Cavs: Daniel Gibson, Shannon Brown, Sasha Pavlovic, Drew Gooden, Zydrunas Ilguaskas Wizards: Antonio Daniels, DeShawn Stevenson, Caron Butler, Antawn Jamison, Brendan Haywood
Joe DeRosa, Tommy Nunez, Jack Nies
--LeBron James isn't playing, Gilbert Arenas isn't playing, it's a Wednesday in December and it's snowing here in D.C. Not surprisingly, there's no one here at the Verizon Center. --Based on my viewpoint, there are three players in the Wizards starting lineup the Cavs cannot guard right now. That's Daniels, Butler and Jamison. Could be trouble. --I spoke with Anderson Varejao on the phone a short time ago. It was good to hear his voice, but he won't be back until next week probably. More in the newspaper tomorrow. --Cavs need to remember that Z exists and use him instead of just hoisting jumpers like it's streetball. But then again, the Wizards play streetball. Ugh, lookout.
Halftime -- Wizards 53, Cavs 34
--The Cavs are playing like the New York Knicks right now. They are getting outhustled, they are making silly and unforced mistakes, they are playing one-on-one offense, they are not playing like the care on defense. Sure LeBron, Hughes, and others are out, but this is looking like a summer league game. You can understand getting beat with LeBron out, but they keep getting blown out. Not a good statement on the character of the team right now.
Postgame -- Wizards 105, Cavs 86
Stars Caron Butler, 27 points, seven rebounds Antawn Jamison, 17 points, 12 boards Nick Young, 17 points
--Boy, those Cavs really took Mike Brown's comments about coming out and competing to heart, didn't they? They were down by 28 points a few minutes into the second half. --Just as I will disregard anything Eddie Jordan says about his defense playing well tonight, I will disregard the Cavs comeback to get it to nine points. Both are heavily circumstantial. --The locker room was pissed off after the game, which I honestly have not seen much out of the Cavs. Usually even when they lose they are loose, there were some angry people in there. Especially Drew Gooden. Of course, that doesn't matter if the team doesn't show it on the court. --There are times when I just cannot stand watching Shannon Brown. Yes, he makes a great play every now and then, but when he starts trying to juke a defender and then jacks up a jumper over somebody it is just bad basketball. Same goes for Sasha Pavlovic over the last two games. --Zydrunas Ilgauskas got seven shots tonight, he made five, three of them came when he got offensive rebounds. Unacceptable. The blame goes a lot of places, but partially at the head coach who has to demand the team use its best weapon of the moment. And if he's facing double teams or whatever, do something about it. --Anybody who has been reading this blog over the last four years and knows my philosophy about the game knows how I feel about this stat. Cavs: 20 3-point attempts, 14 free throw attempts. Guess who the only player was who drew more than one shooting foul...Z. --In summer league, I didn't think Nick Young could play dead. I mean he was terrible. Now, he looks like he's going to be a player. He's certainly going to score and he has no fear. Could be a real nice pickup for the Wiz. --One of the Cavemen from that TV show was here tonight. I loved the commercials, hated the show. He was sitting on the baseline next to the Cavs' bench, I wonder if Mike Brown did a double take when looking down the bench thinking of someone to put in the second half. --By the way, Anderson Varejao was on the active roster tonight.
Drew Gooden: "Being the caliber of team we are, even having this many injuries, losing this many games in a row is unacceptable." Z: "We're not cherishing our possessions and we're playing a lot of one-on-one and it makes it very easy to play us."
Also, Thanks everyone for the well wishes while I was out sick. I've been dealing with illness and been limping around with foot tendinitis recently. So if you see me in the airport, please understand why I'm moving so slowly on the people movers.