Recap: Cavs 98, Wizards 89

April 15th, 2012 by Kevin Hetrick

I'm tanking so badly, that re-using Colin's "tank fail" picture seems excusable.

Trying to figure out what to say about a game like this gives me an understanding for why Colin is so sick right now.  These games do not feature a very high level of basketball.  The Cavs won though, and I scribbled some notes and researched some trivial facts; what type of blogger would I be to not share them with you?

Onto some bullets:

  • Antawn Jamison got a night of rest.  Nene, Trevor Booker and Rashard Lewis did not play for the Wizards.  Based on some quick math, the combined salaries of the twenty players that saw time tonight is approximately $34 million.  This is less than Rashard Lewis and Antawn Jamison’s combined salaries.
  • Luke Harangody notched his first career start and tallied a double-double!  I am in disbelief over this!  What does it mean?!?!  The answer is nothing.
  • Of Cleveland’s top seven players; one was a rookie, one is 36 years old and the other 5 were either undrafted or picked in the last few picks of the second round.  Employing this rotation, the Cavs won an NBA road game.
  • Back to Harangody; this was actually his second career double-double.  Last year, he stuffed the box score with a 16 & 11 when with the Celtics.  Again last night, he finished with 16 points, 11 rebounds & 3 steals , playing hard and knocking down jumpers.  Good for you, Luke!!  He also played in the playoffs for the Canton Charge on Friday night and apparently will again on Sunday (tonight).  He’s an ironman!!  As a footnote, he only had 24 NBA points this season prior to this game.
  • The Cavs knocked down a lot of long twos; 17 of 30 on two’s outside the paint.  Sloan, Manny, Harangody and Parker all were effective from this non-ideal court area.  Harangody was 5 of 8 on jumpers and 1 of 3 at the basket.
  • Despite the jump shooting, the Cavs shot 33 foul shots and made 27.  Anthony Parker  registered 42 free throw attempts in 42 games before last night, but took 8 trips to the charity stripe against the Wizards yesterday.
  • Tristan Thompson made all four of his free throws and has been converting around 60% over the last six weeks.  That’s positive.  He was aggressive tonight, facing up and putting the ball on the floor early, but had an underwhelming game.  Four turnovers and three rebounds needs work.
  • Lester Hudson keeps working harder than the opponent, clearly playing for his NBA meal ticket.  It’s not always good enough though.  Tonight  he finished with 10 points, 4 rebounds and 1 assist.  Following his three games averaging 25, 5 & 5; over the last three, that’s regressed to 12 points, 4 rebounds, 1 assist and 4 turnovers per game on 13 – 33 from the field.  Such is life for a recent veteran of the Chinese League; the Cavs will let him finish the season with the team and should invite him to camp next year.
  • There was an excellent Luke Walton to Omri Casspi fast break: sweet pass, fancy finish, nice job by both players.  Did you see the Kevin Durant to Russell Westbrook alley-oop on Friday night?  This was different.
  • Tristan Thompson is #2 of all rookies in dunks this year.  Washington’s Jan Vesely is #3.  I learned that from the Washington broadcast team.  TV can be fun and informative!
  • There was some talk of the Cavs drafting Jan Vesely at #4 last year, and I was not a supporter. Instead, the Wizards took him at #6.  He finished with a double-double last night, including one soaring slam dunk.  Of course, he was going head-to-head with Luke Harangody (and tossed up a couple of air-balls for good measure).  Turning 22 next week and with a 10 PER, it appears he is an energy player and not a hybrid of Dirk Nowitzki and Blake Griffin.  So, early returns are that I got one draft day call from last year correct.  At the end of this season, I’ll revisit the 2011 draft and discuss the players where one season in the books points towards me being right…and the opinions that call into question my “draft experting”.  That should be fun.
  • John Wall finished with 19 points, 9 assists and 2 turnovers.  Getting rid of Nick Young and Javale McGee should be positive for his development.  Andray Blatche isn’t playing at this time…that can’t be bad, right?  A lot of analysts expected a huge leap for Wall this year; he’s fast and a freak athlete.  Maybe next year for Mr. Wall.

That’s all I’ve got for last night.  This was a setback in the race for ping pong balls; the Cavs officially cannot finish worse than the Wizards now.  Also, the Nets lost last night and are only 1/2 game ahead (behind?) of Cleveland now.  On Sunday night, Cleveland draws Orlando sans Dwight Howard, with the Cavs playing their fifth game in six days.  That’s all I have to say about that.

Have an enjoyable Sunday everyone, and we’ll be back tomorrow!