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Gameblog: Cavs vs. Golden State Warriors

By George Thomas Published: November 28, 2008

Post mortem:

Cavs win 111-97

Raise your hand if you thought the Cavs were toying with the Golden State Warriors for the briefest moments tonight?

Yeah, me too.

It felt like a poke-poke, let’s see what you have type of affair.  The Cavs took their best shot and knocked them back.  After beginning the game down 12-2, they scrapped back to take a 58-52 lead at halftime.  Then the dam burst.

The key?  Once again – defense.  The Warriors like to run.  The Cavs wanted to keep them in a half court game and succeeded in the second half.   In the third quarter, the Warriors shot a pathetic 23 percent from the field, the Cavs forced six turnovers and had four steals. 

The score game should have ended with the Cavs winning by a wider margin, but with the starters on the getting a break, the bench took on a greater role, a fact that should be valuable as the season progresses.

 

Quotable:

 

Coach Mike Brown on third quarter defense: 

 


They play a funky style of basketball that we’re not used to and because of that, it gives us a ton of problems,’’ Coach Mike Brown said. ‘’I thought that in the third quarter we locked down defensively and tried to make them work for everything they had. 

LeBron James on the offense:

 


We’re flowing the same way – every game.  It’s that same constant flow offensively and defensively.  It never changes. It never changes when we make a substitution. It never changes in the second half.  In the past we’ve been a bad third quarter team, but lately we’ve just been taking care of business.

Game:  Cavaliers (12-3) vs. Golden State Warriors (5-10)


Broadcast:

TV: FSOhio

Radio:

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): Corey Maggette (F); Brandan Wright (F); Andris Biedrins (C); Stephen Jackson (G); Jamal Crawford (G)

 

Injuries:  Cavs: Eric Snow (knee); Warriors:  Monta Ellis (suspended list)

 

Officials: Tom Washington, Kevin Fehr, Ed Malloy

 

Streaking:  Golden State is 0-3 on their current road trip and have lost four consecutive overall.  The Cavaliers have won 11-of-12 and three in a row.

 

Three things to watch:

 

-          The Cavaliers bench has averaged 61 points in their last two games, a phenomenal feat.  In fact it’s too good to be true.  If they can maintain just half of that throughout the season and the starting five continues to do what they do, the Cavaliers will rack up a lot of Ws.

 

-          See if rookie J.J. Hickson continues to get more playing time.  Mike Brown isn’t about to anoint him as ready yet, but in each of the last five games his minutes have increased.  No one will expect him to get the 31 minutes he had against the Oklahoma City Thunder Wednesday night when he scored 14 points, but in his last two games where he scored 10 and 14 points against the Knicks and Thunder respectively, he’s had to open Brown’s eyes just a little.  Of course, the four blocks against the Thunder couldn’t have hurt.

 

-          This is yet another team the Cavaliers should take care of.  The Warriors will tries to beat folks with offense – averaging more than 103 points per game.  The dilemma:  they give up 107.  The Cavs will – surprise – try to slow them down.  Of course, the Warriors are still looking for some consistency having lost Baron Davis in the off-season and acquired Jamal Crawford in a recent trade.

 

 

Quotable:

 

From the coach’s office:

 

Mike Brown on whether his team, which leads the Eastern Conference in field goal percentage, can hit 50 percent from the floor for the season:

 


‘Are we capable of shooting 50 percent from the floor this year?  I wouldn’t put anything past this group, but it’s not a goal or anything like that.

 

From the locker room:

 

LeBron James on the team’s offensive prowess thus far this season.  They currently lead the Eastern Conference in field goal percentage:

 


The new offensive system coach put in this year, allowing us to get up and down the floor, allowing us to attack the clock early (and) I think Mo Williams and Delonte West running the team has really gotten us really efficient on the offensive end and we’ve taken advantage of some of the defensive miscues that teams have put on us. 

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