With a little over nine hours until tipoff of the NBA Finals the talk is more about King James impending free agency part 3. Lebron James has earned the right to play wherever he wants. He controls his career in a way like no one ever has. I have seen this kid go from 14-year-old basketball prodigy to sure fire Hall of Famer. We know this isn’t about money it’s about championships and at 33 years old he is on the clock. More rings would cement him as the GOAT and he wants to be the best player ever. As a fan, I hope he stays in Cleveland, but the odds don’t seem good just like Cleveland winning the NBA Championship this year. If does leave I hope it not like the last time and cooler heads prevail. It’s going to hurt no matter how it’s communicated. Four years ago, the prodigal son came home only to leave again. There always going be hurt feelings no matter what. At the end of the day Lebron has to do what he feels best for him and sadly Cleveland may not be tied to that again.
Kyrie Irving Grade = A
In his first playoff series Irving played well offensively. No weakness on offense can score off the bounce, mid-range or downtown. Needs to guard better in the 2nd round of playoffs.
J.R. Smith Grade = C
Smith made his first big mistake since joining Cleveland with Jae Crowder incident. Swish has played solid defense better than expected. Smith becomes 3rd option with Love out, but will miss the first two games of the next series.
Timofey Mozgov Grade = B
Mozgov played decent in this series. He was like the fifth option on offense with most of his points coming off pick and rolls. He did protect the rim pretty good.
Kevin Love Grade = B
Before the injury Love looked like was finding his groove. Love had to two good games before going down. We will have to wait until next year if he opts in.
Lebron James Grade = A
King James does what he does being the best at his craft. It’s championship or bust at this point. Lebron is going to do his part it’s other players who need to step to bring the gold to Cleveland.
Iman Shumpert Grade = B
Shumpert played great defense along with some bonus offense. We need more of that as the playoffs continue.
Tristan Thompson Grade = B
Thompson is offensive rebounding machine one of the best in the league. Another player Cleveland will need to get more out of as the playoffs move on.
James Jones Grade = C
The specialist wasn’t hitting the three ball in this series. He has to hit that shot to make up for being a defensive liability.
Matthew Dellavedova Grade = C
Delly will play enough to give Kyrie a breather.
Kendrick Perkins Grade = Inc
Can u say enforcer?
Shawn Marion Grade = Inc
Just a cameo appearance.
The Cavaliers will come out of the All-Star break playing 11 of their next 14 games on the road. Included in the stretch is 4 back to back games. Eight of these teams are playoff teams right now. This by far is the most important part of the season for Cleveland.
The Next 14
|Fri Feb 20 2015||8:00p EST||ESPN||@||Washington Wizards|
|Sun Feb 22 2015||1:00p EST||ABC||@||New York Knicks|
|Tue Feb 24 2015||7:30p EST||@||Detroit Pistons|
|Thu Feb 26 2015||8:00p EST||TNT||Golden State Warriors|
|Fri Feb 27 2015||7:00p EST||@||Indiana Pacers|
|Sun Mar 1 2015||7:00p EST||NBATV||@||Houston Rockets|
|Tue Mar 3 2015||7:00p EST||Boston Celtics|
|Wed Mar 4 2015||7:30p EST||@||Toronto Raptors|
|Fri Mar 6 2015||7:30p EST||@||Atlanta Hawks|
|Sat Mar 7 2015||7:30p EST||NBATV||Phoenix Suns|
|Tue Mar 10 2015||8:30p EST||@||Dallas Mavericks|
|Thu Mar 12 2015||8:00p EST||TNT||@||San Antonio Spurs|
|Sun Mar 15 2015||6:00p EST||@||Orlando Magic|
|Mon Mar 16 2015||8:00p EST||ESPN||@||Miami Heat|
“Playing with a sense of urgency and understanding how important each game is,” James said. “They have never been in this situation where every game is meaningful. It is now. It’s going to set them up for the postseason.”
“Everyone is in a great rhythm and everything is starting to click,” Irving said.
“We have to try to stay focused on all the good things we were doing before the break and to be really, really passionate and professional in our approach to the last part of this season, which will come heavy and fast right away,” Blatt said. “The guys are in a good state of mind and we are ready to go.”
“Oh we can win a championship, yeah, with this roster,” James said after Thursday’s practice.
“Obviously, health is a huge thing, clicking at the right time,” James said. “The team that’s clicking at the right time, is healthy at the right time, can make a huge push. I believe we can make a push to win one. Does it guarantee that? Of course not, we still gotta go out and play. But this roster can challenge any team out there.”
Listen the Cavaliers are going to make the playoffs for the first time in four seasons. Now it’s a matter how they are going to position themselves for the playoffs. This 14 game stretch will tell us if Cleveland are contenders or pretenders. For some of the players on team this is the first time the end of the season means something. At the end of this stretch I will take look at where Cleveland at and how they played. Lebron knows what to expect this time of the year. Let’s see how Kyrie, KLove and the others respond to the pressure.
|1||Lebron James||F||A triple double waiting to happen.|
|2||Kyrie Irving||G||Maybe playing his best overall in career.|
|3||Kevin Love||F||Still trying to find his niche.|
|4||Anderson Varejao||F/C||Keep his minutes down.|
|5||Dion Waiters||G||Too talented not to figure this out.|
|6||Tristan Thompson||F/C||Playing for a contract.|
|7||Shawn Marion||F||Still good on defense but suspect on offense.|
|8||Will Cherry||G||Playing spot minutes.|
|9||Joe Harris||G||Has fell off thus lost playing time.|
|10||Lou Amundson||F||Playing spot minutes in frontcourt.|
|11||Mike Miller||G/F||A lot of DNP|
|12||Brandon Haywood||C||A lot of DNP|
|13||James Jones||G/F||A lot of DNP|
|15||Matthew Delladova||G||Knee injury out|
After needing a furious comeback Friday night in Boston. Cleveland ended this one early hitting 11 straight three pointers to start the game. King James has awoken during this four game winning streak averaging 31 points a game. Cleveland assisted on 79% of their 49 baskets for the game.
- Lebron James 32 pts, 6 rebounds, 7 assists
- Kyrie Irving 20 pts, 5 assists, 3 stl
- Tristan Thompson 15 pts, 7 rebounds, 2 stl
- Monday Denver
- Wednesday San Antonio
- Friday @ Washington
- Saturday Toronto
A couple things we learned from this game is Cleveland is going to score the basketball and play zero defense. Cleveland has averaged 116 points per game over the last three games, while giving up 111 points. Lucky Cleveland best defensive quarter came the 4th when they held Boston to 20 points. Kyrie and Lebron are starting to figure it out on offense, while KLove is struggling a bit to find his niche in this offense. Lebron scored 41 points on 26 shots and dropped 7 dimes. While Kyrie scored 23 of his 27 points in the second half along 5 assists and 3 steals. Love finished with 12 points on 10 shots. He grabbed 15 boards and had 4 assists.
- Cleveland had 6/10 FG to assist ratio 31% in the 2nd half
- Boston had 18/24 FG to assist ratio 75% in the 2nd half.
Cleveland has won three in row with a lot home games coming up. Let’s see if home cooking gets this train rolling. There is much to do for this team to get better.
- Pelicans 97.2
- Cavaliers 99.2
- Pelicans 47.2
- Cavaliers 39.6
- Pelicans 21.2
- Cavaliers 17.8
Defense Points Allowed Per Game
- Pelicans 95.2
- Cavaliers 101.4
Both of these teams came into this young season with different expectations. New Orleans wants t get into the playoff, while Cleveland is looking at much higher expectations like a championship. Both of these teams aren’t scoring the basketball at a high rate. Cleveland offense is not where it should be. They are expected one of the higher scoring teams in the NBA. New Orleans is one the better rebounding teams so far. Cleveland is at home 8 times in there next 10 games. They should move up in the Eastern Conference during this period.
Things to watch tonight
- Offensive efficiency
- Battle of the boards
- Sharing is caring
- Defensive stops