Found December 15, 2012 on
Waiting For Next Year:
Kyrie Irving shoots over Brandon Jennings
Kyrie Irving and company spotted the Bucks an early 13-5 lead and Milwaukee, lead by Monta Ellis’s 33 points, successfully held off any and all Cavalier comeback attempts to escape with a 90-86 victory. To their credit, Byron Scott’s Cavaliers never stopped fighting and it is somewhat remarkable, considering Cleveland had a NBA season high 27 turnovers, that they ended the night with only a four point deficit.
Cleveland shot a dismal 24% in the first quarter and after twelve minutes, trailed by a could’ve-been-worse score of 25-17. The second quarter wasn’t much better. When Tyler Zeller’s jumper fell through the net with 4:54 left on the second quarter clock, the Cavs were trailing by a score of 39-25 (it took them nearly twenty minutes to score their 25th point).
Then Kyrie Irving came to life.
With under four minutes to play in the first half, Our Reason To Watch These Games poured in eight points in roughly 70 seconds, cutting the Milwaukee lead to single digits and energizing dormant Cleveland crowd. The Cavs went into halftime with a little bit of hope, trailing by a could’ve-been-WAY-worse nine points, 52-43.
Cleveland gave themselves a chance after halftime, evening stealing a quick 57-56 lead in the third quarter, but it was never sustainable. Every time the Cavs got withing a single possession, it seemed that Monta Ellis was there to stem the tide with an easy basket. The Good Guys spent too much energy simply climbing back into the game and it doomed the Cavs in the end. Over the final three minutes, the Cavs let the Bucks have eight (8!) offensive rebounds, allowing the Bucks to extend possessions, run time off the clock and effectively close out the game.
This wasn’t the first time this season that the Cavs dug themselves an early hole and were forced to play catch-up.
If you feel that you’ve watched these Cavs lay a first quarter egg before, you’re not wrong.
By my count, the Cavs have scored 20 points or less in the first period six times this season (versus the Bulls, Suns, Pistons, Bulls, Wolves & Bucks). With a record that now stands at 5-19, this means that a full 25% of Cleveland’s games have started with off with a turd (and that’s not including their game against the Warriors, where they crossed my 20 point benchmark but still trailed 37-21).
Obviously, this isn’t good. I’m not sure what the answer is (asides from motivation!), but you can’t expect fans to show up for a game where there’s a 25% the team is going to come out flat.
Other random thoughts:
We had some injuries scares. Kyrie took a drive in the first half that ended with him smashing his face on the hardwood floor. Given how he fell, I was initially worried that might’ve dislocated his shoulder. Then I saw the replay and I was worried that we might see him be spit out some teeth. Fans also saw Anderson Varejao go to the locker room after getting kicked in the ankle by Samardo Samuels. Both Irving and Andy returned to play. Irving finished with 26 points, 3 boards and 3 assists and Varejao finished with 8 points and 18 boards (#NBABallot).
Kyrie’s defense: still not good. I’m not overly concerned that that second year guard isn’t good defensively. I assume it’ll come, Irving is too good and too competitive to not improve. But, at the moment, his D is abysmal. Really really abysmal.
I’m not sure what to make of CJ Miles. Over his last five games, Miles is averaging 20 points and is shooting a blistering 51% from behind the arc (career 33%). Against the Bucks, Miles finished with 17 points on 6-14 shooting (3-5 3pt) to go along with 4 boards, 2 assists and 2 steals in 32 minutes. I just don’t like watching Miles play. I feel like he has a little too much Larry Hughes in his game. And unlike Hughes, I’m not sure what else Miles brings to the floor if his shot isn’t dropping. While CJ has shot the Cavs into some games (most notably versus the Lakers), his shots don’t seem to come in the flow of the offense and his teammates are often standing around watching him shoot.
Byron Scott’s rotations,whats up with that? Maybe I’m weird, but part of the reason I was excited for Kyrie to return was because I assumed, with the emergence of Jeremy Pargo, it meant I’d never have to watch Donald Sloan again. Yet here we are. Pargo got a DNP-CD against the Bucks and Sloan played 12 minutes and finished with two points and three assists. Omri Casspi also has two straight DNP-CDs, after averaging 15 minutes a night over the previous fourteen games.
Up Next. Cavs are in Madison Square Garden to finish out their four-games-in-five-nights stretch against Knicks tonight at 7:30.
(Photo by David Liam Kyle/NBAE via Getty Images)
BEST OF MAXIM
MAN BEHIND THE MASK
Cleveland Cavaliers superstar Kyrie Irving broke a bone in his jaw during a hard fall against Milwaukee on Friday night.
The end result is the protective mask that he was fitted with that he will wear in the short-term while he is on the court. Irving told ESPN ”It’s just precautionary, as usual.”
Please Click Here To View This Photo Gallery & Video Of Irving's Career...
A CT scan at the Cleveland Clinic following the Cavaliers loss Friday night at Quicken Loans Arena vs. the Milwaukee Bucks revealed that Cavs guard Kyrie Irving sustained a small left maxillary fracture.
Irving did not fly with the team to New York City after the game so he could be fitted with a protective mask. He will travel to New York City on Saturday and will be available...
Cleveland Cavaliers point guard Kyrie Irving has been phenomenal when he's playing. Not even two seasons into his career, Irving has been injured multiple times. After missing several games with a fractured finger, Kyrie Irving managed to fracture his upper jaw according to Marc Spears of Yahoo! Sports.Cavs guard Kyrie Irving sustained a small upper jaw fracture. He will wear...
In the end, the power of Zorro wasn’t quite enough to cool off the red-hot Knicks.Cavaliers second-year point guard Kyrie Irving sported a black protective mask over his face Saturday night at Madison Square Garden. The new headwear didn’t seem to faze Irving, who poured in a career-high 41 points in Cleveland’s 103-102 loss to the New York Knicks.
Irving went 15-of-25 from...
Cavaliers guard Kyrie Irving broke a bone in his jaw during Friday's game against Milwaukee.
Irving, who only recently returned after missing 11 games with a broken finger, did not travel with the team to New York so he could be fitted with a protective mask that he will wear in Saturday's game against the Knicks.
Irving was injured when he took a hard fall in the first...
Cleveland Cavaliers point guard Kyrie Irving is expected to play Saturday night against the New York Knicks despite breaking a bone in his jaw Friday against the Milwaukee Bucks, according to the Cavaliers' website. He was fitted with a protective mask before traveling to New York on Saturday. Irving was injured after falling and hitting the side of his face on the ground...
With his black protective mask and 41-point outing, Kyrie Irving looked like some sort of superhero, a Batman with a basketball.
Irving's mostly-one-man show wasn't quite enough to rescue the Cavaliers in Gotham City (well, New York) as the end result was a 103-102 loss to the Knicks.
But in Cleveland, Irving has an opportunity to be everything sports fans are seeking...
NEW YORK (AP) -- Raymond Felton scored 25 points, Tyson Chandler had 23, and the New York Knicks overcame Kyrie Irving's career-high 41 points and the absence of Carmelo Anthony to beat the Cleveland Cavaliers 103-102 on Saturday night.
The Knicks won their fourth straight when Anderson Varejao missed the second of two free throws with 1 second left. They improved the NBA'...
NEW YORK -- He had been relentless down the stretch, Cleveland Cavaliers guard Kyrie Irving long ago having adjusted to the discomfort of the protective mask he wore and instead making the New York Knicks increasingly uncomfortable. A night after fracturing a bone in his jaw, the West Orange, N.J., native had scored 10 of his career-high 41 points in the final minute at Madison...
NEW YORK -- Kyrie Irving, playing one night after fracturing a bone in his jaw, nearly single-handedly led the Cleveland Cavaliers to an upset win over the New York Knicks, but Anderson Varejao's missed free throw with one second remaining left the Cavs just short. The Knicks, playing without injured MVP candidate Carmelo Anthony, barely held off the Cavs, 103-102 on Saturday...
The NBA tweeted the first batch of results for All-Star balloting-
1st Returns, East Backcourt: D.Wade (430,925), Rajon Rondo (382,613), Deron Williams (211,426), Kyrie Irving (155,989), Ray Allen (130,016)
— 2013 #NBAAllStar(@NBAAllStar) December 13, 2012
Irving is fourth despite missing half the Cavaliers’ games this season.
Anderson Varejao, who leads the league in rebounding...
Raymond Felton scored 25 points, Tyson Chandler had 23, and the New York Knicks overcame Kyrie Irving's career-high 41 points and the absence of Carmelo Anthony to beat the Cleveland Cavaliers 103-102 on Saturday night.
The Knicks won their fourth straight when Anderson Varejao missed the second of two free throws with 1 second left. They improved the NBA's only unbeaten...
Monta Ellis scored a season-high 33 points, Brandon Jennings added 16 and the Milwaukee Bucks defeated the Cleveland Cavaliers 90-86 on Friday night.
The win gave Milwaukee a season-high four-game winning streak and was the Bucks' ninth straight victory over the Cavaliers.
Kyrie Irving scored 26 points to lead Cleveland, which committed a season-high 27 turnovers. The Cavaliers...
A visit to Cleveland should provide the Milwaukee Bucks with a good opportunity to extend their winning streak to a season-high four games.
The Bucks can accomplish that feat with a ninth consecutive victory over the Cavaliers on Friday night.
Milwaukee (11-9) has not trailed over the final three quarters in any of its last three games, holding opponents to averages of 88.7 points...