Pregame Starting linueps
Cavs: Daniel Gibson, Sasha Pavlovic, LeBron James, Drew Gooden, Zydrunas Ilgauskas Nets: Jason Kidd, Vince Carter, Richard Jefferson, Malik Allen, Jason Collins
Officials Joe DeRosa, Bennie Adams, Eli Roe
--Boobie Gibson is back in the lineup but he's not 100 percent as he's still dealing with the effects of what sounded like a nasty tooth issue. We'll see if there is carryover. --It is hard for me to believe that the Nets are this bad, especially after watching them in last year's playoffs. I was actually telling people that I thought they'd challenge the Celtics in the Atlantic Division. Oops.
Halftime -- Cavs 57, Nets 50
--Overall Cavs have played OK. They are having problems at times dealing with the Nets zone and driving into traffic in the middle. But they have shot the ball well enough from the outside to stay in front. Seems like the Nets surprised them with it and their halfcourt trap, but the Cavs have turned it over just six times. --Daniel Gibson has 12 points on three official shots. Guy is crazy in that regard. --Cavs are allowed way too much penetration into the middle on defense. It is repeatedly breaking down their rotations. The Nets have 18 assists on 21 baskets, which is amazing, but part of it is because they are just dishing to open guys around the basket. --LeBron may be on the way to a triple double but lookout for Zydrunas Ilgauskas, seven points, five rebounds, five assists. That would be the statistical achievement of the year, I belive. --Vince Carter hit some jumpers early so he'll probably feel like shooting them the rest of the game, if the Cavs get up into him he'll be hard-pressed to hurt them. But he can get super hot if he gets any space. --Cavs bench scored 20 points in the first half, having Larry Hughes off the bench makes quite a difference. Then again Sasha Pavlovic has played eight minutes without a shot, rebound or assist. --Make it six arenas I've been to that use the Kanye West song as their intro.
Stars Vince Carter, 32 points, seven rebounds Richard Jefferson, 24 points Jason Kidd, eight points, eight rebounds, 11 assists, five steals LeBron James, 29 points, eight assists Zydrunas Ilgauskas, 21 points, 12 rebounds, six assists
--Offense will not be discussed in this blog tonight, there is no point. --The Cavs' defense in the second half was pretty much a joke. Mike Brown tried zone for awhile and then got so desperate that the Cavs went to the hack-a-Josh Boone card. That had to be embarrassing for the entire team. They couldn't get stops, so they sent players in to slap Boone. Boobie Gibson went over to Bennie Adams to tell him the Cavs were going to do it and Adams even gave him a weird look. --Yes the Nets have some hard covers, but let's keep in mind they are ranked 30th in the NBA in offense. Tonight they had 27 assists on 39 baskets and Kidd had just 11. That means there were a lot of Nets passing to wide open other Nets. The reason? Because the Cavs didn't keep anyone in front of them and their weakside rotations were non-existent. Boone had a season-high 15 points and his is a man who cannot make a free throw and missed at least three shots within six inches of the basket tonight. --The Nets have scored more than 100 points just twice in the last eight games...both against the Cavs. --Nets started 1-of-11 from the field, then went 30-of-50. That's not a hot streak, that's domination. --The Cavs won 50 games last year and 12 playoff games with defense and rebounding. Tonight, they only had a handful of good defensive possessions and got outrebounded by the 25th ranked rebounding team, 45-35. The Cavs got beat to 90 percent of the loose balls and Anderson Varejao looked pretty rusty, he couldn't get his hands on anything. --The Cavs now rank 27th in the league in opponents field goal percentage. They have been behind going into the fourth quarter in 19 of 23 games. Considering injuries and the schedule, it is a miracle they have 10 wins. Yes there is promise because they still have the personnel to be a good team but this night was just a reminder of how far away they are from the level they were playing last year. --Larry Hughes went 4-of-15. Hot streak over. --The Cavs got one basket in the paint in the fourth quarter...with 30 seconds left. --LeBron had six turnovers, the Cavs allowed 23 points off turnovers.
Quotes Mike Brown: "It's pretty simple to break this one down. We haven't defended all year."