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Cleveland Cavaliers

Gameblog - Cavs vs. Bulls

By George Thomas Published: January 2, 2009

Post mortem:  Cavs 117, Bulls 92
Defense was the word for this game.  The Cavaliers rode the Bulls from the jump and didn't let go.  They turned the Bulls best weapon, Derrick Rose, into a non-factor.   About the only one who did any damage is Ben Gordon with 22 points, but considering he only plays offense, that's not big surprise. 
By concentration on Rose, the Cavaliers threw the Bulls off their game.  Perimeter shooting, their strength, didn't come into play as they shot an abysmal 37 percent.
Conversely, the Cavs shot almost 51 percent and had seven players in double figure.  LeBron James had a triple-double, while Anderson Varejao led all scorers with 26. 
At the half:  Cavs 61, Bulls 47
The Cavaliers shot 56 percent form the floor to open the half.  Methinks someone got that memo about sluggish starts in recent games.  That's a nice little stat.  It's even more noteworthy when you consider that it comes with LeBron James only having taken one shot.  At the half, Mo Williams and Anderson Varejao, who the team needed to step up, has done so. The Cavs' bench players have outscored the Bulls reserves 18-6 in the first half.
Game:  Cavs (26-5) vs. Chicago Bulls (14-17)
Broadcast:  TV: FSOhio  Radio:  WAKR (1590 AM); WTAM (1100 AM), WHBC (1480 AM)
Starters:  Cavs:  LeBron James (F); Ben Wallace (F); Anderson Varejao (C); Delonte West (G); Mo Williams (G).  Bulls:  Thabo Sefolosha (F); Tyrus Thomas (F); Aaron Gray (C); Ben Gordon (G); Derrick Rose (G).
Injuries-inactives:  Cavs:  Zydrunas Ilgauskas (left ankle), Eric Snow (knee); Bulls:  Drew Gooden (sprained right ankle); Luol Deng (sprained left ankle); Michael Ruffin (sprained left ankle), Kirk Hinrich (torn ulnar collateral ligament)
Streaking:  Cavaliers have won 16 consecutive at home, but lost their last one against the Miami Heat.  The Bulls lost their last game.
Officials:  Mike Callahan, Eric Lewis, Ed Malloy.

  • Two things to watch Anderson Varejao will have to fill center Zydrunas Ilgauskas' sneakers once again as Z is a no-go for the show tonight. When Ilgauskas went down with a left ankle sprain approximately a month ago, Varejao did a nice job in Ilgauskas' spot, averaging 13.7 points and 8.6 rebounds.
  • The Cavaliers' perimeter defense will have to work overtime tonight as Ben Gordon and Derrick Rose have shown a nice touch from the outside. Gordon is the 13th ranked 3-point shooter in the league.  They will have to watch these two and still be sure that the paint remains protected.
From the coach's office:
Mike Brown on filling Zydrunas Ilgauskas' shoes:
For a stretch there we were missing both Z and Daniel (Gibson) and both of those guys put up some points for us,  they shoot the ball very well for us and help space the floor.  It bothered us a little bit but we still have to figure out how to win no matter who’s in the lineup.
From the locker room:
Zydrunas Ilgauskas on his injured ankle
One good thing is that it’s not related to the foot problems.  If anything the MRI showed that all the previous foot surgeries were beautiful and great. The bones were healed and that was the positive.
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