Friday, March 23, 2007

Cleveland 90, New York 68

Good bounce back win. After the frustrating losses to Charlotte and Dallas, it was nice having a simple, no frills win against a lesser opponent.

How come the Knicks have given them problems in the past? Is it simply Jamal Crawford (a notorious Cav-killer) being out? The Cavs were in control for the entire game and the outcome was never close to being in doubt. Honestly, it's about time that they beat the Knicks this badly, I've been getting sick of the losses to Isiah's club.

James was close to a triple double (at least according to Austin Carr). 21 points, 10 assists and 3 boards. James was a steady presence all night long, distributing the ball and choosing his spots to attack. I don't want to say he was toying with the Knicks, but whenever they made any sort of run, he just took control and put and end to it. James logged 38 minutes, which is good.... for a close game. In a blow it should be much less.

Z played well. Z got the ball early (as always) and throughout the game (not as much) and responded well. He had 16 points on 7-13 shooting but only had 2 free throws and just 4 boards. Z had to guard Eddie Curry most of the night and well, didn't exactly do a bang up job. To be fair, no one else did either (but he was probably the best).

Pavlovic looked good. Only 7 shots in 27 minutes (I'd like to see him get more of both). He made his two free throws and he was all over the place on defense. James is got 38 minutes and Hughes is got 39, Pavlovic should've gotten more than 30.

Larry played better. Still not 'good' but 6-14 isn't terrible. Of his 16 points, 12 came from beyond the arc and 0 came from the foul line (missed 'em both). He still misses too many passes (either he doesn't see them right away or he's looking for his own shot too much). He also had 5 points and 2 assists- not awful, but not the numbers he was putting up during the streak either.
What a team. The Knicks had 27 field goals and 20 turnovers. Nice.

3 pointers good. Free throws not. The Cavs shot 52% from beyond the arc and 61% from the line. The first number won't happen every night and unfortunately the second number seems to. At one point, the Cavs missed 6 freebies in a row (Hughes missed 2, James 1 and Varejao 3). Not good.

Where's the rookies? Gibson got garbage time minutes and Brown didn't play (did he dress? David Wesley did). Gibson missed the two shots he took (at this point he needs to make anything in a game situation just to get back into things). Look, I know we're into the crunch time of the season, but that is no excuse to seeing a backcourt of Ira Newble and Eric Snow. I had enough of this in the 04-05 season, I don't need to see it now, especially when there are viable options on the bench.

and finally...

Denver on Sunday. This recap is probably shorter than usual, but truthfully, there wasn't much to this game (plus, I've written enough on this game already). The Cavs basically just handled their business (like I've wanted them to do against bad teams all season) and beat the Knicks soundly. They get to face AI and Melo this Sunday on ESPN, which probably means that they'll put forth a terrible game in front of the national audience. I'm already excited.


Graham said...

I hate to complain after a 22 pt. win, but screw it, I'm going to because you touched on two points that pissed me off and they both deal with a problem the Cavs are going to deal with in the playoffs, Mike Brown.

First, why is LeBron playing that much in this game when it obvious the Knicks were not going to come back, and didn't really even care to try. Inexcusable.

Secondly, they've got to get Gibson back to old form because it'll be huge come playoff time if he is in sync. Newble or Wesley shouldn't play at all, ever...and I fear they are playing because they are vets who plays defense, sort of.

Brown has done a respectable job, especially with the defense. But, I can't help but wonder if the Cavs success has more to do with LeBron's growth as a player over the last two year's. He was absolutely forced to play Gibson and Sasha due to injuries so it wasn't like he thought of that by himself. His in-game strategies also leave something to be desired.

Ben said...

I totally agree, there is no reason why LeBron should play 38 minutes in a blow out win against the Knicks.

Having Gibson (and his shot) at full strength will be huge for the stretch run and playoffs; the guy hits basically 50% of his 3s when he's healthy, I'd much rather have him spotting him than Hughes and Newble.

Speaking of Newble, it's time for this infatuation to end. He had a couple good games, but he shouldn't be getting major minutes at this point of the season.

I don't necessarily disagree with the way Brown taught/brought in Gibson and Pavlovic- earn the minutes through defense. But you're right, if Hughes hadn't gotten hurt (and if the offense wasn't gawd awful), lord knows when we've would've seen the young kids.

stopmikelupica said...

Why has Cleveland had problems in the past with the NYK? Not Jamal Crawford; it's Quentin Richardson. He's the one who locks up LeBron routinely (seriously, he does, you should know that) with his surprisingly good defense, and even more odd, he tends to outscore LeBron in their head to head games. He was out yesterday, hence an unusually easy victory against the Knicks.

Ben said...

It's Richardson on defense, but Crawford has destroyed the Cavs on the offensive end. He's abused any and all Cavalier players that have guarded him and hit some crazy shots.