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News, Scores, Teams, Stories & More on Northeast OH Sports on cleveland.com

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    Drew and the Cavaliers have been negotiating since Sunday, when the Cavaliers decided to fire Tyronn Lue after a horrible 0-6 start to the season. Watch video

    CLEVELAND, Ohio -- Larry Drew said he is "very disappointed" that the Cleveland Cavaliers haven't restructured his contract ahead of Tuesday night's game against the Atlanta Hawks. 

    "As I told them I'm going to be professional and I'm going to do my job," Drew said Tuesday night. "It's been close to 72 hours."

    Drew and the Cavaliers have been negotiating since Sunday, when the Cavaliers fired Tyronn Lue after an 0-6 start to the season. Despite lengthy talks between Drew, Cavaliers general manager Koby Altman and Drew's agent, Andy Miller, no new deal has been reached. 

    On Monday, Drew said he didn't want to be referred to as "interim coach." He considers himself the "voice," unless he receives a new deal from the team.

    "I would love him to be the coach," Kevin Love said. 

    Drew said he is still hopeful that something gets resolved, but knows there's a possibility that it won't happen the way he wants.

    "I would never quit. I won't do that," Drew said. "As I said, I remain professional and will continue to do my job. I was told that there could be a possibility of them just bringing in somebody else to finish out the year and then I can move back into my original position as an associate head coach."

    Drew clarified that option has only come up in the conversations between the Cavs and Miller. 

    While the team going outside the organization for a new head coach remains a possibility, it's not the preferable approach. The Cavs are hoping Drew, who was the associate head coach under Lue and has one more year remaining on his current deal, will steer the Cavs through the next phase of the season. 

    But many options are still being considered on both sides. 

    "My contract is over in July and I know at this point, certainly you look at the team and the direction that it's going, certainly they want young guys playing, we're in somewhat of a rebuilding process," Drew said. "Maybe they don't have, as far as the future's concerned, maybe Larry Drew is not a part of the future. I've been in this situation before, it's nothing new. This is the way this business is and I totally understand that and I respect it.

    "If nothing gets done, there's a possibility they could bring somebody in from the outside, or still probably they could hire within. But more than likely from the conversation is to bring somebody in from the outside and let me resume my original associate head coach position and finish my contract out."


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    Love, who was wearing a walking boot, spoke to reporters for the first time ahead of Tuesday's matchup against the Atlanta Hawks.

    CLEVELAND, Ohio -- Cleveland Cavaliers forward Kevin Love still doesn't have a firm timeline for his return, but said he's hoping to be out only "two or three weeks" with a big toe injury on his left foot that has caused "significant" pain since early October. 

    Love, who has been wearing a walking boot for the last two days, spoke to reporters for the first time since being shut down ahead of Tuesday's matchup against the Atlanta Hawks.

    He has received an MRI and also gotten consultation from Dr. Martin O'Malley at the Hospital for Special Surgery in New York City. Love doesn't know yet if surgery will be required.

    "I haven't heard anything like that," he said. "I don't know that for a fact."

    He hasn't received any injections, believing it would be too sensitive of an area. Love is expected to rest for the next few weeks before being evaluated once again.

    Anything beyond that remains unclear, as a specific treatment plan is being developed. The doctors have told him he's going to have to stay in a walking boot for a little while to get things to "calm down" and then will try to figure out the next steps.

    "I'm not sure because the doctors are going back and forth," Love said. "I'm hoping that's the case. I would like to get back obviously as soon as possible. I had high hopes for the season, I know it's been off to a really rocky start, but the more I can be out there and help this team the better. I'm hoping to get out there as quickly as possible and hoping that it's only two or three weeks."

    The injury, which Love doesn't even know how to classify, first occurred during the preseason opener against the Boston Celtics on Oct. 2 and it kept him out for the final three exhibition games.

    After gutting through the pain during the first four games of the regular season and overcompensating for the injury, which impacted his performance, Love was in too much discomfort and not quite feeling like himself on the court. That's when the Cavs shut him down. He will miss his third straight game Tuesday night. 

    "The only way I'm going to be best for this team is to be healthy and I haven't been the last month," Love said. "It's disheartening. I want to be out there."


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    What the Buckeyes' path to the top four might look like.

    COLUMBUS, Ohio -- Ohio State was ranked No. 10 in the first College Football Playoff rankings on Tuesday night, two spots below where the Buckeyes were ranked in the lastest Associated Press and Coaches polls.

    That was no surprise. The playoff committee, which waits until later in the season to reveal the first of its six rankings, put No. 8 Washington State and No. 9 Kentucky ahead of the Buckeyes based on better resumes. That's typically how the committee, now in its fifth season, operates.

    For four more Tuesdays, the 13-member committee (which includes Ohio State athletic Gene Smith in the second year of a three-year term) will reveal its top 25. The final rankings on Sunday, Dec. 2, the day after the final conference championship games, will decide the top four teams to take part in the playoff and the matchups for the other four playoff bowls.

    The Buckeyes still have a playoff path, even with six one-loss teams ahead of them, as well as the three undefeated teams in No. 1 Alabama, No. 2 Clemson and No. 4 Notre Dame.

    Here's why.

    1. No. 3 LSU hosts Alabama this week. Something has to give there.

    2. Ohio State will play No. 5 Michigan to end the regular season. A win over the Wolverines, especially if Michigan doesn't lose again before that game, would provide a huge resume boost to Ohio State.

    3. No. 6 Georgia, which plays at No. 9 Kentucky this weekend, could easily win out. But the Bulldogs would be underdogs in the SEC Championship if No. 1 Alabama gets there. Since Georgia already has a loss, a two-loss Georgia team would fall behind Ohio State if the Buckeyes win out.

    4. No. 7 Oklahoma's best win is over No. 24 Iowa State and its only remaining regular season game against a ranked team is against No. 13 West Virginia. If the Sooners win out, they would then play in the Big 12 title game against, most likely, Texas or West Virginia. But there is no game out there for Oklahoma that would boost the Sooners as much as a Michigan win would boost the Buckeyes.

    5. No. 8 Washington State has a win over No. 15 Utah but doesn't play another regular-season game against a team that is currently ranked. The Cougars winning out could be an issue for the Buckeyes, but again, there's no Michigan opportunity out there for them.

    6. No. 9 Kentucky plays Georgia this week. So one team ahead of the Buckeyes must lose. And Kentucky, if it wins the SEC East, would face Alabama or LSU in a conference title game.

    Losses are coming for teams ahead of Ohio State. The Buckeyes, who finish against Nebraska, at Michigan State, at Maryland and against Michigan, are no sure bet to finish the regular season 11-1, but if they do, they'll like their ranking.

    The are two worst-case scenarios for a 12-1 Big Ten champion Ohio State.

    One is undefeated Alabama losing in the SEC Championship to Georgia or Kentucky and the SEC suddenly deserving two playoff teams - the one-loss champ and the one-loss non-champ Crimson Tide.

    The other is Alabama, Clemson and Notre Dame locking down the top three spots and either Oklahoma or Washington State winning out and looking super impressive while doing so. In that case, three undefeated teams and a one-loss conference champ that has impressed may be impossible for the Buckeyes to pass. 

    Otherwise, if the Buckeyes get to 12-1 as the Big Ten champs, they're in. And if the second scenario happens, they might be in anyway.

    So what should Ohio State fans root for? These are the three main things.

    * Alabama to win the SEC to ensure no second SEC team makes the playoff.

    * Notre Dame to lose, because I think a one-loss Notre Dame would finish behind a one-loss Ohio State.

    * Michigan to keep winning so the Wolverines are ranked as high as possible when the Buckeyes play them. Right now, the committee likes the Wolverines.

    "Michigan has a very strong resume," playoff committee chairman Rob Mullens said in a conference call Tuesday night after the rankings release. "Their only loss is to the No. 4 ranked team on the road in the first game of the year. Five wins against teams with a winning record, strong road wins, Michigan State, at Northwestern. Great on defense. Michigan is a very good team."

    As always, the early rankings are only important for clues on how the committee is viewing a team. But, as you search for October and November hints, you must keep in mind that the committee can completely change its reasoning for the final December ranking that matters. It has happened before.

    But based on what Mullens said, we can glean these things about the Buckeyes.

    * The committee is into wins over teams with winning records. LSU has six of them, and that's one reason the Tigers are ranked ahead of Notre Dame, which has three of those wins.

    Ohio State has one - against Penn State. 

    That's not great, but three of the four remaining OSU opponents, Michigan State, Maryland and Michigan, currently have winning records.

    * TCU, at 3-5, has fallen apart, losing quarterback Shawn Robinson to injury and play-making receiver KaVontae Turpin to suspension. But Mullens said the committee is taking into account the fact that the TCU team the Buckeyes beat 40-28 in week three was more competitive than the TCU team that lost to Kansas last week.

    "When they played TCU, that was a healthy TCU team on a neutral site in Texas. So that does factor in," Mullens said. "The committee is fully aware that TCU was at full strength and how they were playing when Ohio State went to Texas and played them. So that was a part of the discussion."

    * The blowout loss at Iowa hurt Ohio State last year. How is the blowout loss at Purdue playing so far this year? Mullens implied it's part of what dragged them down to No. 10, instead of something more like No. 7 or No. 8.

    "We look at a whole body of work, and when you look at Ohio State, they've had an offense that's carried them, quality road win against a CFP-ranked Penn State," Mullens said. "Obviously the loss at Purdue does weigh as a part of that, and I think that's why you see Ohio State at No. 10."

    Asked exactly how a blowout loss factors in, Mullens emphasized that margin of victory isn't part of what they consider.

    "But we do watch the games and understand how they play out," Mullens said, "so that is a part of the discussion."

    Ohio State is in that discussion. When the Buckeyes reached the playoff in 2014, they were No. 16 in the initial ranking. When they reached the playoff in 2016, they were No. 6 in the first ranking.

    Last year, they were No. 6 at this stage and wound up at No. 5, one spot out of the playoff.

    The Buckeyes are in range. They just need to win and, for now, root for Michigan.

    FULL TOP 25 IN THE FIRST COLLEGE FOOTBALL PLAYOFF RANKING

    1. Alabama

    2. Clemson

    3. LSU

    4. Notre Dame 

    5. Michigan

    6. Georgia

    7. Oklahoma

    8. Washington State

    9. Kentucky

    10. Ohio State

    11. Florida

    12. Central Florida

    13. West Virginia

    14. Penn State

    15. Utah

    16. Iowa

    17. Texas

    18. Mississippi State

    19. Syracuse

    20. Texas A&M

    21. North Carolina State

    22. Boston College

    23. Fresno State 

    24. Iowa State

    25. Virginia


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    After a miserable start to the season, one that featured too many non-competitive losses, the Cavs snapped a six-game losing skid with a 136-114 win against the Atlanta Hawks.

    CLEVELAND, Ohio -- Apparently all the Cleveland Cavaliers needed to notch their first win was a coaching change. 

    After a miserable start to the season, one that featured too many non-competitive losses, the Cavs snapped a six-game losing skid with a 136-114 win against the Atlanta Hawks on Tuesday night.

    It was, indeed, a night of firsts for the Cavaliers.

    It was the first game without Tyronn Lue, abruptly fired on Sunday morning following the team's fourth double-digit loss in six games. It was Larry Drew's first audition to be the Cavs' new leader, a chance to show why he deserves a contract restructuring before agreeing to guide the team in this new era.

    First second-half lead. First game for Rodney Hood in a Cleveland uniform with at least 20 points. 

    Most notably, it was the Cavaliers' first time celebrating a victory.

    "I really didn't know what was going to happen tonight," Drew said. "I just wanted these guys, in their mind, to try and put the first six games behind them as quickly as they could and be ready to turn the chapter with a new season, sort of. And they came out and took the challenge."

    General manager Koby Altman felt his younger roster needed a new direction and voice. With Drew at the helm, the changes were obvious. For one night, he looked like a better fit. 

    On defense, the issues were still apparent. The Cavs have too many deficiencies to be an elite squad at that end of the floor. But Drew demanded a new attitude. He challenged players to be tougher at the point of attack, to pester ball-handlers with a relentless aggression. 

    The Cavs also abandoned switching for the most part, which sometimes has a tendency to make players a bit lazier, simply passing the offensive player to the next guy rather than fighting through screens and staying in the opponents' hip.

    "The one thing that we wanted to do going into this game is that we wanted to be the aggressor," Drew said. "I thought our last game against them, I thought we played on our heels a little bit."

    The defensive adjustments led to 23 Hawks turnovers, with the Cavs turning those miscues into 28 points.

    The intensity on defense carried over to the other side. The Cavs raced up and down the floor, using transition to create easy baskets. They had 13 fastbreak points. 

    Even when forced to operate against the Hawks' set defense, the offense looked sharp, scoring a season-high 136 points on 45-of-90 (50 percent) from the field.

    Instead of repeatedly settling for mid-range jumpers, the Cavs stepped into the modern era for one night, canning 13 triples, shooting 52 percent from long range and keeping the disparity manageable against the 3-point happy Hawks, who hit just two more than Cleveland this time.

    The Cavs also attacked the rim, scoring 46 points in the paint. 

    In past games, the Cavs would play well for stretches, showing some flashes. Only they were never able to sustain it. They couldn't put together a 48-minute game.

    That finally changed against the Hawks, as the Cavs scored 78 points during a scintillating second half, outscoring Atlanta by 23 points following the break. 

    "Coming out at the start of the third quarter I was a little bit concerned because if you look at our last few ballgames, we've come out flat in the third quarter," Drew said. "Coming out flat we get behind and now we have to exert a lot of energy to catch back up. Tonight was different. I was very happy that we came out with a sense of urgency. During every timeout that's something I tried to reiterate with the team."

    It was just the first game of the Drew era. No one knows how long it will even last.

    But the Cavs put a tumultuous few weeks behind them and started writing the latest chapter in their season story -- just as their new "voice" wanted. 

    Big turnaround

    In the first meeting between these two teams, a game that ended with the Hawks embarrassing Cleveland on its own home floor, the Atlanta starting backcourt finished with a 29-point advantage. 

    The Cavs flipped the script Tuesday night. 

    Hood and George Hill combined to tally 43 points. Hood scored a team-high 26 on 9-of-13 shooting, including 4-of-4 from beyond the arc. It's the most he has scored since coming to Cleveland in a midseason trade last February.

    "I knew I could continue to get better and I knew a game like this was bound to happen," Hood said. "I just stayed with it. Hopefully I, and us as a team, can carry this on throughout."

    The Hawks duo of Young and Kent Bazemore, meanwhile, scored 31. 

    Point of emphasis

    Ahead of Tuesday's game, while Drew was praising the Hawks, he put a point of emphasis on defending the 3-pointer. But it remains one of Cleveland's defensive weak points.

    The Hawks, who entered the night ranked fourth in 3-point percentage, canned 15-of-35 (42.9 percent) from long range. 

    Sexton holds his own

    The stage was set for Collin Sexton in his second matchup against fellow draft classmate Trae Young. It was Sexton's shot for payback after getting torched repeatedly by Young in the first meeting between point guards taken three picks apart in the 2018 NBA Draft.

    This time, Sexton held his own.

    The Cavaliers' rookie scored 17 points, including nine in the second half, on 4-of-10 from the field and 8-of-9 from the free throw line. He also dished out three assists and grabbed eight rebounds. 

    Young scored 24 points on 9-of-13 from the field and 3-of-4 from deep. But he had just four assists against three turnovers. 

    Up next 

    The Cavs will wrap up their three-game homestand against the Denver Nuggets on Thursday night.


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    By 9:35 p.m. Tuesday, Drew didn't need anyone's endorsement. His value stood on its own, as he steered the Cavaliers to their first win of the season -- just about 72 hours after the organization fired his buddy Ty Lue. Watch video

    CLEVELAND, Ohio -- About an hour after Larry Drew's latest power play -- sitting at the podium for his pregame press conference expressing disappointment about not having a restructured contract -- Kevin Love did his part to put more pressure on the Cavaliers' front office in what is now a dangerous stalemate that could lead to even more dysfunction.

    "I would love him to be the coach," Love said of Drew, who is currently the team's "voice" while the Cavaliers transition from the Tyronn Lue era. "Everybody knows how I feel about LD, especially after last year's little run we had. We felt that definitely helped, especially having another huge voice on the bench. Having him step in would be great."

    By 9:30 p.m. Tuesday, Drew didn't need anyone's endorsement. His value stood on its own, as he steered the Cavaliers to their first win of the season -- just about 72 hours after the organization fired his buddy Lue.

    No, the Cavaliers' 22-point rout against the dispirited Hawks, playing the second game of a road back-to-back, wasn't all about Drew. He knows that. The players do as well.

    "This win, it doesn't take anything away from Ty. First and foremost, we still feel the same way about Ty," Larry Nance Jr. said. "Hate to see it and everything.

    "We've had two days with LD and I don't know how much coaching you can get done in two days so I think it was moreso a locker room effort and the guys in here that really decided to bring it together and pull it together and that's not to slight either LD or Ty. But think it was the locker room that won this game."

    Still, it's tough to argue the results with Drew as coach.

    He's now 10-1 with the Cavs as interim coach. Excuse me, he's 9-1 as interim coach, piling up that mark during Lue's health-related absence last season. He's 1-0 as, well, "acting" coach or "the voice" -- the most common title being used by those inside the organization and by Drew himself.

    On Tuesday night, the Cavs played their best game of the season. Not just because they won and snapped a six-game losing skid, avoiding their first 0-7 start since the 1995-96 season. But rather how they played.

    They were full of spunk. They were the aggressor. They were together. 

    "To get that winning feeling knowing if we do the right things offensively and defensively, good things will happen," Rodney Hood said after pouring in 26 points. "When you get results, people tend to do it more. I think it was a good first step, next game we've got to build on it."

    The Cavs scored a season-high 136 points on 45-of-90 (50 percent) shooting from the field. They made 13 3-pointers, three more than their previous high-water mark. Dished out 23 assists on 45 made shots, matching their second-highest assist total on the season. They had seven players reach double figures in scoring.

    Finally, Cleveland displayed the team-ball concept it's been striving for on offense since training camp. 

    "I thought we played a whole lot more unselfish tonight," Nance said. "I thought selfish had kind of been the word we had been using for the way we were playing in the first six and tonight felt a little bit different. Guys were starting to hit the open man and we had a few possessions of like three or four extra passes and that's a first and hopefully we can learn from that and carry it over."

    Instead of going through the usual lulls, either in the second quarter or after halftime, the Cavs never relented. It was the feel-good game they needed after a gloomy start and Drew deserves praise for his role in it. 

    "It's not like we have to respond well to LD," George Hill said. "I think it's pretty much the same thing, it's just that game where every team plays better after things go wrong in the organization where guys may not be here, but it's the same team we had when Ty was here. Just a different ball game I guess."

    As of Tuesday, the Cavaliers and Drew had made no progress in contract talks despite negotiations that began on Sunday. Drew was not pleased that he entered the arena without a new deal before coaching the game against Atlanta, but said he will remain professional and has no designs on quitting.

    In the final year of a lucrative contract that pays him nearly $1 million, Drew wants more money and some security before taking on the bigger role full time.

    He even revealed that general manager Koby Altman mentioned to his agent, Andy Miller, that the Cavs may be willing to bring in a new head coach from outside.

    Of course, that would get awfully complicated and that's not the Cavs' preferable route, according to a source.

    What happens to Drew in that scenario? He said he would go back to his old role as associate head coach/assistant. But that's tricky, especially if a new coach comes in during the season.

    How do the Cavs get a quality contender with the season already in progress? Any interview with a candidate holding a position elsewhere requires permission. Would another team really grant that, creating a coaching hole on its own staff? That seems to be quite an obstacle.

    So here the Cavs are, left to wonder what's the next step.

    They were hoping to lean on Drew's experience. After all, he's got 38 years in the NBA, counting his decade as a player. They were of the belief it would be a smooth transition from the Lue era, getting a close look at Drew before determining if he's the right fit for a team that's trying to balance short-term and long-term goals.

    He looked the part on Tuesday. It sure seemed he had the backing of some important figures in the locker room.

    "Obviously LD has been a veteran coach. He knows what he's doing," Tristan Thompson said. "T Lue has learned a lot from him, being his mentor. We knew with LD coaching you're going to get an experienced coach who's been in the playoffs and has won a lot of games. He's been a great game manager and you saw that when he went (9-1) last year. I know that we're in good hands with LD coaching us right now."

    Hood agreed with that sentiment. 

    "LD always has had a voice," he said. "Not as big a voice, but he's a guy who's been through the wars and he knows how to put guys in position to be successful."

    For one game against one of the worst teams in the NBA, the Cavs were able to block out the nonsense and claim their first win. 

    That, more than any other comment made over the last few days about his frustrating contract situation, sent the most resounding message.


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    Cleveland Browns vs. Cavaliers coach firings as Browns fired Hue Jackson and Todd Haley just after Cavaliers fired Tyronn Lue

    CLEVELAND, Ohio -- Pink slips were flying in the brisk October breeze as the Cleveland Cavaliers fired head coach Tyronn Lue Sunday while the Browns followed suit on Monday and fired head coach Hue Jackson and offensive coordinator Todd Haley.

    The Cavaliers were 0-6 at the time of Lue's firing while the Browns had just lost to Pittsburgh to go 2-5-1. Neither team was living up to expectations.

    Lue wasn't playing some of the younger players that the front office wanted him to play while Jackson and Haley didn't see eye-to-eye over which personnel to use in the Brown's offense.

    Lue and Jackson each spent about the same length of time as coach of their respective teams with far different results. In 2016, Lue coached the LeBron James-led Cavs to Cleveland's only major championship since 1964. Lue and LeBron also made the NBA Finals three straight years.

    In 2016, Jackson and the Browns went 1-15 and then followed it up in 2017 by going 0-16. Sure Jackson didn't have the luxury of having the best player in the world on his roster, which is why owner Jimmy Haslam didn't fire him last year when he brought in new general manager John Dorsey.

    In short, Lue probably didn't deserve the quick hook while Jackson's was long overdue.

    Crowquill, by Plain Dealer artist Ted Crow, appears three times a week in The Plain Dealer and on cleveland.com.


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    Check here for the tee times for the PGA Tour's Shriners Hospitals for Children Open 2018 this week in Las Vegas. Jordan Spieth and Tony Finau are among those in the field.

    CLEVELAND, Ohio -- Jordan Spieth, Tony Finau, Cameron Champ and Rickie Fowler are among those in the field for the PGA Tour's Shriners Hospitals for Children Open 2018 this week in Las Vegas.

    PGA TOUR
    SHRINERS HOSPITALS FOR CHILDREN OPEN
    Site: Las Vegas
    Course: TPC Summerlin. Yardage: 7,255. Par: 71.
    Purse: $7 million. Winner's share: $1,260,000.
    Television: Thursday-Saturday, 4:30-7:30 p.m. (Golf Channel); Sunday, 3:30-6:30 p.m. (Golf Channel).
    Defending champion: Patrick Cantlay.
    Last week: Xander Schauffele won the WGC-HSBC Champions and Cameron Champ won the Sanderson Farms Championship.
    FedExCup leader: Xander Schauffele.
    Notes: Jordan Spieth makes his season debut by playing in a domestic fall event for the first time. ... Ryder Cup captain Jim Furyk returns to competition, along with five players from his team in France: Spieth, Webb Simpson, Tony Finau, Rickie Fowler and Bryson DeChambeau. ... The field features three players in the Hall of Fame: Ernie Els, Davis Love III and Vijay Singh. ... Love won the event in 1993, the year Spieth was born. He lost in a playoff in 1996 to Tiger Woods, the first of 80 tour victories for Woods. ... Freddie Jacobson, who missed all of last season because of hand surgery, is playing for the first time since the 2017 AT&T Byron Nelson. ... Eleven of the last 16 winners in Las Vegas captured their first PGA Tour title there. ... Furyk (1998-99) is the last player to win back-to-back in Las Vegas. ... J.J. Spaun is playing for the fifth consecutive week. He is the only player not to miss a tournament since the season began Oct. 4.
    Next week: Mayakoba Golf Classic.
    Online: www.pgatour.com

    (Fact box from Associated Press.)


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    The Texans got a veteran receiver in Demaryius Thomas and Golden Tate was sent to the Eagles.

    The Houston Texans and Philadelphia Eagles made big trade deadline deals, improving their teams and setting off discussions on who got the better end of their respective deals. The Texans got a veteran receiver in Demaryius Thomas, who will be a great compliment to DeAndre Hopkins. Golden Tate was sent to the Eagles for a third-round pick and will be perfect for running short to intermediate routes. Who was the bigger winner?

    PERSPECTIVES

    With Will Fuller V out for the season with a torn ACL, the Texans needed to make a big move in order to keep their season alive. They did more than that getting four-time Pro Bowler Demaryius Thomas. Have two All-Pro wide receivers give quarterback Deshaun Watson added security in the passing game. Thomas specifically gives him a veteran who knows how to open and make tough catches in tight spots. Tate was a good pick up for the Eagles, but getting the former Broncos receiver is a game changer for Houston.

    The Philadelphia Eagles are a little behind schedule in their title defense, but Golden Tate is going to change all of that. The team's run-pass option attack is struggling, but Tate's hands and quick reflexes will be a nightmare for opposing defenses to deal with. The former Notre Dame man has been one of the most productive wide receivers finishing with 90 or more catches the last four seasons. He makes Philadelphia the team to beat.

    The Tylt is focused on debates and conversations around news, current events and pop culture. We provide our community with the opportunity to share their opinions and vote on topics that matter most to them. We actively engage the community and present meaningful data on the debates and conversations as they progress. The Tylt is a place where your opinion counts, literally. The Tylt is an Advance Local Media, LLC property. Join us on Twitter @TheTylt, on Instagram @TheTylt or on Facebook, we'd love to hear what you have to say.

     

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    Ohio State players talked Tuesday about tackling and the run game. Watch video

    COLUMBUS, Ohio -- Ohio State is in the midst of change. The Buckeyes aren't going to tell us exactly how much change to expect, but it's fair to assume that the plan at home against Nebraska on Saturday won't look exactly like the plan that led to a 49-20 loss at Purdue on Oct. 20.

    Urban Meyer has hammered the run game and red zone failures on offense, and big plays and missed tackles on defense.

    Last week, while the Buckeyes were off, offensive coordinator Ryan Day and defensive coordinator Greg Schiano met with reporters to talk about what the Buckeyes were working on.

    Now we're back talking with players, who had some time off last week, but who hit the practice field as well.

    Watch the video to find out what two problem areas I thought were the most interesting areas of discussion on Tuesday night. Stick with cleveland.com through Saturday as the 7-1 Buckeyes, No. 10 in the first College Football Playoff ranking, try to get right again.


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    Look at the other teams that just missed the playoff last season. Most have taken a big step back.

    COLUMBUS, Ohio -- The College Football Playoff last season consisted of No. 1 Clemson, No. 2 Oklahoma, No. 3 Georgia and No. 4 Alabama, the eventual national champion.

    In the first College Football Playoff rankings announced Tuesday night, Alabama was No. 1, Clemson was No. 2, Georgia was No. 6 and Oklahoma was No. 7.

    Alabama and Clemson missing the playoff would be a surprise at this point, and Georgia and Oklahoma aren't out of it.

    That's the group of teams with whom Ohio State should be lumped. There's a top five programs in college football right now, and it matches the top five teams from a year ago, when the Buckeyes were the first team out of a playoff.

    Ohio State has enough talent, tradition, resources and recent success to demand and deserve to be compared to the best of the best.

    But for a moment, let's look at the next tier. Let's look at the power conference teams that made the top bowls just below the playoff last season. Those teams, in the final playoff rankings, were No. 5 Ohio State, No. 6 Wisconsin, No. 7 Auburn, No. 8 USC, No. 9 Penn State, No. 10 Miami and No. 11 Washington.

    Ohio State is 7-1.

    Wisconsin is 5-3.

    Auburn is 5-3.

    USC is 4-4.

    Penn State is 6-2.

    Miami is 5-3. 

    Washington is 6-3.

    Only the Buckeyes remain a playoff possibility. The other six, at a combined, 31-18, are out. 

    It's difficult to contend for a title every season. That's the expectation at Ohio State, and it should be. The Buckeyes have done that. This is the fifth year of the playoff era. Every year, Ohio State has been in the mix. The season in which the Buckeyes were the smallest part of debate was the first year, in 2014, when they reached the top four in only the last ranking, and then won it all.

    They were No. 16, then No. 14, No. 8, No. 6, No. 6, No. 5, and then in.

    To compare Ohio State to Alabama and Clemson right now, when the Buckeyes have been and should be in that top three, the Buckeyes are behind. But they're right there with Georgia and Oklahoma. And they're ahead of the other teams that missed the playoff a year ago.

    Two years ago, we wrote a series about Ohio State's indestructibility as a program. That holds. But every team, except for Alabama and, for the moment, Clemson, loses sometimes.

    That's true even for a top-five program.

    Buckeye Take is a quick 300- to 400-word column on a single aspect of Ohio State football. We're trying to replicate in written form the feel of our Buckeye Talk Podcast, where we drop a multitude of opinions every week. We know not all of you listen to the pod (though you should), and we don't want you to miss out on what we're thinking about the Buckeyes.


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    One possession, which came at the 9:37 mark of the fourth quarter, encapsulates what the Cleveland Cavaliers want to become on offense, what they have to become to survive. Watch video

    CLEVELAND, Ohio -- After receiving a pass from Jordan Clarkson, Collin Sexton quickly attacked baseline and looked to have a contested but makable layup attempt if he wanted.

    Instead, Sexton hung in the air before flipping the ball to Kyle Korver who was stationed in the left corner. Korver had a chance to trigger a 3-pointer with a Hawks defender closing in. For him, it would've been a good look, one he typically makes. But the sharpshooter opted to swing the ball to Rodney Hood who then passed it over to Clarkson on the right wing. Bucket.

    That possession, which came at the 9:37 mark of the fourth quarter, encapsulates what the Cleveland Cavaliers want to become on offense, what they have to become to survive.

    "It was like, "What? Finally,'" Larry Nance Jr. said with a huge smile on his face.

    In the first six games, the Cavaliers were being selfish. That's the word Nance and others frequently used. Instead of hunting great shots, the Cavs were settling, taking the first decent look that came their way. Rather than snapping the ball around, the Cavs were dribbling into jumpers.

    It was easier. Less exhausting. Also much less efficient.

    But on Tuesday night, a game in which everything coalesced during a 22-point rout of the Atlanta Hawks, Cleveland's desired identity finally came through.

    "Pass-first offense," veteran George Hill said when asked what the Cavaliers need to look like, especially without All-Star Kevin Love for the foreseeable future because of a painful toe injury that has had him in a walking boot the last few days.

    "I thought we played a whole lot more unselfish tonight," said Nance, who was one of seven players with at least three assists. "Guys were starting to hit the open man and we had a few possessions of like three or four extra passes and that's a first. Hopefully we can learn from that and carry it over."

    None of this means Cleveland's problems are fixed. They will get a much stiffer test on Thursday night against the Denver Nuggets, the league's third-ranked defense. But it showed an understanding, more of an attention to detail. 

    Without LeBron James and Kyrie Irving, brilliant individual scorers who shredded defenses on their own in the past, the Cavs have to rely on the system. Love being sidelined means Cleveland doesn't have the luxury anymore of posting inside -- an offensive staple in the first few games.

    It was only the Hawks, who are giving up 107.2 points per 100 possessions and have just two wins on the season. But the Cavs had 23 assists on 45 made shots. It matched their second-highest total. They scored a season-best 136 points and had seven players in double figures. They moved without the ball and made sharp cuts to the rim. 

    Hours after learning that Love would be shut down for "weeks," Cleveland needed someone to carry more of the offensive load. On Tuesday, that was Hood.

    The passive-by-nature swingman attacked the basket early and then started hitting from the outside. He poured in 26 points -- his most in a Cavaliers uniform -- on 9-of-13 from the field.

    "I think I kind of felt it a little bit getting back to myself last game, got in a little bit of a rhythm last game and it carried over to this game," Hood said. "Just got a lot of work in and just grinded. I knew I could continue to get better and I knew a game like this was bound to happen, I just stayed with it."

    There was plenty for the Cavaliers to celebrate on Tuesday night. But nothing gave the team more joy than that Clarkson 3-pointer.

    It wasn't just a run-of-the-mill bomb that put the Cavaliers ahead by 13 points once more. The possession started with Clarkson and ended with him -- going through three other players in five seconds beforehand.

    That's their blueprint for offensive success.  

    "That was beautiful basketball," acting coach Larry Drew said. "I told our guys, 'That's who we are.'"


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    Check here for the live scoring from U.S. Open 2018 stepladder finals on Wednesday night, Oct. 31. The U.S. Open is the final major of the PBA Tour season.

    CLEVELAND, Ohio -- Jakob Butturff is the No. 1 seed for the stepladder finals of 2018 U.S. Open at Northrock Lanes in Wichita, Kan. The CBS Sports Network-televised finals air live tonight, Oct. 31, beginning at 8 ET.

    Butturff is joined on the show by No. 2 Kristopher Prather, No. 3 E.J. Tackett, No. 4 Dom Barrett and No. 5 Marshall Kent.

    The five finalists were determined by conclusion of competition Tuesday; the finalists entered tonight having bowled a total of 56 games (32 qualifying, 24 round-robin match play).

    The U.S. Open is the fourth and final major on the 2018 PBA Tour schedule.


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    Doug Lesmerises explains the interview with Meyer about his health, then talks run game, defense, offensive line recruiting and more.

    COLUMBUS, Ohio -- On this latest episode of Buckeye Talk, there's a lot of Buckeye talking.

    I delved into Tuesday's interview with Urban Meyer in which the Ohio State head coach revealed the seriousness of his health issue, as he deals with a cyst in his brain. I've written about that, but here I went into more depth about how Meyer was talking about it and what exactly he's dealing with.

    But we didn't stick only to Meyer's health. There's too much going on with the No. 10, 7-1 Buckeyes to do that.

    So in answering your questions, I dug into what's going to happen with the run game, the recruiting misses on the offensive line, what has and hasn't changed with the defense and even an alternate history of J.T. Barrett's career.

    No co-host this week, just me, but there were enough different things to talk about that you won't get bored. And the big news is that our new Ohio State writer, Stephen Means, started Wednesday and he should be joining Buckeye Talk shortly. 

    Follow him on Twitter @stephen_means.

    Subscribe at any of these places:

    Buckeye Talk on iTunes

    Buckeye Talk on Google Play

    Buckeye Talk on Stitcher

    Buckeye Talk on Spotify

    Thank as always to ShopOhioState.com and MinuteManTickets.com for supporting Buckeye Talk.

     


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    The Cavaliers (1-6) will wrap up their three-game homestand against the Denver Nuggets on Thursday night.

    CLEVELAND, Ohio -- The Cavaliers (1-6) will wrap up their three-game homestand against the Denver Nuggets (6-1) on Thursday night. 

    When: 7 p.m.

    Where: Quicken Loans Arena

    TV: FoxSports Ohio 

    Radio: WTAM 1100 AM; WMMS 100.7 FM, La Mega 87.7 FM.

    Online: FoxSports Go apps

    Last meeting: The Cavs beat the Nuggets 113-108 on March 7, 2018. 

    Cavs minute: The Cavs snapped their six-game losing skid with their first win on Tuesday night, crushing the Hawks 136-114. ... The Cavs shot a season-high 52 percent from 3-point range in the win. ... Cleveland tallied 78 points in the second half (41 in third quarter), their most in a single half since Nov. 23, 2016 versus Portland. ... The Cavs' reserves have scored at least 50 points in three straight games. ... Rodney Hood is coming off his best game with the Wine and Gold, pouring in 26 points. Hood has scored double figures in all seven games this season. ... Rookie Collin Sexton has reached double-digits in points in each of the last four games, averaging 14.3 points, 3.0 rebounds and 3.3 assists in 25.0 minutes over that stretch. ... Cleveland is 7-3 over the last 10 games against Denver, scoring at least 110 points in seven of those contests. ... The two teams split the season series last year -- each one winning on the other's home floor. ... Kevin Love will miss his fourth straight game with a toe injury. Love will be out for "weeks" and hasn't determined yet if he will need surgery. He is the Cavaliers' leader in points and assists. 

    Nuggets minute: Nikola Jokic leads the Nuggets in points, assists and rebounds. The versatile center has recorded a double-double in six straight games. ... Gary Harris has scored at least 18 points in five of the seven games this season. ... Paul Millsap scored 19 points and made the game-winning shot on Wednesday night against the Bulls. ... Nuggets assistant coach Jordi Fernandez spent three seasons (2010-13) as the Cavaliers assistant player development coach. He also spent one season (2013-14) as an assistant coach and two seasons (2014-16) as a head coach of Cleveland's G-League team the Canton Charge. ... After finishing the 2017-18 campaign near the bottom of the league in defense, the Nuggets have become one of the league's stingiest groups, as they held their first three opponents under the 100-point mark. ... They entered Wednesday night ranked third in defensive efficiency. ... Denver is just one of three teams to increase their win total in each of the last three seasons (Minnesota and Boston).

    Probable starters:

    Cavs

    F Sam Dekker

    F Cedi Osman

    C Tristan Thompson

    G Rodney Hood

    G George Hill

    Nuggets

    F Paul Millsap

    F Torrey Craig

    C Nikola Jokic

    G Gary Harris

    G Jamal Murray


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    Doug Lesmerises gives a wild pick for Saturday's noon start that maybe isn't that wild. Watch video

    COLUMBUS, Ohio -- Here are Ohio State's game-by-game rushing yards totals last season:

    292, 167, 270, 190, 275, 281, 279, 201, 163, 335, 325, 226, 238, 163.

    Here are Ohio State's game-by-game rushing totals this season.

    375, 225, 182, 151, 119, 154, 92, 76.

    The rushing average per game in 2017: 243 yards per game.

    The rushing average per game in 2018: 172 yards per game.

    The rushing average in the last four games: 110 yards per game.

    I don't think the Buckeyes will be held under 100 yards rushing against Nebraska on Saturday. If Ohio State isn't in triple figures by the start of the fourth quarter, Urban Meyer may run out and grab the ball himself and starting looking for holes.

    Ohio State is dedicating itself to the run game in practice, and my outrageous prediction is that the Buckeyes will top 400 rushing yards for the first time in 31 games, since a 58-0 win over Rutgers in week four in 2016.

    The Buckeyes exploded with a big run game in the opener this season, gaining 375 rushing yards against Oregon State, but the Beavers at that point couldn't stop a tumbleweed. It has been a steady decline in the run game ever since, as the defenses have improved and the Buckeyes have become less dedicated and successful at that part of the game.

    Expect that to change in a big way.


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    The Buckeyes will try some new receiver combinations with Mack sidelined after foot surgery. Watch video

    COLUMBUS, Ohio -- Austin Mack, Ohio State's fourth-leading receiver with 26 catches for 331 yards, is out for at least the rest of the regular season after having surgery on his left foot for an injury suffered in the Purdue game.

    What will Ohio State do? Maybe get better at receiver.

    Mack is a fine receiver who has played well, though the junior didn't emerge as the breakout star many people, including me, predicted.

    Ohio State's six-man receiver rotation has been ...

    * Mack and Ben Victor (combined 40 catches, 567 yards, 4 TDs) at the X receiver position.

    * Terry McLaurin and Johnnie Dixon (combined 42 catches, 682 yards, 12 TDs) at the Z receiver position.

    * Parris Campbell and K.J. Hill (combined 101 catches, 1,256 yards, 11 TDs) at the H-back slot receiver position.

    To clarify Wednesday night, I asked Campbell for a quick receiver tutorial.

    "H-hack is kind of our scatback player," Campbell said. "I would consider our Z to be our deep ball guy, to take the top off of coverages. We try to get those guys some shots each and every game. And I feel like X is our isolation, outside, one-one-receiver."

    What will happen now?

    McLaurin, a deep ball Z receiver, is going to play a lot of X.

    Campbell, an H-back, will play some X.

    They'll both have chances at more one-on-one matchups. That's a good thing.

    They'll join Victor. And that means that 6-foot-1, 170-pound freshman Chris Olave will get some work with Dixon at the deep ball Z receiver spot.

    So far, most Ohio State receiver sets have been Mack-Campbell-McLaurin or Victor-Hill-Dixon.

    Now? You could see McLaurin-Hill-Dixon. You could see Campbell-Hill-Olave. You could see Victor-Campbell-McLaurin.

    You could see receiver combinations we haven't seen this season, including Campbell and Hill on the field together, which never happens and is a look I've been waiting to see again. (The Buckeyes did it at times last year.)

    The veteran receivers can play multiple spots, no problem. So McLaurin and Campbell moving at times is a plus, not a minus. Both Urban Meyer and McLaurin expressed confidence in Olave, a three-star recruit from California with two catches. And everyone has talked for weeks about Victor's emergence.

    The Buckeyes would take Mack back in a heartbeat. But if they're forced to try some new combos, and let some guys who know what they're doing try new things, that's not a problem. It's an opportunity.

    Buckeye Take is a quick 300- to 400-word column on a single aspect of Ohio State football. We're trying to replicate in written form the feel of our Buckeye Talk Podcast, where we drop a multitude of opinions every week. We know not all of you listen to the pod (though you should), and we don't want you to miss out on what we're thinking about the Buckeyes.


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    The veteran guard said Thursday that he thinks it's time for him to move on from Cleveland. Watch video

    INDEPENDENCE, Ohio -- JR Smith said he is hoping for a trade.

    But sources tell cleveland.com he hasn't officially made that request to Cavaliers management yet. 

    Smith entered this season in a precarious spot, with general manager Koby Altman telling Smith and his camp before training camp that playing time would be sporadic. Smith played four total minutes in the first three games before head coach Tyronn Lue -- fired Sunday morning -- put him back in the rotation for the fourth and fifth games of the season.

    "I had a conversation with him about it, too," Smith said of Lue's decision to go back to some of the veterans. "I told him I don't want to put him in a position where he had to lose his job. This was before he got fired. He said, 'The hell with it' and did what he wanted to do and what he was comfortable with doing, and I respect him for it. But at the same time I don't think it should have cost him his job."

    Smith didn't play in the team's only win of the season Tuesday night against Atlanta and is out of the rotation once again. 

    Sources told cleveland.com that after sensing poor body language from Smith and worrying about how his attitude could impact the team, Altman sat down with Smith a few days ago and asked the 33-year-old guard whether he wanted to stay around while being glued to the bench.

    If Smith wasn't going to be a leader for the young Cavs and was instead going to sulk, Altman said it would be better for him to go home.

    Smith opted to stay.

    "I can't do that to these fans, I can't do it to the city," Smith said. "To come from where I came from, from pretty much nothing to Cleveland and the way the city embraced me, the fans embraced me, the relationship I have with them, I can't do that to them. It's not about me, it's not about who wants me here and who doesn't want me here, for me it's all about the fans."

    Smith doesn't understand many things going on around the organization, including Lue's dismissal. But said he will be a professional. 

    "I just worry about what I can control, worry about being a good vet to these young guys who are playing," Smith said. "Cheer for 'em, help 'em as much as they want me to help. I can't take it personal against my teammates. Regardless of who's out there, who's not out there, I'm always going to be a good teammate to my teammates. Other than that, I'm buying time, I guess."

    According to a league source, trading Smith is "easier said than done."

    He has statistically been one of the league's worst players the last two years, which is why, more than anything else, the front office didn't agree with Lue's decision to play him. His contract is also an obstacle. Smith is making $14.7 million this season. His $15.6 million contract is partially guaranteed for $3.8 million in 2019-20. 

    Smith, the last one to leave the court following Thursday's shootaround, admitted "it's hard" to come to work with a positive attitude and "put on a front" that's he's happy.

    "Fortunately I to a great crew of people, former teammates, teammates, former coaches, lot of people in my ear that's helped me to go through this process," Smith said. "But at the end of the day I can't take it out on my teammates. Regardless how hard it is to walk in here and actually put on, as hard as it may sound, to put on a Cavs jersey or shirt, I can't do that to my teammates. I can't do that to the fans." 

    The hardest part according to Smith is not getting a chance to be competitive anymore, which is why he wants to be traded. 

    "They know," he said. "They don't want me so they obviously know. Moves could've been made to prevent this situation, but of course we're in this situation now, so, it is what it is."


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    For Gilbert, those were his first public comments about the situation since former head coach Tyronn Lue's firing on Sunday morning.

    CLEVELAND, Ohio -- As negotiations continue between acting coach Larry Drew and general manager Koby Altman about restructuring Drew's contract, Cavaliers chairman Dan Gilbert said he is staying out of it. 

    "I leave that up to Koby Altman and I'm confident they will get it worked out between the two of them," Gilbert said Thursday evening, following the All-Star Game announcement at Quicken Loans Arena. 

    For Gilbert, those were his first public comments about the situation since former head coach Tyronn Lue's firing on Sunday morning. 

    "Very difficult. I like Ty as a person and a coach," Gilbert said. "I think Koby's feeling as well as the rest of the front office was that there's certain coaches for certain eras I guess. Ty is a championship coach and this is a different kind of situation and he felt that Larry Drew was the best guy for that job."

    Altman revealed the other day that he consulted with his aides before dismissing Lue after a horrendous 0-6 start. When Altman came to the conclusion to go a different direction, the GM took that decision to Gilbert, who signed off on it. 

    But the transition hasn't been smooth and it threatens more chaos.

    Drew isn't officially the interim coach. He is the "voice." Drew said earlier this week he wouldn't become the interim without some kind of new contract. He's looking for more money and security if he's going to take on a bigger role with the team.

    Drew guided the Cavaliers to their first win of the season on Tuesday night and now owns a 10-1 mark with the team, including nine wins last year when filling in for Lue, who stepped away because of health-related issues. 

    "I think Larry Drew is one of my favorite guys, favorite coaches, but I just don't think it's appropriate to comment on Koby and Larry Drew's negotiations," Gilbert said.

    Prior to Thursday's matchup against the Denver Nuggets, Drew said "talks are moving forward in a positive direction."

    As for the Cavs, they set out to overachieve this season. After taking some plusses from the first two losses against Toronto and Minnesota, the Cavaliers couldn't compete with the Atlanta Hawks and Brooklyn Nets. In their first games, Cleveland never held a second-half advantage. It lost four of the first six by double figures and trailed by at least 16 in each of those games. 

    But, according to players and Drew, the 22-point win Tuesday over the Hawks was the start of a new chapter.

    Neither Gilbert nor the Cavs are yet ready to throw in the towel.

    "I do think we're competitive. I think you will see us become competitive, yeah," he said. "We will see what happens tonight and the next few games here. We're scoring enough points to win every game, but on the other side of the floor we could use some improving. If we do, we will see what happens.

    "Plus it's early in the season to make any kind of calls as to what the future is going to be."


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    Technically, a player's public acknowledgement that he wants to be traded -- like Smith's -- could earn a fine under the league's collective bargaining agreement. Watch video

    CLEVELAND, Ohio -- With his playing time uncertain and a belief that the organization no longer wants him, JR Smith said Thursday morning he was hoping for a trade.

    Technically, a player's public acknowledgement that he wants to be traded -- just like Smith's -- could carry a fine under the league's collective bargaining agreement. 

    But NBA Commissioner Adam Silver, who was in town for the league's announcement of the 2022 NBA All-Star Game coming to Cleveland, said he did not expect Smith to be fined by the league office -- even though he didn't hear the specific comment. 

    "It's a last resort to be sanctioning or disciplining a player," Silver said to a small group of reporters following the on-stage reveal. "I think in the first instance those are team matters, and, even if it came to a situation where there is a technical rules violation we usually look to the team in the first instance to see how they want to handle it. Talking to Koby (Altman) earlier, it is something that he and his interim coach are addressing directly.

    "My hunch is that he'll find a way to deal with it and it won't be necessary for the league office to get involved."

    Early Thursday morning, Smith was specifically asked by a reporter if he hoped to be traded. 

    "Yeah," Smith said. "They know. They don't want me here, so they obviously know."

    Players aren't allowed to make public trade requests. This, however, wasn't so much a request. According to league sources, Smith hasn't even made a demand to Cleveland's management. In the case of Thursday morning, Smith didn't bring up the topic. He was asked about it and responded honestly. It's tough to levy discipline under those circumstances.

    Cavaliers chairman Dan Gilbert has not yet spoken to Altman about this situation.

    Gilbert said he would let Altman handle it, just as Gilbert wants Altman to be the one to work out the contract negotiations with acting coach Larry Drew. 

    "First of all, we appreciate JR and everything he has done for the franchise," Gilbert said of Smith. "You all remember Game 7 in the second half when we were down I think nine in the second half and it was his eight, nine, 10 points or something like that that really got us back into Game 7 and then we won the championship. Will be forever grateful. That's what I think of when I think of JR."

    The Cavaliers have lost six of seven games to open the season. All-Star forward Kevin Love is sidelined for the foreseeable future because of a painful left toe injury. Given the early-season struggles, the Cavaliers are entering a different phase, playing the younger guys over veterans. 

    Smith was informed this off-season that his playing time would be sporadic. Even before the slow start, the Cavs were having a difficult time fitting him into the rotation given the logjam in the backcourt. Now, with even more of a focus on player development than before, it becomes tougher. 

    Earlier in training camp, Cavaliers officials were raving about Smith's attitude and leadership. While sidelined for the Wine and Gold Scrimmage because of a sore hip, Smith was instructing youngsters and rooting them on from the bench. 

    But a few days ago, after seeing some questionable body language from Smith, Altman sat down with the mercurial shooting guard and asked him if he wanted to stay with the team or take a leave of absence. Smith opted to stay. 

    "It's a tough situation as a veteran and I totally understand that," Drew said. "I'm very glad he decided to stick around. I had no knowledge about what his options were, but yes, I'm very happy that he did make that decision to stay with the team."

    Smith, 33, is in his 15th season. He is making $14.7 million. He has yet to play more than 20 minutes in a game and is averaging just 2.5 points and 1.0 rebound. He has two years left on his current contract. 

    Drew said Smith will be active for Thursday's game against Denver. 


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    The league will be commemorating its 75th anniversary.

    CLEVELAND, Ohio -- Flanked on stage by the numerous people that made it possible, NBA Commissioner Adam Silver officially announced Cleveland as the host of the 2022 NBA All-Star Game, which will be held at newly-renovated Quicken Loans Arena on Feb. 20, 2022. 

    "We all felt it was fitting if we could bring another All-Star Game here to Cleveland," Silver said. "We will make this another remarkable event in NBA history."

    The league will be commemorating its 75th anniversary.

    The Cavaliers previously hosted the annual gathering of stars in 1997, when the NBA celebrated its 50th anniversary.  

    "It puts Cleveland on the stage for the whole world to see," Cavaliers chairman Dan Gilbert said. "It's great for the region. You can't measure this stuff in how important and how valuable it is to the future and reputation to the city of Cleveland that is clearly on its way back in a big way. Hopefully we will have a player or two in that NBA All-Star Game."

    The Cavaliers had been working to bring the All-Star Game back to Cleveland eventually, but renovations at The Q made it too difficult to meet the timeline for either 2020 or 2021. In those two years it will be held in Chicago and Indianapolis, respectively. This year's event is in Charlotte. 

    Silver made the announcement alongside Gilbert, Cavaliers and Quicken Loans Arena CEO Len Komoroski, Cleveland Mayor Frank Jackson, Cuyahoga County Executive Armond Budish and U.S. Representative Marcia Fudge, among others.

    "With the Q transformation we have a venue right now that will be able to compete for the next 25 years for events not only like the NBA All-Star Weekend, but other major, national and international events. It's something to be proud of," Komoroski said before listing the people and companies that allowed it to come together. "Really excited about showcasing Cleveland. This is a city on the rise. We have a team on the rise. We have a building that will be able to compete with any in the world.

    "Can't be more excited to show off Cleveland in 2022 on an international stage. Stay tuned. The best is yet to come."

    With the large-scale renovation underway and expected to be completed in August of 2019, the game and extended activities will offer fans an enhanced experience and, according to Budish, will make an economic impact of $100 million in Northeast Ohio. 

    Events will begin on Friday, Feb. 18 with Mountain Dew ICE Rising Stars, an annual showcase for the top rookies and second-year NBA players.

    On Feb. 19, All-Star Saturday Night features the Taco Bell Skills Challenge and the 3-point and Slam Dunk contests.

    The game itself will cap the weekend. 

    "Cleveland is a passionate sports city with a proven track record of hosting large-scale, global events," Silver said. "We look forward to a weeklong celebration of our game."

    The logo hasn't been revealed yet. According to a league source, the Cavaliers will collaborate with the NBA to come up with something fitting for the city. 


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