Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Cavs Corner: Week 2 Round Up

Andy "Wild Thing" Varejao has been amazeballs this season
Well, after a promising 2-2 start, the Cavs hit a sort of an injury/sick bug.  Late in the Clippers game last Monday, Tyler Zeller got elbowed in the face inadvertently.  What most thought would be a short term facial contusion as the initial x-rays were negative, turned out to be a fracture AND a concussion.  Zeller has not seen any time since the 4th quarter of that game.  Andy Varejao also got a mystery bruise on his knee and missed the game last Wednesday vs Golden State.  Meanwhile, players like Kyrie Irving, Dion Waiters, and CJ Miles all battled stomach viruses but played in each of this past week's games.

So let's recap the four games in week 2!

First up is Wednesday night vs Golden State

Outcome:  Warriors 106 - Cavaliers 96

Recap:  Golden State started out on fire scoring 37 points in the first quarter!  The Cavs rallied a bit in the second keeping it within 10 at halftime.  However, with no bigs, David Lee had a field day with 22 pts in 10-16 shooting.  The poor defense in the first half led to super shooters Stephen Curry and Klay Thompson going off.

Overall:  This was a tough match up without your two centers.  It showed in the overall rebounding and defending the other team's FG %.  Both categories that tend to lead to victories were won by the Warriors.

Next is Friday night vs the Phoenix Suns

Outcome:  Suns 107 - Cavaliers 105

Recap:  There isn't much to say besides the Cavs blew a 26 point lead.  Former Cav Shannon Brown led the charge for Phoenix in the big comeback victory.  The second unit really struggled to keep the Suns at bay.

Overall:  The second unit has become a major issue at this point for the Cavs. With Zeller already out, the second unit has not played well.  Boobie Gibson has been a bright spot but his production has been off set by the terrible play of newbie CJ Miles.  Players like Miles and Samardo Samuels just need to step up.

Sunday evening was a little game vs the Oklahoma City Thunder

Outcome:  Thunder 106 - Cavs 91

Recap:  This was actually a game in the second half with the Cavs having a lead at one point but the Thunder and their superstars pulled away in the 4th quarter.  The bigger story here was Gibson getting the 4th quarter minutes that Waiters normally gets as Dion struggled in this game.

Overall:  This was not an unexpected outcome especially down in OKC.  It was nice to see the Cavs actually compete for most of the game.  Even though it's 3 straight losses for these young Cavalier players, all the games have been solid learning tools.  These road trips will pay dividends later on down the road

Tuesday night taking on the Brooklyn Jay-Zs

Outcome:  Nets 114 - Cavs 101

Recap:  Cleveland outplayed the Nets early and in the second half but couldn't stop anyone in the second quarter only scoring 12 points while giving up 35.  Andy dropped a career high 35 pts and grabbed 18 boards while Irving finished 34 pts and 8 assists.  They dominated the first quarter but received no help from anyone else as the bench only scored 6 points.

Overall:  I could go on about how bad the second unit was again but instead I'll focus on the other starters.  Waiters was truly awful tonight having only 8 points on 3-16 shooting.  I watched the entire first half and I can't count how many times Irving would drive and find Dion wide open in spots.  He just wasn't hitting anything.  Tristan Thompson also played poorly despite what you may see in the box score.  The Nets bigs bullied him all night long as TT continues to get balls stripped and blocked in the paint.  Also I'm super glad CJ Miles didn't see a minute tonight.  Hopefully it's a wake up call.


Well the Cavs went 0-4 this past week and finished the 6 game road trip 1-5.  They are now 2-6 overall.  Luckily they are in the same division as Detroit who is 0-8.  My goodness that team is bad.  Count your lucky stars on that one!  In fact, the Bucks lead the Central at 4-2 so the Cavs are only 3 games behind (well 4 since they already lost to Milwaukee haha!).  My point is it's a long season and with the Bulls and Pacers having significant injuries to their best players (Derrick Rose and Danny Granger), the Central will stay competitive.  

The Cavs are averaging nearly 98 points a game which is about average in the NBA right now (12th overall) so scoring points really hasn't been the problem overall.  It's on the defensive side of the ball where the Cavs are literally the worst team in the entire league giving up nearly 105 points a game.  105!!!  Losing Zeller has hurt this team much more than I thought especially on the glass.  Rebounding should be a strength on this squad and since he went down it has not been.  HC Byron Scott preaches defense so hopefully he can turn this unit around.  

Defense is the one weakness in Kyrie Irving's overall game.  The kid is a superstar at 20 years old.  Check out the top 5 scoring in the NBA right meow:  1) Carmelo 2) Kobe 3) Harden 4) Irving 5) Lebron!  However, in order to be considered the elite, he'll have to learn to shut down opposing defenders.  He was not very successful against Deron Williams last night.  Same goes with Dion Waiters.  As a rookie, I won't be as hard on him especially coming out of Syracuse where they only play zone defense.  


The Cavs get a few days off after the lengthy road trip.  They don't play again until Saturday night at home vs the Mavs.  Then they have an away/home venture against Philadelphia on Sunday and Wednesday.  With only 3 games over the next 9 or so days and 2 of them being at home, hopefully the Cavs can get a couple wins!  I'll be back recapping those 3 next week.


Like I mentioned earlier, Kyrie Irving sits 4th in the NBA in scoring at 24.3 points a game.  Andy Varejao sits 2nd in the NBA in total rebounding at 13.7 boards a game (leads the NBA with 96 total rebounds) and is 6th in overall field goal %.  Dion Waiters is 15th overall in 3 point shooting percentage.  Alonzo Gee is a perfect 20-20 in free throws this season leading the NBA at 100%.  Boom!  Let's toughen up...