As much as I don't want to admit it, it's becoming glaringly obvious: The All-Star Break was exactly what the Cleveland Cavaliers did NOT need. The Celtics needed it, as they've won 3 straight games after falling to the 4th seed. But not us. The spirit and momentum of our 13-game win streak was erased, and we experienced an intense shake-up in our lineup with a huge trade. We lost a historic cornerstone of our franchise and took on an veteran being paid a LOT of money. Now, we are staring at our first 3-game losing streak, and plenty of questions about our team as they head home to play the Hornets. More than ever, we need a win.
The only thing positive that we can take from this game is that we got a great game from Antwan Jamison in the second half. Unfortunately, he was already battling foul trouble by then. The same goes for Shaquille O'Neal. Speaking of which, that's one real problem we've been having since the break: teams have taken almost every Cavalier out of the game. Other than LeBron, Shaq, and Antwan, no other Cavalier was in double figures. That could be a real problem. Against a team like Orlando, LeBron's teammates need to play excellent, because the Magic have a lot of go-to guys that seem to score whenever they feel like it. A game like this shows how important home court advantage is, because unlike the game in Cleveland, it was the Cavs that wilted down the stretch, allowing a 9-0 run at one point. Even more embarrassing was Vince Carter catching fire and making huge shots in the fourth.
LeBron James: 12-25, 1-6 3PM-A, 33 points, 5 turnovers, -9 +/-. This is the third game in a row that his 3-point shooting has completely vanished, and it's the third game in which he starts shooting bad, quick 3s in the fourth quarter. He was reduced to a spectator in the last 12 minutes, scoring just 3 points. That isn't supposed to happen. Something is wrong with LeBron.
Mo Williams: 1-9, 0-4 3PM-A, 4 points, -7 +/-, 33 minutes. I also don't think Mo Williams has fully recovered yet. It hasn't been 6 weeks since he was injured, after all. He shouldn't have played so many minutes, especially with Daniel Gibson on the roster, who saw only 13 minutes, took 1 shot, and still finished +5.
Anthony Parker: 1-4, 5 PFs, 26 minutes, -1 +/-. The only shots Parker took were 3 pointers. He finished with more fouls than points. Even worse was that several of his fouls weren't aggressive enough, so they ended up as and-1s.