Wednesday, June 10, 2015

Refs just not calling 3/4 of Golden State fouls on Cavs

As we collect our breaths and re-start our hearts after Tuesday's amazing Game 3 Cavs victory over the Warriors, a game AGAIN dictated by David Blatt, LeBron James, Matthew Dellavedova, and the Cavaliers, let's take a look at the three extra men (in stripes) that the Cavs have had to deal with.

This was posted by the NBA on Instagram, with the caption that Steph Curry "uses three screens" to get open. Yeah, David Lee's screens were really legal...

And looks like a bit of a foul on David Lee here too. OMG HE IS THE WARRIORS' SAVIOR! If Delly threw his body ass-first for a loose ball like this he'd be called dirty. OH WAIT HE WAS CALLED THAT FOR THE KORVER INJURY.

And even the ABC announcers said this LeBron alley-oop should have been an and-1. Can we remember that all these non calls were during the Warriors' attempted comeback.

Where are the hearings about the "Hack-a-Bron"? Their strategy seems to be "hack the hell out of the Cavs" until they get called for it, and three games in, they still haven't been.

Monday, June 8, 2015

@KingJames steals Cavs @MatthewDelly 's 'Thumbs Up', no curse likely forthcoming

LeBron James had to be goofing after the game with the thumbs up, right? As he and Matt Dellavedova stood in 30 gallon garbage cans filled with ice water, both celebrating the biggest win in Cleveland Cavaliers history, Delly appeared to take a blurry Instagram selfie with LeBron after LeBron recorded a (slightly) higher quality video from said "trash can cold tub" for Bleacher Report.

And LeBron flashed his best Australian "thumbs up." I think he likes Delly. And I don't think Delly's going to pull a Lil B on his teammate. Right? Because that would be so Cleveland.

A photo posted by matthewdelly (@matthewdelly) on
After all, Delly basically trademarked the thumbs up in this amazing photo. One that still warms my heart. (And includes Kevin Love, for all of the national haters.)

Sunday, June 7, 2015

After emotional gut punch, Cavs, city need to get strong for Game Two

Even by Cleveland sports fan standards, what happened Thursday night was just cruel. I, for one, have not been able to get my thoughts together very much since then, and certainly have been through the 12 stages of grief a couple times.

I had visions all week of a smirking David Blatt at the Game One postgame, on how he made the Kyrie Irving injury seem worse than it really was---and then for four quarters of Thursday's Game One, that was actually what it seemed to be. Kyrie was absolutely electric, including one of the most amazing, unforeseen, unbelievable plays that I have ever seen, with that from-behind block on Steph Curry's open layup in a tie game under a minute to go.

It wasn't just Kyrie, of course. It was a ton of LeBron James who powered the Cavs. During the first quarter and first half runs, when some other Cavs actually did something, it seemed that the Cavs were giving all the national media one big shitburger to eat. Naturally, the Warriors fought back, but the Cavs still could have won. And of course, the Cavs didn't play especially well. no production from the bench, virtually no fast break points (no foul line dunks from LeBron in Game One, you'll not recall), and no help from the officials.

Could have won. Should have won. Would have won. If only...

Enough has been said about the last regulation possession. But come on, LeBron. You were unstoppable in the lane all day long. From deep, you haven't been unstoppable in weeks. Please drive that. That was only the first gut punch. An inch more arc on Shumpert's desperation fling, and none of the rest of the nightmare would have happened. Crushed in overtime. A fractured kneecap on Kyrie Irving that is now leaving the Cavs three season-opener starters short of a full team. (And one that feels like has a key symptom of discontent between Irving's camp and the Cavaliers.)

And that led to the desperate depression Friday (and Saturday) for Cavs fans. SMH means shaking my head to the kids these days, and I did that so much this weekend I need a chiropractor. I'm sure a Cavalier or two felt the same way at first too. But that time is over.

All of a sudden stories are popping up about the Cavaliers' admirable production without Irving and Love, but with LeBron. Now I don't know what we can actually make of that, if anything. And everyone knows the odds are long, to say the least. But at least it's hope--because let's not forget we have the absolute best player in the planet on the team. And there are still players around LeBron James who can shoot from outside, or roll to the hoop, or D up, and grab rebounds. It will take herculean efforts from not only LeBron, but also Tristan Thompson, Matthew Dellavedova, Mozgov, and especially Shump and JR Smith to make it happen. 

The ingredients are:
-LeBron lifting up the spirits of his teammates and the entire state of Ohio, King of the White Walker style
-LeBron hammering the lane and drawing two or more defenders
-JR, Shump, and Delly knocking down the open shots they get from that
-Delly getting in the face of his man nonstop, and driving and dishing on the offensive
-Moz and TT for easy oops, and tons of offensive rebounds.

Those asks are not impossible. Not easy, to be sure, but not impossible. 

We are #ALLinCLE.

Go Cavs.

Thursday, June 4, 2015

What CST thinks about the NBA Finals: Cleveland Cavaliers vs. Golden State Warriors

Cavaliers in 6. 

This is going to be a crazy amazing series, I believe. My fingernails are bleeding in anticipation. The Cavs have not seen a team like the Warriors. Steph Curry blows my mind, those shots in 0.0001 seconds, the spin move breaking Chris Paul's (!) ankles, his pretty-darn-cute daughter stealing the show. And Klay Thompson. WTF? 37 points in one quarter? I'm not sure I would have thought that was possible before he pulled that out.

So basically, if Cleveland can't D up on Golden State's guards, it's over.

That said, I think they can. Kyrie's knee notwithstanding, JR Smith and Iman Shumpert have been playing excellent defense, and Coach David Blatt always has "a certain number 23" to switch on when needed. Not to mention Mr. Dellavadova. If he plays his balls-to-the-wall defense on Curry or Thompson, you never know how deep into their heads he can get.  And it's not like the Cavs shooters can't get blistering hot. JR Smith literally can get as hot as Steph Curry, just not every single day.

Then again, LeBron James is the difference. I don't see any of the LeBron stoppers on Golden State shutting him down by themselves, and when they double, if Moz and TT roll to the rim, or JR or Kyrie is open in the corner, the Cavaliers can pour points down with the best of them. And by the best, I mean the Golden State Warriors. I feel the Cavs steal Game One or Two, and close out at home in 6. My heart is there, but my head is saying the Warriors can win in 5, 6, or 7 games though.

So here we go. Because the Warriors haven't seen a team like the Cavs, either.

Cavaliers in 6
What a season its been. This time last year the Spurs humbled the Heat in the finals. Now LeBron is back in Cleveland and back in the Finals. When the Cavs made it in 2007 I was just happy they got there. I foolishly thought they could compete with the Spurs and we all know what happened. This time is different. The team is playing great defense and the shots are falling at the right time. Something doesn't feel the same this time and I mean that in a good way. The Warriors haven't played against this good of a defense this playoffs. It wont be pretty but if LeBron is focused along with the rest of the team, they will be hard to beat.  

Cavaliers in 6

Golden State is an offensive powerhouse that emerged from a Western Conference meat grinder to make the Finals. But the battered, bruised Cavaliers are the tougher team, led by a man on a mission. Lord help me, but the Cavs are going to bring Cleveland its first championship in half a century.
Warriors in 7

I'm going with my head and not my heart here. Kevin Love is out, Kyrie Irving is hurt, and I'm just not sure LeBron can do it alone. Golden State has too many weapons, and while LeBron can keep it close and win some game, it won't be enough to win it all.


Eight days of talking heads and tweets, Finals predictions out the backside, and ad nauseam-analysis. I won't add to the madness. Not because I'm tired of our culture's pre-series rituals, but because I'm not in the business of handicapping which way the ball bounces. That's my longwinded way of saying this matchup is anyone's guess.

What I know: in our CST NBA preview, I suggested that someone besides Irving or Love will be stepping up in June. Because that's what always happens in the NBA Finals--insert random role player knocking down big shots HERE. The good news for Cavalier supporters is that when LeBron is in full-tilt, you can surround him with any four starters in the Association, and he will triumph. Since LBJ was humiliated in the 2011 Finals, he has become such a Grandmaster on the court that beating him four out of seven tries is a few feats short of impossible. The Spurs seem to have the formula, nearly edging him three times, by somehow closing off passing routes before the plays develop. They bait Bron into taking good shots, if that makes sense. In Coach Pop's mind, that beats the alternative of LeBron making All-Stars out of surrounding shooters.

Still, this Warrior squad is hella deep, well-coached and they dig-in defensively at every key moment. And a 10-15 point lead against Golden State is essentially worthless. They shoot themselves back in the game so quickly, opposing teams have to wonder if they were ever winning in the first place. So I fear Steph Curry in a way that I've never feared another baller. Oh, yes, I also rooted for his Dad. Which means I've been doing this Cavs fan thing for so long and I want this so damn badly, I truly have no way of seeing straight right now. I'm sure you understand, Cleveland. CAVS BASKETBALL, TONIGHT'S THE NIGHT...COME ON CAVS!!!

Cavaliers in 7

Dreams fulfilled! Human sacrifice! Dogs and cats living together! Mass hysteria!

Cavaliers in 6
The versatility of our guards to defend Curry and Thompson is the key.

On Vacation.
But, trust us, he likes the Cavs.