Thursday, January 04, 2007

Cleveland 107, Boston 104

WTF? A win on the second night of a back-to-back? On the road? This is something a guy could get used to.

A win is a win is a win is a win is a win. I'm pretty sure that Cavs fans were the most pissed off a fan base has ever been after watching their team sweep the season series from the Spurs. But hey, last time they beat the Spurs, they promptly lost to a Charlotte team they had no business losing to. And I know it's 'just' the Celtics. And I know they were without Paul Pierce. But I don't care. Earlier this year the Cavs lost to teams that were missing key players, it's nice that they took care of business. Just win baby.

Z brought his A game (har!). The big fella poured in a season high 27 points, added 11 boards and played stellar defense all night (only 1 block in the box score, but he altered a fair amount of shots). The best sign (to me at least) is that the after a strong first quarter (11 pts) the Cavs actually kept feeding the big guy. A lot of times he'll have a 8-12 point first half and then get 2 shots the rest of game. Not so against Boston. Z kept getting his ass down on the low block and the Cavs kept rewarding him with touches.

Eric Snow angers me. Here's how the Cavaliers started the game:
11:34 - Eric Snow misses an 8 footer
11:02 - Larry Hughes misses a jumper
10:30 - Z travels
10:00 - Eric Snow travels
9:25 - Z makes a hook
8:55 - Z misses a jumper
8:30 - Larry Hughes throws the ball away
8:03 - Snow misses a 19 footer
7:33 - Snow travels
6:58 - Gooden misses a jumper
6:35 - LeBron misses a jumper (offensive rebound)
6:20 - LeBron makes a jumper
5:56 -Eric Snow throws the ball away
At this point the quarter is half way done, and Eric Snow has missed two shots and had three turnovers. According to the box score, those were his only turnovers all game. Let me tell you right now, that is a lie. The box score guy is a liar.

The previous paragraph and the stats contained can also used indictment on the offense. James doesn't get his first shot until over 5 minutes have gone by. Plus, that shot is a jumper. There's no reason, ever, that over a 6 minute span, Snow should have more turnovers than James has shot attempts. Snow finished the game 4-11, while Larry Hughes finished 4-10. Awesome.

The refs stunk. They were just bad all around; the Cavs got some calls and the Celtics got some calls. Both teams got jobbed at different points. Eric Snow drew a charge in the first quarter that had no business being called a charge. And Z got called for a block against Szczerbiak which confused myself and the Cavaliers announcers. Speaking of...

Has Austin Carr always said "Brick City" when someone misses badly? Or is this a new thing? Either way, I always think of that SNL sketch Bear City.

The Cavs could've won this game a number of times. The Cavs were actually down most of the game until midway through the third period when they finally seemed to find some life. They ended the third with a LeBron James 83 footer which I'm sure you'll see on Sports Center all week. They proceed to start the fourth with a Damon Jones 3 ball and an Anderson Varejao foul shot and they now have a nice 10 point cushion. They end up leading 89-78 around the 11 minute mark off another Jones 3 pointer. They lose that lead. Boston eventually gets the score down to 95-94 but the Cavs push it back up to 101-94 with less than 3 minutes to go. They still had 6 point lead with 2:18. Don't get me wrong, I like the win, but this game shouldn't have been just a 3 point win.

You know, maybe Doc Rivers isn't a good coach. I think I've heard Bill Simmons mention this a time or two and after watching the two games versus the Cavs well, I'm inclined to agree. The last time they played, the Cavs came back from 25 point down. After this game I'm reading the box and I see that Gerald Green only played 19 minutes. Just 19! He had 21 points and was killing the Cavaliers. Why he only got 19 minutes is beyond me.

What's with the eight man rotation? And calling it a eight man rotation is being generous, because Boobie only played 3 minutes. Z got more minutes than usual because of both Marshall injury and Z's good play. But on the second night of a back-to-back, in the midst of a four-in-five, playing the freaking Celtics, without Paul Pierce you'd figure a few of the bench guys would get some minutes (if for no other reason than to rest the starters for a bit). But no.

LeBron dominated AND took good shots. LeBron went to the post and went to the rim, plus when he did take jumpers, for the most part, he was within the 15 foot range. He finished with a ridonkulous line of 32 points, 6 rebounds, 4 assists, 3 steals and a block. He was also 8-10 from the foul line, which is nice to see.

and finally

They've won two of the four-in-five already... That's good, that's nice. I like it (a lot actually). But now they have a chance to win 3 of 4 games (or even 4 of 4? Dare I dream?) and they need to seize this opportunity. They already got 2 wins and winning the 3rd of 4 would really give them a boost going into the West coast road trip.

4 comments:

Erik said...

Here's what I got out of last night's telecast:

"You know, Al Jefferson lost a lot of weight. It's really helped his game. He's really lost weight. He's down to his ninth grade weight. He's a lot more mobile now that he's lost weight. That weight loss sure has helped him. I wonder if he's on Nutrisystem. The weight he lost has really helped him. Man, with that weight loss, he can really get up and down the floor faster. He can jump higher, too. He needs to make a weight loss tape. Man, he's lost weight and he just looks great."

Was there anything else to get out of last night's telecast?

Ben said...

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BW said...

Out of curiosity, did any one see that attempted alloy-oop that Z threw to (snow??) Jones had a wide open 3 to his right and Z just chucked it off the back board from 20 feet. I fell out of my seat laughing. That and when snow threw a pass to lebron on the wing that went off of the back of a celtic. I mean, how can you make a pass that inaccurate??? Awful. Hughes, wow, how about that shot on the 2nd to last possession. Talk about a Philip Seymour Hoffman `Raindance`. Absolutely atrocious. I could think of other terrible things about this game, but at least we got the W. Hopefully we got some momentum going into this west coast trip.

Ben said...

Z's alley oop was to LeBron. It was fantastic.

That second to last play... Brown has to draw something up or call a timeout. That was a terrible shot.

Snow has played some of the best defense I've seen from a point guard recently. But his offense has been just as bad.

Gibson needs more than 3 minutes.