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

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Game 24: Hawks at Cavs

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

1. You think 14-10 is where the Cavs thought they'd be after 24 games? Not in your wildest dreams. This isn't coming together how they thought it would. Defense has been the problem repeatedly for much of the season. This team scores plenty of points. It just doesn't stop the opposition like it needs to. For anyone to think this is going to end in a championship run, you're out of your gourde.

2. Now, look, it's not like it can't happen. There is a lot of talent on this team. Any team that has LeBron James on it, has a chance at winning the whole enchilada. However, it's time this team starts playing like a championship challenger. They came into Wednesday's game the fifth seed in the Eastern Conference. Right now, present day, I don't think they'd get out of the second round of the playoffs. That's not what they had in mind when they built this team.

3. Forward Kevin Love was in the starting lineup after missing shootaround with flu-like symptoms. He finished with a double-double with 13 points and 10 rebounds, but did very little after his customary hot first quarter.

4. The Hawks ripped the Cavaliers a new one, and were playing without perhaps their best player in point guard Jeff Teague. He's also their floor general. It didn't make one bit of difference. Dennis Schroder dished out a career-high 10 assists. When he went to the bench, Shelvin Mack just embarrassed the Cavs with a career-high 24 points. He was 6 of 6 from behind the arc. Where was Kyrie Irving in all this? No where to be seen. He scored just nine points on the night. He stayed out on the court afterward and took shot after shot. He hasn't been the same since he suffered the knee injury in OKC last week. He might be a bit fatigued. I don't know what it is, but he hasn't been the same.

5. Cavs swingman Mike Miller really wanted to play tonight, but was held back for precautionary reasons. His neck was a bit stiff. He's now missed seven games with his concussion. 

6. Forward LeBron James didn't like the line of questioning after the game and asked a radio host if he ever asks anything but negative questions. The radio host asked LeBron if he was embarrassed after a loss like this. There was nothing wrong with the question. In fact, Coach David Blatt used the same word about 10 minutes earlier. 

7. James is four points shy of surpassing Charles Barkley (23,757) for 23rd place on the NBA's all-time scoring list. Perhaps he'll pass Barkley in the next game.

8The Cavs had a nine-game winning streak snapped against Eastern Conference foes. They are 12-4 vs. the East this season.

UP NEXT: vs. Brooklyn, Quicken Loans Arena, 7:30 p.m. Friday

SF LeBron James (6-8, 250) vs. DeMarre Carroll (6-8, 212)
PF Kevin Love (6-10, 243) vs. Paul Millsap (6-8, 246)
C Anderson Varejao (6-11, 267) vs. Al Horford (6-10, 245)
SG Shawn Marion (6-7, 228) vs. Kyle Korver (6-7, 212)
PG Kyrie Irving (6-3, 193) vs. Dennis Schroder (6-1, 168)
Cavs - C Alex Kirk, G/F Mike Miller
Hawks - F Adreian Payne, G Jeff Teague
Bill Kennedy, Kevin Cutler, Gary Zielinsky


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