Cleveland Sports Insiders

Ernie Camacho's favorite blog…


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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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Cavaliers’ players’ only meeting turns contentious

Trouble with Dion Waiters and/or Kyrie Irving? (David Richard-US PRESSWIRE)

Trouble with Dion Waiters and/or Kyrie Irving? (David Richard-US PRESSWIRE)

According to Brian Windhorst, there was a confrontation during a player’s only meeting after the Cavaliers’ 29-point loss to the Minnesota Timberwolves this past Wednesday. According to Windhorst, “the meeting got contentious, and players confronted each other.”

It certainly isn’t a good sign early in what looked to be a promising season that there seems to be chemistry issues with the young Cavaliers. Perhaps the fact that the Cavs are the second youngest team in the NBA has something to do with it, but either way, the Cavs seem to be behind the eight ball heading into their next 72 ballgames.
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Cavalier Daggers…with a team that just isn’t very good

(Photo: Curtis Wilson-USA TODAY Sports USA TODAY Sports)

(Photo: Curtis Wilson-USA TODAY Sports USA TODAY Sports)

The Cleveland Cavaliers aren’t very good.

No, I’m not saying that’s the defining statement for the wine and gold for the 2013-2014 season, but it certainly is true for the first ten games of the seasons for a team that is looking to make a major move this year. Last season, after ten games, the Cavaliers stood at 2-8. This season, they are 3-7.

So I guess there’s that.

Let’s take a look at today’s Cavalier Daggers:

  • I’m not ready to send Mike Brown packing just yet. He was brought in to fix the defense, and while that side of the court has a long, LONG ways to go at this point, they are a better defending team than they were in 2012-2013, and they are only ten games in. Now, I do fear this offense a bit. My biggest complaint during the Brown/LeBron era was that at the end, LeBron seemed to deflate the basketball. It turned into LeBron dribbling a lot, and everyone watching. Kyrie Irving isn’t LeBron, but boy are there times when he dribbles way too much. Again, we’re only ten games in, but that has to begin changing over the next two months for the Cavs to be anything better than a 25-win team.

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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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The struggles of Kyrie Irving

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Kyrie Irving (AP Photo/Mark Duncan)

Kyrie Irving has struggled a bit to start off the 2013-2014 season.

If you don’t give it much thought, there are a lot of superficial reasons can pop into your head. Some of those reasons might not be so superficial.

Is it because the Cavaliers are running a new offense under the defensive-minded Mike Brown?

Is it because Kyrie is pushing himself to take the next step in a season in which many believe, including himself, that he will break out?

Is it because the Cavaliers seem to be focused on getting the ball to their big men, with guys like Anderson Varejao inexcusably getting looks from 10-15 feet?

There’s likely some truth to all of the above, as well as some other incendiary issues playing a part into the Cleveland Cavaliers best players’ early season “struggles.”

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