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In Cleveland, hope dies last

Archive for the category “NBA draft”

Cavs continue run of success by “winning” draft lottery

cavs draft lottery luckExciting times for the Cleveland Cavaliers on Tuesday night as general manager David Griffin walked out of the NBA Lottery with the No. 1 overall pick.

It was the third time in four years that the Cavs “won” the top pick in the draft. The last two times they came away with a very talented player in Kyrie Irving, and an injured, overweight and asthmatic Anthony Bennett. In what is widely expected to be a three-player draft, the Cavs now hold the key as they can decide among Andrew Wiggins, Joel Embiid or Jabari Parker with the top pick – a decision they simply must get right.

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With the first pick in the NBA Draft the Cavs select …

130521233416-nerlens-noel-nba-mock-draft-2013-single-image-cutThe NBA Draft is Thursday and the Cleveland Cavaliers find themselves sitting in a pretty good position.

Holding the top pick in the draft for the fifth time in franchise history – and the second time in the past three years – the Cavs completely control what they want to do when Commission David Stern opens the draft at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn at 7 p.m. (The team also holds picks No. 19, 31 and 33).

Stay put and add another young player to a nucleus of Kyrie Irving, Dion Waiters, Tristan Thompson and Tyler Zeller? The Cavs can do that. Make a trade with some of the assets they have spent three years (and 166 losses) compiling so they can be in contention for the No. 8 seed in the Eastern Conference? They can do that, too.

We think we know what we would like to see the Cavs do with the first pick (more on that in a bit), and we’re fairly certain that Cavs general manager Chris Grant has made up his mind what he wants to do. Of course, what they actually will do remains in question as rumors continue to swirl around the team.

So let’s try to figure this all out as best we can. Our 2013 NBA Draft preview starts … now at The Cleveland Fan.

(Photo by Getty Images)

Apparently everything in Cleveland sports is now a “thing”

cavs wacky draft partyThings are never really normal in the Cleveland sports world, but lately it seems like it’s even more abnormal than usual around here.

Apparently it is no longer enough to watch the games and then discuss (or write) about what happened on the field – it seems that now everything must be turned into a thing.

From debates over why fans are not going to see the first place (for now) Cleveland Indians play – the Tribe is still in last place in the majors in attendance even though Miami draws like 25 fans a game – to an unnatural infatuation with the Cleveland Browns third-string quarterback (did you hear that Brian Hoyer is from Cleveland?), arguments and hurt feelings have become the norm.

We just never thought the Cavs winning the NBA Draft lottery would turn into one of those things.

To find out what we’re talking about, head over to The Cleveland Fan.

(Photo by Getty Images)

Cavs win top pick in NBA draft lottery

gilbert-son-2013-lottery-apjpg-20e7458a49d7fcffThe balls bounced the right way Tuesday night and the Cleveland Cavaliers gained the No. 1 overall pick in June’s NBA Draft for the second time in three years.

Now it is up to general manager Chris Grant to not screw this up. This is allegedly a “weak draft,” but the experts said the same thing in 2011 and the Cavs walked away with Kyrie Irving, so all the Cavs need to do is find the one player that can make a difference and then it doesn’t matter what happens with the rest of the draft.

The Cavs also control their own destiny as now they don’t have to worry about anyone jumping in front of them or hoping that a particular players falls to them later in the draft.

Grant is also open to using the No. 1 overall pick to its full advantage.

“You want to look at all your options and make the best decision for your team,” he told ESPN. “This is a valuable asset that we can add to the group, whether it’s in trade or keep it and add a player. For us, it’s wide open. A number of these guys are injured, so there’s still an enormous amount of due diligence that’s got to be done.

One word of advice to Grant: if the phone rings and his caller ID shows “Mike Lombardi” he should probably not pick up. Don’t want to get any crazy ideas about trading away this year’s draft picks for a supposedly better furture down the road.

(Photo by The Associated Press)

Do the Cavs have any luck left?

nerlens noel draft lotteryWhile there is no one “correct” way to build a championship-caliber team in the NBA, there is one element that all title-winning teams have in common: the element of luck.

If Portland had drafted Michael Jordan instead of Sam Bowie, the Chicago Bulls would not have won six titles. If Jordan hadn’t been suspended (oops, “decided to play baseball”), Houston would not have two championship banners hanging in their arena. If David Robinson doesn’t miss all but six games in the 1996-97 season, the San Antonio Spurs are probably not in a position to draft Tim Duncan in the 1997 NBA Draft.

Well, you get the point. And that brings us to the Cleveland Cavaliers and tonight’s NBA Draft lottery.

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Making lemonade out of lemons

Welcome to Cleveland Dion Waiters and Tyler Zeller.

Boy, we never thought we’d be writing those two names today. But it was that kind of night for the Cavs who had a unique night at the NBA Draft. And everyone knows how much we love unique here in Cleveland.

For the rest of the story, head to The Cleveland Fan.

(Photo by The Associated Press)

With the fourth pick, the Cavs select …

Unlike last year, when the Cleveland Cavaliers held the No. 1 pick in the NBA Draft and targeted point guard Kyrie Irving from the moment they won the draft lottery, no one really knows what the Cavs will do in tonight’s draft.

We’re (pretty) sure that Cavs general manager Chris Grant knows what he wants to do but what he will do with the Cavs selection at No. 4 may hinge on one question:
How bad do the Cavs really want Florida shooting guard Bradley Beal? (If they want him at all.)
According to NBA.com, Beal has a:
“combination of attributes, most notably his ability to score, his intelligence and his strong work ethic. As good as he was as a freshman in college, he’ll get that much better because he’s not afraid to put the time in to improve. He’s a big-time scorer, who, although his 3-point stroke was a bit inconsistent in college, is a great shooter. He’s also a strong finisher. And as an added bonus, he’s a great rebounder.”

KSU, MKG, ESPN and CR7

It’s not the way we wanted to see it end, but the Kent State baseball team still had one heck of a run.

The Golden Flashes were eliminated from the College World Series on Thursday, losing to two-time defending champion South Carolina, 4-1. Gamecocks pitcher Michael Roth allowed only two hits and didn’t allow a base runner after the second inning.

Kent State pitchers Tyler Skulina, Casey Wilson and Brian Clark were almost as good, shutting down South Carolina’s offense after the third inning but it wasn’t enough.

“We have a lot of guys returning next year, and with all of this experience under their belts, it will help them out a lot,” Skulina told The Associated Press. “We have a really good class coming in next year for our freshmen. So that’s going to motivate them to want to beat us out for spots and be able to play, so that’s just going to make our team better.”

The Golden Flashes finish the year at 47-20. Along the way they won the Mid-American Conference championship for the fourth consecutive year, swept through their regional and beat Oregon in the Super Regional to become the first MAC team to reach the College World Series since Eastern Michigan in 1976.

Once in Omaha, Kent state lost the opening game against Arkansas, but rallied to eliminate the top-seeded Florida Gators before falling to South Carolina.

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When there’s nothing to write about …

write about the Cleveland Browns!

As the team closes out the final week of Organized Team Activities, the focus has turned to who will be the No. 2 and No. 3 quarterbacks on the roster this fall.

It’s been clear since draft night that, barring an injury, Brandon Weeden is going to be the starter. Which leads to speculation over which lesser of two evils – Colt McCoy or Seneca Wallace – will be holding the clipboard come game day.

As a decision doesn’t have to be made today, coach Pat Shurmur isn’t really worried about it.

“I don’t see the urgency right there, but in terms of the backup situation, I can see a scenario where all three of the players you’re talking about will be here,” Shurmur said earlier this week. “I think that’s fair.

“I favor that, keeping three. I like that model. I know we’re nearing half of the teams in the league that keep two, but I like having three.”

Wallace, a noted team player, isn’t really on board with the three quarterback scenario.

“No not really (I don’t want to be third),” Wallace told The Plain Dealer. “That’s something for no reason you go down to the third guy and we all know the third guy doesn’t dress on Sundays and if that comes down to that decision, obviously neither (he or McCoy) wants to be that third guy.”

While Shurmur may not be in a hurry to name his depth chart at the position, one of his comments may have offered a clue.

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If it walks like a dog and barks like a dog …

We certainly don’t watch as much college basketball as we used to back in the day when we actually had time, so we’re not here to tell anyone who the Cleveland Cavaliers should select with the fourth pick in the upcoming draft.

But this we do know: under no circumstance should they draft North Carolina’s Harrison Barnes.

Shane Ryan at Grantland lays out the case against Barnes pretty well:

When I was asked to do a blurb about the three worst possible destinations for Harrison Barnes, a.k.a. “The Black Falcon,” a.k.a. “The Most Overrated College Basketball Player in History,” my initial thought was, “a room without mirrors, a humility convention, and the induction ceremony at the top-secret Two Coreys Club for failed child stars.” But this is a lottery post, so I’m guessing he meant the three worst teams. Fair enough, because I have the perfect answer. But before that, I have to revisit the (somewhat biased) highlights of Barnes’s two years at North Carolina.

Announced his college decision over Sykpe, ushering in an era of inflated self-importance and cringe-inducing announcements among high school recruits, already a self-important and cringe-inducing bunch. Somehow, Barnes’s ceremony remains the most repellent. (Also, he burned Duke bad.)

Became the first ever freshman preseason All-American. Really digest that one. Consider everyone who has ever played college basketball, and consider that of that group, only Barnes earned this recognition. That’s why I’m completely comfortable calling him the most overrated player in history.

Disappointed everyone, did not earn even third-team All-American status.

Was named a preseason All-American for his sophomore year. (Say what you will, whoever runs the hype machine is a major Barnes loyalist.)

Disappointed everyone, did not earn even third-team All-American status. Was, in fact, the fourth-best player on his own team.

Obessed about his “brand” and even designed a Black Falcon logo. FOR HIMSELF, presumably.

Left school with a 2-3 record against Duke. (I had to.)

You see the pattern? Barnes masters the hype machine, suckers everyone in, and then can’t live up to it. So, what’s the worst possible scenario for Barnes? Or the best, if you want to see him fail? Easy. Of the 1,000 lottery Ping-Pong balls, one of Charlotte’s 998 is plucked first. The ‘Cats get the coveted pick, but instead of making the obvious choice with Anthony Davis, Michael Jordan comes out publicly and says that Harrison Barnes is the next … well, him. They nab Barnes, who remains in North Carolina among the hordes of Charlotte-based UNC fans he’s already been burned twice. The hype escalates, and then Barnes does what Barnes does best — mediocrity in the face of promised greatness.

Like we said, we don’t follow college basketball as much as some people do, but if even 10 percent of what Ryan wrote is true, the Cavs should run as far away as possible.

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