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Cavs/Bobcats - The Good, The Bad, & The Summary
Cavs/Bobcats - The Good, The Bad, & The Summary
Yikes. The Cavs lost to Charlotte for the first time EVER Saturday night, and LeBron James may have had his worst game as a pro, finishing with just 16 points, half of which came in the last 33 seconds. Cavs fans also got their first look at Adam Morrison, who John Hnat says looks like someone "who is cutting algebra to go smoke weed in the woods behind the high school" with that awful moustache.
My, my, my, my, my. What a mess.
“The Fugitive” is now playing on whatever station I flipped to after the Cavs’ loss to Charlotte tonight; this quote from the movie is a dead center description of the game.
Not much of one required, since it wasn’t much of a game. The Cavs lost 92-88 to Charlotte, the first time they’ve ever lost to the Bobcats in their history. Somebody bearing a striking resemblance to LeBron James, but without the superstar talent, was wearing #23 tonight. James finished with 16 points, half of those coming in the final 33 seconds of the game. Drew Gooden, with 21 points and 16 rebounds, was the main reason the score was as close as it was. Raymond Felton paced the winners with 23 points.
WHAT I LIKED ABOUT THE GAME:
Not much, that’s for sure.
1. The obvious one is Gooden’s performance. Time was when he would set a pick and then stand around like the proverbial deer in the headlights. Now, he’s rolling to the hoop, and it’s leading to a lot of easy dunks. Also, 7 of his 16 rebounds came on the offensive end. He’s looking like more and more of a bargain every day. (Can’t believe I just typed those words about a guy making eight million bucks, but there you have it.)
2. The Cavs did look good for about a quarter and a half, leading by as many as 12 points. Early in the game, they were moving the ball well and set up more than a couple easy baskets. They even started 8 of 8 from the line, which had been a sore spot in the previous two games.
3. Overall, the Cavs drilled Charlotte on the boards, 46-34. They are continuing to hit the glass hard, and when you do that, good things will generally follow.
4. I can’t even come up with a fourth item. When I started this “What I Like/What I Don’t Like” routine (which needs a better name, by the way; if you have any suggestions, I’m all ears), I figured that I would pick 5 of each. I have now decided that the game will determine the number. As such, because I can’t think of any more high points from tonight’s game, let’s get to the dark cloud inside that silver lining.
WHAT I DIDN’T LIKE ABOUT THE GAME:
1. LeBron had one of the worst games in his professional career. Some days, the shots don’t fall, and LeBron certainly had his share of that. Some kind of invisible lid seemed to be on the hoop whenever he shot the ball tonight. As we’ve seen before, he has a habit of fading away and to the left on his shots, and he lapsed into that black hole tonight. I was actually kind of relieved when he was passing the ball instead of shooting it from the outside.
2. The refs. The two teams had a total of 61 fouls called on them. Four players (Anderson Varejao for Cleveland; Jake Voskuhl, Emeka Okafor, and Gerald Wallace for Charlotte) fouled out. This complaint is not thinly veiled homerism; 36 of the fouls were on Charlotte, compared to 25 whistles for Cleveland. We haven’t seen that much blowing since “Sword Swallowers III”. It’s probably the usual over-enthusiasm of the refs during the first weeks of the season, as many of the fouls called tonight will likely be non-calls by April.
3. Adam Morrison. Not because of his game, but because of his appearance. With his ragged hair and “hello, puberty!” mustache, he looks like he should be cutting algebra to smoke weed in the woods behind the high school. Michael Jordan wore his UNC shorts beneath his pro uniform for years; if Morrison continued that trend, and was true to his appearance, he’d be wearing an Iron Maiden T-shirt as a base layer.
4. Zydrunas Ilgauskas. Hey, big guy, the season’s three games old already. Feel free to join us whenever the mood strikes.
5. Damon Jones and David Wesley played a nondescript 43 minutes between them. Their combined line: 3 points on 1-10 shooting, 3 rebounds, 2 assists, 1 turnover. It’s still early, but here’s hoping that Coach Brown will not be afraid to go to rookies Shannon Brown and Daniel Gibson if the veterans continue to struggle. (Note that Brown was dressed for the game tonight. It’s a subtle move that probably means far less than we could make it out to be – kind of like the way the Western World used to dissect grainy videos from the Kremlin to determine who was really in charge – but it is a step in the right direction.)
6. The abandonment of the motion offense in the second half. Time and again, the Cavs hoisted long jumper after long jumper, rarely attempting to work the ball inside. With most of Charlotte’s front line in foul trouble throughout (see point #2 above), continuing to work the ball into the paint made even more sense than usual. For whatever reason, the Cavs didn’t do it. And that’s why the flight back to Cleveland will be a quiet, downcast one.
WHAT LIES AHEAD:
It’s retro-LeBron (circa orange uniforms) bobblehead night at the Q this Tuesday as the Cavs meet the Atlanta Hawks. The Cavs should be 3-1 after that game. Period.
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