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New guys arrive, Cavs get semi-miracle win

By admin Published: February 22, 2008

Cavs 90, Wizards 89
--Wow, that was quite a victory. The fans in the building were very into the game and it was pretty intense, which is remarkable considering the circumstances. --I did not get to see much of the game, so I can't provide all that much analysis. The new players got here just before tipoff and there was a press conference at halftime. However, Wizards coach Eddie Jordan was complimentary to Mike Brown's game plan, which moved Damon Jones all over the court opposite LeBron James so they could take advantage of the double teams. Damon had a hot night, hitting 7-of-11 3-pointers, because the Wizards kept losing him in rotation. --Based on my research and the history of the league I don't think it is going to happen, but I don't think I am being a homer when I say that James is so obviously the Most Valuable Player. Not to fall in line behind Mike Brown or anything, but the guy just has amazing game after amazing game. So many people I hear from talk about whether or not he will stay in Cleveland. Forget about it for right now, pay attention to what you are watching and show your children. It's history. --I have to say the possession late in the game where Eric Snow fumbled the ball, Zydrunas Ilgauskas dove on the ground to save it, Snow got it back and shot a fadeaway over three Wizards that was a foot short and two feet left of the rim, only to have Ilgauskas catch it and put it in the basket with one second on the shot clock and the Cavs down by one point with two minutes to go has to qualify for basket of the year. Also, that qualifies as the longest sentence in the history of the blog. --OK, to a man Eric Snow knows that his career is pretty much over. He can help on defense in certain situations and for short bursts. But play him 32 minutes and you are going to have ugly spots. It happened tonight. --You didn't have to tell 10-day D-League call up Billy Thomas what to do. The guy squeezed off 11 3-pointers in 19 minutes. Gun, son, gun.
The new guys
We only got to spend about 10 minutes with the new players, but here's some things learned:
--Wally Szczerbiak and Delonte West are both very excited to be here. They are coming from one of the worst teams in the league and one that didn't put winning first. West has never been on a winning team and Wally hasn't been to the playoffs in like four years. They feel like they were rescued. --Ben Wallace didn't say anything bad about his time with the Bulls. But he just smiled when he was asked about the four meetings he had left with the team: "I had fun in Chicago, of course we didn’t win the way we wanted to win. The experience was good, the organization was good to me. I was doing things I wasn’t doing in Detroit. It was a little bit of a struggle as far as playing basketball, not being able to play the way we were capable of playing. It was tough to get the team together." --Both Wallace and Szczberiak said they wouldn't mind coming off the bench. Or as Wally said: "I've been coming off the bench for one of the worst teams in the league." But I suspect they'll both be starting, maybe as early as Sunday. --None of the players have had their physicals yet, all will have them tomorrow. --Wally said he's very happy to be in Ohio. His wife is from Columbus and he said he had a few college buddies from Miami of Ohio at the game tonight. --West is very impressive in the way he speaks, the confidence and focus he has. You can see why Danny Ferry really likes his character.
Starting lineups
Wizards: Antonio Daniels, DeShawn Stevenson, Antawn Jamison, Andray Blatche, Brendan Haywood Cavs: Eric Snow, Damon Jones, Devin Brown, LeBron James, Zydrunas Ilgauskas
Officials Greg Williard, Leon Wood, Tony Brown
--The Cavs signed two D-League players to 10-day contracts. Kaniel Dickens is a 6-8 forward who can shoot a little, he was averaging 20 points in the D-League. Billy Thomas is a 6-5 wing who was averaging 15 points. Both are guys who have been in and out of the NBA multiple times over the last few years. Both are going to have to play a bit. --The four new players are here and will be meeting with the media soon, before the game. This is going to be another one of those nights where I don't get to see the first half so please excuse me. But I'll have updates about the new guys. --A few minutes ago we spoke to LeBron about the trade. No, it wasn't Jason Kidd, but he seems to be happy. Here was one of his best quotes: "No, this isn’t the type of deal I expected. You guys heard what I wanted but I am grateful for the situation. We got some good caliber guys that are coming in. It was very surprising, you come into the locker room today and it is very different." --Caron Butler and Gilbert Arenas are out for the Wizards.
Stars LeBron, 33 points, 15 rebounds, eight assists Damon Jones, 27 points Devin Brown, 10 points, 10 rebounds, seven assists Darius Songalia, 19 points DeShawn Stevenson, 18 points
Quotes LeBron: "“I expect to win, as long as I am on the court I feel like we have a chance to win. It was tough, you had guys in the wrong spots, our spacing wasn’t right all the time, sometimes I wasn’t right. We did it with effort.” Mike Brown: “It was rewarding for the guys who played. They played a lot of minutes, they played roles they are not used to. They just found a way."

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