Cavs' muscle stymies Pistons

CLEVELAND: The Cavaliers insist they didn't put any extra emphasis on Wednesday's meeting with the rival Detroit Pistons, but that's not the way they played. Full Story
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Mike

Mentor, OH

#1 Mar 20, 2008
The Pistons scored 73 points after two quarters on Tuesday against the Nuggets, and 73 points after four quarters against the Cavs.
NO NO

Millersburg, OH

#2 Mar 20, 2008
Wish I could have been at the game so I could have worn my "Pistons" hat!
Just a Fan

Westlake, OH

#3 Mar 20, 2008
What a difference having Z (and offensive production from Wally) makes. And nice D all around.

Delonte is getting there. If he'll stick with assists and work on his D, and stop with the bricks (his shot is worse than Larry's), the Cavs will have something at the point.
Chris K

Gladwyne, PA

#4 Mar 20, 2008
Funny to see another veteran team struggle in the 4th quarter of the road end of a back-to-back for once. Although Mr. Barry said the Pistons were "working in the young guys" on the broadcast, their starters still played starter minutes. Did it show, as the Cavs jumped their screen-and-rolls, beat them to rebounds and generally looked hungrierin the final 8 minutes?

Stiil, the Pistons didn't NEED this victory anymore than the Cavs did. I believe the East is as closed in spots 1-5 as the West is open. But what LeBron thought was true: the players were in their right places last night, and boy did it show. Watching the end of the game, Just A Fan, proves you dead on--Z is the X factor this playoff run for the Cavs. He's still the best offensive rebounder in the league (he's making the tap-in an undefendable artform), he's nearly money facing up from 10-18 feet, and with Big Ben crashing the boards (as opposed to Drew, who often was 10-15 feet out) and LeBron on the wing, the rebounding edge in the playoffs is decidedly in the Cavs' favor and the offense is 3/5 solidified. Now, keeping him healthy...

As I discussed in prior blogs, Brown's job seems to be finding the odd man out. The last couple of nights it was Wally; tonight it was Joe Smith (6 minutes!). When Boobie returns, I am not sure how Brown shuffles the lineup, but I thought Bucher's question to LeBron after the game bears some discussion: which five give the Cavs the best chance at the game's end, both offensively and defensively? Or do they substitute end-to-end? Or matchup with the opponent? Or go with the hot hands?

In some strange way, I feel for Mike Brown. We hate on him for his offensive "strategy" but I worry more about the shuffling of all these veterans. It's great they generally accept whatever role they're given. Bt still, Mike, it's on you, big guy...
ATB

Columbus, OH

#5 Mar 20, 2008
Chris K wrote:
Funny to see another veteran team struggle in the 4th quarter of the road end of a back-to-back for once. Although Mr. Barry said the Pistons were "working in the young guys" on the broadcast, their starters still played starter minutes. Did it show, as the Cavs jumped their screen-and-rolls, beat them to rebounds and generally looked hungrierin the final 8 minutes?
Stiil, the Pistons didn't NEED this victory anymore than the Cavs did. I believe the East is as closed in spots 1-5 as the West is open. But what LeBron thought was true: the players were in their right places last night, and boy did it show. Watching the end of the game, Just A Fan, proves you dead on--Z is the X factor this playoff run for the Cavs. He's still the best offensive rebounder in the league (he's making the tap-in an undefendable artform), he's nearly money facing up from 10-18 feet, and with Big Ben crashing the boards (as opposed to Drew, who often was 10-15 feet out) and LeBron on the wing, the rebounding edge in the playoffs is decidedly in the Cavs' favor and the offense is 3/5 solidified. Now, keeping him healthy...
As I discussed in prior blogs, Brown's job seems to be finding the odd man out. The last couple of nights it was Wally; tonight it was Joe Smith (6 minutes!). When Boobie returns, I am not sure how Brown shuffles the lineup, but I thought Bucher's question to LeBron after the game bears some discussion: which five give the Cavs the best chance at the game's end, both offensively and defensively? Or do they substitute end-to-end? Or matchup with the opponent? Or go with the hot hands?
In some strange way, I feel for Mike Brown. We hate on him for his offensive "strategy" but I worry more about the shuffling of all these veterans. It's great they generally accept whatever role they're given. Bt still, Mike, it's on you, big guy...
Excellent post. I agree. It's all about Mr. Potatohead getting the rotation down by season's end. And keeping Z on the floor.

Now it will be interesting to see if any of the usual Cavs-haters crawl out from under their rocks today to post anything. If so, they will likely point to this being the second game of a back-to-back for the Pistons... just as quickly as they dismissed that being a reason for the Cavs' loss to the Magic. Bottom line, the Cavs will have the four seed, and their path is now clear. We'll see how it plays out.
Jim

Cincinnati, OH

#6 Mar 20, 2008
As a Piston's fan I concede that the Cavs defended the Pistons very well. On the other hand the Cavs fans may want to know that last nights game was the most lethargic that the Pistons have played this season.
GetReal

Medina, OH

#7 Mar 20, 2008
Weren't the Pistons on a back-to-back road trip? Isn't that what the Cavs have been whining about? Just asking.
GetReal

Medina, OH

#10 Mar 20, 2008
Here's what the CNN announcer had to say about the Cavs, even though they won the game. "They stand around on offense waiting for LeBron to do something". How many times have we heard that one. "Even after a timeout when they have the ball, they don't seem to have a plan". "Offense is out of synch". Let me tell ya people, that's coaching. Period. If Brown didn't have LeBron, he's be a laughing stock. Same with the whole team. Face reality. They are 26th in the NBA in shooting. They are 27th in the NBA in free throw percentage. All the while they are 3rd in payroll. They need a COACH.
Josh

Saint Clairsville, OH

#11 Mar 20, 2008
Just a fan... Delonte West's jumper is much more smooth and natural than Larry's. Every shot Larry takes is flat and forced, and there are times where he lets it go on the way DOWN from his jump. The law firm of Wally and West will be huge in the playoffs, bank on that.

The real X factor, as stated above... Can Mike Brown handle a rotation that is 10-11 deep and flexible enough to use 3 different types of lineups? That's the big question. If he figures it out, I believe we go to the Finals again.
hdawg

Mamaroneck, NY

#12 Mar 20, 2008
That was the best I've seen the Cavs play this season, in all honesty it was. I kind of felt they'd win last night as they've played very well at home as of late, they just need to play like that more consistently and on the road.
Chad

Cleveland, OH

#13 Mar 20, 2008
Jim wrote:
As a Piston's fan I concede that the Cavs defended the Pistons very well. On the other hand the Cavs fans may want to know that last nights game was the most lethargic that the Pistons have played this season.
That is what happens after a road back-to-back. Too bad so sad. The Cavs beat them in the playoffs last year and those were not on back-to-back nights!!
OMG

Akron, OH

#14 Mar 20, 2008
Cav's defense looked good last night. Wally made his shots. It appears the Danny Ferry trades are working. The team is coming together for their playoff run. Detroit will find it hard to beat the Cavs in the Playoffs. GO CAVS !!!
fullquote

United States

#15 Mar 20, 2008
Jim wrote:
As a Piston's fan I concede that the Cavs defended the Pistons very well. On the other hand the Cavs fans may want to know that last nights game was the most lethargic that the Pistons have played this season.
Now they know how Cleveland has felt playing more back-to-backs and back-to-back-road games then any other team in the league!(I figure it accounts to 5-6 of there losses this season) When the time comes in the playoffs when the schedules are the same for everyone, As usual Cavs will step up!
hdawg

Mamaroneck, NY

#20 Mar 20, 2008
The Cavs will have to beat Boston on the road to even get to Detroit. I think they need to worry about that first.
Tim in Plantation FL

Saint Paul, MN

#21 Mar 20, 2008
The Cavs weren't THAT rested last night - it was their 3rd game in 4 nights. Good win for the Cavs.

Even though I like Devin Brown and the role that he can play as a good substitute if there's an injury, I'd like to see his minutes reduced and given to Wally. Wally needs more time on the floor to gell with Lebron. I think his shooting will come around and he'll be a big asset in the playoffs. His defense isn't the greatest, but neither is Devin's.

I can see why Mike Brown like's to start Sasha, though. He's young and athletic and he's developed into a pretty decent defensive player. His offense will only get better as he plays more games.

Since: Feb 08

Broadview Heights, OH

#22 Mar 20, 2008
Make no excuses for the Pistons people, nobody was accepting any for the Cavs when they had to play back-to-back games! That was a great game, period. I hope it was the wake up call that the arrogant azz Pistons needed to get in order for them to realize that THE CAVS ARE NOT GOING AWAY QUIETLY!
East Side Joe

Chevy Chase, MD

#23 Mar 20, 2008
Everyone on this blog is about on the same page so far.

Brown has done an excellent job rotating players. Last night was an example. But it also showed the clunky nature of the offense (design). When Gibson returns that means Brown will have to run 10 players and consistently find the right mix for given situations (as Josh points out). Many of these players run hot or cold. Many are one dimensional. His offensive scheme may be his biggest liability.

Everything has to click just right before the playoffs. If this team wins it will be because Brown found the right rotations and the players followed. I'd say this team can not be considered a favorite to win it all. I'd say they are the team most likely to upset the favorites.

Biggest unexpected plus: The return of Sasha to last year form. It still feels like a relief when any Cavalier makes an open shot besides Z.

Since: Dec 07

United States

#24 Mar 20, 2008
GetReal wrote:
Here's what the CNN announcer had to say about the Cavs, even though they won the game. "They stand around on offense waiting for LeBron to do something". How many times have we heard that one. "Even after a timeout when they have the ball, they don't seem to have a plan". "Offense is out of synch". Let me tell ya people, that's coaching. Period. If Brown didn't have LeBron, he's be a laughing stock. Same with the whole team. Face reality. They are 26th in the NBA in shooting. They are 27th in the NBA in free throw percentage. All the while they are 3rd in payroll. They need a COACH.
I don't trust CNN for my news, let alone my sports. I think all this talk about Brown's offense is a joke and a cop-out. I watched Golden State's offense last night after the game and it involves: dribble ball up court, set on screen, side step, shoot three.... repeat.

I actually saw alot of players moving without the ball last night. If anything, Lebron can be called out for pounding the ball too much. And I believe they caught on camera last night Coach Brown yelling at the team not to pound it. You can point to a team like the Pistons who run hamilton around non-stop, but he's just one guy. Rasheed either stands 10 feet out on the wing or behind the 3 line.

I think the argument about the type of offense Brown runs is a cheap, throwaway argument that doesn't hold water.
OMG

Akron, OH

#25 Mar 20, 2008
hdawg wrote:
The Cavs will have to beat Boston on the road to even get to Detroit. I think they need to worry about that first.
It all depends on KG's health which isn't good at the moment. Look at how they have played when he was out with his injury. Without him, the Cavs will have an easy time with Boston in 6 games. GO CAVS !!!
John

Boston, MA

#26 Mar 20, 2008
Rotation usually gets shortened to 8-9 players (the Cavs are 11 deep when everyone is healthy) in the playoffs, when starters play more minutes and there is more rest between games. I think Damon Jones loses the most minutes when Gibson comes back Sasha, Devin, Delonte will also lose some minutes.

MB will be a huge factor in Cavs success in the playoffs. He needs to find the right rotations and stay with the hot hand. Might mean that one night Joe Smith only gets a couple minutes, next game maybe Wally or Devin gets a couple minutes.
Ben Wallace had a big effect on last night's games despite only scoring 2 points. He played great D on the crybaby bum 'Sheed, blocked shots, altered shots, grabbed 8 boards.

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