The Cavs may have gained some confidence by winning in San Antonio.
The Cavs beat San Antonio at their own game Thursday night. They shot better from the perimeter, created turnovers, didn’t allow easy baskets, and played physical basketball. In keeping with Cavalier basketball, they out-rebounded the Spurs, built a decent lead, then nearly blew it.
LeBron was merely ‘average’ on Thursday, actually slightly below his average. He finished with 27 points, 9 rebounds and 7 assists. He also had 2 great blocked shots, and a 3rd that was called goal tending. It probably was, but it was another great hustle play as LeBron swatted a lay-up from behind. That is becoming LeBron’s signature defensive move.
Zydrunas Ilgauskas was a force, scoring 17 on only 11 shots. He took over for the Cavs offensively when LeBron went to the bench in the 2nd. That group of Z, Daniel Gibson, Devin Brown, Andy Varejao and Damon Jones actually turned a 7 point deficit into an 8 point lead. They did it with great defense and team offense. Devin Brown had an outstanding behind the back pass to Damon Jones on a 2 on 1 fast break. That was set up by a steal from Andy Varejao. It was as if the Cavs knew they had to do more with LeBron on the bench, only this time instead of jacking up jump shots, they played as a team. They made the extra pass and fed Z on the low post. It was the best effort I’ve seen from the bench this year. Continue reading
Filed under Anderson Varejao, basketball, Cavs, Cleveland Cavaliers, Damon Jones, Daniel Gibson, Larry Hughes, LeBron James, NBA, San Antonio Spurs, Sports, Zydrunas Ilgauskas
LeBron James waited…almost too long…to take over this one.
LeBron James led the Cavs in scoring, rebounding, assists, steals, and blocked shots. Yet, without a few of his teammates, the Cavs wouldn’t have pulled this one out. Andy Varejao came up big tonight, despite playing with a bruised knee and an Achilles sprain. Varejao grabbed 18 boards and scored 16 points in his 41 minutes. It was Andy that willed the Cavs back into the game in the second quarter when LeBron took a seat.
The Bobcats, and specifically Jason Richardson opened the game scorching hot. The Cavs managed to hang with Charlotte, and eventually opened up an 8 point lead in the second, as Richardson went cold. The Cavs finished the first half up 58-51. But, as has been the trend for the Cavs, they started the third quarter cold, and relinquished the lead. James, who had 13 points at the half, didn’t score at all in the 3rd frame. Continue reading
Hopefully that will be the headline on the season as well.
The Cavs made Jamario Moon and his Raptor teammates look like the Eastern Conference All-Star team for the first 32 minutes of Sunday’s game. Then LeBron and company decided they wanted to win the game. They did, 93-90. They won despite waiting until 4 minutes left in the game to grab their first lead. (Much to the delight of Cavs color man Austin Carr, who had been insisting for 5 minutes that Cavs couldn’t win on the road unless they managed to get the lead. Seriously, do we not have any former players that sound half intelligent?)
LeBron brought out the Superman cape apparently because he was frustrated with some female hecklers in the front row. He proceeded to score 24 points in the fourth quarter alone. Not surprisingly the Raptors focused their full attention on James, and LeBron was happy to dish to wide open teammates who actually knocked down jumpers to seal the win.
2 of those big shots came from Damon Jones, who played with intensity today. He drained consecutive 3 pointers to draw the Cavs to within 2 when James and Daniel Gibson sealed the win. Devin Brown and Andy Varejao helped with hustle and defense. The NBA is funny though, what passes as good defense when shots don’t fall, gets ridiculed when they do.
Whatever you want to call it; luck, defense, hustle, desire…the Cavs got it done Sunday. They must continue to improve, and find the right pieces to the puzzle night in and night out. What is clear is this- don’t tick LeBron off.
LeBron busts through the line of scrimmage…Touchdown! Well, what do you see in this picture?
Someone might want to remind the Hawks what sport they play. I can’t say that I blame them however. At about the 9 minute mark in the 3rd quarter LeBron decided he’d had enough and the wasn’t going to lose this game. And he didn’t. To that point LeBron had only 5 points in the game, he would add 31 more, including 19 of the Cavs last 22 points. Said Daniel Gibson, “He got into one of those zones we all love, It was fun to watch.” Yeah, I’d buy that. Sort of reminded me of another such stretch, back in the playoffs against Detroit.
The Cavs as a team shot much better against Atlanta, including 6 of 10 from Larry Hughes. Zydrunas had a rough night, grabbing 5 boards and scoring only 3 points. His shot just wasn’t there, and they defended the pick-and-pop well, which is Z’s bread and butter. Drew Gooden had himself a good ballgame, and Varejao added 11 boards and 8 points from the bench. I was impressed with the balance of playing time the three big men got last night, and since Drew had the hot hand of the three, he was rewarded with more minutes. What a concept! Continue reading
Filed under basketball, Cavs, Cleveland Cavaliers, Damon Jones, Daniel Gibson, Drew Gooden, Larry Hughes, LeBron James, Mike Brown, NBA, Sports, Zydrunas Ilgauskas
The Cavs hit some outside shots to give LeBron a little help in beating the Raptors.
Don’t get me wrong, they still needed a triple double effort from LeBron. And that’s exactly what he gave them. James finished with 37 points, 12 rebounds and 12 assists. It was just enough to edge Toronto 111-108.
Chris Bosh scored at will for the Raptors, collecting a career high 41 points. He had help from a former Cav, Jason Kapono who had 17 points, including a three pointer near the end of the game that kept the outcome in question until the very end. Continue reading
This by the way is not a foul in the NBA.
The refs determined that this was a jump ball. Really? Jump ball? I can see that Turkoglu is in fact touching the ball. I’ll give you that. Seems to me that the guy draping himself over LeBron with a knee in his back might have actually fouled him while trying to tie up the ball. But hey, what do I know right?
I do know that LeBron had his third triple double of the season. 39 points, 13 rebounds and 14 assists. He hit three monster free throws to send the game into overtime. I know that he made a tremendous jump shot to get the lead in the OT period.
I also know that for a change someone else had a hot hand. Daniel Gibson didn’t miss all night. 5-5 for the evening, including 4-4 from deep. I only know that from the box score. See I didn’t get to start watching the game until a few minutes were left in regulation. So I actually didn’t see Gibson shoot the ball. I saw Sasha miss 3 shots. But never laid eyes on Gibson with the ball in his hands. Now, I’m not a coach in the NBA, but it would seem to me that perhaps a play should have been designed to get Gibson the ball, seeing as how he hadn’t missed a shot all night. Continue reading
Filed under basketball, Cavs, Cleveland Cavaliers, Damon Jones, Daniel Gibson, Larry Hughes, LeBron James, NBA, Sasha Pavlovic, Sports, Zydrunas Ilgauskas
Here’s Pat’s take on the Cavs’ West coast trip.
So far on their West coast trip the Wine and Gold are 1-2. In their lone win they rode the back of non other than LeBron James against the Golden State Warriors. He has played great out west this week, but as Rick has asked, “Where has the help been?”
The game that continues to get under my skin is the game against the Utah Jazz. Find out why after the jump. Continue reading