|2009/2010 NBA Regular Season|
|January 2, 2010|
|1:00 PM et|
|Radio - WTAM 1100 / FOXSports HD|
|Devin Harris||PG||Mo Williams|
|Courtney Lee||SG||Anthony Parker|
|Chris Douglas-Roberts||SF||LeBron James|
|Yi Jianlian||PF||J.J. Hickson|
|Brook Lopez||C||Shaquille O'Neal|
It seems the Cavaliers have been playing contenders for the past month. Not today, thankfully, as the Cavs face a Nets team that is on pace to have the worst season....ever. That doesn't mean it will be easy, something tells me it won't be. My prediction - 97-92 Cavaliers.
Cavaliers vs Nets coverage; Cavaliers vs Nets preview
GAME NOTES -->
- Cleveland enters 2010 with 26 wins, which is tied with the Lakers for the most in the NBA, and has won six straight games, the longest current streak in the NBA. The Cavaliers point differential of +6.7 is tied for the third best margin in the NBA. The team has won 11 of their last 12 contests and in those 11 games, the team has averaged 102.5 ppg while holding opponents to 92.7 ppg(+9.8 pt. diff.), while shooting .497 from the field compared to .425 for opponents.
- The Cavaliers have won 11 consecutive games at The Q, the longest home winning streak in the NBA and are 13-2 (.867), which istied for the best home record in the NBA. In that streak, the team is averaging 103.5 points compared to 93.5 ppg for opponents(+10.0 pt. diff.) while shooting .513 from the field to their opponents .430. Since the 2005-06 season, the Cavaliers are 140-39(.782) at home and only the Dallas Mavericks at 147-33 (.817) have a better home record in that span.
- As the team travels to New Jersey, the team has won five straight against the Nets, including two at the IZOD Center. In that five-game winning streak, the team has outscored over the Nets 100.6-85.8 and outshot them .481-.382. The Cavaliers have dominated thesecond halves of those games, scoring 52.2 points/.484 shooting on average to only 40.2/.354 for the Nets. (STATS, Inc.)
- On Dec. 15, the Cavs defeated the Nets 99-89 at The Q behind LeBron James' 23 points and 16 points each from Shaquille O'Nealand Zydrunas Ilgauskas. At 30.2 ppg, James is the only active player to average 30 ppg as a visitor against the Nets. James is averaging 30.3 ppg (NBA-2nd) on the road, and Mo Williams has scored at least 20 points in the last four road games. (STATS, Inc.)
- The Cavs haven't allowed an opponent to score + 100 points in 12 of 19 road games this season. The team will look to hold theirthird consecutive road opponent (L.A. Lakers, Atlanta) to under 90 points. The Cavaliers also haven't allowed an opponent toshoot at or above .500 percent from the field in 24 games, the NBA's longest active streak.
- With the 106-101 defeat of Atlanta in Cleveland and the 95-84 defeat in Atlanta, the team completed a rare back-to-back sweep overthe Hawks to become the second team in the last 30 seasons to record wins on consecutive days against the same opponent witha winning percentage of .700 or better.
- LeBron James celebrated his 25th birthday with a season-high 48 points against the Hawks on 15-23 (.652) shooting, 14-16 (.875)shooting from the free throw line and 4-6 (.667) shooting from beyond the arc to go along with a game-high 10 rebounds, six assists,two blocks and two steals. It was his fourth 40-point game of the season and his 11th double-double this year. James' 48-point total is the most he's ever scored at The Q, the most a Cavaliers player has scored against the Hawks in team history and thethird-most points scored by a player on his birthday. The only other player with a 40-point game on his birthday at age 25 oryounger was Mark Aguirre (40 on his 24th birthday). It was also the third time that James celebrated his birthday by scoring at least30 points (33 points in 2006 and 38 in 2008). The only other active NBA player with three 30-point games on his birthday is teammate Shaquille O'Neal (1994, 2000, 2006). (Elias)
- Versus Atlanta, Mo Williams recorded his second double-double of the season with 14 points, a season-high tying 10 assists, five rebounds and two steals. Williams ranks 7th in three-point accuracy at .451 and is third in three-point field goals made with 79.
- On Wednesday, Anderson Varejao hit his first career three-pointer in 19 regular season career attempts with 17.2 secondsremaining to put the Cavs up for good in their victory over Atlanta. Varejao led the bench with 14 points on 6-8 (.750) shooting, ninerebounds and three blocks. As one of the NBA's best sixth men, he leads the league in +/- ratio at +298 (+8.8 per game).
- The Cavaliers "Defensive Triangle" continues to be one of the NBA's best. Cleveland leads the league in defensive field goalpercentage at .432, ranks 4th in points allowed at 93.8 ppg, and ranks 6th in defensive three-point field goal percentage at .326. In thepaint, the Cavaliers are allowing an NBA-low of only 34.4 points in the paint on the season (Orlando ranks second at 35.8 ppg).
- Offensively, Cleveland is the second best three-point shooting team at .416 (Phoenix - .420) and ranks fifth in the NBA in fieldgoal percentage at .482. The Cavaliers are 24-2 (.923) when they shoot at least .450 from the field, 13-0 when shooting at least.420 from the behind the arc and 20-1 (.952) when hitting the century mark