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Gameblog: Cavs vs. Portland Trail Blazers

By George Thomas Published: December 11, 2009

Post-mortem: Cavs 101, Portland 99
The Good: Mike Brown called it willing a win in the second half.  Given the way the Cavs played in the first, they needed something.  Mo Williams said that Brown let them have it at halftime because, to be generous, they looked lazy out on the court.  In the second half, different story as the Cavs flipped a nine-point lead and outscored the Trail Blazers 59-45 in the second half and held them to 39 percent shooting.
The Better: But they won because of the play of two players - LeBron James (who else) and Anderson Varejao.  James came out in the third quarter and scored his team's first nine points and scored 19 points in the half and Varejao nearly matched him with 18 points.  But it was Varejao's unexpected burst that did the most damage.  He was key in a 10-0 run in the third quarter that tied the game at 64.  Varejao scored six of those 10 points.  Additionally, he was a monster on the boards with five (three offensive) of his 10 overall in the half.
The Ugly:  There's got to be some ugly as the Cavs continued their propensity to turn the ball over, giving up 16 of them tonight.  The Blazers scored 19 points off of them and a fair share of them were unforced.
Misc. notes:  The Cavs had three players with double-doubles (LeBron James, Mo Williams and Anderson Varejao) for the first time since Feb. 24, 2008 when Zydrunas Ilgauskas, LeBron James and Ben Wallace did it against the Memphis Grizzlies...The Cavs outscored the Trail Blazers 52-28 in the paint, beat them on fastbreak points 18-7 and outrebounded Portland 40-30.
Game: Cavs vs. Portland Trail Blazers
TV: FSOhio.   Radio:  WAKR (1590 AM); WTAM (1100 AM), WHBC (1480 AM).
Starters: Cavs:  LeBron James (F); J.J. Hickson (F); Shaquille O'Neal (C); Anthony Parker  (G); Mo Williams (G).  Trail Blazers:   Martell Webster (F); LaMarcus Aldridge (F); Joel Pryzbilla; Brandon Roy (G); Steve Blake (G).
Cavs:  Daniel Gibson (hand); Leon Powe (knee surgery)
Trail Blazers:  Rudy Fernandez (sciatic pain), Greg Oden (knee surgery); Travis Outlaw (left foot surgery).
Officials:  Dan Crawford, Tony Brown, John Goble.

  • The Trail Blazers are among the walking wounded, with the latest and likely most serious blow being the injury to center and former Ohio State Buckeye Greg Oden.  They lost Travis Outlaw, who was giving them 10 points per game, until March a few weeks back.  If there was a time for the Cavs to get back on track after having lost two in a row, now is the time.
  • But they need to clean things up - significantly.  Three games, an average of 20 turnovers per with teams scoring 23 points off of them.  Not good and really not the hallmark of a Cavs team.  Now let's try to be fair and take out their blowout last Sunday against the Milwaukee Bucks and they are still averaging 20 per.  LeBron James knows there's a problem, especially in the area of unforced turnovers - they show a lack of focus.  Even James is averaging a career high in that area with 3.8 per game.
  • Brandon Roy is going to get his points and try to impose his will on the game, but it's LaMarcus Aldridge who the Cavs have to be aware.  Aldridge averaged 23 points per game against the Cavs in their prior two contests.
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