Tag Archives: Kyrie Irving

Luke Walton is in a complicated relationship — with his facemask

Luke Walton’s taken advantage of his extra playing time in Cleveland, becoming a role player for the struggling Cavaliers. In his last 10 games he’s averaged 4.1 points, 4.9 assists, 3.1 rebounds, and shooting 46 percent from three.

But on March 16, Walton broke his nose in a game against San Antonio. He donned a facemask — the fourth time a Cleveland Cavalier has done so this season — in the following game against Indiana. It didn’t last long. Walton removed the mask after only a few minutes.

Things are getting better between Walton and his protective mask, though, even after a recent loss to Miami. From the Cleveland Plain Dealer:

Luke Walton didn’t want to hurt the mask’s feelings.

When the Cavaliers’ veteran forward was asked how much he hated the clear mask he’s supposed to be wearing to protect his broken nose, he smiled and said, “I’m trying to develop a relationship with it, so I don’t want to talk bad about it.”

Maybe Walton realized the times you think you don’t need your significant other are actually the times you need it most:

All it took was one shot to the nose to convince Walton he had to make peace with the mask.

“I didn’t even get hit that hard and I started to get a headache and my eye was hurting so I’m going with the mask,” he said. “I’m going to keep wearing it until it gets comfortable and familiar. I’ve been wearing it around the last 24 hours trying to get more comfortable with it.

Hopefully the protective mask doesn’t weigh him down. Love’s not supposed to work like that.

Does Cleveland want LeBron James back?

Anger towards LeBron James’ departure from Cleveland has slowly died down since the summer of 2010.

Maybe the excessive coverage last season of LeBron’s failures drove fans crazy enough to gravitate toward LeBron, instead of further away. (At this time a year ago, television outlets still dissected why LeBron passed the ball in the final seconds of an ALL STAR GAME.)

Maybe it died down when LeBron won his first championship only nine months ago.

Maybe it died down last summer when LeBron, despite so much dislike towards him in the summer of 2010, suited up for the Olympics to help lead USA to a gold medal.

Or maybe it died down when he starred in a commercial where he got a haircut despite having one of the most obvious receding hairlines in the NBA since Clyde Drexler.

It’s tough to tell.

Whatever the reason, it’s hard to believe this would’ve happened in LeBron’s first game in Cleveland since “The Decision”.

It’s not just one overexcited fan that wants LeBron to return, either.

According to a poll from the Cleveland Plain Dealer, 52 percent of voters said they want LeBron to return to Cleveland. 35 percent still do not want him to return and, as polarizing as LeBron has become, 13 percent are still undecided.

Over 3,000 votes have already been submitted.

The excitement comes from LeBron’s looming free agency, which could start 17 months from now if he opts out of his current contract. If that happens, the Cavaliers can make a run for the three-time MVP who spent his first seven seasons in Cleveland.

There’s a lot to look at already on why or why not LeBron should stay in Miami, but a lot of it isn’t worth it (yet).

17 months ago, the NBA was in the middle of a lockout that could’ve wiped out the 2012 season, Derrick Rose was the reigning MVP the season before, and a few all stars (Steve Nash, Dwight Howard, Chris Paul) were not in Los Angeles yet.

The same can be said for Cleveland which, 17 months ago, would not have wanted LeBron to return to a place he once left in flames.

Coming to a conclusion right now about where LeBron will or should go is foolish, but it’s still fun to think and talk about.

(Or act on if you’re a Cavalier fan plotting to run onto the court. Don’t be that guy.)

Wayne Ellington brings it against the best

I know, Wayne Ellington is just a role player on any team he’ll ever play with, but he’s swung a couple of games this season with his explosive shooting.

When he added three threes against Miami (bringing his total against the Heat to 10) it made me think, “Hmm, you know what? That Ellington’s pretty clutch. He might be the jazz musician in the NBA.”

So I did a little researching. All statistics are from Basketball-Reference unless noted otherwise. I love that site.

51 of Ellington’s 78 threes were against teams over .500. 10 of them came against two games versus Miami. His torching of anything Miami dates back to his time at Chapel Hill.

Cleveland hosts Miami on April 15. Watch out.

45 of his 78 threes have been made in wins, though he’s shooting 40.9% from three in wins and 41.8% in losses.

41 of his 78 threes have been made when winning or trailing by less than 5 points, but 41 threes have been made with over 6 minutes left in a quarter.

31 of his 78 threes have come in the fourth quarter. The next best number is the second quarter with 25.

Ellington has a 57.9 effective field goal percentage with less than 10 seconds left on the shot clock, according to 82games.com. His highest is actually 61.4 percent with 16 to 20 seconds left on the shot clock, but he attempts seven percent less of his shots in that time frame.

He’s also the 2009 Final Four Most Outstanding Player!!!

If college awards don’t lead to success at the professional level, I don’t know what does. (Sarcasm.)

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