Recap: Jazz 101, Cavs 90 (Or, Back to losing)

December 20th, 2010 by John Krolik

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Overview: The Cavs had their one-game winning streak snapped by the Utah Jazz, who made 10 of their 23 three-point attempts over the course of a 101-90 win. Deron Williams had 17 points and 10 assists for the Jazz, while Daniel Gibson led the Cavs with 29 points on 8-9 shooting from beyond the arc.

Cavs-Related Bullets:

– The Cavs’ current game plan seems to be to take a lot of threes, allow a lot of threes, and hope for the best. The team puts four guys at the three-point line, runs a lot of screens out there, and has Andy look for cuts. Sometimes Mo or Boobie try for a floater, Jamison puts it on the deck and throws up one of those weird runner/scoop shot things, or AP does that jab-step/one hard dribble/pull-up midrange jumper he does, but a lot of the time the possession ends with the Cavs firing up the first good three they get a look at. Considering that the team is starting four good shooters and zero people who are good at taking it to the basket off the dribble, it’s probably the best strategy.

– Defensively, the Cavs still have major issues. The Jazz let the Cavs off the hook in the first half by settling for a surprising amount of mid-range jumpers, but eventually they started making extra passes, getting open threes, and knocking them down. Jamison also had no chance when Millsap faced him up from the mid-post, which allowed the Jazz to essentially score at will from inside and out. The final says the Cavs only lost by 11, but it wasn’t really that close — this one was essentially over after three.

Individual notes:

– Daniel Gibson: 7-8 from beyond the arc, 1-7 from two-point range. That’s a strange line right there. Still, the guy was on fire, plain and simple. Whether the Cavs decide to keep Boobie and/or Varejao, who could contribute to any team in the league, or try and move them at the deadline is the biggest Cavs story of the next few months.

– On that note, who else saw Andy shut Al Jefferson down when big Al tried to pull out the up-and-under? Anderson Varejao is a monster.

– Mo Willams’ True Shooting is down nearly 10% this year. The best thing about his game is that he can make any jumper at any time, but he really needs to start displaying better shot selection. That goes double for Antawn Jamison.

– Hickson with a nice game: 3-4 from the field, team-high 9 rebounds. Hopefully he can build on that.

– Man, Paul Millsap is good. I love when undersized forwards use their speed and skills to their advantage without floating to the perimeter — he takes it at the high post and either goes around you or pulls up for an easy mid-range jumper.

That’s all for me tonight. Until later.