SACRAMENTO, CALIF.: Iman Shumpert will replace DeAndre Liggins in the starting lineup Friday when the Cavaliers host the Sacramento Kings, Cavs coach Tyronn Lue said.
Lue has resisted moving Shumpert into the starting lineup for weeks because he insisted he wanted his production off the bench, but the recent addition of Kyle Korver has given Lue more punch in his bench scoring.
“Just playing with the starters, I think Shump played a lot better,” Lue said. “That’s what he was accustomed to doing. He’s been trying to come in and help carry the second unit. It’s tough on him.”
Shumpert has been mired in a deep shooting slump since getting off to a hot start from 3-point range. He shot 48 percent from 3-point range through his first 21 games, but has been at 24 percent in his last 16 games in a slump that dates back to Dec. 13. Shumpert is averaging 6.9 points and shooting 37 percent from deep overall.To read more or comment...
PORTLAND, ORE.: Twenty thoughts for 20 points from LeBron James in Wednesday’s 102-86 loss to the Portland Trail Blazers…
1. When the Cavs dropped three straight games in late November and early December, their problems were primarily on defense. Specifically, protecting the paint. The Bucks gashed them for 68 points inside and the Bulls punished them for 78. One come-to-Jesus film session and one good practice in Toronto went a long way toward fixing their problems.
2. This is the Cavs’ first losing streak since that stretch and they again appear in need of another good practice, particularly since they haven’t had one since Dec. 28. But the problems this time, surprisingly, are on offense.
3. LeBron James likes to call this a make-or-miss league and the Cavs are clearly missing more than they’re making. Some of that is cyclical and will course correct on its own, but they’ve had more turnovers than assists in each of their last three games and four of their last five.To read more or comment...
PORTLAND, ORE.: The same team that set an NBA record for consecutive games with at least 10 3-pointers now can’t seem to get to double figures at all. The Cavs were buried twice Wednesday in the frigid Northwest, first by record snowfall and then by their own inept shooting.
The Cavs shot 34 percent and made just nine 3-pointers in their lopsided 102-86 loss to the Portland Trail Blazers on Wednesday. It capped a strange 24 hours when the Blazers didn’t even land in Portland until about 5 1/2 hours before tip-off.
It didn’t matter. The Cavs have built an impressive record outshooting teams all season, but not lately. They failed to make at least 10 3-pointers for the fifth time in six games since the start of the New Year.
LeBron James scored 20 points and grabbed 11 rebounds and Kevin Love scored 17 points, but was shut out in the second half. Kyrie Irving scored 11 points on 4-of-16 shooting and finished the back-to-back 9-of-34. Not surprisingly, the Cavs dropped both games.To read more or comment...
Everyone is still excited about the Cleveland Cavaliers winning the NBA championship last season, including a 9-year-old from Akron.
Jae'Anthony Michael Wharton is a fourth grader at Judith A. Resnik Community Learning Center in West Akron. When he's not busy practicing Taekwondo, where he's a junior black belt, he goes by J Swag.
This week, J Swag released his ode to LeBron James and Cavs with "We're All In."
"When the King is on the court, he's so ecstatic / so give him what he wants, he's automatic," J Swag raps in the song. Listen to the song here:To read more or comment...
SALT LAKE CITY: Twenty-six thoughts for 26 points in the fourth quarter of Tuesday’s 100-92 loss to the Utah Jazz…
1. The warning signs were evident the last few games as the turnovers grew and the assist totals shrunk. But the Cavs were playing lousy opponents. That wasn’t the case this time and it finally caught up with them.
2. The Cavs just haven’t shot the ball well lately, which happens throughout the course of a season. Their 3-point shooting has not been good now in four of the last five games. It runs in cycles and eventually they’ll get hot again, especially with the addition of Kyle Korver.
3. Another disturbing trend that isn’t getting as much attention is LeBron James’ lack of foul calls, which has him growing more and more frustrated. James has subtly complained at times over the years about his lack of calls, but he erupted on second-year referee Tyler Ford late in the first quarter and was hit with his second technical of the season.To read more or comment...
SALT LAKE CITY: A rare winter blizzard wreaked havoc on Portland and the Cavs’ travel plans early Wednesday morning.
The Cavs were grounded on the tarmac for more than two hours following their loss at Utah on Tuesday because Portland is getting buried in 4-8 inches of snow, according to The Oregonian.
The charter flight eventually departed and landed safely in Portland around 5:15 a.m. EST, a team spokesman said, even though they weren't sure they'd be able to land in Portland when they took off. The Cavs' backup plan was to land in Seattle and bus to Portland, but that ultimately wasn't necessary.
The Blazers, who beat the Los Angeles Lakers at Staples Center on Tuesday, curiously had to land in Seattle even though the Cavs plane reached Portland first. The Blazers also took off from Los Angeles knowing they may not be able to land in Portland.To read more or comment...
SALT LAKE CITY: The addition of one of the league’s best 3-point shooters did little to help the Cavs’ issues with turnovers and assists Tuesday night. In fact, Kyle Korver didn’t even make a 3-pointer in his debut.
LeBron James scored 29 points and Kyrie Irving scored 20, but the Cavs’ problems in Utah continued with a 100-92 loss to the Jazz. The Cavs committed 18 turnovers after they had 20 in Sunday’s win at Phoenix.
Ball movement continues to be an issue as well. The Cavs did not record an assist in the second quarter and finished with 15. They’re now averaging 15.8 assists in their last six games.
The Utah mountains historically have not been kind to James and his mates. Despite his best efforts, James has lost his last six games in this arena. In fact, the trio of James, Irving and Kevin Love are now a combined 10-22 inside Vivint Smart Home Arena.To read more or comment...
SALT LAKE CITY: Kyle Korver spent the last six years trying unsuccessfully to beat LeBron James in the postseason. Now the two are teammates. Korver acknowledged Tuesday before his Cavaliers debut that it took a little while to process that.
“I feel like I’ve been trying to beat this team or beat Miami for a lot of years, you know?” Korver said. “So to be on this team now, I need to play a game with the jersey on before I believe it.”
The Cavs and Hawks finalized their deal Tuesday when Mike Dunleavy reported to Atlanta, but not in time for Korver to participate in the team’s morning shootaround. That meant he was coming in cold against the Jazz.
Korver, who turns 36 in March, was averaging 9.5 points and shooting 41 percent from 3-point range with the Hawks. Coach Tyronn Lue is bringing him off the bench Tuesday, as expected, but left open the door to possibly starting him in the future. Asked if Korver in a bench role is temporary or long term, Lue simply said, “We’ll see.”To read more or comment...
PHOENIX: Fifteen thoughts for 15 assists in Sunday’s 120-116 win over the Phoenix Suns…,
1. The Cavs are 2-0 on this six-game road trip, but they’re making it much more difficult on themselves than it needs to be. They’ve blown big leads against two of the worst teams in the league and both nights had to slug out a win in the fourth quarter.
2. Friday at Brooklyn, the Cavs led by 24 with 16 minutes left in the game, but let the Nets get within seven late in the fourth quarter. Sunday was even more egregious. They led by 20 with 9:43 left in the third quarter and the Suns had the game tied before the end of the quarter.
3. “We play the right way and then we relax,” coach Tyronn Lue said. “We just messed around with the game the last two games. When you’re up 20, we’ve got to put teams away. Right now we’re not doing that.”To read more or comment...
PHOENIX: The lead was 20 with 22 minutes left against one of the league’s worst teams, yet somehow the Cavs played themselves into the position of needing big baskets from their stars down the stretch to escape Phoenix with a 120-116 victory Sunday.
Consecutive 3-pointers from LeBron James, including one from 27 feet, extended the Cavs’ lead to 115-109 with under three minutes to play. His driving layup in the final minute extended the lead to 120-114 and seemingly put the game away. It was a victory, but it was much more difficult than necessary.
With newest acquisition Kyle Korver watching from the locker room, James scored 28 points, including 12 in the fourth quarter, and added eight rebounds and four assists. Kyrie Irving had 27 points and seven assists and Kevin Love had 25 points and 10 rebounds in the win, the fourth-straight against the Suns to tie their longest streak in series history. But the Suns didn’t go quietly.
The Cavs built a 22-point lead in the first half and still led by 20 early in the third before giving it all away.To read more or comment...