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

Friday, October 31, 2014

Cavs at Bulls

United Center
8 p.m. Friday
Radio: WTAM-AM 1100, WMMS-FM 100.7
TV: ESPN, Fox Sports Ohio

QUICK SHOTS: 1. The Cavaliers could drop to 0-2 unless they find a way to make shots. The Bulls have a way of imposing their defensive will on teams. That could be what happens tonight. Say what you want about Bulls coach Tom Thibodeau. He's not an exciting interview, I can attest. But he is a defensive genius. Expect the Bulls' defense to cause major problems for the Cavaliers.

2. I really couldn't believe how passive LeBron James was on offense. When he's attacking, he's practically unstoppable. Last night, he was very guardable. With a player like Carmelo Anthony, he shoots almost every time he touches the ball. But he finished with 25 points and might have been the difference in the game. James just passed the ball, often times out of bounds against the Knicks. His eight turnovers were very uncharacteristic. I bet he rebounds in a big way against Chicago.

3. I keep waiting to be blown away by Coach David Blatt's borderline genius offense. Against New York, the ball stuck. Ideally, it's supposed to move, along with bodies, in Blatt's offense. 

4. Expect Blatt to tinker with his rotation against Chicago. He went nine players deep against the Knicks, but swingman Mike Miller played just 2:55. I keep waiting for Miller and forward Shawn Marion to make plays. I haven't seen anything from either of them for much of the preseason and the first game. If they don't come through, it's going to be a big blow to the Cavaliers.

5. Keep a close eye on Bulls point guard Derrick Rose. In the preseason matchup against the Cavs, he was fantastic with 30 points. He blew by defenders are will and make jump shots. He'll be the focus of Blatt's defensive game plan. The Cavs' guards need to keep Rose in front of them. That's not an easy task, either.

UP NEXT: at Portland, Rose Garden, Tuesday, 10 p.m.

SF LeBron James (6-8, 250) vs. Mike Dunleavy (6-9, 230)
PF Kevin Love (6-10, 243) vs. Pau Gasol (7-0, 255)
C Anderson Varejao (6-11, 267) vs. Joakim Noah (6-11, 232)
SG Dion Waiters (6-4, 225) vs. Kirk Hinrich (6-4, 190)
PG Kyrie Irving (6-3, 193) vs. Derrick Rose (6-3, 190)
Cavs - F/C Lou Amundson, G A.J. Price
Bulls - G Jimmy Butler
Scott Foster, Matt Boland, Scott Wall

Thursday, October 30, 2014

Together | LeBron James 2014

Game 1: Knicks at Cavs

Quicken Loans Arena
Radio/TV: WTAM-AM 1100, WMMS-FM 100.7)/TNT

QUICK SHOTS: 1. This is going to be the start of a wild ride this season. Embrace it because it doesn't happen very often in Cleveland. The Cavaliers hope the season ends in the NBA Finals with them hoisting up a championship trophy. Of course, they'll have to play a lot better than they did on Thursday. The players thought the emotions of the game caught up with them. That kind of pressure is only going to keep building.

2. That was about as bad as LeBron James is going to play. The eight turnovers were very uncharacteristic. Everyone expected him to take over the game at some point. That never happened. He just kept coughing up the basketball.

3. Power forward Kevin Love was fantastic on the boards with 19 points and a game-high 14 rebounds. It was the 257th double-double of his career. I'm almost in awe of his rebounding and outlet passes. I just love the way this guy hits the boards.

4. The Knicks are coming off a 24-point loss to the Bulls on Wednesday. I don't expect them to make the playoffs. They were missing two key performers in Jose Calderon and Andrea Bargnani. Then explain how they came onto the Cavs' home court and kicked their butts? I can't. I will say forward Carmelo Anthony was pretty good with 25 points. He had a dagger shot late in the game over James. Melo is still dangerous and loves to play against James. They were both in the 2003 draft class.

5. Normally, I don't get too excited about scoreboards, but the Cavs' new jumbotron is fascinating. The old scoreboard wasn't in HD. This one is clearer than your TV set at home. The sound system is also loud and crystal clear. You'll be impressed. I've love to know how much it cost. It had a black spot on the screen for much of the second half. Someone's head probably rolled over that one.

UP NEXT: Cavs at Chicago, United Center, Friday, 8 p.m.

SF LeBron James (6-8, 250) vs. Carmelo Anthony (6-8, 240)
PF Kevin Love (6-10, 243) vs. Quincy Acy (6-7, 240)
C Anderson Varejao (6-11, 267) vs. Samuel Dalembert (6-11, 255)
SG Dion Waiters (6-4, 225) vs. Iman Shumpert (6-5, 220)
PG Kyrie Irving (6-3, 193) vs. Shane Larkin (5-11, 175)
Cavs - F/C Lou Amundson, G A.J. Price
Knicks - C Andrea Bargnani, G Jose Calderon
Tom Washington, Curtis Blair, David Guthrie