Saturday, November 17, 2012

Rolling Five Deep

The NBA season is now more than two weeks old and some pretty clear trends have developed that pretty much sum up what we've seen so far. With the added importance placed on advanced stats almost anything that happens on the court can now be digested by fans and what they're seeing can be supported by data.

Watching the Cavs this season, a pretty accurate understanding of their strengths and weaknesses jumps out at you without much of a need for a check of their +/- numbers. But seeing those numbers sure are staggering and is a great way to truly put in perspective just how big of a divide this team has between the play of the starters and the bench.

The five-man starting lineup of Irving-Waiters-Gee-Thompson-Varejao has a league-best +/- of +55 this season.


And it's not even close between the Cavs starters and the second place Heat and Lakers starting lineups. Both of those teams are considered to be favorites to hoist the Larry O'Brien trophy at the end of the year.

The Cavs are not.

The Heat and Lakers starting five's have a +/- of +33. Miami is off to a 7-3 start and L.A. currently sits at 4-5 after the Mike Brown debacle. The play of their starting five's will carry them deep into the playoffs.

For Cleveland(2-6), the play of its starters will eventually come back towards league average and with no bench help in sight it shows just how hard it is for the Cavs to compete for a playoff spot this year.

Still, those numbers sure are encouraging going forward and as the Irving-Waiters backcourt continues to develop more excitement is to come. Average play from the bench would have added a few more wins already this season but optimism for the future should be sky high.

By the time this team is really ready to compete the Walton's, Sloan's and Casspi's will hopefully be long gone and quality NBA-caliber players will be there to spell the starters when they need a break.

Tonight the Cavs take on the Mavericks at The Q and with Dallas missing its star Dirk Nowitzki Kyrie and Co. will look to build up an early lead that the big, bad bench wont be able to knock down.

Friday, November 16, 2012

Down Goes Gody

Cavs forward and Deep in the Q favorite Luke Harangody underwent successful arthroscopic knee surgery on his right knee today and will be sidelined for the next six week.

Harangody's knee had apparently been bothering him for awhile and finally reached the point where he couldn't continue to practice on it.

Today's surgery finally answers all of my questions of why we hadn't gotten our needed supply of Gody flying across the court doing all of the awesome things that he does.

With how terrible the bench play has been in the early part of the season, Cool Hand Luke couldn't possibly have been any worse than what Casspi and Co. were providing. But Harangody never saw any court time and following the surgery it could be quite awhile before we see Harangody in a Cavaliers jersey again.

Hopefully Harangody has a speedy recovery, blowout victories and loses wont be the same without him.

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

The Mighty Omri Casspi Makes His All-Star Push

The ballot for this years All-Star game was released today.

Three Cavaliers were among the 60 names that made up the candidates for the Eastern Conference. Kyrie Irving and Anderson Varejao were obvious choices to make it on the ballot, but the third member of the Cavs who found his way into All-Star contention has as much reason to be on the ballot as I do.

Omri Casspi was that third Cavalier.

Not either of the previous #4 overall picks in the last two NBA Drafts in Dion Waiters or Tristan Thompson. But Omri Casspi!

The Omri Casspi who entered tonight's contest with New Jersey averaging just 3.7 points and 3.0 rebounds while appearing in only three games.

Casspi, a native of Israel, clearly made his way onto the ballot because he will be popular with the international voters. Instead of giving a more deserving player the chance for some added recognition, the panel of NBA media members who make the selections somehow decided on giving Casspi the nod.

So lets get the bandwagon started early. Let's get Omri in the All-Star Game so he can show the league what he can do on the big stage.

Sunday, November 11, 2012

Waiters Watches as the Thunder Rolls

The Cavs hung around for the better part of three quarters in tonight's 106-91 loss to the Thunder.

Kyrie did Kyrie things. Boobie Gibson continued to drain shots from all over the floor en route to finishing with 16 points and once again the starters showed that they can match up somewhat well with any team in the league on a given night.

Unfortunately, as I just touched on last night, when Omri Casspi and Jon Leuer are having a say in the outcome of an NBA game more often than not things are going to end poorly. The only thing that kept the game from getting out of hand early was the aforementioned shooting from Gibson that kept the walls from imploding in the early minutes of the second quarter.

It looked as the game would be tight heading into the fourth quarter until Russell Westbrook banked in a running 3-pointer from just inside half-court on his way to nailing four consecutive long range jumpers.
By the time Kyrie reentered the game with about six minutes remaining the deficit was double figures and the Cavs were unable to ever make a push. Dion Waiters watched the final quarter from the bench and I was hoping for Byron Scott's sake that it had more to do with nursing his thigh injury than trying to prove a point to the rookie.

Scott was apparently angry over something Waiters had done and even Waiters himself was unsure what it was following the game. Being stubborn with young players is something Scott has been known for in the past and a trait I had hoped he left behind in New Orleans.

Despite this being a third straight loss, I'm not as disappointed in the outcome as much as I had been after the previous two. Even without James Harden the Thunder are still one of the top teams in the league and a squad that brings it every night behind the play of Durant and Westbrook.

I've sort of come to terms with how terrible the play of the bench is going to be throughout the season and even though I would love to see playoff basketball back in Cleveland I realize that it make take another year before that happens.

However, if this season is going to be another defined by the growth of our young players, the benching of Waiters should have been handled better. At any point while the Cavs bench was on the court stumbling through the motions Scott or one of his assistants should have been talking to Waiters about any mistake he had made.

"I don't know. I cant explain it," Waiters said of why he watched the fourth quarter from the bench.

For Waiters to have no clue why he was benched for the final quarter is unacceptable. Scott has the comfort of having his extension picked up for next season but shouldn't hinder any on court growth while he tries to show who's running the show.

His inability to relate to the enigmatic J.R. Smith hampered Scott's tenure in the Big Easy, hopefully tonight won't become a similar trend as the Cavs look to build towards the future.

Saturday, November 10, 2012


The Cavaliers match up with the team they hope to one day become on Sunday in Oklahoma City. They'll enter the contest with a 2-4 record that should be flipped around to 4-2 if not for the less than stellar play from their bench.

Saying the Cavs reserves have been terrible doesn't do it justice. Outside of Daniel "Boobie" Gibson and Tyler Zeller, the team has gotten next to nothing from anyone outside of the five starters.

A blown 26-point lead comes after the bench couldn't hold leads at Milwaukee and looked overmatched against the Bulls and the Clippers.
Sure this team could use one more piece via next year's lottery, but seeing how well the top seven in the rotation have played only makes these losses all the more frustrating.

Byron Scott has no choice but to continue to roll the dice with different combinations off the bench in hopes that they begin to click. Bringing Kyrie Irving and Anderson Varejao back in too early in the fourth cost them the game late as Irving looked exhausted while bent-over in the corner in the final minutes.

With such a young team this season is going to be full of huge swings of momentum from game to game. Unfortunately too many winnable games will continue to be lost no matter how well Irving and Dion Waiters play together if production from the bench doesn't pick up.

I'm looking forward to a showdown with the Thunder tomorrow night. Waiters proved in the win over the Clippers that he savors the opportunity to go up against the best and I expect a good showing coming off Friday night's collapse at the hands of the Suns.

Monday, July 16, 2012

What happens in Vegas

In the days leading up to the Cavs first summer league game against the Bobcats, I found myself much more excited than any person should be for an exhibition game.

The chance to break out the Kyrie Irving-Dion Waiters back court duo for a test drive while also getting a first look at Tyler Zeller and another helping of Tristan Thompson made the match up worth watching.

When Irving broke his hand the day before in practice it dampened my enthusiasm some but still seeing the rookies for the first time together still brought a level of importance to the game.

The game did little to change my opinion on the two newest Cavs in any light. As expected, the play was pretty sloppy with constant turnovers and whistles dominating.

One thing I can take away is that Waiters isn't afraid to be aggressive on offense and I envision that being a good thing once paired with the R.O.Y. His Chris Webber moment at the end was a bonehead mistake but one I'd rather have him making now and one that he should learn from.

Zeller nailed some long two-pointers and really continued to do the things that made him so successful the past few years in college. I love the way he runs the floor and rebounds. Pairing him with both Thompson and Anderson Varejao is going to be great for this team's ability to keep possessions alive and should lead to a lot of second chance points.

The first time Samardo Samuels stepped on the court I had to do a double take to make sure it was the same guy who struggled to make it up and down the floor all season. Samuels must have finally listened to Byron Scott's complaints about his weight. While he still looked like the player from a season ago, it's nice to see he's taking his conditioning seriously now and could help him stick around as a big man off the bench.

The Cavs are back in action again tonight against the D-League Select Team and I expect for Waiters to look a little more comfortable in his second professional game.

Monday, July 9, 2012

Basketball Never Stops

By: Kyle Schimming

The 2012 NBA season wrapped up on June 21st with the Heat winning a surprisingly easy series in five games over Oklahoma City.
 Exactly one week later the league welcomed a new crop of rookies into the fold with the NBA Draft and about 48 hours later free agency kicked off. A jam packed offseason continued today with the beginning of the summer league down in Orlando.

Just 18 days after the final game of one of the most exciting NBA seasons in recent years came to an end, the page has been officially turned towards next season, making the NBA a yearlong event.
NBA TV is covering the entire summer league slate and when you throw in the team of all-stars preparing for the Olympics and the ongoing Dwight Howard trade talks there is nearly as much going on in early July as there was throughout the lockout shortened season.

I can't get enough of the 24/7 constant stream on action going on with the league. Whether it's a game of undrafted free agents and NBA bench players battling it out in front of a hundred of so in attendance or the possibility of the Cavs jumping in tobenefit from the Howard Sweepstakes, I'm welcoming it with open arms.

 And as with everything, I have an opinion on what I've seen both on and off the court during this wild period.

·         Based solely on the reported details to the three-way trade involving the Cavs, I love the move for the franchise going forward. The chance to add a little depth so the bench isn't filled with the likes of D.J. Kennedy and Manny Harris throughout the season would be nice. This trade is more about the assets we can accumulate than it is getting Kris Humphries but I'm a fan of Humphries' game and those assets that will come along could prove to be valuable down the line.

·         Jared Sullinger proved that his game translates great to the NBA...summer league. The former Buckeye delivered his familiar line of 20 points and six rebounds in just 24 minutes of action in the win over the Thunder. After watching Sullinger dominate college basketball the past two years I expect him to have a great career in the pros. There will be a lot of teams regretting the decision to pass on the power forward on draft night.

·         Perry Jones III had flashes of potential and also a few stretches where he was hardly noticeable, so basically exactly what should be expected from him after his play at Baylor the past two seasons.

·         I've touched on the Cavs decision to choose Tristan Thompson over Jonas Valanciunas with last year’s #4 pick last year. Nobody knows how that decision will look in a few years but one thing I'm certain of is that the Cavs lucked out when the Jazz took Enes Kanter one spot ahead. I'm not sure he would have landed in Cleveland, but he's been such a disappointment thus far in Utah. He showed no improvement going up against Detroit's rookie big man Andre Drummond and doesn't appear to be a starting forward in the league going forward.

·         The Cavs are set to finalize their own summer league roster in the next day or so. This will be a good chance for Kyrie to continue to become the leader of the franchise and for the core of youngsters to begin to get comfortable playing together. These games will be the first glimpse of the Kyrie-Dion Waiters backcourt duo in action together. Seeing the highlights of Kyrie playing for the U.S. Select Team has only continued to build on my hopes for the future. The framework for that success will start to be laid down in a Las Vegas gym.

Sunday, July 8, 2012

A mock draft state of mind

By: Kyle Schimming

Well nobody will ever be able to say that GM Chris Grant is predictable.

For the second straight year I made the trip down to The Q to watch the NBA Draft and for the second consecutive year the Cavs turned in a selection at #4 that was met with a chorus of groans by most in attendance.

Normally when fans burst into boos it's a result of terrible play or lackluster effort, but the jeers delivered the past two draft nights have been caused by the front office taking a player that most in attendance were not expecting.

Tristan Thompson was a relative unknown to Cavalier fans leading up to last years draft and the same can be said for 2012 draftee Dion Waiters this time around. 

Thompson had an up and down rookie season but proved to be a decent enough selection considering those picked directly before and after him. I like his potential considerably more than Derrick Williams and Enes Kanter going forward and while some say the Cavs whiffed by passing up Jonas Valanciunas, I can't blame Grant for taking the more sure thing rather than falling in love with the mystery of the big Lithuanian. 

Turning my attention towards this years draft, I admittedly was in the majority of Cavs fans who were expecting and hoping for one of the Barnes/Beal/Kidd-Gilchrist trio to land in Cleveland. Most of the conversations overheard prior to and immediately after the selection were focused on these three players and the need to come away with one. 

My disappointment in selecting a college sixth-man turned to excitement the more I learned about Waiters' game and after reading article after article labeling Waiters as one of the prospects with the most potential going forward. 

Considering that some of the people who are now comparing Waiters' ceiling to NBA stars Dwayne Wade and Russell Westbrook are the same who had him failing to the middle to late lottery, it's clear just how credible mock drafts from even the top league insiders really are. 

None of the so-called "draft experts" foreseen the Cavs choosing the combo guard from Syracuse, or most of the other names called on draft night for that matter. While its fun to look at the various mock drafts leading up to draft night and some do have bits and pieces of correct information, the entire draft process is a game of cat and mouse and fans need to take everything with a grain of salt.

Taking a step back from what is being released by the media and the juicy rumors we'd all love to believe are true, the selections of Thompson and Waiters will ultimately be graded by their play in the future rather than where Chad Ford or Y! Sports had them falling in the draft. 

A backcourt of Kyrie Irving and Waiters leading this team into the future has me intrigued and it's nice to see the beginning of the future core start to take shape. 

Going forward I'm planning on holding off judgement for the direction Chris Grant steers the franchise in, no matter how exciting the ESPN Draft Simulator may seem. 

Monday, May 21, 2012

Mock Drafting It

By: Kyle Schimming

While the most climatic parts of the NBA season is taking place throughout sold-out arenas across the country, I can't help but look ahead to a league event that has nothing to do with who hoists the Larry O'Brien Trophy.

The Draft Lottery is less than two weeks away and for fans in Cleveland, Washington, Charlotte and New Orleans where and ultimately who their team will choose in this summer's draft will begin to take shape.

So I've decided to take my first stab at attempting to project how the draft will shake out based off of where each team finished the regular season. The order is still yet to be determined, but it's never too early to try and figure how the lottery bound teams of the NBA will draft come June.

1. Charlotte - Anthony Davis, Kentucky
This is a no-brainier. Davis has a chance to be an impact player immediately and the Bobcats could definitely use the shot-blocking Player of the Year in college basketball.

2. Washington - Michael Kidd-Gilchrist, Kentucky
The Wizards roster needs help in both the frontcourt and backcourt, so they could go in a number of directions. Kidd-Gilchrist could be the type of team-first, all-around player that has been absent from the nations capital lately.

3. Cleveland - Bradley Beal, Florida
In a dream scenario, a pairing of Beal and ROY Kyrie Irving together could eventually form one of the top backcourts in the NBA. Like Kyrie, Beal showed in his one season in college that he can really fill it up and the Cavs got very little the past two season from their shooting guards. If both Davis and Kidd-Gilchrist are gone when it's Cleveland's turn to pick, Chris Grant will likely be very willing to snatch up Beal.

I do have concerns over Beal's lack of height (6'3"), which would leave the Cavs undersized similar to the situation Golden State found themselves in recently with Steph Curry and Monta Ellis. However, Irving has shown the potential to be much better than either of those two and that could be enough to offset any of those problems. Beal has a chance to be a top-end shooting guard one day and will fill one of the major needs of the future.

4. New Orleans - Harrison Barnes, North Carolina
After all of the fanfare that accompanied Barnes to North Carolina, his time there is being considered a letdown. It's clear his ceiling isn't as high as once thought, but Barnes is still likely to become a solid NBA player who can last a long time in the league.

5. Sacramento - Thomas Robinson, Kansas
Robinson and DeMarcus Cousins would form a solid duo in the paint. In Robinson, the Kings would also get a mature individual that could hopefully rub off on Cousins.

6. Portland - Jeremy Lamb, UConn
The Blazers need a shooting guard who can create for himself, and Lamb has the length and shooting ability to do so.

7. Golden State - Andre Drummond, UConn
Yes, I know the Warriors traded for Andrew Bogut at the deadline. But, it's unlikely they take a guard at this spot and Drummond can step in if Bogut gets injured for the third straight season. Remember, the Warriors set a new standard for tanking to get this pick so whoever they choose better perform.

8. Toronto - Damian Lillard, Weber State
The Raptors need to come away with a point guard from this draft. Kendall Marshall is the more popular choice, but Lillard is a much better scorer and could flourish with the right team.

9. Detroit - Perry Jones III, Baylor
Joe Dumars has made a number of questionable decisions in recent drafts, but it appears he found a solid starting point guard in Brandon Knight. If Jones ever puts everything together, he could become Tracy McGrady 2.0.

10. New Orleans - Kendall Marshall, North Carolina
The Hornets will be thrilled if they are able to come away with both Barnes and Marshall with their selections. Both can step in and start right away and will help make the team much more competitive in 2012-13.

11. Portland - Tyler Zeller, North Carolina
The Blazers could use another big man to pair with LaMarcus Aldridge. Despite the surplus of power forwards in the draft, there aren't a whole lot of great centers available. I could see them looking to trade out of this pick and back into the later part of the first round.

12. Milwaukee - Jared Sullinger, Ohio State
Sullinger appears to have really hurt his draft stock by coming back to school for his sophomore year. If he continues to develop his mid range jumper, this could be a huge steal for the Bucks.

13. Phoenix - John Henson, North Carolina
The Suns would like to find an eventual replacement for Steve Nash, but if they miss out on both Lillard and Marshall then they should look to improve their defense by adding the athletic Henson.

14. Houston - Austin Rivers, Duke
Kevin Martin struggled to play at the level he has been accustomed to, and Rivers brings a load of confidence and an understanding of the NBA game thanks to his family pedigree.

15. Philadelphia - Meyers Leonard, Illinois
Sixers have plenty guards/forwards, could use size inside.

16. Houston - Fab Melo, Mississippi State
The Rockets need to add help inside as well and will likely do so with one of their two picks. Melo is raw offensively but a deference maker on defense.

17. Dallas - Moe Harkless, St. Johns
The defending champs need to get younger across the board. Harkless is comparable to Shawn Marion and could become an solid replacement.

18. Minnesota - Terrence Ross, Washington
Wesley Johnson has been a bust and the athletic Ross would fit will playing alongside Ricky Rubio.

19. Orlando - Dion Waiters, Syracuse
Brings a toughness that the Magic desperately needs. A solid college player who can shoot and penetrate.

20. Denver - Tony Wroten, Washington
The Nuggets have depth across the board and may look to take the best available player regardless of position.

21. Boston - Arnett Moultrie, Mississippi State
Could take over the power forward position from KG whenever he does decided to retire. Although, after his recent performance, that could be further off than most expected.

22. Boston - Royce White, Iowa State
White has a unique set of skills, and could learn from playing with Paul Pierce.

23. Atlanta - Quincy Miller, Baylor
Josh Smith has been very open about wanting out of Atlanta and would open up a hole at small forward if ever traded.

24. Cleveland - Terrence Jones, Kentucky
There's a chance that everyone the Cavs are interested in at this point are off the board. But trading the pick seems like an unlikely option, especially after failing to get anything out of the second round picks from last years draft.

I'm not a huge fan of Jones but if he does happen to fall this far I can't see the Cavs passing him up. He is flawed offensively and doesn't always show up to play, but is the type of athlete that could share minutes with Alonzo Gee. I'm sure Cavs fans are hoping for more out of this pick but Jones would have solid value this low.

25. Memphis - John Jenkins, Vanderbilt
Memphis could go in any direction with this pick. If they let O.J. Mayo sign elsewhere, then a backup shooting guard could be a possibility.

26. Indiana - William Buford, Ohio State
The Pacers have a number of four year college players on their roster, and could look at Buford with their only pick of the draft.

27. Miami - Draymond Green, Michigan State
The Heat need some toughness in their rotation, and the solid Green could supply that better than most other options this late.

28. Oklahoma City - Festus Ezeli, Vanderbilt
Ezeli could become a solid backup to Kendrick Perkins.

29. Chicago - Doron Lamb, Kentucky
Rip Hamilton is a shell of his former self and Lamb would give them another option at shooting guard.

30. Golden State - Will Barton, Memphis
I think Barton should have returned to school, but is definitely worth a flier on because of his potential.

Sunday, May 13, 2012

Desperate and Delusional

By: Kyle Schimming

Playoff basketball has had no problem avoiding The Q in the two seasons since LeBron James traded in his winter coat for the warmth of South Beach.

This void has given me the opportunity to dive into the Indians season a little faster than in past years while setting myself up even earlier for the inevitable Browns destruction to come.

But what it's also done is given me the time to continue my disdain towards James and throw my support behind the opponents that match up with the Heat each round.

I'm quick to admit that the Dallas Mavericks' Finals victory last season over the Heat brought me way more joy than I imagined it would and carved out a special place in my all-time favorite German athletes list for Dirk Nowitzki...oh you don't have a list of your favorite German athletes, yeah me either.

Fast forward to this postseason and I find myself in a similar position. The NBA fan in me is drawn to the match ups all across the board. But I've certainly kept a closer eye on Miami's opponents and their chances at knocking out the Heat.

I wasn't expecting much trouble from their first round match up with the Knicks. The Heat were never going to be threatened my Carmelo and Amare's less than stealer effort on the defensive end. Miami made quick work of New York and now leads Indiana 1-0.

The Pacers have the depth to give the Heat trouble and the Game 1 injury to Chris Bosh has made this series more interesting, but all along the team I've had my eyes on the Eastern Conference Finals as the series where the Heat will really be tested.

Even before Derrick Rose tore up his knee in the first round, I was hoping for the Celtics to emerge as the team that would put LeBron's plans of winning his eight championships on hold. The Celtics have the experience and the confidence to go up against the Heat and  potentially send them home before the Finals.

While Boston has looked good but not great in beating Atlanta in six games and grabbing a 1-0 lead on Philadelphia, I still have the same expectations for them as I did before the playoffs began.

That hope may turn out to come true, but like any guy who fails to see any negatives in a new girlfriend, my feelings towards the Celtics are obviously skewed by my disdain towards James.

This is especially clear any time Ryan Hollins, yes that Ryan Hollins, checks into the game as Boston's first big man off the bench. Any Cavs fan will tell you that Ryan Hollins shouldn't be relied on to provide a solid inside presence in a local YMCA game let alone in a playoff series.

But that's exactly what Hollins is being asked to do by Celtics coach Doc Rivers. Hollins has turned into the energy guy off the bench whenever Kevin Garnett and Brandon Bass need a break. He was easily one of the worst players on a team with the third worst record in the league, yet finds himself right in the middle of what is likely the last chance for Boston's "Big Three" to chase a championship.

I'd imagine that Ryan Hollins wasn't what Danny Ainge had in mind for the future when he traded away Kendrick Perkins before last years trading deadline, but he's going to have to have his fingerprints on however far the Celtics end up advancing in the playoffs.

This alone shows how desperate and somewhat delusional the fans are who once cheered for James as he promised to bring a banner to Cleveland and now spend their summers throwing their support behind the once hated "Big Three" of the Celtics.

However, for now the thought of the Heat smugly winning a championship is more than enough for Cavs fans to convince themselves that the old Celtics legs have one more Finals run in them and that Ryan Hollins has suddenly realized that he is indeed 7'0" tall and allowed to grab rebounds.

But we've all seen how James handles the pressure when matched up against a fan base both desperate and a little delusional, and for now that allows Cavs fans to continue to believe. Even when what it's believing in is Ryan Hollins.

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