Tag: Cleveland Cavaliers

Andre Iguodala

Andre Iguodala dishes tight behind-the-back assists to David Lee (video)

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Andre Iguodala hasn’t made the same impact he did in Game 3.

The Warriors forward has yet to score, and he hasn’t spent quite as much time guarding LeBron James, who has been playing plenty of center.

But Iguodala is versatile enough to contribute other ways – like this nifty behind-the-back pass to David Lee.

Draymond Green with the drive, dunk for Golden State (VIDEO)

Memphis Grizzlies v Golden State Warriors - Game One
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OAKLAND — The Golden State Warriors opened Game 5 0-for-3 shooting and looking a little nervous or out of synch.

Then they started driving the ball to the basket and hit four of their next five shots — highlighted by this dunk by Draymond Green.

After this play, the Cavaliers called timeout and sat Timofey Mozgov, who was struggling with the small Warriors lineup.

LeBron James on upcoming contract negotiations: “I’m happy where I’m at”

LeBron James

When LeBron James made the decision to return to Cleveland after four years in Miami, he signed a new contract with an eye on 2016, when the league would receive an influx of new TV money. His deal was for two years, with a one-year opt-out, which he’s expected to use. However, before Game 5 of the Finals, he insisted that he hasn’t even thought about this upcoming decision yet.

From Joe Vardon of the Cleveland Plain-Dealer:

Predictably, that’s where James’ focus is today, and not on the business decisions waiting regarding his contract this summer. A secondary, but no-less-symbolic reason he’s not thinking about his contract: James said last week he’s “happy” in Cleveland.

“Ha, I haven’t even thought about that until you just said something,” James told the Northeast Ohio Media Group. “I’ll tackle all of that after the season, but, yeah, I’m happy where I’m at.”

There isn’t a lot of drama surrounding this free agency decision, the way there was last summer. It would be legitimately shocking if he left Cleveland again, given all the talk about wanting to come home and build something long-term in his home state. The advantage to opting out would be the ability to sign another one-year deal worth slightly more than the second-year player option on his current contract.

After taking less money to join Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh in Miami in 2010, James has been clear that he’s not going to take any more discounts. That’s why he signed the short-term deal, rather than a longer contract like Carmelo Anthony did when he re-signed in New York. Whether he picks up his option or opts out and signs another short-term deal, James’ plan is going to be to sign a long-term deal in 2016, when he can make significantly more money than he could under the current salary cap.

Report: Stephen Curry annoyed by attention, credit Matthew Dellavedova has gotten

2015 NBA Finals - Game Four

OAKLAND — There is always a little-known role player who, thanks to a good matchup and strong play, makes a name for himself at the NBA Finals.

This year it is Matthew Dellavedova of the Cavaliers.

LeBron James has praised him, saying Curry’s struggles were because of Delly’s defense. David Blatt has praised Dellavedova at every turn, as have the ABC broadcasters. Walking around Cleveland he was the second most popular guy on the team still playing (Kyrie Irving might normally occupy that slot). ESPN is running features on him, as is PBT and just about everyone else. Delly is loved.

That has annoyed Stephen Curry and the Golden State Warriors, reports Chris Haynes of the Cleveland Plain Dealer.

Sources within the Warriors’ organization say they were “pissed off” and “irked” by the media attention Dellavedova was receiving and the narrative of the Australian “locking down” the league’s MVP.

As for Curry, he was annoyed too, I’m told.

“People have lit a fire under Steph, which is good thing,” Andrew Bogut told NEOMG. “It’s something that you don’t want to do. It worked out well. We know Delly is a great defender, but we know he’s not a Curry stopper.”

Curry, of course, is too polished to talk about this publicly, although he did say his run-ins with Delly have featured some trash talk not suitable for younger viewers. It’s also very much like the great NBA players to find something, anything to use as fuel for motivation.

In Game 4, Curry changed how he attacked Dellavedova, attacking off the dribble quickly before the double team came. Combine that with a dead-legged Dellavedova who was not moving as quickly and you ended up with Curry getting past him and more open looks than he had in the first three games.

It will be interesting in Game 5 to see how things go with a more rested Dellavedova.

Leading sports scientist compares LeBron James’ workload to a Tour de France cyclist

LeBron James

It’s been obvious to anyone watching the Finals that LeBron James is taking on a superhuman workload. But according to  group of leading athletic trainers and scientists, we haven’t fully grasped just how much is being asked of him. Thanks to injuries to Kyrie Irving and Kevin Love and the horrible shooting of J.R. Smith, James has been asked to do basically everything himself on the offensive end, and that’s before you factor in the amount of travel between games. In a fascinating piece by ESPN.com’s Tom Haberstroh, the Athletic Lab’s Michael Young compared James’ workload to a Tour de France rider.

Playing 40-plus minutes multiple times a week while traveling across the country and carrying the offensive load?

“That’s the top of the top,” Young says. “Every one of these NBA guys are under a tremendous amount of stress at this point, but LeBron in particular, playing 46 minutes a game with that travel and quick turnaround … it’s a little insane. That’s unbelievable, really, to bear that mental and physical burden and still play at a high level.”

When asked if there is any athletic equivalent to playing two games in three days while traveling across three time zones, Young paused for a moment to think. He could only point to one.

“Maybe the Tour de France,” Young says.

But even that, Young attests, can’t quite capture the carnage on James’ body.

“In cycling, there’s no physical impact on your body like basketball,” Young says. “The overall workload is significantly higher on the Tour but there’s no constant impact, which plays a huge role in fatigue that LeBron is probably experiencing. And there’s no real travel to speak of.”

It’s not just this season, either. Between the regular season and playoffs, James has played almost 6,000 more minutes than anyone else in the league since the 2003-04 season, and that’s before you take into account Team USA play.

If the Cavs somehow win the series, it will be the most impressive feat of James’ career.