Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Cleveland 94, Memphis 79

No West, no problem. With West sitting out with a sore wrist ("just a precaution"), Tarence Kinsey started and the Cavs didn't miss a beat (though for some reason they kept throwing TK lobs). This was simply a great basketball team picking on a young one. The Cavs had no trouble dispatching the Grizzlies. The ball movement was fantastic (13 assists on 15 baskets in the first half- when the game mattered), the defensive rotation was top notch (the Cavs had 9 team blocks) and the bench stepped up (22 points in the first half).

LeBron was barely even needed. The King had 15 points, 8 assists and 5 boards in just 30 minutes. This is exactly the type of game you want before a tough 4-in-5 stretch. LeBron's defense was great (Rudy Gay was 6-14) and his offense was efficient (his jump stop has been freaking fantastic lately- maybe that crab-dribble nonsense woke him up). Not only did LeBron have a short night, both Z and Ben Wallace didn't even hit the 20 minute mark.

Daniel Gibson led everyone in scoring. Boobie had 19 points off the bench and for the most part, looked pretty good. Gibson was 3-7 from downtown and 8-14 overall. He needs to have more of these type games if he wants to be in the playoff rotation. The Cavs could really use his shooting but they can't afford to have him trying to beat his man off the dribble- that's not his game (and his defense is subpar).

J.J. Hickson had a real nice ballgame. After barely playing against the Pistons, Hickson put up a very nice first half (6 and 6) and finished just one board shy of a double-double with 10 and 9. Hickson ran the floor well, defended well (got himself a block), hit the face up J and even made all four of his freebies. J.J. bounced back well after not getting any non-garbage time minutes against Detroit; he's not gonna get many playoff minutes but he should be able to step in for a couple minutes if they have foul trouble.

Hey look, Mike Conley. The former Buckeye had 12 points and 7 assists and I thought he ran Memphis's offense pretty well. Conley also surprised me by hitting 3 of 5 from downtown. I know he's had some rough stretches, but I really liked him at OSU (totally unbiased!) and I was pleased by his feistyness against the Cavs.

Mo was solid and Z was OK. Z's shot wasn't falling (just 2-8 FG) but he did finished with 9 points and 8 boards. Marc Gasol did as well as anyone I've seen in keeping Z from his comfort zones. Meanwhile, Williams knocked down 6-12 FG for 18 points (3-5 from downtown) and dished out 6 assists. Williams led all Cavaliers in minutes with 34 minutes (again, as good of a game as you could've hoped for right before a 4-in-5).

and finally...

On the road again. Thursday night in Houston, Friday night in San Antonio, Sunday night in Atlanta and Monday in Miami. That's a rough stretch. I'll be honest, I may not get to catch all of it. I'm going down to Columbus (college stomping grounds) this weekend for my birthday (which is my excuse for why this recap was so late in the day), there should be some tivo invovled, so hopefully I'll catch most of the games.

5 comments:

Erik said...

I'm not pointing fingers at you, Ben, but I don't get why everyone is treating this road trip like it's the apocalypse.

Every East team does the Texas two-step. Some do the Texas three-step. This isn't anything new.

And, yes, Atlanta and Miami are both tough roadies. This is far from an ideal road trip, but it's four games and none of them take place west of the Central time zone. By Monday, it will be over.

It's tough, no doubt, but everyone is writing and talking about this like it could make or break the Cavs season. It's not a molehill, but it's not like scaling Everest, either.

Ben said...

No, I know. But it's still a 4-in-5, all on the road, against quality opponents (haven't they already lost in ATL and MIA?).

This isn't make or break (especially w/Boston missing KG and losing to the Clips), but I think you've got to be thinkin at least 2-2 on the trip, if not more.

Anonymous said...

So you have something against the Spurs now? or are you just to busy to write(i assume you were just sitting at home), you may as well just forget about reminding me of that ass kicking... WTF geez....

Timmy didnt play go easy on us....

Ben said...

Seriously? Something against the Spurs? Dude, I was out of town all weekend. I got back late last night.

Look man, feel free to leave a name next time you stop by. At least then I know when "Frank123" says, it's the same jackass giving me shit.

Yes, when I miss a Friday night game, that probably means I'm just sitting at home. Makes sense.

Anonymous said...

.....................nice ^_^v..............