Recap: Bobcats 98, Cavs 97 (Or, We’ll take a good performance and the ping-pong balls)

March 30th, 2011 by John Krolik

Overview: The Charlotte Bobcats won a game that came down to the last possession on a free throw by Boris Diaw with 14 seconds remaining in the game. Boris Diaw and Kwame Brown combined for 42 points on 25 shots, and Ramon Sessions led the Cavs with 24 points off the bench.

Ryan Hollins is a mysterious fish bullets:

Oh, Ryan Hollins. One game after controlling the paint and shutting down Chris Bosh, you score four points, collect three rebounds, and get destroyed inside by Kwame Brown. Ladies and gentlemen, welcome to the Ryan Hollins experience. I have given up on trying to figure this out.

The good news for the Cavs is that both Hickson and Sessions looked like they were on their games. Hickson was using that power dribble really well, finding the seams, and finishing with force, and he even managed to hit a few jumpers. I’m concerned that Boris Diaw was able to go off on him, but Hickson is what he is. On a playoff team, I think he’s a very good to respectable 1st big man off the bench. I think that’s my final official position on J.J. Hickson. A lot of Cavs fans are higher on J.J. Hickson than I am, but they probably spend less time¬†worshiping¬†at the altar of Omer Asik and Anderson Varejao than I do. I think rebuilding starts with building a defensive frontcourt that will make life hell, and I don’t see Hickson being a starter in that frontcourt.

The demotion to the bench seemed to put Razor Ramon into February mode-he was attacking with a lot of success, made some good passes, and got to the lane and converted in the lane. It’s clear that this is the role Byron Scott has wanted him to play since the season began, and I think he can be pretty good at it.

The late-game execution was poor. Baron seemed to give up the ball a little too willingly, because Ramon diving to the rim and Hickson trying to work from the high post does not work as well in crunch time as it does during the rest of the game. It simply doesn’t. Ideally, I’d like to see the Cavs be confident running an offense in crunch time, but until them that’s when I’d like Baron creating plays off the dribble. I’m also not sure why Baron didn’t work harder to exploit Augustin on the block, but Baron never has posted up as much as I’d like him to.

Those are my big takeaways from this game — good game, the Cavs competed, poor execution down the stretch. Eight games left to go.