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Find out the scoop on the CAVS from award-winning sports writer Bob Finnan.

Saturday, November 28, 2009

Cavs vs. Mavericks, Game 17

CAVS (12-5) 111, DALLAS MAVERICKS (12-5) 95
Quicken Loans Arena
Saturday, 7:30 p.m.

WHAT HAPPENED: The Mavs had a 5-game winning streak on the road snapped on Saturday. They came into the game with the league's best road record at 7-2.

The Cavs jumped all over them on the offensive end. They dished out a season-high 33 assists and shot 58 percent from the field (45 of 78) and 69 percent from behind the arc (9 of 13).

Guard Mo Williams was fantastic shooting the ball. He made 7 of 7 from behind the arc. Since 2008-09, the Cavs are 20-0 at home when Williams scores 20 or more points. He had 25 against the Mavs.

WHERE'S Z?: I've got to say I don't agree with the benching of center Zydrunas Ilgauskas. It was supposed to be his big night. Coach Mike Brown was a party-pooper.

Surely, Brown could have found a few meaningful minutes for Ilgauskas. He found time for Shaquille O'Neal and he had no one to guard, either, on the Dallas roster.

NOTES: The Cavs' 68 points in the first half were a season high.
-- Their 23 assists in the first half tied a Quicken Loans Arena record.
-- F LeBron James' 8 assists in the first quarter were the most since G Eric Snow had 8 against the New York Knicks on Jan. 8, 2005.
-- The Cavs have held four of their last five opponents under 17 points in the fourth quarter. In the last five games, the Cavs are allowing just 14.6 points in the final period.
-- The Cavs have scored at least 32 points in the first quarter in 10 of their last 12 games.
-- The Mavs' 24 rebounds matched their all-time low for a game.

F LeBron James
F J.J. Hickson
C Shaquille O'Neal
G Mo Williams
G Anthony Parker
F Dirk Nowitzki
F Shawn Marion
C Drew Gooden
G Jason Kidd
G Rodrique Beaudois
Cavs - F Leon Powe, G Coby Karl, G Danny Green
Mavs - C Erick Dampier, G-F Josh Howard, F Shawne Williams
Officials - Joe Crawford, Scott Wall, Zach Zarba

Friday, November 27, 2009

Cavs vs. Bobcats, Game 16

CHARLOTTE BOBCATS (6-9) 94, CAVS (11-5) 87
at Time Warner Cable Arena
Nov. 27, 2009

WHAT HAPPENED: Have the Cavs ever defended the pick-and-roll before? The Bobcats exploited them repeatedly in the high pick-and-roll.

Bobcats coach Larry Brown found a weakness in the Cavs' defense and took advantage of it. Charlotte swingman Stephen Jackson posted up Cavs guard Anthony Parker over and over.

It forced the Cavs to double team the 6-8 Jackson, which really left a gaping hole in their defense. He would swing the ball around the perimeter and one of the Bobcats would get a wide-open 3.

WELL, SHAQ'S BACK: Center Shaquille O'Neal had missed six games with a strained left rotator cuff. He hadn't played since Nov. 12 in Miami, and it looked like it.

The Cavs were so determined to get him going, their entire offense looked dysfunctional. Forward LeBron James had 25 points, but one hardly knew he was on the court at times. That should never happen.

NOTES: You think the luster has worn off the J.J. Hickson experiment. He had five points and one rebound on Friday.

-- I'm not a big fan of the plus-minus numbers. But guard Anthony Parker's plus/minus was -16. He missed all four of his field goals, three from behind the arc. He also was exploited on the defensive end.

-- Don't you wish GM Danny Ferry tried just a little harder to get Jackson from Golden State? My gosh he would have looked great at shooting guard on this team.

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Cavs vs. Pistons, Game 15

CAVS (11-4) 98, DETROIT PISTONS (5-10) 88
at The Palace of Auburn Hills, Mich.

WHAT HAPPENED: Things got a bit hot under the collar for the Cavs in the fourth quarter, but F LeBron James closed it out.

G Mo Williams didn't shoot it extremely well (5 of 13), but he finished with 14 points and eight assists.

James and Williams combined for 15 assists. The Pistons had just 12 as a team.

Of course, when your starting PG Rodney Stuckey didn't have an assist, that's not a good thing. He looks for his own shot too much to be a pure PG.

STRUGGLES AHEAD?: The Pistons might really stumble in the next week or so. G Ben Gordon sprained his ankle in the game and will likely miss some time. He came into the game averaging 20 points a game.

NOTES: The Cavs allowed 16 offensive rebounds, 7 in the fourth quarter.

-- They did hold the Pistons to 39 percent shooting from the floor.

-- G Will Bynum was 1 of 13 from the field on Wednesday.

-- Former Cavs F/C Ben Wallace is now the starting center for the Pistons.

He said he hung out in Cleveland for most of the summer working on his back. He quit lifting heavy weights and it helped.

Wallace said before he signed with the Pistons, his back felt better than it has in four years.

TERRIBLE ORDEAL: The cable that unlatched my trunk broke when I got to The Palace of Auburn Hills. The trunk contained my computer bag, as well as George Thomas' from the Akron Beacon Journal.

AAA wouldn't come out. Two locksmiths I called didn't answer. Finally, a guy from the Palace lent me a hammer and a screwdriver. I pounded the hell out of my trunk lock to no avail.

Finally, I tried going in through the backseat and got in. Nice start to the night for me.

OFFICIALS: Dan Crawford, Kevin Fehr, Leon Wood

INACTIVES: Cavs - Shaquille O'Neal, Leon Powe, Coby Karl
Pistons - Tayshaun Prince, Rip Hamilton

Saturday, November 21, 2009

Cavs vs. Sixers, Game 14

CAVS (10-4) 97, PHILADELPHIA 76ERS (5-8) 91
Quicken Loans Arena, Nov. 21, 2009

WHAT HAPPENED: The Cavs stiffened on the defensive end in the fourth quarter.

When they flip that switch, they are pretty darn good on defense. F Jamario Moon is playing very well for the Cavs. He's 6-8 and is able to guard just about anyone on the floor.

He put the clamps on Sixers G Andre Iguodala, who made just 6 of 22 shots.

-- The Cavs have won 10 of their last 12 games.
-- C Zydrunas Ilgauskas might have snapped out of his shooting slump. He made just 1 of 12 shots against the Pacers, but was 6 of 10 on Saturday.
-- F LeBron James has scored at least 31 points in seven of his last eight games.
-- The Cavs lead the league in first-quarter scoring at 30.6 per game.

F LeBron James
F J.J. Hickson
C Zydrunas Ilgauskas
G Mo Williams
G Anthony Parker
F Thaddeus Young
F Elton Brand
C Samuel Dalembert
G Andre Iguodala
G Louis Williams
Cavs - Shaquille O'Neal, Leon Powe, Coby Karl
Sixers - Marreese Speights; Jason Kapono won't play
Officials - Scott Foster, Tony Brown, David Guthrie

Friday, November 20, 2009

Cavs vs. Pacers, Game 13

CAVALIERS (9-4) 105, INDIANA PACERS (5-5) 95
at Canseco Fieldhouse
Nov. 20, 2009, 7 p.m.

WHAT HAPPENED: The Cavs were dreadful defensively for three quarters. Coach Mike Brown started the fourth quarter with Anderson Varejao, Jamario Moon, J.J. Hickson, Mo Williams and Daniel Gibson.

They stopped the Pacers in their tracks.

The Cavs held the Pacers to 22 percent shooting in the fourth quarter (4 of 18). That kind of intensity on the defensive end hadn't been there through the first three quarters.

ANDY'S BACK: F/C Anderson Varejao makes a big difference on this team. That's why they were willing to possibly overpay for his services in free agency last summer.

He missed the previous two games with a bruised hip.

"It’s very painful," Varejao said.

Varejao had 10 points and seven rebounds on Friday against the Pacers.

"Andy’s presence alone was huge for us," Cavs coach Mike Brown said. "I thought he played a terrific game on both ends of the floor."

NOW WE KNOW: Have you been wondering where C Shaquille O'Neal has been? Take a look at this.

He supposedly has a strained shoulder. Sorry, but I don't buy it.

DANNY BOY: Pacers F Danny Granger is a talented player. He's no LeBron James, but he's pretty darn good. He had 19 points, 9 rebounds and 3 blocks.

"He is their guy," Cavs coach Mike Brown said. "He’s shown he is fearless and has unlimited range. You build around a guy in that mold. He does for his team what LeBron does for us."

NOTES: F Jamario Moon might have tweaked his ankle in the fourth quarter of Friday's game.
-- The Cavs outscored the Pacers at the foul line, 27-15.
-- Pacers coach Jim O’Brien was ejected 7 minutes into the game. Assistant Lester Conner took over the coaching duties.
-- James was asked after the game whether he wants the ball in his hands down the stretch. "Son, how long have you been doing this?" James asked. The Associated Press reporter was likely older than the 24-year-old James.
-- Pacers swingman Mike Dunleavy will likely make his season debut within the next week or so. Dunleavy, who has been out with a knee problem, recently started practicing full court. “I'm trying to get everything back all at once: conditioning, timing, strength, etc.,” Dunleavy wrote on his blog on “It's not like I've been out six weeks; it's been nine months since I've played so this takes some time.”
-- Pacers guard Travis Diener underwent surgery on the big toe of his left foot on Friday. He’s expected to be out four to six weeks.

F LeBron James
F J.J. Hickson
C Zydrunas Ilgauskas
G Mo Williams
G Anthony Parker
F Danny Granger
F Dahntay Jones
C Roy Hibbert
G T.J. Ford
G Brandon Rush
Officials - Ron Garretson, Pat Fraher, Haywoode Workman
Cavs - Shaquille O'Neal, Leon Powe, Coby Karl
Pacers - Travis Diener, Jeff Foster, Mike Dunleavy

Thursday, November 19, 2009

MJ not so sure about gesture

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Cavs vs. Wizards, Game 12

WIZARDS (3-7) 108, CAVS (8-4) 91
Nov. 18, 2009
Verizon Center

WHAT HAPPENED: The Wizards snapped a 6-game losing streak during their runaway win over the Cavs.

F Antawn Jamison returned after a nine-game absence and finished with 31 points and 10 rebounds.

The Cavs failed to play with any energy or passion. If one thinks Anderson Varejao isn't missed, think again. He's needed in this lineup.

LOST IN THE SHUFFLE: Cavs G Delonte West is slowly rounding back into form. He had 9 points, 3 blocks and 2 steals in the Cavs' loss on Wednesday.

He's needed back playing at a high level for the Cavs truly to be complete.

TECHNICALLY SPEAKING: James earned a technical in the fourth quarter.

"I didn't agree with the call made by Bennie (Adams)," he said. "I didn't say anything disrespectful to him him. (The technical) was his way to get me to calm down."

Coach Mike Brown also was slapped with a "T."

-- Lakers coach Phil Jackson said he thinks LeBron James will stay in Cleveland.
-- The Wizards showed the Dallas Cowboys' logo when James went to the free-throw line. I was wondering how they knew James liked the Cowboys. Actually, the Redskins play the Cowboys this week and they are hated rivals.
-- Brown said before the game he hates to lose, but it helps sometimes to get smacked in the mouth. It brings the players back to earth.
-- Keep an eye on F LeBron James' left wrist. He had it iced after the game and he was shown on the ESPN telecast holding it after a dunk. It's been bothering him since the preseason.
-- It's good to see G Earl Boykins back in the league. The 5-5 guard from Cleveland had 9 points and 3 assists.

Cavs - Shaquille O'Neal, Leon Powe, Anderson Varejao
Wizards - Javaris Crittenton, Mike James, Fabricio Oberto

Eddie F. Rush, Joe Forte, Bennie Adams

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Cavs vs. Warriors, Game 11

CAVS (8-3) 114, GOLDEN STATE WARRIORS (3-7) 108
Nov. 17, 2009
Quicken Loans Arena

WHAT HAPPENED: It was a dreadful, but close game. The Cavs won their fifth in a row and eighth in the last nine.

The Cavs were playing without C Shaquille O'Neal (shoulder strain) and F-C Anderson Varejao (hip contusion). That completely changed the way they played. Their post-up game went out the window.

It doesn't appear that Shaq will play until the weekend - at the earliest.

It didn't help matters that F Jamario Moon (sprained ankle) was sidelined in the third quarter. He's questionable for the Wizards tonight at the Verizon Center.

NOTES: The Cavs are leading the NBA in first-quarter scoring at 29.4 per game. They fired in 35 against the Warriors on Tuesday.

-- Wally Szczerbiak said he hasn't heard his name being bantered about in the last few days. Since the Cavs still own his "Bird" rights, they can use him in a sign-and-trade, similar to what Dallas did a few years ago with Keith Van Horn. "I'm all for it," Szczerbiak said.

F LeBron James
F J.J. Hickson
C Zydrunas Ilgauskas
G Mo Williams
G Anthony Parker
F Anthony Morrow
F Vladimir Radmanovic
C Mikki Moore
G Monta Ellis
G Stephen Curry
Cavs - Leon Powe, Shaquille O'Neal, Anderson Varejao
Warriors - Speedy Claxton, Devean George, Brandan Wright
Officials - Bill Spooner, Curtis Blair, Derrick Collins

Monday, November 16, 2009

More Jackson chatter

Marc Stein of checks in with the latest scoop on the trade rumors involving Golden State's Stephen Jackson possibly coming to the Cavs.

Jackson wants out of Golden State. His Warriors face the Cavs on Tuesday at Quicken Loans Arena.

Saturday, November 14, 2009

Cavs vs. Jazz, Game 10

Nov. 14, 2009, at 7:30 p.m.
Quicken Loans Arena

WHAT HAPPENED: The Cavs almost blew this game to the short-handed Jazz. Luckily they have LeBron James on their side.

He scored their final eight points and had 21 for the game.

Jazz guard Eric Maynor, a slick rookie from Virginia Commonwealth, was a tough guard for the Cavs. He finished with 24 points. The Cavs had trouble keeping him in front of them.

PRE-GAME: The media stood in the locker room and watched the end of the Ohio State game. James was rooting for his Buckeyes, of course, and complained when one reporter made a joke about them.

NOTES: The Cavs had all five starters score in double figures for the second time this season.
-- During their four-game winning streak, the Cavs have shot 49 percent from the 3-point line (35 of 72).
-- Anthony Parker is fourth in the NBA in 3-point shooting (22 of 37).

F LeBron James
F J.J. Hickson
C Zydrunas Ilgauskas
G Mo Williams
G Anthony Parker
F Carlos Boozer
F Ronnie Brewer
C Mehmet Okur
G Wes Matthews
G Eric Maynor
Cavs - Shaquille O'Neal, Delonte West, Leon Powe
Jazz - C.J. Miles, Matt Harpring
Officials - Bennett Salvatore, Eric Dalen, Pat Fraher

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Cavs vs. Heat, Game 9

CAVS (6-3) 111, at MIAMI HEAT (6-2) 104
Nov. 12, 2009
AmericanAirlines Arena

LeBron James knows dunks.

He said Heat guard Dwyane Wade's monster slam that knocked Anderson Varejao on his rear end in the first half of Thursday's game was one of the best he's ever seen.

"I think it could easily crack the top 10 all-time," he said. "Me being a fan of the game, I know a lot of great dunks: (Michael) Jordan baseline over (Patrick) Ewing, (Scottie) Pippen over Ewing, Tom Chambers over Mark Jackson, myself over (Damon) Jones, Dr. J (Julius Erving)over Michael Cooper. D-Wade could easily break the top 10."

James said he loves Andy, but he's speaking as a fan.

"When I'm old and gray and my grandkids are sitting around and we're watching an NBA game, that play (will still be great). I won't be a teammate of these guys any more."

This could be a turning point in the season. They manhandled Orlando and Miami on back-to-back nights.

"We're starting to click," C Shaquille O'Neal said.

-- The 111 points by the Cavs were a season high.
-- G Danny Green made his NBA debut in the first quarter.
-- The biggest news of the night came after the game. James said he was changing his number to 6 after this year. It's his way of making sure Jordan gets his due. He let the cat out of the bag talking to TNT's Craig Sager after the nationally televised game.

F LeBron James
F J.J. Hickson
C Shaquille O'Neal
G Mo Williams
G Anthony Parker
F Quentin Richardson
F Michael Beasley
C Jermaine O'Neal
G Dwyane Wade
G Mario Chalmers
Officials - Greg Willard, Sean Corbin, Sean Wright
Cavs - Delonte West, Jawad Williams, Leon Powe
Heat - Yakhouba Diawara, Shavlik Randolph, Chris Quinn

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Cavs vs. Magic, Game 8

DELONTE OUT - The Cavs decided to put guard Delonte West on the inactive list. A source said he missed the team flight to Orlando, but it was excused by the team.

That wasn't the reason he was inactive, however. It's not known what occurred.

He spoke to AOL Fanhouse before the game, but the quotes didn't make much sense.

SHAQ QUESTIONED - Cavs center Shaquille O'Neal's manhood was questioned in a story by Tim Povtak in AOL Fanhouse. He predicted Magic center Dwight Howard would make mince meat out of Shaq. That was a little harsh, wasn't it?

Shaq played Howard to a draw, in my opinion. Shaq had 10 points, four rebounds and two blocks. Howard had 11 points, seven rebounds and one block.

Afterward, Magic coach Stan Van Gundy criticized Howard's recent play.

A.I. ANYONE? - There's an interesting column in the Washington Post by Michael Wilbon today that suggests that maybe Allen Iverson is the answer for the Cavs.

Believe me, that's the last guy you'd want on this team.

STATE OF TEXAS - Gibson had his barber carve the state of Texas in the side of his head. Maybe he should pick a smaller state, like Rhode Island.

Cavs (5-3) 102, Magic (6-3) 93
Nov. 11, 2009, at Amway Arena
F LeBron James
F J.J. Hickson
C Shaquille O'Neal
G Mo Williams
G Anthony Parker
F Mickael Pietrus
F Brandon Bass
C Dwight Howard
G Jameer Nelson
G Vince Carter
Officials - Dan Crawford, Cortney Kirkland, Gary Zielinski
Cavs - Delonte West, Jawad Williams, Leon Powe
Magic - Adonal Foyle, Ryan Anderson

Monday, November 9, 2009

No on AD

A league source said the Cavs are not on the verge of signing veteran guard Antonio Daniels any time soon. He worked out for the Cavs on Sunday at Cleveland Clinic Courts.

Perhaps the Cavs were just getting a handle on the 34-year-old Daniels, who is a native of Columbus and who played at Bowling Green.

Daniels was bought out of his $6.6 million contract in Minnesota right before the start of the regular season.

The Cavs could do worse than to have a player of Daniels' caliber at the end of the roster. However, they'd have to waive either guard Coby Karl or forward Jawad Williams to get Daniels on the roster. They like the potential of both young players.

But just because it doesn't happen right now doesn't mean it can't happen down the road.

He's asking for the veteran's minimum of $1.3 million.

Sunday, November 8, 2009

JJ remains in starting lineup

Cavs coach Mike Brown said after practice Sunday at Cleveland Clinic Courts that J.J. Hickson would remain in the starting lineup at power forward.

"I'm going to continue messing around with it," Brown said. "Something may change again. My starting lineup is not set."

Anderson Varejao, who started the first six games, will continue to get regular minutes. He pulled down 14 rebounds in Friday's game and remains the team's best power forward.

LB TO STAY? - Nice breakdown on why Ian Thomsen thinks LeBron James will stay in Cleveland on

Friday, November 6, 2009

No broken bones

LeBron James had X-rays taken after the game on his right hand. He had ice on it for quite some time after the game, which stretched his post-game press conference appearance to almost 45 minutes. The Knicks team doctor checked out his hand.

Luckily for the Cavs, nothing was broken.

This comes one game after he was wearing ice on his left wrist after the Chicago game. He injured his left wrist in the Washington game.

-- The celebrities came out in droves for Friday's game at Madison Square Garden. Coming to the Garden, it's always fun to do a little star gazing. My personal favorite was former Yankees slugger Reggie Jackson. There were six members of the Yankees' World Series champion team on hand, including CC Sabathia, Alex Rodriguez, Mark Teixeira, Joba Chamberlain, Melky Cabrera and Robinson Cano.
-- Others on hand were Jay-Z, actor Chris Rock and former Knicks forwards Larry Johnson and Charles Oakley. Ex-Yankees outfielder Bernie Williams played the national anthem on his guitar.
-- LeBron James came to his pre-game press conference wearing "Steve Urkel-like" glasses. Why the new look? "I can't see," he said.
-- The Cavs scored 40 points in the first quarter, which tore the live out of this game. They shot 73 percent from the field.

CAVS (3-3) vs. KNICKS (1-4)
Nov. 6, 2009 at Madison Square Garden
F LeBron James
F J.J. Hickson
C Shaquille O'Neal
G Anthony Parker
G Mo Williams
F Wilson Chandler
F Danilo Gallinari
C David Lee
G Larry Hughes
G Chris Duhon
Officials - Ken Mauer, John Goble, David Guthrie
Cavs - Coby Karl, Jawad Williams, Leon Powe
Knicks - Cuttino Mobley, Eddy Curry, Nate Robinson

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Cavs vs. Bulls, Game 6

A story in Scene Magazine details what it's like covering a player with bipolar disorder like Cavs guard Delonte West.

I didn't comment to the reporter when I was contacted. Some of my colleagues did. It's an interesting take on the story.

Just like there are no handbooks for which the Cavs to refer to about dealing with players with bipolar disorder, the same goes for the media.

-- The Cavs' halfcourt offense is still largely ineffective. "We’re still learning," forward LeBron James said. "On the offensive end, it takes a little longer. If you’re not on the same page, you can look out of sync."
-- "Entourage" star Jeremy Piven was sitting courtside on Thursday. Of course, Piven and LeBron James have become friends after the latter appeared on the hit show on HBO.
-- In their last four games, the Cavs have held their opponents to 41 percent shooting (128 of 311) from the field and 86 points.
-- Anderson Varejao has recorded double-doubles in consecutive games for only the fourth time in his career.

Nov. 5, 2009 at Quicken Loans Arena
F LeBron James
F Anderson Varejao
C Shaquille O'Neal
G Anthony Parker
G Mo Williams
F Luol Deng
F Taj Gibson
C Joakim Noah
G John Salmons
G Derrick Rose
Officials - Ron Garretson, Eli Roe, Michael Smith
Cavs - Coby Karl, Jawad Williams, Leon Powe
Bulls - Jerome James, Aaron Gray

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Cavs vs. Wizards, Game 5

The Cavaliers had a very special guest at Tuesday's game. Lyndhurst's Marge Garson celebrated her 101st birthday at Quicken Loans Arena.

The Cavs upgraded her seats and she reportedly enjoyed herself at the game. Of course, the Cavs beat the Wizards, 102-90, and Marge got to see LeBron James play in person.

What could be better?

-- A young man proposed to his girlfriend at midcourt during a stoppage of play. Wizards swingman Caron Butler walked by and hugged them both.
-- One smart aleck took one look at Wizards guard Mike Miller and said, "He looks like Katie Smith."
-- The last time the Cavs game back from 18 points down was an 87-83 win over the Los Angeles Clippers on March 10, 2009.
-- The Cavs have won by 11 or more points in each of the last three games.
-- The Cavs had a season-high 25 assists and just seven turnovers for the game.

CAVS (2-2) vs. WIZARDS (2-1)
Nov. 3, 2009 at Quicken Loans Arena
F LeBron James
F Anderson Varejao
C Shaquille O'Neal
G Anthony Parker
G Mo Williams
F Caron Butler
F Fabricio Oberto
C Brendan Haywood
G Mike Miller
G Gilbert Arenas
Officials - Tom Washington, Jason Phillips, Scott Wall
Cavs - Coby Karl, Danny Green, Leon Powe
Wizards - Javaris Crittenton, Antawn Jamison, Paul Davis