A weekend without a Cleveland Cavaliers game is hardly a weekend worth having. Fortunately, Cavs basketball will be back tomorrow night when Anthony Davis is the featured guest at Quicken Loans Arena. In the meantime, read these selected articles to pass the time.
Ben Golliver of SI criticized the leadership approach of LeBron James during the Portland game:
The plan, it seems, was for James to avoid overexerting his four-time MVP influence so that his teammates can learn to play the right way on their own. That's a bad plan. Cleveland's younger players followed James' detached lead right off the cliff. James deferred, and his teammates compensated by pounding the basketball. James floated on the perimeter, and his teammates enthusiastically chucked low-percentage shots. James never set the tone defensively in the second half, and his teammates allowed clean look after clean look for Portland's sharpshooting guards.
Sean Deveney of Sporting News said that the real pressure is on Kyrie Irving and Kevin Love:
The real pressure here is on Irving and Kevin Love - Irving is a two-time All-Star who got a max extension from the team, and Love is the guy for whom the Cavs coughed up No. 1 pick Andrew Wiggins. But neither has appeared in a postseason game in his career, and neither has even played for a .500 team before.
What's more, neither has really carved out his niche in the league. With the successful super teams the NBA has produced in recent years - the Celtics and Heat - players involved had all been around long enough to establish their individual identities. That made them more willing to give up their personal numbers for the betterment of the group.
Tom Pestak of Cavs: the blog on Dion Waiters:
Waiters spent the summer indicating that he was watching film of Dwyane Wade to be the best complement possible to LeBron. And then the season started and he looked the opposite of that. He refused to move without the ball, took every opportunity possible to dribble-dribble-launch, and was benched for the entirety of crunch time against the Bulls in which Matthew Dellavedova took his place.
Dan Armelli of MTAF on Dellavedova:
Before last season I had never heard of Matthew Dellavedova. When I first saw him out on the court during Summer League, I didn't think anything of him. Truly. I bet that's the same reaction from other fans when the Cavs play their teams. They see this 6'4 Australian point guard with awkward coordination and no real athleticism to write home about. They must laugh to themselves when they first see him run out on the court to defend a guy like Derrick Rose.
There were some great signs last night as well. When the offense was run the ball and player movement was stellar. LeBron seemed pleased when players took shots within the flow of the offense, even if they didn't go in. The defense was rotating with high effort for most of the game getting the Cavs in position to get out and run.
Dave McMenamin of ESPN looked at Kevin Love's three-point shooting:
As much as Love has transformed his body since he came into the league -- from a round, 260-pound 19-year-old to the lean, 243-pound 26-year-old he is today -- he also has tinkered with his approach to the game. Love attempted 19 3-pointers in his entire rookie season with the Timberwolves in 2008-09, making two. Contrast that with last season, when he had seven games in which he shot at least 10 3s en route to launching the sixth-most attempts in the NBA from long range.
And finally, here's a video of Cavs players reading nice tweets about themselves.