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Cleveland Cavaliers

Bucks get Cavs (again)

By admin Published: March 22, 2008

Bucks 108, Cavs 98
--If the Cavs played the Bucks, say, 15 times a season and not four, Larry Harris might be up for Executive of the Year instead of being out of a job. The Cavs can't cover Mo Williams or Michael Redd the way they play against them and I've seen four or five different guys try at this point. The Bucks averaged about 107 points against the Cavs this season and that is simply never going to work. Williams averaged 26 points and 10 assists, Redd averaged 25 points and made a 30-footer to beat them. --Despite the matchup issues, the Cavs played lethargically all night. LeBron took a bunch of jumpers and whined about non-calls when he went to the basket. He rebounded well, but this was not his best effort. It is a matter of not bringing it against every opponent. --It did not help the Cavs that the officials were not allowing any touching on penetration. Sasha Pavlovic was not permitted to breath on Redd. So that makes them tough to guard, but the game was called the same way at both ends. Bucks shot 52 percent, Cavs shot 37. It was amazing it was only a 10-point game. --Before Anderson Varejao wanted to prove he was a scorer he led the team in field goal percentage. Now, he routinely misses handfuls of shots in a row. He should have a rule. Any time he dribbles, he is not permitted to shoot. Catch-and-shoots or layups only. --That's five straight losses on the road, though four of them were on the second night of back-to-backs. Still, at some point, the Cavs are going to have to win on the road in the playoffs.
Recap:
Pregame
Starting lineups
Cavs: Delonte West, Sasha Pavlovic, LeBron James, Anderson Varejao, Zydrunas Ilgauskas Bucks: Mo Williams, Michael Redd, Desmond Mason, Charlie Villanueva, Andrew Bogut
Officials Matt Boland, Scott Foster, Courtney Kirkland
--Another case of the Cavs being disadvantaged on rest. They are playing their fourth game of the week and are on a road back-to-back while the Bucks have had four days off. It seemed to me in the locker room before the game that the team seemed tired. The Bucks like to score, so we'll see if it is a factor. --Last time the Cavs were here, Williams ate up West in his second game as a Cav. Turnovers and transition defense hurt the Cavs in that game, even though it was Redd that made a 3 at the buzzer to win the game. The Bucks will try the same tactic tonight, we'll see how the Cavs adjust. --Ben Wallace is out with a bad back. He had an MRI today that didn't show any damage. Varejao will start in his place. That may not be a terrible thing, he can guard Villanueva a little better maybe. Joe Smith should get extended minutes off the bench as well. --With Wisconsin and Marquette playing in the NCAA Tournament today, I don't think many here in Milwaukee are too interested in this game.
Halftime -- Cavs 46, Bucks 46
--Interesting first half to this game. In the first quarter the Cavs looked dead flat, couldn't begin to deal with the Bucks in transition and gave up 65 percent shooting while making 6-of-24 themselves. Consider this nightmare stat: the Bucks had 24 points in the paint in the first quarter. In the second, the Cavs didn't allow Milwaukee to get a single fastbreak point and slowing the game down benefitted them greatly as they were able to make a comeback. The Bucks were just 7-of-21 when they had to play halfcourt basketball. The Cavs also had 16 points in the paint in the second quarter, the Bucks had six. --The bench deserves the credit so far. Damon Jones did a great job settling the team down, Devin Brown led some fastbreaks, Joe Smith was very aggressive around the hoop and Wally Szczerbiak took advantage of his size by getting some post baskets. Wally also had three assists in the second quarter. --LeBron looked really tired at the outset and started 4-of-12 from the floor. Mike Brown gave him some extra rest before putting him back in, letting him sit for seven minutes in the second quarter. Zydrunas Ilgauskas, though, is looking pretty loose even though he's not been great on back-to-backs with his back issue. --The warning in this one would be that Michael Redd has just four shots and four points so far and it surely seems like Mo Williams can turn it on against the Cavs whenever he wants.
Postgame
Stars Mo Williams, 29 points, 13 assists Michael Redd, 21 points LeBron, 29 points, 11 rebounds
Quotes LeBron: "When these guys get it going it doesn't matter what you do. They've been in a zone against us." West: "(Williams) is a very gifted ball-handler and has great quickness. So you have to respect his drive, but he's got a great pull up game. When he's at his best, he is tough."

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