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Gameblog: Cavs at Philadelphia - The Aftermath

By George Thomas Published: December 10, 2008

Post mortem:  Cavaliers didn't look their best tonight.  Luckily the 76ers weren't especially impressive either.
After locking down on opponents in previous games, LeBron James didn't look particularly dominating on defense against Andre Inguodala, allowing him 21 first half points.  In the post game he said that Coach Mike Brown challenged hm to return to the form he'd been exhibiting the past few games against some of the league's better forwards.
Having lost Daniel ''Boobie'' Gibson to a sprained left big toe earlier this week and center Zydrunas Ilgauskas in this game, the Cavs needed someone to step up.  Enter Mo Williams who tossed in 27 points and Anderson Varejao who added 15 points and eight rebounds.
Say what you will about the ugliness of this game, but last year at this is time this is one the Cavs would have rolled over and played dead in or they would rely strictly on No. 23.  Not this season.  Williams displayed tonight by getting a season high 27 points that he can step up and fill that void when needed.
From the coach's office:
Mike Brown on the game overall:

Obviously both teamd didn't have their best game; that happens sometimes.  It's good for us, coming off a back-to-back to come into somebody's building knowing that we did not play our best basketball and still get a win.
From the locker room:
LeBron James on closing the 76ers out tonight:
It's always tough in the league to come fof back-to-back, especially with a running team like this.  It's just the mindset that we have that we want to come out every night, no matter whatever it is, we just try to win.  Tonight we took care of business.
Game: Cavaliers (13-3) at Philadelphia (9-13)
Broadcast:  TV: ESPN WAKR (1590 AM); WTAM (1100 AM), WHBC (1480 AM)
Starters:  Cavs:  LeBron James (F); Ben Wallace (F); Zydrunas Ilgauskas (C); Delonte West (G); Mo Williams (G). 76ers:  Andre Iguodala  (F); Elton Brand (F); Samuel Dalembert (C); Wilie Green (G); Andre Miller (G).
Streaking:  The Cavaliers have won nine in a row.  The Sixers lost their last game.
Three things to watch:
  • Look to see how effective Elton Brand is. He returns to the line-up after.  He missed games against the Detroit Pistons and New Jersey Nets.  Hammys are notoriously difficult from which to recover and it could hinder Brand, who averages almost 17 points per game.
  • Who will step up for Daniel Gibson? This is the first significant speed bump the Cavaliers have hit in the season as Gibson is expected to miss at least two weeks with a sprained left toe.
  • Mo Williams vs. Andre Miller:  if you recall, Williams and Mller got into a little tussle during the pre-season.  Williaims stated that the bad blook goes back to his days in Milwaukee.
Quotable: From the coach's office:
Mike Brown on what has to happen given the loss of Gibson:
We’ve talked about having a deep team, now it’s going to have to come in play a little bit, missing one of our key guys. 
In the locker room:
Delonte West on what Gibson brings to the team:
He spreads the floor. He’s capable of handling the ball also.  That’s always dangerous when you have a guard that bigger (shooting) guards have to match up with who can out quick them.  He can put them in plays – point guard plays…we’re definitely going to miss that aspect of our team.
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