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

Monday, January 20, 2014

Game 41: Mavericks at Cavs

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

WHAT HAPPENED?: This marks the halfway point of the Cavs' up-and-down season. Just when you start to feel good about this team, it falters once again.

While talking to Cavs forward Luol Deng before the game, he stressed that it's obvious this team has talent. Legit talent.

Then why is it so inconsistent on both ends of the floor? Cavs coach Mike Brown has stressed they are a defensive-first team. That might be the plan, but this is an offensive team, plain and simple.

They have a few players that defend: Anderson Varejao, Tristan Thompson and possibly Deng. But most of the team is made up of offensive players: Kyrie Irving, Dion Waiters (who didn't show up Sunday), C.J. Miles and Earl Clark.

The Cavs came into Monday's game having won four of their last six games. They were 3-2 on the West Coast trip, which was uplifting.

They were heading into this five-game homestand playing their best basketball of the season.

Speaking of playing well, Varejao continues to amaze. He posted his 10th double-double of the season with 18 points, a game-high 21 rebounds, four assists and two steals. He now has 475 steals and passed No. 8 John Bagley on the Cavs' all-time list.

He had at least 20 rebounds for the fifth time in his career. He has grabbed 11 or more rebounds in 11 of the last 12 games. Since Dec. 29, he's averaging 14.8 rebounds.

I tip my cap to him. He continues to play his butt off.

UP NEXT: The Cavs host Chicago at 7 p.m. Wednesday at Quicken Loans Arena.

SF Luol Deng (6-9, 220) vs. Shawn Marion (6-7, 228)
PF Tristan Thompson (6-9, 236) vs. Dirk Nowitzki (7-0, 245)
C Anderson Varejao (6-11, 267) vs. Samuel Dalembert (6-11, 250)
SG C.J. Miles (6-6, 231) vs. Monta Ellis (6-3, 185)
PG Kyrie Irving (6-3, 193) vs. Jose Calderon (6-3, 200)
Cavs - G Sergey Karasev, G Carrick Felix
Mavericks - G Ricky Ledo, G Gal Mekel
Danny Crawford, David Guthrie, Dedric Taylor


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