Normal format blown by other duties tonight:
Tonight the Cavs flashed what they could look like under ideal circumstances in a couple of ways.
First there was trying to get Shaquille O'Neal going in the middle. When the offense stagnated just a little, coach Mike Brown and his teammates got O'Neal going by tossing him the ball down low. The result: O'Neal found a rhythm and hit a number of high percentage shots. He scored 21 points on the night and grabbed eight rebounds.
Secondly going to Shaq forced the Wizards to pay attention to him with double teams, which enabled him to find teammates for easy looks. When he wasn't doing that, he was getting fouled, something that helped contribute to the Cavs' comeback. In the second quarter they entered the penalty early and march to the free throw line.
O'Neal helped his team's call by actually hitting his free throws, connecting on 7-of-10.
Defensively, the new pieces to the puzzle look to finally be getting Brown's system. For the game they held the Wizards to 39 percent shooting from the floor. Through the last three quarters, that was a whopping 33 percent on 16-of-49 shooting.
Was the game perfect? Given their sluggish start, falling down by 18 at one point, no. But for three quarters they played nearly flawless basketball.