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Cavs have 39 national TV broadcasts

The Cleveland Cavaliers will open the 2017-18 campaign on Tuesday, October 17 at Quicken Loans Arena against the Boston Celtics in a nationally televised game between last year’s Eastern Conference Finals opponents at 8:00 p.m. ET on TNT. This will mark the eighth time in nine years the Cavs will tip off the season at The Q, where they will play 17 weekend home dates comprised of five Friday games, seven Saturday games and five Sunday games. The Cavaliers are slated to appear on at least 39 national television broadcasts, 20 of which will originate from downtown Cleveland at The Q.

Cavaliers sign Derrick Rose

Cavaliers sign Derrick Rose

Whether the Cleveland Cavaliers will keep Kyrie Irving or trade him remains to be seen, but today they added some scoring punch to the point guard spot, signing former league MVP Derrick Rose to a report one-year, $2.1 million contract.

Injuries have taken their toll on Rose, who is not the player he used to be. But if the Cavs are able to work things out with Irving and wind up keeping him, then having Rose add scoring punch off the bench would be a very nice luxury.

“We are very excited to be able to add a player of Derrick’s caliber and experience to the team,” said Cavaliers General Manager Koby Altman. “Derrick could have gone to a number of other teams, but his specific mindset, goals and total focus and commitment to winning are what resulted in him signing with the Cavaliers. We are confident he will be a very good fit with our organization and we look forward to the many ways he will contribute to the team.”

Rose (6-3, 190) played in 64 games (all starts) for the New York Knicks in 2016-17 and averaged 18.0 points on .471 shooting from the field, 3.8 rebounds and 4.4 assists in 32.5 minutes. He scored in double figures on 61 occasions, including 24 contests with 20 points or more, and registered two double-doubles. The 6-3 guard also shot .874 (221-253) from the free throw line, which ranked 16th in the NBA, and was one of just six players in the league to average at least 18.0 points, 3.0 rebounds and 4.0 assists while shooting .870 or better from the charity stripe.

“I have a single focus and purpose of wanting to play to win,” said Rose. “Being part of a roster and organization that shares that type of commitment and being able to play with the Cavaliers and compete for a championship is the only thing that matters for me. I am very happy to be in Cleveland and look forward to getting to work.”

Over his eight-year NBA career, the 28-year-old Chicago native has averaged 19.5 points, 3.7 rebounds and 6.0 assists in 34.7 minutes through 470 games (469 starts) with the Chicago Bulls and Knicks. He earned league MVP honors in 2010-11 after posting career highs with 25.0 points and 4.1 rebounds while adding 7.7 assists in 37.4 minutes per game and leading the Bulls to the best record in the NBA (62-20). He also won the 2009 NBA Rookie of the Year award and has three NBA All-Star selections (2010, 2011, 2012).
Rose was originally selected out of the University of Memphis as the No. 1 overall pick in the 2008 NBA Draft. He has gone on to appear in 41 career playoff games (all starts) with averages of 23.7 points, 4.8 rebounds and 7.1 assists in 40.6 minutes. He was also a member of the United States men’s national basketball teams that won gold medals at the 2010 and 2014 FIBA World Cup.

The Cleveland Cavaliers have named Koby Altman the team’s new General Manager.

Altman has been a member of the Cavs basketball front office for the past five years, most recently serving as Assistant General Manager, having been promoted to that position in September 2016. He has been an essential part of a front office that formulated a roster and coaching staff that have been to three straight NBA Finals, including winning the NBA Championship in 2016. Altman has also led the team’s front office over the last five weeks.

“Over the past month, Koby Altman has led our front office group through this transition period, impressing many inside the franchise and outside the organization, as well. We are very excited that he will now be officially leading the basketball side of our franchise. Koby has the credentials, knowledge, experience and instincts to be an outstanding General Manager. In addition to these positive attributes and outstanding relationships around the league, Koby will inspire and impact the best possible culture throughout the organization. We are going to see a capable and passionate leader who will also cultivate new ideas and innovation,” said Cavaliers Chairman Dan Gilbert

“The speed of the game is ever faster on the court and in the front offices around our league. I am confident that Koby is equipped and prepared to lead and succeed in this dynamic environment.”

Other notable front office moves are expected soon.

“The past month or so has allowed the opportunity for several other talented and hard-working individuals on the basketball side of our business to demonstrate their deep knowledge and capability. We are looking forward to announcing additional restructuring involving these remarkable executives in the very near future,” concluded Gilbert.

Originally joining the Cavaliers in August of 2012 as pro personnel manager, Altman was promoted to director of pro player personnel in September 2013. In his role as assistant general manager, Altman was tasked with player evaluation across all levels of basketball, both domestically and abroad. Altman also oversaw the team’s NBA and G League scouting efforts and played a core role in all aspects of the team’s basketball operations, working closely with the team’s coaches, players and staff.

“I am incredibly grateful to Dan for the opportunity to become general manager of the Cavaliers. His confidence, support and strong commitment to achieving our collective goals is very clear to me and I look forward to continuing our efforts. I am also excited and proud to lead a front office team that will continue to be sharply focused on competing for championships. That challenge is what drives all of us,” said Altman. “Cleveland fans support the Cavs with passion, pride and loyalty. That’s something all of us here have a deep respect for and will never take for granted. We will always work hard and search for creative ideas that will impact our success on the court and in the community.”

Altman has extensive experience with the USA Basketball program as well. In the summer of 2010, he served as the Team Manager for USA Basketball’s Under-17 team at the inaugural FIBA Under-17 World Championship in Hamburg, Germany. That 17-and-under squad won the first gold medal to ever be awarded for that age group and featured three players selected among the top 10 in the 2012 NBA Draft. In 2009, he assisted Team USA’s 19-and-under team in the FIBA Under-19 World Championship in Auckland, New Zealand. That squad also won the gold, its first in that age group since 1991.
Prior to joining the Cavaliers, Altman served as an assistant coach at The Ivy League’s Columbia University for two seasons, where he also led Columbia’s developmental basketball program. Altman spent the 2009-10 season at Southern Illinois as a graduate assistant after earning his master’s degree in sport management at the University of Massachusetts. While earning his graduate degree at UMASS, he coached at nearby Amherst College for two seasons and helped guide the team to a 48-11 record. Altman, a Brooklyn, New York native, played collegiately at Middlebury College, where he was a three-year starter at point guard.

Cavaliers sign forward Cedi Osman

The Cleveland Cavaliers have signed forward Cedi Osman (pronounced JED-e AUS-min), the team announced today from Cleveland Clinic Courts.

Osman (6-8, 215) has spent the last five seasons with Anadolu Efes in the Turkish Basketball League first division. In 2016-17, he played in 35 games (28 starts) and averaged 13.2 points on .496 shooting, 4.1 rebounds and 1.5 steals in 25.7 minutes per game. He also competed in 35 Euroleague contests (34 starts) this past season, averaging 7.1 points and 2.8 rebounds in 18.6 minutes. Osman spent his first two professional seasons with Pertevniyal Istanbul in the Turkish second division from 2011-2013. A BSL All-Star in each of his last three seasons (2015-17), he won the 2015 Turkish Cup and 2015 Turkish Supercup with Anadolu Efes.

A native of Ohrid, Macedonia, Osman was originally selected by the Minnesota Timberwolves with the 31st overall pick in the 2015 NBA Draft before having his draft rights acquired by the Cavaliers that night. The 6-8 forward has been a member of the Turkish National Team at the 2014 FIBA World Cup, FIBA EuroBasket 2015 and the 2016 Manila FIBA World Olympic Qualifying Tournament. He was also selected as FIBA Europe U20 Championship MVP after leading Turkey to a gold medal in 2014.

Cavaliers re-sign Kyle Korver

Cavaliers re-sign Kyle Korver

The Cleveland Cavaliers have re-signed guard Kyle Korver, the team announced Wednesday from Cleveland Clinic Courts.

Korver (6-7, 212) joined the Cavaliers last season after being acquired via trade from the Atlanta Hawks on Jan. 7. In 35 games (one start) with Cleveland, he averaged 10.7 points and 2.8 rebounds in 24.5 minutes per game while shooting .487 from the field, .485 from beyond the arc and .933 from the free throw line.

For the entire season, he averaged 10.1 points, 2.8 rebounds and 1.6 assists in 26.2 minutes and shot an NBA-best .451 (162-359) from three-point range – his fourth time leading the league in three-point percentage over his career (2009-10, 2013-14, 2014-15). Korver scored in double digits 19 times with the Cavaliers this past season, which includes a 29-point performance at Indiana on Feb. 8. The 14-year veteran knocked down his 2,000th career three-pointer on Feb. 15 against the Pacers, becoming just the seventh player in NBA history to accomplish that feat. Korver also appeared in 18 games during Cleveland’s NBA Finals run, averaging 5.8 points and 1.7 rebounds in 18.1 minutes per game.

Korver has appeared in 1,031 games (418 starts) with the Philadelphia 76ers, Utah Jazz, Chicago Bulls, Hawks and Cavaliers, owning career averages of 10.0 points and 3.1 rebounds in 26.5 minutes per game. He is also averaging 8.3 points and 2.7 rebounds in 24.9 minutes over 109 career postseason contests (38 starts). An NBA All-Star in 2015, Korver is currently tied for fifth in NBA history with 2,049 career made three-pointers and ranks fifth all-time in three-point field goal percentage (.431, minimum 300 3FGM). He has hit 100 threes or more 12 times in his career, including each of the last seven seasons.

Cavaliers sign Jeff Green

Cavs sign Jeff Green

The Cleveland Cavaliers have signed forward Jeff Green.

According to Cleveland.com, “Joe Vardon has reported that Green will receive a one-year, $2.3 million deal — a prove-it veteran’s minimum contract that is guaranteed for the 2017-18 campaign. Green made $15 million last season. The 30-year-old forward, who has spent time with five different organizations during his career, is coming off a down year, averaging a career-low 9.2 points and 3.1 rebounds with the 29-win Orlando Magic.”

Green (6-9, 235) spent last season with the Orlando Magic, appearing in 69 contests (11 starts) with averages of 9.2 points and 3.1 rebounds in 22.2 minutes per game. He also shot a career-high .863 from the foul line and scored in double figures on 35 occasions.

A nine-year NBA veteran, Green has played in 705 games (484 starts) over his career with the Seattle SuperSonics/Oklahoma City Thunder, Boston Celtics, Memphis Grizzlies, Los Angeles Clippers and Orlando, owning averages of 13.5 points, 4.7 rebounds and 1.6 assists in 31.1 minutes per game. He has also appeared in 38 postseason contests (15 starts), averaging 11.0 points, 4.1 rebounds and 1.3 assists in 29.3 minutes per game.

The 6-9 forward, who hails from Cheverly, Maryland, and played collegiately at Georgetown, was originally selected by Boston with the fifth overall pick in the 2007 NBA Draft before being traded to Seattle prior to the start of his rookie campaign. He earned All-Rookie First Team honors in 2007-08 and has averaged double figures in scoring in eight of his nine NBA seasons.

Cavs trying to trade for Paul George

Let the fun begin. The real fun, in the form of a top team trying to trade for a great player. Here’s ESPN.com reporting that the Eastern Conference champion Cleveland Cavaliers are trying to land Paul George:

Cavs trying to trade for Paul George

The Cleveland Cavaliers continue to pursue a trade for Paul George and will be leading contenders for Carmelo Anthony’s services, should Anthony secure an offseason buyout from the New York Knicks, according to league sources.

Sources told ESPN that the Cavaliers engaged in serious three-way trade discussions leading up to the NBA draft on a deal that would have brought them George from the Indiana Pacers and landed Kevin Love, George’s fellow Eastern Conference All-Star, with the Denver Nuggets.

The Nuggets were recruited into the talks to furnish the Pacers with the combination of promising young players and draft picks that they are seeking before consenting to surrender George, whose agent, Aaron Mintz, informed Indiana management just over a week ago that George has no intention of staying with the club beyond the expiration of his current contract in June 2018.

The Spurs have been investigating the market for Green as they look to open salary-cap space ahead of the start of free agency. But the asking price has been a little too high in early talks with the Cavs, sources said. Green has two years and $20 million left on his contract. He averaged 7.3 points and shot 38 percent on 3-pointers in 68 games for the Spurs last season. He is also a strong defender. — ESPN.com

Here’s a statement from the Cavs:

The Cleveland Cavaliers and its General Manager, David Griffin, have mutually decided not to extend David’s current contract, which ends June 30, 2017.

On behalf of the entire organization, I would like to thank Griff for his leadership and many contributions during his time here, including most recently, his role in the franchise’s first NBA Championship.

We have no announcement at this time related to new leadership of the Cavaliers basketball operations group, but we are confident our current front office will continue to aggressively explore and pursue opportunities to improve our team in the weeks ahead.

Warriors win 2017 NBA championship

As yellow confetti fell from the rafters and TV cameras swarmed Monday night, Kevin Durant grabbed the charcoal cap emblazoned with the Larry O’Brien trophy before embracing Stephen Curry. In that moment, as a capacity crowd belted along to “We Are the Champions,” the Warriors had finally vindicated the 3-1 Finals lead they squandered last June. Nothing — not the chorus of critics, not the Herculean performances from Kyrie Irving and LeBron James, not a lengthy hiatus from head coach Steve Kerr — could keep Golden State from winning its second NBA title in three years.

– San Francisco Chronicle

Cleveland, fresh off a 137-point outburst in Game 4, used an early 14-2 run Monday to seize a seven-point lead midway through the first quarter. With James, Irving and J.R. Smith leading the way, the Cavaliers were up 41-33 early in the second. That’s when Golden State, perhaps the most combustible team of this era, tightened up defensively, ratcheted up the tempo and unleashed a 21-2 rally. Durant poured in 13 points on only five shots in the quarter to power the Warriors to a 71-60 lead by halftime.

– San Francisco Chronicle

Durant scored 39 points — he broke 30 in all five games of the Finals — and Curry had 34 and 10 assists… Right after the pass to Iguodala to put the Warriors up eight, Durant nailed a 3 to erase the Kevin Love and-1 seconds prior. When a Kyle Korver 3 with 8:27 left cut it to six, Durant sliced backdoor for an easy dunk, uncontested just like the six dunks he had in the first half of Game 1. In all, he made 14 of 20 shots, including five of eight from beyond the arc. For the series, he shot 56 percent from the field. He led the Warriors in rebounds and blocks.

– Bay Area News Group

And in the clincher, Curry had 34 points, 10 assists, six rebounds, and enough moments to silence his loudest critics. The reasonable ones, anyway. He led the way to a 129-120 win over the Cavaliers, clinching the Warriors’ second title in three years, completing their vengeance from last year’s epic collapse. This is how you earn super stardom. Curry wasn’t the Finals MVP. But he vindicated himself by averaging 26.8 points, 9.4 assists and 8.0 rebounds in an NBA Finals.

– Bay Area News Group

While James went for game highs in points (41) and minutes (47), Kyrie Irving and J.R. Smith were second and third on the Cavs with 26 and 25 points, respectively. For the Warriors, Stephen Curry was second with 34 points — hitting 10-of-20 shots — and 2015 NBA Finals MVP Andre Iguodala accounted for 20 points in 38 minutes off the bench.

– Akron Beacon Journal

Steve Kerr wants more edge from Warriors tonight

Many different words can be used to describe “edge.” As in, playing with more edge. Nerves. A sense of urgency. Pick whatever word or phrase you like — you get the idea. But you aren’t Warriors coach Steve Kerr. He’s got a better sense of all of this. And here’s what he said on the matter:

“For us as a team tonight, we’ve got to be more on edge,” said Kerr before the game, according to the Bay Area News Group. “I hope we’re a little more nervous. We didn’t seem that nervous in Game 4. Nervous is good. Appropriate fear is the Greg Popovich line. You need that. When we come out in the beginning of Game 4 and lose shooters and turn the ball over carelessly, we’re obviously not ready. I would hope we’re more ready, more prepared tonight.”

More from the Bay Area News Group: There’s a running theory that the pressure is on the Warriors tonight. They own a 3-1 series lead, but after the Cavs took Game 4, that’s now the same deficit they overcame to beat the Warriors a year ago. If they can get a win in Oakland to send the series back home, they might gather enough steam to pull it off.

NBA Finals Game 5 is tonight in Oakland at 9 p.m. ET. The Warriors lead 3-1.

Draymond Green makes fun comments about Cleveland fans

Warriors forward Draymond Green is a great quote. He’s got big personality and unleashes lots of fun stuff when speaking to the media. And he didn’t hold back when discussing his thoughts on fans in Cleveland.

According to the San Francisco Chronicle, “asked Sunday whether he regretted saying after Game 4 that Clevelanders “don’t seem to be the sharpest people around,” Green detailed why he seized the opportunity to deride the opposing fan base. “I didn’t bash them,” Green said. “I just gave my thoughts.”

More from the Chronicle: After the referees told the scorekeepers that the first technical should have been assigned to Kerr, Green stepped back on the court. In the wake of Golden State’s 137-116 loss, when a reporter asked him whether he had noticed that the first technical had been announced as his, Green said: “I don’t pay much attention to anybody in Cleveland, honestly. Don’t seem to be the sharpest people around. So, whatever.”

Trash-talk on the court is fun. And off the court? Still fun. Green won’t label this trash-talking. He’s merely expressing his opinion. And if anybody takes offense, that’s their problem!

But seriously: Green is fun, and we enjoy hearing his take on just about anything. Especially the opposition.

LeBron James will not play 3-on-3 basketball in Olympics

The 2020 Olympics in Japan will include 3-on-3 basketball as an event, but unless LeBron James has a big change of heart, don’t expect him to participate.

“I’m not very good in a three-on-three thing, I’m more of a five-on-five guy,” said James to the media, according to ESPN.com. “I stay out of the one-on-one matchups during our practice, the two-on-twos and the three-on-threes. So probably not. I probably won’t be a part of the three-on-three matchup that it has to offer.”

“I think it’s great for basketball,” said James, per ESPN. “For us to be able to add another category to the Olympics, another basketball category, I think it’s pretty great. I haven’t seen the full layout of how they plan on executing it; and are they going to use NBA guys or are going to use college guys?”

It’ll be interesting to see what caliber of players do represent the USA in 3-on-3. Right now, it’s anyone’s guess. It’s quite possible NBA players won’t be involved.

The Cavs are in big trouble, down 3-0 in the NBA Finals against a superior-looking Warriors team. Cavs veteran Richard Jefferson says reaching the Finals is no prize if it doesn’t include the acquisition of a championship ring at the end. Here’s ESPN.com reporting:

Championship or bust, says Richard Jefferson

“I still do not feel like we’ve reached our potential,” Jefferson said Friday, after the team’s shootaround at their practice facility. “We’ve said it all along — it doesn’t matter if we lose in Game 7, what happens with tonight: If we don’t win a championship, then the season was unsuccessful. That’s it. It’s the same for them.

“It’s probably the same for three teams in this league every single year. And it’s true. If we don’t win a championship, it’s unsuccessful. Nobody would be surprised at the end of the day if before this series you said the Cavs won. No one would be surprised if someone said San Antonio won a championship at the beginning of the season. No one would be, like, mind blown.

“So for the three, four teams that are in that position, regardless of how it ends or whatever, if you don’t raise that banner the next year, then it was unsuccessful.”

Warriors take 3-0 NBA Finals lead

The Cavaliers did everything right in Game 3 except what they needed to do most — close it out.

The Cavaliers on June 7 followed the blueprint drawn up by coach Tyronn Lue for Game 3 like a team of construction engineers erecting a futuristic skyscraper, and still lost, 118-113, and now are one loss away from becoming the first team swept out of the NBA Finals since the San Antonio Spurs did it to the Cavaliers in 2007.

The Warriors went on an 11-0 run to after a 26-footer by J.R. Smith gave the Cavs a 113-107 lead with 2:32 remaining. Smith preened for the Cavalier fans sitting in the front row of The Q as he trotted down the court on defense — way too early, as it turned out.

– Akron Beacon Journal

Cavs guard Kyrie Irving said he had to be more assertive driving to the hoop and he was. His driving layup high off the glass as the first half ended were his 16th and 17th points of the first half and cut the Warriors’ lead to 67-61. He finished the game with 38 points.

– Akron Beacon Journal

Steph Curry was incredible much of the night, going for 26 points, a team-high 13 rebounds, six assists and only one turnover. Klay Thompson parlayed his huge Game 2 into a bigger Game 3, nailing six of the Warriors’ 16 threes and hitting 30 points for the first time in this postseason. He kept them afloat early.

But Kevin Durant, the frontrunner for Finals MVP, drove the Warriors home in the final sequence.

With less than two minutes left, the Warriors trailed by four and their perfect playoffs were in peril. But with 1:15 left, Durant powerfully pushed Kevin Love back on a drive, got to about 12 feet out and planted a floater to pull the Warriors within two.

– Bay Area News Group

By the time the Warriors entered halftime up 67-61, they had tallied assists on 21 of 23 field goals. It was the most assists by any team in a half of a Finals game since the Bulls had 22 in the second half against the Portland Trail Blazers in Game 1 of the 1992 NBA Finals. With the Cavaliers’ season on the edge of disaster, James and Irving had combined for 44 points on 18-for-27 shooting. The rest of Cleveland had mustered 17 points on 4-for-14 shooting.

With Durant, Klay Thompson (30 points) and Curry (26 points, 13 rebounds) leading the way, Golden State weathered inspired performances from James (39 points, 11 rebounds, nine assists) and Kyrie Irving (38 points). The Warriors’ 16 three-pointers and 29 assists ultimately overshadowed their 18 turnovers. After posting their two worst offensive outings of the playoffs in Games 1 and 2, the Cavaliers scored 46 points in the paint. But the immense assignment of toppling Golden State eventually took its toll. Visibly gassed, Cleveland didn’t score over the final 3:09.

– San Francisco Chronicle

Tonight in Cleveland, the Cavaliers face the Warriors in NBA Finals Game 3. Down 2-0 in the series, the Cavs have clearly been the best team in the Eastern Conference, but the Warriors have been on another level all regular season and all playoffs long.

Now, we don’t actually root for one team over another. But we certainly root for what’s good for basketball. And the Warriors going on to win Game 3 in all likelihood means they will go ahead and win the series. Which is great for NBA history buffs whosw main interest is to compare the Warriors with other dominant NBA teams of the past. But for regular everyday basketball fans, it would certainly be better for the Cavs to step up tonight, defend home court, take the win, and make it look like a real series.

We’ll be watching.

The Warriors beat the Cavs 113-91 Thursday in Oakland to take a 1-0 NBA Finals lead. Some quotes from the web are below:

Warriors beat Cavs in NBA Finals Game 1

To kick off a matchup that has been anticipated since the Cavaliers escaped Oracle Arena with the Larry O’Brien trophy 347 days earlier, Golden State sent a statement: It is much improved from the group that squandered a 3-1 lead to Cleveland.

The biggest difference for the Warriors, of course, is that they now have a do-everything future Hall of Famer who thrives on the biggest stages. Durant poured in 23 of his game-high 38 points in the first half Thursday, adding eight rebounds and eight assists to finish with a near triple-double.

Stephen Curry overwhelmed Cleveland with a sterling third quarter on a night he finished with 28 points, 10 assists and six rebounds. Because Golden State was at its ball-moving best, he and Durant feasted on open looks. The Warriors had more assists (31) Thursday than the Cavaliers had field goals (30).

By the start of the fourth quarter, the most-hyped NBA game of the year was rid of suspense. It was the type of thorough pummeling that only underscored why few have given Cleveland much of a shot in this series. Though he scored 28 points, LeBron James piled up eight of the Cavaliers’ 20 giveaways. Tristan Thompson, one of the league’s elite role players, was a non-factor on a night he totaled zero points and four rebounds in 22 minutes.

– San Francisco Chronicle

The Cavs committed 12 turnovers in the first half — seven by LeBron James. They were slow on the defensive glass, allowing the Warriors 11 offensive rebounds in the first 24 minutes. To put that in perspective, Golden State had only five offensive rebounds the entire game on Christmas Day when the Cavs beat the Warriors, 109-108, at Quicken Loans Arena.

Golden State took 61 shots in the first half compared to 43 by the Cavaliers. Despite those lopsided numbers, the Cavs were down only eight, 60-52, in a building in which they know they can win.

– News Herald

Durant shook LeBron to the ground for a slam, powered through Irving for another layup — his first eight makes were all at the rim — and then forced his way to the free throw line a few times late in the first half, putting up 23 in the first 24 minutes. He finished with a game-high 38 — finally busting out his 3-point shot late to cap the huge night.

But Steph Curry never had to get hot from 3 because he just stayed hot, carrying over his scorching stroke from the last round to plant six of his 11 threes on Thursday, giving him an NBA-high 59 made 3s in 13 playoff games. Kevin Love is the next closest shooter, with 41 makes in 14 games.

– Bay Area News Group

Raptors swept by Cavs

Most people predicted the Cavs would eliminate the Raptors in the second round of the 2017 NBA Playoffs. The only question is how quickly it was going to happen. With Toronto lacking the services of point guard Kyle Lowry for the last few games, it seemed likely to happen sooner than later. Today, the Cavs completed the four-game sweep. Here’s the Toronto Star reporting:

The defending NBA champions now move on to face either Boston or Washington for the conference title, while the Raptors go off into a summer full of difficult decisions for team president Masai Ujiri.

Free agents Kyle Lowry, Patrick Patterson, Serge Ibaka and P.J. Tucker have to either be re-signed or let go for nothing, and head coach Dwane Casey and his staff will be up for their annual review. Ujiri has seen his team fall far short of the necessary three-point shooting proficiency in the league today.

Down by as many as 16 points Sunday, Toronto scrapped and clawed its way back to take a one-point lead with about six minutes left.

Raptors face tough battle vs Cavs

Here’s the National Post reporting on the Raptors, down 0-1 in their series, and their quest to contain the Cavs, which mostly means trying to somehow contain LeBron James:

When the Raptors added Serge Ibaka and P.J. Tucker at the trade deadline, it gave them extra bodies to throw at LeBron. Between the new guys and DeMarre Carroll, Patrick Patterson and the occasional defence of DeMar DeRozan, Toronto had a host of players with the size and speed to, at the least, get in James’ way.

They did precious little of that in last year’s playoff matchup, and coming into this series it seemed likely that Toronto would try to impede, annoy, frustrate and just generally bother James. Instead, LeBron scored what looked like an effortless 35 points in Game 1 and grabbed a beer from a courtside vendor. If you have ever seen a cat wound a mouse and then take an agonizingly long time to get around to finishing it off, that was LeBron on Monday night. (The Raptors were the mouse.) …

So, could the Raptors try to ugly it up in Game 2 on Wednesday? More traps on James, more double teams, more attention and some of it even legal?

“All that’s in play,” Casey said Tuesday. “We gotta get a little closer (to them). I don’t know if they felt us last night whatsoever. We were half a step off, respecting their speed a little too much. We gotta make them feel us a little bit better.”

Canton Charge General Manager Mike Gansey has been named the NBA Development League’s Basketball Executive of the Year, as selected by his fellow NBA D-League basketball executives.

Gansey presided over a Charge team that amassed a 29-21 regular season record, securing Canton’s sixth-consecutive trip to the NBA D-League postseason as the fourth seed in the Eastern Conference.

During the regular season, the Charge ranked in the top 10 in the league in points (110.1 ppg; 8th) and assists (21.5 apg; 10th) while holding opponents to 106.8 points, good for seventh in the NBA D-League.

Under Gansey’s leadership, the Charge helped to develop Cavaliers rookie Kay Felder, the 54th pick in NBA Draft 2016 presented by State Farm. The 5-8 guard averaged 29.9 points in 11 games on assignment from the Cleveland Cavaliers. Additionally, Charge guard Quinn Cook, the 2015-16 NBA D-League Rookie of the Year, earned Call-Ups to the Dallas Mavericks and New Orleans Pelicans this season. Gansey managed a Charge roster that featured 19 different players and 18 different starting lineups during the season.

Prior to the 2016-17 campaign, Gansey promoted longtime assistant coach Nate Reinking to head coach and hired NBA veteran Melvin Ely and Sam Jones, who enjoyed a successful playing career overseas, as assistant coaches.

Hired as the team’s general manager prior to the 2015-16 season, Gansey has held a leadership role in the Charge’s front office since 2012. In addition to his role with the Charge, Gansey also serves as a scout for the Cavaliers.

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