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Kevin Love Finds Cavs' Underdog Label 'Funny'

May 28, 2017 12:52 AM

Kevin Love doesn't understand why the Cleveland Cavaliers are entering The Finals against the Golden State Warriors with the label of underdogs.

"The whole underdog thing is funny to me, because, yeah, at the end of the day we are defending our title," Love said Saturday after the Cavs' first practice ahead of The Finals. "We're trying to repeat, which is so hard to do. I think we will use it as fuel, we will use it as motivation, but the idea of playing into it? It's tough for me to say that is the case. I don't feel like we're underdogs. We match up well with them, and I think they'd say the same about us."

BPI says the Warriors have a 93 percent chance of winning the series. 

Tyronn Lue said the idea that the Cavs need the underdog title as a linchpin to get ready for the Finals is off base.

"We're not going to use that as motivation," Lue said. "It's like, we're in the NBA Finals. That's enough motivation alone. Not worry about what it says in Vegas or what people are saying about underdogs. We're not using that as an excuse. We've got to come out and play. Our goals were set at the beginning of the season, and that's to win a championship. So that's what we're focused on."

Dave McMenamin/ESPN

Tags: Cleveland Cavaliers, Golden State Warriors, NBA, NBA Playoffs

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Warriors Have Largest Regular Season Net Rating Edge In Finals History

May 26, 2017 12:54 PM

The Golden State Warriors enter The Finals against the Cleveland Cavaliers with the biggest advantage in regular season Net Rating since 1980.

The Warriors had a Net Rating of +11.6 during the regular season compared to +3.3 for the Cavaliers, which is a difference of 8.3.

The next highest differential came in the lockout shortened 1999 season when the San Antonio Spurs had a +9.0 Net Rating compared to +1.2 for the New York Knicks. The Boston Celtics in 1986, Orlando Magic in 1995 and Celtics in 1981 had the next three biggest advantages. The Magic were swept 4-0 by the Houston Rockets in 1995. 

The Warriors/Cavaliers matchup also ranks as the sixth (2015) and ninth (2016) biggest discrepancies since 1980.

While the Cavaliers were on a different level in the regular season, they have been dominant in the playoffs in losing just one game with a Net Rating of 14.3. The Warriors enter The Finals undefeated with a Net Rating of 16.3.

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Tags: Cleveland Cavaliers, Golden State Warriors, NBA, NBA B-Ball IQ, NBA Playoffs

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LeBron James: Golden State Has Been Best Team In NBA, Then Added An MVP

May 26, 2017 1:10 AM

 

LeBron James and the Cleveland Cavaliers advanced to The Finals for the third straight years as they defeated the Boston Celtics by a final score of 135-102 in Game 5.

James was asked if he's facing a particular challenge defending the Cavaliers' title against the Golden State Warriors.

"I'm going to be honest, I'm not in the right mind to even talk about Golden State," said James. "It's too stressful, and I'm not stressed right now. I'm very happy about our accomplishment. I have no discussion -- Golden State, they've been the best team in our league for the last three years, and then they added an MVP. That's all I can give you right now, because I'm happy and I don't want to be stressed. They cause a lot of stress, and I'll get to that point when we start to prepare for them."

The Cavaliers lost to the Warriors in 2015 and then came back from a 3-1 deficit to win the title in 2016.

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Tags: LeBron James, Cleveland Cavaliers, Golden State Warriors, NBA, NBA Playoffs

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Kyrie Irving: I Knew How Much My Team Needed Me

May 24, 2017 12:26 PM

Kyrie Irving had a postseason career high of 42 points in the Cleveland Cavaliers comeback win in Game 4 that gives them a 3-1 series lead over the Boston Celtics.

“I knew how much my team needed me, and I just needed to will it at that point,” Irving said. “I’m sure when I get home, my body will probably hate me. It’s about the magnitude of the game and what’s at stake.”

“He was built for this,” LeBron James said of Irving. “He was born for these moments.”

“It hasn’t been anything short of difficult trying to figure out when will it be my time,” Irving said Tuesday night. “It’s hard not to think about because as I continue to get older and I’m playing with an unbelievable player like ‘Bron … but I just have to enjoy the ride. Individual goals, you just push to the side because with this team, nothing is promised.

"‘Bron being so special, I’m trying to give him rest here and there and figure out where my spots are.

Shams Charania/The Vertical

Tags: Cleveland Cavaliers, NBA

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LeBron James Wins 16-17 Citizenship Award

May 21, 2017 10:45 PM

LeBron James has won the 2016-17 J. Walter Kennedy Citizenship Award as selected by the Professional Basketball Writers Association (PBWA). The honor, named after the NBA’s second commissioner, is presented annually by the PBWA to a player, coach or athletic trainer who shows outstanding service and dedication to the community.

James was one of five finalists for the award, along with New York Knicks forward Carmelo Anthony, Chicago Bulls forward Jimmy Butler, Portland Trail Blazers guard CJ McCollum and Memphis Grizzlies forward Zach Randolph. The finalists were chosen by a committee of PBWA members from a list of 26 nominees submitted by NBA teams. The winner was determined by a vote of the entire PBWA, which is composed of approximately 200 writers and editors who cover the NBA on a regular basis for newspapers, online outlets and magazines.

James is being honored for improving the educational opportunities of disadvantaged youth in his hometown of Akron, Ohio, and creating long-term change in his community.

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Tags: LeBron James, Cleveland Cavaliers, NBA, NBA Award

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Adam Silver Unconcerned With Playoff Dominance Of Warriors, Cavaliers

May 20, 2017 3:36 AM

During an interview with ESPN, Adam Silver said he is unconcerned with the playoff dominance of the Golden State Warriors and Cleveland Cavaliers. The two teams, who have played each other in the past two Finals, are a combined 20-0.

"It's not a concern," Silver said. "I think that we should celebrating excellence. People are already anointing these teams as dominant and franchise teams. But, on the other hand, I look at the [Warriors] that hadn't won a championship in 40 years. The Cavaliers, of course, won last year and had never won a championship before in this league. ... Of course you want to see balance throughout the league. At the same time, when teams are excelling and playing at that level, I think, the fan in me, it's fantastic to watch."

Silver's time with the NBA has largely been marked by his pursuit of competitive balance.

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Tags: Cleveland Cavaliers, Golden State Warriors, NBA

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Brad Stevens: Cavs Have 'Perfect Roster' Around LeBron James

May 18, 2017 3:45 AM

Brad Stevens acknowledged the strength of the how the Cleveland Cavaliers built their roster around LeBron James following the Boston Celtics' Game 1 loss.

"This is a perfect roster with regard to how many predicaments they can put you in with all the shooting around (LeBron James)," Stevens said.

Cleveland has surrounded James with excellent perimeter shooters over his three years back with the franchise.

The Cavaliers have yet to lose in the postseason.

"You never want to double when you have that much shooting because eventually... they're going to find a good shot," Stevens said. "If not, they're going to get the rebound. How do you not pay extra close attention to the best player in the world (James)? With the way Kyrie has scored the ball on the biggest stage, and over and over and over with his ability, there's another one you have to react to over and over. So, there's all kinds of issues with defending them."

Cleveland general manager David Griffin, who assembled the roster, is without a contract next season.

Joe Vardon/Cleveland Plain Dealer

Tags: Cleveland Cavaliers, NBA, NBA B-Ball IQ

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Cavs Ignoring Orlando's Request To Interview David Griffin

May 16, 2017 11:33 AM

Dan Gilbert has been unresponsive to requests from the Orlando Magic to interview David Griffin.

Griffin's contract with the Cleveland Cavaliers expires at the end of June.

Gilbert could be hoping that the Magic get tired of waiting for Griffin.

Cleveland has yet to make a substantive offer to Griffin on an extension.

Adrian Wojnarowski/The Vertical

Tags: Cleveland Cavaliers, Orlando Magic, NBA, NBA Misc Rumor

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Goodyear To Sponsor Cavs' Jerseys At $10M+ Per Season

May 16, 2017 2:03 AM

The Cleveland Cavaliers have agreed upon a jersey sponsorship with Goodyear worth more than $10 million per year.

As part of the agreement, Turner, which includes TNT, the cable network that will carry the Cavaliers' playoff games in the Eastern Conference finals, will air free commercials featuring the Cavs and Goodyear and promote the partnership on various traditional and digital mediums.

The Wingfoot logo will be unveiled when Nike introduces its new Cavs uniforms this summer.

"The wingfoot (is) going to be opposite the swoosh, and they really do look beautiful together," said David Griffin.

Goodyear was founded in Akron, the hometown of LeBron James.

Joe Vardon/Cleveland Plain Dealer

Tags: Cleveland Cavaliers, NBA

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Walter Tavares Out Indefinitely With Fractured Right Hand

May 14, 2017 3:44 AM

Walter Tavares suffered a fracture in his right hand during practice on Thursday.

An X-ray and CT scan confirmed the injury.

Tavares is out indefinitely and his status will be updated as appropriate.

The Cleveland Cavaliers signed Tavares from the D-League at the end of the regular season.

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Tags: Edy Tavares, Cleveland Cavaliers, NBA, NBA Injury

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Cavs Want Kevin Love To Have Bigger Role Within Offense
Kevin Love has averaged 13.8 points on 9.9 shots per game in the postseason.

Joe Vardon/Cleveland Plain Dealer

DeMar DeRozan: Raptors Would Have Won Series If We Had LeBron Too
LeBron James has represented the Eastern Conference in the Finals in every season since 2011.

Chris Fedor/Cleveland Plain Dealer

LeBron James: I've Been Playing At The Best Since I Was About 16
LeBron James is having another outstanding playoffs, posting a PER of 32.2 through the Cleveland Cavaliers' first seven games.

Bruce Arthur/Toronto Star

Tyronn Lue Calls His Job 'Hardest' In NBA
Tyronn Lue says the scrutiny that comes with the job makes it difficult.

Dave McMenamin/ESPN

Magic To Offer President Job To David Griffin
David Griffin could still ultimately remain with the Cavaliers.

Brian Windhorst/ESPN

LeBron James Left McDonald's Endorsement Deal For Upside Of Blaze Ownership
LeBron James owns 17 Blaze franchises and more than 10 percent of the company.

Kurt Badenhausen/Forbes

LeBron James' Body Feels Worse When He Doesn't Play
LeBron James averaged 43.7 minutes per game in the Cavaliers' first round series against the Pacers.

Joe Vardon/Cleveland Plain Dealer

Pat Riley Wanted To 'Say Something Like Dan Gilbert' After LeBron Left Heat
When the Heat met with LeBron James that offseason, Pat Riley felt it wasn't sincere.

Wright Thompson/ESPN

Magic Interested In David Griffin For GM Job
Dan Gilbert has been reluctant to pay David Griffin the going rate for a championship-level executive.

Adrian Wojnarowski/The Vertical

Edy Tavares Named D-League Defensive Player Of The Year
Edy Taveras tied for the NBA D-League lead with 2.7 blocks per game.

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Cavs To Release Larry Sanders To Sign Edy Tavares
Edy Tavares averaged 10.9 points and 7.7 rebounds and 2.7 blocks for the season with Raptors 905.

Shams Charania/The Vertical

Mavericks Claim DeAndre Liggins Off Waivers
The Cavaliers will save $2.5 million in luxury tax payments with the Mavericks claiming DeAndre Liggins.

Shams Charania/The Vertical

Cavaliers Agree To Sign Dahntay Jones
Dahntay Jones similarly signed with the Cavaliers for the playoffs at the end of the 15-16 season.

Chris Reichert/The Step Back

Cavaliers To Sit LeBron James, Kyrie Irving Against Heat
LeBron James played 47 minutes in Sunday's loss to the Hawks while Kyrie Irving played 45.

Joe Vardon/Cleveland Plain Dealer

LeBron James Likely Would Have Re-Signed With Heat Had They Won 2014 Finals
LeBron James had followed the Cavaliers and their moves while he was gone.

Brian Windhorst, Dave McMenamin/ESPN

Cavaliers Release DeAndre Liggins
Cleveland could consider Anderson Varejao, Dahntay Jones or Mario Chalmers, but they are more likely to target someone who has played recently.

Dave McMenamin/ESPN

Kyrie Irving Suffering Soreness In Surgically Repaired Left Knee
Kyrie Irving underwent surgery on the knee in June of 2015.

Joe Vardon/Cleveland Plain Dealer

Cavs Won't Sit LeBron James, Kyrie Irving Before Clinching No. 1 Seed In East
Last season, LeBron James sat out two of the Cavs' final four games before the playoffs.

Dave McMenamin/ESPN

Tristan Thompson Out Two Games, Streak Ends At 447
Tristan Thompson hasn't missed a game since Feb. 10, 2012.

Brian Windhorst/ESPN

David Griffin Receives Extension Endorsement From LeBron James
David Griffin has received the support of key voices inside the Cavaliers' locker room, most notably LeBron James.

Dave McMenamin/ESPN