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Find out the scoop on the CAVS from award-winning sports writer Bob Finnan.

Friday, November 30, 2012

Game 16: Cavs at Hawks

Philips Arena
Radio/TV: WTAM (1100 AM)/Fox Sports Ohio

WHAT HAPPENED: It's about darn time.

The Cavs snapped a seven-game losing streak on the road with this stunning victory over the league's hottest team. The Hawks had won six in a row, but were stopped by the Cavs.

In each of the Cavs' previous three road games, they allowed fourth-quarter leads to evaporate down the stretch. On Friday, point guard Jeremy Pargo wouldn't let them lose. Yes, that Jeremy Pargo, who had been struggling big time in the last couple games.

Pargo scored 10 of his team-high 22 points in the fourth quarter. He made 5 of 7 shots in the fourth, many on drives into the lane, something he's got to continue to do. He's so strong, he's not intimidated by the big men in the league.

Sure, he's only 6-2, but he's built like a fire hydrant at 219 pounds.

He's talented offensively. He's got to continue to hold down his turnovers - he had four on Friday - and find the open men. He had just two assists against the Hawks.

Cavs fans love to talk about Anderson Varejao being an All-Star candidate, and he certainly is. He had 20 points and 18 rebounds for the second consecutive game. But he'll likely be joined in Houston by Hawks center Al Horford, who recorded 15 points, 11 rebounds and five assists on Friday.

Power forward Josh Smith continues to haunt the Cavs. He had a game-high 25 points, eight rebounds and three blocks. But Cavs power forward Tristan Thompson didn't run and hide. He continues to struggle offensively and is getting about half his shots blocked.

But he was a man on the boards with 15 rebounds. The Cavs can certainly live with that kind of production.

Forward Alonzo Gee's offensive rebound and putback with :00.4 left in the game proved to be the game-winner. It capped off the Cavs' furious rally in the fourth quarter when they outscored the Hawks, 31-20.

Former Cavs GM Danny Ferry now runs the Hawks. Two of his first moves were to hire two members of the Cavs organization - assistant GM Wes Wilcox and vice president of communications Garin Narain.

Ferry has really shaken things up by trading guard Joe Johnson and forward Marvin Williams. Those moves were needed to provide some salary-cap relief.

The Cavs snapped a seven-game losing streak to the Hawks. They hadn't won in Atlanta since Dec. 29, 2009.

They also ended their four-game losing streak overall.

The Cavs waived forward Luke Harangody on Thursday and signed Canton Charge forward Kevin Jones. He'll play for the Charge on Friday and probably remain in the D-League for the time being.

If I were Coach Byron Scott, I would immediately insert Jones into his rotation. The second unit needs some energy. Jones might not be overly talented, but at least he'll knock a few guys on their rear ends.

It was time to jettison Harangody, who wasn't an NBA player. I thought he should have been waived in the preseason.

He hadn't appeared in a game all season. Coach Byron Scott dusted off backup point guard Donald Sloan, who had played a total of three minutes since Kyrie Irving was injured. Sloan plays 11 minutes on Friday and had four points, two rebounds and one assist. He warranted a further look.

Let's not forget Dion Waiters, who had 21 points and seven assists against the Hawks. Many are focusing on his field-goal percentage that keeps dropping. I think those observers should be focusing on his overall play. I think he's playing very well and getting better every game.

UP NEXT: The Cavs host Portland at 7:30 p.m. Saturday at Quicken Loans Arena.

SF Alonzo Gee (6-6, 219) vs. DeShawn Stevenson (6-5, 218)
PF Tristan Thompson (6-9, 227) vs. Josh Smith (6-9, 225)
C Anderson Varejao (6-11, 260) vs. Al Horford (6-10, 250)
SG Dion Waiters (6-4, 221) vs. Devin Harris (6-3, 192)
PG Jeremy Pargo (6-2, 219) vs. Jeff Teague (6-2, 181) 
Cavs – F Kevin Jones, G Kyrie Irving
Hawks - G/F Kyle Korver
Scott Foster, Mark Ayotte, Curtis Blair

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Game 15: Suns at Cavs

Quicken Loans Arena
Radio/TV: WTAM (1100 AM)/Fox Sports Ohio

WHAT HAPPENED: The Cavs might be a bit crestfallen after playing their tails off on the three-game road trip only to lose all three. They came home and laid an egg at The Q to a very mediocre Suns club.

Cavs coach Byron Scott's post-game quote was quite interesting.

"Andy Varejao was fantastic. Everyone else sucked," he said.

Wow. It might be an accurate comment, but what purpose is there to throw the entire team under the bus? It serves no purpose. He has to coach this sorry bunch the rest of the season.

The Cavs have now lost four in a row, as well as 10 of the last 11.

They just can't score points or shoot with any accuracy. They managed to tie their season low in points (78) and field-goal percentage (35.7) against the Suns.

Cavs guard Dion Waiters' field-goal percentage continues to plummet. He's down to 37.2 percent from the field.

In his last 11 games, he's made 59 of 173 from the field for 34.1 percent.

His backcourt mate, Jeremy Pargo, is playing like everyone thought he would. He's made just 11 of 37 from the floor for 29.7 percent and 12 turnovers in his last three games.

He started extremely well when he replaced Kyrie Irving. Now, it's almost time to look at Donald Sloan. Sloan hadn't played a minute since Irving was injured before Tuesday. Everyone played against the Suns, even Jon Leuer and Luke Walton.

Varejao was fabulous with 20 points and 18 rebounds. It was his sixth consecutive double-double, matching Jim Chones' franchise record set from March-April 1978.

UP NEXT: The Cavs travel to Atlanta at 7:30 p.m. Friday at Philips Arena.

SF Alonzo Gee (6-6, 219) vs. Michael Beasley (6-10, 235)
PF Tristan Thompson (6-9, 227) vs. Markieff Morris (6-10, 245)
C Anderson Varejao (6-11, 260) vs. Marcin Gortat (6-11, 240)
SG Dion Waiters (6-4, 221) vs. Shannon Brown (6-4, 215)
PG Jeremy Pargo (6-2, 219) vs. Goran Dragic (6-3, 190) 
Cavs – F Luke Harangody, G Kyrie Irving
Suns - F Channing Frye, G Diante Garrett
Bill Kennedy, Leroy Richardson, James Williams

Monday, November 26, 2012

Game 14: Cavs at Grizzlies

Radio/TV: WTAM (1100 AM)/Fox Sports Ohio

WHAT HAPPENED: This was a rugged end to the Cavs' three-game road trip. They were unable to salvage the final game on the 0-3 trip. One could make a case that they could have won all three games.

They failed to close out all three games after leading late. On Monday, they had a 76-74 lead with 5:57 left. They were outscored, 10-2, down the stretch to lose going away.

The Cavs were 1 of 9 from the field in the last 5:57 and committed four turnovers. Just horrible execution.

Why they fall apart down the stretch is not known. But when you're watching the games, you just wait for it to happen - and it does.

The same thing happened in the Miami game on Saturday. They had a 108-101 lead with 1:58 remaining, and crumbled like a 3-day-old cookie. They were also tied with Orlando late in Friday's game and found a way to lose.

Are they missing point guard Kyrie Irving that much? I'm guessing that has a lot to do with it.

Up until Monday's game, Jeremy Pargo had been playing very well. He came into Monday's game averaging 19.7 points, 2.3 rebounds, 4.0 assists and 2.3 turnovers in three games as a starter. However, he wasn't nearly as effective against his former team.

Pargo looked like he wanted to show the Grizzlies they made a mistake trading him. He had nine point, two rebounds, three assists and three turnovers. The Boobie Gibson-Dion Waiters backcourt was way more productive.

Waiters had 15 points, three assists and a game-high four steals. He was only 5 of 16 from the field. Fans are accustomed to those kinds of shooting nights from the rookie. But the kid can play.

Gibson had 11 points off the bench - the Cavs' reserves outscored Memphis, 21-14 - and was laying down some serious defense.

Cavs swingman Alonzo Gee was fantastic on the defensive end. He held Rudy Gay to 15 points - 5 under his average.

The Cavs got a break before the game when it was announced that Grizzlies starting point guard Mike Conley would miss the game with the flu. Jerryd Bayless stepped in and had nine points and six assists. He hit an 11-foot pull-up jumper with 23.8 seconds left that extended the Grizzlies' lead to four points.

The Cavs competed on this road trip. They lost the three games by a combined 12 points. They are defending well, especially center Anderson Varejao, who had 15 points and a game-high 22 rebounds.

If they keep playing at this level, wins will eventually come, assuming they clean up their troubles in the waning moments of the game.

For those of you with a great memory, Cavs coach Byron Scott was selected in the 1995 Expansion Draft by the Vancouver Grizzlies. He averaged 10.2 points in 80 games in their inaugural season of 1995-96.

Scott and Hollins both played collegiately at Arizona State University, and both had their jersey numbers retired at Wells Fargo Arena on Feb. 17, 2011.

UP NEXT: The Cavs host Phoenix at 7 p.m. Tuesday at Quicken Loans Arena.

SF Alonzo Gee (6-6, 219) vs. Rudy Gay (6-8, 230)
PF Tristan Thompson (6-9, 227) vs. Zach Randolph (6-9, 255)
C Anderson Varejao (6-11, 260) vs. Marc Gasol (7-1, 265)
SG Dion Waiters (6-4, 221) vs. Tony Allen (6-4, 213)
PG Jeremy Pargo (6-2, 219) vs. Jerryd Bayless (6-3, 200) 
Cavs – F Luke Harangody, G Kyrie Irving
Grizzlies - G Tony Wroten
Mike Callahan, Dick Bavetta, Sir Allen Conner

Saturday, November 24, 2012

Game 13: Cavs at Heat

AmericanAirlines Arena
Radio/TV: WTAM (1100 AM)/Fox Sports Ohio

WHAT HAPPENED: The Cavs played their hearts out in this one and almost shocked the defending NBA champion Heat. Future Hall of Famer Ray Allen scored the Heat's last four points, including a 3-pointer with 18 seconds left to give Miami its first lead since, 12-11.

If a team is going to leave someone alone on the 3-point line, maybe it shouldn't be Allen, the NBA's all-time leader in 3-pointers attempted and made.

However, he squirmed free behind the arc and made the Cavs pay for the defensive blunder.

It's difficult to find fault in the way the Cavs play. They had a 13-point lead at one point and led by five points late in the fourth quarter. They were unable to execute down the stretch.

They might have found something in point guard Jeremy Pargo. He might not be a household name, but this kid can play. He finished with 16 points and seven assists. He turned the ball over four times in 33 minutes.

The Cavs had eight players in double figures, including all five starters. They outscored the Heat off the bench, 41-26, as forward Omri Casspi had a season-high 15 points and made 4 of 4 3-point goals.

The Cavs made a season-high 14 of 31 3-pointers. When a team makes 14 3s and commits only 11 turnovers, it's supposed to win. Why did they lose? That's hard to say, other than the Heat are a better team.

But they might not have been on Saturday.

Their rugged road trip continues in Memphis on Monday. Then they return to host Phoenix on Tuesday. The schedule-maker didn't do them any favors on this stretch of four games in five nights.

Heat forward LeBron James led all scorers with 30 points. Cavs swingman Alonzo Gee hounded James into seven turnovers.

The Cavs have lost five in a row to the Heat.

UP NEXT: The Cavs travel to Memphis at 8 p.m. Monday at FedExArena.

SF Alonzo Gee (6-6, 219) vs. LeBron James (6-8, 250)
PF Tristan Thompson (6-9, 227) vs. Shane Battier (6-8, 220)
C Anderson Varejao (6-11, 260) vs. Chris Bosh (6-11, 235)
SG Dion Waiters (6-4, 221) vs. Dwyane Wade (6-4, 220)
PG Jeremy Pargo (6-2, 219) vs. Mario Chalmers (6-2, 190) 
Cavs – F Luke Harangody, G Kyrie Irving
Heat - C Josh Harrellson, G Terrel Harris
Rodney Mott, Tony Brown, Eli Roe

Friday, November 23, 2012

Game 12: Cavs at Magic

Amway Center
Radio/TV: WTAM (1100 AM)/Fox Sports Ohio

WHAT HAPPENED: The Cavs were outscored, 63-53, in the second half by the host Magic. It was a nip-and-tuck game the entire way.

J.J. Redick was 8 of 8 from the foul line in the closing minute to hold off the Cavs.

It only gets tougher - much tougher - for the Cavs on the three-game, four-day trip. They take on defending NBA champion Miami on Saturday and then surging Memphis on Monday. The schedule-maker could care less about the Cavs' well-being. They return home on Tuesday to host Phoenix. What a joke.

Back to Friday's game. They've now lost 10 in a row to the Magic, the last six on the road. It's been more than three years since the Cavs have won in Orlando - on Nov. 11, 2009.

The Cavs got good performances from several of their players, starting with shooting guard Dion Waiters, who had a game-high 25 points and five assists. He was 9 of 22 from the field, 4 of 11 from the 3-point arc.

Jeremy Pargo, coming off his 28-point effort on Wednesday, shot the ball well for the second game in a row with 15 points.. However, he managed just one assist.

Pargo also couldn't stop Magic point guard Jameer Nelson, who finished with a season-high 22 points, six rebounds and six assists.

Cavs center Anderson Varejao was fabulous once again with 19 points and a game-high 17 rebounds. He pulled down 11 offensive rebounds, one off his team record.

Backup center Tyler Zeller was very good off the bench with 13 points and nine rebounds. He was only 5 of 8 from the foul line. He came into the game shooting 48 percent from the foul line, which is ridiculous. He shot like 78 percent during his four-year career at North Carolina.

Swingman C.J. Miles, fresh off his 13-point effort vs. Philadelphia on Wednesday, came into the game, launched an off-balance 3-pointer and came out after three minutes. Apparently, he doesn't listen to his coach. Coach Byron Scott has been clearly tired of Miles' shooting terrible shots not in the flow of the offense. He rarely drives to the basket or takes any mid-range shots. It's 3-pointers or bust.

Maybe he's thick-headed, I don't know. Scott simply went to Omri Casspi, who responded with a season-high 11 points.

If Miles wants to play like that, he'll find himself permanently on the bench.

The Magic are starting all over after trading Dwight Howard. They have a new coach in Jacque Vaughn, a new GM in Rob Hennigan and nine new players. They aren't very good, but they were better than the Cavs on Friday.

Their go-to guy is power forward Glen "Don't Call Me Big Baby" Davis, who had 16 points and eight rebounds. The Cavs list power forward Tristan Thompson at 227 pounds. If that's accurate, then Davis has a 62-pound advantage.

Thompson played 28 minutes on Friday and didn't do much of anything.

Cavs guard Daniel Gibson returned after a two-game absence with a sore right elbow. He looked like he hasn't played in three games, too, with three points. He did dish out six assists, which tied Nelson and Redick for game honors.

UP NEXT: The Cavs travel to Miami at 7:30 p.m. Saturday at AmericanAirlines Arena.

SF Alonzo Gee (6-6, 219) vs. Maurice Harkless (6-8, 210)
PF Tristan Thompson (6-9, 227) vs. Glen Davis (6-9, 289)
C Anderson Varejao (6-11, 260) vs. Nikola Vucevic (7-0, 240)
SG Dion Waiters (6-4, 221) vs. Arron Afflalo (6-5, 215)
PG Jeremy Pargo (6-2, 219) vs. Jameer Nelson (6-0, 190) 
Cavs – F Luke Harangody, G Kyrie Irving
Magic - F Al Harrington, F Hedo Turkoglu
Scott Foster, Brian Forte, Violet Palmer

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Game 11: 76ers at Cavs

Quicken Loans Arena
Radio/TV: WTAM (1100 AM)/Fox Sports Ohio

WHAT HAPPENED: The Cavs made sure Coach Byron Scott will have a Happy Thanksgiving.

Budding All-Star Kyrie Irving will miss the next four weeks with a hairline fracture of his left index finger. Cavs fans will see a lot of Jeremy Pargo in the next month. If Wednesday's game is any indication, they'll like what they see.

The guy was unbelievable against the Sixers with 28 points, five rebounds, four assists and three turnovers in 39 minutes.

He appears to be a scorer. He shoots the ball pretty well, but he has that knack of putting points on the board. He might not be a Lester Hudson-type, either, since Pargo can defend.

Don't expect the Cavs to go out and sign a journeyman point guard like Derek Fisher or Earl Boykins. For one, they'd have to cut a player to create a roster spot. And, two, this is why they kept two backup point guards coming out of training camp.

Certainly, the Cavs know the score. They realize Irving's vast injury history.

Pargo, though, is capable of scoring and making things happen - good and bad. He turned the ball over so much in the preseason, it almost cost him a job. Scott said that wasn't the case after the game. He said his job wasn't in jeopardy.

Pargo didn't want to go there in the locker room after the game. All he knew was that he struggled in the preseason when he averaged 3.7 turnovers a game. If he holds those in check, he could be a real find for Cavs general manager Chris Grant.

He sent D.J. Kennedy to the Memphis Grizzlies for Pargo, a second-round pick and cash. The cash could be paying Pargo's salary. The Grizzlies waived Kennedy. They just wanted cap space. Not a bad deal when you examine it closely, especially since Pargo is now the starting point guard for the next month.

On Wednesday, he allowed Dion Waiters to play the backup minutes at point guard. Donald Sloan never got off the bench. Waiters finished with 16 points and six assists. He shot 7 of 22 from the field and is now shooting 23.8 percent in his last four games (16 of 67).

Swingman C.J. Miles burst out of his shooting slump with 13 points and three rebounds. He made 5 of 9 shots from the field, 3 of 4 from the arc. In his previous five games, he shot 1 of 15 from the field and had three DNP-CDs. It's time for him to shake out of this slump. 

UP NEXT: The Cavs travel to Orlando at 7 p.m. Friday at Amway Center.

SF Alonzo Gee (6-6, 219) vs. Evan Turner (6-7, 220)
PF Tristan Thompson (6-9, 235) vs. Thaddeus Young (6-9, 235)
C Anderson Varejao (6-11, 260) vs. Kwame Brown (6-11, 290)
SG Dion Waiters (6-4, 221) vs. Jason Richardson (6-6, 225)
PG Jeremy Pargo (6-2, 219) vs. Jrue Holiday (6-4, 205) 
Cavs – F Luke Harangody, G Kyrie Irving
76ers - C Andrew Bynum
Derrick Stafford, David Guthrie, Derek Richardson

Sunday, November 18, 2012

Game 10: Cavs at 76ers

Wells Fargo Center
Radio/TV: WTAM (1100 AM)/Fox Sports Ohio

WHAT HAPPENED: Where to start? Coach Byron Scott has been harping about his team's porous defense for the last week.

They locked down on the Sixers on Sunday and held them to 86 points and 42.5 percent shooting. The Cavs competed on the defensive end.

So, what happened? Their offense goes completely in the dumper. They set season lows in points (79), field-goal percentage (35.7), and assists (14).

It all starts with point guard Kyrie Irving, who was held to a season-low 9 points. He made just 4 of 14 from the field. He did have 4 rebounds and 4 assists. That wasn't the case on Saturday against Dallas when he scored 26 points and didn't register an assist.

Selfish basketball? Possibly.

On Sunday, he had a built-in excuse for not performing well. He bruised his left index finger in the Dallas game. He admitted after the Mavs game that he was in much pain and he had trouble using his left hand.

He also had 5 turnovers against the Sixers.

His running mate in the backcourt, Dion Waiters, suddenly can't shoot. In his last three games, he's shooting 20 percent from the field (9 of 45). He'll dip under 40 percent on the season soon if this slump continues. He was held to 5 points, no assists and no rebounds. Sound familiar?

Forward Tristan Thompson checked in with his second double-double in a row with 14 points and 13 rebounds. Center Anderson Varejao snapped out of his one-game funk with 14 points and a game-high 15 rebounds.

Small forward Alonzo Gee was equally as good with a team-high 17 points.

In case you were wondering, when was the last time the Cavs and Browns had the same record?

The Cavs have lost 6 in a row overall, as well as 6 in a row to the Sixers.

Sixers guard Jrue Holiday, their leading scorer at 19 per game, is the only player on the roster who has reached double figures in scoring in each of their 10 games this year. He and backup center Spencer Hawes each had 14 points on Sunday.

Former Ohio State star Evan Turner had a huge floor game with a game-high 19 points, 6 rebounds and a game-high 9 assists. He was also 8 of 12 from the field.

He's playing free and easy and finally looks comfortable playing without the ball. The former No. 2 overall pick is giving Coach Doug Collins good minutes.

Collins was an assistant coach at Arizona State when Scott was recruited out of high school. They remain close friends to this day.

Scott is constantly changing his rotation, largely because the players off the bench aren't getting the job done. Point guard Jeremy Pargo and small forward Omri Casspi are in the rotation - for now - until he gets tired of looking at them.

It all adds up to being a team in transition, with a lot of moving parts. It doesn't add up to being a good team in any stretch of the imagination.

The starters have been very good, as evidenced by the fact they have the best plus-minus combined numbers in the league. Things deteriorate quickly when Scott goes to the bench.

The Cavs were forced to play without valuable backup guard Daniel Gibson. He injured his elbow in the Dallas game. His scoring ability and outside shooting was definitely missed, especially on a night their starting backcourt was so ineffective.

UP NEXT: The Cavs host Philadelphia at 7 p.m. Wednesday at Quicken Loans Arena.

SF Alonzo Gee (6-6, 219) vs. Evan Turner (6-7, 220)
PF Tristan Thompson (6-9, 235) vs. Thaddeus Young (6-9, 235)
C Anderson Varejao (6-11, 260) vs. Kwame Brown (6-11, 290)
SG Dion Waiters (6-4, 221) vs. Jason Richardson (6-6, 225)
PG Kyrie Irving (6-3, 191) vs. Jrue Holiday (6-4, 205) 
Cavs – F Luke Harangody, F Jon Leuer
76ers - C Andrew Bynum
Bennett Salvatore, Tony Brown, Haywoode Workman

Saturday, November 17, 2012

Game 9: Mavericks at Cavs


Quicken Loans Arena
Radio/TV: WTAM (1100 AM)/Fox Sports Ohio

WHAT HAPPENED: For whatever reason, this team just can't stop other teams.

It's becoming an epidemic. They are the worst defensive team in the league. It's a big problem because they are not talented enough to outscore teams.

They've now lost 5 in a row, and have a game at Philadelphia on Sunday. That won't be an easy one, judging by the ease the 76ers blew past them in the preseason.

The Cavs did get backup center Tyler Zeller (fractured cheekbone/concussion) back in the lineup, but he was far from being his normal self. He scored three points, had two rebounds and one block in 26 minutes.

It's really too bad that he got hurt. He was really playing well when he took an elbow to the face in the Clippers game on Nov. 5.

His return should help the struggling second unit. If Zeller, Boobie Gibson and C.J. Miles ever all get it together at the same time, they should be decent.

Coach Byron Scott changed up his second unit for about the fifth time this year. Jeremy Pargo is now the backup point guard. He did dish out three assists in his 10 minutes.

Omri Casspi is the reserve small forward. He had five points and five rebounds in 13 minutes.

Neither Samardo Samuels nor Jon Leuer (inactive) were used, and that's fine with me.

Kyrie Irving bruised his left index finger in the third quarter. He said it was bothering him big time after the game. Don't be shocked if he doesn't play against Philadelphia on Sunday. It's just a gut feeling.

UP NEXT: The Cavs travel to Philadelphia at 6 p.m. Sunday at Wells Fargo Center. 

SF Alonzo Gee (6-6, 219) vs. Shawn Marion (6-7, 228)
PF Tristan Thompson (6-9, 235) vs. Elton Brand (6-9, 255)
C Anderson Varejao (6-11, 260) vs. Chris Kaman (7-0, 265)
SG Dion Waiters (6-4, 221) vs. O.J. Mayo (6-4, 210)
PG Kyrie Irving (6-3, 191) vs. Darren Collison (6-0, 175) 
Cavs – F Luke Harangody, F Jon Leuer
Mavs - F Dirk Nowitzki, G Jared Cunningham
Mike Callahan, Kevin Fehr, Scott Wall

Thursday, November 15, 2012

Kyrie's Foot Locker video

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Game 8: Cavs at Nets

Barclays Center
Radio/TV: WTAM (1100 AM)/Fox Sports Ohio

WHAT HAPPENED: The Cavs got fabulous efforts from Anderson Varejao and Kyrie Irving, but it was not nearly enough.

The Cavs finished the six-game road trip with a 1-5 record, which is not acceptable. That's why a team can't allow a sure win to evaporate in thin air like it did in Phoenix last week. A 2-4 record sounds a whole lot better than 1-5.

The Nets totally rebuilt their team in the offseason, bringing in nine new players. They were playing without two of their rotational players on Tuesday in guard MarShon Brooks and forward Gerald Wallace. In the end, it didn't matter.

The Cavs would have been right in the game had they not totally flopped in the second quarter when they were outscored, 35-12.

The Cavs' bench has been amiss all season. It might not have been worse than it was on Tuesday when it was outscored, 28-6. Even Boobie Gibson, who has been very good, was held scoreless.

If they truly cared about winning games this season, they'd go out and sign someone. But that's not what it's all about this year. They'll probably stick with this collection of mediocrity for now. There's got to be better end-of-the-roster players out there.

Getting Cavs center Tyler Zeller (fractured cheekbone/concussion) back will help the second unit. There's a chance he could play on Saturday against Dallas. He's awaiting clearance in the NBA's concussion protocol. He's been missed. The Cavs have lost their last four games with him out of the lineup.

Coincidence? Maybe. But he's needed on the talent-thin second team.

Varejao ended with a career-high 35 points and 18 rebounds. He made 16 of 21 from the field.

Irving finished with a career-high 34 points and eight assists.

The Nets had three players score 20 or more points, led by Deron Williams' 26. Joe Johnson added 25 and Brook Lopez 23.

UP NEXT: The Cavs will host Dallas at 7:30 p.m. Saturday at Quicken Loans Arena. 

SF Alonzo Gee (6-6, 219) vs. Keith Bogans (6-5, 215)
PF Tristan Thompson (6-9, 235) vs. Kris Humphries (6-9, 235)
C Anderson Varejao (6-11, 260) vs. Brook Lopez (7-0, 265)
SG Dion Waiters (6-4, 221) vs. Joe Johnson (6-7, 240)
PG Kyrie Irving (6-3, 191) vs. Deron Williams (6-3, 209) 
Cavs – F Luke Harangody, C Tyler Zeller
Nets - F Gerald Wallace, G MarShon Brooks
Ed Malloy, Curtis Blair, Kane Fitzgerald

Sunday, November 11, 2012

Game 7: Cavs at Thunder

Chesapeake Energy Arena
Radio/TV: WTAM (1100 AM)/Fox Sports Ohio

WHAT HAPPENED: The Cavs knew they weren't going to sneak up on the Thunder this time.

Last year, the Cavs waltzed into Oklahoma City and shocked the Thunder, 96-90, on March 9. It was sure to be a hot topic from Thunder coach Scott Brooks.

The Thunder, who have won four in a row, lost in last year's NBA Finals to the Miami Heat. They won't settle for anything short of a title this season. They traded one of their best players in James Harden on Oct. 28.

The Cavs have now lost three in a row. Their 107-105 loss to Phoenix on Friday is going to haunt them for some time. They coughed up a 26-pont, first-half lead in that game.

The Cavs had hoped to have center Tyler Zeller back for Sunday's game wearing a mask. He might not have gotten the medical OK from the concussion. It's unknown whether he'll play again on this road trip that concludes on Tuesday in Brooklyn.

Zeller is certainly needed. The second unit remains in shambles. Other than guard Daniel Gibson, who had 16 points against the Thunder, they just have very little that Coach Byron Scott can count on.

Scott benched the struggling C.J. Miles in favor of Omri Casspi. Casspi played hard, just not very well. He had seven points, four rebounds and two steals, but shot 1 of 7 from the field.

Neither Samardo Samuels, who played 6 minutes before Scott got tired of looking at him, nor Jon Leuer did much to make much of an impact.

Brooks is a former Cavs guard during the 1997-98 season. The Thunder features one of the most talented and deep rosters in the league. Of course, everything starts with forward Kevin Durant, who became the seventh player in league history to lead the NBA in scoring for three consecutive seasons.

He finished with 26 points and eight rebounds. The first-team All-NBA forward was a load for Cavs swingman Alonzo Gee to defend.

Gee has gone from guarding a 6-foot point guard in Chris Paul to the 6-9 Durant on this road trip.

The Cavs' starting backcourt of Kyrie Irving and Dion Waiters came into the game leading the league in combined scoring at 40 per game. Houston's Jeremy Lin and Harden were second.

Irving had 20 points and five assists for the Cavs. Waiters was held to eight points. He's been bothered from a sprained quad, which has been very painful.

The difference between the teams is that the Thunder bring players like Kevin Martin and Nick Collison off the bench. The Cavs will bring in guys like Donald Sloan.

The Cavs are 1-4 on this six-game, 11-day road trip. They'll practice in Oklahoma City on Monday and fly to New York.

UP NEXT: The Cavs travel to Brooklyn to face the Nets at 7 p.m. Tuesday at Barlclays Center. 

SF Alonzo Gee (6-6, 219) vs. Kevin Durant (6-9, 235)
PF Tristan Thompson (6-9, 235) vs. Serge Ibaka (6-10, 235)
C Anderson Varejao (6-11, 260) vs. Kendrick Perkins (6-10, 270)
SG Dion Waiters (6-4, 221) vs. Thabo Sefolosha (6-7, 215)
PG Kyrie Irving (6-3, 191) vs. Russell Westbrook (6-3, 187) 
Cavs – F Luke Harangody, C Tyler Zeller
Thunder - C Hasheem Thabeet
Dan Crawford, Bennie Adams, Violet Palmer

Friday, November 9, 2012

Game 6: Cavs at Suns

U.S. Airways Center
Radio/TV: WTAM (1100 AM)/Fox Sports Ohio

WHAT HAPPENED: The Cavs coughed up a major hairball in this one. They opened a 26-point lead in the first half and tried to hang on. It didn't happen.

This loss stung worse than the Chicago defeat last week at home. In that contest, they were just blown out of the gym. This was worse because they had the win wrapped up, but failed to execute down the stretch. They committed 21 turnovers, seven by Kyrie Irving.

Irving had 17 points, four rebounds and eight assists. But he didn't look right. He's been suffering the last few days after getting food poisoning in San Francisco. He played 37 minutes, but didn't have his normal mojo.

Rookie guard Dion Waiters, though, did have something special. He wasn't expected to play after suffering a quad sprain. He was outstanding, however, with a team-high 23 points. He made 9 of 13 from the field, 3 of 5 from behind the arc.

The Cavs might have something special there. He's definitely growing on me. Waiters had just one turnover in 31 minutes.

All five starters scored in double figures. In addition, Boobie Gibson fired in 19 points off the bench. He made 7 of 9 attempts from the field, 5 of 7 from the arc. He was so hot, Coach Byron Scott should have considered him taking the last shot.

Irving, of course, was totally spent by then. His 3-pointer at the buzzer was off the mark.

How the Cavs let Suns guard Sebastian Telfair run off at least 5 seconds off the clock before he was fouled is beyond me. He split two free throws, giving the Suns a 2-point lead.

The Suns have now won four of their last five games against the Cavs.

As good as Gibson was off the bench, the rest of the reserves were bad - really bad. Samardo Samuels had seven points. C.J. Miles was held scoreless in 12 minutes. He missed all seven of his shots, although he pulled down five rebounds. Like Irving, he also had food poisoning. His play continues to amaze me. I really thought he'd be a major contributor to this team. So far, he's been atrocious.

The Cavs are now 1-3 on this six-game, 11-day road trip.

I have to tell you, I was impressed with former Cavs draft pick Shannon Brown, who scored 22 off the bench. He was 8 of 13 from the field and has become a go-to player for the Suns. He was always a tough kid. But he flopped miserably with the Cavs.

Many think he wasn't used correctly in Cleveland. Because of his size - they list him at 6-4, but he's about 6-1 - the Cavs thought he had to play point guard. In reality, he's anything but a point guard. He's a scorer, plain and simple, and a very good one at that.

UP NEXT: The Cavs travel to Oklahoma City to face the Thunder at 7 p.m. Sunday at Chesapeake Energy Arena. 

SF Alonzo Gee (6-6, 219) vs. Michael Beasley (6-10, 235)
PF Tristan Thompson (6-9, 235) vs. Luis Scola (6-9, 245)
C Anderson Varejao (6-11, 260) vs. Marcin Gortat 6-11, 240)
SG Dion Waiters (6-4, 221) vs. Jared Dudley (6-7, 225)
PG Kyrie Irving (6-3, 191) vs. Goran Dragic (6-3, 205) 
Cavs – F Luke Harangody, C Tyler Zeller
Suns - F Channing Frye, C Jermaine O'Neal
James Capers, Matt Boland, Michael Smith

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Game 5: Cavs at Warriors

Oracle Arena
Radio/TV: WTAM (1100 AM)/Fox Sports Ohio

WHAT HAPPENED: The Cavs were playing without their two centers, Anderson Varejao (sore right knee) and Tyler Zeller (non-displaced fracture of the left orbital cheek bone/concussion).. Zeller returned to Cleveland, which put the rest of the road trip in jeopardy for him.

Varejao might be able to play in Phoenix on Friday. However, there's no official word.

He is among the league leaders in rebounding with 15 per game. What can't be replicated is his hustle, aggressiveness and determination. They have no one on the roster who can match that.

Without those two near 7-footers, their post defense suffered measurably in the loss to the Warriors. That and forward Carl Landry just scored at will the entire game for 19 points.

Rookie shooting guard Dion Waiters came back to earth on Wednesday with 12 points. That included a late 3-pointer. He was just 2 of 5 from behind the arc. That doesn't compare to his 7-for-11 performance from the 3-point line on Monday en route to 28 points.

Kyrie Irving led all scorers with 28 points, six rebounds and seven assists.

Tristan Thompson, who made his first start this season at center, had 11 points and 10 rebounds. Samardo Samuels, who started at power forward, finished with 11 points and seven rebounds.

The defensive effort just wasn't there, as evidenced by the Warriors shooting 53.8 percent from the field. The Cavs shot just 41.9.

The Cavs might be able to get by without Zeller, even though he was starting to come into his own. But if Varejao doesn't play, they have little chance at winning. They just don't have enough legitimate bigs. This team should really look at adding a 7-footer.

The Cavs are now 1-2 on this six-game, 11-day road trip.

The Cavs got their first look at Warriors small forward Harrison Barnes, whom many thought the Cavs should have drafted instead of Waiters. Barnes had a career-high 14 points on Wednesday.

It turns out the Cavs didn't appear to be very high on him in the draft. They believe they got the better player in Waiters.

UP NEXT: The Cavs travel to Phoenix to face the Suns at 9 p.m. Friday at US Airways Center. 

SF Alonzo Gee (6-6, 219) vs. Harrison Barnes (6-8, 210)
PF Samardo Samuels (6-9, 260) vs. David Lee (6-9, 240)
C Tristan Thompson (6-9, 235) vs. Andrew Bogut (7-0, 260)
SG Dion Waiters (6-4, 221) vs. Klay Thompson (6-7, 205)
PG Kyrie Irving (6-3, 191) vs. Stephen Curry (6-3, 185) 
Cavs – C Tyler Zeller, F.C Anderson Varejao
Warriors - G/F Kent Bazemore, G Brandon Rush
Tom Washington, Mark Ayotte, Eric Lewis

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Canton Charge training camp roster

CANTON - The D-League Canton Charge announced their 2012-13 training camp roster on Tuesday.

It consists of 16 players that were acquired via the D-League draft, trades, open tryouts and affiliate player rule.

Kevin Anderson, Michael Eric and Kevin Jones were all in the Cavaliers' training camp this season and added to the Charge roster via the affiliate rule. The rule allows three players from your NBA parent club’s training camp roster to be protected from having to enter the draft upon clearing NBA waivers and join the affiliate automatically.

Kyle Gibson is the lone returning player in training camp with the Charge.  Gibson played in 44 games (28 starts) with Canton last season, averaging 9.9 points on .403 shooting with 3.6 rebounds and 1.5 assists in 23.9 minutes per game.  He played an instrumental role in the team’s deep postseason run, starting all six playoff games and averaging 18.8 points on .486 shooting with 4.3 rebounds and 2.0 assists in 33.7 minutes per game.

Jonathan Moore and Titus Robinson were both added through attending the team’s open tryouts among over 60 players with various different basketball backgrounds that came out to compete.  Six players from Canton’s 2012 draft class will be coming to Charge camp, highlighted by 10thoverall selection D’Aundray Brown, who also participated in NBA training camp with the Cavaliers. 

Below is the complete Charge training camp roster:

PLAYER                                 POS     HGT     WGT    BIRTHDATE     SCHOOL               HOW ACQUIRED
Kevin Anderson                    G         6-0       174       12/21/88         Richmond               Affiliate Rule
Thomas Baudinet                 G         6-3       190      10/10/89         St. Anselm                    Trade
D’Aundray Brown                 G         6-4       195      10/21/88         Cleveland State          1st (10th)
Jordan Eglseder                    C          7-1       280       7/27/88         Northern Iowa            7th (106th)
Michael Eric                         F/C      6-11     240        6/24/88         Temple                   Affiliate Rule
Kyle Gibson                           G         6-5       205        5/22/87         Louisiana Tech     Returning Player
Jorge Gutierrez                    G         6-3       195      12/27/88         California                    2nd (26th)
Omari Johnson                     F          6-9       220      11/26/89         Oregon State               5th(74th)         
Kevin Jones                           F          6-8       250        8/25/89         West Virginia         Affiliate Rule
Jonathan Moore                   G         6-1       190        6/25/87         Stoney Brook          Open Tryout
Arinze Onuaku                      C          6-9       275        7/13/87        Syracuse                       Trade
J.P. Primm                            G         6-1       195        9/17/89         NC – Asheville             3rd (81st)
Titus Robinson                      F          6-7       205        9/12/90         Buffalo                    Open Tryout
Ryan Rossiter                       F          6-9       255        9/14/89          Siena                           2nd (19th)
Alex Ruoff                             F          6-6       220        8/29/86         West Virginia               Trade
Marcus Simmons                 G         6-6       220        1/28/88          Southern California     Trade

Coaches will submit an opening day roster of 10 players on Wednesday, Nov. 21 as the Charge will tip off 2012-13 NBA D-League regular season by hosting the Maine Red Claws on Friday, November 23 at 7:30 p.m. at the Memorial Civic Center.

Monday, November 5, 2012

Game 4: Cavs at Clippers

Staples Center
Radio/TV: WTAM (1100 AM)/Fox Sports Ohio

WHAT HAPPENED: Cavs general manager Chris Grant had to have a huge smile on his face after this game. His two first-round picks, shooting guard Dion Waiters and center Tyler Zeller, each recorded season highs in the game and played extremely well.

We'll start with Waiters, who was unconscious with his 3-point shooting en route to a career-high 28 points. He was 7 of 11 from behind the arc. His 28 points were the most by a rookie this season. His outside shot looked good - perfect rotation and good elevation.

Give the Cavs credit. They recognized the hot hand, fed him the ball and Waiters kept shooting. He was 10 of 17 from the field.

In case you were wondering, his seven 3-pointers were just one off the Cavs' single-game record (8 by Danny Ferry in 1996, Wesley Person in 1998 and LeBron James in 2009).

The Cavs' starting backcourt was fantastic. Kyrie Irving outplayed Clippers All-Star Chris Paul, arguably the best point guard in the league.

Irving finished with 24 points, including a key 3-pointer with less than a minute to play. He dished out a game-high 10 assists, had three turnovers and a steal in 37 minutes. It was his first career 20-and-10 game.

Paul ended with 17 points, five rebounds and nine assists. He came into the game leading the league in assists with 13.5 per game.

Center Anderson Varejao battled All-Star Blake Griffin in the paint and had 15 points, a game-high 15 rebounds and one block. If one didn't know better, one would think Varejao was the two-time All-Star.

Griffin had a team-high 20 points, six rebounds, five assists and three blocks. He was 9 of 14 from the field. He really is a horse around the basket.

Cavs backup center Tyler Zeller had a career-high 15 points and seven rebounds. However, he caught an elbow under the eye and went to the locker room for an X-ray. It would be cruel if he broke a bone because he seems to be developing right before our eyes.

C.J. Miles also snapped out of his slump with 10 points, including 2 of 3 from behind the arc. He had been terrible in the first three games.

Cavs coach Byron Scott also thankfully pulled the plug on the Luke Walton experiment. The veteran never got off the bench. Samardo Samuels earned just 4 minutes in a backup role at power forward.

UP NEXT: The Cavs travel to Golden State to face the Warriors at 10:30 p.m. Wednesday at Oracle Arena. 

SF Alonzo Gee (6-6, 219) vs. Caron Butler (6-7, 228)
PF Tristan Thompson (6-9, 235) vs. Blake Griffin (6-10, 251)
C Anderson Varejao (6-11, 260) vs. DeAndre Jordan (6-11, 265)
SG Dion Waiters (6-4, 221) vs. Willie Green (6-3, 201)
PG Kyrie Irving (6-3, 191) vs. Chris Paul (6-0, 175) 
Cavs – F Luke Harangody, G Jeremy Pargo
Clippers - G Chauncey Billups, F Grant Hill, F Trey Thompkins 
Bennett Salvatore , David Jones,  JT Orr

Saturday, November 3, 2012

Game 3: Cavs at Bucks

BMO Harris Bradley Center
Radio/TV: WTAM (1100 AM)/Fox Sports Ohio

WHAT HAPPENED: It was a wildly entertaining game.

Unfortunately, the Cavs came up short. They put the ball in Kyrie Irving's hands and scored 13 of his team-high 27 points in the fourth quarter. He scored on a driving layup with :00.7 remaining in the game.

Bucks guard Brandon Jennings hit the game-winning 3-pointer at the buzzer.

The Cavs played with high energy. It was the first game of their long six-game, 11-day road trip. Hopefully for the Cavs, things don't deteriorate on the trip.

Center Anderson Varejao was the best player on the court for much of the game. He ended with 20 points and a game-high 17 rebounds.

Forward Alonzo Gee had his best game of the season on Saturday with 18 points, six assists and two steals. It's about time, too, since the Cavs have been getting nothing out of their small forward position.

C.J. Miles has been the biggest disappointment of the early season. He's shooting 18.2 percent from the field in the first three games (4 of 22). He's also averaging 3.2 points. Really? He looked like a solid scorer in the preseason, one Coach Byron Scott could count on.

He was 0 of 6 from the field on Saturday with four personal fouls, three turnovers and no points. If Scott had any options, he'd take one. The only other way to go would be to play Omri Casspi.

Bucks forward Mike Dunleavy led all scorers with 29 points, 12 rebounds and six assist. He was unbelievable. The Cavs couldn't defend him.

The Bucks have a track record of being successful in home openers. They are now 33-12 in home openers (.730). The Cavs have lost eight in a row to Milwaukee, including the last six on the road. They haven't beaten the Bucks since Nov. 4, 2010.

UP NEXT: The Cavs travel to Los Angeles to face the Clippers at 10:30 p.m. Monday at Staples Center. 

SF Alonzo Gee (6-6, 219) vs. Tobias Harris (6-8, 226)
PF Tristan Thompson (6-9, 235) vs. Ersan Ilyasova (6-10, 235)
C Anderson Varejao (6-11, 260) vs. Samuel Dalembert (6-11, 260)
SG Dion Waiters (6-4, 221) vs. Monta Ellis (6-3, 185)
PG Kyrie Irving (6-3, 191) vs. Brandon Jennings (6-1, 169) 
Cavs – F Luke Harangody, G Jeremy Pargo
Bucks - F Luc Mbah a Moute, F John Henson
Derrick Stafford, Kevin Fehr, John Goble

Charge selects eight players in draft

The 2012 NBA Development League draft is complete, with Charge selecting eight players with various college and professional experience.  The eight players selected will go towards filling the 17-man training camp roster.

With their 1st round selection (10th overall), the Charge took guard D’Aundray Brown (6’4”, 195) from Cleveland State University. Brown played in 115 games (91 starts) at Cleveland State University, averaging 7.8 points on .487 shooting with 4.8 rebounds and 1.8 steals in 28.4 minutes per game. As a senior in 2011-12, the Youngstown, OH native played in 26 games (25 starts) and averaged 10.8 points on .457 shooting to go along with 4.5 rebounds, 2.2 assists and 2.5 steals in 29.7 minutes per game. Brown was also in training camp with the Cleveland Cavaliers in October.

The Charge next chose forward Ryan Rossiter (6’9”, 255) out of Siena with their 2nd round selection (19th overall via the Texas Legends).  Rossiter played in 133 games (110 starts) and averaged 11.0 points on .520 shooting with 8.7 rebounds, 1.0 steal and 1.3 blocks in 27.5 minutes per game.  He finished his collegiate career as the career leading rebounder for the Saints with 1,151.  Rossiter also spent the 2011-12 season with Denain ASC Voltaire in France where he played in 34 games and averaged 13.8 points on .534 shooting with 9.6 rebounds, 1.2 assists and 0.8 blocks in 31.9 minutes per game.

The Charge had another 2nd round choice (26th overall), where they selected guard Jorge Gutierrez out of California.  Gutierrez played in 129 career games (79 starts) and averaged 9.6 points on .430 shooting with 3.8 rebounds, 3.3 assists and 1.1 steals in 26.6 minutes per game.  He was named the PAC-12 Player of the Year during his senior season in 2011-12, where he averaged 13.0 points on .444 shooting with 5.3 rebounds, 4.1 assists and 1.2 steals in 32.2 minutes per game.

Below is the complete list of players drafted by the Charge:

PLAYER                                             POS       HGT       WGT      BIRTHDATE         SCHOOL                     ROUND (OVERALL)
D’Aundray Brown                        G            6-4          195           10/21/88            Cleveland State                         1st (10th)
Ryan Rossiter                                 F             6-9          255             9/14/89            Siena                                              2nd (19th)
Jorge Gutierrez                             G            6-3          195           12/27/88            California                                      2nd (26th)
J.P. Primm                                       G            6-1          195             9/17/89            NC – Asheville                            3rd (81st)
Omari Johnson                              F             6-9          220           11/26/89            Oregon State                              5th (74th)  
Assane Sene                                  C             7-0          235             6/20/89            Virginia                                          6th (92nd)
Jordan Eglseder                            C             7-1          280             7/27/88            Northern Iowa                           7th (106th)
Vernon Lewis                                 F             6-6          225           12/11/83            Paul Quinn                                   8th (122nd)

The rest of Canton’s training camp roster, complete with affiliate players, returning players and open tryout signees, will be announced at a later date.

Friday, November 2, 2012

Game 2: Bulls at Cavs

Quicken Loans Arena
Radio/TV: WTAM (1100 AM)/Fox Sports Ohio

WHAT HAPPENED: The Cavs faced their second team playing without their star point guard. Washington was missing John Wall in the season opener and now the Bulls were without Derrick Rose on Friday. Unfortunately, it made no difference for the Cavs, who were throttled by the Bulls.

The Bulls have an advantage at almost every position except point guard. Maybe that's why they've won nine in a row over the Cavs. In their last four meetings, they've been outscored by a combined 121 points - an average of margin of defeat of 30 points.

There's just a huge difference in talent on the two teams. The Bulls have veterans who can play. They score, rebound and defend. The Cavs have a bunch of young players who are still trying to find their way in the NBA. It's not a pretty sight when they play each other.

One of the biggest disappointments to me in the early season has been the play of swingman C.J. Miles. He just hasn't done what I expected him to do. He's shooting just 25 percent from the field in the first two games.

Lauren Holtkamp, the new female official this year, worked the game. She joined Violet Palmer as the league's two female refs.

UP NEXT: The Cavs travel to Milwaukee at 8:30 p.m. Saturday at Bradley Center. 

SF Alonzo Gee (6-6, 219) vs. Luol Deng (6-9, 220)
PF Tristan Thompson (6-9, 235) vs.Carlos Boozer (6-9, 266)
C Anderson Varejao (6-11, 260) vs. Joakim Noah (6-11, 232)
SG Dion Waiters (6-4, 221) vs. Rip Hamilton (6-7, 193)
PG Kyrie Irving (6-3, 191) vs. Kirk Hinrich (6-4, 190) 
Cavs – F Luke Harangody, G Jeremy Pargo
Bulls - G Derrick Rose
Monty McCutchen, Lauren Holtkamp, Courtney Kirkland