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...
PHOENIX: Kyle Korver is scheduled to join the Cavs this afternoon, but it’s doubtful he will be cleared in time to play in tonight’s game against the Phoenix Suns.
The medicals of the trade have not been completed, and while no one is expecting any flags at this point, the plan all along was for Korver to participate in Monday’s practice here before debuting Tuesday against the Utah Jazz.
Jordan McRae also survived cut-down day across the NBA. Players on non-guaranteed contracts, such as McRae and DeAndre Liggins, had to be waived by Saturday in order to clear waivers before their contracts become fully guaranteed.
“I told you guys that he would be here,” Cavs coach Tyronn Lue said. “It’s great for him, for Liggins, for young guys to make the team, just shows all the hard work they’ve put in. They continue to grow as players, get better and better, so I’m happy for them.”To read more or comment...
NEW YORK: Kyle Korver is officially a Cleveland Cavalier.
After two days of trade speculation, the Cavs and Hawks both announced the completed deal Saturday, which sends Mo Williams, Mike Dunleavy and a 2019 first-round pick to the Hawks in exchange for Korver, the career 43-percent 3-point shooter who turns 36 in March.
The pick is top 10 protected in both 2019 and 2020, according to one league source. If it hasn’t transferred by then (highly unlikely), it becomes two second-round picks in 2021 and 2022.
Korver must still pass a physical, but one source said the Cavs are hopeful he can join them in time for practice Monday in Phoenix. That would allow for his debut to be Tuesday at the Utah Jazz. But the timetables are fluid and nothing is yet definitive. He is not expected to be ready for Sunday's game against the Suns.To read more or comment...
NEW YORK: Sixteen thoughts for 16 shots by Kevin Love in Friday’s 116-108 win over the Brooklyn Nets…
1. The heckler was seated in the first row near the Cavs’ basket, a good 25 feet from the playing court. After Kyrie Irving blew about his fourth layup in the first half, the man started barking at Irving about all the missed shots.
2. “Relax man, relax!” Irving told him, pumping his arms for effect. “It’s a long game. You came for a show. Enjoy the show.”
3. By the fourth quarter, Irving was the star of the show. He missed three games with a sore right hamstring and needed three quarters Friday to get the engines revving. Once they did, he was unstoppable.To read more or comment...
NEW YORK: Kyrie Irving arrived for the team’s morning shootaround early Friday to get some extra work in. He was the first one out of the locker room during halftime to get some extra shots.
By the fourth quarter Friday, all of the extra shots paid off. Irving scored 32 points, including 16 in the fourth quarter of a 116-108 win against the Brooklyn Nets as they await the arrival of Kyle Korver. It was Irving’s first game back after missing three with a tight right hamstring. After a sluggish 4 of 14 start in the first half, Irving caught fire.
His consecutive 3-pointers in the fourth extended the lead back to 14 after the Nets cut an 18-point lead down to six. LeBron James scored 36 points, grabbed nine rebounds and passed for six assists while Kevin Love had 17 points and 13 rebounds after missing one game with food poisoning. Love was so sick he came close to driving himself to the emergency room in the early hours of New Year’s Day.
“I’ve never had food poisoning quite like that where every few minutes, it’d come right out,” he said. “Sit back down, come right out. It was bad. But feel good now.”To read more or comment...