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

Wednesday, April 9, 2014

Game 79: Pistons at Cavs

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

WHAT HAPPENED?: The party is over.

The inevitable happened for the Cavs, who were eliminated from the Eastern Conference playoff race when Atlanta knocked off Boston.

They've been hanging on by the slightest of margins. Their loss at Atlanta last Friday was the last straw.

Why they didn't make the playoffs is a story for another time. 

I strongly believe Coach Mike Brown will return next season. Now, if he gets off to a slow start next season, then he might be in some trouble.

The Pistons played without forward Josh Smith, who missed the last two games with patellar tendinitis. 

The Cavs snapped a four-game losing streak to the Pistons at The Q. Strangely enough, they've won the last two outings in Detroit. This season, they won three of four games against the Pistons.

The first thing that impressed me on Wednesday was the way the Cavs moved the ball. They had 26 assists in the first half, 41 for the game. This is what Brown has been waiting for all season.

As you probably know, he doesn't run a lot of elaborate plays. A lot of predicated on pick-and-roll action and reading the defense. Tonight, the ball didn't stick on one side. It swung from side to side.

It might be hard for the Cavs to get up for the last three games. They have nothing to play for at this point except for pride.

Cavs coach Mike Brown begs to differ. He said they get paid to perform no matter what the playoff standings look like. He's right, of course, but this team had trouble getting up for games with the season hanging in the balance.

The Cavs really should be hovering around the .500 mark. It took so long for the Cavs to buy into what Brown was selling. Suddenly, they are defending like he's wanted them to all season.

Some of that has been the play of gritty Matthew Dellavedova, who has grown on all of us with his physical play.

I used a note on this for today's paper. It appears that forward Anthony Bennett will miss the rest of the season with the tendinitis in his patellar tendon. What a disastrous season for the first-year forward. It started terribly and will likely end with him injured. He's missed the last 15 games.

UP NEXT: The Cavs travel to Milwaukee at 8:30 p.m. Friday at Bradley Center.

SF Luol Deng (6-9. 220) vs. Kyle Singler (6-8, 228)
PF Tristan Thompson (6-9, 236) vs. Greg Monroe (6-11, 250)
C Spencer Hawes (7-1, 245) vs. Andre Drummond (6-11, 279)
SG Dion Waiters (6-4, 225) vs. Rodney Stuckey (6-5, 205)
PG Kyrie Irving (6-3, 193) vs. Brandon Jennings (6-1, 169)
Cavs - F Anthony Bennett, G Carrick Felix, G/F C.J. Miles
Pistons C Josh Harrellson, G Will Bynum, G Chauncey Billups
Rodney Mott, Tre Maddox, Olandis Poole


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