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

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Game 1: Nets at Cavs

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

WHAT HAPPENED: The Cavs turned Andrew Bynum loose. Well, for about 8 minutes, any way. They Cavs are being very cautious with the 7-footer. They want him to be ready once the playoffs start.

Coach Mike Brown said he could sit him for 3 straight games at times. He wants him fully healthy in the postseason. The Cavs could make a nice run in the playoffs with a big man of that caliber.

I can't want to see him play again. He had just 3 points and 3 rebounds on Wednesday. Hopefully, he can play 15 minutes or so on Friday. We'll have to see how he feels when he gets up tomorrow morning.

The Nets came into the game with gaudy expectations. With the amount of luxury tax they are going to be paying, they better have high expectations. It's not a team that will likely get out of the Eastern Conference, however. I think I have them ranked fourth in the East.

But they are still a dangerous and solid team. Brown said they have six or seven former All-Stars on the roster. I counted six, but they have really bulked up their roster. With Kevin Garnett and Paul Pierce, they know how to play. Brook Lopez will never be a major force on the boards, but he can score. He's so long. I'd take him in a second.

The Cavs played so hard in this game. I also have a belief in Brown that he's going to get it done. The Cavs blew so many games last year when they had the lead in crunch time, only to cough it up at the end. Those kinds of things might not happen this season, and it's because of Brown. 

There are a couple plays I want to bring up. The first is late in the game and the Nets called time out to set up a play. They cleared out for Joe Johnson, a behemoth at 6-7, 240, who was designed to overpower Dion Waiters. Only problem was, Waiters bellied up to him and Johnson couldn't get around him. Johnson kicked it out to Paul Pierce, who missed a 19-footer.

Also, in the fourth quarter, one of the Cavs got their hand on the ball. Before you know it, players are diving from all angles on the floor. Finally, Kyrie Irving got his hands on it and called timeout. Big turnover for the Cavs.

And then we come to rookie forward Anthony Bennett. He checks into the game, barely gets down the floor, and what does he do? He launches a 3, of course. This kid loves taking 3-pointers. He had like 5 rebounds, so I'm not going to criticize.

UP NEXT: The Cavs travel to Charlotte at 7 p.m. Friday at Time Warner Cable Arena.

SF Earl Clark (6-10, 235) vs. Paul Pierce (6-7, 235)
PF Tristan Thompson (6-9, 236) vs. Kevin Garnett (6-11, 253)
C Anderson Varejao (6-11, 267) vs. Brook Lopez (7-0, 275)
SG Dion Waiters (6-4, 225) vs. Joe Johnson (6-7, 240)
PG Kyrie Irving (6-3, 193) vs. Deron Williams (6-3, 209)
Cavs - G/F Sergey Karasev, G Carrick Felix
Nets - F Andrei Kirilenko, F Tornike Shengelia
Ron Garretson, Olandis Poole, Zach Zarba

Monday, October 28, 2013

Pepsi MAX & Kyrie Irving Present: "Uncle Drew: Chapter 3"

Thursday, October 24, 2013

Bobcats 105, Cavs 92

at Time Warner Cable Arena in Charlotte

In the early part of the game, Cavs coach Mike Brown used what was going to be his rotation in a regular season game. Of course, he has six injured players that will eventually work their way into his rotation.

Alonzo Gee never got off the bench, which could be something that happens from time to time if Earl Clark wins the starting small forward job. He had his best game of the preseason with 12 points and three rebounds.

C.J. Miles might get the backup minutes once he's healthy. He missed the game with an injured right calf. He missed the last two preseason games.

The Bobcats used their regulars in the fourth quarter. They wanted to win this game. It's time to get your regulars ready for real action.

Cavs guard Kyrie Irving had 20 points and five rebounds. Dion Waiters started for the Cavs at shooting guard, but was held out of the second half after playing 15 minutes.

Some other observations:
--I was impressed with Bobcats power forward Cody Zeller, younger brother of Cavs center Tyler Zeller. The rookie had 13 points and eight rebounds. He's fundamentally strong and has skills, perhaps more than his older brothers.
-- Bobcats small forward Michael Kidd-Gilchrist was held out of the second half with a hamstring injury.
--Cavs backup center Henry Sims didn't shoot the ball well, but pulled down eight rebounds. He's likely going to make the team.
--The real games start on Wednesday when the Cavs host Brooklyn in the regular season opener at Quicken Loans Arena. The Cavs have several days to hone their skills. Ready of not, it's coming.

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Wizards 101, Cavs 82

at U.S. Bank Arena in Cincinnati

The Cavaliers looked very good in the first half and led, 53-41, at halftime. Things changed in the second half when the Cavs were outscored, 60-29.

The following are some observations from the game:
--Six key players were held out of the game by the Cavs. Coach Mike Brown said he was just resting Dion Waiters in Columbus on Tuesday. It turns out he has an ankle injury. He said he'd be back by the home opener on Oct. 30.
--C.J. Miles was also held out of the game. He started in the Columbus game. Is his sore left leg acting up? Who knows?
--Jarrett Jack made his first start of the preseason against the Wizards. He had five points and five assists in the first half. Brown sat him in the second half. He needs to get in some kind of rhythm at some point. His preseason has been a washout thus far. He missed four games with an inflamed knee. He's going to play a key role for the Cavs. He needs to get some momentum for the start of the season.
--One person who is ready for the regular season is power forward Tristan Thompson, who had 17 points and 14 rebounds in 27 minutes. He has averaged 15 rebounds in his last two games.
--I know everyone is raving about Matthew Dellavedova, but he continues to turn the ball over at an alarming rate. He had 6 turnovers on Wednesday. I'm not sure how he's going to hold up against teams that put tight pressure on him.
--Wizards power forward Al Harrington started his team's comeback and finished with 17 points and seven rebounds. He could be a good addition to Randy Wittman's club.
--I've got to tell you, Wizards shooting guard Bradley Beal looks like a different player. He's shooting the ball with confidence and had a game-high 21 points.
--This is a team that will battle for a playoff spot, along with the Cavs. Not much is separating the two teams, other than perhaps coaching.
--The Cavs have their first back-to-back set on Thursday in Charlotte. The Cavs need a win to finish above .500 in the preseason.

Monday, October 21, 2013

Cavs 104, 76ers 93

at Value City Arena in Columbus

The Cavs will spend the night in Columbus and travel by bus to Cincinnati on Tuesday. They will practice at Xavier University on Tuesday. They play Washington on Wednesday at U.S. Bank Arena.

They have just two preseason games remaining. Thank goodness. I'm ready for the regular season to begin, as are most of the players.

The following are some observations from the sixth preseason game:

--Kyrie Irving played very well in 29 minutes. He scored 17 points and dished out 12 assists. He did commit five turnovers and has 17 in his last three games.
--Irving has at least one block in five of the six preseason games. He has reached double figures in scoring in every game during the preseason. He's ready for an All-Star season.
--The Cavs had 30 assists on 38 field goals. In the first quarter, they had nine assists on 12 field goals. "That's not a bad job of moving the basketball," Coach Mike Brown said.
--Looking at this Philadelphia team, it's going to bad, really bad. I'm thinking like 15 victories.
--Sixers guard/forward Evan Turner was happy to return to Ohio State. "I have great memories here," he said. "I met some great people here, some of my best friends. I own a house in Ohio. that tells you how I feel about it."

Saturday, October 19, 2013

Pacers 102, Cavs 79

at Quicken Loans Arena

The Cavaliers were hanging around in this game. The turning point came when Coach Mike Brown went to his bench in the third quarter. At that point, things unraveled.

The following are some observations from Saturday's game:

--Other than Anthony Bennett, who recorded his first double-double, few of the reserves did much of anything. Bennett ended with 11 points and 10 rebounds.
--Say what you want about rookie point guard Matthew Dellavedova, but he can run a team. He dished out five assists on Saturday..
--Small forward Alonzo Gee had his best game of the preseason with nine points and three rebounds. He was active. He's in a major battle with Earl Clark for the starting job.
--Clark wasn't nearly as good as he was on Thursday. He ended with four points, two rebounds, two blocks and one steal.
--The Cavs were really bad from the 3-point line (3 of 21). The Pacers were No. 1 in the league in opponent's 3-point defense.
--Swingman C.J. Miles (sore left leg) said before the game he was ready to play. However, he never got off the bench.
--Former Cavs point guard Donald Sloan looks like he'll make the Pacers' roster. He had one point and two assists in 7 minutes.

Thursday, October 17, 2013

Cavs 96, Pistons 84

at Quicken Loans Arena

The Cavs played well defensively in the second half, holding the Pistons to 28.6 percent shooting from the field, and 38.7 percent for the game. That's the first thing Coach Mike Brown looks at.

The following are some observations from Thursday's game:
--Kyrie Irving said he didn't struggle in the first half (his only field goal was a 3 at the buzzer). "I didn't struggle offensively," he said. "I was trying to get everyone else the ball."
--Poor Jermaine Taylor. He's playing his butt off right now, especially against the Pistons when he scored 15 points. He's facing long odds of making the team. I can't squeeze him on right now unless they get rid of either Matthew Dellavedova or Carrick Felix - and that's not happening.
--By the way, what's up with the PA announcer just calling Dellavedova "Delly?"
--Pistons first round pick Kentavious Caldwell-Pope is certainly long, if nothing else. He's very active, but can't shoot the ball a lick. He was 1 of 7 on Thursday.
--Brown said he won't make any cuts in the near future. They have a stretch of four games in five nights next week. They need all the bodies they can get, especially with so many guys banged up.
--Andrew Bynum sure seems to be close to getting on the court with the regulars. Maybe I'm getting ahead of myself, but he looks good in the few minutes I've seen him.

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Bobcats 92, Cavs 74

at Canton Memorial Civic Center

Cavs coach Mike Brown said he liked Tuesday's game better than their come-from-behind win over Orlando last Friday. On the surface, that sounds absurd, but he loved the way the end-of-the-roster players fought in the fourth quarter.

Some observations from Tuesday's game:
--I'm thinking now that Henry Sims might earn the final roster spot over Kenny Kadji and DeSagana Diop. Sims is a legit center, whereas Kadji is more of a power forward. Diop is no longer a viable NBA player.
--I'm trying to give Earl Clark the benefit of the doubt. However, he's just not getting the job done in my eyes. He's shooting 23.8 percent from the field. He's not very gifted offensively. Neither is Alonzo Gee, however. Right now, C.J. Miles is playing better than all of them. Brown said that Clark is pressing because he doesn't know the offense yet.
--Andrew Bynum was sitting outside the press room when I got to the Civic Center. Well, he looks good.
--Matthew Dellavedova had seven points, seven assists and three rebounds in a backup role. He was forced to play 24 minutes with Jarrett Jack sidelined for up to 10 days.
--Like everyone else, I was excited about Michael Kidd-Gilchrist coming out of Kentucky in 2012. However, he shot looks broken. I'm not sure it can be fixed.

Friday, October 11, 2013

Cavs 110, Magic 105

CAVALIERS (2-0) 110, MAGIC (0-2) 105
at Amway Center

Some observations from the Cavs' preseason win in Orlando on Friday:
-- The Cavs trailed by 18 points and really looked like they were running in mud in the first half. The Magic shot 59 percent from the field in the first half. I would have loved to be a fly on the wall in the locker room at halftime. Coach Mike Brown had to be irate.
-- The game was won with the huge comeback in the second half. Brown yanked his starters and went with the lineup of Anthony Bennett, Henry Sims, Carrick Felix, Sergey Karasev and Matthew Dellavedova down the stretch. They were fun to watch.
-- Bennett, the Cavs' No. 1 overall pick from UNLV, has been under fire for his lack of conditioning. He was outstanding in the second half, more specifically in the fourth quarter. He ended with 16 points and four rebounds. He was unstoppable in the fourth. He's still not in tip-top shape, but you can see what the Cavs saw in him to make him the first overall pick. Once he gets in shape, he could take his game to a new height. He was driven on Friday.
-- Guard Dion Waiters looked very good with a game-high 21 points. He was 8 of 13 from the field, a very efficient performance.
-- Center DeSagana Diop didn't play. He's not long for the team, regardless of Andrew Bynum's knees. It appears to be a battle between Sims and Kenny Kadji for the last roster spot.
-- I like what I saw from Orlando guard Victor Oladipo, the No. 2 overall pick. He is now a point guard after being a "2" at Indiana. He had a team-high 18 points.