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Cavs 102, Heat 92; Jason Lloyd's 24 thoughts on point guards, the bench and fast starts

By Jason Lloyd Published: October 31, 2015

CLEVELAND: Twenty-four thoughts for 24 points from Kevin Love in a 102-92 victory against the Miami Heat in the home opener…

1. When he isn’t building up Kevin Love, calling him the focal point of the offense and holding onto his coattails (his words, not mine), LeBron James has also made another drastic change from last season: He’s letting the point guards be point guards.

Cavaliers 102, Heat 92: Kevin Love delivers again, LeBron scores 29 as Cavs top Heat in home opener

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Kevin Love, LeBron James carry Cavs to 102-92 win over Heat in home opener

By Jason Lloyd Published: October 30, 2015

CLEVELAND: Cavs forward Kevin Love scored 24 points and grabbed 14 rebounds, forward LeBron James scored 29 points and the Cavaliers beat the Miami Heat 102-92 Friday night in their home opener.

Love has double-doubles in his last two games and his consecutive 3-pointers late in the third quarter gave the Cavs some space after the Heat closed the deficit to three. The Cavs held the Heat to one basket through the first five minutes of the fourth, pushing the game out of reach.

Guard Dwyane Wade scored 25 points and forward Chris Bosh had 16 points and five rebounds for the Heat. Center Hassan Whiteside scored nine points, grabbed nine rebounds and blocked six shots.

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Pregame: Heat at Cavs

By Jason Lloyd Published: October 30, 2015

 

Time: 7 p.m.; Place: Quicken Loans Arena

TV: ESPN, Fox Sports Ohio

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LeBron James says he plans on playing in all 82 games this season

By Jason Lloyd Published: October 30, 2015

INDEPENDENCE: LeBron James has often conceded how hard-headed he can be and hinted during the preseason he was willing to ease off this season, but apparently that doesn’t apply to games played.

Asked how many games he wants to play in this season, James never hesitated: “82.” Asked if that was realistic, he said yes.

James has never played in all 82 games in any of his 12 seasons. He has been fighting a sore back and needed an injection a couple of weeks ago.

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Cavs 106, Grizzlies 76; Jason Lloyd's 20 thoughts on LeBron's decision to give more control to Love

By Jason Lloyd Published: October 29, 2015

MEMPHIS, TENN.: Twenty thoughts for 20 minutes from Tristan Thompson in a 106-76 beatdown of the Memphis Grizzlies at FedExForum…

1. Around the time the Golden State Warriors were trashing the visitors locker room at Quicken Loans Arena last June, LeBron James was slumped at his locker with a towel draped over his head for what felt like hours.

2. He was physically, mentally and emotionally exhausted from carrying a franchise through six Finals games and a region for 11 months. For a team billed as a Big Three all season, James finished it out all alone.

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Cavs pound Grizzlies 106-76 behind Kevin Love's big night

By Jason Lloyd Published: October 28, 2015

MEMPHIS, TENN.: This is the way it was supposed to be eventually, but not yet. Not this fast. A team that spent most of the preseason cautioning against a slow start instead blasted one of the West’s best teams on their own floor for the second consecutive year.

Perhaps most astonishing, they did it despite an off night from LeBron James.

Kevin Love had a double-double in the first half and the Cavs’ crisp ball movement left the Memphis Grizzlies spinning in circles in a 106-76 victory Wednesday at FedExForum.

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Pregame: Cavs at Grizzlies

By Jason Lloyd Published: October 28, 2015

Time: 8 p.m.; Place: FedExForum

TV: Fox Sports Ohio

Radio: WTAM 1100-AM, WAKR 1590-AM, WHBC 1480-AM,  La Mega 87.7-FM (Spanish)

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Bulls 97, Cavs 95; Jason Lloyd's 29 final thoughts on LeBron's team meeting, lack of practice time

By Jason Lloyd Published: October 28, 2015

CHICAGO: Twenty-nine thoughts for the Cavs’ 29 3-point attempts in a 97-95 loss to the Chicago Bulls on opening night at United Center…

1. During the week between the final preseason game and the start of the regular season, LeBron James called a team meeting to communicate one clear message: We have enough. No matter what.

Final game story on loss to Bulls

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LeBron James, Cavs denied at buzzer in 97-95 loss to Bulls in season opener

By Jason Lloyd Published: October 27, 2015

CHICAGO: Once again, it came down to the final play at United Center. This time, however, LeBron James didn’t get his hands on the ball and the Chicago Bulls escaped with a 97-95 victory over the Cavaliers on opening night.

The final seconds of Tuesday’s season opener looked eerily similar to last season’s pivotal Game 4 in the Eastern Conference semifinals. James hit the game-winner at the buzzer to even that series, but the stakes weren’t nearly as high Tuesday.

The Cavs trailed by eight with 1:38 left, but a pair of 3-pointers from Kevin Love in the last 62 seconds pulled the Cavs within 97-95.

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Pregame: Cavs at Bulls

By Jason Lloyd Published: October 27, 2015

 

Time: 8 p.m.; Place: United Center

TV: TNT

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President Obama scheduled to attend opener between Cavs, Bulls

By Jason Lloyd Published: October 27, 2015

CHICAGO: First it was the Royal Family, now it’s U.S. royalty. When LeBron James is in town, the world’s most powerful dignitaries want to see him.

President Barack Obama is scheduled to attend Tuesday’s season opener between the Cavaliers and his beloved Chicago Bulls. Secret Service already had United Center blanketed nearly 12 hours prior to tip-off, but for James and others, playing in front of political leaders is nothing new. But it never gets old, either.

“I’m just honored,” James said. “Something I can tell my kids a long, long time from now. I’ll actually be able to have the film showing them, kids don’t believe me sometimes. I’ll be able to show them the film that the president of the United States was at a ball game I played in. That’s pretty cool.”

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LeBron not yet cleared to return, but remains 'optimistic' he'll play in opener

By Jason Lloyd Published: October 23, 2015

INDEPENDENCE: LeBron James is no longer a lock to play in Tuesday’s season opener because of ongoing back issues, but the Cavs still believe he’ll be ready to play when the season begins.

It’s becoming more apparent, however, that James has reached the point in his career where his back will always be a concern.

James did not practice again Friday and has not practiced since receiving an injection in his back last Tuesday, his second such anti-inflammatory injection in the last 10 months. Coach David Blatt said earlier in the week James would “absolutely” be ready for the opener, but that seems to be softening – James said he hasn’t been cleared yet by the training staff to even practice.

James said he’ll play Tuesday “if everything goes right. We feel like we’re progressing really well and if we can continue to do that, then I’m optimistic that I’ll be able to go.”

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LeBron James held out of practice Thursday

By Jason Lloyd Published: October 22, 2015

INDEPENDENCE: LeBron James was a limited participant at practice Thursday, although coach David Blatt remains adamant he will be ready for the Oct. 27 opener at the Chicago Bulls.

Blatt said James did some light work on the side Thursday.

“We’re being very conscientious and cautious with him in terms of his feeling,” Blatt said. “He’s fine and he’s gonna be fine, but we’re just going slowly and carefully with him. He’ll be out there very soon.”

James, who declined to speak with reporters, played in two of seven preseason games. He has dealt with back soreness in the preseason, but looked fine after practice Thursday when he joined J.R. Smith and James Jones throwing around footballs in an open field adjacent the practice facility.

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Cavs, Tristan Thompson agree to five year, $82 million deal

By Jason Lloyd Published: October 21, 2015

The final piece to the Cavs’ run at a championship is finally in place. Tristan Thompson’s holdout is over.

Thompson and the Cavaliers agreed Wednesday to a five-year, $82 million deal, multiple sources confirmed, that keeps Thompson under team control until the summer of 2020.

Thompson’s contract means the Cavs are on the hook for about $170 million in payroll and luxury taxes, according to ESPN, the second-highest in league history. That could swell to above $200 million if the Cavs use their $10.5 million trade exception prior to February’s deadline.

Thompson’s deal also means owner Dan Gilbert signed Thompson, LeBron James, Kevin Love, Iman Shumpert and J.R. Smith to contract extensions this summer totaling about $290 million in guaranteed money. He paid $375 million to buy the team 10 years ago.

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NBA GMs select Cavs to win trophy, LeBron James as Most Valuable Player

By Jason Lloyd Published: October 20, 2015

NBA general managers have selected the Cavaliers to win their first championship and LeBron James to win his fifth Most Valuable Player award in voting released Tuesday by NBA.com.

The Cavs were chosen by 16 of the 30 GMs, while James appeared to earn 12 votes for MVP. General managers were not allowed to vote for their own players or teams. The Cavs are predicted to face the Golden State Warriors in a rematch from last summer.

How accurate is the survey?

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Cavs 103, Mavs 97: J.R. Smith scores 19 points, Cavs win first preseason game in finale

By Jason Lloyd Published: October 19, 2015

CLEVELAND: J.R. Smith scored 19 points, Kevin Love had 10 points and four rebounds and the Cavaliers beat the Dallas Mavericks 103-97 Monday, winning their first preseason game in their finale.

Now they’ll take a week off prior to opening the season Oct. 27 at the Chicago Bulls.

Recently signed Jack Cooley grabbed 15 rebounds in 19 minutes and Love played 23 minutes on the second night of a back-to-back, although LeBron James, Mo Williams and Anderson Varejao rested. The Cavs took this game slightly more seriously, however, playing all five starters beyond the midway point of the third quarter in their final tune-up.

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Kevin Love returns, but Cavs fall to Toronto Raptors 87-81

By Jason Lloyd Published: October 18, 2015

TORONTO: Kevin Love returned with six points and four rebounds, but the Cavaliers lost to the Toronto Raptors 87-81 Sunday to remain winless this preseason.

Love was making his debut after six months of rehab from shoulder surgery. He played less than 13 minutes, none in the second half, which was by design. Coach David Blatt wanted to limit him Sunday in the hope of bringing him back again for Monday’s preseason finale at home against the Dallas Mavericks.

Love missed his last five shots after making his first two. He moved well, seemed more aggressive looking for shots inside and even zipped a pair of nifty behind the back passes to Anderson Varejao and Mo Williams for assists.

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Cavs' Kevin Love will play Sunday at Toronto, LeBron James will not

By Jason Lloyd Published: October 16, 2015

INDEPENDENCE: Kevin Love will make his preseason debut Sunday when the Cavs play at the Toronto Raptors. LeBron James will not play Sunday, although no one is ruling out James appearing in Monday’s home game against the Dallas Mavericks to conclude the preseason.

Sunday will mark Love’s first game since dislocating his shoulder in the first round of the playoffs in April.

“It’s still going to be a work in progress in terms of getting his rhythm and getting him comfortable and getting game conditioning. That’s a reality,” coach David Blatt said of Love. “But it’s also reality he’ll be out there and competing and what he can give us will be very, very welcome and important. But he’s not going to be 100 percent right away and we recognize that.”
James had an anti-inflammatory shot in his back this week, which he said Friday was all part of the plan entering the season since he responded so well to the shot in January. There are no plans for him to have another shot during the season, he said, only if it’s needed.

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Sources: LeBron James received injection in back this week, unlikely to play again in preseason

By Jason Lloyd Published: October 16, 2015

CLEVELAND: LeBron James received an injection in his back this week, according to multiple sources, and is unlikely to play again in the preseason. James received a similar anti-inflammatory shot in January when he was shut down for two weeks and responded so well that the plan was always for him to have another one at some point, one league source said. By doing it now, James won’t miss any significant time.

The Cavs open the regular season at the Chicago Bulls on Oct. 27.

James has dealt with back problems the last couple of years, although no one seems to think it’s a significant issue at present. His back was a little sore when he arrived at Quicken Loans Arena for Tuesday’s game against the Milwaukee Bucks, a game he wasn’t supposed to play in anyway, and he was feeling ill. So the team gave him the shot and sent him home.

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LeBron James resting against Pacers, may not play again in preseason

By Jason Lloyd Published: October 15, 2015

CLEVELAND: LeBron James may not play again until the Cavaliers open the regular season at the Chicago Bulls on Oct. 27, coach David Blatt indicated Thursday.

James will not play tonight when the Cavs host the Indiana Pacers and Blatt left open the possibility he doesn’t play again until the Bulls. He isn’t hurt, the Cavs are just trying to limit his minutes.

“We’ll see what happens at the beginning of next week,” Blatt said, referring to games at the Toronto Raptors on Sunday and home against the Dallas Mavericks on Monday to conclude the preseason. “I certainly don’t expect him to play both games and I don’t know if he’ll even play one. We’ll see.”

Finding the proper amount of rest for James was an ongoing theme throughout last year ‑ he even took two weeks off in the middle of the season. James has only played in two of the Cavs’ first five preseason games.

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LeBron James scores 14, Cavs fall to Grizzlies 91-81 at Ohio State

By Jason Lloyd Published: October 12, 2015

COLUMBUS: LeBron James scored 14 points on another tough shooting night, but the Cavs fell to the Memphis Grizzlies 91-81 Monday at Value City Arena.

The Cavs were playing without Mo Williams and J.R. Smith. Williams was just resting, but Smith is sidelined with a sore hamstring, adding him to a long list of injured players that has complicated the early preseason for the winless Cavs.

James shot 6 of 15 and is 9 of 28 this preseason. Richard Jefferson had 11 points and six rebounds and made three 3-pointers starting in place of Smith, while Jared Cunningham scored 13 points off the bench and James Jones scored 10.

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J.R. Smith says he won't play in Monday's preseason game, Mo Williams also out to rest

By Jason Lloyd Published: October 12, 2015

COLUMBUS: J.R. Smith essentially ruled himself out of Monday’s preseason game against the Memphis Grizzlies at Ohio State because of ongoing soreness in his left hamstring.

“Not tonight,” Smith said as he began treatment. Smith said he tweaked the hamstring during a recent workout and it has been bothering him for a few days. He was held out of Thursday’s preseason game against the Philadelphia 76ers and has not practiced the last few days.

Coach David Blatt wasn’t as adamant as Smith, but said he would render a decision based on what Smith could do in the morning shootaround.

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Cavs' Kevin Love practices for first time since shoulder surgery

By Jason Lloyd Published: October 10, 2015

INDEPENDENCE: Kevin Love returned to practice Saturday for the first time since injuring his shoulder last May and could appear in a preseason game on Thursday. He is not expected, however, to play Monday at Ohio State or Tuesday at home against the Milwaukee Bucks.

Love hinted he could play Thursday at home against the Indiana Pacers.

“I felt good. Just getting into the rhythm of the plays more than anything, just getting my legs under me and (taking) contact,” Love said. “As time goes, I’ll get more accustomed to being out there playing, but today was the first step.”

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Cavs fall to Hawks 98-96 in preseason opener that includes big dunk, LeBron selfie

By Jason Lloyd Published: October 7, 2015

CINCINNATI: J.R. Smith scored 15 points, including three 3-pointers, but the Cavs struggled offensively in falling to the Atlanta Hawks 98-96 in their preseason opener Wednesday at Xavier University.

LeBron James had eight points, seven rebounds and five assists, while shooting just 3 of 13 in 22 minutes and Timofey Mozgov had 13 points and five rebounds for the Cavs, who shot 42 percent (14 of 37 on 3-pointers). They were under 40 percent until a late surge from the camp invites in the fourth quartrer.

With so many starters out injured, the bench struggled against the Hawks. Anderson Varejao had eight points and a pair of offensive rebounds, while the rest of the reserves combined to shoot 33 percent (12 of 36).

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Cavs' Kevin Love will practice on Saturday, nearing return to games

By Jason Lloyd Published: October 7, 2015

CINCINNATI: Kevin Love will participate in a full practice Saturday for the first time since shoulder surgery, inching him closer to an expected preseason debut in the near future.

Both Love and Kyrie Irving remained in Cleveland to rehab during this two-game trip to Cincinnati and Philadelphia, but coach David Blatt said Wednesday morning Love will participate when the team reconvenes at Cleveland Clinic Courts this weekend.

“He’s coming along real nice,” Blatt said.

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Kevin Love expected to be ready for Cavs opener, but not Kyrie Irving

By Jason Lloyd Published: October 6, 2015

INDEPENDENCE: Kevin Love remains on track to play in the Oct. 27 regular season opener at the Chicago Bulls, but Kyrie Irving won’t be ready, coach David Blatt confirmed Tuesday.

“That would be fair and realistic,” Blatt said.

Love is participating in 3 on 3 drills this week and the Cavs hope he will be cleared for full practices by the weekend. Blatt has already ruled him out for this week’s preseason games at Cincinnati on Wednesday (against the Atlanta Hawks) and at the Philadelphia 76ers on Thursday. But Blatt has previously said the plan is for Love to play in preseason games at some point this month.

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Sasha Kaun ready for Cavs debut after playing seven years overseas

By Jason Lloyd Published: October 5, 2015

CLEVELAND: Sasha Kaun didn’t think his journey to the NBA would take seven years. If he had his way, he would’ve joined the Cavaliers three years ago when he was a free agent, but the two sides couldn’t come to terms on a deal, so he returned to CSKA Moscow.

Yet even still, when Kaun declared last season would be his final in the Euroleague, there were those within the Cavs organization who didn’t know if he was serious or leveraging for a bigger contract. As it turns out, he meant it.

Kaun will made his Cavs debut tonight in the team’s annual Wine & Gold scrimmage at Quicken Loans Arena. All of the free tickets for the event have been distributed, but fans can watch the game for free on cavs.com.

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LeBron James calls Tristan Thompson's holdout a distraction, urges both sides to get deal done

By Jason Lloyd Published: October 4, 2015

Get it done!!!! Straight up. #MissMyBrother @realtristan13

A photo posted by LeBron James (@kingjames) on

 

INDEPENDENCE: LeBron James insisted his late-night social media message wasn’t directed solely at the Cavs, labeled Tristan Thompson’s holdout as a distraction and urged both sides to find common ground in a candid interview following practice Sunday.

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LeBron James pushing for stiffer gun laws in wake of child killings

By Jason Lloyd Published: October 2, 2015

 

INDEPENDENCE: LeBron James pushed for stiffer gun laws Friday in the wake of another child killing in Cleveland.

James spoke out on social media after an infant was shot and killed in Cleveland on Thursday, the same day 10 died in Oregon during another school shooting.

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Cavs GM David Griffin expects Tristan Thompson to be in camp Friday

By Jason Lloyd Published: October 1, 2015

INDEPENDENCE: Cavs general manager David Griffin said he expects Tristan Thompson to be on the practice floor Friday, although he declined to speculate under what type of contract.

Thompson is facing an 11:59 p.m. deadline Thursday night to accept the Cavs’ qualifying offer worth about $7 million or reject it and continue negotiations, at which point he would be considered a holdout. The team had the right to extend the Oct. 1 deadline for Thompson to sign the qualifying offer, but declined to do so.

“We fully expect (Friday) he’ll be here in some form or fashion and we’re excited to get going,” Griffin told NBA TV during a live broadcast of Thursday’s Cavs practice. “We’re hopeful that he wants to move forward with his teammates in the same way we want to have Tristan here. If we can come to some agreement we will.”

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