Monthly Archives: May 2015


Cavs Press Release Logo



 CLEVELAND, OH – The NBA announced today that Cleveland Cavaliers forward LeBron James has been named to the 2014-15 All-NBA First Team and Cavaliers guard Kyrie Irving has been named to the 2014-15 All-NBA Third Team. James was tied for the NBA-lead with 645 points, receiving all 129 possible First Team votes. The honor marks his ninth overall First Team selection (tied with Larry Bird, Magic Johnson and Oscar Robertson for third-most all-time) and eighth straight. Irving is selected to his first All-NBA team. The All-NBA Teams were chosen by a panel of sportswriters and broadcasters throughout the United States and Canada. The media voted for All-NBA First, Second and Third Teams by position with points awarded on a 5-3-1 basis.

James, a four-time MVP and 11-time NBA All-Star, appeared in 69 games (all starts) for the Cavaliers with averages of 25.3 points (3rd in NBA) on .488 shooting, 6.0 rebounds, 7.4 assists (7th in NBA) and 1.6 steals (18th in NBA) in 36.1 minutes. It was James 11th consecutive season averaging at least 25.0 points per game, which is tied with Karl Malone (1987-88 to 1997-98) and Jerry West (1961-62 to 1971-72) for the most consecutive seasons with at least 25.0 points in NBA history (min. 30 games). James earned the Kia NBA Eastern Conference Player of the Month twice in 2014-15 (February and March), as well as the Player of the Week award three times (week ending Nov. 16, Nov. 30 & Jan. 25). Despite missing 13 games this past season, James was one of only three players in the NBA to tally 1,700 points, 500 assists, 400 rebounds and 100 steals (James Harden, Russell Westbrook) and ranked ninth in the league in plus/minus at +541. The 6-8 forward scored in double figures in all 69 games, increasing his consecutive double-digit scoring streak to 641 (third-longest streak in NBA history). In addition to scoring in double figures every game he appeared in, James had 52 games of at least 20 points, 18 games of at least 30 points and three 40-point outings. He also registered 22 double-doubles and two triple-doubles.

Irving, a three-time NBA All-Star, played in 75 games (all starts) and averaged 21.7 points (9th in NBA) on .468 shooting, 3.2 rebounds, 5.2 assists and 1.5 steals in 36.4 minutes per game. It was his fourth straight season with averages at least 18.0 points, 5.0 assists and 3.0 rebounds per game, becoming the fifth player in league history to accomplish that feat (LeBron James, Oscar Robertson, Grant Hill, Steve Francis). Irving was one of only two players in the NBA to average at least 20.0 points, 5.0 assists and 2.5 or few turnovers per game in 2014-15 (Blake Griffin), as he also shot a career-high .415 from three-point range (8th in NBA) and .863 from the free throw line (18th). The four-year guard made a career-high 157 three-pointers last season, the fourth-most by a Cavs player in a single season. He was a two-time Player of the Week award winner (week ending Feb. 2 and March 15) and scored at least 10 points in 68 games, at least 20 points on 45 occasions, 10 30-point outings and two 50-point outings. Irving had the two highest scoring games by any NBA player in 2014-15 (57 points at San Antonio on 3/12 and 55 points vs. Portland on 1/28), becoming the first player in team history with multiple 55-point games in a season and the first NBA player to do so since Kobe Bryant for the 2006-07 Lakers.

LeBron James and Kyrie Irving Celebrate a Game #5 Win



My thoughts on the Cavaliers Game #1 victory over the Hawks in Atlanta 97-89 in the Eastern Conference Finals.

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JR Smith and LeBron James Podium Postgame vs Hawks Game 1 ECF 5-20-15


KEEP KORVER FROM DIALING LONG DISTANCE – One of the biggest weapons the Hawks have is shooting guard Kyle Korver and his ability to catch, shoot and make a high percentage of 3-pointers. He has struggled in the postseason so far only shooting 35 percent from beyond the arc and the Cavs need to keep him near that number. When he heats up it makes the rest of the Atlanta offense really flow, so Iman Shumpert and J.R. Smith will have to stay in his jersey and not go under screens when it’s their turn to guard Korver on the floor. You also have to be aware of Korver on fast breaks, because he will look to trail and spot up for that transition three.

BANG THE BOARDS – With Timofey Mozgov, Tristan Thompson and LeBron James the Cavaliers should have the advantage with the “BIGS” and win the battle of the boards, especially on the offensive glass. Limiting the Hawks to one shot, while grabbing offensive rebounds themselves should allow the Cavs to capitalize and win the second chance stat category which was HUGE in the Chicago series and can be in this series. Let’s see if the Hawks have anyone who can slow down “Double-T”. The Bulls had no answer for him.

DEFENSE NEEDS TO TRAVEL AGAIN – What won them the Chicago series is what will have to win them this Atlanta series, especially with Kevin Love out and Kyrie Irving and others ailing, and that’s defense. The Cavs are limiting their opponents to just 92.6 points per game in the postseason and holding them to 43.2 percent shooting from the field. Paying attention to Korver from ”3 Country” won’t be the only major challenge on “D” for the Cavs as the Hawks move the ball as well as any team in the league from side-to-side, in and out and with their pace. David Blatt’s team defense will have to be locked in from the opening tip of Game #1 and communicating, rotating and helping on the backside on every possession or the Hawks will pick the Cavs apart. Atlanta is averaging over 25 assists per game in their 12 postseason games.

VALUE THE BALL – The Hawks love to create turnovers and with their athleticism so they can get out and run and chalk up some easy baskets. Atlanta is averaging over 9 steals per game in the playoffs. In their final meeting of the regular season, a Hawks win, LeBron James turned the ball over 9 times. Atlanta blitzed him, trapped him and double teamed him and “The King” admitted that they weren’t really prepared for that. They have to be ready this time, and if the Hawks are that aggressive that means the back door cuts will be there, as will the drive and kick wide open 3-pointers will be there as well. LeBron and company have to be able to read and react to it and make the birds from the ATL pay. LBJ can’t turn it over more than 3 times a game.

UNCLE DREW NEEDS TO GET BUCKETS – A somewhat healthy Kyrie Irving is going to be needed to score points on offense. With his injuries Irving is a major liability on defense and expect the Hawks to exploit that. Whoever Irving is guarding will be a go to guy on offense a lot of the time. With that in mind Kyrie needs to be able to counter that by scoring as many as he gives up. If that means becoming a spot up 3-point shooter and making 90 percent of his free throws because that’s all his body will allow, then so be it. But if Kyrie is going to play 30 to 35 minutes a night his plus/minus needs to be at least a zero.

BENCH BUNCH BE BIG AGAIN – The lift that Matthew Dellavedova, James Jones and J.R. Smith gave the Cavs in the Chicago series was ginormous and needs to be greater in this series.  Delly may be called upon even more against the Hawks late in games to come in and play defense for the ailing Kyrie. David Blatt needs to make sure he goes offense for defense and vice versa whenever the situation calls for it.  Jones ability to knock down triples will help open up the offense and  J.R. needs to be no worse than the team’s 3rd leading scorer in this series. With Thabo Sefelosha out with an injury for the Hawks and with coaches usually shrinking their rotation this time of year, the Cavs need to win the bench battle.

Kyrie Irving Ingame Dribble Closer vs Celtics Game 2



With a healthy LeBron James and his postseason experience, plus if Kyrie Irving can play at close to 80% in all games necessary to win this series, I like the Cavaliers to beat the Hawks in 6 games to advance to the NBA Finals and play the Golden State Warriors for the Larry O’Brien Trophy!


NBA Basketball Close Up

Eastern Conference Finals      –       CLEVELAND vs ATLANTA

Game 1 – Wed  May 20 Cleveland at Atlanta                  8:30PM     TNT/R

Game 2 – Fri  May 22 Cleveland at Atlanta                     8:30PM     TNT/R

Game 3 – Sun  May 24 Atlanta at Cleveland                    8:30PM     TNT/R

Game 4 – Tue  May 26 Atlanta at Cleveland                    8:30PM     TNT/R

Game 5 * Thu  May 28 Cleveland at Atlanta                    8:30PM     TNT/R

Game 6 * Sat  May 30 Atlanta at Cleveland                     8:30PM     TNT/R

Game 7 * Mon  June 1 Cleveland at Atlanta                    8:30PM     TNT/R


The NBA Finals will begin on Thursday, June 4.


Cavs head coach David Blatt answering questions following his team’s 106-101 win over the Bulls in Game #5 of the Eastern Conference Semi-Finals.

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David Blatt Postgame Photo vs Bulls Game 1  -  5-4-15


The Cavs “Dynamic Duo” of LeBron James and Kyrie Irving combined for 63 points in Cleveland’s 106-101 victory over Chicago to give the Cavaliers a 3 games to 2 lead in the Eastern Conference Semi-Finals. Here’s what James (38pts) and Irving (25pts) had to say about the win.

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LeBron James and Kyrie Irving Celebrate a Game #5 Win


LEBRON 30 FOR 30 – With how hampered this team is with injuries, and even though LeBron James is playing with a sore left ankle, “The King” needs to find a way to get the Cavaliers about 30 points per game even if it means taking 30 shots per game over the next two or three games in order for the Cavs to win this series against the Bulls and advance to the Eastern Conference Finals.


DON’T FALL BLATT ON YOUR FACE – Tyronn Lue and LeBron James bailed out the Cavaliers first year head coach in Game #4. Lue with a better tackle than most Browns players made last year on Blatt so he wouldn’t get a technical for calling a time out he didn’t have, and James for telling Blatt to stick his original out of bounds play call where the sun don’t shine and demanding the ball and then delivering the game winning shot. In my opinion, Blatt has failed miserably in Games #1 and #4 in this series and the Cavs are lucky to be tied 2-2 with the Bulls. He has to do a better job of managing the game with time outs, player substitutions, play calls and having a feel for the game. He has to flat out coach better and not have a relapse of what happened in Games #1 and #4.


FIND A SECOND SCORING OPTION – With Kevin Love out for the playoffs and while Kyrie Irving is playing, he’s suffering from two big time injuries that have limited him, so the Cavs need someone to step up and be that #2 scorer. For three games it was Iman Shumpert who filled the void, averaging over 18 points per game, but he ended up suffering an injury in this series and is also playing hurt and it has affected his ability to score. So now it’s time for either J.R. Smith or Timofey Mozgov to rise to the occasion and become the second offensive weapon the Cavaliers need in the remaining two or three games is series.


GET TO THE FREE THROW LINE – Cleveland is struggling on offense right now, so the Cavs have to be the aggressor, attack the rim, and force the officials, as horrible as they’ve been, to have to make a call. This way you get a chance at two uncontested shots to put points on the board. Also the more aggressive you are, the better chance you have of getting into the bonus early and that could be a major plus, since as a team the Cavaliers are shooting 86% from the charity stripe in this series so far.


BOARD DOMINATION – This one is real simple. Led by LeBron, Tristan Thompson, Timofey Mozgov and whoever else, the Cavaliers must dominate the boards and win the offensive and defensive rebounding battle the rest of this series. They must limit the Bulls second chance opportunities and create as many second chance opportunities for themselves to score easy buckets.


VALUE THE BALL – While the entire team must focus on this stat, it is imperative that LeBron James take it to heart and cut his turnovers per game in this series in half. LBJ is averaging nearly 6 turnovers per contest against the Bulls. That number has to come down to 3 or maybe 4 at the most.  James needs to protect the ball better when Jimmy Butler is up on him defensively and not make so many lazy passes.


DEFENSE – Another simple one, but it is “Mucho Importante”!  With how bad the Cavs offense has been, the reason they are tied 2-2 in this series with the Bulls is because of their defense. The Bulls are not a good shooting team and the more pressure you apply on the defensive end, the worse they become at trying to put the ball in the basket. So ratchet up your defense in Games # 5,# 6 and if necessary Game #7, and you’re your chances of winning that game, and the series increase dramatically.


SHOT SELECTION – The Cavs are shooting far too many 3’s in this series. I know all season they have been a team that feasts on the 3-pointer, but against a good defensive team like the Bulls who are trying to take away that shot, or at least challenge every one of them, you might want to try and dial it back a bit. The Cavs are shooting 28 treys a game, but only making 34% of them and LeBron’s percentage is at a season low 10% from 3-point country. Attack the basket more and get fouled, and to my earlier point, take advantage of scoring points at the free throw line where you are shooting 86% as a team and LeBron is hitting 85% of his freebies.




My thoughts on the Cavaliers 99-96 loss to the Bulls in Game #3 of the Eastern Conference Semi-Finals in Chicago.

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Tristan Thompson Reaction Shot Game 3 vs Bulls



Saw this stat last night on either ESPN or TNT that I found very interesting and impressive, LeBron James recorded his 50th career playoff game with at least 30 points, five rebounds and five assist last night. The only player with more is Michael Jordan.

LeBron James’ 29 shot attempts Wednesday represented more than he has taken in any playoff game since he was with the Cavs in 2009. LeBron knew that and even talked        about it in his postgame press conference, mentioning it to Kyrie Irving and guess what;   the Cavs needed him to take every one of those shots because they needed him to be          aggressive because they were playing without Kevin Love and J.R. Smith.

It should come as no surprise that the Cavaliers played with more intensity and energy in Game #2 with LeBron James being more aggressive and the “Energizer Bunny” Tristan  Thompson in the starting lineup. Oh yeah, and let’s not forget about the return of the      headband! Superman has his cape, LeBron has his headband!

The last time LeBron James wore his headband before Wednesday night was on March 7 versus Phoenix at The Q. When I asked LeBron in the postgame press conference why he wore the headband he told me, “It was time for a comeback.”

Now, what are the next moves, adjustments for Cavaliers Coach David Blatt and a Bulls   coach Tom Thibodeau? Thibs was already working the officials in the post-game interview last night about Derrick Rose not having any free throws in the first two games and going back to game six against the Bucks. I’m Curious to see if Tom Thibodeau will make a lineup change with Joakim Noah or if he leaves him in to start the game, but plays him less   and less because Noah has been a non-factor in the series through two games.

David Blatt has some potential decisions to make with his line up too. J.R. Smith is           coming back from his two game suspension. Does he start him or bring him off the           bench? That decision could be made for him if Iman Shumpert’s groin injury is serious     enough to force him to miss Game #3. But if Shump can go, then what does Blatt do?     Either way James Jones and Kendrick Perkins did enough in Game #2 to earn more        playing time for the rest of this series.

A good sign for Cavs head coach David Blatt is, after his terrible decisions in Game #1 on the starting lineup, his timeouts and how to play the pick and roll, he made excellent       adjustments in Game #2. LeBron and Kyrie only played 34 minutes each in Game #2, but both looked totally drained, physically and mentally after the Cavs win. I’m anxious to see how Irving and James come out and play in Game #3 after such a taxing Game #2 on     their bodies and their minds.

Timofey Mosgov did not play well in Game #2 from this standpoint, he missed two dunks, his hands need a lot of work as he dropped a number of passes and rebounds. He needs   to hit the weights in the off-season and work on his hand-eye coordination.

When you sit back and really think about it it’s pretty impressive what the Cavs have        done. They lost Anderson Varejao to a season ending injury. They lost Kevin Love to a      postseason ending injury on a cheap shot by Kelly Olynyk. J.R. Smith was suspended for  two games. Now Iman Shumpert has a groin injury and may or may not play in Game #3and the other games moving forward. Yet the Cavs continue to overcome the adversity,    push forward, and just win. “Next Man Up” is indeed the motto of this team. They are not just saying that, they’re actually doing it!

If I am David Blatt and Iman Shumpert is 60 to 100 percent healthy and able to play, I    stay with him in the starting lineup and bring J.R. Smith off the bench. If Shumpert is 50 percent or less, then I start Smith and bring Iman off the bench or rest him for a game if he needs it.

The thing I’m most interested in with these Cavs is this:  After winning Game #2, how do  they create that same desperate, aggressive attitude/approach that the team played with  in Game #2, and duplicate it for Game #3 in Chicago on Friday night in front of a hostile crowd? It’s easy to do after a loss because your backs are against the wall, but where do you find it mentally to play that way after a lopsided win?



Here’s what Cavs head coach David Blatt had to say following his team’s 106-91 Game #2 win over the Bulls to even the series at one win apiece heading into Friday’s game #3 in Chicago.

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David Blatt Postgame Intv Bulls Game 2