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.

Kings Add to Cleveland Woes

CLEVELAND- The Sacramento Kings came into Cleveland Wednesday night and defeated the world champions 116-112, handing the Cavs their sixth loss in their last eight games.

 

The Cavs came out slow and trailed the Kings 10-0 to start the game. However, they would answer with a 17-1 run of their own to take the lead.

 

Sacramento would respond in the second, outscoring Cleveland 31-21 in the frame. This was all with the wine and gold keeping King’s star center Demarcus Cousins relatively quiet.

 

Cleveland would retake the lead after 3, in large part thanks to LeBron James. He would go for 10 in the quarter, giving the Cavs an 82-79 lead

 

The fourth quarter would be a full-on battle with neither team able to hold a lead.  After Cousins made a layup to tie the game at 104, Cleveland would turn the ball over and the game would go to overtime.

 

In the extra frame, the Cavs would jump out to a 111-106 lead. However, Sacramento would respond, in large part to Cousins. The big blow for the Cavs would be when the big man threw a strike to Arron Afflalo, who would hit a dagger three pointer.

 

Cousins would finish the game with 28 points and 11 rebounds despite his slow start. Darren Collison would also play a big part in the win with 23 points.

 

The Cavs were led once again by James, who finished with a triple double of 24 points, 13 rebounds, and 11 assists. Kevin Love would chip in 21 points and 16 assists as well.

 

Their next game will be this Friday against the Brooklyn Nets at The Q.

Cavs Return to the Q, Blast Suns in Shootout

CLEVELAND- The Cavs returned home after a grueling west coast trip to take on the Phoenix Suns Thursday night and would easily grab a 118-103 victory.

 

With Kevin Love out, Ty Lue turned to the veteran James Jones for the start, and he would answer the call. Jones, who came into the game averaging 2.6 points a game, put up 8 points in the first quarter, including two three pointers.

 

He would finish with 14 points, but his spark was the real impact of his minutes.

 

Cleveland would dominate the entire game, lead of course by Kyrie Irving and LeBron James. Irving finished the game with 26 points and 4 assists while James had a near triple double with 21 points, 9 rebounds, and 15 assists.

 

It was the first home game for newly acquired forward Kyle Korver, and he was quick to show The Land his well-known shooting stroke. He finished the game with 9 points, all via the three-point shot.

 

Tristan Thompson had a scare as he dislocated his index finger late in the second quarter. He however would come back for the second half. The Cavs were already without Love, as well as J.R. Smith (thumb), and Chris Andersen (ACL, Out for Season).

 

Despite coming back for the second half, Thompson only played limited minutes. This led the way for Channing Frye to have a big night. Frye had 18 points and 10 rebounds.

 

The young Suns would battle, but did not have the fire power of the Cavaliers. Tyson Chandler led the way for the team from the desert with 22 points and 16 rebounds. Eric Bledsoe added 22 points, 6 rebounds, and 9 assists, while Devin Booker finished with 21 points, 7 rebounds, and 8 assists.

 

The Cavs will be back in action Saturday night as they take on the San Antonio Spurs at 8:30 at the Q.

 

James and Irving Heading to NOLA

 

The NBA announced Thursday night that both LeBron and Kyrie will be starters in the upcoming NBA All-Star game in New Orleans.

 

This marks the 13th All-Star selection for LeBron, which is far and away the most of any other starter in the conference.

 

Irving will be making his 4th All-Star appearance. The pair will be joined by Jimmy Butler, DeMar DeRozan, and Giannis Antetokounmpo.

Cavalier Forward Kevin Love was not selected as a starter for the game. However, he is expected to be selected for the team as a bench player.

 

The 2017 NBA All-Star Game will be played on February 19th this year.

 

For more information on this and other Cavalier info, visit Cavs.com.

Delly Gets Ring, Cavs Get W

Matthew Dellavedova got his long awaited 2016 Cavalier Championship Ring before Wednesday night’s game between the Bucks and the Cavs, and then he got reminded of two huge reasons why he received that hardware.

 

Those reasons were LeBron James and Kyrie Irving, and they were in full force in the Cavalier’s 113-102 win over the Milwaukee. Irving led the way with 31 points, 13 assists, and 6 rebounds, while James added 29 points, 9 rebounds, and 6 assists.

 

Irving and James both needed these performances, as the team was missing Kevin Love (knee contusion) and JR Smith (thumb). The team announced before the game that Smith will require surgery on his broken thumb and is expected to miss over a month.

 

Despite the loss, the Bucks young building blocks came to play. They were led by Giannis Antetokounmpo, who had 28 points, 5 rebounds, and 5 assists. Jabari Parker added 27 points in what mostly was a two-man effort.

 

“Delly” couldn’t get much going in his return to The Q, as he finished with 2 points and 3 assists. The St. Mary’s product really struggled against his former mates.

 

Even though Kyrie and LeBron lit up the box score, they were not alone in the effort. The bench made many contributions the whole game. Channing Frye and Iman Shumpert led the bench with 10 points each. Jordan McRae, who saw an increased role due to Smith’s injury, had 8 points.

 

The Cavs will be back in action Friday as they take on the Brooklyn Nets at home. The game will tip off at 7:30.

 

For all of the latest information on the wine and gold, make sure to visit Cavs.com.