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Cleveland Cavaliers

Final thoughts: Knicks 91, Cavs 75

By Jason Lloyd Published: March 31, 2012

The Knicks were without two of their best players tonight. They shot 39.5 percent for the game. They only had 78 points with 4 1/2 minutes left.

In short, this is the only type of game the Cavs can win right now and it still got away from them late. 

With Kyrie Irving injured and Antawn Jamison in a shooting funk, the Cavs were going to have to keep the score in the low 80s to have any shot at winning. Right about now, they'd be thrilled to score in the high 80s.

The Cavs have shot 40 percent or less in six consecutive games. Not surprisingly, they've lost all of them. 

I don't know if it's an indictment on Manny Harris or a compliment to Lester Hudson that he has already passed him on the depth chart ... at least temporarily.

Hudson scored 4 points in 24 minutes off the bench Saturday, while Harris never entered the game. That's as clear of a sign as any how Scott and the Cavs feel about Harris. Hudson was signed Friday morning. Harris has been with the Cavs, off and on, since the start of last season.

Scott said assistant coach Joe Prunty has been working with Hudson the last couple of days, as he does all of the Cavs' newly signed players. Scott was impressed with how much Hudson knew and how quickly he has picked up the rest.

Hudson is undersized. He's listed at 6-3, but only if he's standing on a set of encyclopedias. The Cavs prefer their guards to be a little bigger, but Hudson is an explosive scorer. That's exactly what the Cavs need right now, whether he's a 7-footer or a circus midget.

Speaking of recently signed guards, Donald Sloan continues to impress. He had 10 points, seven rebounds, four assists and three turnovers tonight in 34 minutes. It was his first NBA start, but he didn't have time to get nervous about it because he just found out less than an hour before the game.

The Cavs like Sloan so much, they didn't screw around with 10-day contracts on him. There were other teams interested in him, so they went ahead and guaranteed him for the rest of the season just to secure him. 

The financial difference between a couple of 10-days and a guarantee for the rest of the season, at this point in the schedule, is minimal. That's why it made sense to just guarantee him now and learn whether or not he can be a contributor next season. So far, Sloan hasn't given any reason to think he can't.

One other concern tonight is Tristan Thompson, who barely got off the bench in the second half and who finished with more fouls (4) than points (3). Scott didn't like what he saw tonight out of Thompson, but that has been rare. Chalk it up to simply a bad night, unless it happens again.

Stats

Cavs: Antawn Jamison 13 points, 7 rebounds; Alonzo Gee 12 points, 6 rebounds; Donald Sloan 10 points, 7 rebounds, 4 assists; Anthony Parker 10 points. Knicks:  J.R. Smith 20 points, Carmelo Anthony 19 points, Tyson Chandler 14 points, 10 rebounds.

Key stat

The Cavs shot less than 40 percent for the sixth consecutive game.

Quotable

"He said it was a little sore and I said, 'That's the key word. Sore." -- Byron Scott, on why he sat Irving tonight.

Up next

The Cavs (17-33) host the San Antonio Spurs (36-14) at 7 p.m. on Tuesday at Quicken Loans Arena.

 

 

 

 

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