Cavs vs Raptors Game 3 Preview

Three down, one to go. The Cleveland Cavaliers will attempt to wrap up their series against the Toronto Raptors at 8:30 p.m. in the Q. A win tonight would send the Cavs into their fourth consecutive Eastern Conference Finals against the winner of the Boston Celtics and Philadelphia 76ers series.

The Cavs are walking into this game with a home court advantage and a tremendous amount of momentum after coming out of game three with a LeBron James buzzer beater to win the game.

Toronto doesn’t have much to feel confident about. They have lost the past nine playoff games to Cleveland. They’re facing a potential sweep on the road. The Cavs held one of their leading scorers, DeMar DeRozan, to just eight points in game three.

LeBron, when asked about DeRozan’s poor performance said, “He missed a lot of easy opportunities…we’re just trying to make it a little bit more challenging that’s all.”

Looking ahead to the Eastern Conference Finals of the Cavs and the Celtics if each come out on top of their semifinal series, LeBron said he has been watching the other teams in their series. He said he has a lot of knowledge and insight on the Boston team who is missing their two star players Gordon Hayward and Kyrie Irving and still flourishing but doesn’t want to talk about it just yet, he still has a lot of work to do in the series against Toronto tonight.

Cavs play a winning tune over the Jazz

Ty Lue is now the fastest coach in Cleveland Cavaliers franchise history to reach 100 wins. It came over the visiting Utah Jazz, who were without their star big man, Rudy Gobert.

However, there was still a star on the floor for the Jazz, and his name is Donovan Mitchell. The Louisville product has bursted onto the scene in the NBA, and leads all rookies in points per game. He did not disappoint, looking every bit as good as veterans across the  league have made him out to be. Mitchell finished with a team high 26 points on a more than solid 68%.

It was more of a team effort earlier in the game for the Jazz, as they kept things close all game by knocking down the three pointer and moving the ball. The Jazz managed to hit 17 three pointers during the game, which was good for 50% shooting from there. Another rookie did his part for the Jazz as Royce O’Neale scored 12 points, knocking down four out of five three pointers on the night.

Not to get confused, tonight was the Cavaliers night. It was not pretty, but they pulled out the win and moved the home winning streak to eleven games. Cedi Osman had his best game as a Cav, as he broke double digits for the first time in his rookie season. Along for the ride was the mini big three off the bench, as Dwyane Wade, Jeff Green, and Kyle Korver combined for a stat line of 30 points, 9 rebounds, and 11 assists.

Speaking of stat lines, the king put together another stellar night. LeBron James finished with another triple double, 29 points, 11 rebounds, and 10 assists. This is coming off of last game, where he posted a triple double. This was LeBron’s 60th career triple double, and his 7th back time doing it in back to back games.

The Cleveland Cavaliers did what was necessary to get another ‘W’ in the win column, moving to 21-8 on the season. The Utah Jazz, while showing a lot of promise, lose and move to 14-15 respectfully. The Cavs now have to take the success they’ve seen at home and bring it with them on the road, as the Cavaliers go on the road for 10 of their next 12 games. The Cavaliers look to kick off the road trip with a win against the Washington Wizards, where LeBron scored 57 points the last time they played in the nations capitol.

Cavaliers Down Hawks

The Atlanta Hawks made their way to Quicken Loans Arena this evening. The Cavaliers have had their struggles with the Hawks this season, splitting the season series with them at 1-1. However, the Cavaliers had little, to no problem with the Hawks this evening winning 123-114. A score that does not do this game justice.

The game began as the Cavaliers always attempt it to, with a lot of Love. Kevin started off the game hot, nailing his first two three pointers in the game, and finished the first quarter with 11 points. To sum the game plan up, it was simply bombs away for both teams. Within the first five minutes of action the Cavaliers and Hawks combined for eleven three point attempts, and the attempts kept coming all night.

LeBron James was his regular MVP self, putting up a very efficient double-double with a 25, 7, and 17 night, only missing two shots for the whole game. The 17 assists tied a career high for LeBron, which he set against the Wizards in February of this year. It was a total team effort though as Jose Calderon, Kyle Korver, and Jeff Green combined for a 50 point outburst. This was essential as the Cavaliers were without their leader of the second unit, Dwyane Wade.

For the Hawks, it wasn’t their best night and their best player, Dennis Schroder, struggled tonight only scoring 14 points on fifteen attempts. However, they saw flashes in a player they feel has a lot of promise, Taurean Prince. He put up a very stellar stat line of 24, 7, and 6 on 80% shooting from the field. After tonight, the Atlanta Hawks continue their struggling season, falling to 6-21 on the year.

As stated, it was a true team effort tonight for the Cleveland Cavaliers. They made a season high, 20 three pointers. Also, sharing the ball was essential as the team posted 35 assists to only 13 turnovers. When asked about the Cavaliers three point success against the Hawks in the last four years, Ty Lue in the post game press conference pointed out that the Hawks double team a lot, and in turn open up the opportunity for the Cavaliers to hit shots from deep on a consistent basis.

Head coach, Ty Lue, is now only two wins away from his 100th win, which he hopes to obtain Saturday against the Utah Jazz. However, in order to have that chance the Cavaliers welcome their next opponent to the Q on Thursday, as Big Baller Brand and the Lakers will be in the building.

2017 NBA Draft Night Recap

It’s incredibly hard to pity Chicago Bulls fans. I mean, 10+ years of witnessing basketball greatness from MJ would leave any fan-base happy for a long, long time. However, the events that took place at last night’s 2017 NBA Draft may have earned the windy city some sympathy points.

Jimmy Butler, who had been the center of many trade rumors lately (many of which involved the Cavs and Kevin Love), was probably the best player to be acquired during draft night. The Bulls sent Butler and the 16th pick for Zach Lavine, Kris Dunn, and the 7th pick. The Bulls would take Lauri Markkanen, the versatile big man out of Arizona that will add some much needed floor spacing for Chicago’s offense. The Wolves would take Creighton’s Justin Patton who will likely serve as a backup to Karl-Anthony Towns this upcoming season. While the Bulls got decent talent in return, their value does not even come close to matching that of what Butler brings to the floor each night, so the Wolves were a big winner on draft night.

Despite the big Jimmy Butler trade, draft night remained fairly “normal”. Markelle Fultz went first to the Sixers, bringing in a new era in which Philly natives simply must “Trust the Process”. Oh, it is worth mentioning that these young Sixers already have a bit of an edge to them.

Clearly Mr. Embiid would not mind seeing Lonzo on a poster sometime soon. Speaking of Lonzo, the Lakers would select him second, confirming what many followers of the Big Baller Brand knew all along. LA has been dying for someone to fill Kobe’s shoes and with D’Angelo Russell away in Brooklyn now, Lonzo will be captain of the Laker ship.

The Boston Celtics, with their GM Danny Ainge under a bit of scrutiny right now for just stockpiling future picks and not improving the team, scored a win on this year’s draft with Jayson Tatum at number 3. Ainge has expressed a lot of confidence in the kid and even stated he would have selected Tatum first overall if he had the chance. Tatum, being the offensive star that he is, relieves a lot of pressure that needs to be taken of Isaiah Thomas if the C’s hope to make a run at an Eastern Conference title and challenge the Cavs. While offensively gifted, Tatum’s defense and overall awareness need some work, although I don’t see that being a problem under coach Brad Stevens.

The Golden State Warriors also managed to enter the draft and angered much of the internet while doing so. The Warriors paid the Bulls (side note: ALWAYS negotiate with the Bulls on draft night. Always.) $3.5 million for their second round draft pick (number 38) which Golden State happily turned into Oregon’s Jordan Bell. Fans may remember him most from his two failed box outs at the end of last year’s Final Four game between Oregon and North Carolina, box outs that some fans argue cost the Ducks the game. Despite that hiccup, Bell had a tremendous collegiate career and adds yet another versatile big man for a Golden State team looking to solidify their center position going into next year.

The last team I’d like to mention here are the Sacramento Kings. Don’t worry Kings fans, you guys actually did ok! In fact, quite possibly more than ok. De’Aaron Fox gives them a long, athletic point guard that can certainly create for himself and others, and Fox has already stated he wants to be a “franchise changer” and get Sacramento back to the playoffs. The Kings also managed to scoop up Justin Jackson out of North Carolina with the 15th pick, which adds another long frame to the mix and gives them both scoring and defense on the wing. Their last splash in the first round came with Harry Giles out of Duke with the 20th pick. Giles has been plagued by injuries over the last 4 years, tearing both of his ACL’s. However, even in a role with limited minutes initially, his rim protecting ability and touch around the rim give Sacramento a much-needed presence down low after the departure of Demarcus Cousins last year.

While draft night always brings way-too-early predictions for the upcoming NBA campaign, it’s safe to say some teams are very satisfied with their draft night performance (Celtics, Sixers, Wolves…). For everyone else? Well, you’ll just have to wait and see if that first round draft pick is a boom…. Or bust.

New Pieces Thrive for Cleveland

The Cleveland Cavaliers defeated the Denver Nuggets with a score of 125-109. They are now 5-1 out of the last 6 games, and things are falling into place for them. LeBron finished the game with 27 points, and 12 dimes. Kyrie continued his scoring excellence with his 4th straight game of having more than 26 points, with 27 and 5 assists. Kevin Love had his 16 points and 9 assists, and the Cavaliers bench played a significant role.

 

LeBron James notched 2nd place in Cavaliers franchise history with 5,228 rebounds, passing Brad Dougherty. This was a huge night for LeBron as he continued to get his shooters open, and make plays all over the court. Another player that made a significant impact was Kyle Korver who had 14 points, and is 4 three-pointers away from 2,000 made.

 

Kyle Korver, and Derrick Williams are two pieces that will be crucial for the success in the Cavs playoff run in many ways. Korver adds the extra attention from the three-point line, and is a marksman that will go down as one of the greatest three-point shooters. Williams only had 7 points last night, but his defense and presence on the court was felt throughout the arena.

 

The Cavs are first in the East, and look to continue that trend while the team is consistently strengthening by the week. The Boston Celtics are behind the Cavs by two games, but they caught up during the losing ways in the month of January for Cleveland.

 

The Cavs next game will be away against the Minnesota Timberwolves this Tuesday, February 14th at 8:00 PM. For more information on the Cavaliers, make sure that you stay updated with our website, and we will continue to bring all of the Cavs stats and info that you need.