Are you the publisher? Claim or contact us about this channel


Embed this content in your HTML

Search

Report adult content:

click to rate:

Account: (login)

More Channels


Showcase


Channel Catalog


Channel Description:

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

older | 1 | .... | 2659 | 2660 | (Page 2661) | 2662 | 2663 | .... | 2666 | newer

    0 0

    Some fans use the generosity of athletes for profit, selling their signatures and photos for personal gain.

    Athletes are some of the most inspirational celebrities on the planet. When they encounter fans, a simple autograph or selfie can bring a lifetime of joy. But there are some fans who use the generosity of athletes for profit, selling their signatures and photos for personal gain. Many feel people who take part in the trade are not real fans. Others think what people do with autographs is their own business and we should not judge anyone for a personal decision. What do you think?

    PERSPECTIVES

    LeBron James noticed a Memphis Grizzlies equipment assistant wearing an exclusive pair of his shoes every time he visits the arena and decided to reward her loyalty with a pair of his game-worn kicks when the Los Angeles Lakers were in town.

    Many were saying she should sell those shoes because they are very valuable. Briane Miller, the equipment assistant, said she was offered $100,000 for the shoes but refused. Would she have been a fake fan if she sold them?

    Real fans respect and appreciate athletes enough to know that an autograph and other memorabilia is something to cherished. Selling it for profit changes you from a fan to a business person whose appreciation can be bought. 

    Selling in desperate times is one thing, but selling just to make money is disgusting. That's not what real supporters do.

    So someone is making money selling something other people want and value, and that angers people - why? If somebody possesses an item, that item is theirs to do with however they see fit. Just because they're making money it doesn't mean they don't respect the sport of the athlete. Being opportunistic shouldn't be a disqualifier for being a real fan.

    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.

     

    0 0

    Head coach Larry Drew plans to put David Nwaba back in the starting lineup -- maybe even as soon as Tuesday night against the rugged Pacers.

    INDIANAPOLIS -- The Cleveland Cavaliers' best stretch of the season came in late November when they won two straight games against playoff-caliber teams Houston and Philadelphia after nearly upsetting LeBron James' Los Angeles Lakers.

    The Cavs have been striving to get to that point ever since.

    That's why head coach Larry Drew plans to put David Nwaba back in the starting lineup -- maybe even as soon as Tuesday night against the rugged Pacers.

    "When he was in the starting lineup we did establish some type of rhythm with our starters and then the guys coming off the bench, they were in a rhythm as well," Drew said prior to Tuesday's shootaround at Bankers Life Fieldhouse. "Just really too bad or unfortunate that he went down with an injury and then we had to shuffle things up because what i saw with him in the starting lineup I really liked and what I saw in the combination with Jordan (Clarkson) and Alec (Burks) I really liked."

    Nwaba started three straight games for the Cavs in late November, thrust into the "defensive stopper" role. While stats can certainly be twisted to fit a specific narrative and sample sizes are often too tiny to make declarative statements, it's clear the Cavs feel Nwaba has made a significant difference when healthy.

    "He plays with a physicality, he will rebound the ball," Drew said. "He will take the challenge of guarding people and he brings a toughness. What he's done thus far since his return is something we've been missing in his absence."

    After missing nine consecutive games, Nwaba returned to the lineup on Wednesday, playing a big role in Cleveland's 113-106 win against the Knicks. 

    Since his comeback, he has been on a tight minutes restriction, limited to around 10-12. During Sunday's loss, the Cavs were able to bump that up to 15 -- another promising sign. 

    That's the number of minutes Drew would like to see from Nwaba in order to justify putting him in the five-man starting group, as Drew tries to get more out of that quintet after being outscored 90-55 by Philadelphia's starters in Sunday's clunker.

    "Anywhere from 15-20," Drew said. "I don't want to put too much on his plate early. The last thing I want, or anyone wants at this point, is a setback with him. We will gradually increase his minutes, see how he feels and if he feels good then we will just continue to gradually increase his minutes."

    Nwaba, who was sporting the wine-colored starter's jersey in the locker room, told cleveland.com Tuesday that he's feeling better and his achy right knee is getting stronger.

    But Drew and the training staff want to see how Nwaba feels following shootaround. His ability to get through that without any problems this afternoon will determine whether he's ready for the starting load.

    Tuesday would be a nice night to have Nwaba's defensive presence back in the starting lineup. The Cavs will have to deal with Indiana All-Star Victor Oladipo, who is coming off his best performance since returning from a knee injury of his own. 

    If Nwaba regains his spot in the group, it's likely Burks will go back to his spark plug role off the bench, allowing Drew to use his intriguing Clarkson-Burks duo more often.

    "I really want to get back to the way it was," Drew said.


    0 0

    Clarkson has been battling some soreness in his lower back, using heating pads throughout games.

    INDIANAPOLIS -- The Cleveland Cavaliers will be without leading scorer Jordan Clarkson on Tuesday night, as they play the first game of a back-to-back to open their three-game road trip. 

    Clarkson has been battling some soreness in his lower back, using heating pads throughout games.

    Because the Cavs play three games in the next four nights, head coach Larry Drew said he wanted to be cautious and give Clarkson some rest. 

    The Cavs' other lineup change is at center, where Larry Nance Jr. will get the nod for the first time this season.

    Nance has started a handful of games at power forward alongside Tristan Thompson. But with Thompson out, Drew said he is choosing his starting center based on matchups, believing Nance works better against Indiana's athletic stretch-big Myles Turner. 

    Drew said replacing Clarkson, who is averaging a career-high 16.7 points this season, won't be easy. The Cavs need to fill his production through a committee approach. 


    0 0

    Despite injuries, the Cavs found a way Tuesday, showing the kind of character head coach Larry Drew has raved about during an otherwise dismal season.

    INDIANAPOLIS -- Larry Nance Jr. led the undermanned Cleveland Cavaliers to an improbable 92-91 win on Tuesday night, snapping the Indiana Pacers' seven-game winning streak with a tip-in at the buzzer. 

    The Cavs were playing without three of their top five leading scorers -- Kevin Love, Jordan Clarkson and Tristan Thompson. They were on the road, the first game of a brutal three-in-four-nights stretch against the Eastern Conference's third seed. They trailed for a majority of the fourth quarter -- forced to use two-way player Jaron Blossomgame to fill important minutes.

    Everything was working against them.

    Yet, they still found a way, showing the kind of character head coach Larry Drew has raved about during an otherwise dismal season filled with losses.

    "This team was hot. They are one of the best teams in the East and they are going to be a big problem in the playoffs," Nance said following the game. "So getting a win like this, with the type of season and stuff we are going through, is really encouraging. I think it's big, showing signs of growth with the guys we had down and the way we fought."

    Victor Oladipo's pair of missed free throws in the final seconds kept the door open.

    After his second brick, the Cavs grabbed the rebound and Drew called timeout to set up a play. 

    Once again, he diagrammed it for Rodney Hood, one of the Cavs' go-to players down the stretch.

    Hood started against Oladipo and then got a screen from Nance that led to a switch against Indiana center Myles Turner. Hood worked to his dominant left hand and took a contested mid-range jumper from near the free-throw line that bounced high off the bracket before Nance tipped it off the backboard and through the net.

    The buzzer sounded, leaving the Pacers -- and the crowd inside Bankers Life Fieldhouse -- completely stunned. 

    "Got it to the guy we wanted to get it to," Nance said. "Before we had to get the ball in I told Hood, 'Hey put it up on the rim with a couple seconds left or at least a tick left so I can see if I can do something with it.' He made a good move, did exactly that and I was lucky enough to get a hand on it and direct it in."

    With a new-look starting lineup, the 13th this season, and a mashed together second unit, the Cavs scrapped all game.

    Each night requires something different. For the Cavs, they needed to make Tuesday as ugly as possible and hang around until the end where a few plays could be the difference.

    Given their lack of offensive weaponry, they weren't going to win a high-scoring game.

    The Cavs dug in defensively, holding Indiana to its second-lowest first-half point total (44) of the season. The Cavs played with that same stinginess in the second half, limiting the Pacers to just 47 points. 

    The Cavs trimmed the lead to just one after Alec Burks' driving transition layup with 12 seconds left. Then Oladipo missed both free throws.

    Nance punctuated the victory with his first ever game-winner in the NBA, giving Cleveland its first lead in the final 6:26 of the fourth period. 

    Hood led a balanced scoring attack with 17 points. Nance tallied 15 points to go with 16 rebounds and six assists. Burks, anchoring the second unit in Clarkson's absence, added 14. 

    In all, six players reached double figures. 

    No matter the outcome, this was going to be a successful night. The Cavs have spoken all season about being able to live with hard-fought defeats, sometimes clinging to moral victories.

    There was no need for that on Tuesday. Thanks to Nance, and Cleveland's ability to keep the Pacers from separating, the Cavs walked out of Indiana with their most impressive victory of the season. 

    "Having the group that we had going into tonight's game, I was a little concerned," Drew admitted. "Obviously when you lose a guy like Jordan, your leading scorer, where would we get productivity with him being out? As I told the guys before the game, I didn't expect anyone to go out and try to get it all himself.

    "We have to do it by committee, we have to do it as a team. I thought we did that for the most part."

    Nance makes a point

    Getting his first start at center after Drew chose to bring him off the bench in the previous three games, Nance showed that he can hold his own against one of the Eastern Conference's up-and-coming bigs. 

    The matchup against Turner is not as difficult as most for the undersized Nance. He capitalized, recording his third double-double of the season and filling in admirably for the injured Thompson while bringing the toughness on the boards the Cavs had been missing lately.

    "Well Larry was terrific tonight," Drew said. "Beyond the putback at the end, I just thought he did a phenomenal job."

    Up next

    The Cavs will play the second game of a back-to-back in Charlotte Tuesday night. Cleveland has split the first two matchups against the Hornets. 


    0 0

    For the second straight season, Hood's name could be at the center of trade rumblings.

    INDIANAPOLIS -- With the trade deadline less than two months away and the Cleveland Cavaliers in the midst of a rebuilding season, they may soon look much different than the team that celebrated an improbable 92-91 win against the Indiana Pacers on Tuesday night.

    There's a business side. Everyone understands it -- perhaps none better than Rodney Hood, who was shipped out of Utah in February and got caught up in non-basketball things, preventing him from living up to expectations in Cleveland.

    For the second straight season, Hood's name could be at the center of trade rumblings. 

    "I've heard a little bit of what is going on and I'm just invested in what we have going on here," Hood told cleveland.com Tuesday night. "If I get a call then we will handle it then. But until I get a call I'm not going to worry about what's going on outside the circle.

    "I think that's where I got into a little trouble last year, my last month or so when I was in Utah, just listening to what was going on rather than staying locked in. So just want to lock in and once I get that call we will see what happens."

    Hood's situation is tricky. It starts with the Cavs' approach.

    General manager Koby Altman and his group have already made a pair of deals, sending out players who don't have a future in hopes of restocking with draft picks and guys who could be part of the team's long-term vision. That's what they did with Kyle Korver and George Hill, getting a nice haul for each. 

    So where does Hood fit? It's hard to say.

    The Cavs set aside money for him this past summer. They were willing to give the 26-year-old swingman a three-year deal worth around $20 million. Hood wanted something north of that and ultimately turned down the offer, choosing to bet on himself and hoping to boost his value after four seesaw months in Cleveland.

    Even though he didn't accept that particular deal, Hood spoke about his desire to earn a long-term investment from the Cavaliers.

    Technically Hood's playing this season on an expiring contract worth $3.4 million. That below-value number, combined with his tantalizing skill set, makes him a valuable trade piece -- if the Cavs decide to go that direction. 

    Only it's not entirely up to them. Hood gets final say.

    Because of the one-year Bird restriction as a result of signing the qualifying offer in the summer, Hood can veto any trade. The league put that stipulation in place since players would lose their Bird rights if they're traded.

    "I didn't know that until actually about like three or four days ago when people started talking about it," Hood said.

    Well, now he does. And while he was tight-lipped about whether he would use that power, the kind players don't typically have, there will be plenty for him to consider if the Cavs receive a call.

    Hood has mentioned numerous times how challenging last year's trade was on him and his family. Having only been with the Jazz since his rookie season, Hood said he could never get comfortable in Cleveland. It was a whirlwind few months that caught him off guard and his play suffered.

    The trade was supposed to give him a fresh start. He was part of a roster overhaul, brought aboard to help the Cavs make another championship run. 

    In 21 games, Hood averaged just 10.8 points on 44.2 percent from the field and 35.2 percent from 3-point range. He started the playoffs with high hopes, moved into the starting lineup for the opener against Indiana. By Game 2, he was coming off the bench. Then he was removed from the rotation late in the Eastern Conference semifinals, not really returning until Game 3 of The Finals against Golden State. 

    Hood and his wife, Richa, have three children. She gave birth to twins during the playoffs in April. They have settled in, becoming part of the community.

    Given his first-hand knowledge of the life-changing nature of a trade and how the trajectory of his career was briefly altered as a result, would he be willing to once again uproot his family midway through the season, learn a new system, new teammates, new city, fan base and adapt to a new role -- everything that comes with a trade and sometimes gets overlooked? Would he do it all for a better chance to win? 

    Or would he use his power to avoid a repeat of last year?

    "I'm happy in Cleveland, man," Hood told cleveland.com. "I like being here. I like the fan base. I like the city, me and my family are settled there. I'm not even looking towards being traded. It's a business and what happens outside of my jurisdiction, with my agent and the front office, that will happen and we will go from there.

    "But for right now, just happy playing ball here, being a Cavalier and helping us win."

    Hood certainly did that Tuesday night against Indiana. He scored a team-high 17 points on 5-of-12 from the field. It's the fourth straight game he has reached double figures. The final play was drawn up for him again -- a closer role he is relishing.

    He went back and forth with his good buddy Alec Burks in the locker room about their success on late-game shots. 

    Burks made sure Hood knew that he's 1-of-1 on those this season, slamming home the game-winner against Brooklyn earlier this month. Hood quipped that he's 2-for-3. No, he didn't make the mid-range jumper against Indiana like he did against New York last Wednesday. But Larry Nance Jr. was there for the winning tip-in that led to a successful outcome for the Cavaliers.

    If Hood keeps playing at a high level, he -- and the Cavs -- may soon have a tough decision to make when it comes to his future. 

    Just not yet. Hood's learned his lesson. He won't let his focus drift this time. 


    0 0

    The Cleveland Cavaliers (8-23) will play the second game of a back-to-back against the Charlotte Hornets (14-15) on Wednesday night.

    INDIANAPOLIS -- The Cleveland Cavaliers (8-23) will play the second game of a back-to-back against the Charlotte Hornets (14-15) on Wednesday night. 

    When: 7 p.m.

    Where: Spectrum Center

    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 Hornets 113-89 on Nov. 13. 

    Cavs minute: This will be the third of four meetings against the Hornets this season. ... Jordan Clarkson missed his first game of the season Tuesday against Indiana to rest his sore lower back. ... Larry Nance Jr. started at center for the first time in that game. He tallied his third double-double of the season and delivered the game-winner at the buzzer. ... Cleveland's bench failed to score at least 50 points in the win Tuesday, snapping a four-game streak. ... Alec Burks has tallied double figures in five of six games as a reserve. He hit that mark in just two of five as a starter.  

    Hornets minute: Charlotte snapped a nine-game losing skid against the Cavs in the first matchup between the two teams on Nov. 3. ... The Hornets have lost two straight games heading into Wednesday's contest. ... Kemba Walker is tied for 10th in the NBA in scoring. He is coming off his lowest-scoring game of the season, as he tallied just four points in a 28-point loss against the Lakers. ... For Walker, it was only the second game this season failing to reach the double-figure scoring mark. ... Marvin Williams has made 100 or more 3-pointers in each of the last three years. ... In the last two seasons, the Hornets are winning at a 49.4 percent clip with Cody Zeller in the lineup and hold a 36.2 winning percentage when he is out. 

    Probable starters

    Cavs

    F Cedi Osman

    F David Nwaba

    C Larry Nance Jr.

    G Rodney Hood

    G Collin Sexton

    Hornets

    F Nicolas Batum

    F Marvin Williams

    C Cody Zeller

    G Jeremy Lamb 

    G Kemba Walker 


    0 0

    Dellavedova has been ruled out with left knee soreness.

    CHARLOTTE -- The Cleveland Cavaliers will not have Matthew Dellavedova for Wednesday's game against the Charlotte Hornets, head coach Larry Drew announced during his pregame meeting with reporters. 

    Dellavedova has been ruled out because of left knee soreness.

    The backup point guard has been on a minutes restriction since coming from Milwaukee, where he played sparingly, and the Cavs were trying not to overexert him to early. Given that it's the second game of a back-to-back and second game in four nights, the Cavs decided to be cautious with him. 

    Dellavedova scored 10 points during Tuesday's 92-91 win against the Pacers. It was his fifth straight game reaching double figures. 

    Jordan Clarkson, who was held out Tuesday to rest his sore lower back, will return to the lineup. 

    Clarkson is averaging a career-best 16.7 points. 


    0 0

    The Cleveland Cavaliers lost each of the final three quarters and then the game 110-99 against the Charlotte Hornets Wednesday night.

    CHARLOTTE -- The good vibes from the night before in Indiana seemed to emanate from their all-white uniforms. The stellar play carried over early as well. 

    By the end of the second quarter, everything had changed. The Cleveland Cavaliers lost each of the final three quarters and then the game 110-99 against the Charlotte Hornets Wednesday night. 

    The Cavs raced out to a 9-2 start. They led by nine at the end of the first quarter, smothering the Hornets and holding them to just 16 points.

    It was Cleveland's second-best defensive opening quarter and the start it needed while playing shorthanded on the second night of a back-to-back. 

    But a nasty turnaround started at the 4:58 mark of the second quarter when Larry Nance Jr. was whistled for his third foul. Forced to the bench, disgusted with the call, Nance shared words with the officiating crew while the Hornets finished the half on a 14-6 sprint, seizing momentum going into the locker room.

    That frustration was a common theme. 

    It took the Hornets just five possessions in the third quarter to grab their first lead of the game. And while the two teams went back and forth for the first part of the second half, Charlotte All-Star Kemba Walker relentlessly attacked Cleveland rookie Collin Sexton and ripped the game from the Cavs with a 17-point explosion in the third quarter. The Hornets outscored the Cavs 41-29 in the period.

    "Kemba, he started to heat up in that third quarter and kind of took over," Larry Nance Jr. said after recording another double-double with 10 points and 15 rebounds. "Think we gave up 40 in that third quarter and that was mainly him so any time a player like that gets going it's hard to slow him down."

    Walker finished with 30 points on 11-of-26 from the field. 

    The Cavs' anger reached a crescendo late in the fourth quarter, as head coach Larry Drew received a pair of technical fouls, getting ejected for the first time ever after arguing a no-call against Sexton on a transition attempt.

    Following a Hornets bucket at the other end, Drew walked all the way to halfcourt, shouting at official Tyler Ford, and didn't walk back to the bench until the stoppage was nearly over. By that time, he was headed to the back and the Cavs' chances at a comeback were done.

    "I thought he got fouled," Drew said. "It's plain and simple. I don't think it was the right decision that Collin made to shoot a pull-up in that situation, but clearly I thought he got fouled. And at that point, I don't know what the score was, but from my vantage view I thought that as he pulled up there was a lot of contact from behind and there was no whistle. Referees didn't see it that way and so we'll move on."

    The Spectrum Center hasn't been kind to the Cavs -- or Sexton -- this season.

    It was the setting for an embarrassing 32-point loss that preceded an airing of grievances in the locker room after the game. That night, veterans pointed the finger at Sexton and said he didn't know how to play while Walker and veteran Tony Parker schooled the youngster. 

    Sexton and the Cavs have grown since that night on Nov. 3. Wednesday's loss didn't have that same feeling.

    But a night that started with so much promise still had a familiar ending. The one Cleveland has gotten used to this season.

    Jaron Blossomgame's career night

    Playing on a two-way deal, bouncing between the G League and the NBA, Blossomgame is starting to turn heads. 

    "He continues to blossom," Drew said. "He's been good for us. He plays with a lot of energy. He plays hard. He's a live body. You don't have to run plays for him, he just plays within himself. He's a company guy. I know each and every night that I'm going to get that same effort from him. He's starting to really lock in to what we're doing and I feel really good putting him out there."

    Blossomgame scored a career-high 15 points on 6-of-7 from the field in 23 minutes, helping the Cavs continue to deal with starter David Nwaba being on a minutes restriction as a result of an achy knee. 

    Backcourt dominance

    The Cavs officially started Sexton and Nwaba in the backcourt. That duo was crushed by the Hornets' combination of Walker and Jeremy Lamb, outscored 48-14.

    Sexton scored 11 on 5-of-15 shooting. Nwaba had just three points in 16 minutes. 

    Jordan Clarkson's return helps bench

    One night earlier against the Pacers, the Cavs' reserves scored just 35 points, snapping a streak of four straight with at least 50.

    Clarkson's return led to a turnaround.

    The team's leading (healthy) scorer looked good after a one-game absence to rest his sore back. He scored 20 points on 8-of-19 from the field and 4-of-10 from 3-point range. 

    In all, Cleveland's bench tallied 50 points -- even without Matthew Dellavedova. The backup point guard missed his first game since joining the Cavs because of knee soreness. 

    Up next

    The Cavs head to Toronto for a matchup against the Raptors on Friday night. 


    0 0

    The sleepy Spectrum Center has been the setting for two of Sexton's most miserable nights.

    CHARLOTTE -- The Spectrum Center has become a house of horrors for Cleveland Cavaliers rookie Collin Sexton.

    There's really nothing imposing about it. On Wednesday night, it was half-filled (if that) and not nearly as raucous as Bankers Life Fieldhouse, TD Garden or Chesapeake Energy Arena -- buildings Sexton and the Cavaliers have visited recently. The fans aren't nearly as ruthless as the fanatics who pack into Scotiabank Arena in Toronto -- where Sexton made his NBA debut and the final stop on this tough three-game road trip.

    And yet, the sleepy Spectrum Center has been the setting for two of Sexton's most miserable nights.

    Sexton finished with 11 points -- the third-lowest output since becoming the full-time starting point guard on Nov. 7. He missed 11 of his 16 shots and dished out just three assists against two turnovers. Sexton's nemesis, Kemba Walker, put the youngster into foul trouble late in the second quarter and schooled him on how to navigate screens early in the third.

    "Kemba, he started to heat up in that third quarter and kind of took over," Larry Nance Jr. said following the 110-99 loss to the Hornets. "Think we gave up 40 in that third quarter and that was mainly him so any time a player like that gets going it's hard to slow him down."

    Walker erupted for 17 points in the third. It led to the Hornets scoring 41, grabbing control of the night and never letting go.

    Sexton wasn't solely responsible. Nance admitted he could've communicated louder and gotten to the perimeter faster. But the hope was to mix coverages against Walker, mostly sending him to the lane where he would be forced to finish over Nance's size. This is the NBA. It's about matchups. At some point, there's a level of responsibility to contain the counterpart. 

    Cody Zeller disrupted that at times, running up to set the screen which Sexton repeatedly went under. Walker buried Sexton and the Cavs under a pile of jumpers.

    "I felt like first half it was my defense and second half he was making shots," Sexton said. "When he has it going like that can't do nothing about it."

    Following Walker's fifth made basket in the first five minutes of the third quarter, Cavs head coach Larry Drew called timeout. A discouraged Sexton was greeted by assistant James Posey before plopping down on the bench. Coach Mike Longabardi gave Sexton a few more instructions. Then Nance had a chat with the rook.

    Nothing worked in the second half. In some ways, it was reminiscent of Nov. 3 when Walker and the Hornets embarrassed the Cavs, handing them a 32-point loss.

    Sexton has come a long way since then. In early November, he was the primary target of criticism -- a night some of his teammates famously said he didn't know how to play. Everyone can see major strides, as Sexton has blossomed into a promising core piece of Cleveland's rebuild. He's earned the starting lead guard role.

    But nights like Wednesday are a reminder of how far he needs to go. The next step in his development became clear.

    "A good game versus a bad game should not be predicated on your points and how many points you score, how many shots you make," Drew said. "You have to do the other things to affect the game and impact it. And that's an area where he has to grow.

    "He's got the speed, he's got the quickness and every night it's not going to be a scoring night. ... That's just something that a young point guard has to learn. I know how much he wants to score but that's a side that he has to learn. He's gotta be very receptive to learning that side of it."

    No play highlighted this quite like the one that led to Drew's ejection. Down 14 points in the fourth quarter, Rodney Hood picked off Tony Parker's pass and flipped it to Sexton on the break.

    Sexton had a defender in front of him, Jordan Clarkson to his right and Jaron Blossomgame to his left, with a step and a half on his man. Instead of getting all the way to the basket or shuffling a pass to one of his teammates flanking him, Sexton chose to pull up and take a mid-range jumper from the foul line.

    You could feel the widespread disappointment. 

    Walker, trailing the play, clubbed Sexton in the head. There was no whistle, Sexton crumbled to the floor and Drew went ballistic, running all the way out to center court to protest.

    Here's the thing: Sexton got fouled. It was the most obvious foul call of the night and the trio of refs all blew it, compounding their mistake by calling two technicals on the complaining Drew.

    But the coach also wanted to make something clear: Sexton made the wrong play. With a different decision, maybe Drew stays in the game. Maybe the Hornets don't go back the other way for a bucket that essentially punctuated their comeback.

    Another teaching moment.

    "I don't think it was the right decision that Collin made to shoot a pull-up in that situation," Drew said.

    The best the Cavs can hope is Sexton sees it and recognizes his mistake.

    "Everything is a learning process," Sexton said. "I felt like I ran the scheme pretty well and certain drives I wish I had back, but just flow of the game."

    Sexton walked out of the arena around 10 p.m. He probably couldn't wait to leave Charlotte after another frustrating performance.

    Perhaps the best news: He doesn't have to return until next year. 


    0 0

    Gordon has struggled with substance abuse his entire career.

    Facing an indefinite suspension from the NFL, New England Patriots' Josh Gordon is stepping away from football -- again -- to take care of his mental health. This isn't the first time Gordon has stepped away from the game and many feel he should just be banned for life if he can't follow the rules regarding substance abuse. Others want to see Gordon have an opportunity to come back and dominate the league again. What do you think? 

    PERSPECTIVES

    Gordon has struggled with substance abuse his entire career. He has been given many chances, but can't seem to follow the rules set by the league or any team unlucky enough to employ him. Is he all out of chances?

    The NFL has given Gordon chance after chance for him to heal and play football, but he just doesn't seem to get it. He forced the league's hand in this whole mess. 

    Gordon has proven time and time again he doesn't deserve the privilege of playing the game. The NFL needs to protect itself, and Gordon, with a lifetime ban so he can really concentrate on his mental health and move forward without football.

    Josh Gordon is a good man with a bad problem. When he gets truly healthy, he should get another chance to play the game. He is too talented and the fans love him too much to see one of the best wide receivers in the league not get a chance at redemption. He should be allowed back in the league when he fully heals.

    Patriots release statement announcing support of Josh Gordon

    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.

     

    0 0

    The Cleveland Cavaliers (8-24) will wrap up their three-game road trip against the Toronto Raptors (24-9) on Friday night.

    TORONTO -- The Cleveland Cavaliers (8-24) will wrap up their three-game road trip against the Toronto Raptors (24-9) on Friday night. 

    When: 7 p.m.

    Where: Scotiabank 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 lost to the Raptors 106-95 on Dec. 1. 

    Cavs minute: This is the third of four regular season games against the Raptors in 2018-19. The Cavs will host the final contest on March 11. ... In two games against Toronto this season, Cedi Osman is averaging 14.5 points, 8.0 rebounds and 3.5 assists in 31.4 minutes. ... Cleveland's bench combined for 50 points during Wednesday's game against Charlotte, the 11th time hitting that mark this season. ... Larry Nance Jr. recorded his second consecutive double-double against Charlotte, pouring in 10 points and grabbing 15 rebounds. It's the first time Nance has posted at least 15 rebounds in back-to-back games. ... Since joining the Cavaliers, Alec Burks has come off the bench in seven games, averaging 13.4 points, 5.3 rebounds and 3.1 assists in 27.3 minutes per game as a reserve. ... After Wednesday's loss in Charlotte, the Cavs have dropped to 30th in defensive rating, giving up 112.1 points per 100 possessions. ... Matthew Dellavedova did not play against the Hornets, missing his first game since joining the Cavs. Dellavedova, who was resting a sore knee, is listed as day-to-day.

    Raptors minute: Toronto enters Friday's game with an NBA-best 24-9 record. ... The Raptors have won both matchups against the Cavs this season and have an opportunity to win the season series for the first time since 2015-16. ... Friday's game marks the 200th consecutive sellout (including playoffs) at Scotiabank Arena since Nov. 11, 2014 -- the longest streak in franchise history. ... Leading scorer Kawhi Leonard has tallied 659 points through his first 25 games. It's the most by any player in franchise history. ... Point guard Kyle Lowry has missed the last three games with a thigh contusion. He is expected to be sidelined for at least two more. ... Danny Green leads the team with 75 made 3-pointers (13th in NBA). Green is shooting 75-of-181 (41.4 percent) from beyond the arc.

    Probable starters: 

    Cavs

    F David Nwaba

    F Cedi Osman

    C Larry Nance Jr.

    G Rodney Hood

    G Collin Sexton

    Raptors

    F Pascal Siakam

    F Kawhi Leonard

    C Serge Ibaka (questionable with knee injury)

    G Danny Green

    G Fred VanVleet


    0 0

    On Friday night, Sexton will play in his 33rd NBA game. It's the same number he played as a freshman at Alabama.

    TORONTO -- Collin Sexton could be headed for a collision course with the rookie wall.

    Perhaps, given his performance over the last week, he's already crashed into it at the same rapid speed in which he attacks the basket. 

    "Could be," Cavs head coach Larry Drew said when asked if the rookie wall is a possible explanation for Sexton's slippage. "But if it is, I want him to learn to push through it. This is his first year, this is not an easy thing to do. Night in, night out going against elite guards, but that's the NBA. Young players have to experience that and they have to go through it.

    "If this is a time where he is hitting a wall, I'm here to help him get through it, both physically and mentally."

    On Friday night, Sexton will play in his 33rd NBA game. It's the same number he played as a freshman at Alabama. The total number of minutes played is close as well. Sexton has already logged 951 minutes as a rookie. He finished his college career playing 987, needing 36 minutes against the Raptors to equal that mark. 

    But this isn't college. The minutes Sexton has played haven't come against SEC opponents -- a majority of teams against which Alabama was superior, a bulk of players who didn't have the same talent, speed, quickness or athleticism to match Sexton. Last year, he didn't have to work nearly as hard.

    The NBA is a grind. There aren't any breaks. Each night presents a unique challenge, with opponents looking to exploit weaknesses. For Sexton, the Cavs' starting point guard, it means matchups against Kyrie Irving, Russell Westbrook, Kemba Walker, Kyle Lowry (he won't play Friday night), James Harden, Stephen Curry, John Wall and the countless other star-studded leads. 

    As Drew said Friday morning, everyone's body takes a beating in games and then comes travel, changing climates, changing time zones, funky sleep schedules, back-to-backs, three games in four nights and lengthy road trips.

    "I think because they are not used to a schedule like this, I'm sure they may go through a period of where they do hit a wall," Drew said. "I'm not sure at what point they do it, but I'm sure they do.

    "Some guys are just from a physique standpoint, some guys are just a little bit more physically gifted than others. Some may hit a wall earlier than others and some may hit it later. But I think at some point, all rookies hit some type of a wall."

    Only Sexton knows the truth. Drew hasn't yet talked to him about how he's holding up, whether he's dealing with any nicks, bumps or pains. Drew hasn't seen any issues there and said Sexton "seems to be doing fine."

    If he is starting to feel worn down, Sexton isn't letting it be known.

    "Not at all," he said. "Can't feel a difference."

    He's fearless, never one to show weakness. He won't admit being nervous before big games and bristles at the idea of being intimidated. Don't expect him to start complaining about too much playing time. 

    Sexton is averaging 15.0 points on 44.2 percent from the field and 40.3 percent from 3-point range to go with 2.5 assists and 3.0 rebounds in 29.7 minutes. 

    One week ago, he scored five points on 2-of-11 from the field, struggling with Milwaukee's length, athleticism and pack-the-paint approach. It was the start of a tough week, as Sexton is averaging 10.0 points on 19-of-53 (35.8 percent) from the field and 1-of-7 (14.2 percent) from beyond the arc over the last four. 

    It could just be coincidental timing, a rough patch that all players hit. But it's certainly worth watching. 

    Even with Sexton set to hit the 33-game mark Friday in Toronto and Drew being aware that it will equal the number of games played in college, there are no plans to throttle down. 

    "I want him to learn, and not only him but all of our young guys, how to push through it," Drew said. "I think when you learn to push through it, you learn to overcome another obstacle because it's not an easy thing to do.

    "It's easy to quit. It's easy to stop. It's easy to make an excuse why you can't continue. I want them to learn how to be mentally strong when everything says to stop or everything says to give up they push through it."

    One thing that may start to change, if it hasn't already, is Sexton's extra shooting sessions. According to a source, management has asked Sexton to dial it back a little bit so he can stay off his feet and let his body recover.

    Known for his ridiculous work ethic (Sexton had his agent line up a gym for a late-night workout after a lengthy day of pre-draft interviews), Sexton often spends days off working with his father on his shooting form, especially following poor games.

    Sexton wants to be great. He credited his dad for a rise in 3-point effectiveness and pointed to the time spent together behind the scenes. 

    But Drew said it's important for young players to find a balance, to learn how to take care of themselves. 

    Another explanation for Sexton's recent stumbles is extra defensive attention. The Cavs' second-leading scorer, Sexton has started to get focused treatment, especially against teams that have seen him already. He even mentioned Friday that he's seen more wrinkles when watching film.

    "Last couple weeks it's been different coverages like the blitz, trying to show hard and just try to get the ball out of my hands and deny me as much as they can when I'm off the ball," Sexton said. 

    It's something every rookie must learn. It's the only way to break through the wall.


    0 0

    It's the first time since the 2015-16 season the Raptors have won the regular season series against Cleveland.

    TORONTO -- The Toronto Raptors didn't have All-Star point guard Kyle Lowry. Nor did they have starters Danny Green and Serge Ibaka. 

    Those absences opened the door for the Cleveland Cavaliers to cap a tough three-games-in-four-nights stretch with a win on Friday night.

    Only the Cavs couldn't break through, dropping their third straight game to their old Eastern Conference rival 126-110. It's the first time since the 2015-16 season the Raptors have won the regular season series against Cleveland. 

    The game had the feel of the road trip opener in Indiana, as the Cavs kept fighting and the opponent struggled to put them away.

    On Tuesday, Cleveland hung around long enough for the Pacers to make a few mistakes, long enough for Larry Nance Jr. to rip the game away with a joyful put-back game-winner. 

    This time, Cleveland didn't get that chance, stumbling all over themselves during a sloppy, heavy-legged fourth quarter in which they were outscored 27-17.

    "It's tough because I think we played really good basketball," Cedi Osman said after the game. "We really fought during the 48-minute game. In the third quarter, we wee playing really good and I think in the fourth quarter we really just gave up offensive rebounds and then they made some open 3s and I think that broke our mentality during the game and broke our toughness."

    Back-to-back 3-pointers by Kawhi Leonard and Fred VanVleet pushed the lead back into double figures around the four-minute mark, finally putting the Cavs away.

    The Cavs had plenty of chances, fighting back from multiple double-digit deficits in the second half and pulling to within five with 5:25 remaining in the fourth quarter. 

    Without three starters, the Raptors still had Leonard and OG Anunoby. That pair, along with a trio of alums from the G League Raptors 905 squad -- VanVleet, Delon Wright and Pascal Siakam -- were too much. It was a wire-to-wire win.  

    "We had a hard time defending," Cavs head coach Larry Drew said. "They're big, they're athletic and they're strong. They're a good team. I can't take anything away from them. They've got the best record in the league. I thought our guys put up a good fight for three and a half quarters, I thought really did some good things. But we just couldn't overcome it."

    Leonard led the way, tallying 37 points and hitting timely buckets to thwart repeated Cleveland comeback tries. Anunoby poured in a season-high 21 points, including 15 in the first quarter to help the Raptors set the tone and force Cleveland to play from behind all night. Siakam finished with another double-double, scoring 15 points to go with 10 rebounds. 

    Jordan Clarkson once again paced the Cavs with 17 points on 6-of-14 shooting to go with four assists and four rebounds.

    Rookie Collin Sexton tallied 17 points on 6-of-16 from the field before fouling out with 45.1 seconds left. It's Sexton's highest scoring tally since Dec. 12 -- a stretch that covers six games. 

    Nance, making his third consecutive start at center, finished with another double-double, scoring 16 points and grabbing 12 rebounds.

    He also shook off a nasty collision with Siakam in the second half that led to Nance losing a piece of his tooth and feeling sore after the game.

    "I guess my chin fouled him," Nance quipped. 

    It was once again the kind of fight -- and Nance has the battle wounds to prove it -- that can't be questioned during this rebuild. But as the Cavs have learned in the first few months, that's not always enough, especially against the East's best, the squad that currently occupies Cleveland's old throne.

    Cedi Osman sets new mark

    Osman tallied double figures in scoring once again Friday night, going for 12 points in 22 minutes. That gives him four straight games with at least 10 points.

    For Osman, that's the longest streak of his young career.

    The second-year player spoke recently about the challenge of the extra attention from opposing teams. He went through a stretch of three games starting on Dec. 10 where he averaged 6.3 points on 6-of-26 (23 percent) from the field. In his sophomore season, there will continue to be growing pains. But seeing Osman respond after a rough stretch is a promising sign in his development. 

    Injury scare avoided

    David Nwaba, who entered the night with an achy knee that has limited his minutes recently, went down awkwardly late in the second quarter. Nwaba committed a foul to get off the floor and went to the back.

    However, he walked out of the locker room without a limp following halftime and told a team member he was fine, that it was his other knee. Nwaba started the second half guarding Raptors All-Star Leonard. Nwaba finished with six points in 14 minutes. But he at least seemed to avoid another injury that the Cavs can ill afford at this point with two starters (Kevin Love and Tristan Thompson) already out. 

    Up next

    The Cavs return home for a matchup with the Chicago Bulls on Sunday night. Tipoff is at 6 p.m. 


    0 0

    Siakam plowed into him and knocked it out. Only Nance was the one whistled for a foul.

    TORONTO -- On the first possession of the second half, Toronto Raptors live wire Pascal Siakam was working in the post against Cleveland Cavaliers center Larry Nance Jr. Moments later, Nance was holding a piece of his tooth in the palm of his hand, angrily tossing it on the Scotiabank Arena floor near the Cavs bench.

    Siakam plowed into him and knocked it out. Only Nance was the one whistled for a foul. 

    "It wasn't intentional," Nance said following the 126-110 loss. "But I did catch a vicious shoulder or elbow to the mouth and apparently my chin fouled him."

    Nance gets plowed into by Siakam from Chris Fedor on Vimeo.

    Nance was in a surly mood Friday night. It wasn't the defeat that stung the most. It was his mouth, clearly sore and annoyed about the eventual dental work. Nance said he would've been even more heated if it was one of his front teeth, but is somewhat relieved it was one at the bottom and is not really visible. 

    Even after the nasty collision on Friday night and Nance's energetic style that leads to plenty of contact, he told cleveland.com there are no plans to wear a mouthguard like teammates Kevin Love and Tristan Thompson.

    Love is a spokesman for Shock Doctor and can probably hook his teammate up with a sweet deal. Thompson wears one after his front tooth got popped out last season and needed braces.

    Nance, however, said he would have problems breathing if he went that direction. So he will keep playing without one. 

    It didn't keep Nance from another terrific performance, helping the Cavs fill Thompson's void and giving head coach Larry Drew plenty to ponder with his lineup when Thompson returns from a foot injury.

    For the third straight game, coinciding with a move into the starting center spot, Nance recorded a double-double. It matches the longest streak of his career, which happened in early March with the Cavaliers last season.

    After the game, teammate Cedi Osman raved about Nance's growth on the offensive end. The 6-foot-9 point-center is second on the team in assists, averaging 3.2 and has become Cleveland's offensive centerpiece, often initiating from the top of the key, elbow or in the post. 

    When the Cavs' offense started to stall in the fourth quarter, falling into old habits and being flummoxed by Toronto's zone, it was Nance that started directing traffic, just as he did Tuesday night against Indiana.

    "I'm still working on those skills, still trying to find them and I wouldn't say I'm a natural point guard," he said ecently. "I definitely pride myself on my IQ and the way I can see the game.

    "Something that we have been working on and kind of showing flashes of for a good little while now. Something I'm comfortable doing and something our team is comfortable in allowing me to do."

    Nance matched his season-high with 16 points to go with 12 rebounds. He added two assists, two blocks and one steal.

    Fair to say he left it all out on the floor Friday night. Part of his tooth included. 


    0 0

    Bryce Harper and Manny Machado are the biggest names in this year's MLB free agency market.

    Bryce Harper and Manny Machado are the biggest names in this year's MLB free agency market, and many teams are falling over themselves to gain their services. Harper brings star power to any team he's a part of and is an MVP caliber player when healthy. Machado is one of the most productive hitters and fielders in the league. But who would you rather have? 

    PERSPECTIVES

    Machado is nice, but if you want to build a franchise around someone, it should be Harper. He already has an MVP and even in an "off" year he still had 34 home runs and 100 RBI. And the Las Vegas native is only 26 years old. He also gives you star power, a guy to center your marketing around and put people in the stands because they want to see what he will do next. Harper is the man you want.

    MLB news and rumors: Manny Machado, Bryce Harper, more

    Harper is fine, but people are overblowing his value because of that one MVP. Machado is the same age, and he's still trending in the right direction, whereas former Washington National took a huge step back last year. The former Dodger has a better career WAR than his counterpart and has proven he can hit in tough spots last year in the playoffs. The Florida native can also play defense as his two gold gloves can attest to. Harper might be the bigger name, but if you want a consistent producer on both sides of the ball, you want Machado.

    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.

     

    0 0

    The Cleveland Cavaliers (8-25) will look to snap their two-game losing skid on Sunday night against the Chicago Bulls (8-25).

    CLEVELAND, Ohio -- The Cleveland Cavaliers (8-25) will look to snap their two-game losing skid on Sunday night against the Chicago Bulls (8-25). 

    When: 6 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 lost to the Bulls 99-98 on Nov. 10 in Chicago. 

    Cavs minute: In Friday's loss, the Raptors shot 52.7 percent from the field. It was the 14th time the Cavs allowed at least 50 percent shooting this season. ... Rodney Hood is expected to miss the game because of Achilles soreness. ... Jordan Clarkson led Cleveland with 20 points in Friday's loss. He has six games with at least 20 points this month. ... The Cavs received 53 points from their bench on Friday, their 12th outing this season with 50-plus points, which is tied for fifth-most in franchise history. ... Larry Nance Jr. has now recorded three straight double-doubles, coinciding with a move into the starting center spot. That streak ties the longest streak of his career. ... Cedi Osman tallied 12 points against Toronto. Osman has scored in double figures in 19 contests this season, including each of the last four, his longest double-digit scoring streak in a season. ... The Cavs are a plus-44 in 119 minutes with Matthew Dellavedova on the floor since he joined the team in a trade. They are minus-114 in 217 minutes with him off the floor. 

    Bulls minute: The Bulls are looking for consecutive wins for the first time this season. ... Chicago is 3-7 since Lauri Markkanen returned from an elbow injury on Dec. 1 at Houston. In those three games, Markkanen is averaging 26.3 points on 58 percent from the field. ... Justin Holiday snapped a franchise-best streak of 43 straight games with at least one 3-pointer during Friday's win. ... Wendell Carter Jr. has recorded at least one block in 27 of 33 games this season and one in six of his last seven games. His 1.48 blocks per game is third among rookies.

    Probable starters:

    Cavs

    F Cedi Osman

    F David Nwaba

    C Larry Nance Jr.

    G Alec Burks

    G Collin Sexton

    Bulls

    F Justin Holiday 

    F Lauri Markkanen

    C Wendell Carter Jr. 

    G Kris Dunn

    G Ryan Arcidiacono


    0 0

    Blossomgame will take the place of Rodney Hood, who complained of Achilles soreness during the second half of Cleveland's loss against Toronto on Friday night.

    CLEVELAND, Ohio -- Cleveland Cavaliers swingman Jaron Blossomgame will make his second career NBA start on Sunday night against the Chicago Bulls, head coach Larry Drew announced ahead of the 6 p.m. tipoff. 

    Blossomgame will take the place of Rodney Hood, who complained of Achilles soreness during the second half of Cleveland's loss against Toronto Friday.

    Hood originally suffered the injury in the road trip opener against the Pacers on Tuesday night and the pain got worse while he tried to play through it. 

    Blossomgame has played in 10 games with the Cavs since signing a Two-Way contract. He made one start earlier this season, which came Dec. 8 against the Washington Wizards. 

    He is averaging 5.1 points and 4.0 rebounds in 17.3 minutes. 

    Swingman David Nwaba is going to warm up on the floor before the Cavs make a determination on his status. Nwaba, who sprained his left ankle versus the Raptors, was listed as doubtful on the NBA's injury report. 


    0 0

    Through 34 games, the Cavs are officially the worst team in the conference.

    CLEVELAND, Ohio -- The Atlanta Hawks' win against Detroit early Sunday afternoon left the Cleveland Cavaliers and Chicago Bulls battling to avoid the Eastern Conference cellar.

    Through 34 games, the Cavs are officially the worst team in the conference. 

    In a back-and-forth game that featured 18 lead changes and three ties, the Cavs dropped their 26th game of the season and second against the Bulls 112-92. 

    The Cavs got off to a good start on Sunday, building a five-point halftime lead behind some hot shooting. They went 25-of-46 (54.3 percent) from the field in the first half, taking advantage of Chicago's feeble defense. 

    But the third quarter was once again their Achilles' heel. Unable to sustain the same energy level while regressing on the offensive end, the Cavs were outscored 30-15 in a frightful 12-minute stretch. They went just 6-of-17 from the field and the sloppy offense carried over to the other end of the floor, as the Bulls made 12 of their 18 shot attempts. 

    The fourth quarter wasn't much better. The Cavs were outscored 28-18. 

    Earlier this week, Larry Nance Jr. spoke about the Cavs falling into old habits late in games. The ball stops moving. There's too much one-on-one. The defense lets up.

    "We were playing, don't want to say we were playing the best of defense, but we made it tougher for them," Nance said. "Then in the second half, we took bad shots and turnovers, which just let them get run-outs, layups, 3's. Second half was an onslaught." 

    Sustaining high-level play for four quarters has become a challenge, especially with numerous players in and out of the lineup. On Sunday, the Cavs clearly missed Rodney Hood's offensive lift. Jaron Blossomgame, who started in Hood's spot, scored zero points on 0-of-2 from the field. 

    Rookie Collin Sexton seems to have sprinted headfirst into the rookie wall.

    He tallied six points on 3-of-16 from the field. His counterpart, Ryan Arcidiacono -- once an undrafted free agent -- scored 12 points on 5-of-8 from the field to go with eight assists and four rebounds. 

    The Cavs finished with more turnovers (12) than assists (11). 

    It all led to one of the worst performances of the season. Probably fitting considering what was at stake. 

    When the final buzzer sounded, the Cavs walked off the floor, dejected, frustrated and embarrassed. These are the kinds of losses that will drive the organization crazy. These are the ones that lead to longer-than-usual messages from head coach Larry Drew.

    "Even with what has taken place this season, and it hasn't gone the way that obviously any of us had hoped that it would have gone -- I never even imagined that I would be in this situation -- but it is what it is and we still have a job to do," Drew said. "We have an obligation. We're being paid to do. Every night that we step out on that floor, we should play inspired, and there's no reason, there's no excuse not to come out and play hard, not to come out and play with energy and to really compete at a high level."

    A 20-point loss against one of the league's worst teams? No matter, the circumstances, that's unacceptable. 

    "Not learning. Lack of growth. We're not using our losses as lessons," Nance said. "It's tough to keep doing so. At the beginning of the season, it's easy to go, 'Alright we lost that game and here's what went wrong and now we have to fix it.' We're kind of at the point where it's like, 'What was it this time?' We're trying to fix things on the fly whereas having a couple of days off, we can regroup and mentally get ready to go on this second half stretch."

    Perhaps in a few months, when the Cavs, Bulls and Hawks are jockeying for lottery position, a pair of losses against Chicago -- a flawed team that will likely also be in the No. 1 pick mix -- may come in handy. Maybe the Cavs will be able to look back on Sunday's game as an important one for their future.

    Just not yet. During this horrible season, Cleveland has been able to speak about its unrelenting fight. The Cavs have been able to take away positives from losses, show toughness and pride even in defeat. 

    Sunday wasn't one of those games. The only positive to come from this loss: improved draft positioning.

    David Nwaba exits in the fourth quarter

    Rugged swingman David Nwaba, playing against one of his old teams, entered the game with a sprained left ankle. Drew didn't know pregame if Nwaba would be able to suit up. But Nwaba worked out prior to tipoff and showed the training staff that he was ready. 

    Late in the fourth quarter, Nwaba landed awkwardly on his left leg, rolling his ankle while coming down after contesting a shot. 

    Unable to put much weight on his leg, a pair of teammates assisted Nwaba straight to the locker room. 

    Up next

    The Cavs will have Christmas Day off for the first time in five years. They will open a three-game homestand in Memphis on Wednesday. 


    0 0

    One year after coasting through the regular season, building horrendous defensive habits and looking incapable on that end of the floor, the Cavs have actually gotten worse.

    CLEVELAND, Ohio -- Following their most disappointing loss of the Larry Drew era, getting blown out at home by the nine-win Chicago Bulls, there was a pointed message passed around the locker room. It started with the coach and trickled down to the players.

    "We've got to man up," Larry Nance Jr. said.

    The Cavs have spent most of the season brushing off losses. They get it. The players recognize what this season has turned into.

    They know it will be a constant battle just to stay out of last place in the Eastern Conference, especially with Kevin Love weeks away from returning. Winning games is a chore. They've only won back-to-back contest once. Even after squandering an opportunity against short-handed Toronto to cap the road trip Friday, the Cavs were able to point to a few positives. They weren't demoralized.

    That changed Sunday. 

    "Not learning. Lack of growth. We're not using our losses as lessons," Nance said. "It's tough to keep doing so. At the beginning of the season, it's easy to go, 'All right, we lost that game and here's what went wrong and now we have to fix it.' We're kind of at the point where it's like, 'What was it this time?' We're trying to fix things on the fly whereas we have a couple of days off, we can regroup and mentally get ready to go on this second half stretch."

    There were lots of problems against Chicago. The Cavs finished with more turnovers than assists. They fell into the Bulls' defensive trap, relying too much on isolation basketball against a switch-heavy defense. They played way too slow, getting bogged down in the halfcourt.

    Still, the most pressing area of concern, the one that has been there from opening night, showed its ugly face again. The Cavs are the NBA's worst defense. 

    One year after coasting through the regular season, building horrendous defensive habits and looking incapable on that end of the floor, the Cavs have actually gotten worse.

    The Bulls came into Sunday's game ranked last in offensive efficiency and points per game. They ranked 27th in field goal percentage, making just 44.1 percent, and 3-point field goals, averaging 9.4.

    No problem. Just play Cleveland. That makes everything better. 

    Chicago scored 112 points on 55.1 percent from the field -- second-best this season. They hit 11 3-pointers, finishing 50 percent from beyond the arc.

    Chicago's Lauri Markkanen, who didn't play in the first meeting against the Cavs, tallied 31 points on 11-of-18 from the field. 

    "There's very few aspects of defense that we are good at right now," Nance said. "The league knows that. We're last in points allowed and last in a lot of different things. That's something that doesn't get better with technique, that doesn't get better with...it's heart. It's will. It's something where we are letting guys have career nights on us. That's something that we have to take personally."

    Drew said after the game it's been tough defensively given how often the personnel changes.

    The Cavs used their 14th different starting lineup, with two-way player Jaron Blossomgame in Rodney Hood's spot. Hood is currently hobbled by a sore Achilles.

    David Nwaba, Cleveland's best perimeter defender, has been on a minutes restriction and then reinjured his ankle in the second half. 

    Tristan Thompson, the anchor and voice of the team, has missed the last seven games. 

    "We're still having to learn one another and get a true feel for one another out on the floor," Drew said. "I don't know how many games we've played, it takes time and you have to continue to do it until you find a good mix or a good jell, to where it works. It's gotta be working. Everybody has to do their parts. It has to be working on all cylinders and thus far that has not been the case. We're still searching and we're still trying to do some things that will help us defensively."

    There is no one player to blame. It's a team-wide issue. But it starts at the point of attack. That weakness leads to the rest of the team over-helping and scrambling to cover holes. According to NBA.com stats, Cedi Osman is the team's worst defender. But rookie Collin Sexton is right there with him.

    Opponents boast an offensive rating of 123.0 and an effective field goal percentage of 56.6 with Sexton on the floor. With him off, it drops to 114.5 and an effective field goal percentage of 52.0.

    It's also getting tough to overlook Cleveland's messy numbers against opposing point guards. 

    The Cavs entered the night ranked 27th in points allowed to the point guard position. The only teams worse: Atlanta (Trae Young), Washington (John Wall, who drifts in and out of caring on that end) and Detroit (Reggie Jackson). 

    That's Sexton's responsibility, especially if he is going to continue to log the bulk of the minutes there. 

    Kris Dunn became the latest to slice the Cavs' defense. He scored 17 points on 8-of-11 from the field to go with seven assists. Ryan Arcidiacono, who also shared those duties with Dunn, tallied 12 points and eight assists.

    That duo, along with Markkanen, helped lead the Bulls to their largest win in more than a calendar year. 

    "We have not been a good defensive team as far as defending off the dribble, and that's where a lot of our problems do lie," Drew said. "Once you're beaten off the dribble, it breaks your defense down. And that's just something that we've got to get better at. We've got to take more of an individual challenge, we just have to accept the challenge."


    0 0

    Many think the Dodgers won the trade by gaining financial flexibility and replenishing their farm system. Others think the Reds won by getting productive players in exchange for a struggling pitcher.

    In a blockbuster trade, the Los Angeles Dodgers are sending Yasiel Puig, Matt Kemp and Alex Wood to the Cincinnati Reds for Homer Bailey and three prospects. Many think the Dodgers won the trade by gaining financial flexibility and replenishing their farm system. Others think the Reds won the trade by getting productive players in exchange for a struggling pitcher. What do you think? 

    PERSPECTIVES

    For the Dodgers, this trade was addition by subtraction. Puig was productive in the playoffs, sure, but he was also disruptive and sometimes destructive to the team's ultimate goal. Unloading that burden onto the Reds along with Kemp and Wood frees up a lot of money to use on a big-name free agent, like Bryce Harper. And now they have some young talent to develop as well.

    While those two players often came up big for the team, a change of scenery might have been what the doctor ordered for both sides. The Dodgers came away better after this trade.

    MOREDodgers get better of blockbuster deal simply by getting rid of Puig

    The Reds got rid of an overpaid pitcher, who only notched one win against 14 losses last year, and got two productive and entertaining players. Most experts would say they got the better end of this deal.

    Bailey has had an ERA over 6.00 the last two seasons and doesn't look like he'll ever be the same pitcher he once was. Unloading him not only got rid of his bloated contract but got in return proven players who can help the Reds win immediately. Cincinnati got the better end of the deal.

    MOREThe Reds won the trade with the Dodgers

    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.


older | 1 | .... | 2659 | 2660 | (Page 2661) | 2662 | 2663 | .... | 2666 | newer