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Lakers Cavs

Unread postby e0y2e3 » Fri Dec 25, 2009 12:50 am

I'll give it up to Pelton on the preview:

5:00 p.m. E.T., ABC - Cleveland Cavaliers (22-8) at L.A. Lakers (23-4)

Adjusted Point Differential: Cleveland 5.1 (5th), L.A. Lakers 6.7 (3rd)
Offensive Ratings: Cleveland 111.4 (8th), L.A. Lakers 109.5 (15th)
Defensive Ratings: Cleveland 104.3 (5th), L.A. Lakers 100.4 (1st)
Pace: Cleveland 89.5 (28th), L.A. Lakers 93.5 (6th)

Let's talk about the Cleveland frontcourt. There are six combinations of power forwards and centers Mike Brown has used for at least 100 possessions this season. Here are their respective Offensive and Defensive Ratings, as well as the net of the two (thanks as always to BasketballValue.com for lineup data):

Frontcourt ORtg DRtg Net
----------------------------------------
Hickson-Ilgauskas 102.8 109.4 - 6.6
Varejao-Ilgauskas 113.5 98.6 14.9
Hickson-O'Neal 105.6 109.7 - 4.1
Varejao-O'Neal 104.8 97.6 7.2
Hickson-Varejao 132.4 105.3 27.1
James-Varejao 115.7 94.2 21.5
I've railed about this before, but J.J. Hickson simply is not a very good basketball player at this stage in his career, which makes it odd that he is starting and playing 19 minutes a game for the Cavaliers. They are 10.0 points worse per 100 possessions on defense with Hickson in the game, and the upgrade he offers on Anderson Varejao as a partner for Shaquille O'Neal in the frontcourt comes nowhere near offsetting this problem. Hickson should also never be let anywhere near Zydrunas Ilgauskas, though oddly lineups with him and Varejao have been unstoppable on offense (in just over 200 possessions).

It's also clear here that O'Neal is not the right fit for the Cavaliers. Concerns about his defense have proven overstated by this author and others; lineups with him and Varejao have been excellent defensively and in fact better than the Varejao-Ilgauskas pairing. But the latter duo does a much better job of spacing the floor and is the best of the frontcourts Brown uses on a regular basis. Cleveland's small lineup of LeBron James and Varejao has also been dominant in limited playing time.

The good news for the Cavaliers is that Hickson could be replaced in the rotation by the end of the regular season if Leon Powe successfully returns from his ACL surgery. (He was recently cleared to begin full-court running and drills.) Powe might not be ideal as a floor-stretcher alongside O'Neal, but he's a far superior defensive option with experience playing for the league's best defenses in Boston.

As for the Lakers, I mostly said my peace on the team earlier this week,/a>, but I did want to point out a comment on my column made by Forum Blue and Gold contributor Bill Bridges. He noted that some of the change in the Lakers defense could be attributed to Phil Jackson reclaiming charge of the defense after turning it over to Kurt Rambis in past seasons. It was Rambis who was responsible for instituting the Lakers' aggressive trapping. I also second Bridges' point that Jackson is an underrated defensive coach. When he first came to L.A., the Lakers actually went backward on offense but improved dramatically at the defensive end. Here are the team's ratings as a percentage above or below league average from 1997-98 (Del Harris' last full season, when the Lakers went to the Western Conference Finals), 1998-99 (the lockout-shortened season, when Rambis replaced Harris midyear) and 1999-00 (the first of three straight titles under Jackson):

Year AdjO AdjD Net
-------------------------------
1997-98 +7.1 +1.3 +8.4
1998-99 +5.4 -2.0 +3.4
1999-00 +3.3 +5.6 +8.9
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Re: Lakers Cavs

Unread postby FUDU » Fri Dec 25, 2009 1:44 am

There is such a thing as over analyzing basketball, and some of these guys do it all the time.

There is no other sport where stuff gets made up in the game as the game goes along more than hoops.
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Re: Lakers Cavs

Unread postby Bill the Butcher » Fri Dec 25, 2009 3:01 am

All that matters is that it's our team vs the reigning champs as the Christmas Day game.

Hell. Fuggin'. Yeah.

:yessss: :yessss: :yessss:

Cavs just win, baby. :yes:
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Re: Lakers Cavs

Unread postby davemanddd » Fri Dec 25, 2009 10:30 am

stats are for brainiacs and fantasy league sheep. meanwhile, the cavs have held the highest scoring offense in the nba to 90 & 91 points in their 2 games against phoenix, basically blowing them out both times. the only stats that matter to me are wins and losses. i don't care if the cavs win by 1 point or 20, or if lebron scores 40 or 15 just as long as they beat the lakers in front of a nationwide audience today. that's all that matters. go cavs!!!

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Re: Lakers Cavs

Unread postby fundamentals » Fri Dec 25, 2009 11:43 am

It's one game, but methinks reactions to this one might be a bit skewed one way or another depending upon the result.
"It's all about winning for me, and I think the Cavs are committed to doing that," he said. "But at the same time I've given myself options to this point, and like I said before, me and my team, we have a game plan that we're going to execute, and we'll see what we get."

"We had a great time together."
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Re: Lakers Cavs

Unread postby CharacterIV » Fri Dec 25, 2009 12:31 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.


Yup. There could easily be a good ol' Christmas melt.

If Shaq doesn't produce today, even if the Cavs win, the deal-him-right-now chants will echo from corner to corner of the boards.

That said, come on Cavs! Play like you did against Phoenix or in OT vs. Sacto and let's put some fear into the soon-to-be-former Champs! Fear of the team who will take their title!
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Re: Lakers Cavs

Unread postby papacass » Fri Dec 25, 2009 1:46 pm

Shaq isn't a good fit for the Cavs. But to the "Get rid of Shaq NOW" camp, I only ask:

Who guards Dwight Howard in a playoff series? Because if the Cavs don't at least neutralize Howard somewhat, it's the '09 ECF all over again. And right now it looks like the Cavs are steamrolling toward a second-round matchup with the Disneys.

Until someone can make a convincing argument as to why the Cavs are better off playing the Magic without Shaq available to guard Dewey, I'm not going to believe the Cavs are better off without Shaq. Even if he fits the offense like alfredo sauce fits an ice cream sundae.

I still wholeheartedly believe that people who are bellyaching about the shortcomings of playing with Shaq during the regular season are missing the bigger picture. It's not about how smooth the offense looks in the middle of winter. It's about winning exhausting, Greco-Roman wrestling, slobberknocker playoff series in late May and June. I really don't care if the offense looks pretty in late December. I care about winning filthy, nasty, ugly, bloody Pistons-Celtics circa 1988 seven-games series in the spring. I don't care about the points Shaq scores. I really don't even care about his hook shot dropping. I care about him banging rib cages with Dewey, Gasol, Bynum, Horford, Sheed, Perkins and whoever else, making them work for every last point. That's how you win titles.

Now, you can argue until purple in the face about whether Shaq can, in fact, still do that effectively. But that's why he's here, and at this point, I don't see a better available alternative for at least wearing down other teams with dominant big men.

Just remember: The offense will look worse in the later rounds of the playoffs regardless of who the Cavs run out there. It's a byproduct of playing elite defensive teams. Playoff basketball is slow and deliberate. You don't get style points. You get wins and losses.
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Re: Lakers Cavs

Unread postby British_Pharaoh » Fri Dec 25, 2009 6:42 pm

what kind of coaching is that??

Artest one of the best defenders and a guy who plays Lebron very well guards him almost all of the game but when it gets to the last minute in a close game it's Kobe who's gonna guard him.

What a tard
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Re: Lakers Cavs

Unread postby noles1 » Fri Dec 25, 2009 6:48 pm

Merry Christmas everyone.

Good start and quarter by the Cavs. Shaq has been very good and a pleasant surprise. Anthony Parker playing terrific all-around.

Bench will be key to the ebb and flow of this game. Mike Brown needs to keep the pressure on. When Lebron is out is what I am interested to see.

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.)
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Re: Lakers Cavs

Unread postby noles1 » Fri Dec 25, 2009 6:59 pm

British_Pharaoh wrote:what kind of coaching is that??

Artest one of the best defenders and a guy who plays Lebron very well guards him almost all of the game but when it gets to the last minute in a close game it's Kobe who's gonna guard him.

What a tard



I've always felt like Artest's "success" was more Battier and the team defense that Houstom implored. Come crunch-time, I would want Kobe on Lebron too. He's a better defender in my eyes.

Kobe may be in line to play 45 minutes today. He is pressing now too, seeing how poorly his team is playing. Lakers taking some horrible shots. Jordan Farmar is bad.

Cavs bench looks terrific. Delonte has played very well of late and hopefully he is coming back around. Cavs have been very active and are playing under control and taking good shots.
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Re: Lakers Cavs

Unread postby CharacterIV » Fri Dec 25, 2009 7:08 pm

Merry Christmas, all. I'm about 5-10 minutes behind on the ol' DVR, but what concerns me is that the Lakers scoring difficulties in the early going seem to be more a result of them missing makeable shots rather than us pressuring them into difficult ones. Nonetheless, a lead is a lead, and we're looking good.

Little worried about the idea of the Shaq and Z frontcourt today. Lakers' bigs are just too quick.
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Re: Lakers Cavs

Unread postby Hoover » Fri Dec 25, 2009 7:15 pm

Cavs are getting everybody involved, but the Lakers are Kobe and 4 guys in their underwear right now. Their shot % is a joke.

Let's hope the Cavs can keep this up in the 2nd half and wipe the floor with the Lakers. That would be a great Xmas gift!
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Re: Lakers Cavs

Unread postby noles1 » Fri Dec 25, 2009 7:17 pm

Ron trying to get VERY physical with Lebron...

Ain't going to work IMO. Only thing he may be able to do is goad Lebron into playing more one-on-one ball rather than what he has done thus far. He's about as sound of a game as you can play today.

Lakers look a little surprised how physical Cleveland has been and can be with their roster this year.
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Re: Lakers Cavs

Unread postby British_Pharaoh » Fri Dec 25, 2009 7:22 pm

Yeah let's start giving LA some momentum going into the half

that'll help us close this game out
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Re: Lakers Cavs

Unread postby Hoover » Fri Dec 25, 2009 7:27 pm

Refs blew that off. foul call on LeBron.

Just 3 FT attempts for the Cavs, compared to 13 for the Lakers. Zebras are gonna keep this game close, no matter what the Cavs do.
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Re: Lakers Cavs

Unread postby noles1 » Fri Dec 25, 2009 7:28 pm

Mike Brown shits the bed the last 3 minutes and give the Lakers all sorts of life.

This team is maddening sometimes.

No problem with refs letting them play but let's not bother with the Fisher calls and maybe think about a 3 seconds call when Ron-ron literally camps in the lane.

Tough break on the half-court shot.
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Re: Lakers Cavs

Unread postby British_Pharaoh » Fri Dec 25, 2009 7:29 pm

Daaamn that was close


oh well

fucking gash last 3 minutes of the half
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Re: Lakers Cavs

Unread postby dmiles » Fri Dec 25, 2009 7:32 pm

I disagree that it was Brown (not that I am huge fan). Both Lebron and Mo on a couple possessions didn't like Artest/Fisher physically defending them so they tried a little too much 1-on-1 stuff. Not a good finish but hopefully we can straighten that stuff out.
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Re: Lakers Cavs

Unread postby CharacterIV » Fri Dec 25, 2009 7:32 pm

Stern on the hotline to the refs: "I do NOT want the Cavs to have a 15+ point lead going to the half. Fix this."
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Re: Lakers Cavs

Unread postby Madre Hill, Superstar » Fri Dec 25, 2009 7:39 pm

I am shocked, shocked, that the defending NBA champions didn't go into the half down by 20 on their home court.
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Re: Lakers Cavs

Unread postby CharacterIV » Fri Dec 25, 2009 7:50 pm

3-13 FT attempted disparity, in favor of the Lakeshow.

Just sayin'.
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Re: Lakers Cavs

Unread postby noles1 » Fri Dec 25, 2009 8:15 pm

Danny Crawford and crew are utterly killing us.

This is fuckin ridiculous.

Letting them play on one end and then bailing the Lakers out on the other end, consistently.
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Re: Lakers Cavs

Unread postby British_Pharaoh » Fri Dec 25, 2009 8:23 pm

Game Over in LA


Cavs romp!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
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Re: Lakers Cavs

Unread postby papacass » Fri Dec 25, 2009 8:27 pm

British_Pharaoh wrote:Game Over in LA


Cavs romp!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!


You angling for a visit from this guy?

Image

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Re: Lakers Cavs

Unread postby metalhead9x9 » Fri Dec 25, 2009 8:28 pm

Lol. Zenmaster with an uber burn on his own team.
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Re: Lakers Cavs

Unread postby Madre Hill, Superstar » Fri Dec 25, 2009 8:30 pm

Phil gets fined $25 large for saying everyone on his roster not named Kobe Bryant sucks?
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Re: Lakers Cavs

Unread postby noles1 » Fri Dec 25, 2009 8:30 pm

Phil whining like always...

Sorry the refs had to take control the last 4 minutes of that quarter. Lakers are trying to thug the game up.

Careful time here the next 2-3 minutes.
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Re: Lakers Cavs

Unread postby dmiles » Fri Dec 25, 2009 8:36 pm

Great job by Mo and Lebron not getting sucked into stuff this 2nd half.

Need more Delonte...
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Re: Lakers Cavs

Unread postby noles1 » Fri Dec 25, 2009 8:53 pm

dmiles wrote:Great job by Mo and Lebron not getting sucked into stuff this 2nd half.

Need more Delonte...



My thoughts exactly.

Loving this moment from the Cavs. Sticking up for their teammates and Lebron at the forefront. Laker fans showing their true merits...

Great game by the Cavs. Best game of the year, by far and even felt like they had a couple stretches where they didn't play their best but still controlled the champs.
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Re: Lakers Cavs

Unread postby British_Pharaoh » Fri Dec 25, 2009 8:54 pm

LA fans what a bunch of *****
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Re: Lakers Cavs

Unread postby metalhead9x9 » Fri Dec 25, 2009 8:54 pm

Looks like Artest has had some influence on La-La fans.
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Re: Lakers Cavs

Unread postby fundamentals » Fri Dec 25, 2009 9:03 pm

metalhead9x9 wrote:Looks like Artest has had some influence on La-La fans.


Artest was the best behaved, best player on the floor today for the Lakers. :hide:
"It's all about winning for me, and I think the Cavs are committed to doing that," he said. "But at the same time I've given myself options to this point, and like I said before, me and my team, we have a game plan that we're going to execute, and we'll see what we get."

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Re: Lakers Cavs

Unread postby noles1 » Fri Dec 25, 2009 9:11 pm

Best game the Cavs have played this year.

Signature win for the season too. Lakers tried everything to get us out of rhythm and they failed miserably.

Kobe got roped into killing his team offensively by trying to do everything.
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Re: Lakers Cavs

Unread postby papacass » Fri Dec 25, 2009 9:12 pm

Interesting take by JVG that he'd rather be the road team on Christmas. Sucks being away from your family, but then again you don't get caught up in the distractions of Christmas when all you have is a hotel room and restaurant food.

Not saying that's why the Lakers lost. Cavs were mad hungry to win this one, and they came in and outplayed the Lakers for most of 48 minutes.

Goes to show, when the Cavs are motivated, they can beat any team anyplace.
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Re: Lakers Cavs

Unread postby CharacterIV » Fri Dec 25, 2009 9:27 pm

Super win tonight, and a great Christmas gift for all the Wine & Gold faithful. Not to grinch the joy of the win or anything, but I think this game was more about the Lakers having a really bad night than us having a really good one. Some things were definitely working tonight, but this is not the Lakeshow we'd be seeing in a possible finals matchup. Hopefully, the Cavs can turn this into some momentum and start a good winning streak.
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Re: Lakers Cavs

Unread postby mack07 » Fri Dec 25, 2009 9:30 pm

laker meltdown from coach, star, hot head free agent pick-up, point guard, and fans...this can't be what the nba wanted on christmas but it's all good to me (minus jj hickson...he did not belong on the court today, hopefully he belongs on this team for the playoffs, but that has to be decided before the trade deadline)
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Re: Lakers Cavs

Unread postby Madre Hill, Superstar » Fri Dec 25, 2009 9:38 pm

Seasons Greetings from Trevor Ariza and Ronny Turiaf. Ron who?

I hate to use one game samples, but I am less afraid of this Lakers team than I had been going into this season.
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Re: Lakers Cavs

Unread postby noles1 » Fri Dec 25, 2009 9:42 pm

Hated the Ariza-Artest swap then and after today, that is only magnified.

JJ was crap today. Agree to an extent on the Lakers being bad today but I think some of that can be attributed to what the Cavs did to them.
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Re: Lakers Cavs

Unread postby dmiles » Fri Dec 25, 2009 10:31 pm

Well the Cavs are just lucky that Andrew Bynum didn't play..... That would have changed the flow of the game drastically.

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Re: Lakers Cavs

Unread postby hermanfontenot » Fri Dec 25, 2009 10:44 pm

I don't want to get too ahead of myself, but more and more I'm thinking that the Cavaliers, regardless of their record, are a better team this year than last. They're bigger and with Delonte, Andy, Jamario and Big Z coming off the bench, they're a lot deeper. Our bench put L.A.'s to shame today.
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Re: Lakers Cavs

Unread postby OldDawg » Fri Dec 25, 2009 11:09 pm

Random thoughts on the game:
The Cavs additional length was huge on defense today. Contested a ton of shots.
Lakers didn't make shots or plays to keep/get them back in the game.
Impressed that Cavs did not back down when Lakers got physical. Really responded well.
When Cavs moved the ball they were awesome on offense (what's new).
Lakers were punks when they didn't get calls. Kobe throws his body at the basket and begs for calls.
Fisher, Odom and Artest went beyond physical to dirty today.
Gasol was a non-factor today when the heat stepped up.
Announcers acted like Kobe had a better game than Bron. No way. Maybe some stats may indicate so, but LBJ controlled the game. Got everyone involved. Took what the Lakers gave them. Made plays when he had to. Made some great offense moves/reads when LA got dirty with them.
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Re: Lakers Cavs

Unread postby Juannieboy » Fri Dec 25, 2009 11:16 pm

HermanFontenot wrote:I don't want to get too ahead of myself, but more and more I'm thinking that the Cavaliers, regardless of their record, are a better team this year than last. They're bigger and with Delonte, Andy, Jamario and Big Z coming off the bench, they're a lot deeper. Our bench put L.A.'s to shame today.


Completly agree. Last year, the Lakers bigs (Gasol, Bynum, Odom) dominated us on the boards, controlled the lane and scored a bunch off of uncontested offensive rebounds. IMO, we are much better prepared to deal with these bastards this year.
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Re: Lakers Cavs

Unread postby hugerobot » Fri Dec 25, 2009 11:31 pm

why didn't gibson play at all tonight?
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Re: Lakers Cavs

Unread postby Shadow Scars » Fri Dec 25, 2009 11:47 pm

staaaaaaaatement game. Big time. Thank you Cavs. Thank you. That is all. Merry Christmas everybody!
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Re: Lakers Cavs

Unread postby RedDawg » Sat Dec 26, 2009 12:31 am

The Cavs are amazingly versatile now. The difference tonight was when Shaq and Z were both on the floor together. Initially I cringed thinking of the complete lack of speed we had on the floor, but Bron + Mo + Parker/Moon seemed to more than make up for it.

I think Gasol is used to having a height advantage over almost everyone that guards him. When Z was in his face he didn't look comfortable at all. Not sure why he didn't try to take him out on the perimeter.

Having Shaq and Z on the floor clearly intimidated everyone but Kobe. One time Kobe gave Shaq a staredown for what I thought was a pretty mild foul. This after Kobe ran right into Mo with what looked an intent to take him out of the game. This pissed Bron off bigtime. Was waiting for Shaq or Hickson on Bron's orders to absolutely smoke Kobe when he went to the basket. Prolly good they didn't retaliate.

Parker and Moon make this a much longer, more athletic team than last year. Z and Andy off the bench is nice to have, and when Delonte is on this is an impressive unit.

Merry Christmas all.
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Re: Lakers Cavs

Unread postby papacass » Sat Dec 26, 2009 12:35 am

CharacterIV wrote:Super win tonight, and a great Christmas gift for all the Wine & Gold faithful. Not to grinch the joy of the win or anything, but I think this game was more about the Lakers having a really bad night than us having a really good one. Some things were definitely working tonight, but this is not the Lakeshow we'd be seeing in a possible finals matchup. Hopefully, the Cavs can turn this into some momentum and start a good winning streak.


The Cavs' D was superb for all but the lapse in the final three minutes of the first half. All those bricked shots by the Lakers, misses by Kobe at the rim, being in a complete and utter lack of rhythm for about 44 of 48 minutes -- all of that I attribute to the Cavs' D.

The Lakers didn't have enough open freebies to determine whether they were just having an off night shooting. That's how you can tell the Cavs were just bound and determined to do everything in their power to win this game. They closed on everybody and took away just about all of L.A.'s operating space in the paint. And, to Herm's point, yes -- the Cavs are better this year. They're bigger and taller. That really showed today. Shaq and Moon were both factors in this game. They helped level the playing field.

Having said that, it's a lot easier to ambush a team for one game. Could the Cavs repeat this four times in seven games against the Lakers? That remains to be seen.
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Re: Lakers Cavs

Unread postby Madre Hill, Superstar » Sat Dec 26, 2009 12:57 am

Papa Cass wrote:Having said that, it's a lot easier to ambush a team for one game. Could the Cavs repeat this four times in seven games against the Lakers? That remains to be seen.


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Re: Lakers Cavs

Unread postby statmasta » Sat Dec 26, 2009 1:48 am

HermanFontenot wrote:I don't want to get too ahead of myself, but more and more I'm thinking that the Cavaliers, regardless of their record, are a better team this year than last. They're bigger and with Delonte, Andy, Jamario and Big Z coming off the bench, they're a lot deeper. Our bench put L.A.'s to shame today.

I was thinking before the season that the national media would probably rip the moves the Cavs made and say it made the team worse because of the worse record we would have (no way we matched 66 wins again, even if we kept the same team). But at the same time I always felt this team was much better than last year's team.

Much longer on defense with Parker and Moon. Don't have to double team guys like Howard and Bynum with Shaq, deeper on the frontcourt with Shaq and Hickson. Boobie is healthy. Mo's learned from last year's failures and has lit up Orlando and Los Angeles. I agree with you that we are a much better team this year regardless of what the record is and ends up being at the end of the regular season.
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Re: Lakers Cavs

Unread postby daddywags » Sat Dec 26, 2009 2:06 am

Wow. The Lakers have played 9 away games and we've played 18. That's a pretty big difference through two+ months of the season.
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Re: Lakers Cavs

Unread postby bks92II » Sat Dec 26, 2009 2:15 am

I just had to post this. Skip Bayless is such a moron. ::doh::

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