Tag Archives: cleveland

Not So Hot in Cleveland: David Blatt Gets Fired

In the wake of the surprise firing of David Blatt and the promotion of Ty Lue to Head Coach by the Cleveland Cavaliers, Jim Bearor and Evan Sally give their rapid reactions to the news; how we got to this point and how LeBron and Cavs will go forward.

tyronn-lue-david-blatt-lebron-james

Tyronn Lue (right) will get the chance to pilot LeBron’s Cavs to a championship, while David Blatt gets left behind. (Getty Images)

Evan Sally

The timing of David Blatt getting fired in January, the year after a NBA Finals appearance and compiling a 30-11 record this season, is very surprising.

The decision to fire David Blatt is not. Continue reading

Hard Foul NBA Roundtable

Who will challenge the defending champion Warriors this season?

Who will challenge the defending champion Warriors this season?

To kick off the NBA season, Mike Tolsma, Evan Sally, Steve Stich and Zack El-Sharif got together to preview the league. Midway through the podcast we were joined by Adam Bennett from Hard Foul Sports Cleveland. It was a fun conversation going all over the Association.

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10 Thoughts – Browns vs. Raiders

Ten thoughts on the debacle home loss to the Oakland Raiders on Sunday at FirstEnergy Stadium:

Photo via Bottlegate

Photo via Bottlegate

1.) At one point in his post-game press conference, Mike Pettine said, “I told our staff, at times we looked like a scout team.” He said it almost to deflect the blame to his staff. But at the end of the day, Pettine is responsible for the product on the field. The only one to blame for the Browns looking like a “scout team” against the NFL’s perennial scout team in the Oakland Raiders is Mike Pettine. Plain and simple.

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Hard Foul Sports Podcast Episode 23: 9/25/15

(Getty Images)

Johnny Manziel and Tyrod Taylor (Getty Images)

To start the show we are joined by Adam Bennett, the man behind Hard Foul Sports Cleveland, the first expansion of the Hard Foul Sports Network. Adam is heavily involved in the Cleveland sports scene and has a sizable following at his account @HFSCleveland. A must follow for Cleveland sports fans. Adam joined Mike, Stich and Evan to talk about the Browns decision to start Josh McCown over Johnny Manziel, the state of the Browns franchise and other NFL issues.

We’re then joined by Matt Haring, Bills beat writer for HardFoulSports.com to preview the Bills big game against the Dolphins. We talk Tyrod Taylor vs Ryan Tannehill, which D-Line will dominate, and much more.

Two ways to listen:

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The “Same Old Browns” Are Building It Wrong

By Adam Bennett, @HFSCleveland

The concept, in and of itself, isn’t bad. Build from the lines out. Shore up the middle of your offense and defense, and supplement talent in the trenches with reliable players outside.

On Sunday afternoon, against the 4-12 Jets, coming off a 7-9 season, the “Play Like a Brown” Browns, well, ummmmm, played like Browns. And that “concept” of how to build a sustainable winner proved to be far from reality.

Josh McCown fumbles in the endzone and suffers a concussion. (AP Photo)

Josh McCown fumbles in the endzone and suffers a concussion. (AP Photo)

Ray Farmer and Mike Pettine have consistently defended themselves for building a roster devoid of playmaking talent. They don’t seem to care if they don’t score, as long as they’re able to block and rush the passer and defend.

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Cleveland Browns Final 53 Projection – HFS CLE

HFS Cleveland Final 53

By Adam Bennett, @HFSCleveland

As the Browns’ brass struggles to get the roster to 53, here’s my two cents on who earned a spot and who should be cut after the 2015 preseason:

Johnny Manziel has toned it down this preseason (Andrew Weber – USA TODAY Sports)

Johnny Manziel has toned it down this preseason (Andrew Weber – USA TODAY Sports)

 QUARTERBACK (3)

Josh McCown

Johnny Manziel

Thad Lewis

CUT: Pat Devlin

Analysis: Lewis makes the team because of Manziel’s shaky elbow. If Manziel were 100% healthy, I think Pettine and Co. would stick with two. But Lewis is an experienced backup who needs to stick around for when McCown or Manziel will inevitably get hurt at some point.

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The Sheriffs Quick Takes of the Week

-Zachary El-Sharif

This past week of sports has reminded us why we devote so much time and money into it. We saw history made before our very eyes. After this busy week in sports, here’s my quick takes on the top news of the week.

Racing:

American Pharoah became the first Triple Crown winner since 1978 after winning the Belmont Stakes on June 6th. Photo: Anne M. Eberhardt

American Pharoah became the first Triple Crown winner since 1978 after winning the Belmont Stakes on June 6th. Photo: Anne M. Eberhardt

American Pharoah won the Triple Crown and was the first horse to do so since Affirmed in 1978. I’m not into horse racing and I find it farfetched to think that your average sports fan really cares about horse racing. Gamblers care about horse racing, and if you like gambling this was kind of a wash out for you for the big three races this year. American Pharoah came into the Kentucky derby at 13-5, which isn’t very risky odds and from there on out he remained the heavy favorite, so for the gamblers looking to make a quick buck it was kind of a throw away year. Congratulations to the group behind American Pharoah; they put together a very historic run together, but don’t expect me to care about it.

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Evan and Jim’s Shoot Around: Game 5 Preview

– By Evan Sally and Jim Bearor

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Photo: Associated Press/Tony Dejak

The first three games of Warriors vs. Cavs have ranged from unexpected to downright bizarre. We saw back-to-back overtime games for the first time in Finals history. We saw Golden State, the best team in the league statistically, never lead at the end of any quarter except for the end of overtime of Game 1. We saw Matthew Dellavedova become a household name because of his inexplicable ability to frustrate the MVP Steph Curry, and more bizarrely, score a career high 20 points in Game 3. We saw Golden State miss a ton of open shots. We saw the league’s best shooter shoot a career worst 2 for 15 from 3 in Game 2. We saw LeBron James torch the league’s best defense for 41 points per game. And as great as LeBron James is, no one saw that coming.

Then the Warriors woke up.

Game 4 represented a return to normalcy. Finally, we saw the series we expected to see. Role players like Draymond Green, Harrison Barnes and Andre Iguodala finally hit some open shots. Especially in the case of Barnes and Green, who had looked rattled previously, this is a huge development. LeBron finally had an off game, and the rest of the Cavs weren’t able to keep up the scoring slack. Add it all up, and it’s the recipe for a Golden State blowout victory. With the series tied at 2-2 headed back to the Bay Area to start a best of 3 for the championship, Jim Bearor and I try to figure out how we got to this point and examine where the series is going from here. Continue reading

Oh Warriors, come out and play!

LeBron James and Steph Curry fight for a loose ball. Photo Credit: Ibtimes.com

LeBron James and Steph Curry fight for a loose ball. Photo Credit: Ibtimes.com

– Jim Bearor

The Cavaliers have taken control of the NBA Finals, and it goes deeper than the 2-1 lead they have over the Warriors.

Matthew Dellavedova has won over fans everywhere by filling Kyrie Irving’s shoes and putting the clamps on Curry, the regular season MVP. The Cavaliers that remain aren’t “The Big Three” or “The Splash Bros”, they’re six pretty average or mediocre guys led by LeBron James, who is on pace to break every NBA Finals record there is. James is two wins away from Akron, Ohio building a statue of him, and he knows it.

As he confirmed in his interview with Dwyane Wade following Game 3, his concentration and determination to win are at an all-time high. This mindset has spread through the locker room, and it’s evident in the play of guys like Mozgov, Thompson, and Dellavedova. The team embodies the blue collar culture of Cleveland, and with LeBron’s “homecoming” narrative coming to a head, this is the perfect storm to make America fall in love with them.

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Evan and Jim’s Shootaround: NBA Finals Preview Edition

By Evan Sally and Jim Bearor

This NBA Finals match up is a weird one. This series is highly anticipated. More people that aren’t big NBA fans are into this series than any Finals series in recent memory. Conventional wisdom says the series that would excite fans the most is the one that features the competitive match up. People hate blowouts. And yet, when you look at the details of this series, the Warriors seem to have a pretty big advantage over the Cavaliers.

The Warriors are the 14th team to reach the Finals with 65 wins or more. The previous 13 teams have all won the title. The Cavaliers are the sixth team since 1978 to reach the NBA Finals with a below-average defense. Four out of the other five all lost in the finals. And that fifth team was the 2001 Lakers that featured Kobe, Shaq and the league’s best offense. Even putting the stats aside for a moment, the Warriors have clearly had the tougher test getting to this point. In beating Houston and Memphis, the Warriors have already beat two teams with better records than Cleveland. In comparison, the Cavaliers have had a relatively easy road to the Finals beating a sub .500 Celtics team, an inconsistent and disappointing Bulls team, and a Hawks team that was battered by injuries. On top of all that, their third best player, Kevin Love, is out for the Finals, and their second best player, Kyrie Irving, is dealing with several injuries. The stage seems to be set for the Warriors to roll to a championship.

So what are we talking about then? If this should be a blowout as all the stats and the eye tests show, then why the hype? Why the excitement? Well, in the NBA, star power reigns over everything else, and the chance to watch the world’s greatest player face off against the league’s MVP with everything on the line is about as tantalizing as it gets. As it’s safe to say the fate of the Cavs and the Warriors rest on the backs of LeBron James and Steph Curry respectively, the most important question for each team is: how the hell do we stop these guys? One of Hardfoulsports.com’s great writers Jim Bearor joins me to discuss this question and many more about the NBA Finals. Continue reading