Posts tagged ‘Cleveland Cavaliers’

February 11, 2011

Friday Photo: Man, It’s Tough Watching the Cavs

by Jeeves

Each Friday we bring you funny/odd/offbeat photos from the week before. As always hover over the pics for bonus captions.

Christian Eyenga can’t bear to watch his team, the Cavs, play. Can you blame him?

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February 7, 2011

Cavs Go for Record 25th Loss In a Row Tonight, Cold Blooded Lebron Tweet Watch Continues

by npiller88

Don't cry, Mo. You still have 9 mil coming this year

If a 15-point loss qualifies as a blowout, the Cleveland Cavaliers are nearly averaging one blowout per game, which means they are basically getting blown out every game. They have a plus-minus of -11.4 points per game, meaning the average game for them is an 11-12 point loss. This sounds bad, but it doesn’t sound so bad until you realize the degree of separation between the Cavs and the rest of the league. The second most futile team in the league, the Washington Wizards, sport a -6.5 number, about a 5 point difference. This might not sound too significant, until you realize that only five out of fifteen western conference teams even have a number in the minus, the lowest being the Sacramento Kings, at -4.9. Oh yeah, and the Cavs are in the dregs of the Eastern Conference, making their absolute embarrassment of a season all the more embarrassing.

And as they face off against the Mavericks tonight, Sportscenter will surely keep tabs on the game, but mostly for the purpose of counting the consecutive losses, as ESPN loves to do. I say this because its hard to imagine the Cavs breaking the streak against a seasoned, talented bunch like the Mavericks.

So if we are going to be talking about loss number 25 tonight, the spirit of the moment begs the question: Why are the Cavs so bad? (Besides the obvious, that a certain regal figure has departed)

For starters, they have the second worst team shooting percentage in the league. This wouldn’t be such a big deal, if they actually played defense. Look at the Milwaukee Bucks: They shoot an even worse percentage, but hold their opponents to the eighth-lowest shooting percentage among NBA defenses. Cleveland is tied for the worst, allowing 48% shooting. So they play really bad defense, and really bad offense. Seems simple enough. But there are plenty of teams in NBA history with this problem, and none of them had 24 consecutive losses. How did this happen? Perhaps Lebron was right about karma. But it seems like a particularly cruel trick for Vishnu or Krisha (pick any Hindu deity) to play on a team that lost their leader and superstar and went from 61 wins to a record string of losses the next season, and on a city that loved their star like a son and lost him faster than you can say “South Beach.” Sure, their owner ran off his mouth, but so do recently dumped girlfriends and boyfriends, and casual observers don’t seem to hold it against them too much.

No, I think there’s something decidedly UN-cosmic about this ugly streak. Look at the roster. It’s a wonder that this team won 61 games WITH Lebron last season. Their number 1 offensive option is Antawn Jamison, whose best days as a number 1 scorer were in Golden State, which was ten years ago, or when Jamison was an appropriate 24 years old (never mind the fact that he leads the team with just over 17 points a game, while he averaged nearly 25 per game during the 2000-2001 season with the Warriors). Their next best player is Mo Williams, who makes the second most money on the team, but is probably the worst three-point specialist in the league, checking in at a 26% mark on the season (Oh yeah, and he isn’t even a starter). The nail in the coffin? The (potential, pending the draft lottery) number 1 pick in the upcoming draft, the weakest in years. Think Jared Sullinger is going to turn this team into a contender? Think again. No transformative superstar saviors are coming, a la Lebron, anytime soon.

So all eyes will be on the twitter account of Lebron in the coming days. Will he throw salt on the wounds of the Cavs historic futility? Time will tell, but if the Heat-haters have any hope of the karma train turning around come playoff time (maybe a Heat-Celtics Eastern Conference Finals matchup?), they better hope Lebron tweets something mean again.

January 16, 2011

Lebron Goes for "Cuddly Villain," Fails.

by npiller88

In the aftermath of King James’ most recent tweet heard round the world (“Karma is a bitch” in regards to his former team, The Cavs, who had the nerve to go on existing after his departure), it seems appropriate to take a closer look at James’ public relations identity as it changes from day to day.

With typical subtlety, James kicked his old team when they were down, explaining their recent misfortune (a 55 point loss to the Lakers) by invoking some greater power. If James intended to single out his former boss, Cavs owner Dan Gilbert (who famously ripped James publicly after “the Decision”), he had a funny way of showing it, by tearing down his former team after a loss of epic and embarrassing proportions. But the real question is, why would the karmic forces ever bother themselves with a Cavs game?

In any case, James seems to be having a little identity crisis. With each passing tweet (first it was hints at contraction, now this), we are starting to see a superstar consistently out of touch, at least to anyone living outside of Dade county. Is all of this intentional? Is he trying to carve out a villain role, a la Sir Charles, and then wait for his time to jump back into everyone’s arms? Time will tell, but right now it all seems inept. Whenever someone with such natural talent (and privilege, by virtue of said talent) tries to claim the “victim” mantle, it leaves a bad taste in peoples’ mouths. Beyond this is the creeping sense of elitism that seems to be finding a more prominent place in James’ tweets of late. His is the story of pure natural talent and the triumph of that talent. Why all this talk about eliminating unworthy teams that may just be giving a shot to the next great talent? Or for that matter, why all this pissing on the grave of the Cavs? It’s hard to be the victim and the victor. But he sure is trying.

Still, one wonders, does he want to be the good guy or the bad guy? He should probably figure it out before he tweets again.

January 13, 2011

Misery Loves Company: A Look at 50 Point Margins of Victory

by Jeeves

The Lakers’ spanking of the Cavs, last night, got me thinking, not about the newest bit of schadenfreude courtesy of Lebron (see Nate’s take of LBJ’s tweet), but rather about the sheer size of the margin of victory.

Quick anecdote time: I saw the 112-57 margin of victory on SI and pointed it out to my girlfriend. She seemed unperturbed by the 55 point thrashing and after a few seconds asked, “Is that a lot?” I responded, “In any [of the mainstream] professional sport[s] a 50 point margin is huuuge, whether it’s basketball or football or well, I guess in either of those two sports.” As she digested that comment, my mind quickly flitted to the relative difficulty of achieving a 50 point margin in those  sports and then to the frequency of such a feat.

So I thought today we could take a quick look into those two questions.

Higher Degree of Difficulty, Basketball or Football?

Before I spoil the ending, let’s first take a quick look at the factors that add to the degree of difficulty in each sport. First and foremost, it’s hard to score 50 points in the NFL, let alone win by that margin. Since the merger, the NFL has seen a score of at least 50 points on 84 separate occasions, including two overtime games. Two teams have never scored 50 points in the same game, if you wondering. It goes without saying that an offensive outburst like that is an uncommon sight, but as cliche as it sounds, it takes a team effort to win a game…by 50. The defense can’t just sit back and relax as the offense lights up the scoreboard. The fact that the most points scored in the post-merger NFL is 62 means that the defense has a small margin for error.

Depending on how you view these things, either strategy or the “unwritten rules” of football can also trip up a team on its path to a 50 point victory. Generally speaking, a team winning by an absurd margin will start to run the ball to bleed the clock, unless of course that team is the 2007 Patriots. Some teams do this so that they don’t show up the other team, while others do this due to sheer strategy. Either way the clock will definitely work against a team on its quest to a 50 point margin of victory.

A 50 point margin seems a little more reasonable in the NBA, at least in theory. A team scoring, say, 124 points doesn’t seem to be too absurd; heck, 26 teams have done that this year alone. A team holding the opposition to, say, 74 points doesn’t seem too ridiculous, either; that feat has happened 17 times this season. It’s just a matter of combining those two feats into one complete game.

The ability to score the necessary amount isn’t the largest obstacle for basketball teams. Without any statistical analysis or research, I would say that stretching the lead from a rather large 30 point cushion to the absurd reaches of 50+ is where the largest degree of difficulty resides. Teams will begin to sit their starters and stars when up by a large enough margin, say 30 points, which then puts the onus on the bench to finish the job. Yes, the losing team may begin to rest some of their players, but there is still a sense of urgency to not be fully embarrassed so the dregs of their bench may not actually see the floor.

So to answer my question, I would guess that it is harder to win by 50 in the NFL than in the the NBA.

The Payoff: Frequency of 50+ Point Margins

This now brings us to the the actual proof. Since the merger, there have been 9 games with a 50 point margin of victory. In the NBA, (according to this list) there have been 10 games (after including the Lakers-Cavs game). It seems that it is actually nearly as difficult to pull it off in either sport, with the caveat that there are 82 games in the NBA vs 16 in the NFL, so account for that as you wish.

Some additional fun facts:

  • The largest margin of victory in the NFL is 59 points, accomplished by the 2009 Patriots against the Titans and by the LA Rams against the Falcons. Both teams pitched 59-0 shutouts…ouch
  • The largest margin of victory in the NBA is 68 points by – well, I’ll put it this way, if this game some how was replicated this season, Cleveland would combust due to sheer happiness – the Cavs over the Miami Heat in 1991
  • The all-time offensive slap fest in the NBA, since 1986, occurred in 2000 when the Charlotte Hornets triumphed, if you allow me to use the term loosely, over the Miami Heat 65-56
  • I’m going to go out on a limb and guess that there will be a 50+ margin of victory in the NFL in 2019. The basis for my oddly specific prediction is the fact that since the merger there has been such a game in 1979, 1989 (twice actually), and 2009.