Saturday, April 21, 2012

You win some, you lose some..and sometimes you lose by 39 to the Pistons

By: Kyle Schimming

I'll admit, I needed a few days to recover from witnessing the 116-77 loss to Detroit on Tuesday in person.

That in addition to a busy week of preparing for finals left me less than anxious to rush back and give my opinion on the Cavs. But after a few days of nonstop studying and a Kyrie Irving return to the team, I've been able to rationalize what took place at The Palace of Auburn Hills.

The Cavs made it clear from the opening tip that they had no intention of competing, falling behind 10-2 almost instantly. It only got worse from there, with the low point of the game coming on the Brandon Knight dunk to end the third quarter with a score of 100-50.

However, the low point for me personally came when the usher felt the need to apologize to me for LeBron leaving and then immediately asking what team he was playing for. Seriously! I imagine that there aren't too many people who don't know that he "took his talents to South Beach."

How how could one possibly work for an NBA team and not know where he's playing at. It was so unbelievable to me that I thought that was her way of rubbing it in. But amazingly this usher is so absorbed in getting fans to their proper seats that she has never happened to look out at the court.

Now that's what I call dedication.

Anyways, after awhile I realized the game wasn't nearly as bad as I originally thought. Kyrie (and Luke) returned to help make the following game against Philly somewhat competitive and then beat the Knicks on Friday night.

There's less than a week left in the season and soon we'll have a few new draft picks to help us forget losses like the one against the Pistons.

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Cavs vs. Pistons

By: Kyle Schimming

The Cavs take on the Pistons tonight in Detroit.

I'll be there in attendance to see Brandon Knight and Kyrie Irving Donald Sloan face off. Both teams are fighting for the same thing at this point, ping pong balls.

I'm expecting to see two teams wearing out the rims with misses shots and a slew of turnovers, but when your trying to pay your way through college getting a chance to see a cheap NBA game is what you've got to settle for sometimes.

I'll be watching to see how Tristan Thompson and Alonzo Gee, two important pieces for the future, play against a team that they should be able to have some success against. I know you all will be waiting anxiously for my thoughts afterwards so I'll have a game recap sometime following what will hopefully be a Cavaliers win.

Monday, April 16, 2012

A First Look into the NBA Draft

By: Kyle Schimming

Last year's draft was no doubt an important step in turning the franchise back into a winner. It brought with it the cornerstone of the future in Kyrie Irving and another potential building block in Tristan Thompson.

A swing and a miss on both picks would have likely left the Cavaliers with a record along the lines of the Bobcats or Wizards. The draft got the Cavs headed in the right direction, but the team's record has made it clear that there is still a ton of work to be done.

That's why this upcoming draft is even MORE important than last year's, and arguably the most important part in turning the Cavs back into an elite team.

Finding a top notch starter with the first pick is a must. So many people point to the Thunder as the blueprint for rebuilding. But for three consecutive drafts they nailed their top overall selection. For every successful draft story such as the Thunder there are countless failures like the Bobcats, Kings and Nets.

Kevin Durant, Russell Westbrook and James Harden could have easily been Greg Oden, O.J. Mayo and Tyreke Evans.

For that reason, nailing down a big-time starter with this year's top pick can go a long way towards establishing a future identity for the franchise. It's also important for GM Chris Grant to find a player capable of contributing in some form with the first rounder gained from the Lakers for Ramon Sessions.

Grant essentially threw away the second round picks last year while players such as Chandler Parsons and (the other) Isaiah Thomas turned into draft-day steals. The Cavs are in desperate need for depth and a bench that can keep a game close and need to take every opportunity to try and strengthen those areas.

Grant has done an excellent job of acquiring picks since taking over as GM. Now it's time to begin cashing those picks into solid NBA players. Grant has done a good job separating the team from the Lebron James-era while also setting the team up to be loaded with young talent for the future.

So as what could be the defining moment for the franchise moving forward approaches, I'll begin to look into different scenarios for the upcoming draft and weigh in on which route the Cavs should take.

While it wont compare to playoff-level excitement, this year's draft should give Cavs fans something to look forward to over the summer.

Sunday, April 15, 2012

Three Games, Three Nights; and Cool Hand Luke

By: Kyle Schimming

The Cavaliers ended a back-to-back-to-back stretch of games with a 100-84 loss to the Dwight Howard-less Orland Magic.

The loss left the Cavs 1-2 over the three games, with a win over the mighty Washington Wizards sandwiched between the Magic loss and a defeat to the Indianapolis Pacers.

Before I get to my overall thoughts on the three games, it just wouldn't be right for me not to take a second to point out the obvious importance the Deep in the Q blog has already had on the Cavs season.

Luke Harangody rose from the ashes that is the NBA D-League playoffs to turn in a 16 point, 10 rebound performance up on the Wizards. Luke arrived in Cleveland for a spot-start for Antawn Jamison one night after helping the Canton Charge to a victory.

I know what you MUST BE thinking, Luke was so inspired by "The Luke Harangody of Blogs" inaugural week that he went out and put up an old school 2010-Notre Dame offensive display.
To say that I was fired up to see Luke put up a nice performance would be like saying that Ryan Hollins cant catch.

So Luke, I'm honored to be able to give you the proper motivation needed to make Jan Vesely wish he and his girlfriend were back in Czechoslovakia.

Let's hope this is the start to monumental rise for both Harangody and the blog that motivates him.

Now here's the rest of my thoughts on the Cavs play the past three days:

  • Tristan Thompson has hit the rookie-wall. I was hoping to see Thompson step up while Kyrie Irving was out and show Cavs fans some glimpses of what he can become in the future. But instead he turned in two games of only three points scoring against the Magic and Pacers. But what was more troubling for me was the fact that he only pulled in 13 total rebounds over the three games. I understand that he is extremely raw offensively, but if he cant impact the game with his rebounding/shot blocking it will become very hard for him to stay on the court. Thompson did score 14 points against the Wizards, but his play this weekend left me wanting more. He's played a lot of games in a such a short time, so hopefully that was just a product of tired legs and something that he'll learn from.

  • Byron Scott gave Jamison the night off against the Wizards. I had no problem with this, as Jamison has been out there virtually every night competing hard despite the losses mounting up. Jamison scored 21 against the Magic and appeared to be fresh following the rest.

  • Unfortunately, the rest of the Cavs seemed to think they had today's game off. It was never really a contest, the Magic went up 23-15 after the first quarter and cruised the rest of the way.

  • For all the hype surrounding John Wall when he entered the league, he has really failed to impress. He did have 19 points and nine dimes, but Wall just doesn't control the game like other top point guards. True floor generals like Chris Paul and Steve Nash just have a natural leading feel to them. I don't get the sense that Wall has that quality, or that it's something that a player can just gain over time. Then again, Derrick Rose and Russell Westbrook don't impact the game more with their scoring, so Wall could eventually develop enough offensively to make up for his lack of true point guard skills.

  • The Pacers looked much better at home compared to the previous meeting in Cleveland. They did just about everything better the second time around...well except beating up Moondog.

The Cavs take on the Pistons on Tuesday in Detroit. I'm hoping Kyrie can play for this one, his match ups with Brandon Knight have been enjoyable this year.

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Now Thats What You Call a Moral Victory

By: Kyle Schimming

"We fought hard. The coaching staff and my teammates all fought hard, but we just came up a little bit short tonight. Next time, we expect to win." -Lester Hudson

No Kyrie, facing the third best team in the East, playing the 2nd game of a back-to-back; that was as good of a loss as the Cavs have had this year.

The Byron Scott-led Cavaliers have been known to lay down against good teams over the past two years. This game was a prime chance for the Cavs to do so again, but instead played hard for four quarters.

Yes, they ran out of gas in overtime, but a win at the end would have just been icing on the cake.

I tuned in half expecting to be forced to sit through another home court spanking but tonight was was a pleasant surprise.

Here are the rest of my thoughts on the game in The Q Quick Hits:

• Hudson's quote at the top is exactly why I hope he sticks as our backup point guard next season. The guy brings it every night. He did make some mistakes tonight. Hudson turned the ball over 6 times and was only 1-9 from 3 point range, but with the clock winding down at the end of the game he showed some real stones.

• Antawn Jamison had a very Antawn Jamison game. He led the team with 21 points, but did so on 8-of-18 shooting. He's often painful to watch, but we need him to have any chance at winning and I've finally just come to accept it.

• I haven't like the play of Alonzo Gee or Tristan Thompson lately.  They finished with a combined +/- of -25. Hopefully they finish the season with more energy and really work on their games this off season.

• Samardo Samuels played excellent. He's been a roller coaster this season, but when he's focused can be a solid inside force.

• Moondog, the Cavs mascot, suffered an eye injury before the game while playfully fighting Indiana's David West. Moondog is okay, and West was apologetic after the game. No, I'm not making this up, it really happened.

The Cavs and Pacers will play a rematch on Friday in Indianapolis, no word yet on Moondog's status going forward.

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Hey, Atleast We're Not the Bobcats

By: Kyle Schimming

It has been a struggle for the Cavs ever since the night of July 8, 2010.

The national televised dumping was followed up by an NBA record 26 consecutive losses and a downright miserable season. But thankfully last season ended and the Cavs were given...I mean won, the rights to the #1 draft pick and the beginning of the Kyrie Irving era.

This season has had some promising moments. Irving has shown the potential to be one of the games top point guards of the future. It certainly has been an improvement from last years mess of a team, and fans once again have hope that the playoffs will return to Cleveland sooner rather than later.

But despite the promise of the future, this season will ultimately go down as another lottery-bound finish with fans turning their attention towards the individual workouts of college prospects instead of getting jacked for playoff games at The Q.

That's why games such as the 103-90 win over Charlotte last night are good not only on the scoreboard but also in helping to put things in perspective.

The Bobcats are bad. Very, very bad.

I couldn't stop myself from thinking this no matter what happened throughout the game.

During Lester Hudson's 14 point fourth quarter my thoughts were: "Wow the Bobcats backcourt doesn't even hide their lack of defensive effort." When Omri Casspi and Luke Walton poured in consecutive three-pointers early in the fourth it was: "Michael Jordan could contest those shots from whatever golf course he's currently on better then Gerald Henderson or Corey Maggette just did."

Even Anthony Parker rose from the injury report to score 19 points on 7-of-11 shooting.

The Cavs took control of this game in help to contributions from Hudson, Casspi, Walton, Semih Erden and Donald Sloan. If you would have told me in December that I would be writing that sentence at this point I would have guessed the lockout was still going and replacement players were filling in.

Wins such as these are a nice touch as this season winds down, but the story of this game is more about being thankful that the Cavs aren't being run by Air Jordan.

The Cavs are back in action tonight as they continue this busy stretch of games at home against the Indiana. The Pacers are a team preparing for the playoffs, so sleepwalking through the first three quaters would probably be some good advice for Byron Scott to relay to the team.

Monday, April 9, 2012

Lester Hudson Scores Second 10-Day Contract

By: Kyle Schimming

The Cavaliers announced today that Lester Hudson would be sticking around for at least another 10 days.

Normally for a D-League call up such as Hudson, this would be welcomed news. But after averaging 24.5 points to go along with 5 dimes, 3 boards and 2.5 steals over the past two games, Hudson has looked like a 10-year veteran rather than a guy fighting for another 10 days with the team.

I know this move gives the team the most flexibility going forward but after the performance Hudson put on in New Jersey, and the approval from Dan Gilbert himself, it would be surprising if he is not eventually signed throughout the remainder of the season.

Hudson's presence has already had an impact on the team's ability to lose its way into a winning draft lottery position. After playing such a large role in the win over Toronto and nearly shooting the Cavs past the Nets, Hudson has helped keep the team get back to playing competitive.

Maybe GM Chris Grant wanted to use these next 10 days to stress the importance of getting as many chances at a shot to draft Anthony Davis before locking up Hudson for the final few weeks of the season.

With three members of the starting lineup (Irving, Varajeo and Parker) on the bench in their finest league-mandated suits, this is the perfect time to see if the Cavs may have found their backup point guard of the future.

So, lets not delay the inevitable another 10 days and sign Hudson throughout the rest of this season. He's battled for this chance and proven he deserves an extended look.

Plus, if the Cavs can find Luke Walton and his bulky knee-braces valuable enough to suit up every night, the least they can do is give the former Tennessee-Martin star what his play has warranted.

<a href="">Hyper Smash</a>

Sunday, April 8, 2012

The Luke Harangody of Blogs

By: Kyle Schimming

Yes, this is the beginning of a blog centered around a team hopelessly playing out the remaining days of a season with a roster full of players who will likely be gone in the near future.

Odd timing, yes you could say that.

But with the same energy as Luke Harangody checking in with 1:00 remaining during a 20-point drubbing, I'm ready to supply my opinion on all things Cleveland Cavaliers.

Wait, what? Harangody is in the D-League!

Well that comparison meant well. Anyways this blog is from a fan for other fans who share the same passion for the Cavs as I do. I'm a journalism major preparing to graduate from Bowling Green State University in May and I love to discuss and argue different opinions on Cleveland sports.

While this season has turned into a ping-pong ball collection contest, right now is actually a really exciting time for the Cavs.

The rebuilding process can be painful, but the hope that Kyrie Irving brings every time he cuts through an opposing defense or drops a beautiful pass for Antawn Jamison to ultimately shot put towards the bottom of the rim can't be denied.

Saying Tristan Thompson is raw is like saying Semih Erden is funny looking, but I can't help but think of what could become in the future while watching him elevate over other athletic power forwards.

Along with Varajeo, Gee and a slew of draft picks throughout the next few years, it's much easier to see the light at the end of the tunnel than it was last season at this point.

So while I might be late to the party on this team and this season, I am excited for what's to come for both the Irving-led Cavs and this blog.

From Deep In The Q,
Kyle Schimming