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
Memphis forward Mike Miller was not even a speed bump for LeBron James.
Last night the FedEx Forum reminded me of the James A. Rhodes Arena in Akron. Just like in high school, LeBron James was driving to the basket at will, defenses helpless to stop him. It was a good thing too, because the Grizzles were shooting the lights out of the place.
First the numbers, the Cavs won 132-124 in OT. His highness scored 51 points, (a season high and the 4th 50+ point game in his career) had 9 assists and 8 boards. Once again LeBron came up huge down the stretch, scoring 25 in the 4th and OT. He finished 18 for 28 including 6 of 12 from triple territory. His help came from Gibson who had 18, Varejao (11), Gooden (12), and Z (14). Continue reading
For maybe the first time this season, the Cavs dominated an opponent from start to finish.
The Cavs turned up the defensive intensity and the result was an easy win against Seattle 95-79. The Cavs outscored the Sonics in each of the first 3 quarters and built a 20 point lead in the early part of the 4th quarter. This allowed LeBron and the starting group to get a little more rest than usual, as they have to play in Atlanta tonight.
Daniel Gibson shot the lights out, connecting on 5 of 8 three pointers, and all the Cavs seemed to get in on the defensive lock down. Larry Hughes made a nice steal leading to a thunderous LeBron dunk late in the third quarter. Andy was his usual hustling self, and even made a few baskets just outside the paint (if I hadn’t seen it myself I might not believe it.) Z never really got going, but with the pace was quicker with the steals and defensive pressure. The Cavs finished with 15 steals. Now honestly, the Sonics are to blame for a good portion of those. They did not handle the ball well. (There’s an understatement.)
Kevin Durant started slow, but showed promise, scoring 24 before leaving the game with a ankle sprain. He came down on Sasha’s foot I believe and that ended his night. He didn’t do anything extraordinary to impress me during the game, just played solid and knocked down some shots. Continue reading
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
I’m sure you read the ESPN articles leading up to last night’s game comparing Kobe with LeBron. Last night when the chalk cleared, LeBron was standing on top.
The Cavs, lead by LeBron James, rebounded from a terrible game against the Knicks on Wednesday with a gritty effort against the Lakers. It was a excellent defensive fourth quarter effort that earned the Cavs a 94-90 win. The Lakers scored a mere 12 points in the final period, and Bryant had only 2 of those. In contrast, LeBron scored 6 of his 33 points in the 4th, and grabbed 3 boards in the final frame.
If you ask LeBron who the best player in the league is, there is little question what his response would be-
“Kobe Bryant is definitely the most explosive player we have in this league,” James said. “There’s no one like him.”
High praise, but if it’s all the same to you LeBron, we’ll take you in this debate. Let’s go to the video… Continue reading
Filed under Anderson Varejao, basketball, Cavs, Cleveland Cavaliers, Daniel Gibson, Drew Gooden, Larry Hughes, LeBron James, NBA, Sports, Zydrunas Ilgauskas
It took him 50 minutes of playing time, but Lebron James finally put the game out of reach when his second free throw found the bottom of the net with :14 seconds to go. James finished with 31 points, but had a rough shooting night, hitting only 10 of 25 shots, and none of his 5 three point attempts. Fortunately for the Cavs, he was money from the free throw line, hitting 11 of 13. Zydrunas Illgauskas had another big game for the Cavs, scoring 24 points and grabbing 11 boards, but perhaps his biggest play of the game was a block of Andrew Bogut that would have tied the game with :15 seconds to go. After the jump, the worst thing I’ve written all year- Continue reading
When we signed Larry Hughes back in ’05, this was the kind of performance we hoped to see.
This one was over before it started. Actually, it wasn’t over until the Cavs’ trio of LeBron James, Larry Hughes and Andy Varejao took the court with 6 minutes to go in the first quarter. Then the rout was on. The Cavs slashed, dished and shot their way to a 118-105 victory, that really wasn’t that close. Larry Hughes led the way with 36 points on 13 of 17 shooting, including 5 of 8 from deep. He played only 26 minutes, but was very effective in his time on the floor. Hughes was free to roam the court playing a true shooting guard in his minutes tonight. According to coach Mike Brown, that is the role Hughes will play from now on. In fact, Brown said he intends to bring Hughes off the bench. Certainly he has the ability to energize the team and provide a boost coming off the bench. Now, let’s not get crazy and think that he will shoot 76% and score 30+ every night, but if he can provide that 15-20 point lift, especially when LeBron is resting this team is dangerous.
Filed under Anderson Varejao, basketball, Cavs, Cleveland Cavaliers, Daniel Gibson, Danny Ferry, Drew Gooden, Larry Hughes, LeBron James, NBA, Sasha Pavlovic, Shannon Brown, Sports, Zydrunas Ilgauskas