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Cavs 116, Timberwolves 108; Jason Lloyd's 34 thoughts on Channing Frye's new role, LeBron's minutes

By Jason Lloyd Published: February 15, 2017

MINNEAPOLIS: Thirty-four thoughts for 34 minutes from Channing Frye in Tuesday’s 116-108 win over the Minnesota Timberwolves…

1.     Such is life in the NBA, where the same lineup in which LeBron James is thriving is the one that makes Channing Frye the most uncomfortable. Frye has spent 10 years in the league playing like a 7-foot guard, spacing the floor and shooting with his feet set. Only now, because the Cavs don’t have a backup point guard, he’s been forced to play pick-and-roll more than any other time in his career.

2.     On the flip side is James, who is thriving with the second unit. Coach Tyronn Lue sees James grabbing rebounds and pushing the tempo with the reserves and thinks of Jason Kidd in his prime.

3.     “He gets to the paint a lot with that second unit,” Lue said. “That’s when he really gets aggressive in that second quarter. In the first quarter, he comes out, feels the game out, gets guys involved early. Then in that second quarter, he’s still making plays, but he ramps his offense up.”

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Channing Frye matches season highs in points, rebounds while replacing Love in Cavs' 116-108 win

By Jason Lloyd Published: February 14, 2017

MINNEAPOLIS: For at least one night, Channing Frye played like an All-Star while filling in for an All-Star. The Cavs needed every point and rebound to hold off Andrew Wiggins and the Minnesota Timberwolves.

Frye matched season highs with 21 points and 10 rebounds in his first start in place of Kevin Love and the Cavs beat the Timberwolves 116-108 for their sixth win in their last seven games. The victory came hours after the team learned they’ll be without Love for up to six weeks following arthroscopic surgery on his left knee.

LeBron James had 25 points, 14 assists and eight rebounds and Kyrie Irving scored 25 points for the Cavs. Tristan Thompson scored 14 points and grabbed 11 rebounds.

Coach Tyronn Lue elected to start Frye against the Timberwolves and indicated he will start again Wednesday when the Cavs host the Indiana Pacers in the final game before the All-Star break.

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Kevin Love expected to miss six weeks following knee surgery

By Jason Lloyd Published: February 14, 2017

MINNEAPOLIS: Kevin Love is expected to miss six weeks following arthroscopic surgery this morning on his left knee. The surgery was performed by Dr. David Altchek in New York. Altchek also repaired Love’s separated shoulder a couple of years ago.

Under the current timeline, Love should return around the beginning of April. Channing Frye will start at power forward in Love’s place Tuesday at the Minnesota Timberwolves.

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Kevin Love out with left knee injury

By Jason Lloyd Published: February 12, 2017

CLEVELAND: Kevin Love injured his left knee in Saturday’s win against Denver and has already been ruled out for Tuesday’s game at Minnesota.

The team said Sunday that Love had “soreness and effusion” after the game and that he was given an MRI today at The Cleveland Clinic. While the team did not disclose the results of the MRI, the Cavs said Love has been ruled out against his former team and will receive further treatment and evaluation over the next several days.

The Cavs’ final game before the All-Star break is Wednesday at home against Indiana. Love is scheduled to play in next weekend’s All-Star game in New Orleans.

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Cavs 125, Nuggets 109; Jason Lloyd's 16 thoughts on Derrick Williams, big lineups and experiments

By Jason Lloyd Published: February 12, 2017

CLEVELAND: Sixteen thoughts for 16 points from Kevin Love in Saturday’s 125-109 win over the Denver Nuggets…

1.     In the strange twists and turns an NBA season can take, Derrick Williams concedes now he is a bit surprised to be here. In order for that to happen, he had to clear waivers. Before he approached the Miami Heat and asked for his release, his agent, Rob Pelinka, warned he was taking a big risk.

2.     Teams with cap space such as the Philadelphia 76ers and Saturday’s opponent, the Denver Nuggets, could’ve claimed him. But Williams struggled with the Heat and fell out of the rotation, not to mention the $4.6 million cap hit he would’ve cost a team that claimed him. So he passed through unclaimed by 29 other teams.

3.     “I took that as a little disrespectful,” the former No. 2 overall pick told the Beacon Journal. “I’ve got a little chip on my shoulder now.”

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LeBron, Kyrie Irving each score 27 and Cavs handle Nuggets 125-109

By Jason Lloyd Published: February 11, 2017

CLEVELAND: LeBron James had to return to play nine minutes in the fourth quarter of a game the Cavs once led by 22. It isn’t ideal, but the Cavs still handled the Denver Nuggets somewhat effectively in a 125-109 victory Saturday.

LeBron James and Kyrie Irving each scored 27 points and Kevin Love scored 16 for the Cavs, who have won five of their last six and beat a Nuggets team playing the second night of a back-to-back and their third in four nights – all on the road. It was a schedule loss for the Nuggets both on and off the floor.

Nuggets center Nikola Jokic scored 27 points and grabbed 13 rebounds one night after he scored 40 at Madison Square Garden in a Denver victory. Gary Harris scored 16 points and Jamal Murray scored 16 off the bench for the Nuggets.

The somewhat easy victory allowed coach Tyronn Lue to get James off the floor after 32 minutes – a relative victory given the heavy load he has carried in recent weeks. James’ minutes have been up all season and they’ve only increased lately – he played more than 40 in Thursday’s loss at Oklahoma City.

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Thunder 118, Cavs 109; Jason Lloyd's 18 thoughts on regrets, Vegas lines and Derrick Williams' debut

By Jason Lloyd Published: February 10, 2017

OKLAHOMA CITY: Eighteen thoughts for 18 shots from Kyrie Irving in Thursday’s 118-109 loss to the Oklahoma City Thunder…

1.     Tyronn Lue changed his mind and played all of his stars after all. And they lost anyway. It stands to reason Lue might regret playing LeBron James 41 minutes on a night he was originally supposed to rest and then the team lost anyway, but Lue insists that isn’t the case.

2.     “I thought it was good to go through something tough,” he said. “It was a tough game for us, four games in six nights and it was just good to fight through, not give in. I like how we competed. They played better and they won tonight.”

3.     Vegas oddsmakers can’t be happy with the Cavs. The line on this game fluctuated wildly over 24 hours after Lue announced he would “probably” rest his starters. The Thunder were 11-point favorites by the time Lue said all three of his stars were playing before the game. The Cavs were favored again by tip-off.

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Stars play anyway, but Cavs still fall 118-109 to Thunder in Derrick Williams' debut

By Jason Lloyd Published: February 9, 2017

OKLAHOMA CITY: The stars all played anyway, but it didn’t matter. The schedule and the turnovers combined to end the Cavaliers’ four-game winning streak.

Kyrie Irving scored 28 points and Kevin Love had 15 points and 12 rebounds, but the Cavs lost Thursday 118-109 to the Oklahoma City Thunder, just their second loss in their last eight games. LeBron James had 18 points, seven assists and five rebounds and Derrick Williams scored 12 points off the bench in his debut.

After initially announcing that James, Irving and Love would all probably sit out the final game of this road trip, coach Tyronn Lue reconsidered and played all three stars.

“Nothing changed,” Lue said prior to the game. “I wanted to see how the guys felt and they feel pretty good. We’re playing some pretty good basketball right now and they just want to keep it rolling. So all three guys say they feel pretty good, and we got a good thing going so why not keep it going?”

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LeBron James, Kyrie Irving, Kevin Love will all play vs. Thunder; Derrick Williams signs 10-day deal

By Jason Lloyd Published: February 9, 2017

OKLAHOMA CITY: After further review, LeBron James, Kyrie Irving and Kevin Love are all expected to play Thursday against the Oklahoma City Thunder. Also available is Derrick Williams, who was signed to a 10-day contract earlier in the day.

Cavs coach Tyronn Lue said after Wednesday’s win at Indiana that he was probably going to rest all of the Cavs’ stars against the Thunder, but he eventually changed his mind.

“Nothing changed, I said I wanted to see how the guys felt and they felt pretty good,” Lue said. “We’re playing some pretty good basketball right now and they just want to keep it rolling. Soall three guys say they feel pretty good, and we got a good thing going so why not keep it going?”

The Cavs have won four straight and six of their last seven.

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Cavs 132, Pacers 117; Jason Lloyd's 25 thoughts on Korver's role, resting stars and defense

By Jason Lloyd Published: February 9, 2017

INDIANAPOLIS: Twenty-five thoughts for 25 points from LeBron James in Wednesday’s 132-117 win over the Indiana Pacers…

1.     After spending a few weeks struggling to find a happy compromise with Kyle Korver and the Cavs’ offense, the two sides finally seem to have reached an agreement.

2.     When Korver enters in the second quarter with the team’s second unit, there are opportunities for more motion sets and chances to run him off screens, something he has become accustomed to doing throughout most of his career in the NBA. But when Kyrie Irving and Kevin Love return, Korver becomes more of a standstill shooter.

3.     The result was ideal Wednesday when Korver scored 29 points and made 8-of-9 3-pointers – both on the run and standing still – in his best game in a Cavs uniform. He finished two points shy of his career high.

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