Game 9: Mavericks at Cavs
DALLAS MAVERICKS (6-5) 103, CLEVELAND CAVALIERS (2-7) 95
Quicken Loans Arena
Radio/TV: WTAM (1100 AM)/Fox Sports Ohio
WHAT HAPPENED: For whatever reason, this team just can't stop other teams.
It's becoming an epidemic. They are the worst defensive team in the league. It's a big problem because they are not talented enough to outscore teams.
They've now lost 5 in a row, and have a game at Philadelphia on Sunday. That won't be an easy one, judging by the ease the 76ers blew past them in the preseason.
The Cavs did get backup center Tyler Zeller (fractured cheekbone/concussion) back in the lineup, but he was far from being his normal self. He scored three points, had two rebounds and one block in 26 minutes.
It's really too bad that he got hurt. He was really playing well when he took an elbow to the face in the Clippers game on Nov. 5.
His return should help the struggling second unit. If Zeller, Boobie Gibson and C.J. Miles ever all get it together at the same time, they should be decent.
Coach Byron Scott changed up his second unit for about the fifth time this year. Jeremy Pargo is now the backup point guard. He did dish out three assists in his 10 minutes.
Omri Casspi is the reserve small forward. He had five points and five rebounds in 13 minutes.
Neither Samardo Samuels nor Jon Leuer (inactive) were used, and that's fine with me.
Kyrie Irving bruised his left index finger in the third quarter. He said it was bothering him big time after the game. Don't be shocked if he doesn't play against Philadelphia on Sunday. It's just a gut feeling.
UP NEXT: The Cavs travel to Philadelphia at 6 p.m. Sunday at Wells Fargo Center.
SF Alonzo Gee (6-6, 219) vs. Shawn Marion (6-7, 228)
PF Tristan Thompson (6-9, 235) vs. Elton Brand (6-9, 255)
C Anderson Varejao (6-11, 260) vs. Chris Kaman (7-0, 265)
SG Dion Waiters (6-4, 221) vs. O.J. Mayo (6-4, 210)
PG Kyrie Irving (6-3, 191) vs. Darren Collison (6-0, 175)
Cavs – F Luke Harangody, F Jon Leuer
Mavs - F Dirk Nowitzki, G Jared Cunningham
Mike Callahan, Kevin Fehr, Scott Wall