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

Saturday, April 5, 2014

Game 78: Bobcats at Cavs

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

WHAT HAPPENED?: The Cavs have not been mathematically eliminated, but everyone involved realizes it's over.

Now, they are basically playing out the string. It's been an interesting season. It started with Cavs majority owner Dan Gilbert proclaiming that he expected them to get into the playoffs. Well, that didn't exactly work out. 

It cost General Manager Chris Grant his job. More heads could fall before it's all said and done.

The Cavs faced a team that has had its number all season, much like the Hawks. Charlotte has won five in a row overall in the series, including 4-0 this season.

Many people scoffed at the Bobcats being a playoff team this year, but they are one game over .500. This team won just seven games two years ago. They improved to 21 wins last year.

Now, they are playoff-bound. That's where the Cavs should be heading, but they didn't buy into Coach Mike Brown's doctrine until late in the season.

The Bobcats went out and paid handsomely for free agent center Al Jefferson, who has panned out in a big way. He has averaged 21.6 points, 10.4 rebounds, 2.1 assists, 1.1 blocks and 0.9 steals. Need I go on?

Jefferson shot just 9 of 21 from the field, but finished with 24 points, 15 rebounds, four assists and two blocks.

But he's not their only threat. Guard Kemba Walker also had a standout season and has averaged 17.8 points, 5.9 assists and 4.1 rebounds on the season. Like Hawks point guard Jeff Teague, he gets up for facing Kyrie Irving. Walker ended with 20 points and seven assists.

The Bobcats have won four in a row. Coach Steve Clifford should be commended for what he's accomplished in Charlotte this year.

Maybe Cavs guard Kyrie Irving should get miffed before every game. He was steaming mad about the blog that said, among other things, that he wanted out of Cleveland. He went out and scored a career-high 44 points and added seven rebounds, eight assists and three steals.

Yet, with the game on the line in overtime, he had a chance to win it with a wide-open 3-pointer. It clanked off the rim with 8.9 seconds left.

Oh, well, another day, another loss in a long line of losses this season. There are only four games left in the 2013-14 season. The offseason could be outlandish and quite busy for the beat writers. 

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

SF Luol Deng (6-9. 220) vs. Michael Kidd-Gilchrist (6-7, 232)
PF Tristan Thompson (6-9, 236) vs. Cody Zeller (7-0, 240)
C Spencer Hawes (7-1, 245) vs. Al Jefferson (6-10, 289)
SG Dion Waiters (6-4, 225) vs. Gerald Henderson (6-5, 215)
PG Kyrie Irving (6-3, 193) vs. Kemba Walker (6-1, 184)
Cavs - F Anthony Bennett, G Carrick Felix, G/F C.J. Miles
Bobcats C Brendan Haywood, F Jeffery Taylor
Ed Malloy, Brent Barnaky, Eric Lewis


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