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“Can we expect this to continue? Masterson’s biggest problem has always been his ability to contain left-handed hitters. Chucking the ball from a three-quarter angle, the right-handed Masterson has been murder on same-handed hitters, with lefties getting a good look at his two-pitch fastball-slider combo and thwacking him on a regular basis. In 842 career innings, righties are hitting a microscopic .223/.303/.300, versus a fat .289/.363/.427 for lefties. He hasn’t added any new pitches to his repertoire this season, failing to expand on the occasional changeup he throws that other hard-platoon pitchers have learned to use to their advantage against opposite-handed hitters.” [Keri/Grantland]
“It’s been three years since James left. The first two of suffering made sense. This always has been and always will be a players league. When the best player in the game bolts, you’re gonna stink. Since then, Cavs general manager Chris Grant has freed cap space, compiled assets, landed young building blocks in Kyrie Irving, Tristan Thompson and Dion Waiters.
That’s all grand. But it’s no longer enough. To be fair, the Cavs had their share of injuries this season. To be fair, the Cavs are awful young and most of their key veterans (C.J. Miles, Mareese Speights, Shaun Livingston and Wayne Ellington) are in their first year with the team. To be fair, people who expected 30 wins this season really were kidding themselves.
Well, that’s where being fair ends. No one cares about that stuff anymore.” [Amico/FSO]
“I’m simplifying here, but that’s sort of the point: this is how I think general manager-dom works, and the limited information I have causes me to conceive of it that way. I’ll spare you the graf where I more or less slap grades on Chris Grant’s draft picks while comparing Tyler Zeller to a mop, but I think the rebuild is going about as well as one could hope, which is to say a bunch of dudes in their early 20s are running around stupidly and brilliantly; defensive technique is ritually murdered; I’m talking myself into Shaun Livingston. As a fan, I’m fatigued and not a little bit cranky, but as a rational being, I get that this pathetic outfit could soon grow into something watchable, even exciting.
We’re at what feels like the midpoint of the scenario I’ve laid out above. After three years of bottoming out and amassing good-at-basketball 20-year-olds—intellectual honesty alert!—I’m starting to resent having to watch this team three times a week and because of that am going to say the Cavs will finally make an earnest run at the playoffs in 2013-14. Plus, LeBron James is going to be a free agent next summer and a young team on the rise is a lot more enticing than a young team on the oh dear god C.J Miles just attempted to split a double team.” [McGowan/Cavs the Blog]
“I wonder if Gibson can still hear the whispers of his name over the Lorain-Carnegie Bridge as if from the mouths of those giant Guardians of Traffic, echoing around the curved ceilings of the West Side Market, vibrating down into the river. And the 43 years since his employer was born and the 7 years since he first appeared, fascinated, inspired and found a home are both a speck of time.
2007 and those nights when a grinning rail thin 21 year old point guard from Texas meant everything were the blink of an eye ago. 2007s Eastern Conference Finals Game 4, with a series down to the invincible Pistons 1 games to 2. Down the street from the shadow of the rising sun were the Gibson made 12 straight shots from the free throw line in the best game of his career, culminating with 2 long range 3 point shots to begin the fourth quarter.
It was Game 6, navigating through a hellstorm of Detroit defense and with perfect measure the arc on that same floor: the 23 feet 9 inch arc from the basket connected by the two parallel lines. Moving from left to right on the floor, a 19 point fourth quarter which began with an explosive 3 straight connections in the first 2 and a half minutes of the quarter and culminated with a backbreaking shot from the far parallel line which ended the run of success by the Pistons clinched the greatest moment in the history of the Cleveland Cavaliers franchise.” [Jackson/Stepien Rules]
“More disturbing is young All-Star Kyrie Irving, who has played with a late-season malaise that’s reminded everyone that despite his immense talent he is still very much a 21 year old. He admitted earlier this season he sometimes doesn’t give his all in games and that seems to have been an issue lately as well.
Not only has his defense been especially shoddy during the Cavs’ recently struggles, his leadership has come into question on several occasions. He scored a career-low four points Sunday in a hapless performance in Philadelphia. With three fouls in the first half in a one-sided game, Irving committed two fouls in the first 90 seconds of the third quarter including a foul to stop a fast break to force his way out of the game with five fouls. He later said he lost track of how many fouls he had.
Then he was generally miserable Monday until the game’s final minutes. He finally turned it on after starting 1-of-8 shooting to lead a Cavs comeback attempt before he was stripped on the final possession when he had a chance to win the game.” [Windhorst/ESPN]