CLEVELAND - OCTOBER 27: Jamario Moon #15 of the Cleveland Cavaliers celebrates after making a three point basket while playing the Boston Celtics at Quicken Loans Arena on October 27 2010 in Cleveland Ohio. Cleveland won the game 95-87. (Photo by Gregory Shamus/Getty Images)
This was a huge momentum boost for this Cavaliers team. After all the nasayers bashed this team over the past few months, they stuck together, practiced hard, and played their butts off against the defending Eastern Conference Champs. Lets take a look at some notes from last nights victory.
The crowd in the Q was electric from start to finish. I enjoyed the game from the comfort of my recliner, but the noise in the background was truly awesome. I've always said Cleveland has the best fans in all of professional sports and the attendance/fan involvement during the game proved that tonight. Cleveland fans love their teams and cheer for the name on the front of the jersey....not the back.
Austin Carr addressed the crowd at the first media timeout regarding the health of Joe Tait. He presented a giant"Get Well" card in which everyone in attendance could sign. This was an awesome act of gratitude. Get Well Joe!!
Tempo was the word of the night. As long as the Cavaliers were pushing the tempo and dictating the pace, the game was going in their favor. When the ball was being pushed from end to end quickly, the Celtics continued to force bad shots and play at an obviously uncomfortable pace. I was anxious to see how well the Cavs would hold up physically after 48 mins of up and down basketball and was pleasantly surprised of how finely conditioned Coach Scott has this ball club.
At times I felt the Cavaliers were struggling with their defense around the basket. They allowed quite a few easy lay-ups and had problems at times with the physical play of the Celtics inside. Of course this comes from the fact that the Cavs don't have extremely large players in the post, which in hind sight would really slow them down at their own game. If Shaq were the starting center on this team, the Cavs would have a difficult time playing at this pace. Although I was concerned about the interior defense in the first half, I was pleasedwith how well the Coach Scott and the Cavs adjusted at halftime. The defensive pressure in the second half, mainly the 4th quarter was what you like to see from a grind it out NBA team.
Rebounding was something I felt may be a problem for the Cavaliers team against an opponent like the Celtics, but the rebounding was surprising even at 38-37, advantage Celtics. Although the Cavs had one less rebound, they did win the offensive rebounding battle 8-6. This team will be in great shape if they continue to crash the boards and keep themselves in the game.
Ryan Hollins is a workhorse on both ends of the floor! His offensive game is still a bit raw, but his intensity and his willingness to bang around the basket really helped the Cavs at key points tonight. After digging his feet in the floor, right in Jermaine O'Neal's face, forcing a travel, he pumped his fist with alot of emotion....and so did I.
I really liked the way Ramon Sessions attacked the basket, but felt he forced the issue too many times when there were clearly other Cavaliers open. That is the sign of a young point guard, on opening night, looking to be the hero. Ramon will learn to settle down and will be a great asset to this team. He has great relationship with Mo and I feel they will do everything to push each other to improve as the season progresses.
J.J. Hickson is clearly the go to man from 15 feet in. His jump shoot looked very much improved and his ability to get to the basket showed how hard he has worked to elavate his game. He looks to be in much better shape than he was last year, a quality that will help this team in moving the ball quickly from end to end.
All and all this team plays very hard with "a something to prove" attitude. After the promising showing against the Celtics, I don't see how this team won't improve from week to week. I really look forward to watching this team grow as a unit and was very entertianed from start to finish last night. The tempo, the emotion, and the fire in each players eyes really gets me excited for the 2010-2011 Cavaliers Campaign.
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