Archive for the ‘ Cleveland Cavaliers Blog ’ Category

Cavs sign Channing Frye

Center/forward Channing Frye is back on the Cleveland Cavaliers.

Frye (6-11, 255) split last season between Cleveland and the Los Angeles Lakers, averaging 5.0 points and 2.5 rebounds in 13.1 minutes per game over 53 games (one start). He owns career averages of 9.0 points and 4.6 rebounds while shooting .387 from three-point range in 22.8 minutes per game through 854 contests (439 starts) with New York, Portland, Phoenix, Orlando, Cleveland and the Lakers.

Frye previously played with Cleveland from parts of 2015-16 through 2017-18, and was a member of Cleveland’s 2016 NBA Championship winning team. With the Cavs, he has appeared in 144 games (19 starts), averaging 7.5 points and 3.4 rebounds in 16.6 minutes per contest.

The 12-year NBA veteran has competed in 49 playoff games with Portland, Phoenix and Cleveland, averaging 7.0 points and 3.2 rebounds while shooting .444 from beyond the arc in 17.6 minutes per game. With Cleveland during the 2016 and 2017 Playoffs, he played in 29 games, holding averages of 7.0 points and 2.2 rebounds while shooting .558 from the field, .541 from deep and .857 from the free throw line in 13.5 minutes per game. His .541 three-point percentage is the highest in Cavaliers playoff history (minimum 50 attempts).

The 6-11 forward, who hails from White Plains, New York, and played collegiately at Arizona, was originally selected by the New York Knicks with the eighth overall pick in the 2005 NBA Draft. He earned First Team All-Rookie honors in 2005-06.

The Cavs yesterday signed forward Billy Preston to a Two-Way Contract.

Preston (6-10, 240) appeared in three games (two starts) with BC Igokea of the Adriatic League in Europe during the 2017-18 season. He averaged 7.0 points and 4.0 reboun`ds in 15.8 minutes per game. Preston was also a 2017 McDonald’s High School All-American after his senior year at Oak Hill Academy (VA).

Per NBA rules, teams are permitted to have two Two-Way contract players on their roster at any given time, in addition to their 15-man regular season roster. A Two-Way player for the Cavs will provide services to the team’s G League affiliate – the Canton Charge – but can spend up to 45 days with Cleveland.

Cavs sign rookie Collin Sexton

The Cleveland Cavaliers have signed Collin Sexton to his rookie contract.

Sexton (6-3, 190) was selected by the Cavaliers with the eighth overall pick last month. In 33 games (32 starts) at Alabama in 2017-18, he averaged 19.2 points, 3.8 rebounds and a 3.6 assists in 29.9 minutes. The 2017-18 SEC Newcomer of the Year and Co-Freshman of the Year totaled the most points ever by a Tide freshman and the third-most in school history with 632 points, and was a 2017-18 AP Honorable Mention All-America selection.

Sexton will wear jersey number 2 with the Cavs.

LeBron James can stick with his current Cavs contract. Or out out, and re-sign with the Cavs for more money. Or opt out, and sign elsewhere. Or opt out, and then line up a sign-and-trade with the Cavs to get sent elsewhere. Here’s the Philadelphia Inquirer reporting on the situation:

LeBron James has a huge decision to make before free agency begins Sunday.

He has until 11:59 p.m. Friday to opt in or out of his $35.6 million player option with the Cleveland Cavaliers for next season. James would become an unrestricted free agent by opting out.

James would be eligible to sign a five-year, $205 million free-agent deal with Cleveland this summer if he opts out… If James signs with another team, his max salary would be $152 million over four years.

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Cavs draft Collin Sexton 8th overall

The Cleveland Cavaliers selected guard Collin Sexton from the University of Alabama with the eighth overall pick in the 2018 NBA Draft.

Sexton (6-3, 190) played one year collegiately at Alabama, averaging 19.2 points (second-most in SEC), 3.8 rebounds and a team-high 3.6 assists in 33 games (32 starts) during 2017-18. His 632 total points were the third-most for any player in a single season in school history as well as the most ever by an Alabama freshman. Sexton scored 10 points or more on 29 occasions, 20 points or more 16 times and 30 points or more in three contests. He set an Alabama freshman scoring record with 40 points, including 31 in the second half, on Nov. 25 against Minnesota, while also becoming the first Tide player to score 40 points in a game since 1979. Sexton also helped lead Alabama to its first NCAA tournament win since 2006 with a victory over Virginia Tech on March 15.

Following his freshman campaign, Sexton was named 2017-18 SEC Newcomer of the Year and Co-Freshman of the Year, becoming just the second Alabama player to ever earn the Freshman honor (Mo Williams, 2002). He also earned All-SEC First Team honors as voted by media, and was tabbed All-SEC Second Team and All-Freshman Team by SEC coaches. A 2017-18 AP Honorable Mention All-America selection, Sexton was additionally named to the SEC All-Tournament team after scoring a school-record 79 points over the Tide’s three games.

The Marietta, Ga. native played at Pebblebrook High School (Mableton, Ga.), where he was a 2016-17 Naismith High School All-American Second Team selection. He won a gold medal with USA Basketball at the 2016 FIBA Under-17 World Championship in Zaragoza, Spain, and was named MVP of the tournament after leading Team USA in both scoring and assists.

If Tyronn Lue has his way, he’ll be coaching the Cleveland Cavaliers again next season. Here’s ESPN.com reporting:

Tyronn Lue confirmed to reporters after Friday’s series-ending Game 4 loss in the NBA Finals to the Golden State Warriors that he intends to return as head coach of the Cleveland Cavaliers next season.

Lue, who guided the Cavs to their first championship in franchise history after being elevated from associate head coach to the head coach midway through the 2015-16 season, when David Blatt was dismissed, has three years remaining on the five-year, $35 million contract extension he signed in the summer of 2016.

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The Cavs have a logjam on the bench in the backcourt, with multiple options. Because LeBron James handles the passing that a point guard would typically handle, the team’s biggest need from both starting and backup guards is good outside shooting, and defense. According to ESPN.com, the Cavs will now give Rodney Hood more of a shot:

Cavaliers coach Tyronn Lue says he will switch up his rotation in Game 3 of the NBA Finals on Wednesday by giving minutes to seldom-used wing Rodney Hood against the Golden State Warriors.

“We’re going to give Rodney a chance,” Lue said Tuesday. “He’ll get a shot, and see how he does. He’s been working, staying ready. So we’ll see.”

Hood was the Cavs’ starting shooting guard in their playoff opener — a 98-80 loss to the Indiana Pacers — and has seen his role diminish dramatically since then, going from a bench player to receiving six DNP-CDs in Cleveland’s past 10 games…

He had much more success during the regular season for the Cavs, including a seven-game stretch from late March through early April when Hood averaged 13.9 points on 49.3 percent from the field and 44 percent from 3 with 2.6 rebounds, 1.7 assists and 1.0 steals per game.

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We’re only two games into the 2018 NBA Finals, so it’s a bit early to pick a clear Finals MVP candidate. But it’s a two-player race so far, between LeBron James and Stephen Curry. Here’s a Warriors-area outlet, NBC Sports Bay Area, stating the early case for Steph:

Steph Curry is the obvious choice for Finals MVP so far. Yes, it is only two games into the series, and as the Warriors know very well, anything can happen. But unless the Cavaliers were to come back and win the series, Curry has to be the odds-on-favorite. While he has had dominant moments in the Finals, his masterful play actually started at the end of the Western Conference Finals. Over the last three games (including Game 7 of the WCF) Curry is averaging 29.7 points per game on 45 percent shooting from the field, 49 percent shooting for deep (on a staggering 14 attempts per game) coupled with 9 assists and 7 rebounds. Curry has dished out 27 assists over the last three games, his highest mark since exactly a year ago, when he tore up the Cavs in the 2017 NBA Finals. Also this fun fact: Steph Curry has out-rebounded one of the Cavaliers’ best rebounding big men, Tristan Thompson, in each of the Finals games thus far. If that sounds familiar, it is because last Finals, Curry had more boards than Thompson in three of the five games, and finished with more rebounds overall in the series.

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The Warriors were without Andre Iguodala in NBA Finals Game 1 and may be without him in Game 2. But now Klay Thompson is questionable for Sunday’s Game 2 with a banged-up ankle. Here’s Cleveland.com reporting:

Warriors All-Star Klay Thompson suffered a high left ankle sprain in Game 1 of the Finals and said he plans to play in Game 2 Sunday.

The Warriors are officially calling him “questionable.”

Thompson was injured in the first quarter of Golden State’s 124-114 win when JR Smith fell into his leg diving for a steal. He limped to the locker room and returned to the game for the start of the second quarter and finished with 24 points and five 3s.

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Tristan Thompson fined, has flagrant foul downgraded

Cleveland Cavaliers center Tristan Thompson has been fined $25,000 for failing to leave the court in a timely manner following his ejection and for shoving the basketball in the face of Golden State Warriors forward/center Draymond Green, it was announced today by Kiki VanDeWeghe, Executive Vice President, Basketball Operations.

The incident occurred with 2.6 seconds remaining in overtime of the Warriors’ 124-114 win over the Cavaliers on Thursday, May 31 at Oracle Arena.

Thompson’s Flagrant 2, which was assessed for his actions in contesting a jump shot by Warriors guard Shaun Livingston, was downgraded to a Flagrant 1 upon league office review. The foul occurred directly prior to Thompson’s interaction with Green.

So, no fear of suspension for Thompson for NBA Finals Game 2 Sunday night in Oakland.

Kevin Love cleared for NBA Finals Game 1

Some good news was released by the Cavs today. Kevin Love has completed the NBA’s Concussion Return to Play Program and will be available to play tonight in Game 1 of the NBA Finals.

According to ESPN.com, “Love was still in the league’s concussion protocol as of Wednesday afternoon. He was injured during a head-to-head collision with Boston Celtics rookie Jayson Tatum in Game 6 of the Eastern Conference finals.”

The Cavs and Warriors begin their 2018 Finals series tonight in Oakland.

The Warriors continue to be without Andre Iguodala, but are otherwise healthy.

NBA Finals Game 1 between the Cavs and Warriors takes place at Golden State tomorrow night, and so far one key player is definitely out while another’s status, as of this hour, remains uncertain.

The Warriors have their stars in tact — Stephen Curry, Klay Thompson, Kevin Durant and Draymond Green are good to go — but the next player on the list of key contributors, Andre Iguodala, remains out with a leg injury.

The Cavs are in worse shape. The squad is clearly led by LeBron James, but their other player who fits in the star category is Kevin Love, and as of this afternoon he hasn’t been cleared from the NBA’s “concussion protocol” program that aims to protect players and make sure it’s safe for them to play after a head injury. He still may play, but as of Wednesday afternoon he isn’t ready yet.

Without Love, the Cavs will rely on the hustle of Tristan Thompson, and scoring from a lot of players who will collectively have to step up and play the games of their lives at the Finals level.

And we’re back to this. LeBron James in a key playoff situation surrounded mostly by role players, while a key star or two are injured. In this case it’s one player, Kevin Love. Of course, the Celtics played this season without Gordon Hayward, and are now without Kyrie Irving. They’ve gotten extremely good play from guard Terry Rozier in Irving’s place, though. And Game 7 is in Boston. So, advantage Celtics. Except, the Cavs have LeBron. But the Celtics right now have looked like the better team. Especially when playing at home. So, advantage Celtics, still, right? But… LeBron… Anyway, enjoy the game, and here’s the Boston Herald reporting on K-Love:

Cavaliers forward Kevin Love was placed in the NBA’s concussion protocol Saturday and declared out for Sunday’s Game 7 of the Eastern Conference finals against the Boston Celtics.

The 8:30 p.m. game at TD Garden will determine the East’s representative in the NBA Finals, which open May 31 at the home of the West champion. The Rockets lead the defending champion Warriors 3-2 going into Saturday’s Game 6…

Cavs coach Tyronn Lue said Love was flying with the team to Boston Saturday afternoon.

Love banged heads with Jayson Tatum with 6:58 left in the second quarter and went to the locker room to be evaluated.

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Must-win Game 3 for Cavs tonight

The Cavs, down 2-0 to the Celtics in their second round playoff series, face a must-win game in Cleveland tonight.

Well, mostly must-win.

Historically, it’s pretty must-win. But historically, few players like LeBron James have ever existed.

Boston has looked to us like the clearly superior basketball team in the first two games. However, they’ve regularly been better at home.

The Cavs in these playoffs have of course been led by LeBron (33.4 ppg, 9.2 rpg, 9.2 apg, 54% FG this postseason). But second-in-command Kevin Love (15.5 ppg, 10.3 rpg) is shooting just 40.2% in these playoffs. Kyle Korver at 10.2 ppg has been their third leading scorer, but next up is JR Smith who has hit at just a 37% FG clip.

And defensively, the entire team needs to step up.

But can they? The Cavs looked excellent in the final month of the regular season, but playoff intensity is other-level, and to be taken seriously as a team, they can’t just rely on LeBron.

Tonight’s Celtics at Cavs Game 3 is at 8:30pm ET on ESPN TV.

LeBron James arrives early for Game 2

Game 2 of the Eastern Conference Finals is tonight in Boston. The Celtics dominated the Cavaliers in Game 1, in somewhat alarming fashion — at least for Cavs fans. Here’s the Akron Beacon Journal with the latest on LeBron James:

There have been times in the past when LeBron James was the first to arrive at shootaround, ready to work on his game virtually alone.

In 2017-18, the most frequent early arrivals have been J.R. Smith and Dwyane Wade, before he was traded on Feb. 8, along with rookies Cedi Osman and Ante Zizic.

But on Tuesday, James was on the court by himself, with only assistant coach Phil Handy and another staffer, working up a sweat at least half an hour before the rest of the Cavaliers walked in to TD Garden.

James might have had a goal in mind as he prepared for Game 2 of the Eastern Conference finals against the Boston Celtics.

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The 2018 Eastern Conference Finals begin shortly, and the Celtics are making a starting lineup change, moving useful role-playing Aron Baynes to the bench and starting Marcus Morris.

While Baynes is more of a center, Morris is clearly a forward. The move, we speculate, is to allow Morris to help guard LeBron James, either fully or as a help defender alongside rookie Jayson Tatum. If we had to guess, Morris will likely guard James. And then Tatum shifting to him when Morris sits.

We’ll soon find out. Game 1 starts at 3:30pm ET on ABC television.

Rodney Hood messed up. But apologized. And apparently, it was accepted. And even laughed at, because the Cavs season has been wild and crazy, and as long as the squad keeps winning they’ll just push through it all. Here’s the Akron Beacon Journal reporting:

Rodney Hood said when he apologized to his teammates Thursday for refusing to go into Monday’s game against the Toronto Raptors with the Cavaliers up by 30, the reaction was laughter.

That’s because in a season marked by a contentious team meeting in which virtually no one was spared, coach Tyronn Lue’s leave of absence to address health issues, Kevin Love’s panic attacks, Isaiah Thomas’ criticism and a litany of injuries, lineups and rotations, Hood’s suggestion that Jose Calderon play ahead of him barely moved the needle.

“They were like, ‘Hood, that’s not really a distraction’ because of everything they’ve been through this year,” Hood said after practice at Cleveland Clinic Courts. “They all [made] light of it, they understand, so it wasn’t anything, really.”

Lue turned to rookie Cedi Osman and left the struggling Hood out of the rotation as the Cavs finished off a sweep of the Raptors and earned their fourth consecutive trip to the Eastern Conference finals, which open Sunday in Boston.

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Not a typical season for LeBron, Cavs

This was an unusual regular season for LeBron James and the Cavs, undergoing several rotation and roster changes, not winning as much as usual, finishing the regular season strong but still undergoing adjustments as the playoffs continue. The team’s first round series against the Pacers was tough, but the squad swept the Raptors in Round 2. For more on the Cavs, here’s the News Herald:

The Cavs battled through the regular season to finish 50-32. It was their worst record on a team with LeBron James on it since they finished 45-37 in 2007-08.

The struggles of the regular season followed them into the start of the playoffs. They needed a seventh game to eliminate the Indiana Pacers, needed overtime to beat Toronto in the first game of the semifinals and needed a buzzer beater by James to win Game 3.

The 35-point victory in Game 4 was more than just a stepping stone to the Eastern Conference finals against the winner of the Boston-Philadelphia series. It was a statement of how good the Cavaliers could be when George Hill, J.R Smith and Kevin Love get involved early in the offensive attack. Players are inspired to play better defense when they know they’ll be contributing on the offensive end…

The Cavaliers don’t return to practice until May 10. They’ll be working without knowing their next opponent if Philadelphia wins Game 5 in Boston on May 9.

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LeBron James speaks on upcoming Game 7

Game 7 of any NBA playoff series is an epic event. Even bigger is when a legendary player like LeBron James is involved. Because at this point in his career, everything LeBron does makes history. That’s not an exaggeration. Here’s the News Herald reporting on tomorrow’s Pacers at Cavs event:

The Cavs and Indiana Pacers are deadlocked, 3-3, heading into their game at 1 p.m. April 29 at Quicken Loans Arena. The winner, or, more appropriately, the survivor, advances to the Eastern Conference semifinals against the Toronto Raptors.

“I think Game 7 is the greatest two words in sports,” Cavs star LeBron James told reporters in Indianapolis after the Cavaliers were crushed, 121-87, in Game 6 on April 27. “With us having Game 7 on our home floor, our fans are going to be truly excited to be a part of that. I hope our guys are excited about that as well.

“Just don’t take these moments for granted. I’ve been part of Game 7’s for quite a while. It’s something you wish you can get back when you’re not playing the game anymore.”

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Kevin Love dealing with thumb sprain

The Cavs played winning basketball for a huge stretch as the regular season came to a close, but in two playoff games against the Pacers they have one win and one loss but easily could have been down 0-2. Complicating matters is the health of Kevin Love, who will be in action tonight but is playing through a minor yet still presumably annoying injury to his non-shooting hand. Just how good are these Cavs? The jury is still out. Here’s the Akron Beacon Journal reporting:

Kevin Love wore a support wrap on his sprained left thumb during shootaround and Cavaliers coach Tyronn Lue said the five-time All-Star center would play in Friday night’s Game 3 of the Eastern Conference playoffs against the Indiana Pacers.

While warming up at Bankers Life Fieldhouse, Love didn’t look impeded by the bandage, which covered his thumb and went across his knuckles.

Lue wasn’t sure if it would affect Love’s shot, but Lue was glad the injury was to Love’s non-shooting hand.

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