Post -mortem: Cavs 92, Hornets 78.
The Cavaliers won this game for two reason - defense and coaching.
Defensively, they held Hornets to 37 percent shooting on the night, forced 13 turnovers and had six steals. It's the kind of effort that's expected and has become the norm. 'Nuff said.
But in all of the excitement surrounding the team's success this season the one person who deserves much of the credit rarely gets mentioned - Coach Mike Brown.
He showed his basketball acumen by going with a small lineup for much of the second half that featured Wally Szczerbiak at center and James at power forward. The maneuver left the Hornets befuddled and frustrated.
Mike Brown on the performances of Szczerbiak and Pavlovic, who scored 14 and 19 points respectively and combined to hit on 8-of-9 three-point shots:
Those guys stepped in when they were open and they shot it with confidence. I thought tonight those guys were aggressive stepping into their shots and they took good shots because the shots that they took were open.Wally Szczerbiak on their performances:
We had open shots; we knocked them down. We have to continue to be aggressive. Sasha was great in the starting role...but we're going to need multiple guys to step up. That's what this team is all about.Game: Cavs (26-4) vs. New Orleans Hornets (23-12)
In terms of being down, I think that's natural for any team, but at the same time we don't want that hanging over our heads,'' he said. ''We're just going to have to play. We felt this team is extremely deep. It just gives guys an opportunity to step up and play some minutes.From the locker room:
You can't fill Delonte's shoes. Other guys are going to have to step up. Delonte's toughness and what he's been able to do this year for our team is unmatched,'' he said. ''There's no one who can step into his shoes, but people have their own shoes and have to fulfill their own roles and play hard.