Posts Tagged ‘Ramon Sessions’

Rookie Point Guard Debut Redux

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HANG TIME HEADQUARTERS — Welcome to the fish bowl Kyrie Irving!

You didn’t really think that six-month stint at Duke was going to prepare you for what you’ll face on a nightly basis as the face of the franchise in Cleveland, did you?

A bad game at Duke might have been overlooked. But a 2-for-12 shooting display (with 7 assists) and being outplayed bu your backup, Ramon Sessions, in your regular season debut will fire up the doomsday headlines … the News-Herald predictably dubbed Irving’s first game a “dud”:

It was an NBA debut to forget.

Rookie point guard Kyrie Irving’s first game was anything but memorable, as the Cavaliers were pelted by the Toronto Raptors, 104-96, on Monday at Quicken Loans Arena.

Irving, the first overall pick in the 2011 NBA draft, finished with just six points, seven assists and three rebounds. He shot 2 of 12 from the field, 1 of 5 from beyond the arc and committed one turnover in 26 minutes.

“It’s just one game,” Irving said. “It’s a learning process. I didn’t shoot the ball particularly well.”
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Phantom punch haunts Cavs in loss

DALLAS — The Cavaliers had a puncher’s chance to end their record losing streak Monday night in Dallas, but it didn’t land. Just as an apparent blow from Mavericks star Dirk Nowitzki didn’t connect with Cleveland guard Ramon Sessions late in the fourth quarter.

[UPDATE: NBA spokesman Tim Frank said Tuesday that the league reviewed the Nowitzki play in question and ruled it wasn’t a punch.]

The problem, at least from the Cleveland side, is that neither of the three referees caught Nowitzki in the alleged act. With the Cavs trying to mount a late comeback, Sessions drove into Nowitzki’s body, apparently irritating the 7-foot All-Star. Replays showed Nowitzki reacting with an awkward punching motion and closed fist.

The punch didn’t land, but that didn’t stop the Cleveland coaching staff from getting on the officials. Nowitzki was called for a foul with the Mavs up 97-87 with 2:35 left. Sessions hit both free throws to cut the lead to eight.

Had the officials called Nowitzki for throwing a punch, he would have been ejected, two technical free throws would have been shot and Cleveland would have kept the ball. That potentially could have cut into the lead even more. The play wasn’t reviewed.

“You saw it, looked like a punch to me,” Sessions told NBA.com. “I never had any history with Dirk, but it was a punch. I don’t know what it was about, but it was a punch.”

Sessions said he didn’t see it coming.

“Real surprised after I saw the replay,” he said. “If I would have stayed there, he would have hit me. You can’t see it all, but I saw it on the replay. It’s behind us now, but it was a punch. It is what it is.”

The Cavs would end up losing their record-setting 25th in a row, 99-96. Nowitzki brushed aside the incident when asked.

“A punch? No, it was nothing,” Nowitzki said after Dallas’ ninth straight win.

Well, he’s not about to ask for a suspension.

Blogtable: Any hope in Cleveland?

Each week, we’ll ask our stable of scribes to weigh in on the three most important NBA topics of the day — and then give you a chance to step on the scale, too, in the comments below.

If you’re Dan Gilbert, what do you do – what can you do – to give Cleveland fans some kind of hope?

Steve Aschburner: In 48-point Comic Sans, Dan Gilbert needs to assure Cavs fans that they are embarking on a massive overhaul of their team via draft picks and trades – forget about free agency. He has to sell them on youth and hope and some sort of blueprint for the future. He needs to push Chris Grant to move players such as Antawn Jamison and Mo Williams to needy contenders for picks and cash, and to serve as facilitator to as many deals as possible while extracting cuts that fit their vision. The only NBA players who would willingly join the current mess are mercenaries coming only for the money they could get while being overpaid. That’s why Gilbert and his team must focus on future NBA players.

Fran Blinebury: Keep your fingers crossed at the lottery, keep your mouth shut the rest of the time and keep believing that karma will reward you in the next life.

Art Garcia: Build an elaborate time machine and go back to 2007 or give the Cavs to Pat Riley. (more…)