Recap: Blazers 111, Cavs 105 (Or, defense wins championships, and prevents 24-game losing streaks)

February 5th, 2011 by John Krolik

Overview: The Portland Trail Blazers made 12 of their 19 three-point attempts in a 111-105 win against the Cleveland Cavaliers. The Cavaliers now have the longest single-season losing streak of all time, and tied their own record for the most consecutive losses ever.

PLAY DEFENSE, ANTAWN Bullets:

Same old story. The Cavs had a good first half. They pushed the ball effectively, Jamario, AP, Sessions, and Boobie all made some nice shots, and Portland didn’t have much going offensively outside of Aldridge scoring in the post and Wesley Matthews getting open off of screens.

In the second half, Portland’s offense opened up. Antawn Jamison was matched up with Nicholas Batum, and Batum absolutely destroyed him. Jamison didn’t switch at the right time, didn’t try to fight over down-screens, didn’t stick to Batum when he should have, and generally allowed the Blazers to get wide-open three after wide-open three. I cannot stress this enough: Antawn Jamison is playing the worst defense I have ever seen an NBA player play, and the Cavaliers cannot survive it. He should’ve been benched for Joey Graham in the second half.

Antawn’s offensive chucking does not come close to negating the unbelievable damage he does defensively. The Cavaliers set a futility record tonight because of their defensive breakdowns, and nearly every single one of them could be traced back to Antawn Jamison. I know he’s a nice guy, but he has been getting away with murder.

Late in the game, the Blazers were able to move the ball, get inside, and make some tough shots, while the Cavs tried to shoot over their zone. Parker, Harris, and Gibson made some nice shots to keep the game competitive, but the Blazers deserved to win this game. The incredible thing about this losing streak isn’t that the Cavs haven’t won in a month and a half — it’s that they’ve had maybe one cheap loss during that time.

Other notes:

Ramon Sessions continues to look much better than Mo Williams as the team’s starting point guard. He’s pushing the ball, making good passes, getting to the rim, and even making his mid-range jumpers. It would have been nice of him to make that wide-open layup that would have cut the Blazer lead to two, though.

Eyenga’s gotta spend this summer shooting, shooting, shooting. He’s got some natural range and can hit from mid-range, but he needs to make some changes in his stroke before he can actually be a threat from outside.

Great game from Jamario, who was very active on both ends of the floor and actually made some threes.

Manny Harris’ outside shot has looked better every game. I was very skeptical of him, but I think he’s a keeper.

Boy, Wesley Matthews can score. A perfect example of a shooter who really knows how to set up the rest of his game with his shot.

That’s all I have for tonight. I rarely get mad when watching this team, but Antawn’s defense makes me see red. If the Cavs don’t beat the Mavericks on the road in their next game, they own the consecutive losses record outright. I’m sure that game will go well. Until later.