Cleveland Sports Insiders

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Quick thoughts on the Cavs post-Bynum

Will Bynum's departure help Thompson and the Cavs? (Thomas Ondrey/The Plain Dealer)

Will Bynum’s departure help Thompson and the Cavs? (Thomas Ondrey/The Plain Dealer)

The Cleveland Cavaliers are directly in the middle of the whirlwind of the news that Andrew Bynum is either suspended indefinitely from the team, or is on the trading block, or both. While that story will certainly play out over the next few hours, there’s another interesting tidbit that will take place as well.

The Cleveland Cavaliers have to play basketball. So where do they go from here?

Bynum had been starting for the Cavaliers, and had been averaging 20 minutes per game on the season, and 22.6 minutes in the month of December. He’s averaging 8.4 points, 5.3 boards and 1.2 blocks per game since the start of the year, and 9 1/2 points, 6 1/2 boards and a block since the start of the month.

The numbers certainly aren’t special in and of themselves, but when taken into account what his presence has meant for the team on several levels, including supplementing Anderson Varejao, his presence has certainly been important on the court.

Varejao, as much an injury concern as Bynum, has averaged almost 29 minutes a game, putting up 7.9 points and 8.8 boards a game on the season. When you put the two together as one center, you have some pretty elite numbers: 17 points, 14 boards and two blocks a game. You can also credit Bynum’s presence for allowing Varejao to play fewer minutes, thus keeping him healthy.

While Andrew Bynum has been a surprise, it’s not like he’s been a star, and for stretches, he’s not been a very good basketball player. Perhaps getting ┬áZeller more playing time allows this team to get better in the long run, and perhaps they lose a few more games this year and get a better pick next year.
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The Sunday Drive with playoff implications, fights and rumors

Cameron runs over Bengals (photo: AP)

Cameron runs over Bengals (photo: AP)

I’ve never gotten used to November weather here in North Carolina since I moved here from the North Coast nearly fifteen years ago. There’s always a constant battle of Summer, Fall and sometimes Winter that always leaves me a bit off balance.

I mean seriously, it snowed here this past Thursday night, then climbed up to 70 on Saturday.

It’s November.

There should be no mixing of shorts and jeans, t-shirts and coats, ice scrapers and air conditioning.

It’s nearly as off-putting as Cleveland sports, to be honest. You have the Browns at 4-5, who either have two potential quarterbacks for 2014, or none, depending on who you talk to. Of course, there’s 2013, and a legit chance at winning the division, or getting into the playoffs.

Or not.

There’s the Cavaliers, who are either beating the tar outta each other in players-meetings, or not. They had the #1 pick in the NBA, and he’s been playing like a D-League player. Dion is awesome with the ball, but bad without it. Kyrie is better without the ball, than with it. The Cavaliers will be an exciting playoff contender this year.

Or not.

Then there’s the Indians. They rebuild their team in a season and motor into the playoffs with a ten-game win streak, only to lose the one-game playoff that was instituted for the first time ever last season. They seem ready to make a few moves to take them over the top, but may not have the money to do it. They are ready to make the next move to become better.

Or not.

North Carolina weather and Cleveland Sports…hot and cold.

I wouldn’t have it any other way.
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Cleveland Sports Insiders: The Podcast 51: Bynum returns to Philly and guard-a-palooza

We here at Cleveland Sports Insiders are going to do everything in our power to fill the void left by the Cleveland Browns bye week. No, we aren’t going to be talking about the Browns…that would make far too much sense.

Instead, we’re going to talk about the other in-season sport in town, and no, I’m not talking about the Hot Stove Season either.

That’s right, it’s all about basketball in today’s CSI: The Podcast, and we’re going to focus most of our attention on a brand new three-headed monster that Mike Brown unveiled in the fourth quarter of the Cavs. I’ll get into that in the breakdown.

This Cavaliers are an incredibly interesting team, and while they are far from a finished product, this team has so many incredibly interesting pieces and parts and storylines, that it may take the entire season to figure out just what this team has.

Are they a playoff team, or are they going to be going back-and-forth all year long between solid play and looking like the second youngest team in basketball.

For those wondering at home, the Cavs average 24 years of age, while the Philadelphia 76ers average 23.9. The Cavs also come in at third in the league in experience, coming in at an average of 3.1 years of experience, in front of only the Phoenix Suns (2.9) and the New Orleans Pelicans (2.6).

Let’s face facts, when you are that young and that inexperienced, you are going to continue to go through some growing pains, regardless of how talented your players are, and the Cavaliers are proving that night-in, and night-out.

It should be a fun year.

Here’s the rundown:

1:35–Michael Hattery makes a bold statement for fantasy football Sunday.

3:10–Andrew Bynum returns to Philadelphia and is happily greeted by the joyful Sixers’ fans.

5:00–Will Andrew Bynum retire?

8:00–The three-guard line-up. What brought it about, and will it continue?

9:15–The three-guard line-up owes Tristan Thompson and Anderson Varejao.

11:15–Is Kyrie Irving the next Allen Iverson, and will we ever get a Cleveland version of the practice video?

14:00–Dion Waiters has had moments of incredible basketball clarity this season in between his struggles. Mike and Jim talk about his ethic, his team-work, his improved defense and how this really could be his coming out party in 2013.

17:00–The Cavs are 3-0 at home, how important is home court?

18:20–The beginning of the third quarter has been a struggle for the Cavaliers…is this a problem for Mike Brown, or is it just a small sample size and the nature of the beast for a young basketball team.

21:00–There is a massive hole at the #3 slot for the Cavaliers, even taking into account that Mike Brown put Alonzo Gee into the starting lineup. Will C.J. Miles, Anthony Bennett, Alonzo Gee, Earl Clark, or another unknown player fill that hole?

24:20–This is Tristan Thompson’s world, and we’re just living in it.

27:20–Thompson can flat out handle the basketball.

28:00–Are the Cavaliers building a home-grown big three in Waiters, Irving and Thompson?

31:25–Anthony Bennett

32:50–The Houston Astros


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Bynum’s future in the NBA may be a short-term proposition

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Andrew Bynum (AP Photo/Morry Gash)

On Thursday afternoon, a contrite Andrew Bynum stated that he is ‘A shell’ of the player that he once was during his seasons with the Los Angeles Lakers.

There’s really nothing about that statement that’s not true with regards to the Cavaliers’ new center.

We all know Bynum’s story through-and-through as the Cavaliers head to an interesting home-and-home match-up in Philadelphia against the 3-2 76ers.

This is the same Philadelphia franchise that acquired Bynum in a four-team deal that saw Andre Iquadala head off to Denver, and Nikola Vucevic, Maurice Harkless and a future first round pick head off to Orlando. The deal was, of course, much bigger, and when it was all said and done, 11 players (including Earl Clark) and five draft picks were exchanged between the Los Angeles Lakers, the Orlando Magic, the Denver Nuggets and, of course, the 76ers.

Bynum never played a game for the Sixers.

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