Posts Tagged ‘Cavaliers’

All Ball Fave Five: Most Disappointing Playoff Teams Of The New Millenium

by Micah Hart

You may have noticed it’s the offseason, which means we have plenty of time to sit around and think about many of the things that make it fun to be an NBA fan. Here at All Ball, we’ll be passing the time until the start of the season with a new series, the Fave Five. Each week we’ll count down a list of the five best, or worst … somethings. We’ll try to get creative with it. Plus we’re taking requests! If you have a suggestion for a Fave Five post, give us a shout and you may see it appear in this space over the next several weeks.

Who is going to win the Super Bowl this year? The World Series? Your guess is as good as mine. In the NFL and MLB, who wins from year to year is totally unpredictable. In football it’s about who is lucky and who is healthy; in baseball it’s who is lucky and who gets great pitching.

The NBA is different. There are very, very few Cinderella stories in professional basketball. For my money, the 2011 Mavericks and the 2004 Pistons are the only surprise champions I’ve seen in the NBA in my lifetime.

The best teams almost always prevail. Which is why when we think of the teams who have come up short since the start of the 2000s, the answers are pretty obvious.

Let’s take a look:

5. 2011 San Antonio Spurs

What happened: The Spurs got off to a ridiculous start to the season (they were 29-4 at one point), and for a while there was talk that they might flirt with 70 wins. They cooled a bit down the stretch, but still finished the regular season as the top seed in the Western Conference with a record of 61-21.

The draw in the West looked pretty good, as they faced the Memphis Grizzlies in the first round. Talk about a mismatch – the Spurs, four-time NBA champions, versus the Grizz, who to that point had not won a single playoff game in franchise history in three previous appearances. So naturally they advanced to face HEY WAIT A MINUTE!

Memphis shocked San Antonio in six games, and the Spurs went home as only the fourth No. 1 seed to ever lose to a No. 8 seed*.

* The Bulls became the fifth this past season, but methinks that might have turned out differently had Derrick Rose been healthy.

Why they disappointed: I’ll be honest. I don’t really think of this Spurs team as being all that much of a disappointment. Some of that is due to the fact that the Grizzlies turned out to be a pretty good team, and some (maybe a lot) is due to the fact that Manu Ginobili hurt his elbow the final game of the season and was severely limited in the series. Still, 1 seeds don’t lose to 8 seeds, so here they are.

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Kyrie Irving Is ‘Uncle Drew’

by Micah Hart

Kyrie Irving is the reigning top pick in the NBA Draft and Rookie of the Year. Clearly he is a talented fellow, and it appears those talents are not limited to the hardcourt. Check out this video he wrote and directed for Pepsi Max, in which he takes a star turn as “Uncle Drew”:

It’s kind of hard to tell how much the people in the crowd know what’s going on. On the one hand their reactions look genuine, but on the other hand that’s something that can easily be put together in editing. If I saw a (roughly) sextagenarian start breaking ankles and generally looking like he’s auditioning for the next And-1 Mixtape Tour, I might get a little skeptical*. It’s pretty cool no matter what, but certainly Irving deserves major props if he really had everyone fooled.

*We had an old guy on our team in a rec league I used to play in, and I can PROMISE you it did not go this well.

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Three For All Finale: Pistons and Warriors

by Micah Hart



As everyone knows by now, the compressed NBA schedule will force every team to play three games in three nights at least one this season (42 times in total). With only 66 games to stake a claim to a playoff spot or seed, how teams perform during these killer slates could have a large impact on how their seasons turn out.

With that in mind, we’re going to keep track of each of the 42 three-plays to see which teams take advantage and which teams fall apart.

We come to the final stretch of three for alls on the season, as the Pistons and Warriors finished out the 41st and 42nd instances over the last few days. What a long, strange trip it’s been. Let’s see how our final contestants fared:

Detroit Pistons (April 17-19): I daresay no one had a more convincing Game 1 victory in their three-play than the Pistons, who beat the Cavaliers 116-77 (!) in a game in which the lead ballooned to as much as 50. 5-0. The Pistons should have just pulled a Costanza right there and called it a season, really. Especially because the next two games saw them trail by more than 20 in losses at the Hawks and at home against the Timberwolves. Gotta know when to quit, Detroit. 1 point (2-1-0) for their second three for all, with the Cavs win keeping them from racking up two oh-fers.

Golden State Warriors (April 20-22): Flip the script for Golden State. The short-handed Warriors fell on the road in Dallas and Houston (giving the Rockets their only win in the last eight games) before rebounding to beat the even-more-shorthanded Timberwolves in Game 3 Sunday night in Minnesota. 3 points (-2+(-1)+6) for Oakland’s finest, who somehow managed to save their lone three-play for the final week of the season.

Up next: That’s all folks! 42 up, 42 down. We’ll have a look back at the best and worst three for all performances later on this week as the regular season draws to a close, and draw some conclusions then.

Three for all Top Ten:
San Antonio Spurs II (15 points)
Miami Heat (15 points)
Chicago Bulls (13 points)
San Antonio Spurs I (12 points)
OKC Thunder (12 points)
Atlanta Hawks II (11 points)
Boston Celtics (10 points)
Phoenix Suns II (10 points)
Indiana Pacers II (8 points)
New Jersey Nets II (8 points)

Full Three for all standings

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Three For All Round Up: Grizzlies, Wizards, Celtics, Cavaliers, 76ers, Spurs

by Micah Hart



As everyone knows by now, the compressed NBA schedule will force every team to play three games in three nights at least one this season (42 times in total). With only 66 games to stake a claim to a playoff spot or seed, how teams perform during these killer slates could have a large impact on how their seasons turn out.

With that in mind, we’re going to keep track of each of the 42 three-plays to see which teams take advantage and which teams fall apart.

I was on vacation during a bad stretch of three for alls, so I thought we’d do another round up post getting up to date on what we missed while I was out.

Memphis Grizzlies (April 2-4): Memphis started out strong, getting a road win in Oklahoma City. Maybe not quite vengeance for last year’s playoffs, but a nice victory nonetheless. They followed it up with a win at home over Golden State, and just when you thought they might get a sweep they fell to the Mavericks in Dallas. 5 points (2+3-0) for their three for all, and their story has a happy ending of sorts — they beat Dallas at home three days later.

Washington Wizards (April 4-6): Let’s not waste too many words here. Three games, three L’s for the Wiz. -3 points (-2-1-0)

Boston Celtics (April 13-15): Raise your hand if you can tell me what the Celtics are going to do in the postseason. They could get swept in the first round on cut down the nets, and neither outcome would truly surprise me at this point. As if to prove my point, they started their three play by losing to the counting-down-the-minutes-till-the-season-ends-and-playing-as-many-DLeaguers-as-they-can-get-in-uniform Raptors before rallying (if you want to call beating the Nets and Bobcats rallying) to pick up double-digit road wins to finish it off. If they’d handled their business in Toronto, they might have tied the Heat for the best mark on the season. Instead, 10 points (-2+5+7).

Cleveland Cavaliers (April 13-15): The Cavs are a bad team to begin with, so facing three games in three nights without Kyrie Irving (out with a shoulder injury) makes for a pretty daunting task. Or at least it does when the opponents are anyone besides the Wizards. Ring Cleveland up for a loss at Indiana, a win at Washington, and a home loss to Orlando for a total of 2 points (-2+4-0).

Philadelphia 76ers (April 16-18): What happened to this team? At one point this season they seemed primed to challenge the Heat and Bulls for Eastern Conference supremacy, now they are hanging on for dear life to the 8th spot. Their first two games were against playoff-bound opponents, netting them losses in Orlando and at home against Indiana. Lucky for them they finished Wednesday with the Cavs, who they beat by 16 a night after Cleveland lost by 39. To Detroit. Don’t expect Philly to last long in the playoffs, I guess is what I’m saying. 4 points (-2-1+7) for the City of Brotherly Love.

San Antonio Spurs (April 16-18): Saving the best for last. They (I) said the Heat’s 15-point performance in their three-fer could never be matched, but they didn’t count on the boys from San Antone. Not content to rest on the laurels of their previous 12-point undefeated three for all, the Spurs did indeed match Miami, knocking off Golden State (120-99), the Lakers (112-91), and Sacramento (127-102) to tie for the perfect score with 15 points (3+5+7). Which team had a better run, Miami or San Antonio? We’ll devote a separate post to that in the coming days.

Up next: Detroit takes its second crack at three in three April 17-19.

Three for all Top Ten:
San Antonio Spurs II (15 points)
Miami Heat (15 points)
Chicago Bulls (13 points)
San Antonio Spurs I (12 points)
OKC Thunder (12 points)
Atlanta Hawks II (11 points)
Boston Celtics (10 points)
Phoenix Suns II (10 points)
Indiana Pacers II (8 points)
New Jersey Nets II (8 points)

Full Three for all standings

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Three For All: New Orleans Hornets

by Micah Hart



As everyone knows by now, the compressed NBA schedule will force every team to play three games in three nights at least one this season (42 times in total). With only 66 games to stake a claim to a playoff spot or seed, how teams perform during these killer slates could have a large impact on how their seasons turn out.

With that in mind, we’re going to keep track of each of the 42 three-plays to see which teams take advantage and which teams fall apart. Up next, the New Orleans Hornets, who played three straight from Feb. 20-22.

The Nets, formerly one of the worst teams in the league, put together a surprising 8-point effort in their three for all earlier in the week. Can the Hornets, their brethen of the basement, do the same? They’d have their work cut out for them, as not only would all three games be on the road like the Pistons and Heat, but they’d be at the tail end of a five-game road trip.

Game 1: Thunder 101, Hornets 93 - Oklahoma City had won ten straight at home, and was 13-1 overall in their own building coming in. So yeah, not a real surprise the Hornets fell short. They deserve credit for battling, as after falling behind by as much as 26 in the third, they cut the Thunder lead to just six with a minute to go. Still an L though. -2 points

Game 2: Pacers 117, Hornets 108 - A step closer to a win, as New Orleans takes the game into overtime before falling short at Indiana. Jarrett Jack had 19 points and 10 assists off the bench. -1 point

Game 3: Hornets 89, Cavaliers 84 - Success! The Hornets get the win at Cleveland, which may not seem like much at first but Cleveland has been surprisingly competent this year, thanks in large part to future Rookie of the Year winner Kyrie Irving. The award is Irving’s to lose, but he was gawd-afwul in this game, scoring a season-low six points on 2-13 shooting. Chris Kaman continued a bit of a resurgence since rejoining the Hornets, dropping 21 and 13. No one has said why he suddenly chose to play instead of sit out and await a trade, but my theory is he got a taste for some jambalaya at Acme and decided New Orleans wasn’t so bad after all. 6 points (5 for win, 1 for road)

Pretty tough slate, and though the Hornets end up with just 3 points, they improved in each game. They even finished the road trip 3-2, and with the season already a lost cause, that’s something to be proud of.

Up next: The Minnesota Timberwolves take their second crack at the threeplay, with three straight contests Feb. 28 – Mar. 1.

Three for all Top Ten:
Miami Heat (15 points)
Chicago Bulls (13 points)
OKC Thunder (12 points)
New Jersey Nets II (8 points)
Atlanta Hawks (8 points)
Houston Rockets (7 points)
Portland Trail Blazers (6 points)
L.A. Clippers (6 points)
Philadelphia 76ers (6 points)
Denver Nuggets I (6 points)

Full Three for all standings

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Three For All: Indiana Pacers

by Micah Hart



As everyone knows by now, the compressed NBA schedule will force every team to play three games in three nights at least one this season (42 times in total). With only 66 games to stake a claim to a playoff spot or seed, how teams perform during these killer slates could have a large impact on how their seasons turn out.

With that in mind, we’re going to keep track of each of the 42 three-plays to see which teams take advantage and which teams fall apart. Up next, the Indiana Pacers, who played three straight from Feb. 14-16.

The Pacers have played pretty well this season, showing great depth and benefiting from the offseason addition of David West. That is until recently, when they hit a bit of a rough patch and lost four of five coming into their three for all challenge. Could they turn things around in the season’s most grueling stretch?

Game 1: Heat 105, Pacers 90 - No excuses for this one, even with Danny Granger going down with an ankle injury near the end of the first quarter. The Heat were playing the last of their epic three play, so should have been ripe for the picking for a team that until last week had only lost one home game all season. -2 points

Game 2: Cavaliers 98, Pacers 87 - The Pacers’ depth is supposed to be one of their biggest strengths, but losing at Cleveland without Granger’s services would seem to hurt that argument a bit. Kyrie Irving returned from a concussion for the Cavs to score 22 points and lead them to the win, while Indy’s season-long losing streak reaches five games. -1 point

Game 3: Pacers 93, Nets 88 - Finally a W for Indiana, which got Granger back in the lineup and needed every one of his game-high 32 points to hold off the lowly Nets. First-time All-Star Roy Hibbert chipped in with 13 points and 11 boards. I’m putting the over/under on his All-Star minutes at 4:30, by the way. 5 points

Any win in Game 3 is worth celebrating, but this was a pretty disappointing effort for the Pacers all things considered. 2 points for Indy.

Up next: The Portland Trail Blazers also played three straight Feb. 14-16.

Three for all Top Ten:
Miami Heat (15 points)
Chicago Bulls (13 points)
OKC Thunder (12 points)
Atlanta Hawks (8 points)
Houston Rockets (7 points)
Portland Trail Blazers (6 points)
L.A. Clippers (6 points)
Philadelphia 76ers (6 points)
Denver Nuggets I (6 points)
Orlando Magic (5 points)

Full Three for all standings

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How does Cleveland feel about the Mavs win?

by Micah Hart

Take it away, www.didthecavswinlastnight.com!

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Hollywood as hell T-shirts for sale

by Zettler Clay

In this finely-tuned capitalistic society of ours, any quote, non sequitur or shrug is grist for a business opportunity. If Joakim Noah didn’t know that before, he certainly does now.

 

Like these shirts*, “Hollywood as Hell” has the potential to stay in rotation for a while. On one hand, it’s a jab at a Heat team seen by many as entitled. On the other, it’s a compliment — or admission of guilt with sarcastic undertones. Everybody wins.

Thank you Noah.

*If the Cavs, er, Mavs beat the Heat in the Finals, I imagine this shirt will be popular in Cleveland for a long time.

What’s not to like?

by Micah Hart


Normally, the NBA Draft lottery is useful for only one interesting piece of information; namely, who gets the top pick.

That wasn’t the case this year, as everyone in America fell in love with Cavs’ owner Dan Gilbert‘s 14-year old son Nick, who represented the Cavs at the lottery drawing.

Nick Gilbert, who suffers from a nerve disorder that can cause tumors to grow in his body at any time, won the room over (and the nation) during the evening, when he answered ESPN’s question about how he feels about his father calling him his hero, saying, “What’s not to like?”

The phrase became an instant hit, repeated several times over during the course of the night’s events, which oh-by-the-way culminated in the Cavaliers hitting the jackpot, moving up from the eight spot (originally the Clippers’ pick, which they acquired as part of the Baron Davis-Mo Williams swap at the trade deadline) to No. 1 in the Draft pecking order.

T-shirt maker Fresh Brewed Tees capitalized on the growing popularity of Nick’s catch-phrase, introducing a t-shirt (right) to commemorate the occasion and donating five dollars of every one sold to support The Children’s Tumor Foundation, for which Nick is an ambassador. As of this posting, the shirts have already raised nearly $40,000 dollars for the organization.

Well done everyone, all around.

UPDATE: The t-shirt has been a big hit, but the $40,000 figure is actually how much the campaign for the CTF has raised in total, not simply from sales of the shirt (which, by the way, Gilbert the father has said he will match dollar-for dollar). It’s not too late to donate to the cause either, as they have extended the drive through this coming Friday, May 27.

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Last night in … whaaaaa?

by Micah Hart

The Cavaliers beat the Lakers last night.

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