Something happened to the Cavs in those last few minutes in Charlotte, they lost their focus and it isn't back yet. Neither the Mavericks or the Cavs played all that well tonight, but the Mavs had better focus and so they won, 98-90. This game was so very winnable for the Cavs, yet they never really close to winning it. Had they played with the same intensity they did down in Dallas, I think they' would've won.
--How many "bad" offensive possessions did the Cavs have? Let's say, on average, a good team like the Cavs will score on about 45-50 percent of their possessions. A good offensive team will maybe have 30-35 percent of possessions where they take a good shot and just miss and 10-15 percent of the time will take a bad shot, commit a turnover, whatever. Settle down stats people out there, I'm am generalizing based on experience. Tonight, I'd say the Cavs maybe 30 percent of the time had good possessions. There were so many bad shots, bad turnovers, bad passes, and the like. Of course, the Mavs had a lot to do with it.
--I know Donyell Marshall thought he got fouled and maybe he did, but I have no idea what he was doing when he threw the ball backwards over his head while falling down on a fastbreak. A fastbreak should be like the ocean, don't turn your back. If you do, it's over buddy, pull it out.
--Hmmm, Zydrunas Ilgauskas is playing pretty good these days. His hook shot is working. He's shooting a good percentage. So why isn't he allowed to play down the stretch in these last few games? With back-to-backs and overtimes and deadline issues, honestly I haven't been able to ask Mike Brown. But I will.
--While I'm at it, Sasha Pavlovic scored 11 points in the first half Tuesday and then got one shot in the second half. On Wednesday he scored 13 points in the first half and got three shots in the second half. This has to be corrected. The guy has been the most impressive thing about this Cavs season to me.
--LeBron James banged his head pretty bad there in the third quarter, the crowd totally gasped when they saw the replay. He's a tough guy, but I was still surprised to see him not miss a beat. I'd have to imagine he suffered at the least a minor concussion on that play. After the game, Cavs' trainer Max Benton stood next to LeBron as he did his postgame interviews, which is a break from routine. I can only assume Max was keeping an eye on LeBron to make sure he was coherent not saying bizarre things. Which he wasn't, but he did say he was concerned how he'd feel Thursday. Browns fans may remember a few years ago when Tim Couch broke down and started crying for little reason after a game in which he suffered a concussion.
--Overall, LeBron was very aggressive in the fourth quarter and got to the basket all he wanted, scoring 17 points. He was pretty good on defense, too, he had three more blocks and two steals. But early on the Mavs really took him out of the flow with zone and double teams and his teammates, save for Sasha and on a few possessions Z, his teammates did not pick him up.
--The Cavs offense needs more oil already, they are shooting 40 percent over the last three games. Too many jumpers again, just 20 points in the paint in the first three quarters tonight. Same goes for Larry Hughes. For those of you not counting, he's shooting 24 percent over the last three games.
--Also, the Cavs are No. 1 in the NBA in 3-point percentage defense, but they've been burned the last two games. The reason is because they are allowing penetration and getting caught in help-and-recover. This also needs to be cleaned up.
--The Mavs are so good, they really know how to win. They never let the Cavs or the crowd get to them. So many clutch plays, shots, rebounds and defensive maneuvers. What a great team, easy to like because of their poise. They've cut their teeth, the Cavs are just a few notches behind them right now.
--The headline is a pun off "the haves and have nots." Get it?