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

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Game 64: Wizards at Cavs

Quicken Loans Arena

Radio/TV: WTAM (1100 AM), WFUN (970 AM)/Fox Sports Ohio

WHAT HAPPENED: The Cavs have beaten the Wizards in all three meetings this season. The Cavs tried to give it back to the Wizards in the fourth quarter, but Washington wouldn't take it.

The Cavs were up by 11 entering the fourth quarter, 76-65. In the final quarter, the Cavs shot 35.3 percent from the field and committed six turnovers. Ouch.

Cavs guard Dion Waiters had 12 of his 20 points in the fourth.

It was their first game since guard Kyrie Irving sprained his left shoulder. They are now 5-10 this season without Irving, 9-21 since he's entered the league.

This will be a transition period for the Cavs. They'll have to learn how to play without Irving - possibly for the last 19 games of the season.

Many think the Cavs shouldn't bring him back this season. What do the Cavs to gain by him coming back for five games at the end of the season? Probably not much.

My contention is that this team needs to play together, especially Irving and Waiters.

Shaun Livingston has moved into the starting rotation. He's a completely different player than Irving. He's a pass-first point guard, as opposed to Irving being a shoot-first player.

Livingston is 6-7 and uses it to his advantage. He's no longer the superior athlete he once was. But he knows how to play and where the ball should be. Much like teammate Luke Walton - which Coach Byron Scott said is the best passing forward in the league - the ball moves when Livingston is on the court.

The downside is that he's not a big-time scorer. He did have 12 points and six assists. If he continues to do that, the Cavs will be fine.

While we're on the subject, he should be re-signed for next year. The Cavs can do a lot worse for a backup point guard.

Irving's absence means more pressure will be placed on Waiters. He'll be expected to shoulder more off the offensive burden.

Strangely enough, many fans want the Cavs to lose more games so they can get a better draft pick in June. Enough is enough! It's time for this team to start winning. 

When human fastbreak John Wall returned to the lineup for the Wizards, things changed. The Wizards are 5-28 with Wall out of the lineup, and 15-14 with him playing. You think he makes a big difference for the Wizards? Darn right.

He can't shoot a lick, but he's a darn good player. He's an absolute blur on the fastbreak. He had 27 points, seven rebounds, 14 assists and one block on Tuesday.

NEWS FEED: Michael Lee's story in the Washington Post about John Wall being disappointed Kyrie Irving won't play. 

LAST GAME: The Cavs lost at Toronto Raptors on Sunday, 100-96. 

UP NEXT: The Cavs travel to Dallas at 8:30 p.m. Friday at American Airlines Center.

SF Alonzo Gee (6-6, 219) vs. Martell Webster (6-7, 235)
PF Tristan Thompson (6-9, 227) vs. Nene (6-11, 250)
C Tyler Zeller (7-0, 250) vs. Emeka Okafor (6-10, 250)
SG Dion Waiters (6-4, 221) vs. Garrett Temple (6-6, 195)
PG Shaun Livingston (6-7, 175) vs. John Wall (6-4, 207)
Cavs - C Anderson Varejao, G Kyrie Irving 
Wizards - G Leandro Barbosa, Bradley Beal 
Jason Phillips, Brian Forte, Marat Kogut


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