Post-mortem - Cavs 117, Kings 110
If those three people out there who read this weren't happy with the display they saw tonight, you're not alone. At times it looked as if Coach Mike Brown was going to grind his teeth into nubs primarily because while the Cavs had plenty of offense, they forgot about defense - a fact that left Brown ''concerned'' because teams have scored more than 100 points on the Cavs in 3-of-5 games - a statistic Brown owns no love of.
The problem tonight: the Cavs got beat off dribbles, blow buys and on perimeter defense. Oh, is that all? The Kings shot 50 percent from the floor and almost equally as high 48 percent from the three-point line.
There was a silver lining in this game as Mo Williams put on a shooting display knocking down 43 points, dishing out 11 assists and pulling down eight rebounds. LeBron James scored a triple-double with 23 points, 15 rebounds and 11 assists.
That, however, wasn't enough to soothe Brown.
They definitely did not feel us defensively. Obviously, you're going to play some games like this and the last few ballgames. We just have to understand and to continue understanding that you have to win by playing on that (defensive) end of the floor. It's tough as nail to play on that end of the floor for 82 games and I understand that. We just have to make sure we get it back in practice first. - Coach Mike Brown.
I'm not disappointed, but we know we didn't play our best game defensively. They made some tough shots, but we broke down defensively a lot tonight. I'm not disappointed, but we're not satisfied. We took one step back defensively and we don't want to do that. LeBron James.
By the numbers:
Over his last four games, Williams has eye-popping numbers: 28.8 points on 51 percent shooting, including 51 percent from 3-point range, four rebounds and 6 assists per game...The last time two teammates scored at least 23 points, eight rebounds and 11 assists was on Dec. 23, 1971 when the Cavs' Butch Beard (30 points, eight rebounds, and 11 assists) and John Johnson (24, points, nine rebounds and 12 assists) accomplished the feat.
First half: Cavs, 60 Kings 56
When you let a team with nothing to lose shoot more than 50 percent from the floor in the half, things like close games will happen. Right now the Kings are in this thing primarily because the Cavaliers seem to have forgotten what perimeter defense is. The Kings have gotten off 16 three-point shots and connected on half of them. At one point they led the Cavs by 11 before Cleveland awoke from a stupor to realize they were down.
Point guard Mo Williams continues the success he found while out west, hitting for 25 points in the first half while LeBron already has a double-double with 17 points, 10 rebounds. Five more assists and he cracks that triple-double nut.
Unfortunately other than from Sasha Pavlovic, they're not getting much elsewhere. They need to continue to crack down on their perimeter defense, as they did toward the end of the first half.
Game: Cavs (34-8) vs. Miami Heat (10-35)
Broadcast: TV: FSOhio. WAKR (1590 AM); WTAM (1100 AM), WHBC (1480 AM)
Starters: Cavs: LeBron James (F); Ben Wallace (F); Anderson Varejao (C); Sasha Pavlovic (G); Mo Williams (G). Kings: John Salmons (F); Jason Thompson (F); Brad Miller (C), Kevin Martin (G); Beno Udrih.
Injured-inactive: Cavs: Eric Snow (knee); Delonte West (wrist); Zydrunas Ilgauskas (C). Kings: Donte Green; Kenny Thomas.
Officials: David Jones, John Goble and Courtney Kirkland.
Two things to watch:
- All eyes on Kevin Martin: The fifth year player from Zanesville averages 23.6 points per game. Sasha Pavlovic will likely spend a lot of time on him tonight and Martin offers a stern test for Pavlovic whose game has stepped up since since having to fill in for the injured Delonte West.
- More eyes on John Salmons: Salmons, averaging more than 18 points a game, won't be a piece of cake for LeBron James.
From the coach's office:
Mike Brown on the return of Zydrunas Ilgauskas:
Just watching practice, he looks a little rusty. I’m not thinking about him coming back. I got to have the OK from Z. I got to have the OK from the doctors and then obviously I have to make sure I give the OK. Once all three of us give the OK, then he’ll be back on the floor.
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