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

Monday, November 24, 2014

Magic at Cavs

Quicken Loans Arena
Radio: WTAM-AM 1100, WMMS-FM 100.7, La Mega-FM 97.7
TV: Fox Sports Ohio

QUICK SHOTS: 1. It didn't matter who the Cavaliers played on Monday. If LeBron James plays with such determination and aggression, the Cavaliers are going to be hard to beat. He came out with the right mindset from the start - he scored 16 of his game-high 29 points in the first quarter - something that has been lacking from time to time this year. He has to be the aggressor. None of this passive stuff. When he forces the issue, teams have a hard time stopping the Cavaliers. It all starts with him.

2. When they are most effective on offense, the ball moves. When it doesn't, they revert to one-on-one play. They dished out 30 assists on 42 field goals against the Magic. They also moved bodies. When the ball swings from side to side, they are almost impossible to stop. 

3. The Cavaliers' defense limited the Magic to opponent season lows in points (74), field-goal percentage (36.3 percent), field goals made (29) and assists (14). When they defend like that, it's gives the Cavaliers a whole new dimension. Before we get too giddy, the Magic can't shoot a lick from the perimeter.

4. Magic center Nikola Vucevic is a load offensively. He had an NBA-high 23 rebounds against the Pelicans Oct. 28. He leads the NBA with 12 double-doubles. He ended with 18 points and a game-high 13 rebounds. The Cavaliers had to account for him in the defensive game plan. Cavaliers center Anderson Varejao made him work on the defensive end. Varejao had 10 points in the third quarter on 5 of 6 attempts.

5. Orlando missed starting small forward Tobias Harris (strained calf muscle), who came into the game averaging 18.8 points and 8.4 rebounds. Mo Harkless started in his place and did absolutely nothing.

6. Coach David Blatt is hinting at a change in the starting lineup. He wants to do it in practice first instead of just throwing that player into the lineup. Shawn Marion's starting job could be in jeopardy. I'm actually not sure what he's going to do. I was thinking it might be Mike Miller, but he didn't even get off the bench on Monday. James Jones did and he promptly buried a 3-pointer. 

7. Cavaliers forward/center Tristan Thompson recorded his 2,000th career rebound. He was pretty darn good in the paint area. He ended with nine points, 11 rebounds and two blocks.

8. The Cavaliers recalled center Alex Kirk from the D-League Canton Charge. He was inactive on Monday, however.

UP NEXT: vs. Washington, Quicken Loans Arena, 7 p.m. Wednesday

SF LeBron James (6-8, 250) vs. Maurice Harkless (6-9, 215)
PF Kevin Love (6-10, 243) vs. Channing Frye (6-11, 255)
C Anderson Varejao (6-11, 267) vs. Nikola Vucevic (6-11, 260)
SG Shawn Marion (6-7, 228) vs. Evan Fournier (6-7, 205)
PG Kyrie Irving (6-3, 193) vs. Victor Oladipo (6-4, 205)
Cavs - G Matthew Dellavedova, C Alex Kirk
Magic - G Devyn Marble, F/C Kyle O'Quinn
Mike Callahan, Brent Barnaky, James Williams


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