Game 32: Bucks at Cavs
Quicken Loans Arena
Radio: WTAM-AM 1100, WMMS-FM 100.7, La Mega-FM 97.7
TV: Fox Sports Ohio
1. Happy New Year.
2. Cavs forward LeBron James was held out of tonight's game. It's the third game this season he's missed with left knee soreness. I had the feeling he's going to be held out of the Charlotte game on Friday, too. That's never a good thing to see James on the inactive list. It probably doesn't do much for the Cavs' TV ratings, either. "Oh, LeBron's not playing?" Click.
3. With James and power forward Kevin Love (back spasms) sidelined, that puts too much pressure on Kyrie Irving. He fired in a team-high 25 points, but shot 9 of 23 from the field, 1 of 7 from the 3-point line. Irving has averaged 30 points in the last two games that James hasn't played. His right arm might be a bit sore. He's attempted 50 shots in the last two nights.
4. Irving has scored 25 or more points in each of his last four games. In that span, he's averaging 28.5 points, 3.8 rebounds, 5.0 assists and 1.5 steals.
5. Center Tristan Thompson recorded his third consecutive double-double and eighth of the season after finishing with 10 points, a game-high 13 rebounds and a block. Since being inserted into the starting lineup, he's averaging 13.8 points and 12.5 rebounds.
6. It's difficult to fault the way the Cavs have played the last two nights, even though they've lost the two games by a combined 24 points. They competed. They scrapped. They are just not going to win games with guys like A.J. Price, Lou Amundson and Alex Kirk running around.
7. Unlike the Bucks, who are playing way over their heads, the Cavs are bumbling along. They will soon be a .500 team unless things change. They have games against Dallas and Houston coming up, embark on a rugged five-game West Coast trip, and then return home to host Chicago. On second thought, they could fall under .500.
UP NEXT: at Charlotte, Time Warner Cable Arena, 7 p.m., Friday
C Brendan Haywood (7-0, 263) vs. Zaza Pachulia (6-11, 270)
Bucks - F Damien Inglis, F Jabari Parker