Posts Tagged ‘cleveland cavaliers’

  1. With all the news that made the rounds this week, the best was undoubtedly the fact that Cleveland Browns team president Alec Scheiner will be stepping down on March 31st. Scheiner was supposedly in charge of the business decisions and oversaw the recent renovations to the stadium, but for some reason he needed to be included in how to conduct film study, which was baffling to say the least. Scheiner was also one of the many behind the scene voices demanding that the undersized frat boy got on the field, regardless or not if he was ready.

 

  1. Speaking of the spoiled, undersized frat boy, he was in Vegas this weekend taking in the UFC fights and who was with him, none other than the Browns other often troubled player, wide-receiver Josh Gordon.

 

  1. Gordon, currently suspended by the NFL due to drugs, is trying to regain the Browns trust. While he hasn’t had any mishaps during his current time away, hanging with the troubled quarterback should be the last thing on his priority list. Gordon, unlike the frat boy, doesn’t come from oil money and needs NFL paychecks to live the life of luxury he so desires.

josh-gordon-porsche-panamera

 

  1. Is anyone else growing tired of the cryptic messages Lebron James continues to tweet out?

 

  1. I mean, just say what you mean already or just stay silent. All this does is bring unwanted and unneeded attention to an underachieving team that consistently plays to the level of their opposition while finishing 2-5 against the Warriors, Spurs, and Raptors.

 

  1. Speaking of the Cavaliers and Lebron, maybe being the underdog is just what they need. Then again, they were the underdog against the Spurs in 2007 and against the Warriors last year after Kyrie went down and we all know how those series turned out, with both winning the deciding game at the Q. Ouch.

spurs warriors

 

  1. Spring training has begun which means baseball season is right around the corner. Opening day is less than a month away as the Indians will take on the Boston Red Sox. The pitching matchup will be fantastic with former Cy Young winners facing off in Cleveland’s Korey “KluBot” Kluber taking on David Price. Sure the Tribe didn’t sign a major name to help with its lack of power in the lineup, but I, for one, am looking forward to the development of shortstop Francisco Lindor, who just missed out on being named the American League rookie of the year last season. Lindor is a future star that the city will no doubt get behind.

 

  1. It will take some longer than others when it comes to watching soccer, but it is growing significantly both in terms of involvement and television ratings. And why wouldn’t it be? With all the rule changes, player antics, as well as 2.5-3.5 hours of game time from the “Big 3” sports, soccer games last a mere 2 hours and provide plenty of excitement. Plus there is a major league team just two hours away from us. Pipo Higuain, who plays for the nearby Columbus Crew, had the early contender for goal of the year on the season’s opening day!

 

  1. Sure there was a big time UFC pay-per-view this weekend, but let’s not forget about the great knockouts that boxing provides. Here’s what this weekend brought us in the squared circle of the “sweet science.”

 

 

 

 

  1. Speaking of boxing, on this day, March 6th in 1976, future Hall of Famer Wilfred Benitez became the youngest World Champion in history at just 17 years old when he defeated Antonio Cervantes for the WBA Super Lightweight championship of the World.
  1. Also on this day in boxing history, Pernell “Sweet Pea” Whitaker became the WBC Welterweight Champion of the World after defeating James Buddy McGirt in 1993.

 

  1. Speaking of Pernell Whitaker, he will be one of many retired boxers that will be in attendance during the Boxing Hall of Fame induction weekend June 9th thru the 12th. If you have never been, I recommend taking the easy drive to Canastota, NY. You can find all the information you need here: http://www.ibhof.com/index.html

 

  1. Living in northeast Ohio, I try to take advantage of every clear and warm day. I came across this waterfall right by my house in South Lorain just last week. Never knew one was so close.

waterfall

Like many Cleveland fans, I fell into the category of “hater” regarding Stephen Curry of the Golden State Warriors. “Why is that,” you ask?

Could it be his cocky demeanor?

cocky 

Or the trash talk? And no, I don’t want to “read the whole quote.”

http://www.slamonline.com/nba/stephen-curry-hopes-locker-room-in-cleveland-still-smells-like-champagne/#k7t6IhcmtBg9GjX0.97

What about the halfway out mouthpiece?

mouthpiece

Or the shimmy in front of an opponents bench?

How about the fact that because of him, the Cavaliers chances of bringing a championship to Cleveland after over a 50 year drought seems to be diminishing with every effortless 30 foot three point attempt that barely grazes iron.

Notice I said, “fell” in the first sentence of this column. As I sat and watched the Warriors come-from-behind win over the Oklahoma City Thunder last Saturday, I subconsciously started rooting for Curry. After making the game winning basket on this incredible shot, I quietly said to myself, “Good Lord, this dude is amazing.”

 

 

After a short moment of silence, it hit me. I thought about what makes sports great and why I would rather watch a Sun Belt Conference football game on a Thursday night then a political debate in the middle of a Presidential race. The answer is quite simple; the opportunity to witness greatness. Stephen Curry is a “once in a generation” type of player.

Ever since Michael Jordan retired, we’ve longed for the next “Airness.” First it was Grant Hill, then Harold Minor, then Kobe Bryant, then LeBron James. All were compared to the GOAT, but none could duplicate his aura.

Curry’s game is a complete 180 degree circle from the gravity defying moves that made Jordan seem like he was from another planet. Maybe we were just well-wishing because there will likely never be another Jordan.

Curry is different. No one ever compared him or his game to Jordan’s. He’s already the best shooter to ever play. Honestly, have you ever seen anything like it? The same things we said about Jordan when he made jaw dropping dunks, reverse layups, or hung in the air for what seemed like an eternity, are now being said every time Curry hoists a shot from well behind the three point line.

And Curry and the Warriors have the look of a dynasty, just like Chicago in the ‘90’s. When Jordan and the Bulls won their first title, everyone knew they were just getting started. Well, here is Curry, fresh off his first title with the Warriors, and no one is expecting anything different this season.

Don’t let the hate consume you, and I know that’s tough for Clevelanders, but we are witnessing what we all long for as sports fans. Sit back, drink your favorite beverage, and enjoy the ride, even at the behest of another year without a Championship in Cleveland. But hey, we’re used to things just not going our way. The last time the Cavaliers had a legit shot at an NBA Championship, we were stumped by the greatest player ever, now we are being stumped by the greatest shooter ever.

1. In last week’s column I wrote that the Cavaliers would bring the city Cleveland its first championship in 50 years. I should of prefaced that by adding, ‘barring injury.’ Now that Kevin Love is done for what appears to be the remainder of the season, the Cavs will more than likely get beaten by the Chicago Bulls in the next round (Yes, the Bulls will get by the Bucks). Fans and media alike have ‘loved’ to pile on Love this season unnecessarily, as those that truly understand the game of basketball were aware of his importance and what his role was with this team.  In his absence, the Cavaliers won’t be able to space the floor as they had been doing, and the open lanes that LeBron James and Kyrie Irving had been accustomed to will be gone. Tristan Thompson was valuable in his role coming off the bench, but his flaws will become much more glaring now that he will be forced to play more minutes. To use a phrase that my former colleague Kenny Roda coined long ago, OIC (only in Cleveland).

2. It’s truly a shame that Kevin Love was taken out by a dude that cannot even grow facial hair, instead opting for the peach fuzz look. In hockey there’s a term for mediocre players that are just put on the ice to get physical with the opposition. They’re called a goon. That’s exactly what Kelly Olynyk is. There’s a difference between setting a hard screen with a push like what Kendrick Perkins did to Jae Crowder and putting a guy in an arm bar and pulling his shoulder out of its socket. Truly a bush league play.

Cavaliers Celtics Basketball

3. For those that are worried about reigning American League Cy Young award winner, Corey Kluber, don’t be. Kluber AKA Klubot will be just fine. Here is a look at his numbers from last April compared to this April.

2014: 2 W, 3 L, 37 IP, 35 K, 10 BB, 2 HR allowed, 4.14 ERA, 1.51 WHIP

2015: 0 W, 3 L, 34 IP, 36 K, 7 BB, 2 HR allowed, 4.24 ERA, 1.26 WHIP

Nearly an identical start from last season, look for Kluber to start dominating hitters in the near future and hopefully the Tribe will start giving him some run support.

4. One player who could help the Indians with their hitting woes is their top prospect, Francisco Lindor. Current starting shortstop Jose Ramirez is hitting a paltry .186 and the Indians as a team are hitting just .234 which is third worst in the American League. Lindor recently went on a 10-16 stretch and appears to have come out of his own early season slump. He’s hit safely in 10 of his last 14 games. The time is right for Lindor to get promoted to the ‘Big Show.’

5. The NFL draft is here which means it’s the time of year that the Cleveland Browns usually waste their picks on garbage players. There’s a report that the Browns are attempting to move up in the draft to take Oregon quarterback Marcus Marriota. That would be a mistake. The reigning Heisman Trophy winner was a great college quarterback, but his talents favor that game, not of the NFL variety. Marriota ran an up-tempo, no huddle, spread option offense taking snaps from the shotgun in college. In the NFL he will be huddling every play, taking snaps from under center, and won’t be able to leave the pocket as frequently as he did at Oregon. He was also injury prone, and while he was never hurt in a major way, that’s sure to change when he’s hit game in and game out by NFL players. This guy has bust written all over him.

6. A lot of Browns fans want to take a wide receiver in the first round. This is another foolish option. The rules in the NFL so highly favor receivers now that an average receiver can be a good receiver while a good receiver can become a great receiver. This was proven just last year when two of the Browns undersized receivers (Andrew Hawkins & Taylor Gabriel) both had successful seasons and proved that they could make plays despite their physical appearance.  There are an abundance of receivers in the college game nowadays that enter the NFL much more ready than previously due to the spread offenses that are being run. The Browns shouldn’t take a receiver in the first or second round when they can still find value in that position later in the draft. It would be a waste of a pick to do so early. Besides, take a look at this years Super Bowl combatants. Neither the Patriots nor the Seahawks have what you would call a playmaking wide receiver. The fact is, you don’t need one to succeed in this day’s NFL. If the Browns are smart (a HUGE if there) and stay where they’re currently sloted to pick in the first round (numbers 12 and 19) they should get NT Danny Shelton, who should be there for them at twelve and if DE Shane Ray falls to them at 19, they should run to the podium and take him.

7. Speaking of Shane Ray, yeah I know he just got pulled over and the officer found weed on him. So what? Marijuana is now legal in over 30 states and will soon be legal in all 50. The majority of NFL players smoke it and it’s really not a big deal. Hell, I’m sure more than half the people reading this column are doing so while puffing on a joint right now. If Ray were a QB, that would be different. You don’t want your quarterback smoking out. But a defensive player that partakes is fine by me. There have been plenty of NFL players that were busted for weed that were among the games elite. Ray has the talent to be among the best DE’s in the league and if other GM’s are afraid to draft him, hopefully Browns GM Ray Farmer won’t be.

8. Another name being thrown out there for the Browns is running back Todd Gurley. That is an absolute joke. If the Browns would draft him, or any other RB in the first or second round, I would seriously consider jumping off the 480 bridge. The NFL is a passing league. The rules are set up for the quarterbacks and receivers to succeed. Running backs are a dime a dozen. There are no ‘featured’ backs anymore with the exception of maybe a few guys. Nearly every team has a RB by committee approach and the Browns should be no different. Why should the browns take a RB that may carry the ball 10-15 times a game in the first or second round? That makes absolutely no sense! And I didn’t even get into the fact that Gurley was hurt twice getting hit by pimple faced college kids. What’s going to happen when he gets hit by grown men? I’ll pass on that option. Besides, the Browns already have two young running backs that complement each other very well.

9. It’s fight week for one of the most anticipated boxing matches in years. Floyd Mayweather is taking on Manny Pacquiao in a fight that is five years in the making. Some people are discouraged that the fight took so long to take place but the fact of the matter is that the fight will be much more competitive and entertaining now then it would have been had they fought five years ago. Mayweather is a defensive wizard, and he’s spent the majority of his career as a ‘hit and not get hit’ defensive minded fighter. Many of his fights have been lackluster due to the fact that he has simply outboxed his foes with tremendous hand speed and perfect foot work to escape without taking any real damage. Mayweather would have taken Pacquiao to school five years ago. Now though, Mayweather isn’t as fleet a foot as he once was and has taken more and more punches in the ring over the last two years. Pacquiao still has that blazing hand speed and with his non stop aggression and constant punches coming from a variety of angles, has a chance to land some shots on Mayweather. I don’t anticipate an upset here (Mayweather is a heavy betting favorite in Vegas) but I do think these two will offer an entertaining fight that will give the fans their money’s worth ($99 on PPV).

10. My dude Casey Kulas has made it official. It’s the ‘Summer of Brisket!’

I’m up for the challenge. If you start to smell the smoke in South Lorain, just follow your nose to La Casa De Castro. I’ll probably have enough to share.

11. There are just 126 days until the college football season begins! Pre-order the Phil Steele College Football Preview aka the College football Bible here:

https://www.philsteele.com/store/

12. Shoe pick of the week. I don’t have these but word on the street is these are the shoes that Manny Pacquiao will be wearing during the Mayweather fight.

pac shoes

13. I know most of you reading this don’t like soccer but so what. This is my column and I do. The Columbus Crew are on fire as they’ve outscored their last two opponents by a 7-1 margin! That’s like 118-3 if you were watching football lol. Oh and Kei Kamara is tied for the lead with the most goals in the MLS this season!

1. Now that the NBA playoffs have started I’ll make my prediction. Those that know me personally can vouch I’ve said this well before the playoffs even started but now I’ll put it down on my column. The Cleveland Cavaliers will win the NBA Finals, ending the city’s 50 years Championship drought, and Kyrie Irving will be named the Finals MVP.

2. Speaking of the NBA playoffs, assuming the Chicago Bulls get by the Milwaukee Bucks, they’ll be next for the Cavaliers. Here’s to hoping D-Rose stays healthy. I, for one, believe the Bulls are a better team WITHOUT Rose. Give me more Rose and less Jimmy Butler. It Just makes the series that much easier for my Cavaliers.

3. Speaking of the Bulls, the series with the Cavs should be fun. We all know how Joakim Noah feels about the City of Cleveland, but do you know what he thinks of LeBron? Well, see for yourself.

 

4. The mega fight between Floyd Mayweather and Manny Pacquiao is less than two weeks away. Boxers usually walk to the ring with a hype song to get them fired up, however, Pacquiao is going to extreme measures with his ring entrance song. He actually recorded his own song to enter to. Chances are you’ve never heard of it, but lucky for you, I’ve got your back. Check it.

Not my idea of a hype song to say the least. If I was advising Pacquiao, I’d have him enter to something a bit more up-tempo. Something like this.

At least there’s an Ivan Drago reference in my pick.

5. Speaking of the fight, Mayweather is rumored to be making north of $100 million for this fight! ‘Money May’ is already the highest paid athlete in the world and when you have that much money and can have pretty much anything you want, you start purchasing silly things. Case in point. Mayweather has a $25,000 mouthpiece that has actual $100 bills sealed on the inside. Crazy, right? Here’s a look at a few of them.

mouthpiece

6. Recently I was home during the week in the middle of the day and did what any normal American would do when at home during normal business hours. “What’s that, you ask?” Watch The Price is Right of course. Now I have immense pride in Cleveland, the city I was born in, but even I had to question this. Either Cleveland is truly blowing up, or The Price is Right is on the decline. Get this. One of the prizes on the ‘Showcase Showdown’ was a trip to Cleveland with tickets for the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame! I’m not making this up just to get a laugh either, and yes, you read that correctly. I’ll repeat. One of the prizes on the ‘Showcase Showdown’ was a trip to Cleveland with tickets for the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame! I’m not talking about one of the prizes that everyone bids on beforehand, now. I’m talking about one of the grand prizes at the end of the show! My jaw is still dropped from that moment lol. I love my city, but even I know that a trip to my hometown shouldn’t be a prize worthy enough for a ‘Showcase Showdown.’ Or am I missing the boat on this one? Cleveland family, feel free to share your thoughts.

7. Got a case of the Monday blues? I’ve got just the answer to wake you up and get you ready to accomplish damn near anything after a party filled weekend. Listen to ‘Pitbull.’ Here’s one such song that should fill your Monday with a little joy.

 

8. I love Spring, mostly because that means winter is over, but I also love spring because of what it brings. No, I’m not talking about the rain or the flowers that begin to bloom. I’m talking about the Aut-O-Rama drive-in movie theatre and the Dog n Suds drive-in restaurant. I’m a sucker for history and how simple things used to be.

dog and suds

9. One of my favorite shows growing up was the Dukes of Hazzard so I was saddened by the passing of Roscoe P. Coltrane. How can you not be entertained by this sheriff.

 

10. If you haven’t seen ‘The Gambler’ starring Mark Wahlberg, don’t even waste your time.

Yes, the trailer makes this movie look good, but just believe me. It’s not.

11. If you’re anything like me, you miss the sound of real Hip-Hop. Today’s version of the genre is horrid, so I was beyond excited to learn that De La Soul was coming out with a new album.

https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/1519102394/de-la-souls-new-album/widget/video.html

12. The College football season is just 135 days away!

13. I picked up a new pair of shoes recently. Here is the latest addition to my addiction.

adidas-supercolor-26

AP

AP


The Cleveland Cavaliers search for a head coach is still ongoing as the NBA draft is quickly approaching on June 26th. Cavaliers owner Dan Gilbert prefers a defensive minded head coach, while general manager Chris Grant prefers one that focuses more attention on the offensive side of the ball.

The perfect solution would be former Golden State Warriors head coach and current ESPN analyst Mark Jackson. Jackson’s primary focus is on the defense, but it’s a type of defense that leads to fast break scoring opportunities on the offensive end of the floor.

Jackson was let go by the Warriors this year despite leading them to 51 wins in a tough Western Conference, which was their most wins since the 1991-’92 season. They won 47 games last year and you have to go back all the way to the mid seventies to find a Warriors team that had won at least 47 games in back to back seasons!

Prior to the so called “Chosen One” being drafted, the last time the Cavaliers had at least that many wins in back to back years was the early nineties.

Jackson’s Warrior teams improved on a number of offensive categories each season he was at the helm including field goals made and attempted, FG%, offensive rebounds, assists, and most importantly points.

You have to go all the way back to the 1992-’93 season to find a Cavaliers team that averaged more than the 104.3 points/gm that the Warriors averaged this past season.

Defensively, the Warriors’ improved their defensive rebounds, opponents field goals made, FG%, assists, and points/gm each year under Jackson. The 99.5 ppg allowed this season was the best for the Warriors since the 2003-’04 season.

The last time the Cavaliers defense allowed less than 100 ppg was 2009-’10.
Jackson would give the Cavaliers a young coach the players would respect, while also commanding a physical type of play that a blue collar town and fan base in Cleveland would appreciate.

The trio of Stephen Curry, Klay Thompson, and David Lee flourished under the tutelage of Jackson and I’d love to see how Irving, Waiters, Bennett and the 2014 number one overall pick would develop.

It’s clear that Irving and Waiters need to learn how to complement one another. If they gel, I can see them playing like the tandem of John Wall and Bradley Beale in Washington.

Get Mark Jackson here. He’s a proven winner as a player and a coach, and he is the perfect fit on both sides of the floor that the Cavaliers desperately need.

Cleveland Cavaliers forward Antawn Jamison has a fractured left pinkie finger that will require surgery and will force him to miss the next five to seven weeks.  The injury could cost Jamison the remainder of the season as the Cavs have just over six weeks remaining in their schedule. 

The injury is a costly one for the Cavaliers as Jamison had started 38 of the 56 games he appeared in and led the team in scoring at 18 points per game while averaging 6.7 rebounds.  He had been especially consistent during the month of February as he started all 11 games he appeared in and averaged 22 points and 7.3 rebounds per game. 

Jamison, in his 13th year in the NBA, has played in 920 regular season games and has averaged 19.7 points and 8.0 rebounds over his career.  If he misses the remainder of the season, this will be the most games he has missed in one season since the 99-00 season, his second in the league, when he played in 43 games. 

There are two leading candidates who will likely replace Jamison in the starting lineup, rookie Samardo Samuels or Ryan Hollins.

The Cleveland Cavaliers added three players as the NBA trading deadline passed on Thursday afternoon.  They also traded two players and cut another.

Added to the roster are guard Baron Davis, forward Luke Harangody, and center Semih Erden.  Gone are guard Mo Williams, and forwards Jamario Moon and Leon Powe. 

Baron Davis has played in 43 games this season and is averaging 12.8 points, 7.0 assists, and 2.8 rebounds per game.  The 6’3 point guard has career averages of 16.5 points, 7.3 assists, and 3.9 rebounds per game.  The 12.8 points per game average is his lowest since his rookie season in 99-00.  He has appeared in two all star games and has been a member of the Charlotte/New Orleans Hornets, Golden State Warriors, and Los Angeles Clippers before being traded to the Cavaliers. 

Luke Harangody is a rookie that appeared in 28 games for the Boston Celtics.  He is averaging 2.3 points, and 2.0 rebounds in 8.6 minutes per game.  The 6’7 forward had a career high 17 points and 11 rebounds against the Toronto Raptors on January 11th.  Harangody played four years in college at Notre Dame, where he was a three time Big East first team member, was a second team All American twice, and a third team All American once.  He was the Big East player of the year following his sophomore season. 

Semih Erden is another rookie who has played in 37 games, including starting 7 of them for the Boston Celtics.  The 6’11 center from Turkey averages 4.1 points and 2.9 rebounds in 14.4 minutes per game.  He had a career high 14 points against the Utah Jazz on January on January 21st and a career high 11 rebounds against the Washington Wizards on January 22nd.  He is a member of the Turkish national team and was a two time All-Star in the Turkish League.  He played professionally for seven seasons in Turkey.  He will turn 25 in July.