injured, Cavs embarrassed

Everyone cross your fingers. Wait…not you LeBron, you rest yours.

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LeBron James injured the index finger on his non-shooting hand in the second quarter of last night’s game against the Pistons. He played only 20 minutes of the game, but still managed to lead the team in scoring (15) and assists (3). Ouch. Final score, Detroit 109, Cleveland 74.

This is one the Cavs will forget about. Assuming James is alright of course. Without James the Cavs were sunk. In all honesty, they were in for an uphill battle before he went out. Playing their 4th game in 5 days, and immediately after an emotional OT game against the Celtics, LeBron was going to have to carry the team anyways. This is one of those games that if you were a gambler would have won you some serious money. The writing was on the wall for this one. I’d have taken the Pistons, the under, and if someone would take the bet, the under on Zydrunas matching his season averages. Continue reading

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Filed under basketball, Cavs, Cleveland Cavaliers, Daniel Gibson, Detroit Pistons, Drew Gooden, LeBron James, NBA, Sasha Pavlovic, Sports, Zydrunas Ilgauskas