Game 41: Cavs at Bucks
Radio/TV: WTAM/Fox Sports Ohio
WHAT HAPPENED: The Cavs dropped two games behind the Bucks for the No. 8 playoff spot in the Eastern Conference. It might be difficult to catch up to the Bucks. They've got better players and more of them, especially after their trade on Tuesday when they added Monta Ellis, Kwame Brown and Ekpe Udoh from the Warriors.
The Bucks have taken on the identity of their hard-nosed coach, Scott Skiles. Like Byron Scott, he's not easy to play for.
The Bucks have had some injury problems, most notably to center Andrew Bogut. They took care of that problem on Tuesday when they traded the 7-foot center and malcontent Stephen Jackson to Golden State. None of the Bucks players were active on Wednesday, and they didn't need them.
They outscored the Cavs, 58-50, in the second half to leave them in their dust. The difference in the game was center Drew Gooden, who recorded his second career triple-double with 15 points, 10 rebounds and matched his career high with 13 assists.
The former Cavs forward/center now has two career triple-doubles, both against the Cavs. The 6-foot-10, 250-pounder has become a very efficient player, who now passes like a point guard. He also had two blocks and a steal.
The Bucks, of course, aren't the only team the Cavs must leapfrog if they are to snag the eighth spot in the East. New York is also ahead of them. The Knicks started the night at 18-24, and now have a new coach in Mike Woodson. They parted ways with Coach Mike D'Antoni on Wednesday, which may or may not help their playoff cause.
The Cavs could change radically in the next 24 hours with the trade deadline looming. GM Chris Grant is certainly trying to get something done. Guard Ramon Sessions is rumored to be traded to the Lakers.
They have their hands in several possible deals right now. It still remains to be seen if they can get a first-round pick in return. They are certainly trying. My guess right now is that they can't.
I've been hearing Daniel Gibson's name floating around, as well. He was 5 of 8 from the 3-point arc against the Bucks en route to 18 points, one off his season high.
Guard Kyrie Irving led all scorers with 28 points, but he also committed eight of the Cavs' 14 turnovers.
The Cavs have allowed 30 offensive rebounds in the last two nights, both losses. They got decked on the boards against Milwaukee, 49-34. Their leading rebounds on the night were Alonzo Gee and Antawn Jamison with five apiece.
UP NEXT: The Cavs host Atlanta at 3 p.m. Sunday at Quicken Loans Arena.
SF Alonzo Gee (6-6, 219) vs. Tobias Harris (6-8, 226)
PF Antawn Jamison (6-9, 235) vs. Ersan Ilyasova (6-10, 235)
C Ryan Hollins (7-0, 240) vs. Drew Gooden (6-10, 250)
SG Anthony Parker (6-6, 210) vs. Carlos Delfino (6-6, 230)
PG Kyrie Irving (6-3, 191) vs. Brandon Jennings (6-1, 169)
Cavs – G/F Christian Eyenga, F Luke Harangody
Bucks - C Kwame Brown, G Monta Ellis, Ekpe Udoh
Michael Smith, David Jones, Kevin Scott