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

Saturday, November 29, 2014

Pacers 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. The Cavaliers played for the first time this season without center Anderson Varejao, who has a bruised rib. He'd appeared in the previous 14 games. He was injured in the Washington game. He's been on a roll as of late. He'd averaged 14 points and 9.0 rebounds in his previous five games and was shooting a team-high 65.3 percent from the field (32 of 49) in that span. He'd reached double figures in 10 of his 14 games this season.

2. Tristan Thompson started at center and was quite effective with 13 points and a game-high 11 rebounds. Cavaliers coach David Blatt called him the unsung hero of the game.

3. Varejao had been quite deadly with those elbow jumpers. He ranks first in the Eastern Conference and fourth in the NBA in field-goal accuracy at 61.1 percent. Hopefully, he won't miss much more time.

4. Tonight would have been Varejao's 549th game as a Cavalier. In his next game, he'll surpass Brad Daugherty (548) for eighth place in franchise history for games played.

5. The Pacers were missing three of their top four players in their victory over Orlando on Friday. All-Star swingman Paul George (fractured right tibia/fibula) is out for the year. Center Roy Hibbert (sprained left ankle) is questionable, while point guard George Hill (sprained left ankle) is out.

6. The Cavaliers have finally started defending like they are capable of. They are swarming. It's fun to watch for many basketball purists. It's not all about outscoring the opposition. The good teams are capable of getting stops late in the game. The most impressive has been Kyrie Irving. He's been very good.

7. Kevin Love was dominant with 28 points and 10 rebounds. Blatt said it was Love's best game defensively. I don't know if I'm there yet with Love's defense or lack thereof.

8. Coach David Blatt is also excited about the pace in which they are playing. They are not only moving bodies on defense, they are moving up and down the court on offense. They are best when they attack in early offense, before the opposing team sets up its defense. They are also moving the ball from one side of the court to the other.

9. The Cavaliers will face two former teammates in starting point guard Donald Sloan and swingman C.J. Miles. Sloan has stepped in for injured Hill and played quite well. He's a very good distributor of the basketball.

10. The Cavaliers are 6-3 against the East and 2-0 vs. the Central Division. 

11. Perhaps the highlight of the game was LeBron James' no-look pass to Irving in the first half. It was a thing of beauty. Teammate Shawn Marion almost stepped in front of the pass, but he refrained.

UP NEXT: vs. Milwaukee, Quicken Loans Arena, 7 p.m. Tuesday

SF LeBron James (6-8, 250) vs. Solomon Hill (6-7, 225)
PF Kevin Love (6-10, 243) vs. David West (6-9, 250)
C Tristan Thompson (6-9, 238) vs. Ian Mahinmi (6-10, 255)
SG Shawn Marion (6-7, 228) vs. Rodney Stuckey (6-5, 210)
PG Kyrie Irving (6-3, 193) vs. Donald Sloan (6-3, 210)
Cavs - G Matthew Dellavedova, C Anderson Varejao
Pacers - G/F Paul George, G George Hill
Marc Davis, Steve Anderson, Tony Brown


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