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Gameblog: Cavs at San Antonio Spurs

By George Thomas Published: February 27, 2009

Post mortem: Cavs 97, Spurs 86
Virtually everything that the Cavs did wrong against the Rockets, went the other way against the Spurs.
LeBron James scored virtually at will in the paint and from the outside.   He racked up his 121st career double-double and his 16th of the season.
He received serious backup from teammates as Delonte West scored 17 and center Zydrunas Ilgauskas popped in 10 points and pulled down 10 rebounds.
James led his team, but there's little doubt there would be no victory without them - especially in the case of West, who I think gets this team pumped up with his defensive play.
As a team they held the Spurs to under 42 percent shooting and they handcuffed Spurs point guard Tony Parker, who averaged 38 points in his last two game, holding him to 11 points.  He tried, but couldn't get his team going.
An observation: if the Cavs are going to do what they are capable, they are going to need Anderson Varejao (five points, five rebounds) to be more aggressive offensively and they will need J.J. Hickson to keep his head in the game.
At one point, Hickson's lackluster play led Brown to call on fellow rookie Darnell Jackson, a not-too-subtle message for the rookie big man to wake up on the court.
Game: Cavs vs. San Antonio Spurs
Broadcast:  TV: ESPN.  Radio: WAKR (1590 AM); WTAM (1100 AM), WHBC (1480 AM)
Starters:  Cavs:  LeBron James (F); Anderson Varejao (F); Zydrunas Ilgauskas (C); Delonte West (G); Mo Williams (G).  Spurs:  Michael Finley (F); Kurt Thomas (F); Matt Bonner (C); Roger Mason (G); Tony Parker (G).
Injured and inactive: Cavs: Ben Wallace, Eric Snow, Sasha Pavlovic.  Spurs:  Tim Duncan, Manu Ginobili, Ian Mahinmi.
Officials: Scott Foster, Kevin Fehr, Phil Robinson.
Streaking:  The Cavaliers lost one in a row. The Spurs are winner of five consecutive.
This year:   This is the first meeting between the two teams.
Three things to look for:

  • Will Duncan return?  The Spurs superstar has suffered from quad tendonosis according to reports, a condition that zapped strength from his leg.  Even then you have to wonder if he will be at full strength.  Is that a bad thing? No, considering the dearth of big men the Cavs have with the injury of Ben Wallace, who can predict?
  • Anderson Varejao has been close to a non-factor lately.  He finds himself in a similar situation by replacing the injured Wallace, who fractured his fibula Thursday.  In Varejao's spot J.J. Hickson, who has been up-and-down all season will be the first big man off the bench.  He has to show his mettle as well.
  • Mo Williams vs. Tony Parker:  The Spurs point guard has been on a tear of late, primarily because he is his team's main scoring option in the absence of Duncan and shooting guard Manu Ginobili.
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