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Cleveland Cavaliers

Cavs vs. Warriors

By admin Published: December 23, 2007

Pregame Starting lineups
Warriors: Baron Davis, Monta Ellis, Stephen Jackson, Al Harrington, Andris Biedrins Cavs: Daniel Gibson, Sasha Pavlovic, LeBron James, Drew Gooden, Zydrunas Ilgauskas
Officials Jim Clark, Rodney Mott, Tommy Nunez
--The Warriors are on a back-to-back and the fifth game of a long road trip and thinking of heading home. They will be in the mood to just hoist jumpers so if the Cavs play the sort of defense they can, it can work to their advantage. Of course, the Warriors like to play up tempo so maybe the Cavs will just try to have fun and try to win the game 115-112, which they probably can't. --When they played in Oakland, there was no one on the Cavs who could keep Monta Ellis in front of them. That hasn't changed. --Look for the Warriors to play very small, even using Al Harrington at center. The onus will be on Mike Brown to match and creat good matchups. --Thoughts with Cavs assistant coach Hank Egan, who had triple bypass surgery Saturday at Fairview hospital. Hank is 70 and a true professional with lots of experience. The Cavs will leave a seat open on the bench tonight in his honor.
Halftime -- Warriors 63, Cavs 50
--The Cavs are being pretty nice to their guests, as a service they are allowing them any open shot they want. It is a minor miracle they are down only 13 points considering the Warriors made 17 of their first 21 shots. Some were made with hands in faces, but there was a lot of lazy rotation and pick-and-roll mess ups. In other words, what you've been seeing out of the Cavs a lot lately. --At this point, you don't even need to watch the game to know when Larry Hughes shoots. The crowd is booing when he gets the ball on the outside. He's 1-of-6 but then again he's not no rebounds or assists in 11 minutes earlier. Sasha Pavlovic is 1-of-5. Right now, how long do you think game of horse between these two guys would take? --Anderson Varejao is showing some extreme effort, he's got six rebounds and has been everywhere on the floor. He's pretty much near the top of his energy game right now. --The Cavs are not out of this by a long shot. The Warriors have no answer for LeBron/Z pick-and-rolls should the Cavs continue to run them. The Cavs shot just 43 percent and missed nine free throws but are just down 13 points. The Warriors have 11 turnovers, so they are not exactly playing clean. Still, they'll need to hold them to 40-45 points in the second half to have a chance, I'm not sure they have it in them right now. Their defensive teamwork looks terrible and with rest and practice time there's no excuse.
Postgame -- Warriors 105, Cavs 96 (sorry for the delay, had wireless issues with my laptop)
Stars Baron Davis, 27 points, 10 assists Stephen Jackson, 29 points LeBron James, 25 points, eight assists
--Lots and lots of booing at the arena, which certainly got under the skin of the Cavs players. Which, of course, is the point. I think the crowd was already in a bad mood because the Browns lost and the Cavs just put them over the top. --After the game, the Cavs locker room was empty except for maybe three players by the time the media was allowed in. LeBron grabbed his clothes and cleared out to get dressed in the training room and then went out the back door to avoid talking to the media. That's the first time in his career he's ever done that. That's OK, him doing that says more than any cliche answer could have gotten across. --The Warriors illustrated what has become a major issue with the Cavs. Overall, they have poor, and I mean, like, bad, individual defenders. There were times tonight when there wasn't a single Cav out there who I thought could handle the guy he was guarding. Sasha Pavlovic on Monta Ellis? Baron Davis on Daniel Gibson? No way. I could go on, but I won't. Last season when the Cavs were working as a team on defense it hid all of that. Now, it sticks out like a sore thumb. And here's the thing, more and more teams are playing like the Warriors. I go on and on about the Cavs playing poor team defense here and in the paper, but it is so obvious that a guy like Gibson has no chance on a big guard like Baron that perhaps it is unfair of me to keep talking about team defense. If you can't guard you man, it really doesn't matter what the rest of the team does. Still, the Cavs defensive effort overall is so weak right now. So many times you see multiple players standing around when the Warriors score and you just wonder what the hell is going on. --After the game, Larry Hughes complained that he got just 18 minutes and said he can't get in a rhythm. Hey, at least he was willing to face the media. --Before the game Damon Jones was singing Christmas songs and inserting his own lines about wanting to be traded. Which he was doing on purpose with the media in there. With that sort of stuff going on, you know what I mean by saying the Cavs are having chemisty problems. Damon was also the first player outta there after the game. Can't say I blame him. He really didn't do anything to lose his playing time. He may not be the answer, but I can understand him boiling watching Sasha getting start after start when he can't make a shot or defend right now. --I understand LeBron being upset. His efforts are being wasted. But I've also listened to him say he won't allow a team he's on to not compete. Well, it's time for some leadership because Mike Brown is trying everything he knows how. Not sure if they need a player's only meeting or what, but LeBron needs to show he's a leader right now. Tonight he just seethed but he was mostly quiet. --Don Nelson said after the game he didn't think his team was going to win, considering they were on a back-to-back at the end of a five-game trip. In other words, even he was shocked at how bad the Cavs were.

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