It was just the pre-season, but at long last the Cavaliers, and their fans,can remove the bad taste of the playoff-loss to Orlando this spring by enjoying a win. In a workman-like effort which saw most of the starters play only the first half, the Cavaliers beat the Charlotte Bobcats 92-87 at The Q.
For the Cavaliers, it was the first chance for the team, and the fans, to see Shaq and LeBron on the court together against someone other than themselves. Could LeBron still get to the rack with Shaq on the floor? Can Shaq actually do what he says he is going to do - take a backseat to LeBron?
Consider those questions, at least for a night, answered with the resounding Hell yea!
LeBron James did what he does - 15 points in 15 minutes - on 5/7 shooting. Shaq scored 6 points, while grabbing 3 boards. One troubling stat might be that O'Neal picked up 3 replacement referee fouls in 15 minutes.
A nice surprise for the Cavaliers was J.J. Hickson, who scored 15 points, adding 5 rebounds, in 17 minutes. Hickson is still a work in progress on the defensive end, but there is little doubting his offensive ability. If he can stay healthy this season, Hickson is going to play a huge role, or at least be promising trade chip.
For the rest of the Cavaliers it was a night at the office. No player played more than 18 minutes(Daniel Gibson, Danny Green) and most importantly everyone got out of the game healthy.
Speaking of Green, I was impressed with what I saw from the rookie. The Cavaliers 2nd Round pick has shot to get into the rotation because he is pretty solid on both ends of the court.
Delonte West, however, did not play and will take a few days to handle some personal business. The absence is excused.
Full Box Score
Check out Rufus On Fire for a look at the game from a Bobcat perspective.