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LeBron James registered his first double-double of the season with season highs of 37 points and 10 rebounds against the Wizards on Tuesday night.


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Cavs guarding against complacency

Thursday, November 17, 2005

Mary Schmitt Boyer
Plain Dealer Reporter


For the Cavaliers, it was business as usual on Wednesday, and that's just how coach Mike Brown likes it.

Their early season success doesn't seem to be going to their heads. Instead of taking a day off after improving to 6-2 overall or easing up after running their home record to a tidy 4-0 with a 114-99 victory over Washington on Tuesday night, the Cavs were in the gym 12 hours later, as usual.

"We split the team into halves, and the first group shot while the second group lifted, and then we switched," Brown said. "But before we broke from the locker room, LeBron said, 'Gentlemen, let's go to work.' That's what they did."

That would be the same LeBron James who registered his first double-double of the season with season highs of 37 points and 10 rebounds against the Wizards. James' attitude is exactly the same as his coach's.

"My approach has always been one game at a time, one practice at a time, one quarter at a time, and for the most part, everybody has been on the same page," Brown said. "It's only human nature, especially when you haven't been in this situation a lot, to get comfortable.

"So it will be interesting to see if that happens to us. I haven't seen that yet. Guys have been working hard. They're focused. We're working on the things we feel like we need to work on."

Brown said he was not the kind of coach who looked at the schedule and tried to predict wins and losses. He had no preconceived notions of what his team's record would be at this point. But asked if he was surprised with the Cavs' 6-2 start, Brown said, "Not with the way we've competed. . . . We've found a way to compete just long enough and hard enough to give ourselves a chance to win some of these ball games."

Since losing back-to-back games at San Antonio and Memphis, two playoff teams last season, the Cavs have won five straight against all kinds of opponents in a variety of ways. They crushed winless Toronto on the road and beat a bad Seattle team at home. They avenged the loss at Memphis, gutted out an overtime victory at Orlando and then soundly defeated the Wizards, who are better than the team that made the playoffs last season.

During the winning streak, the Cavs are outscoring opponents, 105.6 to 89.4, and outrebounding them, 46.6 to 31.8. The Cavs are shooting better than their opponents from the field, 49.2 percent to 42.8, and from the line, 84.9 percent to 69.6. They also are averaging two more blocked shots a game during the streak (5.6 to 3.4.)

Clearly, even though it's early, there is reason for optimism. But lest the Cavs get carried away with themselves, perhaps they should keep in mind that the last time they started 6-2 was in 2000-01, Randy Wittman's second season. That team would improve to 15-9 before Zydrunas Ilgauskas suffered his last foot injury. The Cavs went 15-43 the rest of the season.

How's that for a reality check?
 

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Re: Cavs guarding against complacency

That Rosen quote in your sig is ridiculous. I feel bad for people who actually read his columns and use them to get news on the NBA.
 

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Beacon Journal | 11/17/2005 | Home advantage continues

^ I couldn't believe Rosen said that either but he did. Like yourself, I also feel bad for anybody who actually takes Rosen's "expert analysis" seriously.


Cavaliers report

Home advantage continues

Name has changed, but most game results haven't at Quicken Loans Arena


By Brian Windhorst
Beacon Journal sportswriter


CLEVELAND - The colors, name and electronic displays are different, but the bones at the One Center Court are still the same.

The Cavaliers have fallen back into their gym like an old easy chair in the early stages of the season, running off four blowout wins in the first two weeks of the season.

After going 29-12 at Gund Arena last season, their best homecourt record since moving from the Richfield Coliseum in 1994, the Cavs are already establishing freshly re-dubbed Quicken Loans Arena as one of the most foreboding places to visit in the NBA.

Tuesday's 114-99 victory over the Washington Wizards made their average margin of victory at home 20.7 points with three of the four wins coming over playoff teams from last season. A mere 10 percent of the home schedule, indeed, but there's no denying the momentum -- even to the point where the players are consciously making it an emphasis even at this early stage.

“I know a lot of people are going to say it is early in the season, but this has been a confidence booster,'' forward Don yell Marshall said.

The 6-2 Cavs, who face the Orlando Magic at home Friday, are already off to their best start since 2000. On a five-game winning streak, the Cavs are in a stretch where they play seven out of 10 games at home leading up to a West Coast road trip at the start of next month, and they're trying to take advantage of it.

“It is very important to us to protect our homecourt,'' Larry Hughes said. “That why the (win over the Wizards) was so important to us.''

Arenas impressed

Wizards star Gilbert Arenas came to the newly refurbished Cavs locker room after Tuesday night's game to say goodbye to Hughes, a friend and former teammate. Once Arenas saw the enhancements, especially the televisions and stereos in every locker, he was taken aback.

“Does this count against the salary cap?'' he asked.

“You'll have to talk to Ernie about it,'' Hughes said, referring to Wizards president Ernie Grunfeld.

Kisses for Luke

Based on some of the signs female fans bring to Quicken Loans Arena and the occasional shouted marriage proposals, there might've been some envy when Cavs coach Mike Brown kissed Luke Jackson during Tuesday's win.

Twice in the second quarter, he sent him to check in for LeBron James, only to call him back because James kept making shots. After the game, Brown said he kissed Jackson three more times in the locker room.

“I felt bad doing that to him, to pull him back,'' Brown said. “That's embarrassing to an NBA player.''

And your coach kissing you isn't?
 

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I love Coach Brown's attitude of D first and and focusing. They really need to focus the whole year because any type of let down can turn into a losing streak. I hope they can continue with the home court advantage. They seem to feed of the crowd well and that they like playing in the Q. I'm excited to see how they do friday and see if the streak continues.
 
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