So the Cavs lost to both the Pistons and the Heat? Fantastic. If the Miami game was a brutal wake up call on the differences between LeBron and DWade then the Detroit game showed the differences between a team like the Pistons and the Cavaliers. Good stretch of games...
LeBron played alright. Not great, but not awful. Average. Early on you could tell LeBron was focussed because he took to the ball to the rim and posted up. The Cavs always do stuff like that early on; get to the rim, get Z involved, post up LeBron, etc. But once the second half comes around, they either forget (again, what does Brown say during breaks and timeouts?) or, as the Pistons did, the other team adjusts and the Cavs have no answer.
Free throws? Can free throws be a problem if you don't take them? The Cavs were 6-9. Six outta nine. LeBron alone should get 9 free throws (he was just 2-3) let alone the team. But hey, at least they (and LeBron) shot better than 50%.... right? Little victories?
And the bench. Out of those 9 free throws a whopping 0 (zero!) came from the bench. The only guy on the bench that showed up was Sasha Pavlovic with 12 points and surprisingly solid defense. I know that Sasha is in the middle of one of his good swings right now, but I almost prefer him over Hughes at this point. Speaking of...
Hughes wasn't awful! Are we at the point where we're pointing out good games as opposed to bad ones? Instead of lamenting a bad game like, "man, Hughes was off tonight, only 4 points" Cavs fans are saying, "hey, Hughes wasn't that bad tonight he was 7-13 for 14 points, 2 rebounds and 3 assists." Of course, he shot 0 free throws. Zero free throws. From your shooting guard. Fantastic.
Gibson was a non-factor. 2 points and 0 assists. He had a rough time going against Hamilton and Billups (not that Snow or Jones did much either). It was pretty obvious that Gibson was a rookie out there. Of course that's no excuse for the rest of the Cavs (nine free throws!? Come on!).
78 points isn't good, no matter who the point guard is. Sure, at this point I prefer Gibson over Snow, but I'm not sure it's a good thing that he's starting this year. The Cavs really shouldn't be needing to start a second round rookie. I will say I like the offense better when Gibson is out there. Also, around the time I get sick of Snow being out there, Brown pulls him. I like this. I find myself hating Snow less due to his reduced minutes.
Credit where credit is due. I'm not a big Bill Livingston fan but I like this quip:
People lay on the court, dressed as portions of hamburgers, while two fans raced each other to fetch fake toppings and condiments during a third-quarter timeout at The Q Sunday. A friend, looking on in puzzlement, asked, "When did the Cavaliers become Single-A baseball?"Heh. I will say that the "Deee-troit turn-ov-er" line that the Cavs announcer dropped was completely lame. First of all, the Pistons were winning pretty handily at the time. If you wanna drop something like that, make sure your team is winning. Second, I hate that god damned "Deee-troit Bask-et-ball!!" crap and, while I know that you're mocking it, it's still annoying. It sounds like a tired attempt to be hip. It failed.
Dear Dan Gilbert: focus on getting a point guard and hiring Mark Price to teach free throws THEN worry about mocking the Pistons announcer. Also, Fred McLeod sucks.
What's with the lack of Varejao? Anderson was one of the key players in Cavs second round series against Detroit, so I'm wondering why he only got 13 minutes (only 17 vs Miami and 20 vs Charlotte). Are the Cavs showcasing Gooden? Or just giving Marshall more PT? Either way, I'd have liked to see Varejao out there a bit more.
Detroit is good. That's really the lesson to take away from this game. The Pistons are a better team. Their scoring is balanced, they share the ball and, I don't know if you're heard or not, but they communicate on defense. I still hate them.
Tough schedule coming up. Sure, they're at home, but the Cavs are facing the Clippers on Wednesday, Miami again on Friday and next Sunday they're playing Kobe and the Lakers on ABC. Friday's game is also on national television, so it'd be nice to beat Kobe and Shaq... I don't want to say that these are 'must wins' but they've lost to the Suns (twice), the Heat and the Pistons on national TV recently. It'd be nice to beat a good team in front of a national audience.