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

Friday, December 19, 2014

Game 25: Nets at Cavs

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

1. Cavaliers coach David Blatt hinted after practice on Thursday a change might be in order. Finally, he made the move on Friday by inserting Mike Miller as the starting shooting guard. That move was long overdue. It was about two weeks late, in my opinion. The bottom line to me is that you want your shooting guard to be able to shoot. Shawn Marion's lack of offense was hurting the starting unit. Marion is a strong defender and there's a lot to like about him, but Miller can knock down an open shot. Marion - he of the funky shot - can no longer do that.

2. Blatt said the move was also made to strengthen the second unit. That group has struggled all season and certainly could use a jolt. The Cavs still got outscored by the Nets' bench, 28-23. But with Marion, Dion Waiters, Matthew Dellavedova, Tristan Thompson and James Jones, they have some semblance of a bench. It could work out for them. 

3. Waiters, however, didn't play in the second half. Zilch. Nada. I'm sure he's steamed right now. Coach David Blatt said it was just a gut feeling. Waiters hasn't been playing real well, even in the Atlanta game when he scored 21 points. Some think this is a precursor to him being moved. We'll have to see how it plays out. It wouldn't shock me.

4. This was a must-win game for the Cavs. Why? They face Memphis on Sunday. Had they lost Friday's game, as well as on Sunday, they'd be facing a three-game losing streak. The Grizzlies are one of the top teams in the league. They grind it out inside and have a fabulous point guard in Mike Conley. It could be a war on Sunday. Just so you know, the game is at 4:30 p.m.

5. Thompson had a strong game and played the entire fourth quarter. He ended with nine points and 10 rebounds in 27 minutes. Anderson Varejao, who seems to be wearing down as the season goes on, didn't get off the bench in the fourth. 

6. The Cavs are 11-4 when they outrebound the opposition. I thought that would be a staple for the Cavs this season. They held the Nets to just four offensive rebounds. They have 99 total rebounds in two games against Brooklyn, compared to the Nets' 70.

7. James surpassed Charles Barkley (23,757) for 23rd place on the NBA's all-time scoring list. 

UP NEXT: vs. Memphis, Quicken Loans Arena, 4:30 p.m. Sunday

SF LeBron James (6-8, 250) vs. Joe Johnson (6-7, 240)
PF Kevin Love (6-10, 243) vs. Kevin Garnett (6-11, 253)
C Anderson Varejao (6-11, 267) vs. Mason Plumlee (6-11, 235)
SG Shawn Marion (6-7, 228) vs. Sergey Karasev (6-7, 208)
PG Kyrie Irving (6-3, 193) vs. Deron Williams (6-3, 200)
Cavs - C Alex Kirk, F Lou Amundson
Nets - G Markel Brown, C Brook Lopez
Monty McCutchen, Dedric Taylor, Sean Wright


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