|Final - 2.8.2009||1||2||3||4||Total|
|Los Angeles Lakers||30||21||31||19||101|
The Cavs finally lost a game at home. We all knew it was going to happen sometime. It finally did. Depending on the type of fan you are you can choose to focus on the 1st half, when the Cavaliers scored 61 points, or the 2nd half, when they managed only 30. In the minutes and hours following the game I was focusing directly on the latter. I was convinced that the Lakers, in beating the Cavaliers twice this season, had taken advantage of the weakness the Cavaliers possess on the front-lines. I was convinced that the 2nd half proved that the team needed to add size before the trade-deadline, now just 10 days away. Then something happened. Something that rarely happens to (fan)atics after their team blows a ten point halftime lead and loses by 10.
I gave the Lakers all the credit for winning the game. I realized that when Lamar Odom brings it the way he did in the 3rd quarter yesterday that the Lakers are pretty much unbeatable. I tip my cap to Kobe Bryant who, despite battling the flu, hit the big shot in the 4th quarter when he had to, after the Cavaliers had cut the Laker lead to 4 with 2 mintues left. Just watching Kobe made me feel like I was going to get sick.
The Lakers are a damn good basketball team and they played better than the Cavaliers yesterday. No shame in that.
The injuries for the Cavaliers, however, are getting a tad tiring. It could easily be said that Sasha Pavlovic going down right before the half changed the entire game. Sasha was doing a decent job on Kobe, and it freed LeBron up to go inside when on defense. That help LeBron make an impact on the defensive glass. Don't think that Sasha not playing in the 2nd half didn't have an impact on Lamar Odom having a huge 3rd quarter. I don't know if LeBron would have shut Odom down, but he would have grabbed a couple of those offensive rebounds that Odom turned into easy put-backs. Rebounds lead to fast-break opportunities. I'm not saying it would have mattered, but....
The Cavaliers aren't going to win many games when LeBron goes 5-20, but what concerned me the most was LeBron's lack of aggressiveness in the 3rd quarter. I know LeBron likes to get his teammates going, but sometimes, against bigtime opposition, it's more imporatant to get yourself going. LeBron never looked to be in the flow of the game and never did get hot, even at the free throw line. I know many of us are annoyed that LeBron was the only All-Star, but let's face it, there aren't many times the Cavaliers are going to win when he plays the way he did yesterday. That's why he is the hands-down MVP.
It's a loss, the 10th of the season for the Cavaliers and the first at home. If the Cavs can find a way to win the next two they'll go into the All-Star break 41-10. Oh, and Delonte West should return when the team returns from some well deserved, much needed rest. Perhaps having only LeBron in the game isn't so bad after all.