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Cavaliers 106, Pacers 102: Marla's 14 thoughts from Beyond the Arc on LeBron's big 3, weak offense

By Marla Ridenour Published: April 23, 2017

Notes, quotes and observations after the Cavaliers defeated the Indiana Pacers 106-102 Sunday at Bankers Life Fieldhouse to sweep the four-game series. The Cavs will have a week off before hosting the winner of the Raptors-Bucks series on May 1.

1. LeBron James made only one 3-pointer and scored just three of his 33 points outside the paint, but his shot from long range with 1:08 remaining gave the Cavs the lead for good at 103-102.

2. “At the end of the game he’s been making them,” Cavs coach Tyronn Lue said. “When we need that run or we need that shot, he’s been stepping up and making them. That’s what he gets paid to do. That’s why he’s the best player in the world and he does it all the time. Tonight when we needed that, we fell behind by two, they went on a big run and he made a big shot and we didn’t look back. That’s what he does.”

3. James explained what happened on the possession.

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Report: Orlando Magic weighing interest in Cavaliers’ GM David Griffin

By Marla Ridenour Published: April 21, 2017

Cavaliers General Manager David Griffin could be a target of the Orlando Magic as they begin their search to replace GM Rob Hennigan, Adrian Wojnarowski of The Vertical reported Friday.

The architect of the Cavs’ 2016 NBA championship, Griffin is working without a contract for next season and league sources told Wojnarowski that talks on a new deal have been stalled for months.

The fact that the Cavs have left Griffin in limbo while spending an NBA-high $126.6 million on players’ salaries and signing coach Tyronn Lue to a reported five-year, $35 million contract has led league executives to believe that Griffin could be lured away after the Cavs finish the playoffs, The Vertical said.

According to Wojnarowski, Magic CEO Alex Martins and other top team officials are intrigued by the possibility of getting Griffin. Martins is a former Browns vice president of communications.

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Cavs 119, Pacers 114: Marla's 36 shots from Beyond the Arc on LeBron's greatness, historic comeback

By Marla Ridenour Published: April 21, 2017

Notes, quotes and observations after the Cavaliers’ 119-114 victory over the Indiana Pacers Thursday night in Bankers Life Fieldhouse. The victory gave the Cavs a 3-0 lead in the first-round Eastern Conference playoff series. Game 4 is Sunday at 1 p.m. in Indianapolis.

1. The Cavs’ comeback from a 26-point second-quarter deficit was the third-largest in NBA playoff history and the largest since the Los Angeles Clippers rallied from a 27-point second-half deficit against the Memphis Grizzlies in a first-round series in 2012.

2. Trailing by 25 points after two quarters, the Cavs overcame the largest halftime deficit in league postseason history.

3. And it happened without starters Kyrie Irving and Kevin Love, benched for the entire fourth quarter by Cavs coach Tyronn Lue because of they were struggling. Irving hit 4 of 17 field goals, 1 for 6 from 3-point range, while Love was 4 of 12, 3 of 7 from beyond the arc.

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Update: Cavaliers' J.R. Smith will start Game 3 vs. Pacers

By Marla Ridenour Published: April 20, 2017

Cavaliers coach Tyronn Lue said J.R. Smith will start Game 3 of the first-round playoff series against the Indiana Pacers Thursday after injuring his left hamstring in the first half of Game 2.

Smith had been listed as questionable. The Cavs hold a 2-0 lead going into the 7 p.m. game at Bankers Life Fieldhouse.

Lue said before the game that he wasn't sure if Smith would be under a minutes restriction. The Cavs waited to clarify Smith's status because they wanted to see how Smith came out of the morning shootaround.

Lue said Smith "looked good" in Wednesday's practice at Cleveland Clinic Courts. Smith's starting assignment means Iman Shumpert, who sparked the Cavs with his defense in the second half of Game 2 after Smith was injured, will go back to the bench.

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Cavs' J.R. Smith questionable for Game 3 vs. Pacers with hamstring injury

By Marla Ridenour Published: April 19, 2017

Cavaliers guard J.R. Smith was listed as questionable for Game 3 against the Indiana Pacers Thursday at Bankers Life Fieldhouse after suffering a left hamstring injury in Game 2 Monday.

Smith wanted to play but was held out of second half of the Cavs' 117-111 victory over the Pacers at Quicken Loans Arena as the Cavs took a 2-0 series lead in the first round of the Eastern Conference playoffs.

Smith made it through the Cavs' entire practice Wednesday at Cleveland Clinic Courts. As the session concluded, he jogged and sprinted on sections of the court and stopped to shoot without showing obvious discomfort.

Smith said he underwent an MRI Tuesday morning.

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Cavs' Edy Tavares named D-League defensive player of year

By Marla Ridenour Published: April 18, 2017

Raptors 905 center Edy Tavares, signed by the Cavs on April 12, was named the NBA D-League's defensive player of the year in a vote by the league’s 22 coaches.

Tavares, 7-foot-3 and 265 pounds, led a Raptors 905 defense that held opponents to a league-low 98 points per game and 42.8 percent shooting from the field. He tied for the league lead in blocked shots with 2.7 per game. His best performance came on March 25, when he blocked a league-high 12 shots while scoring 15 points and adding 11 rebounds.

In 48 games for Raptors 905, he averaged 10.6 points and 7.7 rebounds. Tavares appeared in one game for the Cavs, the regular-season finale against Toronto, and blocked six shots in the second half, tying a Quicken Loans Arena record for blocks in a half, while contributing 10 rebounds and six points in 24 minutes.

Born in Majo, Cape Verde, Tavares was the 43rd overall pick of the Atlanta Hawks in 2014.
 

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Cavs 117, Pacers 111: Marla's 35 shots from Beyond the Arc on J.R.'s hammy, Shumpert's redemption

By Marla Ridenour Published: April 18, 2017

Notes, quotes and observations after the Cavaliers defeated the Indiana Pacers 117-111 Monday night at Quicken Loans Arena to take a 2-0 lead in the first round of the Eastern Conference playoffs.

1. Before diving into J.R. Smith’s left hamstring injury -- "I wanted to play, they didn't want me to play,” Smith said – and Iman Shumpert’s “unbelievable” second half performance, according to coach Tyronn Lue, an encouraging comment on the team’s progress from LeBron James.

2. The question was about the Cavs being outscored in the fourth quarter for the second consecutive game. On Monday, the Pacers finished with a 33-21 surge. In Saturday’s one-point Cavs’ victory, the Pacers had a 24-17 edge.

3. But James was not concerned about that troubling fact, even though the Pacers cut the Cavs’ 18-point lead going into the fourth quarter to four points with 19.5 seconds to go.

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LeBron James to grieving Isaiah Thomas: 'I can only imagine how that would take your heart away'

By Marla Ridenour Published: April 17, 2017

LeBron James doesn’t have any siblings, so he knows he can’t really emphasize with Celtics star Isaiah Thomas over the shocking death of his sister last weekend.

Chyna Thomas, 22, was killed in a one-car accident early Saturday morning in their home state of Washington. Thomas, who learned of her death after practice Saturday, played Sunday and scored a team-high 33 points in the top-seeded Celtics’ 106-102 loss to the Chicago Bulls at TD Garden.

James did not send his condolences to Thomas and his family via social media because of James’ playoff-imposed blackout. But he did convey his sympathy after Monday’s shootaround before Game 2 of the Cavaliers’ series against the Indiana Pacers at Cleveland Clinic Courts.

“My deepest sympathy and prayers goes up to him and his mother, his father, whoever is in his life. I’m not quite sure who’s in his life,” James said. “Had to be a tough situation for him, just going out and playing a game and obviously who cares about the game? That’s so silly to even think about basketball when something like that tragic happens.

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Cavs 109, Pacers 108: Marla's 22 shots from Beyond the Arc on crucial double team, C.J. Miles' miss

By Marla Ridenour Published: April 15, 2017

Notes, quotes and observations after the defending champion Cavaliers' 109-108 victory over the Indiana Pacers in Game 1 of the first round of the Eastern Conference playoffs Saturday at Quicken Loans Arena.

1. More on the Pacers’ C.J. Miles’ 14-foot potential game-winner with one second left:

2. Pacers coach Nate McMillan said the outcome felt “very similar” to their 135-130 double-overtime loss to the Cavs at the Q on April 2.

3. “When you are down one with the ball, you have to execute the play and hit the shot,” McMillan said. “We didn’t do that. C.J. (Miles) had a decent look at it, but when teams are double-teaming Paul (George) and other guys with the basketball, you have to make yourself available to knock down the shots as they come. I thought we could have done a better job of attacking the trap and getting the ball to the middle. We got a good look, you just have to knock the shot down. I do feel like we let one slip away again.”

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Cavs-Pacers playoff schedule

By Marla Ridenour Published: April 13, 2017

Cleveland vs. Indiana
Game 1 – Saturday, April 15: Indiana at Cleveland 3:00PM ABC
Game 2 – Monday, April 17: Indiana at Cleveland 7:00PM TNT
Game 3 – Thursday, April 20: Cleveland at Indiana 7:00PM TNT
Game 4 – Sunday, April 23: Cleveland at Indiana 1:00PM ABC
Game 5 * Tuesday, April 25: Indiana at Cleveland TBD TBD
Game 6 * Thursday, April 27: Cleveland at Indiana TBD TBD
Game 7 * Saturday, April 29: Indiana at Cleveland TBD TNT
 

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Raptors 98, Cavs 83: Marla's 35 shots from Beyond the Arc on book sequels and underachievers

By Marla Ridenour Published: April 13, 2017

Notes, quotes and observations after the Cavaliers fell 98-83 to the Toronto Raptors at Quicken Loans Arena to finish the season 51-31 and second in the Eastern Conference.

1. On March 1, the Cavs had a four-game lead on the Boston Celtics.

2. When the regular season ended Wednesday, they trailed the Celtics by two games and will face the Indiana Pacers in the first round of the playoffs starting with a 3 p.m. game Saturday.

3. They finished with the same record as the Raptors. They won only 10 more games than the eighth-seeded Chicago Bulls. The Oklahoma City Thunder saw Kevin Durant flee to Golden State and the Thunder won 47.

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Cavs sign Edy Tavares, Dahntay Jones; waive Larry Sanders

By Marla Ridenour Published: April 11, 2017

The Cavs officially announced the signing of 7-foot-3 center Edy Tavares and guard Dahntay Jones on Wednesday.

To make room on the roster, the team released center Larry Sanders earlier in the day.

Sanders, signed by the Cavs on March 13 after two years out of the league battling personal problems, played 13 minutes in five games for the Cavs and scored four points and pulled down four rebounds. He played in four games with the Cavs’ D-League affiliate, the Canton Charge. The Charge were eliminated from the playoffs Saturday by Tavares’ Raptors 905 team.

With center Tristan Thompson missing the past four games with a sprained right thumb going into Wednesday’s regular season finale at home against the Raptors, the Cavs apparently decided they needed more immediate help for the post-season than Sanders could provide. When Sanders was acquired, Cavs General Manager David Griffin said he realized Sanders was a long-term project.

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Hawks 114, Cavaliers 100: Marla's 36 shots from Beyond the Arc on Kyrie's 'terrible' day

By Marla Ridenour Published: April 8, 2017

Notes, quotes and observations from the Cavaliers’ 114-100 loss to the Atlanta Hawks Friday night at Quicken Loans Arena.

1. Before getting to the Cavs’ embarrassing and maddening tendency to give little effort when an opponents’ top player or players are sitting, information on Kyrie Irving’s left knee, which could jeopardize his chances of playing Sunday in Atlanta.

2. With 1:47 left in the third quarter, Irving sat on the bench grabbing the knee, the same one that had the kneecap fractured in the 2015 NBA Finals. Trainer Steve Spiro examined Irving, who briefly headed to the locker room. Irving managed to return to the game with 7:11 remaining, but scored two points in the fourth quarter.

3. Irving missed a March 18 game in Los Angeles against the Clippers with soreness in that knee. Friday might have been more of the same, but this time Irving gave some insight on what Thursday’s off day was like for him.

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Cavs 114, Celtics 91: Marla's 25 shots from Beyond the Arc on statement games, the right mindset

By Marla Ridenour Published: April 6, 2017

Notes, quotes and observations after the Cavaliers defeated the Boston Celtics 114-91 Wednesday night at TD Garden.

1. The showdown of the two teams tied for the lead in the Eastern Conference became a statement game, but not in the way you might think.

2. “Nah, no statement game,” LeBron James said. “Maybe for ourselves. We need to get better. Tonight we did that. That’s it. We don’t need a statement for anybody but ourselves and tonight was good for our group.”

3. Cavs coach Tyronn Lue knew why the Cavs played what may have been their best game for 48 minutes since February.

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Update: Cavs center Tristan Thompson to miss at least 2 games with sprained right thumb

By Marla Ridenour Published: April 5, 2017

Tristan Thompson's iron man streak is over.

The Cleveland Cavaliers center suffered a sprained right thumb Tuesday night against the Orlando Magic and will not play Wednesday against the Celtics in Boston or Friday at home against the Atlanta Hawks, the team announced.

The injury will end Thompson's run of playing in 447 consecutive games, the longest active streak in the NBA and a franchise record that began on Feb. 10, 2012.

According to a Cavs press release, Thompson was injured in the third quarter of the Cavs' victory over the Magic, but had the thumb taped and continued to play. X-rays at Quicken Loans Arena after the game were negative. But he did not fly with the team to Boston Tuesday night, staying to undergo an MRI at Cleveland Clinic on Wednesday morning. The test confirmed the sprain.

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Cavaliers 122, Magic 102: Marla's 30 shots from Beyond the Arc on soap operas, third-quarter magic

By Marla Ridenour Published: April 5, 2017

Notes, quotes and observations after the Cavaliers’ 122-102 victory over the Orlando Magic Tuesday at Quicken Loans Arena.

1. The game was decided by the Cavs’ 43-point third quarter, in which they shot 71 percent from the field and hit 9 of 13 3-pointers, prompting Magic coach Frank Vogel to say, “Nobody can survive that.”

2. But the big picture was of bigger importance and can be summed up simply: What a difference a week makes.

3. On March 27, the Cavs were routed at San Antonio, their third blowout loss in a four-game span. They were 6-9 in March and would finish the month 7-10. While they were dealing with an injury to Kyle Korver and Kevin Love and J.R. Smith didn’t have their legs under them as they returned from surgery, the Cavs did not look capable of defending their NBA championship.

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Cavaliers' Kyle Korver to return tonight vs. Magic

By Marla Ridenour Published: April 4, 2017

Cavaliers shooting guard Kyle Korver will return for Tuesday night's home game against the Orlando Magic after missing 11 out of the last 14 with an inflamed tendon in his left foot.

Cavs coach Tyronn Lue said Korver looked good in practice Monday, especially during three-on-three, four-on-four and five-on-five work.

"He had a good day yesterday," Lue said. "Today we'll see how he feels once he gets his minutes."

Lue said Korver won't have to wear special padding in his shoe to alleviate the soreness.

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Cavaliers 135, Pacers 130 (2OT): Marla's 33 shots from Beyond the Arc on LeBron-Tristan altercation

By Marla Ridenour Published: April 3, 2017

1. LeBron James knows his heated exchange with Tristan Thompson didn’t look good on television.

2. James felt badly enough that he said he apologized to Thompson.

3. But during a timeout with 25.6 seconds remaining in the second overtime of the Cavaliers’ 135-130 victory over the Pacers Sunday night at Quicken Loans Arena, it appeared that frustration over a defensive lapse boiled over.

4. After a 3-pointer by Kevin Love gave the Cavs a 131-127 lead, the Pacers called timeout. Thompson walked towards the bench motioning at James over something that was supposed to happen on the previous possession, which resulted in a 3-pointer by Paul George. As James followed, Thompson turned and pointed at James. The two walked by Cavs coach Tyronn Lue, who was clapping his encouragement, and James motioned to Lue to stay back and not get involved.

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