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Gameblog: Cavs vs. Houston Rockets

By George Thomas Published: December 23, 2008

Game: Cavs (23-4) vs. Houston Broadcast:  TV: FSOhio 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); Rockets: Shane Battier (F); Luis Scola (F); Yao Ming (C); Tracy McGrady (G); Rafer Alston (G).
Injuries/inactives:  Cavs:  Eric Snow, Jawad Williams, Darnell Jackson.  Rockets:  Steve Francis, Joey Dorsey.
Officials:  Scott Foster, Rodney Mott and Phil Robinson.
Streaking: The Cavaliers have won three in a row, 13 in a row at Quicken Loans Arena. The Rockets have won four in a row.   Three things to watch:

  • Z and Yao - Battle of the titans. It will be intersting to see how Yao plays Ilgauskas because both centers have their strengths.  Yao clogs up the middle which is why the Cavaliers have had problems with the Rockets in the recent past.  But the Rockets have to worry about Z on the perimeter also.  If Yao can be drawn outside where he opens up the middle, that opens lanes for LeBron James, Delonte West and Mo Williams to drive to the hoop for easy scores.
  • T-Mac and Delonte West - West has been surprisingly good on both sides of the ball.  He plays agains the bigger shooting guards, despite the fact that he gives up a few inches to them.  He gets a big test with McGrady tonight who averages almost 23 points per game against the Cavaliers.
  • Ron Artest - To a person the Cavs say that the former Sacramento King and Indiana Pacer adds toughness to their team. Coming off the bench with the Rockets he's very effective averaging 15 points.  He averages more than 16 against the Cavaliers.
From the coach's office:
Mike Brown on the Cavs losing their last two to the Rockets:

They’re a very good team that’s a defensive minded team.  They have size inside and size along the perimeter with Battier and McGrady and it causes match-up problems for us. 

Mo Williams on Ron Artets as a player:

He just gives them another dimension.  He’s the complete opposite of T-Mac.  He’ll post up.  He’s more physical.  T-Mac is more a finesse player so I think they complement one another real well.  All three of those guys do different things at different areas of the floor so they can play well together.

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