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Cleveland Cavaliers

Gameblog: Cavs vs. Milwaukee Bucks

By George Thomas Published: March 4, 2009

Post mortem:  Cavs 91, Bucks 73
After a strenuous road trip that included four games in five days, the Cavaliers have to feel lucky to get out of what could have been a trap game.
While they didn't always look the best offensively - in fact, they often looked offensive - defensively they played like what they expect - ferociously.
Delonte West was the star on that end, racking up eight steals. Fans and observers - some of you will recognize of whom it is I speak - call West a marginal starter.
Ummm...yeah.  That's it. Marginal.  He's marginal if you look at one side of the ball.  His defense it what makes him so complete a player.  Forget about the fact that he can create his own shot, shoot off the dribble, drive to the hoop and hit the three consistently.
With this win the Cavs clinched the playoffs.  They were remarkably blase about the fact after the game.  Cleveland fans should like that; it shows they're hungry and ambitious.
Delonte West on his steals tonight:

I'm playing the two guard right now, but by playing most of my career at the point guard thus far, you learn to pick up on an opposite team's signals and what they are doing.  I knew they were staying with the same sets, so I just kind of anticipated the next pass.
Mike Brown on Delonte West's steals:
His anticipation, his athleticism, his quickness, his dexterity, all of that stuff is just off the charts.  Some of the steals he gets, there's just no way he should have gotten them.  For him to come up with eight steals was a heck of an effort by Delonte on that end of the floor.
Game:  Cavaliers (47-12) vs. Milwaukee Bucks (29-34)
Broadcast:  TV: FSOhio. Radio:  WAKR (1590 AM); WTAM (1100 AM), WHBC (1480 AM).
Starters:  LeBron James (F); Anderson Varejao (F); Zydrunas Ilgauskas (C); Delonte West (G); Mo Williams (G); Bucks:  Richard Jefferson (F); Charlie Villanueva (F); Francisco Elson (C); Luck Mbah a Moute (G); Ramon Sessions (G).
Officials:  Ron Garretson, Tony Brown and James Capers.
Injured-inactive:  Cavs: Eric Snow (knee), Ben Wallace (broken leg).  Milwaukee:  Michael Redd; Andrew Bogut.
Streaking:  The Cavaliers have won three consecutive, the Bucks have lost one. Previously this season:  The Cavs have won all three prior meetings this season.  In the last outing in Milwaukee, LeBron James exploded for 55 points.
What to watch:
  • Charlie Villanueva lit the Cavs up for 26 points and grabbed 13 points in the last meeting. Oh, and he got ejected from the game after getting into a tussle with Zydrunas Ilgauskas over a flagrant foul he committed against Anderson Varejao.  A little extra motivation, perhaps?
  • The Bucks are competing for a playoff spot – allegedly.  They’ve not been playing like it, losing 5-of-7.  This is one of those games where the Cavs should be leery overall.  It’s a classic trap game with the Cavs getting a brief respite before having to play their third set of  back-to-back games in a week.
Zydrunas Ilgauskas on playing four games in five days on the road:
This team is tough – mentally tough.  In past years, we would have lost the Miami game before we even started, but this time out we know what we’re fighting for and there’s a lot at stake that matters.
Mike Brown on the Cavs success during that road trip:
Our guys, they just found a way.  I have to give them credit for finding a way to get wins on the road in a tough environment.
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