Cavs’ Love: ‘We’re living in the moment, but our big-picture goals are toward the end of the year’

The Cleveland Cavaliers continued their winning ways Monday night as they defeated the Miami Heat 105-94 at Rocket Mortgage FieldHouse.

Cleveland led the whole second half,  but in the fourth, Miami cut the Cavs lead to five with over eight minutes left. However, Cleveland would go on an 8-0 run to push the lead to 13. From there, the Cavs would have their largest lead of 16 and would coast the rest of the way. 

The Cavs had five players in double figures Monday night.

Cleveland(17-12) has now won four straight for the third time this season, while the Heat’s(16-12) two-game winning streak was snapped.

The Great for the Cavaliers:

Second Half Kevin Love: The 13-year veteran got hot in the second half. Love scored a season-high 23 points, all in the second half. Love was 6/8 from the field in the second half, including five threes(5/7). He also added nine rebounds.

Love is shooting the ball well right now and has made three-plus threes in five consecutive games.

-Isaac Okoro has been solid in the last three games. He scored 18 points, including four threes(ties career-high) Monday night, and he also helped limit Duncan Robinson to six points on 1/7 from downtown.

This was Okoro’s third straight game of at least 16 points or more, and during this stretch, he’s  averaging 18 points, 4.0 rebounds, and 2.0 assists per game. Furthermore, in the last three, Okoro is 7-14(50%) from three-point range.

-Jarrett Allen had 12 of his 18 points(6/6 FG) in the first half, and while his three-game double-double streak was snapped, he did grab eight rebounds and added a block.

Second Quarter: Cleveland outscored the Heat 32-19 in the quarter, and after trailing 25-23 in the first, the Cavaliers took a 55-44 lead at the break. Cleveland turned things up defensively as they held the Heat to 38% shooting from the floor, including 2/12 from three-point range(16.7%).

-Lamar Stevens did not give the Cavaliers much offensively(three points), but he gave Cleveland a big lift with his energy. He, along with Okoro, helped limit Miami’s three-point shooting as Tyler Herro and Duncan Robinson were a combined 1/10 from three-point range.

The Not So Great for the Cavaliers:

Third Quarter: Miami started the third on a 10-0 to cut the Cavs’ 11-point halftime lead to one. The Heat outscored Cleveland 29-23 in the quarter. Miami shot the ball well in third as they ended the quarter, shooting 58% from the floor and making five threes(5/9). The Heat cut the Cavs’ lead to 78-73, heading into the fourth. 

Bottom Line:

Cleveland is now 8-2 in their last 10 games and won those eight games by at least 11 points or more. In addition, five(Heat twice) of those eight wins are against teams above .500. 

Every night it seems like someone different steps up for this team. Tonight, it was Love and Okoro.

The chemistry Cleveland has is special, and after 29 games, they are the fourth seed in the East. Unreal!!

“We’re living in the moment, but our big-picture goals are toward the end of the year,” Love said.

What’s Next:

Cleveland’s three-game homestand concludes Wednesday night against the Rockets.

Best of the Rest:

Ricky Rubio had seven points and seven assists. Rubio hit a significant milestone Monday night as he recorded his 5,000 assist to the man he started his career in Minnesota with, Kevin Love.

Darius Garland had 16 points, five assists, and three steals.

P.J. Tucker led Miami with 23 points and nine rebounds, including five threes, and Kyle Lowry added 22 points(four threes) and five assists. Miami had five players in double figures.

Watch below as Love, Okoro, Allen react to Cavs’ win:

Mavs’ Kidd on Heat: ‘I would consider them the best team in the league right now’

The Miami Heat(6-1) came into Tuesday’s game against the Mavericks(4-3), riding a four-game winning streak and playing big-time basketball, but Miami got off to a slow start against Dallas and trailed by as much as 11 in the first quarter.

However, the Heat would score 46 points in the second quarter and took control of the game from there. Ultimately, Miami would win their fifth straight and defeat the Mavericks 125-110 at American Airlines Center.

Dallas dropped their first home game of the season.

Here is the Great, Not so Great, and Bottom Line of Dallas’ loss on Tuesday night.

The Great for the Mavericks:

Luka Doncic did his part for the Mavericks. He had a season-high 33 points, to go along with five assists and three rebounds. He led the team in scoring for the seventh consecutive game. Doncic’s streak of seven games is the longest to begin a season in Mavs’ history. 

The fourth-year guard also passed Jason Kidd (5,258) for 14th place on the Mavs’ all-time scoring list. 

-Jalen Brunson got his first start of the season and went 10-13 from the field en route to a season-high 25 points. Brunson also had a season-high-tying seven rebounds to go with three assists.

-Miami native Tim Hardaway Jr. compiled 17 points with three rebounds and three assists against his hometown team.

Not so Great for the Mavericks:

Second-Quarter: Dallas was outscored 46-32 in the second quarter on Tuesday night. Miami shot 68% from the field in the quarter, including 8/9 from three-point range. Tyler Herro scored 15 of his team-high 25 points in the quarter off the bench.

Defense: The Mavericks allowed 125 points against the Heat. In addition, Miami shot 52% from the field, including 13/25 from downtown.  

“Yeah, it’s tough, any team that has 4 or 5 guys in double figures like that, especially the way they shot 50 percent from the field and 50 percent from three and 86 percent from the line,” Brunson said.

-Trey Burke, who is unvaccinated, missed the COVID-19 testing window and did not play Tuesday night and won’t play Wednesday against the Spurs. Burke, who will travel with team, missed the testing window for the second time in four games.

Bottom Line:

It would have been difficult to beat Miami with a full roster, and you knew Dallas would have a hard time defeating the Heat without Kristaps Porzingis(back) and Maxi Kleber(strained oblique). Miami is one of the best team’s in basketball, and that was on full display as they had four players with 20+ points.

“The Heat are – I would consider them the best team in the league right now,” Mavs head coach Jason Kidd said. “They’re men and they know how to play.”

What’s Next:

The Mavs play the second game of a back-to-back on the road in San Antonio against the Spurs, who they defeated 104-99 in Dallas.

Best of the Rest:

Jimmy Butler (23), Kyle Lowry (22), and Bam Adebayo (22) all scored 20+ points for Miami. Adebayo added 13 rebounds for his sixth double-double in seven games.

According to the Miami Heat, Herro’s 157 points scored off the bench through the first seven games is the most points by a reserve through his first seven games to open a season in NBA history.

Watch below as Kidd talks loss to Miami:




Stephen A. Smith on Raptors: ‘They’re not good enough'(WATCH)

For the Toronto Raptors, the season ended in a familiar way. Unfortunately, that familiar way is losing to LeBron and the Cavaliers. Yesterday, Toronto lost a playoff series to the Cavaliers for the third straight season, and for the second straight season, the Raptors were swept by Cleveland in the Eastern Conference semifinals.

Now, Toronto has a lot of questions to answer as they go into the offseason. Are the tandem of Kyle Lowry and DeMar DeRozan good enough? Is Dwane Casey the right man for the job?

Let’s start with Casey. I think Casey is the right man for the job. This team has improved under Casey. They won a franchise best 59 games this season. You’re not going to find many coaches as good as Casey. He’s not the problem.

Regarding the Lowry and DeRozan, maybe it is time to think about trading one of these guys. If LeBron stays in Cleveland, they will continue to be tough to beat. Plus, Philly and Boston are coming. Lowry and DeRozan have proven that they are very good players, but they have proven that they are not good enough to win a title.

The Raptors have close to a $100 million tied up in Lowry, DeRozan, Serge Ibaka, and Jonas Valanciunas next season, so unless they want can find a trade partner, they are pretty much stuck was their current roster.

ESPN’s Stephen A. Smith thinks it might be time to make some changes in Toronto. Here is what he had to say on First Take on Tuesday:


In the 90s, Hall of Famers Charles Barkley and Patrick Ewing were great players, but they ran into Michael Jordan. Sadly, for the Raptors, they keep running into “King James.”

ESPN’s Max Kellerman: ‘Raptors would beat Cavs in 6′(WATCH)

For the Toronto Raptors, what happens in the regular season does not matter. It’s all about the playoffs.

The big question is can Toronto beat the Celtics and/or Cavs in the playoffs?

The Raptors are a better team than they were last season, and currently, have the best record in the Eastern Conference. However, if the Raptors want to make a long run in the playoffs, Kyle Lowry and DeMar DeRozan need to be at their best.

In the 2016-2017 season, DeRozan went from 27.3 ppg in the regular season to 22.4 ppg in the playoffs. As for Lowry, he went from 22.4 ppg in the regular season to 15.8 ppg in the playoffs.

All that being said, according to ESPN’s Max Kellerman, he believes the Raptors can beat the Cavaliers in the playoffs.

Here is what Kellerman had to say on ESPN’s First Take today:

Shaq does not believe in the Raptors(Watch)

The Toronto Raptors have the best record in the Eastern Conference. At this point, the Raptors look like a team that could make a long playoff run.

However, there is that guy(LeBron James) in Cleveland who might say otherwise. While the Raptors have the best record in the East, do you believe they could beat the Cavaliers four times in a series?

Based on the moves that the Cavs have made, Cleveland probably would still be the favorite in a seven-game series.

Hall of Famer and TNT NBA analyst Shaquille O’Neal was a guest on ESPN’s First Take today and gave his thoughts on the Raptors:

DeMar DeRozan: ‘My first year with Kyle (Lowry), (we) didn’t say a word to one another'(Listen)

The Raptors’ DeMar DeRozan and Kyle Lowry are one of the better backcourts in basketball. The two have had a lot of success together, including leading the Raptors to the Eastern Conference Finals in 2016.

Coming into tonight’s action, the Raptors have the second-best record in the Eastern Conference.

During most of their time together in Toronto, DeRozan and Lowry have been inseparable.  However, during their first year in Toronto, DeRozan and Lowry barely talked. As transcribed by Adrian Wojnarowski, here is what DeRozan said:

“My first year with Kyle (Lowry), (we) didn’t say a word to one another,” DeRozan told the WOJ Podcast. “We didn’t speak. We didn’t have a conversation. We didn’t hang out. We didn’t go eat. We didn’t sit next to each other. Nothing! I didn’t have his phone number. Nothing!”


Ultimately, DeRozan and Lowry became the best of friends. DeRozan talks about his relationship with Lowry at the 11:16 mark:


Raptors’ Kyle Lowry takes hard fall against Nets(Watch)

The Toronto Raptors are playing some great basketball right now. The team has won five in a row, including beating the Nets in overtime 114-113 Monday night in Brooklyn.

However, some bad news came out of this game for Toronto. In OT, their star PG Kyle Lowry took a hard fall; Lowry had to be helped to the locker room.

Currently, the Raptors are 28-10, which is the second-best record in the Eastern Conference.

Take a look:

Lowry to the Western Conference?

According to ESPN’s Marc Stein, the Raptors’ Kyle Lowry, 31, will give some thought to possibly going to the Western Conference next season. Lowry,  who can opt out of his contract this summer, missed games 3 and 4 against the Cavaliers. Ultimately, the Raptors were swept by Cleveland.

The Raptors are stuck right now. Good enough to win a bunch of games, but not good enough to beat LeBron and the Cavaliers.

“They’ve got LeBron James. Nobody’s closing the gap on him. I mean, that’s it right there: They’ve got LeBron James and nobody’s closing the gap on him,” Lowry told The Vertical..

Should be an interesting summer in Toronto.