Well would you look at that, a 7' 3"center. The Cavs went to Z early and often and he responded with 18 points in the first half. He finished with 22 points and 10 boards and personally, of all the Cavalier big men, I thought Z did the best job on Dwight Howard.
Darko Milicic goes for the pump fake. Every time.
Big news of the game: Mike Brown switched up his substitution pattern. For the first time in a long time, Brown didn't bring Damon Jones and Donyell Marshall in at the same time in the first period. He brought in Jones and Anderson Varejao. I know it's not a huge deal, but I liked the variety.
And the fourth quarter lineup. For the majority of the fourth quarter Brown had a five of LeBron, Larry Hughes, Z, Boobie Gibson and either Drew Gooden or Varejao. Both Snow and Marshall were on the bench. Needless to say, I was thrilled.
Gooden showed up. He finished with 14 and 12, with the bulk of those coming in the second half (which is news because Drew had a nondescript first half). It was also nice to see Gooden out there during crunch time. You rarely see Gooden in late minutes of the fourth quarter.
But let's not get carried away. Now, it was nice that Brown mixed the lineups up and that the Cavs actually fed the post. But LeBron won this game. He scored 19 points in the fourth quarter and I would love to tell you that they came in a variety of ways and within the motion offense. But they weren't. He hit an array of jumpers; off of picks, late in the shot clock, early in the shot clock, when he was open, with a hand or two in his face- it didn't matter.
and finally (I know it was short, lo siento)
Merry Christmas. Have a happy one and I want to thank everyone for reading these the past year or so.