Red Right 88

In Cleveland, hope dies last

Archive for the tag “Cleveland Cavaliers”

Cavs just the latest Cleveland team on the what if list

cavs what if
They gave everything they had for as long as they could, but in the end it simply wasn’t enough.

So now their watch has ended.

After a franchise-record 102 games, four rounds of playoffs and the second trip to the NBA Finals in franchise history, it finally came to an end on Tuesday for the Cleveland Cavaliers, who ended the 2014-15 NBA season the way they began it – with a loss on their home court.

As disappointing as it was to watch the Cavs miss out on the first title in team history and, in the process, end Cleveland’s ongoing title drought, it’s hard to see how this could have turned out differently. Because of injuries to Kevin Love and Kyrie Irving, too many players were forced into roles where they were asked to do too much as head coach David Blatt simply ran out of options along with healthy bodies.

Read more…

Cavs four wins away from something special

When the NBA Finals tip off tonight at 9, it will mark the beginning of the end for the Cleveland Cavaliers.

The Cavs entered the 2014-15 NBA season with raised expectations after the return of LeBron James, but even the most hardcore Cavs fan knew that tonight was far from a certainty. The team had a new coach who, while not a rookie in the true sense, was new to the NBA, and a roster full of players who had never been tested in the meat grinder of the NBA Playoffs.

“Anybody talking about us winning it all, I think they’re being unfair to those great NBA teams that are out there that have either won it or have been there to win it, and also to us as a team that’s talented but new,” head coach David Blatt said a few days before the season opener. “We have a lot of work to do before we can start claiming anything before it’s time.”

A large part of why the Cavs are one of the two teams still playing is due to the changes the squad made during the season.

There is probably no way the Cavs would be in the finals if Dion Waiters was on the team rather than Iman Shumpert and J.R. Smith. And while general manager David Griffin may still have made the trade for Timofey Mozgov if Anderson Varajeo hadn’t suffered a season-ending injury, there is no way of knowing for sure. As good as Varajeo is, Mozgov brings a different dimension to the defense and the post-season may have played out differently if Varajeo was on the floor rather than Mozgov.

Even with a dominant presence like James on the roster, the Cavs are a team in just about every way you want to define that word, which is part of why the looming end of the season is a touch bittersweet.

Read more…

Five the hard way

fireworks

Today we celebrate the five-year anniversary of the launch of our site.

In some cultures the number 5 is considered a lucky number, but it is also one that comes with a bit of a price. People who believe that 5 is their lucky number often judge or enjoy things with their senses, rather than through deep thought, meaning that they often end up with a bad result.

Which pretty much sums up the day-to-day existence of your average Cleveland sports fan.

Sticking with the numbers theme, since we made our inaugural post:

Read more…

From the editor’s notebook …

conflicted on the cavs

We were talking with some friends over the weekend about the current state of the Cleveland Cavaliers and wound up at the end of the night not really sure how we currently feel about the team.

Make no mistake, the Cavs are once again one of the most entertaining teams to watch when they have everything working. And you can’t really feel bad about the 20 wins in the past 25 games run the team is currently on.

The Cavs also looked so good when they took apart Golden State a couple of weeks ago and when they had a big road comeback against Toronto last week.

Read more…

Are we in the golden age of Cleveland coaching?

david blatt cavs

David Blatt seems to think so.

While Cleveland has gone a collective 145 years and counting without a championship from any of its three professional sports teams,* that doesn’t mean we haven’t see our share of quality men calling the shots in the dugout or on the sidelines.

And we might currently be in the golden age of Cleveland managers and coaches.

The argument for the greatest NFL head coach of all-time begins and ends, of course, with Paul Brown. If you went solely by his time in Cleveland, Brown’s .750 lifetime winning percentage would be third best in NFL history, behind only Guy Chamberlin and John Madden. (And ahead of a guy named Vince Lombardi; maybe you’ve heard of him.) But even adding in his time with Cincinnati, Brown still checks in at No. 11 on the all-time list.

New England’s Bill Belichick is rightfully considered the best coach currently in the NFL, but even Belichick has not taken the Patriots to 10 consecutive league title games, let alone win seven of them. As good as Belichick and Tom Brady are, they are not now, and never will be, Paul Brown and Otto Graham.

Read more…

The unexpected playoff team: Remembering the 84-85 Cavs

CLE_Free_World_BIn just a little more than two months the Cleveland Cavaliers will open a first-round playoff series as the team tries to win the first NBA title in franchise history.

It’s been a forgone conclusion that the Cavs will make the playoffs this season ever since signing LeBron James in free agency and trading for Kevin Love. But even though everyone has expected the Cavs to be in the playoffs, it will still be nice to see the club return to the post-season after a four-year absence.

This spring will also mark the anniversary of another Cavs playoff team, one that to this day remains the most unexpected playoff team that Cavs fans have ever seen.

Read more…

From the editor’s notebook …

kyrie irving 55It was Kyrie Irving’s world on Wednesday night at Quicken Loans Arena, and we were all just witnesses.

Irving set an arena record by scoring 55 points in the Cavs win against Portland. In addition, Irving now holds the franchise record for 3-pointers made (11) and attempted (19). He joins LeBron James and (bonus points if you remember) Walt Wesley as the only Cavs players to break the 50-point mark in franchise history.

Irving’s 55 points are the fourth-most by a player whose team did not score 100 points in a game in NBA history. He joins George Mikan, Michael Jordan and James on that list. He becomes the first former Duke player to break the 50-point barrier in an NBA, and joins Wesley as the only other Cavs player with a  50-point game at home. Wesley’s 50-point game came against Cincinnati on Feb. 19, 1971, while James’ eight 50-point games as a Cav have all come on the road. (All according to ESPN Stats & Information.)

Read more…

Cavs bring back the popular mid-season roster makeover

cavs making tradesAfter a four-year hiatus while LeBron James was off in Miami, the Cleveland Cavaliers welcomed a fan favorite back to the franchise this week.

We’re talking, of course, about the mid-season roster makeover.

Recalling the days of Flip Wilson, Ben Wallace and Wally Sczerbiak, general manager David Griffin spent a busy couple of days turning Dion Waiters, a couple of spare parts and a couple of first-round draft picks into Timofey Mozgov, Iman Shumpert and J.R. Smith.

“What I’m most proud of, and our front office staff is most excited about, is that we’ve put together a team that we believe can compete at the highest level,” Griffin said in reflecting on the moves. “And we feel like we’ve done it without completely mortgaging the future. People look at the number of picks we’ve given away and everybody thinks, ‘Oh, my goodness, they’ve given away the farm!’ Well, we had an unbelievable farm, so we were putting it to work and we’re really pleased with where we are now. We’re going to make a first-round pick this year and we feel good about the situation we’re in.”

Read more…

Return from Achilles injury far from certain for Varejao

varejao injuryThe good news is that Friday’s surgery on Anderson Varejao’s torn Achilles tendon was reportedly a success.

The bad news is that there is a very real chance that we have seen the last of Varejao in a Cleveland Cavaliers uniform (or any NBA uniform for that matter).

Varejao, who was averaging 9.8 points and 6.5 rebounds, will miss the remainder of this season and based on the history of NBA players returning from Achilles injuries, if he does come back he may not be the same player.

According to a study in The American Journal of Sports Medicine by doctors at Drexel University’s College of Medicine, almost 40 percent of NBA players who suffer an Achilles injury never play again, and those that do make it back tend to see a “significant decrease in playing time and performance.”

Read more…

5 Questions – Cavs season-opening edition

After a four-year hiatus, the NBA spotlight makes its return to Cleveland on tonight as the Cleveland Cavaliers open up the 2014-15 season against the New York Knicks.

The Cavs are emerging from NBA purgatory after losing 215 games over the past four seasons and are set to embark on what should prove to be one of the most exciting seasons in franchise history thanks to the return of LeBron James, the addition of Kevin Love, and the continued maturation of Kyrie Irving.

Because the Cavs pulled off one of the most amazing (and unpredictable) off-seasons in league history they are considered by many as favorites to not only return to the NBA Finals for the first time since 2007, but also bring home the franchise’s first NBA title – whether they are ready to or not.

“Anybody talking about us winning it all, I think they’re being unfair to those great NBA teams that are out there that have either won it or have been there to win it, and also to us as a team that’s talented but new,” head coach David Blatt said earlier this week. “We have a lot of work to do before we can start claiming anything before it’s time.”

Fair or not, the expectations are there for the Cavs and they will have to deal with them on a nightly basis. In addition, they will have to cope with heightened scrutiny from the media, take their opponents’ best shot night after night, and carry the burden of being the closest team to ending the city’s 50-year championship drought.

Read more…

Post Navigation

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.