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Game Blog: Cavaliers vs. 76ers - Injuries to report

By George Thomas Published: October 18, 2008

CLEVELAND -  The Cavaliers come into the fifth pre-season game tonight looking for their first victory against the 76ers, a team that has some serious prospects in the Eastern Conference this year courtesy of Andre Iguodala, Andre Miller and Elton Brand, who bolted the Los Angeles Clippers during the off-season for the cold and cash in Philly.

Mike Brown continues the same line that the team is only looking to get better.  They’re relaxed, focused and just looking at it as a warm-up.  I suspect there will be a change in attitude beginning next week.

Game:  Cavaliers (1-4) vs. Philadelphia 76ers  (3-2)

Broadcast: WAKR (1590 AM); WTAM (1100 AM), WHBC (1480 AM)

Starters: Cavs:  Mo Williams (G); Sasha Pavlovic (G); LeBron James (F); Ben Wallace (F); Zydrunas Ilgauskas (C).  Philadelphia:  Andre Miller (G); Andre Iguodala (G); Thaddeus Young (F); Marreese Speights (F); Theo Ratliff (C).

Officials: S. Corbin, E. Lewis and E. Roe.

Streaking:  Cavaliers have lost four in a row.

What to watch:  The 76ers are averaging more than 100 points per game in the preseason.  Sasha Pavlovic gets his second start in the preseason in tonight’s game as Mike Brown continues to look for his starter in that role.  The Cavs will be without rookie Darnell Jackson who fractured his left wrist at some point during the preseason.


In the coach’s office:

Mike Brown on Jackson’s injury:  He’s having a good camp, but now he’s got to try to figure out the other side of it which is how to stay in shape, still learn and still grow and so on and so forth. 

Brown said it could affect the next round of cuts.


On Wally Szczerbiak not playing:  "If it was a playoff game he’d be out there.  Then again with Wally’s age and the number of years he’s been in the league, if guys like that say they’re banged up or a little sore, I’d rather err on the side of being overcautious."

In the locker room:  "Jackson said he didn’t know when the injury took place, but it’s been bothering him for a couple weeks.  It began as a pain that didn’t go away.  He eventually asked them to check it out and team doctors found the fracture."

“You’re out there and you’re sweating, your heart’s pumping and you’re constantly moving, you can tweak something but it’s not on your mind,’’ Jackson said. ‘’You’re just focusing on the game and that’s probably what happened.

On why he didn’t seek treatment initially:  "That’s just how I am.  If it’s not killing me, I don’t care.  Tape me up.  Duct tape and I’m ready to go.”

Post game analysis:   The Cavaliers win 100-93 behind the efforts of the Delonte West-led second unit.  As much as I would have liked to see more of the starters go at it in this game, reality dictates that until the regular season starts Coach Mike Brown will be using them cautiously.  No arguments here.  Besides, offensively at least, they delivered in the limited minutes in which they played.  LeBron James had 16 points, 19 rebounds and 4 assists.   Zydrunas Ilgauskas dropped in 17 and grabbed 8 rebounds.

What has to be more soothing to Brown, however, is how guard Delonte West manned up to run the team after starter Mo Williams was ejected for a friendly skirmish with Andre Miller.  West produced a double-double with 17 points and 10 assists.   He moved into the paint crisply, dished off intelligently and what’s becoming evident is West, after having enough time to absorb the system, plays confidently within it.

Brown must also be content with a bench that delivered against the 76ers as well.  Anderson Varejao his on 7-of-7 shots and scored a total of 15, Daniel Gibson added 9 points and Wally Szczerbiak 8.

Post-game quotables: 

(Coach Mike Brown on Delonte West):  Delonte West did a terrific job.  He distributed the ball very well and he ran the team very well when he was on the floor and he stepped in and knocked down shots when he was open.”


(Delonte West):  “Even though we didn’t have our top guns out there in the fourth quarter, that shouldn’t make a difference.  It’s on the five players on the floor at the time to try to win the game.  It was big for the confidence of the young guys out there and also for the confidence of the team.”

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