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

Monday, December 15, 2014

Game 23: Hornets at Cavs

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

1. The Cavaliers snapped a two-game losing streak with an impressive victory over the pesky Hornets. This is the start of a 5-game homestand for the Cavaliers, but there aren't many pushovers. The Hornets have bottomed out after making the playoffs last year. When I asked what happened to the Hornets, a member of their traveling party said, "We got Lanced!" He was referring to guard Lance Stephenson, who was signed as a free agent and hasn't exactly worked out. The Hornets are trying to trade him.

2. The Cavaliers played short-handed once again. Swingman Mike Miller (concussion) missed his sixth consecutive game. Coach David Blatt hopes he'll be able to play against Atlanta on Wednesday. Backup point guard Matthew Dellavedova (stomach ailment) played 12 largely ineffective minutes. Most players wouldn't even attempted to play, Blatt said. He said Delly lost seven pounds in the last couple days.

3. Cavs forward LeBron James' left knee must be monitored in the foreseeable future. He missed the Oklahoma City game with knee soreness. It might be a case where he'll need to back off a bit in practice just to stay ready for the games. When asked how his knee was after shootaround, James replied, "Good enough for me to go  out and play. The best way to recover is to get as much rest as possible."

4. The Cavs must get back to defending like they were. Their defense was shredded in the two-game road trip in OKC and New Orleans. Part of the problem is the quality of the two teams they played. Both have penetrating guards, who find shooters on the perimeter. Hornets point guard Kemba Walker can wreak havoc on a defense, too, and fired in 24 points on Monday. When asked about the team's defense in the previous two games, Irving refused to answer at shootaround. "I think I will keep that to myself," he said. "I want to keep that internally in our locker room."

5. The Cavs have won nine consecutive games against Eastern Conference foes. They are 12-3 vs. the East this season.

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

SF LeBron James (6-8, 250) vs. Michael Kidd-Gilchrist (6-7, 232)
PF Kevin Love (6-10, 243) vs. Cody Zeller (7-0, 240)
C Anderson Varejao (6-11, 267) vs. Al Jefferson (6-10, 289)
SG Shawn Marion (6-7, 228) vs. Lance Stephenson (6-5, 230)
PG Kyrie Irving (6-3, 193) vs. Kemba Walker (6-1, 184)
Cavs - G/F Mike Miller, C Alex Kirk
Hornets - F Noah Vonleh
Marc Davis, Steve Anderson, Mark Ayotte


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