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Friday, May 18, 2018

Episode 119 – Gloom, doom (but hopefully not a broom): Cavs struggling in ECF

Baffling coaching decisions, blown defensive assignments, bad shooting and a battered jaw for one LeBron James have left the Cavs halfway to getting swept in the Eastern Conference Finals. With the next two games at The Q, the Wine & Gold aren't completely in dire straits just yet. Still, it’s been ugly so far. The guys discuss Ty Lue’s decision to ride with JR Smith over Kyle Korver in the starting lineup, the struggles of the newer members of the roster, the “organizational fatigue” plaguing everyone who has been around for the long haul, and the weight of trying to fight back in a series knowing what would await in the Finals (and *not* knowing what awaits this summer).


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Intro/outro music: "The 3rd" by Anitek

Saturday, May 12, 2018

Episode 118 – That’s a Rap: Cavs shift focus to Celtics after ending Toronto

With a ridiculous running floater off the glass last Saturday night, LeBron James broke the spirit of yet another Eastern Conference franchise, as the Raptors bowed out meekly on Monday and fired head coach Dwane Casey four days later. A transcendent postseason for LeBron continues in the Eastern Conference finals, where the depleted-but-not-defeated Boston Celtics await. Aside from LeBron’s shot-making abilities, the Cavs were steadied in Round 2 by the presence of point guard George Hill, the outside shooting of J.R. Smith and Kyle Korver, and a devastating two-man game from Korver and Kevin Love. The guys preview the conference finals with the Celtics, air grievances about Boston, and quickly set up the West series between Houston and Golden State.


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Intro/outro music: "The 3rd" by Anitek

Monday, April 30, 2018

Episode 117 – Cavalry arrives, Cavs survive, can Raps avoid another dive?

It was the most nerve-wracking first round series to ever involve LeBron James wearing wine and gold, but the Cavs survived their matchup with the Pacers. In Game 7 on Sunday, LeBron was LeBron, but his supporting cast finally came through, too. Tristan Thompson looked like the Tristan Thompson of old as he crashed the glass, and George Hill returned after a three-game absence to steady the squad through the final 19 minutes. The guys discuss how the Cavs ultimately outlasted a better-than-expected Indiana team, and then look ahead to another series with the Raptors in the conference semifinals. Every adjustment Toronto has made in the past year has been with Cleveland in mind, and for the first time, the Raptors are favored to win the series. But, ultimately, will this year’s edition of Cavs-Raps be any different than the past two?


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Intro/outro music: "The 3rd" by Anitek

Tuesday, April 24, 2018

Episode 116 – Cavs (and all of us watching them) feeling first-round stress

A lot of fans figured the Eastern Conference playoffs would be more challenging for the Cavs this season than in recent years, but few could have predicted a full-fledged fight in the first round. Nevertheless, the Indiana Pacers are giving the Cavs all they can handle through four games. The guys welcome their old pal Mark Meszoros back to the show to discuss the burden LeBron is carrying, Ty Lue’s strange rotations and inexplicable fascination with Jeff Green, the revival of JR Smith—both as a scorer and as a defender on Indiana’s Victor Oladipo—and the challenge of getting Kevin Love going.


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Intro/outro music: "The 3rd" by Anitek

Friday, April 13, 2018

Episode 115 – Mike Zavagno on the Cavs and the NBA playoffs (and Taylor Swift?)

Mike Zavagno of FearTheSword.com and the Cavalytics podcast joins the show to help the guys get ready for the NBA playoffs. It was a strange season—or maybe even four or five seasons rolled into one—for the Cavs. But as they get ready for the Pacers in the first round, the Wine and Gold appear to finally have their full lineup available for the first time since the trade deadline. The guys discuss players like Jeff Green and Jose Calderon going from afterthoughts at the beginning of the year to key members of the playoff rotation, how the players acquired at the deadline—Larry Nance Jr., George Hill, Rodney Hood and Jordan Clarkson—will fit into the Cavs’ plans, familiar faces who could have reduced (or entirely eliminated) roles, and what more to expect from LeBron James after a tremendous 15th regular season. Plus, a rundown of the rest of the playoffs: Are the Sixers the Cavs’ biggest threat in the East? Was Golden State gifted a path to the Western Conference finals? And can anyone challenge the Rockets or Warriors in the early rounds? ... Oh, and there's also a story in the first five minutes about the time Mike encountered Taylor Swift at customs in the U.S. Virgin Islands and ended up in tabloids around the world. (Yes, really.)


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Intro/outro music: "The 3rd" by Anitek

Wednesday, March 28, 2018

Episode 114 – Indians/MLB preview with Anthony Castrovince of MLB.com

Ready or not, the Indians begin their 2018 season on Thursday night in Seattle. To ring in the new year, the guys go around the horn on all things Tribe-related with Anthony Castrovince, national columnist for MLB.com and contributor for the MLB Network. How will the Indians replace all of the players gone from last year's 102-win squad? How much can we expect from talented (but injury-plagued) veterans such as Michael Brantley, Jason Kipnis and Lonnie Chisenhall? Will Greg Allen, Bobby Bradley, Francisco Mejia or other players in the Tribe's system make an impact with the big league club this year? Can the Twins (or anyone else) in the AL Central threaten the Indians' chances of making the postseason for a third straight year? Castrovince answers those questions and covers lots more around Major League Baseball in a packed edition of The Nail.


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Intro/outro music: "The 3rd" by Anitek

Thursday, March 22, 2018

Episode 113 – A stellar night for the Cavs and a salute to Joe Thomas

Down 15 points at the half to the Eastern Conference-leading Raptors. Playing without Kyle Korver, Larry Nance, Tristan Thompson, Rodney Hood, Cedi Osman and head coach Ty Lue. At another point in the season, this was the kind of night in which the Cavs would unravel. But on Wednesday, LeBron James and Co. had different ideas. The guys discuss one of the team’s most stirring wins of the year, as well as Kevin Love’s return to the lineup, the surprising emergence of Ante Zizic and what’s left of the regular season. After a number of false starts, is this finally the time the Cavs turn the corner? … Plus: Appreciating Joe Thomas’ incredible playing career at one of football’s most hard-to-appreciate positions, a quick survey of the latest buzz around the NFL draft, and a shout-out to the UMBC Retrievers for ridding March Madness of the least watchable major conference powerhouse.


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Intro/outro music: "The 3rd" by Anitek