On the road against a tough Magic team and still without Z, the Cavaliers were able to establish a rythym early, but at about the midway point of the second quarter lost their momentum and never really grabbed hold of the reigns after that. After they put up monstrous lines against the Kings, the league’s 3rd best defense was able to hold LBJ and Mo to a combined 14-42 from the field.
COVER CURSE I BLAME THIS UPON YOU.
Without Z, we just don’t seem to have enough to beat elite teams on the road. It’s not the worst admission in the world, but you would hope that we could at least hang a little tougher with these games and not lay eggs on national television.
We’ll start with LeBron. I actually don’t think he did anything all that wrong, despite the fact that he had one of his worst games of the year. A 23/8/8 line is nice, but taking 30 attempts with a true shooting % of 38 is tough for a team to bounce back from and not all that good.
LeBron took it to the hole, but again seemed to shy away from making really agressive moves to the hole, possibly because the Magic were able to cut away the corners and possibly because LeBron was completely unable to get to the foul line despite driving and getting contact, only shooting 6 free throws the entire game. 5 of his many misses were on little slop shots from the paint, which LeBron is really and truly terrible at-when he gets cut off by the second defender, he really doesn’t have that in-between move and he generally figures he’s better off damning the torpedoes.
There were a lot of missed jumpers tonight, but I actually really liked his shot selection-the stroke was just not working for him at all tonight, which, as much as we’d like it not to, does happen-Mo Williams, one of the 5 best midrange shooters in the game, enjoyed a 4-15 from the field. Most nights I feel like the shot selection is the root of the problem with LeBron, but he was on balance and taking what the defense gave him for the most part.
Mo could have done a better job avenging his all-star snubbing.
Wally looking the beast out there!
The Cavs are a bit of a perpetual motion machine-when they get down, Ben goes off the floor and you get a lot of LeBron going five-on-one as the role players lose confidence.
JJ continues to look better with each game, and I think he’s already a better midrange shooter than Andy-he’s got real pick-and-pop skills.
When Sasha dribbles, I cringe.
Another really spotty game from Boobie Gibson. Yikes. His court vision is really noticeably terrible at this point.
LeBron hitting some jump-hooks was easily the bright spot of this game. That and Cavs: The Blog endorsed swingman Tarence Kinsey’s tip-dunk.
Dwight Howard has a much better post game than I remember him having-he was absolutely destroying Ben if we left him on an island. He’s got drop-steps, spins-his footwork is much better. He will disappear at times, but that’s when the Magic start cranking those threes on you.
Jameer Nelson’s taken over Steve Nash’s title as basketball’s best shooter, and you could see it tonight.
Reggie Miller: “Varejao isn’t a very good outside shooter, especially when he’s facing the basket.”
And Later: “You could put me, Marv, and Mike’s scores together and we still wouldn’t be able to beat Tiger Woods!” Way to understand how golf works there, Reg.
Play of The Game:
The one where it ended.
Thing of the Game:
Here’s Cavs: The Blog favorite M.I.A telling a weird story.