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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
<center>Los Angeles (28-17) at Cleveland (19-29)
5:00 pm PT, 8:00 pm ET live on ESPN

vs.


Preview</center>

Cleveland will return home for a nationally televised game against the Lakers. Despite coming into the game without Kobe Bryant and Karl Malone, the Lakers are still a dangerous team. Shaq completed his one game suspension by sitting out against Indiana and considering the fury building up inside of O’Neal, expect him to start the game with a bang. When the Lakers are short-handed, they tend to dump the ball down to Shaq more than usual. I hope the Big Z and Diop can avoid foul trouble. Shaq is going to get his, so it’s really about damage control; not picking up too many fouls yet fouling Shaq at the same time if he has an open dunk. LeBron will need to bounce back from the game with the Pistons in which he struggled from the field and Boozer should keep pounding the boards. Since Cleveland tends to play poorly in televised games, let’s hope the curse can be broken tonight.

<center>Major storyline

The Daddy vs. The King

Shaq: Shaqzilla will go for 40 points to spite David Stern!



LeBron: Disappointed he’s not an All-Star, King James will lead the Cavs into battle with vengence!




Projected starters:



Key Reserves:

</center>
 

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and hopefully silas will play wags for double digit minutes this time.
 

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Some thoughts about this game...

DaJuan Wagner is a player that the Lakers will have a hard time defending. The only person on their roster who can defend small, quick scorers is Kobe. Shaq's help defense is not always there.

Diop has so much trouble staying out of foul trouble as it is; I wish him the best of luck with Shaq. If he can just stand in front of Shaq with his arms up, his size alone is a great asset in defending him. Diop shouldn't be trying to shut Shaq down; if he can stay calm and just try to hinder him, he's doing his job. I'm really looking forward to this matchup, because Diop is one of the few players in the league anywhere close to Shaq's size.

Kedrick Brown played very well last time against the Lakers before he and Kobe were injured. They don't need him to defend Kobe in this game, but I would still like to see him play. I bet he could defend Gary Payton pretty well.
 

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What has happened to Wagner and Brown?

And Lebron needs to D up. I know it's Gary Payton. But he is looking listless on defense. He's better than that.

And that dunk by Lebron in the first quarter.:eek:

Carlos Boozer is dominating the Lakers poor excuses for Power Forwards. He and Lebron should both get close to 30 tonight.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Halftime

Cavs - 41
Lakers - 46

High Men:

Cavs - James (17), Boozer (14)
Lakers - O'Neal (16), Payton (14)

The game has an odd feel to it. Besides a few moments from other players, it seems like a game of 2-on-2. The Lakers are getting great shots from defensive mistakes (and break downs), hence the insane shooting percentage they have for the half. Let's hope the Cavaliers can tighten the "D."
 

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I feel like both teams are kind of out of it mentally. It seems like the Cavs will run out to a lead and then shut it down until they are down again.

Lebron needs to up his aggressiveness in the 4th. Payton is taking him to school. He needs to go down and punish payton on the block.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Boxscore

Cavs - 106
Lakers - 111

High Men:

Cavs - James (32), Boozer (25)
Lakers - O'Neal (37), Payton (30)

The foul trouble with the big men really hurt towards the end of the 4th and that carried over into overtime. I hope the Cavaliers do not dwell over this loss because while it is disappointing, they need to recover to bounce back next game.
 

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Lebron needs to up his aggressiveness in the 4th. Payton is taking him to school. He needs to go down and punish payton on the block
maybe if they give him the ball and actually run a decent play for him instead of retreating - which also doesnt take advantage of LeBron's passing because no players are close.


LeBron needs a rebounding talk. He could have had 10 tonight easily; I counted on purpose. If Silas yells at him, I bet he's do something.
 

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That was painful once Z fouled out. Cavs had to double or triple team Shaq to try to get the ball out of his hands and their passing was too good at that point. It would have been nice to have Battie, heck Mihm or Yogi even one of those other 7ft stiffs we had at the end of our bench earlier in the season would have come in handy.
 

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Originally posted by <b>tpb2</b>!


maybe if they give him the ball and actually run a decent play for him instead of retreating - which also doesnt take advantage of LeBron's passing because no players are close.


LeBron needs a rebounding talk. He could have had 10 tonight easily; I counted on purpose. If Silas yells at him, I bet he's do something.
Yeah I agree about the rebounding. It's kind of frustrating. Because He gets in position for rebounds and then just doesn't really jump for them like we all know he could.

There is really no excuse for him not to get 6-8 boards averaged every night. And he should have a lot of nights with 10.

They need to pass to Lebron on the move. He gets it too often in a dead stop.
 

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Pretty bad play-calling at the end of regulations:

1. When Eric Williams got the offensive rebound, he should have called a timeout immediately. If he's intrusted not to do it by Silas, he should...

2. Pass the ball to LeBron immediately. Eric Williams, eventhough he had his way the whole game, isn't the kind of players you'd put the ball on his hand for the final-shot. Then...

3. When LeBron got the ball, he acted too late. He should've tried to penetrate no later than one second after he got the ball since he's not a consistent outside shooter. He thought he had few inches on Gary Payton and can just shoot over him but Payton was able to stay with him, inch-by-inch, and made LeBron took a tough shot. LeBron wasted whatever 'quickness' advantage he had over an old GP.
 

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Was I the only person who saw McGinnis get fouled when he penetrated for a lay-up at the end of regulation (a few seconds before LeBron took the shot)? Shaq jumped up and bumped McGinnis in mid-air; the exact same thing that Z did to Payton before Z fouled out. :upset:

That's the way they call it for Shaq though...:sigh:

Matt
 
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