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Gameblog: Cavs vs. Heat - Let's Do It Again - The Aftermath

By George Thomas Published: December 30, 2008

Post mortem - You give the Cavs credit for making a serious run at the Heat in the second half - so serious that they came within one point of tying the game and had the opportunity to go ahead, but Daniel Gibson couldn't quite finish on a drive to the hoop.
But let's be honest.  There was some fairly ugly hoops played in this one.  In this game and for the past several, the Cavs haven't played with the first-half intensity that we were used to seeing.  They settled for jump shots - long jump shots - and it would come back to haunt them.
By the time they were able to make their run at the Heat, they had to blitz Dwyane Wade whenever he touched the ball.  The result:  Wade was free to choose Daequan Cook (an Ohio State product) or Maurice Chalmers for wide-open three-pointers.  On the night, they hit 11-14 combined to toast the Cavaliers.  For the record, the Heat forced the Cavs to shoot 30 three-pointers of their own.  They hit just as many as Cook-Chalmers combined.
That maneuver also put them into other precarious situations on defense.  When you have Shawn Marion on Mo Williams going to the hoop, who's going to win that battle?  Yup, that's what I thought.
All-in-all, not an especially good night for the Cavs, but how they respond to the loss is more important than the loss.
Quotable:
Coach Mike Brown on the Cavs shooting 30 three-point shots:

We do not want to take 30 three-pointers.  However if we are playing against a team and we get into the teeth of the defense and the ball gets kicked out, I’m not going to call my guys off.
LeBron James on the three-point shooting of Chalmers and Cook:
Unbelievable shooting. They did a great job of playing off D-Wade. When you have two guards shoot the ball like that from the three-point line, it’s going to be hard to come back in the game, especially not playing as good as we played in the first half.
At the half:  Heat 50, Cavs 34
When you shoot 15. 4 percent in the second quarter, chances are you're not going to go into the half with a lead.  Guess what the Cavs shot in the second period...you got it
They're shooting 31.3 percent overall and 8.3 percent form three-point land.  No, that's not a mistake (for a change).  They're just not here.  That's the best way to put this current situation.
They're struggling in every aspect of the game, but none more evident than offense and on the boards.  One thing you notice is the Heat doing a tremendous job of blocking out on the glass.  It's shown up in the total, as they lead that stat 28-20.
Game: Cavs (26-5) vs. Miami Heat (17-13) Broadcast:  TV: FSOhio WAKR (1590 AM); WTAM (1100 AM), WHBC (1480 AM)
Starters: Cavs:  LeBron James (F); Ben Wallace (F); Zydrunas Ilguaskas (C); Delonte West (G); Mo Williams (G).  Heat:  Shawn Marion (F); Udonis Haslem (F); Joel Anthony (C); Dwyane Wade (G); Mario Chalmers (G).
Injuries/inactives:  Cavs:  Wally Szczerbiak (knee), Lorenzen Wright and Eric Snow (knee).  Heat:  Dorell Wright, James Jones, Shaun Livingston.
Streaking:  Cavaliers have won six in row, four in a row at home. The Heat have lost one in a row. Two  things to watch:
  • Focus on the part of the Cavaliers.  It hasn't been a problem to date for this team, but with NBA TV runing the LeBron James shot for 24 hours and celebrations in the works, it would be very easy to get caught up in all of that mayhem.
  • LeBron James v. D-Wade - Mike Brown didn't make that defensive switch until the fourth quarter during the last game and it worked, could we see it sooner in this one? Wade hit for 29 in the last go around.
Quotable:
From the coach's office:
Mike Brown on LeBron James turning 24:
He definitely seems a lot older.   At times because he’s so special and does things with so much ease on the floor, you kind of take for granted that he’s a young pup still, at least age wise.  But mentally for a guy that age, he’s been through a lot and led some different teams through very big ball games.
From the locker room:
LeBron James on what he wants for his birthday:
A win.  Especially when you’re playing on your birthday you don’t want it to be ruined by a loss.
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