Post mortem: Cavs 90, Bobcats 79
Ultimately what turned this game into a win is what usually does for this team - defense.
At one point in the third quarter the Bobcats tied this thing up at 46 and it looked as if this would be another night of writing about the Cavaliers' struggles. That was premature.
They reeled off a 9-2 run and never looked back and it came courtesy of blocks, steals and good solid defense.
Some of the pieces the Cavs went out in got are looking as if they're finally going to start fitting this puzzle. Anthony Parker had a solid night with 13 points, some great defense that included two steals. Shaq was solid on both sides of the ball.
And then there are the Cavs' vets. Mo Williams came up huge with 24 points, hitting from the outside at will. Some may disagree with this, but I thought Delonte West's appearance gave the Cavs a bit of lift and his 13 point performance certainly didn't hurt.
There's little doubt that the team still need work. At times they were sloppy, turning the ball over 19 time. Those TOs led to 23 Charlotte points and they only had five offensive boards.
However, they actually got better from last night's game to today's.
Game: Cavs vs. Raptors
Broadcast: TV: FSOhio. Radio; WAKR (1590 AM); WTAM (1100 AM), WHBC (1480 AM)
Starters: Cavs: LeBron James (F); Anderson Varejao (F); Shaquille O’Neal (C); Anthony Parker (G); Mo Williams (G). Bobcats: Gerald Wallace (F); Boris Diaw (F); Tyson Chandler (C); Stephen Graham (G); Raymond Felton (G).
Officials: Mark Wunderlich, Marc Davis, Kane Fitzgerald
Streaking: Each team has won one.
Things to look for:
Look to see if the Cavs can build on their win against the Minnesota Timberwolves. The dilemma: that win didn't really come from the starting five. Most of it came from LeBron James, Zydrunas Ilgauskas, Anderson Varejao and Daniel Gibson playing based on familiarity.
Delonte West has returned. What's he got for the team. Lately in the locker room at home and on the road, the same old happy guy could be seen joking with his teammates.