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

Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Cavs vs. Hawks, Game 34

CAVS (26-8) 106, ATLANTA HAWKS (21-10) 101
at Quicken Loans Arena
TV: Fox Sports Ohio

ANDY'S BIG NIGHT: Forward Anderson Varejao's first career 3-pointer with 17.2 seconds left was the game-winner for the Cavs.

"There was one second (left)," Varejao said. "All I could do is shoot the ball and I'm glad it went in.

"No, I wasn't the primary option. I just tried to space out and make myself available."

HAPPY BIRTHDAY: Cavs forward LeBron James turned 25 on Wednesday. He had a party planned later that night in downtown Cleveland.

NOTES: Guard Mo Williams had scored 20 or more points in five consecutive games. That was snapped in Wednesday. He finished with 14 points and tied his season high with 10 assists.

-- James' 48-point effort was the most he's ever scored at The Q.

-- The Cavs are 16-3 against teams that had a .500 record the day of the game.

SF LeBron James vs. Marvin Williams
PF J.J. Hickson vs. Josh Smith
C Shaquille O'Neal vs. Al Horford
SG Anthony Parker vs. Joe Johnson
PG Mike Bibby vs. Mo Williams

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Cavs vs. Hawks, Game 33

CAVS (25-8) 95, ATLANTA HAWKS (21-9) 84
at Philips Arena
TV: NBA TV, Fox Sports Ohio

WHAT HAPPENED: Cavs guard Mo Williams is playing his best basketball of the season. He's averaging 23.8 points in his last five games, topping the 20-point barrier in every contest.

It’s the first time he’s ever scored 20 or more points in five consecutive games.

Williams is also averaging 5.0 assists and 4.7 rebounds in that span. He's shooting 54 percent from the field and 96.2 percent from the foul line (25 of 26).

The 6-foot-1 guard has made at least three 3-point goals in each of those five games. Over that stretch, he's shooting a sizzling 59.3 percent from behind the arc (16 of 27).

NOTES: It's crazy, but guard Delonte West came into the game shooting 15.4 percent from behind the 3-point line. It was a good sign he made 1 of 2 from behind the arc on Tuesday.

"Delonte was huge on both ends of the floor," Cavs coach Mike Brown said. "He was big for us late. He was aggressive attacking the hoop."

-- Brown said that Hawks guard Jamal Crawford is capable of scoring 40 off the bench. He was way off. He had "only" 26. What a great pickup by the Hawks, who sent Acie Law and Speedy Claxton to Golden State for Crawford. What a steal.

-- St. Edward High School lost to Wheeler High School of Marietta, Ga., recently in a holiday tournament. J.J. Hickson played for Wheeler. Coach Mike Brown's son, Elijia, is a freshman on the St. Ed's Eagles.

SF LeBron James vs. Marvin Williams
PF J.J. Hickson vs. Josh Smith
C Shaquille O'Neal vs. Al Horford
SG Anthony Parker vs. Joe Johnson
PG Mike Bibby vs. Mo Williams
Cavs - Leon Powe, Danny Green, Coby Karl
Hawks - Othello Hunter
Bob Delaney, Leroy Richardson, Rodney Mott

Sunday, December 27, 2009

Cavs vs. Rockets, Game 32

CAVS (24-8) 108, HOUSTON ROCKETS (18-13) 83
at Quicken Loans Arena
TV: Fox Sports Ohio

WHAT HAPPENED: The Cavs came out on fire for the third quarter and outscored the Rockets, 32-15, to blow the game wide open.

Forward LeBron James had 29 points, while guard Mo Williams added 20.

The two teams have split the season series in each of the last four seasons.

The Cavs have won four in a row overall and 10 in a row at The Q.

NOTES: The Cavs outscored the Rockets in points in the paint, 52-16. Of course, the Rockets are without 7-6 center Yao Ming.

-- The Cavs have received at least 30 points off the bench in five consecutive games.

-- In the Cavs' four-game winning streak, all against the West, they've averaged 109 points and have shot 51 percent from the field. They've allowed 91 points a game and 40 percent shooting.

SF LeBron James vs. Shane Battier
PF J.J. Hickson vs. Luis Scola
C Shaquille O'Neal vs. Chuck Hayes
SG Anthony Parker vs. Trevor Ariza
PG Mo Williams vs. Aaron Brooks
Cavs - F Leon Powe, G Danny Green, G Coby Karl.
Rockets - G/F Chase Budinger, F Joey Dorsey, C Yao Ming.
Mike Callahan, Marc Davis, Phil Robinson

Friday, December 25, 2009

Cavs vs. Lakers, Game 31

CAVS (23-8) 102, LOS ANGELES LAKERS (23-5) 87
at Staples Center
TV: WEWS (Channel 5)

WHAT HAPPENED: The Cavs have won 6 of their last 8 meetings against the Lakers. But very few have been this impressive.

They led from wire-to-wire and extended their lead to 20 points in the second quarter.

The Cavs' bigs of Shaquille O'Neal, Zydrunas Ilgauskas and Anderson Varejao dominated the Lakers' big men Pau Gasol, Andrew Bynum and Lamar Odom.

Don't laugh. Varejao has been playing almost on an All-Star level in the last couple weeks. One can see why the Cavs' paid him that big contract last summer. He's so important to their team.

O'Neal had five dunks on the night. He was up for the matchup against his old team.

Cavs forward LeBron James also took on the challenge of Lakers forward Ron Artest. He's the only player I've ever seen intimidate James on the court. That occurred during James' rookie year. Artest is every bit as big and strong as James and really bodies him up.

In many ways, he defends him as well as any player in the NBA.

James ended with 26 points, nine assists and four rebounds. He shot 9 of 19 from the field and turned the ball over seven times.

Cavs guard Mo Williams was really good in the game with 28 points and seven assists. He made 8 of 13 from the field and 3 of 3 from behind the arc.

He's a tough little guy, too. He bruised his knee in the Sacramento game on Wednesday and was still a bit sore. Then during Friday's game, Lakers guard Kobe Bryant slammed into him from behind and knocked him to the court. He remained in the game, however.

NOTES: The Cavs and Lakers are two of the top defensive teams in the league. The Cavs allow an NBA-low 34.9 points in the paint. They haven’t allowed an opponent to shoot 50 percent or higher in the last 21 games, the NBA’s longest active streak.

-- James recorded his second triple-double of the season against Sacramento on Wednesday with 34 points, 16 rebounds and 10 assists. It was his 26th career triple-double and 15th on the road. Of the 12 other NBA players with at least 25 triple-doubles, the only other player with more on the road than at home is Larry Bird (24 at home, 35 on the road). It was James’ second career game of at least 30 points, 15 rebounds and 10 assists and since 1986-87, only Charles Barkley and Larry Bird have had two games with at least those totals. In the NBA, this game was also the first game a player achieved at least those totals since Vince Carter tallied 46 points,
16 rebounds and 10 assists with the Nets against Washington on Apr. 7, 2007.

-- Two of the top scoring duos were on the court in Friday’s game. Bryant and Gasol are ranked second in the league in scoring as a tandem at 46.3 points per game. James and Williams is third at 45.7 points per game.

-- Center Zydrunas Ilgauskas scored a season-high 25 points, including three 3-pointers, in the Sacramento game on Wednesday. Ilgauskas became the first player to make three 3-pointers in overtime since Walter Herrmann on Apr. 8, 2007. He’s the first Cavs player since James to do it (Jan. 24, 2007, vs. Philadelphia).

SF LeBron James vs. Ron Artest
PF J.J. Hickson vs. Pau Gasol
C Shaquille O'Neal vs. Andrew Bynum
SG Anthony Parker vs. Kobe Bryant
PG Mo Williams vs. Derek Fisher
Cavs - G Mo Williams (bruised knee) will play; F Leon Powe (knee surgery) is out.
Lakers - G Kobe Bryant (avulsion fracture, right index finger) will play; F Luke Walton (pinched nerve, back) is out.
Dan Crawford, Sean Corbin, Kevin Fehr

Thursday, December 24, 2009

Kenneth Merkatz is the man

It's a big day on Twitterland for NHCavsinsider. I now have 500 followers on Twitter reading this blog.

The 500th follower's name is Kenneth Merkatz, and he's being showered with virtual gifts. I baked a cake in his honor. It's hard to put 500 candles on a cake, by the way. I hope you like chocolate.

Sorry, Kenneth, but budget restraints will prevent me from actually getting you anything. But I'm giving you a shout out online.

Since starting this blog, and the accompanying Twitter account, it's made great strides. It's an outlet for my observations on the Cavs.

SOAP BOX TIME: The All-Star balloting is making me nuts. Fans currently have Sixers guard Allen Iverson in line to be a starter in the Eastern Conference. He's played only a handful of games and has no business being a starter.

In the Western Conference, Rockets guard Tracy McGrady has dropped to third in the voting. He shouldn't even sniff the All-Star Game this year.

Of course, Cavs center Shaquille O'Neal is second in the voting in the East. He's not playing at an All-Star level this year, but at least he's been playing all year.

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Cavs vs. Kings, Game 30

CAVS (22-8) 117, SACRAMENTO KINGS (13-15) 104, OT
at Arco Arena
TV: Fox Sports Ohio

WHAT HAPPENED: It was a wildly, entertaining game. The Cavs blanked the Kings in overtime, 13-0. The Cavs head into the Los Angeles Lakers game on Christmas Day having won seven of their last eight games.

The game was won on the defensive end when All-Star forward LeBron James shifted over to Kings rookie Tyreke Evans with about nine minutes left in the fourth quarter. He completely shut him down, or as Fox Sports Ohio's Fred McLeod would say, "He stepped on his garden hose!"

Evans managed just one field goal down the stretch, but it tied the game at 104 and sent it into OT.

He's a major talent and the leading candidate for the Rookie of the Year award. After seeing both Evans and Milwaukee's Brandon Jennings, the Kings' guard is a hands-down choice. Evans finished with 28 points.

James recorded his second triple-double of the season and 26th of his 26th of his career with 34 points, a game-high 16 rebounds and 10 assists.

INJURY UPDATE: Cavs guard Mo Williams banged knees with Evans in the first half and was taken to the locker room. He had a bruised knee. He came back to the game and finished with 27 points. The key will be how it feels on Thursday.

NOTES: The Cavs are 1-1 in OT this season.

-- The Kings' Paul Westphal should earn some Coach of the Year votes. The Kings are formidable, especially at home where they are 10-4.

-- Only four players in the NBA are averaging at least 20 points, 5.0 rebounds and 5.0 assists. They are Evans, James, Heat guard Dwyane Wade and Hawks guard Joe Johnson.

-- The Cavs have won their last seven games against the Kings, including their last four at Arco Arena.

-- The Cavs are 20-2 when they shoot at least 45 percent from the field, 14-0 when they shoot at least 42 percent from the behind the arc and 17-1 when they reach the century mark.

-- The Cavs are the first team to pitch a shutout in overtime since the Indiana Pacers blanked the Vancouver Grizzlies on Dec. 1, 2000. The Cavs have never shut out a team in OT.

SF LeBron James vs. Andres Nocioni
PF J.J. Hickson vs. Jason Thompson
C Shaquille O'Neal vs. Spencer Hawes
SG Anthony Parker vs. Omri Casspi
PG Mo Williams vs. Tyreke Evans
Cavs - F Leon Powe (left knee surgery) is out.
Kings - F/C Sean May (strained right hamstring) is questionable; G Kevin Martin (left wrist fracture), G/F Francisco Garcia (right forearm, wrist surgery) are out.
Bill Spooner, Mark Ayotte, Rodney Mott

Monday, December 21, 2009

Cavs vs. Suns, Game 29

CAVS (21-8) 109, PHOENIX SUNS (18-10) 91
at U.S. Airways Center
TV: Fox Sports Ohio, NBA TV

WHAT HAPPENED: The Cavs showed how well they can play and that they can beat anyone in the league if All-Star forward LeBron James plays at a high level.

In the Dallas loss on Sunday, James seemed to be going through the motions in the fourth quarter. He managed just two points in the fourth.

He more than made up for that in the win over the Suns on Monday. He came out charged up and focued from the start and finished with 29 points, six rebounds, four assists and two steals. He made 11 of 21 from the field, 1 of 3 from behind the arc and 6 of 6 from the foul line.

The Cavs handed the Suns their first home loss of the season after 10 consecutive wins at U.S. Airways Center. They hadn't lost since last March 12 - to the Cavs - a span of 284 days.

Center Shaquille O'Neal's return was a dud, however. He had more turnovers (4) than points (3). He has a total of 8 points in the first two games of the West Coast trip.

But the Cavs got very good performances from a several other players.

DELONTE TAKING OFF?: Guard Delonte West has reached double figures in scoring in three consecutive games. In that three-game stretch, he’s averaged 14.0 points, 4.7 rebounds and 4.0 assists and is shooting 59.3 percent from the field (16 of 27).

NOTES: The Cavs have won 4 in a row over the Suns. They also beat the Suns at The Q by 17 points, 107-90, on Dec. 2.

-- James' plus/minus number was plus-26 in Monday's game. Suns guard Steve Nash's plus/minus was minus-15.

PUPPETS ARE BACK: The new Nike puppets commercial is back. It's not bad.

SF LeBron James vs. Grant Hill
PF J.J. Hickson vs. Amar'e Stoudemire
C Shaquille O'Neal vs. Channing Frye
SG Anthony Parker vs. Jason Richardson
PG Mo Williams vs. Steve Nash

Suns - G Leandro Barbosa (sprained left ankle) is out.
Cavs - F Jamario Moon (left abdominal strain) is doubtful; F Leon Powe (left knee surgery) is out.

Marc Davis, Joe Forte, Derek Richardson

Sunday, December 20, 2009

Cavs vs. Mavericks, Game 28

DALLAS MAVERICKS (20-8) 102, CAVS (20-8) 95
at American Airlines Center
TV: Fox Sports Ohio, NBA TV

LBJ'S MILESTONE: Against the Dallas Mavericks on Sunday, LeBron James appeared in his 500th career game.

In 499 career games, James has tallied 13,795 points, 3,498 rebounds and 3,380 assists.

He fell two rebounds shy of becoming only the second player in NBA history, joining Oscar Robertson, to have 13,750 points, 3,500 rebounds and 3,250 assists through their first 500 games.

Michael Jordan had the highest scoring average in his first 500 games at 32.6 points. Robertson was second at 30.4

James has averaged 27.6.

WHAT HAPPENED: The Mavericks never trailed in the second half, despite not having All-Star forward Dirk Nowitzki. He had a laceration to his elbow after the gruesome collision with Houston's Carl Landry.

Tim Thomas stepped in for Nowitzki and scored 22 points and had seven rebounds.

The Mavs received 45 points off the bench. Guard Jason Terry had 19 points, followed by Josh Howard with 14 and Drew Gooden with 12.

Guard Delonte West had 18 points for the Cavs off the bench. He might have been their best player on Sunday.

Forward LeBron James had 25 points, but he was quite passive in the second half. When a few calls went against him on drives to the basket, he quit attacking, which is not like him.

Center Shaquille O'Neal was no factor whatsoever. He finished with five points and missed his first six field goal attempts.

The Cavs had a five-game winning streak stopped. They had won four in a row against Dallas, including two in a row at the American Airlines Center.

NOTES: At home, James averages 25.4 points per game (7th best), but on the road he averages a league-best 31.9 ppg. The +6.5 differential is also a league-best in the NBA.

-- Once again, Cavs forward J.J. Hickson did nothing. He had four points and one rebound.

-- The Cavs defeated the Mavs, 111-95, on Nov. 28 at The Q.

-- Forward Jamario Moon was inactive with an abdominal strain.

SF LeBron James vs. Shawn Marion
PF J.J. Hickson vs. Tim Thomas
C Shaquille O'Neal vs. Erick Dampier
SG Anthony Parker vs. Jose Juan Barea
PG Mo Williams vs. Jason Kidd

Eddie F. Rush, Pat Fraher, Haywoode Workman

Saturday, December 19, 2009

Would Cavs part with JJ?

Up until now, J.J. Hickson has been off limits for teams talking trades with the Cavs. The San Jose Mercury News suggests that Hickson might have been offered for Warriors forward/center Anthony Randolph.

Hickson has been starting at power forward for the Cavs. He has mad athletic ability, but is the most inconsistent player on the roster. There have been times recently that you don't even realize he's on the court.

I will say this, however. When he gets it together on the court, he'll be an absolute stud. That time has yet to come.

Friday, December 18, 2009

Cavs vs. Bucks, Game 27

CAVS (20-7) 85, MILWAUKEE BUCKS (11-13) 82
at Quicken Loans Arena
8 tonight
TV: ESPN, Fox Sports Ohio

WHAT HAPPENED: The Cavs have won 6 in a row over the Bucks. G Delonte West has been outstanding in both games against the Bucks this season. He's averaging 16.5 points in his two games vs. Milwaukee.

"He played hard-nosed defense," Cavs coach Mike Brown said. "He brought a sense of toughness to our team. He attacked the rim."

When he sees Bucks G Luke Ridnour, his eyes light up. West and Ridnour were teammates in Seattle.

The Cavs haven't lost to Milwaukee since March 22, 2008.

RECORD BOOK: Anyone reading the Bucks record book will find G Michael Redd’s name in a different place after Wednesday’s game against the Lakers. Redd hit 11 field goals against L.A., giving him 4,002 for his career and passing Sidney Moncrief (4,000) for 7th in Bucks history.

Redd, who scored a season-high 25 against the Lakers, is also 21 free throws from passing Kareem Abdul-Jabbar’s 2,407 for 2nd in franchise history (currently has 2,387) and 11 3s away from reaching 1,000 for his career.

The Ohio State product is 56th all-time in 3-pointers (23rd among active players) and 232nd in NBA history in scoring. After returning from injury, the veteran guard is averaging 18.0 points, 4.5 rebounds, 3.0 assists and 1.5 steals in two games off the bench.

SF LeBron James vs. Luc Richard Mbah a Moute
PF J.J. Hickson vs. Ersan Ilyasova
C Shaquille O'Neal vs. Andrew Bogut
PG Mo Williams vs. Brandon Jennings
SG Anthony Parker vs. Carlos Delfino
Cavs - F Leon Powe, G Coby Karl, G Danny Green
Bucks - F Joe Alexander, G Roko Ukic, C Dan Gadzuric
Mark Wunderlich, Curtis Blair, Tony Brothers

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Delonte speaks

Cavs guard Delonte West has been off limits to the Cleveland media all season. He opened up just a bit to a reporter from the Philadelphia Daily News in Thursday's editions.

His college coach, Phil Martelli, was at Wednesday's game at the Wachovia Center.

West has been dealing with legal and personal issues all season.

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Cavs vs. 76ers, Game 26

CAVS (19-7) 108, PHILADELPHIA 76ERS (6-19) 101
at Wachovia Center
TV: Fox Sports Ohio

WHAT HAPPENED: If the Sixers aren't the best 6-19 team in the league, I'd like to see one better.

"No team is under .500 when they play us," Cavs forward LeBron James said.

The Cavs' transition defense came under fire in this game. The Sixers outscored the Cavs in fastbreak points, 30-14. That will stick in Coach Mike Brown's craw.

The Cavs have been allowing way too many fastbreak points for their liking.

3-POINT MASTERY: They came into the game with the most accurate 3-point shooter in the league in Anthony Parker. He's shooting 50 percent from behind the arc.

The Cavs shot 60 percent from 3-point range against Philly (9 of 15).

That helped make up for the Sixers' 96 percent shooting from the foul line (24 of 25).

NOTES: Guard Delonte West returned to the lineup on Wednesday after missing the New Jersey game on Tuesday. He was needed to guard Allen Iverson.
-- Former Cavs forward Donyell Marshall is doing some work on the Sixers' pregame and postgame TV shows on Comcast.
-- Newly acquired Roy Halladay was in attendance. The Phillies announced the three-team trade at a 5 p.m. press conference at the adjacent Citizens Bank Park. Old friend Cliff Lee went to Seattle in the three-team deal.

Cavs vs. Sixers
F LeBron James vs. Andre Iguodala
F J.J. Hickson vs. Thaddeus Young
C Shaquille O'Neal vs. Samuel Dalembert

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Cavs vs. Nets, Game 25

CAVS (18-7) 99, NEW JERSEY NETS (2-23) 89
at Quicken Loans Arena
Tonight at 7
TV: Fox Sports Ohio

WHAT HAPPENED: The Cavs have now won 8 in a row at home. They are now 10-2 at home this season.

The Nets dropped to an NBA-worst 2-23 record. They are last in scoring, field-goal percentage, 3-point percentage and assists per game. Besides that, they're pretty good (just kidding).

They have a decent backcourt in Courtney Lee and Devin Harris. Both have had nagging injuries. Center Brook Lopez is a rising star in this league if he stays healthy.

NOTES: The Cavs have won 5 in a row over New Jersey by an average of 14.8 points per game.

-- The Cavs are 9-0 when they shoot 50 percent or better.

-- In the Cavs' eight-game winning streak at The Q, LeBron James has averaged 25 points, 9.6 assists and 6.0 rebounds.

-- The Cavs came into the game allowing an NBA-low 34.2 points in the paint. They outscored the Nets on Tuesday, 59-30.

F LeBron James
F J.J. Hickson
C Shaquille O'Neal
G Mo Williams
G Anthony Parker
F Josh Boone
F Trenton Hassell
C Brook Lopez
G Courtney Lee
G Devin Harris

Cavs - Danny Green, Delonte West, Leon Powe
Nets - Chris Douglas-Roberts, Jarvis Hayes, Yi Jianlian

Bennett Salvatore, Matt Boland, Olandis Poole

Sunday, December 13, 2009

Cavs vs. Thunder, Game 24

CAVS (17-7) 102, OKLAHOMA CITY THUNDER (12-10) 89
at Ford Center
TV: Fox Sports Ohio

WHAT HAPPENED: This was a close game until the Cavs hit the Thunder with a barrage of 3-point shots in the fourth quarter.

Guard Mo Williams' half-court bomb was the difference in the game. The Thunder never recovered after the improbable shot.

Williams and forward LeBron James combined to make 9 of 17 shots from behind the arc.

The Thunder isn't the rag-tag outfit it used to be. They are young, have talent around All-Star hopeful Kevin Durant, and play hard.

Cavs coach Mike Brown commended Thunder coach Scott Brooks for how hard his team plays.

If this team was in the East, it would be a playoff team this year. It may not happen in the West.

James had a season-high 44 points and even had time to eat some kid's French Fry after a drive to the basket.

INJURY REPORT: Guard Daniel Gibson was held out of Sunday's game with his sprained right pinky finger.

Center Shaquille O'Neal was able to play after getting poked in the eye in the previous game.

F LeBron James
F J.J. Hickson
C Shaquille O'Neal
G Mo Williams
G Anthony Parker
F Kevin Durant
F Jeff Green
C Nenad Krstic
G Russell Westbrook
G Thabo Sefolosha
Cavs - Jeff Green, Daniel Gibson, Leon Powe
Thunder - Kyle Weaver, Kevin Ollie
Officials - Derrick Stafford, Leon Wood, Haywoode Workman

Friday, December 11, 2009

Cavs vs. Trail Blazers, Game 23

CAVS (16-7) 104, PORTLAND TRAIL BLAZERS (14-10) 99
at Quicken Loans Arena
TV: ESPN, Fox Sports Ohio

WHAT HAPPENED: The Cavs jumped all over the Blazers in the second half. However, they were terrible in the first half and looked like they were headed toward their third loss in a row.

They've now won five in a row over the Trail Blazers.

The Cavs have swept the Blazers in each of the previous two seasons. The Cavs have now won 10 of their last 12 meetings against Portland.

Portland has not scored 100 points in a game against the Cavs since Nov. 1, 2003.

INJURY REPORT: G Daniel Gibson missed his first game of the season on Friday. He sprained his right little finger. It was very swollen in the Houston game.

After having his jersey retired at his high school in Houston on Wednesday, he played just 2 minutes against the Rockets that night before the injury occurred.

F LeBron James
F J.J. Hickson
C Shaquille O'Neal
G Mo Williams
G Anthony Parker
Trail Blazers
F Martell Webster
F LaMarcus Aldridge
C Joel Przybilla
G Brandon Roy
G Steve Blake
Cavs - F Leon Powe, G Daniel Gibson, G/F Danny Green.
Trail Blazers - F Nicolas Batum, G Patrick Mills, F Jeff Pendergraph.
Dan Crawford, Tony Brown, John Goble

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Cavs vs. Rockets, Game 22

HOUSTON ROCKETS (12-9) 95, CAVS (15-7) 85
at Toyota Center
Tonight at 8:30 ET
TV: Fox Sports Ohio

WHAT HAPPENED: This doesn't look like a championship-caliber team to me. C Shaquille O'Neal isn't getting the job done. He's been up and down all season.

Was it too much to ask Shaq to thump Rockets center Chuck Hayes on Wednesday. The guy is 6-6. He plays his butt off, yes, but he's 6-6. Isn't Shaq 7-1, 325-ish?

Sorry, but Shaq needs to play way better than he is right now. Perhaps he gets bored with games like this. I don't know.

He had seven points and 10 rebounds. Hayes finished with five points and seven rebounds.

Maybe Shaq only gets up for the Rockets when Yao Ming plays.

MING DYNASTY: Yao walked by on his crutches and then stopped in to see Cavs C Zydrunas Ilgauskas in the locker room.

The two have much in common besides being giants. They've had about 10 surgeries combined in their career.

DELONTE ON FIRE: G Delonte West is playing his best basketball of the season. That doesn't mean he's ready to move into the starting lineup any time soon.

"He’s played solid for us the last few games," Cavs coach Mike Brown said. "His production off the bench has been a positive for us. He’s been a huge difference for us defensively."

F LeBron James
F J.J. Hickson
C Shaquille O'Neal
G Mo Williams
G Anthony Parker
F Shane Battier
F Luis Scola
C Chuck Hayes
G Trevor Ariza
G Aaron Brooks
Rockets - G/F Tracy McGrady, C Yao Ming
Cavs - F Leon Powe, G/F Danny Green, G Coby Karl.
Bill Kennedy, Jason Phillips, Scott Wall

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Cavs vs. Grizzlies, Game 21

MEMPHIS GRIZZLIES (9-12) 111, CAVS (15-6) 109, OT
at FedExForum
Tonight at 8
TV: Fox Sports Ohio

WHAT HAPPENED: The Cavs had a comfortable 16-point lead in the first half. They allowed the Grizzlies to capture the momentum of the game, and they eventually lost in overtime.

The Cavs had a 4-game winning streak snapped. They also had won 7 in a row over the Grizzlies. Memphis hadn't beaten the Cavs since Nov. 5, 2005 - more than four years.

Memphis forwards Zach Randolph (32 points, 14 rebounds) and Rudy Gay (21 points) wore out the Cavs.

Former Cincinnati high school star O.J. Mayo had 28 points.

The Cavs never imposed their will on the Grizzlies defensively, even though Memphis shot 44 percent from the field.

It was the first time in 14 meetings the Cavs have lost to a Western Conference opponent. They were the last East team to lose to a Western team this season. They came into the game 5-0 vs. the West.

Forward Jamario Moon (groin) sat out his second game in a row. He'll likely play in Houston tonight.

F LeBron James
F J.J. Hickson
C Shaquille O'Neal
G Mo Williams
G Anthony Parker
F Rudy Gay
F Zach Randolph
C Marc Gasol
G Mike Conley
G O.J. Mayo
Officials - Mike Callahan, Brian Forte, J.T. Orr

Sunday, December 6, 2009

Cavs vs. Bucks, Game 20

CAVS (15-5) 101, MILWAUKEE BUCKS (9-10) 86
at Bradley Center
TV: Fox Sports Ohio

WHAT HAPPENED: The Cavs have won their last five meetings with the Bucks, including their last three outings at the Bradley Center.

The Bucks scored the first 11 points of the game and then a lid formed over the basket. The Cavs' defense was magnicent and forced the Bucks to miss their first 18 shots in the second quarter.

The Cavs held the Bucks to just 38 percent shooting from the field.

Guard Delonte West was the star of the game for the Cavs, who has won 12 of their last 14 games, including four in a row. West scored the Cavs' first 14 points of the second quarter en route to a season-high 21.

That's three good games in the last four for West.

If he becomes a consistent performer for Coach Mike Brown, the Cavs could move among the elite in the NBA.

INJURY REPORT: Forward Jamario Moon (left groin strain) and Jawad Williams (food poisoning) were held out of Sunday's game.

Williams didn't travel to Milwaukee, but will join the team in Memphis. Both players are listed as day-to-day.

F LeBron James
F J.J. Hickson
C Shaquille O'Neal
G Mo Williams
G Anthony Parker
F Carlos Delfino
F Ersan Ilyasova
G Brandon Jennings
G Luc Richard Mbah a Moute
Cavs - F Leon Powe, F Jamario Moon, F Jawad Williams
Bucks - F Joe Alexander, G Michael Redd
Bill Spooner, Mark Ayotte, James Capers

Friday, December 4, 2009

Cavs vs. Bulls, Game 19

CAVS (14-5) 101, CHICAGO BULLS (7-10) 87
at Quicken Loans Arena
TV: Fox Sports Ohio, ESPN
Radio: WTAM

WHAT HAPPENED: The Cavs picked up their defense in the second half. They also took care of the basketball and didn't have a turnover after halftime.

It added up to an easy victory over the Cavs' Central Division rivals.

The Cavs are now 8-2 at home. The Bulls nipped the Cavs on Nov. 5. Boston was the other team to win at The Q this year.

PINK SHOES: The Cavs wore pink shoes for breast cancer awareness night. But not all of them wanted to wear them. G Delonte West took one look at the pink shoes and tossed them across the locker room. One almost hit a cameraman. He picked it up and dropped it near West's locker.

PUPPET SHOW: The new Nike puppet show, featuring LeBron James and Kobe Bryant, is out.

NOTES: F LeBron James posted his third consecutive double-double with 23 points, 11 assists and six rebounds. He's averaging 6.3 assists in the first quarter of the last three games.
-- The Cavs didn't turn the ball over in the second half. That hasn't happened since they had no miscues in the first half against Portland on March 19, 2009.
-- The Cavs' bench is averaging 43 points in its last three games.

F LeBron James
F J.J. Hickson
C Shaquille O'Neal
G Mo Williams
G Anthony Parker
F Luol Deng
F Taj Gibson
C Joakim Noah
G Derrick Rose
G John Salmons

Ken Mauer, Sean Wright, Gary Zielinski

Cavs - Coby Karl, Jawad Williams, Leon Powe
Bulls - Jerome James

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Cavs vs. Suns, Game 18

CAVS (12-5) vs. PHOENIX SUNS (14-4)
at Quicken Loans Arena
7 p.m., Fox Sports Ohio

WHAT TO LOOK FOR: The Cavs will be facing the league's top playmaker in Steve Nash tonight. He's atop the NBA in assists at 11.8 per game.

The Suns suffered a 126-99 beatdown on Tuesday by the New York Knicks at Madison Square Garden.

"It probably awakened them a little last night," Cavs coach Mike Brown said of the Suns.

They are going to come out a little mad on Zydrunas Ilgauskas night at The Q. Z will break the franchise record of games played. He comes into tonight's contest having played 723 games.

F LeBron James
F J.J. Hickson
C Shaquille O'Neal
G Mo Williams
G Anthony Parker
F Grant Hill
F Amar'e Stoudemire
C Channing Frye
G Steve Nash
G Jason Richardson
Bob Delaney, Derrick Collins, Olandis Poole