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December 9, 2014 Updates

The protestors, who alternated chants including "Shut it down, shut it down, Eric Garner, Michael Brown!" and "No justice, no peace," gathered in front of the two-year-old arena to demonstrate against recent decisions not to indict police officers in the deaths of New Yorker Eric Garner and Ferguson, Mo., teenager Michael Brown. "I think people who may not be aware of these protests or may want to turn a blind eye might be watching this game," Khadijah Brown, a 31-year-old graduate student in social work, told USA TODAY Sports. "We're here, and we're putting it right in front of them and they can't ignore it. We have to have our voices heard." USA Today Sports

December 8, 2014 Updates

Kyrie Irving and LeBron James are wearing black “I CAN’T BREATHE” t-shirts prior to tonight’s game against the Brooklyn Nets in support of Eric Garner. Garner died in a Staten Island neighborhood as the result of a chokehold from a New York policeman last summer. Protests have broken out across New York the last few days after a grand jury chose not to indict the officer on murder charges. Garner's final words, uttered over and over and caught on video, were "I can't breathe." Akron Beacon Journal

“It’s more a notion to the family than anything,” James said of the shirts. “Obviously as a society we have to do better, we have to be better for one another. It doesn’t matter what race you are. It’s more of a shout out to the family more than anything. They’re the ones that should be getting all the energy and effort.” Akron Beacon Journal

Me: What would you say your team's identity is right now? Kevin Love: It's tough to say. At the offensive end of the floor we have been able to figure a lot of things out -- when to play with pace, move the ball. That word I mentioned, continuity, is there for us. We're able to move the ball, distribute the ball. At the defensive end, is always our primary focus, and what we focus on first. But sometimes it takes a little bit of extra time to get there. So I think the identity at that end really still needs to get there, and as we grow more on that end, you'll see the offense be dictated better at that end as well. NBA.com

Me: You were left side dominant on the floor in Minnesota. It looks like you're using the court more evenly here. Is that by design or just the way it's worked out so far? KL: I think as my game has evolved, and is evolving on this team, I believe that they want to distribute me all around the floor on this team. I was very left-side dominant, but as we've broken down film -- and I'll continue to say that, this team watches a lot of film -- they want me to really spread the floor at all angles, figure out my different spots where I can be effective. It's opened up my game, being able to score the ball in different positions on this team. NBA.com

Me: It does seem like they're making a real effort to get you going early. KL: I think we're starting, or have lately, been starting the game from the inside out, to get my game going. I mentioned rebounding as well; that can also get my game going, and also get me in a certain sort of rhythm. Whether it's been the last six, seven, eight games, I feel like we've made a concerted effort to do that, and I think that's been helping our entire team. NBA.com

Me: I'm sure you heard Chris Bosh say that it's so different playing next to LeBron, and that it requires a real adjustment. What have you learned so far about that process? KL: Well, it is different. Coming in, we all knew we were going to have to sacrifice, and that's each player, 1 through 15, for this team. It's funny hearing that. Playing with LeBron, he opens up so many opportunities on the floor. And whether it's Kyrie or Shawn Marion or Andy Varejao, different guys out there in the starting lineup, myself included, and all throughout the team, they're getting so many good looks, because so much of the effort on the defensive end is to stop LeBron James. So I think it opens up a lot for us, for our team, helps us out, and when I have an opportunity at the offensive end, I have to take advantage of it. NBA.com

Cavaliers' superstar LeBron James, like many other players, is guilty of this act. He acknowledged that if this team is took take the next step towards becoming a formidable title-contending team, he and teammates must eliminate that type of behavior. "We have a tendency right now to take plays off, including myself," James said. "Last game, I was talking to the referee and they inbounded the ball and [Toronto's] James Johnson got a dunk. "...That's something I can't do. As a team, we can't do. We've been playing so well, that if we cut down those things, there's no telling what type of games we can have as far as close to 48 minutes as possible." Cleveland Plain Dealer

The Cavaliers got the win that night, but James wants to make sure his team accrues as many wins within wins as possible. Allowing Johnson to roam free for that dunk was a loss, a loss that James puts on himself. "Well, I was trying to get my point across and obviously, they weren't trying to hear it and I paid for it," James said. "I shouldn't be doing that. I don't want to say it's a mental lapse because I'm always in tune in the game, but they got me on that one." Cleveland Plain Dealer

LeBron James is searching for a way to protest the Eric Garner decision, and he could display it Monday night in Brooklyn in front of the Royal Couple. Already outspoken about the death of Garner and a grand jury‘s decision not to indict the responsible officers, James was asked Sunday about a t-shirt worn recently by Bulls point guard Derrick Rose. The message on Rose’s shirt, “I can’t breathe,” is a reference to Garner’s words as he was choked while being arrested for selling untaxed cigarettes. “It was spectacular,” James said about Rose’s shirt, which he wore in pre-game warmups Saturday night. “I loved it. I’m looking for one.” New York Daily News

Far more worrisome to the Cavs than their uneven 11-7 start is the lack of a proven presence at the rim to help stiffen their defense for the long term. That's why Cleveland, sources say, has been inquiring with the Memphis Grizzlies about the available of reserve center Kosta Koufos among their various trade pursuits. ESPN.com

Sources say that the Cavs are well aware landing a quality big man likely depends on selling on potential trade partners to take back polarizing shooting guard Dion Waiters. Cleveland rates Waiters' talent highly, but sources maintain that the Cavs have let a number of teams know they are prepared to surrender him if they can acquire a difference-making center in return. ESPN.com

Even more so when you take note of the Cavs' interest in Grizzlies veteran Tayshaun Prince, as reported Friday by my ESPN.com colleague Brian Windhorst. The Cavs have the parts to assemble a deal to send Waiters to Memphis and take Prince's $7.7 million salary off the Grizzlies' hands in addition to acquiring Koufos. ESPN.com


It will be very hard to surpass the No. 1 player on the list – especially now that he's back..


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