It is hard for me to give much praise to the Cavs tonight. A win is a win and they all equal the same, I suppose. Watching them again chuck jumpers in the fourth quarter left me to consider dragging out my old links again. So on this night they made them, which will probably happen roughly 33 percent of the time.
Please allow me to point out the following:
--The Cavs have taken zero (0) free throws in the fourth quarter in the past two games yet got up 19 3-pointers.
--Zydrunas Ilgauskas was 5-of-8 from the floor in the first half and was permitted two shots in the second half and none in the fourth.
--In the fourth quarter the Hornets were using Bobby Jackson and Devin Brown to defend LeBron James and he didn't take much advantage at all by working to get low post position, from which he would be unstoppable against those two. Which isn't all that surprising since I watched him not abuse Jason Kapono like I thought he should Sunday in Miami.
--Without LeBron on the court tonight, the Cavs were a -7 in plus/minus. Over the last three games, it is something obscene like a -30. Which just shows how vital bench production is for this team.
Overall, that's bad offensive basketball. Sorry for writing about it again. I can't help it.
1. They had 19 assists and 40 points in the paint in the first three quarters. There was driving and kicking, posting up and getting high percentage-type shots. There should never be any qualms about giving Boobie Gibson spot up jumpers and I don't even have a problem with plays being run to get Larry Hughes spot-up shots, not the off the dribble flings he often takes. Shots off inside-out action is good offensive basketball.
2. LeBron is getting warm. Over the last two weeks he's showed some renewed intensity. A couple of times tonight he actually seemed to get mad and just attack. In those spots, he is quite often unguardable. Just ask Hilton Armstrong.
3. The Cavs are vastly improved when they have their full complement of players. This seems rather obvious. But you can be sure they'll need all of them Thursday in Dallas just to stay competitive.