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Gameblog: Cavaliers vs. Chicago Bulls

By George Thomas Published: November 5, 2008

CLEVELAND -  A blooming Derrick Rose comes into Quicken Loans Arena to take on a Cavaliers team coming off a 1-1 road trip and after putting together their best game of the young season.

 

Rose is averaging more than 17 points a game and has picked up some recognition nationally for his skills.

 

Game:  Cavaliers (2-2) vs. Chicago Bulls (2-2)

 

Broadcast:

 

TV:  ESPN

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

 

Starters:  Cavs:  Mo Williams (G); Delonte West (G); LeBron James (F); Ben Wallace (F); Zydrunas Ilgauskas (C). Bulls:  Derrick Rose (G); Thabo Sefolosha (G); Luol Deng (F); Tyrus Thomas (F); Drew Gooden (C).

 

Officials:  Mark Wunderlich, David Jones, Eli Roe

 

Streaking:  Cavs have won one

Three things to watch:

1)      Let’s see if Mo Williams can build on what he started in Dallas.  For those he missed it.  With LeBron James on the bench, he took over the game scoring 9 points in the fourth quarter to pull away from the Mavericks and seal a victory.

2)      Center Zydrunas Ilgauskas is having an excellent, albeit unnoticed, start to the season averaging 15.3 points per game and 6.8 rebounds.  With Drew Gooden playing on him, it will be interesting to see how they match up.

3)      In general the team should continue to build on their success in some areas.  The defense is solid, although Coach Mike Brown expects it to get better, but what’s instantly noticeable is that the team isn’t leaning on LeBron as much as in prior years.  Five players currently average in double figures.

 

Quotable:

Mike Brown on what he did election night: 

 

‘’It was exciting just for the fact that we witnessed something that was historic and it doesn’t matter who you voted for or how the race went – whether it was good or bad, just to be able to witness something like that was spectacular.’’


 

 

From the locker room:

 

Former Cav Drew Gooden on matching up against Zydrunas Ilgauskas:

 

‘’Yes, I’m a center now and I finally get to play with Z,’’ he said. ‘’It’s the first time ever. Not even in practice.  I finally get to guard Z.  I get the match-up against the big fella.’’

 

He joked that he will have to be aware of one of Ilgauskas’ techniques – reaching over an opposing player's back to get to the ball. ‘’I’m a captain now, so I have a little bit more leeway with the refs. I’m going to get on that early,’’ he said.

Post-game analysis:

Three reasons they won:

 

1)      The obvious:  LeBron James dropped 41 points on the Bulls with little effort.  In games where he scored 40 or more, the team is 20-5.  But it’s the way he did it and offers clues to the way they prefer to use James.  He attacked the basket relentlessly and he went to the line 16 times and hit 15 of those shots.

 

2)      Defense:  The Cavs held the Bulls to under 40 percent shooting on the night.  Yes, Derrick Rose got 20 points and Ben Gordon 31, but the Cavs stayed active on the defensive end of the floor.

 

3)      Overall guard play:  Starters Mo Williams and Delonte West combined for 29 points. Williams kept the offense in flow, but West after looking shaky during his first start at shooting guard is really starting to come on.   Playing both these guys at the same time adds a dimension to the Cavs’ offense.  It’s Williams’ team to run, but the fact that West knows the point shows up often. During the first quarter West drove the lane, drawing defenders in and found a wide-open Mo Williams for a three-point shot from the left wing.

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