Lakers vs. Cavaliers Notes

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So despite fighting off some major jet lag (two weeks in Thailand excavating an Iron Age site with the wife!), I was able to watch the majority of last night’s Lakers versus Cavaliers game.  Here’s some notes on what happened:

  • LeBron James shot 13 of 25.  But if you take away his 1 of 9 from the 3 point line, he went 12 of 14.  This is with Ron Artest guarding him.  It’s pretty obvious now, LeBron is the only one who can stop LeBron.  This is especially true in a big game.
  • The Lakers shot only 38% – a mix of a bad game and good defense.  So how did they keep it so close?  Offensive rebounds helped.  The Lakers grabbed 15 offensive rebounds, versus Cleveland’s six.  Cleveland’s 13 turnovers didn’t hurt.
  • Mike Brown is getting smarter about his lineups.  Took long enough.  However, he does seem to understand now that Shaq and Varajao can play together, and that generally you base your lineups on what is working that game – not a script of minutes required in a specific order.  Since the Cavs easily have the worst head coaching talent to player talent ratio, I’m assuming one of the assistants took over substitutions.
  • J.J. Hickson grabbed 14 rebound and scored 11 points on easy buckets set up by good ball movement.  If Leon Powe ever gets healthy, the Cavaliers will have two of the smartest bench forwards in the league.
  • Delonte West didn’t have much of a boxscore to show for it, but he played a great game, especially in the fourth quarter.  He’s a heady point guard and a strong defender.
  • The Lakers have too many guys that can disappear.  Fisher, Farmar, Bynum, and Walton can give them huge boosts, or absolutely nothing.  It’s a big problem, actually, especially if those guys are not grooving in the playoffs.  Unfortunately for Cleveland, they’ve got even more players capable of that kind of fade – queue memories of Mo Williams stinking up the Conference Finals.

It’s was pretty much the kind of game the NBA, TNT, and ball fans love.  Close most of the way.  Two huge superstars.  And a livid home crowd that stood most of the last five minutes of the game.  A Finals series between these two teams would be very, very nice.

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3 Responses to “Lakers vs. Cavaliers Notes”

  1. Hi Above Courtside Says:

    I think if Cleveland keeps playing the way it has that they may have an easy time coming out of the east.

    IN the west look out for the Northwest and Southwest divisions, there are some really solid teams there excluging a couple of the dregs.

    • pmadavi Says:

      Cleveland’s definitely got the best player in the league, one of the best defenses, and potentially great role players (Shaq, West, Williams, Ilgauskas, Varajao, and Powe). They were my pick before the season started to get to the Finals out of the East.

      Boston still scares me a little. If KG gets better in time to get back into game shape they’re still capable of being those champion level Celtics. Without him healthy and playing well though, it’s not likely.

      West is scary. Lakers, Mavericks, Nuggets, and Spurs all have a legit shot to come out of the Conference.

  2. jpalumbo Says:

    It’s all about health. If Kobe’s healthy and Garnett’s healthy, then we get the rematch we need. If not… maybe Bron and Melo can finally start their rivalry.

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