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Cleveland Cavaliers

Cavs vs. Raptors

By admin Published: November 24, 2007

Pregame
Starting lineups
Raptors: Jose Calderon, Anthony Parker, Jamario Moon, Andrea Bargnani, Chris Bosh Cavs: Daniel Gibson, Sasha Pavlovic, LeBron James, Drew Gooden, Zydrunas Ilguaskas
Officials Mark Wunderlich, Kevin Fehr, Scott Wall
--This guy Moon is one of the stories of the year in the NBA so far. He's a 27-year-old rookie that got a training camp invite after an open tryout and then somehow made the team even know the Raptors had 15 guaranteed contracts. Now the former Harlem Globetrotter is in the starting lineup. Parker usually covers LeBron but I suppose it is possible Moon could be on him at times. --TJ Ford is out with an arm stinger, which is lucky for the Cavs because they have problems with his quickness. Calderon, though, is a starter-quality players. --The Raptors play small in general and all their players like to shoot from the outside. The challenge for the Cavs will be to deny dribble penetration as much as possible and scramble back on the weakside to cover those spot up shooters. This is the type of team that has been beating them early in the season. --Look for Ira Newble and Eric Snow to get some extended playing time today. --This is a 1 p.m. game in the middle of a road trip for the Raptors. They all left for Thanksgiving and then all flew to Cleveland separately yesterday. Chances are they will be a little lethgaric, the Cavs can take advantage of this early.
Halftime -- Raptors 56, Cavs 52
--56 points and 54 percent shooting for the Raptors. Not the type of defense that is going to get it done. Period. --The Raptors are a jump shot team and they are hitting a lot of them. At one point the Cavs had 24 points in the paint, the Raps had eight and they were ahead by nine. But the Cavs are forcing to help too much on dribble penetration. It's understandable when it happens with Calderon, but guys like Jason Kapono are getting to the basket. --Because of the way the Raptors play, it is possible there will be wild swings. When they hit a few in a row they get up big but their misses come in bunches too and lead to fastbreak points off long rebounds. The Cavs have 13 fastbreak points in the half. --Chris Bosh scored 16 points in the first quarter with Eric Snow and Ira Newble spending time on him. That should be avoided, of course. --Zydrunas Ilgauskas has five turnovers in the first half, the Raptors have just three as a team. The Cavs' seven turnovers have cost them 12 points. --LeBron is getting zero foul calls and he's getting frustrated. He'll need to continue to put pressure on the officials by driving. But he's done a great job of beating double teams with passing. In fact, all the Cavs have. They have 15 assists on 22 baskets, which is great execution. If they play a little defense in the second half, they'll have an excellent chance to win.
Postgame -- Cavs 111, Raptors 108
Stars: LeBron James, 37 points, 12 rebounds, 12 assists Chris Bosh, 41 points Zydrunas Ilgauskas, 16 points, 15 rebounds
--First off, Bosh was great and LeBron was again unstoppable. Bosh had 17 points in the fourth and LeBron had 14 including a crazy fallaway jumper with 16 seconds left that put the Cavs up 3 and two free throws with 2.5 seconds left. --This is not the way the Cavs want to win games. Bosh is one thing, he's hard to guard. The last two games have shown how valuable Anderson Varejao is because the Cavs have all sorts of trouble with active power forwards. Calderon is a handful, too, but he cannot be permitted to just drive into the middle of the floor. --Plus the Cavs put up 30 3-pointers. This is not the way for them to win. It was fun for the fans to watch them make 13, in fact this was a very enjoyable game to attend at the Q, I will bet most people left feeling they got their money's worth. But that's not the Cavs' game. They won this one and as they are searching right now, they will take them however they can get it. --Classic moment in the second half when the Cavs mascot had a skit using a bunch of four-foot high inflatable dinosaurs to mock the Raptors. LeBron James Jr. apparently was taken by them because he wanted one. So LeBron's mom, Gloria, walked into the back and got one and brought it out to him, carrying it down the whole court. He sat it in front of him for the rest of the game. --So LeBron is averaging 39 points, 10 rebounds and 9.4 assists over the last five games. Last guy to do that over a five-game span was Oscar Robertson in 1960. Because the Cavs are .500, LeBron isn't getting Player of the Week Awards, etc., but this is the best November he's ever had. The ratings are down and most of the talk shows I hear are talking Browns and Buckeyes, which is fine at this time of the year, but I am getting the feeling some people are missing this guy playing at this level. --LeBron did not come out in the second half and Gibson played 43 minutes so we'll see how it affects them today at Indiana. By the way, this is the fourth straight back-to-back when the Cavs have played a team who had the day off before. All the Cavs back-to-backs so far have had the second game on the road.
Quotes
LeBron: "It's not as easy as it may look. I'm just getting into my comfort zone. I just tried to do whatever it took for us to win." Mike Brown: "He gets a triple-double and it seems effortless, he comes up with those numbers all the time. You try not to take it for granted, but he's so talented that sometimes you do."

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