Charlotte 110, Bobcats 93
In a nutshell:
Crappy defensive play. There's no other way to put it. The Bobcats shot a stratospheric 55 percent from the floor on their way to drubbing the Cavs. Stephen Jackson and his supporting cast were allowed to score at will with the Cavs not playing physically. Even Boris Diaw enjoy resurrection with 18 points on the night. That shows up in rebound numbers where Charlotte beat them by 10 overall.
Now it's quite possible that the Cavs are out of sync for a number of reasons, including a return from the All-Star break which they went into with a 13-game winning streak. Add to the mix Mo Williams just returning to the lineup and the addition of Antawn Jamison and there's no way that expected to play with the skill seen during that win streak.
But even with that being said, the defensive lapse in the past four of five games are alarming because teams have been shooting 50 percent or better. Now is not the best time to hit this skid. They land in Orlando tomorrow.
Game: Cavs vs. Charlotte Bobcats Broadcast: TV: FSOhio Radio: WAKR (1590 AM); WTAM (1100 AM), WHBC (1480 AM) Starters: Cavs: LeBron James (F); J.J. Hickson(F); Shaquille O'Neal (C); Anthony Parker (G); Mo Williams (G). Injured and inactive:
Cavs: Leon Powe (left knee surgery) - OUT
Bobcats: Alexis Anjica (torn ligament, right thumb); DeSsagan Diop (right MCL sprain) - OUT. Tyson Chandler (sore left foot) - GAME TIME DECISION. Nazr Mohammed (back spasms) - PROBABLE. Officials: Bill Kennedy, Marc Daniels and Kane Fitzgerald.
The Cavs have struggled against the Bobcats this year, owing two of their losses to Larry Brown's pesky Bobcats. They're at full strength in the starting lineup, the first time since the third week in January, so that should help.
What Cavs fans will want to pay attention to is how Antawn Jamison, the power forward acquired this week, plays. He will come off the bench tonight, but Mike Brown said that he has little idea what his next move will be regarding the player.
Jamison is a native of North Carolina and will have 40 family members and friends in attendance and he's playing for the best team in basketball. He should be up for this one.
The Bobcats will be without two of their big men - Tyson Chandler and DeSagana Diop tonight leaving Nazr Mohammed to tend to Shaquille O'Neal.
Theo Ratliff and Tyrus Thomas, trade acquisitions from the Chicago Bulls will play for the Bobcats.