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Cup of Cavs: Cleveland Cavaliers News and Links for Wednesday, November 24

A look back at one of the most memorable Cavs and Suns’ matchups.

National Championship - Oregon v Ohio State Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images

Happy Thanksgiving Eve.

First sip

It’s officially Michigan week here in Ohio and the Cavs play the Phoenix Suns tonight. Thinking about Ohio State football and the Suns reminded of of one of the weirdest weeks in Cavs history.

The Cavs traveled to Phoenix on January 15, 2015 in complete disarray. Here’s a quick rundown of events surrounding that game:

  • LeBron James rehabbed with former teammate Dwayne Wade in Miami causing speculation he would return to Miami in free agency.
  • LeBron turned 30 and many assumed he was past his prime due to his poor back.
  • The Cavs recently completed the J.R. Smith, Iman Shumpert, and Timofey Mozgov trades.
  • LeBron missed the previous nine games and the Cavs were 1-8 during that stretch.
  • Kevin Love was beginning to not play fourth quarters because David Blatt existed.
  • LeBron flew to Dallas the night before the game in Phoenix for the Ohio State championship game the night before and was heavily criticized at the time which is laughable in hindsight.

The Cavs ended up losing the game in Phoenix 107-100 despite a furious second half comeback. Here’s a snippet David Zavac’s FTS recap from that game:

In the future, this game might be looked at positively. The Suns are a good Western Conference team and the Cavs were on the road. LeBron James was fantastic, and he is easily the Cavs most important player. Kyrie Irving and Kevin Love were bad, and that’s not likely to continue. On the other hand, David Blatt lost confidence in Kevin Love for the second time this season, leaving him on the bench for the fourth quarter. J.R. Smith shot the Cavs back in the game, but should he be taking 14 three pointers in a game?

The loss dropped the Cavs to 19-20. The Cavs bounced back (thanks to the infamous bowling trip) by winning 18 of their next 20 games en route to the franchise’s second NBA Finals appearance. The following months after that Suns game were arguably the most exciting regular season stretch in the second LeBron Era.

And yes David, J.R. Smith should’ve been taking 14 threes every game.

Second sip

I’ve never seen two better looking missed shots.

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Links of the day

Iman Shumpert adds another trophy to his collection with ‘Dancing With The Stars’

Isaiah Austin’s NBA dreams shattered. Now he’s returned to the league in a new role

Cameron Payne sparking Suns second unit again

“You Can’t Take a Day Off”: Inside Bryce Young’s Pursuit of Excellence (we read Mirin Fader no matter what)

Five things to know about Michigan before the rivalry resumes in Ann Arbor this weekend

Michigan threat level