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Cleveland Cavaliers & The NBA

Lakers Cavs

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Re: Lakers Cavs

Unread postby FUDU » Sat Dec 26, 2009 4:27 am

Let's take this for what it is, a good win in the first half of the season. It counts, but it shouldn't be over analyzed.

Again, even the way we have played up till today we were only what a few games behind the best team in the league record wise.

Improvisation can make such a big difference in a hoops game.

I personally cannot wait to go the Laker's game at the Q this year.
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Re: Lakers Cavs

Unread postby OldDawg » Sat Dec 26, 2009 10:53 am

The more I think about this game, the more I am impressed about it.

Yes, it was the Cavs beating the defending world champions on their own floor in the national spotlight.

However, the most impressive thing to me is how the Cavs responded to a number of situations.

1) After the late 2nd quarter melt down, the momentum had clearly shifted back to the Lakers. How many of us were then predicting 2nd half doom?? The Cavs came back and re-established themselves on both ends of the floor. Very impressive.

2) When the game got physical, the Cavs remained steadfast, and were willing to play physical basketball. And they kept playing physical. They stood their ground. The Lakers, on the other hand, played physical for a while and expected the Cavs to whither. When the Cavs did not whither, the Lakers couldn't handle it and got dirty and whiny.

3) When the Lakers got dirty and whiny, the Cavs took the high road. While they stood up for one another, they did not retaliate or get dirty in response. The Cavs continued to play physical and hold the fort while the Lakers melted down in front of the country.

The physical nature of play the second half reminded me of play-off atmosphere. I think of the old time Lakers-Celtics finals, where no one was allowed to shoot a lay-up by the defense.

The Lakers (Kobe particularly) felt they could just drive to the hoop, throw themselves at the defense, and get a call. I know the commentators were defending Kobe about some of these calls, but if you jump into Shaq, you're gonna fall down, not Shaq. Just the way it is. Like I used to say, if you jump into a briar patch, you're gonna get scratched.
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Re: Lakers Cavs

Unread postby peeker643 » Sat Dec 26, 2009 11:45 am

Article coming but for me it was the whole week. I think it's important that LBJ did what he did after the crap sandwich in Dallas. No talking about leading and inspiring, all he did starting the next night was lead and inspire.

He actually did it on the floor. From setting the tone in Phoenix to shutting off Tyreke's water Wednesday to banging and scratching for 26 against a bitch of a defensive player in Artest. Add to that him getting in Fisher's grill about the cheap shit and him keeping his guys focused and together.

That was leadership all week without him calling attention to it or giving it lip service and it came in every facet of the game.

Going into the Dallas game I was concerned about the pysche of the team. After the Dallas game I was convinced the club was going backward. Phoenix, Sacramento and LA was a huge injection of faith and confidence for me personally. All three of the games presented their own specific challenges and the Cavs rose up to all of them and I think James actually took another step along the way.

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Re: Lakers Cavs

Unread postby Orenthal » Sat Dec 26, 2009 12:14 pm

fundamentals wrote:It's one game, but methinks reactions to this one might be a bit skewed one way or another depending upon the result.


As it should, just as games against Orlando and Boston will also. Ratings are great, but even more relevant when isolated against the top 5 teams...

Papa 100% agree on your Shaq take, one I have been trying to pass along but nowhere near as well as you just laid it out.
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Re: Lakers Cavs

Unread postby Orenthal » Sat Dec 26, 2009 12:36 pm

noles1 wrote:I don't want to submarine the intent of this post but my answer to the Shaq-Dwight thing... Iwe lost the Orlando series because of their flexibility and our limitations defending the wings. I don't feel like we have that issue so much now. I never felt like Dwight killed us in that series until Game 6 and that was just a fluke type performance, IMO. As for guarding Dwight, I never feel like the guy is going to get 40 on us. Offensively, he is still handicapped. Shaq certainly helps but I feel like a move with him included you are going to still be able to answer that question. (Okafor, Camby, etc.)


I agree/disagree. Yes the length should help contest shot, but one reason those shots were so wide open was the double teaming done on Howard. Our rotations, and their fluid passing enabled many open looks. Hopefully the combo of no needed doubles and length nullify the open looks. Orlando did us a huge favor letting Hedo walk. IMO he was the most versatile of their bigs, and the toughest matchup. Moon/AP/DWest will have a far easier time with Carter, and hopefully Moon has enuff length to hassle Lewis.
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Re: Lakers Cavs

Unread postby papacass » Sun Dec 27, 2009 10:14 pm

Orenthal wrote:
noles1 wrote:I don't want to submarine the intent of this post but my answer to the Shaq-Dwight thing... Iwe lost the Orlando series because of their flexibility and our limitations defending the wings. I don't feel like we have that issue so much now. I never felt like Dwight killed us in that series until Game 6 and that was just a fluke type performance, IMO. As for guarding Dwight, I never feel like the guy is going to get 40 on us. Offensively, he is still handicapped. Shaq certainly helps but I feel like a move with him included you are going to still be able to answer that question. (Okafor, Camby, etc.)


I agree/disagree. Yes the length should help contest shot, but one reason those shots were so wide open was the double teaming done on Howard. Our rotations, and their fluid passing enabled many open looks. Hopefully the combo of no needed doubles and length nullify the open looks. Orlando did us a huge favor letting Hedo walk. IMO he was the most versatile of their bigs, and the toughest matchup. Moon/AP/DWest will have a far easier time with Carter, and hopefully Moon has enuff length to hassle Lewis.


This.

Just because Dewey can't go off for 40 in a game the way Shaq could in his prime doesn't mean Dewey isn't a vexing matchup problem on defense. Height of a center, strength and hops of a power forward. His low post offensive skill set is not Tim Duncan's, but he can dominate with his sheer athleticism if given the chance. He cut back door for a disgraceful number of alley oop flushes in the ECF last year, simply because he had the size and/or athleticism advantage over everyone the Cavs threw at him. That led to excessive double-teaming, and wide open looks for Orlando's perimeter shooters as a result.

Hedo and Rashard definitely benefitted from direct mismatches as well, but the need to prevent Howard from getting easy dunks and lay-ins exacerbated the matchup issues on the wings.

Having a center with Shaq's size and ability to simply take away a lot of Dewey's operating space -- even if Shaq can no longer hope to match Dewey athletically -- eliminates much of the need for doubles and complex help-defense blocking and tackling. It's always better to play straight-up man defense, and Shaq allows the other four guys on the floor to play tighter on their men. Against jump shooting teams like Boston and Orlando, that should really help the defensive scheming.

I don't agree that Okfaor or Camby are as-good or better options than Shaq, simply beacuse Shaq's size is a weapon all its own. Okafor and Camby are both comparable in size to Howard, but probably not as strong in the upper body and more able to be pushed around and overmatched athletically by someone like Howard. No matter how slow Shaq gets, he's still incredibly big and strong. His massive size was the primary asset that made him a game changer as a rookie in 1992, and it's the primary asset that makes him a game changer now. In the low-post mosh pit, he's not going to get out-muscled by Howard or anyone else. Out-quicked, maybe. But not out-muscled.

The ego is also part of the Shaq package, and it helps him rise to the occasion when the Cavs need him the most. Shaq makes it a personal point of pride to play his best against the best players and teams. He may only have so many bullets left in the chamber, but he saves them for Howard, the Lakers and so forth.

I still think Shaq's physical girth, desire to play his best in spotlight games and experience winning in May and June make him the best fit for what the Cavs need right now. Maybe someone like Okafor is a better option in a couple of years, but for the purposes of trying to win a title in June 2010, Shaq is the right man for the jobs that the Cavs need done.
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Re: Lakers Cavs

Unread postby Larvell Blanks » Mon Dec 28, 2009 2:20 pm

*wondering where fundamentals is*

Kobe didn't shake hands after the game

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Re: Lakers Cavs

Unread postby Hi Oktane » Mon Dec 28, 2009 2:34 pm

For those who consider the Cavs to be (to steal eye's descriptor) "fatally flawed" and a notch below the association "elites", consider the following from basketbawful.com:

It's funny. The Lakers have been at the top of almost every power ranking pretty much all season long despite the fact that their schedule has been front-loaded with home games (a league-best 19 to be exact) and very few back-to-backs. As ESPN Los Angeles' Dave McMenamin pointed out: "The Lakers are 6-5 on the season against teams that had better than .500 records as of Dec. 25."

And what about their record against division leaders? After getting their asses whupped at home by the Cleveland, the Lakers are 1-3, which includes a home win over the Hawks and blowout losses Mavs (94-80 at home), Nuggets (105-79 on the road) and now the Crabs. And against Cleveland, it was the same old story from the 2008 Finals: the Lakers got man-handled and the best they could do was whine about it to the officials. Not a great showing for the Purple and Gold...
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Re: Lakers Cavs

Unread postby papacass » Mon Dec 28, 2009 3:05 pm

Hi Oktane wrote:For those who consider the Cavs to be (to steal eye's descriptor) "fatally flawed" and a notch below the association "elites", consider the following from basketbawful.com:

It's funny. The Lakers have been at the top of almost every power ranking pretty much all season long despite the fact that their schedule has been front-loaded with home games (a league-best 19 to be exact) and very few back-to-backs. As ESPN Los Angeles' Dave McMenamin pointed out: "The Lakers are 6-5 on the season against teams that had better than .500 records as of Dec. 25."

And what about their record against division leaders? After getting their asses whupped at home by the Cleveland, the Lakers are 1-3, which includes a home win over the Hawks and blowout losses Mavs (94-80 at home), Nuggets (105-79 on the road) and now the Crabs. And against Cleveland, it was the same old story from the 2008 Finals: the Lakers got man-handled and the best they could do was whine about it to the officials. Not a great showing for the Purple and Gold...


The Lakers are kind of used to being taller and stronger than everyone else. In the West, surrounded by finesse teams like Dallas, Phoenix and Denver, it's not too difficult for a team like the Lakers to feel like The Hulk. But everything is relative.

The best way to have a chance against the Lakers is still to have height and strength up front, and be capable of pushing Gasol, Bynum, Odom and Artest around. Kobe is their best player, but their true separator from most other teams is the strength of Artest and the height of the other three. Match that, and you'll throw the Lakers for a loop.

It's not a coincidence that the Lakers' most difficult playoff series last year came against the Rockets with Artest and Battier, and Yao before he went down. It's not a coincidence that they were able to roll the Nuggets and Magic -- two teams that decidedly lacked overall frontcourt strength and toughness -- en route to their title.

It's also not a coincidence that the Lakers had no problem dispatching the Cavs of Ben Wallace, Andy Varejao and Z, but got their rears handed to them by the new-look Cavs with Shaq, Moon and Parker. Not saying the Cavs will beat up on the Lakers every time, but the difference in how the Cavs played the Lakers last year to this year is noticeable. Less help-defense chess-piecing, more bumping and grinding and smash-mouthing.
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Re: Lakers Cavs

Unread postby fundamentals » Mon Dec 28, 2009 3:16 pm

When you have to have Derek Fisher log a significant amount of minutes, there should be some speculation about the ability of that said team. Not an expert on the Lakers, but how Jordan Farmar cannot supplant Fischer still puzzles me. I do not see them being able to swing a trade as they do not seem to possess too much outside of their top six or seven guys. DJ Mbenga, Luke Walton, Sasha Vujacic, Adam Morrison, ummmmmmmmm no.

It would not shock me, though not sure of the salary cap ramifications, for the Lakers to make a play for T Mac. Zen Master seems to love the challenge of coaching malcontents, so............let's see what happens.
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Re: Lakers Cavs

Unread postby Hi Oktane » Tue Dec 29, 2009 12:22 pm

Hi Oktane wrote:For those who consider the Cavs to be (to steal eye's descriptor) "fatally flawed" and a notch below the association "elites", consider the following from basketbawful.com:

It's funny. The Lakers have been at the top of almost every power ranking pretty much all season long despite the fact that their schedule has been front-loaded with home games (a league-best 19 to be exact) and very few back-to-backs. As ESPN Los Angeles' Dave McMenamin pointed out: "The Lakers are 6-5 on the season against teams that had better than .500 records as of Dec. 25."

And what about their record against division leaders? After getting their asses whupped at home by the Cleveland, the Lakers are 1-3, which includes a home win over the Hawks and blowout losses Mavs (94-80 at home), Nuggets (105-79 on the road) and now the Crabs. And against Cleveland, it was the same old story from the 2008 Finals: the Lakers got man-handled and the best they could do was whine about it to the officials. Not a great showing for the Purple and Gold...


Uh, make that 6-6. And this shot chart from last night's game is pretty amazing given LA's size "advantage":

http://scores.espn.go.com/nba/shotchart?gameId=291228021
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