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

Tuesday, January 7, 2014

Game 35: 76ers at Cavs

Quicken Loans Arena
Radio/TV: WTAM (1100 AM)/Fox Sports Ohio

WHAT HAPPENED?: The luster has come off the 76ers in recent weeks after their red-hot start.

They are still a dangerous team, especially with a point guard like Michael Carter-Williams, who had a career-high 33 points on Tuesday.

But Coach Brett Brown's team has been blown out in each of the last two nights.

For the Cavs, who came into the game having lost eight of their last nine games, they jumped all over the Sixers from the start.

I couldn't figure out where the Cavs' heads would be coming into the game after the blockbuster deal with Chicago. The Cavs sent center Andrew Bynum and three draft picks to the Bulls in exchange for Luol Deng.

Deng has a chance to play at Utah on Friday. I can't wait.

He should be a great addition to the Cavs, who needed a jolt. I have to give GM Chris Grant credit. I don't see any negatives to the deal - yet - even if he leaves at the end of the season. If he leaves in free agency, he'll be an expiring contract and they'll be able to take his $14.3 million contract off their books. The Cavs could also use him in a sign-and-trade.

But the Cavs want to keep him. Let's see how this goes. Don't rule that out. Deng is an extremely loyal person. Yes, the Cavs will have to overpay for him to stay in Cleveland. They have a chance.

I do know he was the best small forward available. The 6-9 forward has great numbers with 19 points and 6.9 rebounds. That will pale in comparison to Earl Clark and Along Gee.

Clark sure didn't do anything to hang onto the starting job at small forward. He was 1 of 6 from the field for two points and three rebounds. Gee didn't score.

Rookie Anthony Bennett didn't endear himself with management in the fourth quarter. He missed a dunk and then pouted afterward while the other Cavs players ran down the court. Coach Mike Brown said Bennett was only "human." 

That kind of stuff doesn't go over well with the Cavs.

UP NEXT: The Cavs travel to Utah at 9 p.m. Friday at Energy Solutions Arena.

SF Earl Clark (6-10, 225) vs. Evan Turner (6-7, 216)
PF Tristan Thompson (6-9, 236) vs. Thaddeus Young (6-8, 230)
C Anderson Varejao (6-11, 267) vs. Spencer Hawes (7-1, 245)
SG C.J. Miles (6-6, 231) vs. Hollis Thompson (6-8, 206)
PG Kyrie Irving (6-3, 193) vs. Michael Carter-Williams (6-6, 185)
Cavs - F Luol Deng, G Jarrett Jack
76ers - G Jason Richardson, C Nerlens Noel
John Goble, Tony Brown, Nick Buchert


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