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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
Game 11
vs


Cleveland Cavaliers (9-2) @ Indiana Pacers (6-3)

Thursday, November 24, 2005
Time: 5:00pm PT, 8:00pm ET
TV: TNT
Radio: WTAM 1100
Location: Conseco Fieldhouse, Indianapolis, Indiana

Head Coaches

Mike Brown / Rick Carlisle

Probable Staters

Eric Snow / Jamaal Tinsley


Larry Hughes / Stephen Jackson


LeBron James / Ron Artest


Drew Gooden / Austin Croshere


Zydrunas Ilgauskas / Jermaine O’Neal

Cleveland Cavaliers Bench

Damon Jones / Luke Jackson / Sasha Pavlovic / Donyell Marshall / Alan Henderson

Indiana Pacers Bench

Sarunas Jasikevicius / Fred Jones / Danny Granger

Cleveland Cavaliers' Notes

* Refuse to be intimidated by the Pacers and attack their defense early on. While Indiana’s defense is still quite strong, they have been prone to occasional breakdowns and shakey moments down the stretch.

* Knock down foul shots early to start the game and late to close things out. When Cleveland knocks them down, they usually win.

* LeBron needs Larry Hughes to have a good scoring game to keep the Pacers’ defense honest. If Hughes can get off to a good start, they will have to make a choice to either let Hughes continue to score or pay more attention to him, freeing LeBron in the process.

* Drew Gooden needs to stay with Croshere and not lose his assigment. On the other end, test Croshere’s springs by attacking the offensive glass. If Drew plays well with his usual energy, he should be able to win this match up.

* Damon Jones (injured left ankle against Celtics and might not play) and Donyell Marshall need to knock down shots. Whether they can successfully spread the floor or not will determine the quality of shots the Cavs will receive.

Overview

Cleveland needs this win badly. They need to prove to themselves they can beat the Detroit’s, Indiana’s and Miami’s of the East. Not only is game important due to it being an Eastern conference supremacy litmus test, it’s also a major test for Cleveland trying to improve themselves as a road team. True contenders find a way to win on the road.
 

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I have the sinking feeling this will be a blowout win for the Pacers. It's on national TV for one. For two it's been pretty easy sailing for the guys so far this season. I don't think they're prepared to face a team like Indiana yet.

Put me down in the humiliating loss column for this one ahead of time.

Hope I'm wrong though.

Plus it's on the road.
 

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Why does this game on the road have to be on national TV? Why couldn't they show the Pacers at Cleveland, instead. :)

Hopefully Jones isn't banged up too bad because I don't want to see Wilks getting big minutes and now Marshall is the only pure shooter we have. Loved to have seen us completely healthy with AV and Jones against a healthy Pacer squad but it ain't happening.
 

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I'm with Future, I see this as a loss for 3 primary reasons:

1. It's on National TV, where 90% of the time we play like crap
2. It's on the road, where we generally also play like crap
3. Stephen Jackson ALWAYS owns Lebron for some reason, has since LBJ's rookie year.

I'm not even concerned with Artest, Lebron fares well against him. But for whatever reason Jackson shows no fear against Lebron and is in his grill on both sides of the court.

It sucks because everyone will gauge our record thus far based on how we play against Elite teams like Indiana. I would be VERY HAPPY with a win @ Indy, would really make a statement so hopefully our guys understand that.
 

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^Also while we have scraped out a few wins with sloppy play the last couple games, our team needs to step up the intensity big time if they want to win on Thursday.

No more wild 3's, or stretches of great defense followed up with horrible defense. We need to start putting it together for 48 minutes. Alot of the lapses have been hidden by the blowouts, but you can be sure this stuff will bite us in the *** against the Pacers.
 

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LoL remy: didn't know JO looked so much like LaFrentz :)

This is a game we need Z to step up big time. No jumpshooting big men on the Pacers which can give him problems and Indiana except for Harrison has no true center
 

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And you know Brown is telling his team all of this. But are they listening? This could be a game like the Spurs game that throws cold water in the teams face. Brown will probably end up being able to use this game to further teach.

It's hard to teach an overconfident team, which I'm starting to get the sense of. Confidence is great, but I worry this team is thinking it can turn it on when it wants. They need to focus on just playing their system for a full 48, like San Antonio. It doesn't matter what you do against the Magic and Celtics of the world, the goal here is a championship, and the way the Cavs have looked early, they have proven they have the talent, now it's time to start focusing mentally on it. Because the Pistons, Heat, Pacers, and Spurs will win these games mentally. They'll frustrate James and leave his teammates watching.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Pioneer10 said:
LoL remy: didn't know JO looked so much like LaFrentz :)
My bad guys. I didn't mean that as disrespect to the Pacers by making that mistake. I've edited the right url address in.

Serves me right because I'm studying biology and I'm zoning in and out.
 

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remy23 said:
My bad guys. I didn't mean that as disrespect to the Pacers by making that mistake. I've edited the right url address in.

Serves me right because I'm studying biology and I'm zoning in and out.
Please don't apologize: you do great game threads. I just thought it was funny
 

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Yes the game threads are awesome Remy, you put them up like clockwork also :greatjob:

I think Future makes a good point. I have a bad feeling we'll see the team play well early and then fall back into the "Lebron show" when we start to struggle scoring. In other words the trend seems to be to rely on Lebron to bail us out of droughts and win games for us late single handedly, but that's not always going to work against elite teams. The entire squad needs to come with effort and feel confident they can make plays.

This is a big game fellas! :biggrin:
 

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Cavs play like crap on national TV and Stephen Jackson always seems to light LeBron up. The loss of Damon Jones is huge in games like this...a win would be huge but a loss would bring the doubters out of the woodwork.
 
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Stephen Jackson lit up Lebron when it was only Lebron and the worthless Cavaliers, now he has Larry Hughes instead of Ira Newble, i would say thats an up grade. I would even say that Larry Hughes is a better basketball player than Jackson, so i say we win from that stand point.

Also if you look at the match ups, i see no reason why Drew Gooden doesnt abuse Croshere, aslong as he doesnt let him step out and knock down some deep threes aka (Pat Garrity) then we should be ok.

I think with a healthy Jones we match up with this team very well. Both have great guards (bron/hughes-artest/jackson) ... I'd say the kicker of us winning/losing this game is Jermaine O'neil... also if Snow is no where to be found do we go with bron-jackson-hughes backcourt if DJ is hurt ?
 

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This is a game where we get to see how far our D has truly come. Hughes and LeBron wont drop 60 combined this game and the big guys might have trouble with Indy's. I think that in order to win this game we must play our best D. Recently the Cavs have really just been outscoring people especially at home but we cant just out score everyone. We will see if we have a good D or not in this game.
 

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LeBron Vs. Ron... I've been waiting soooo long :) It is going to be an enteresting matchup... between the two best and most versatile SFs in the NBA.

Good luck to you guys!

You guys have a good chance for many reasons...

*Zeke kills us... every time!

*Mike Brown knows the Pacers unlike any other head coach in the NBA.

*Damon Jones has hurt us often in the past.

*Larry Hughes could play Stephen very well... unless Stephen choses to post him up alot.

*I like your depth... you guys have a strong bench... as do we!

Good points for Pacers...

*I don't know if you guys have seen Ron yet this year, but he is a beast in the paint this year... LeBron could get into foul trouble if Ron goes at him a lot... Ron has been getting to the line like crazy this year... but he has been horrible at FT shooting.

*Our biggest weakness defensively is against very fast and quick PGs... while your guys aren't exactly slow... they aren't near as fast as many of the PGs we have been facing this year. Jamal and Sarunas may have a very good night against you... it kind of depends on how high Snow's defense will be for this particular game. (P.S. - Watchout for Sarunas in this game... I think he will be turning it up for Zeke :) )

*Fred Jones has been playing some serious D this year... tell Larry to be carefull against our second unit.

*Jermaine has problems with Zeke... if he can stay out of foul trouble he could hurt you... but will he? Jermaine has been passing out of the double team very well this year. I think this game very well could depend on how well Jermaine does versus Zeke... if he can stay out of foul trouble... He will tear Zeke a new one on the offensive end... but Zeke just out positions him every time... and his extra height kills Jermaine. Jermaine has the best numbers for a Center in the NBA right now... but Zeke could hinder him... we'll have to wait and see.

Good Luck Cavs Fans!

P.S. - LeBron is my 2nd fav!
 

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Nutritionals said:
Lol, "Zeke"?

But ya, this one scares me a little bit. Playing a very good team on the road is always tough.
You've never heard that one? :)

I am more scared about us versus Cleveland than I am with us versus Miami. I see you guys as potentially our 3rd toughest opponent... right behind Detroit and San Antonio.
 

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Discussion Starter #17
Yahoo! | NBA | Cleveland Cavaliers/Indiana Pacers Preview


Cleveland Cavaliers/Indiana Pacers Preview

LeBron James looks to continue his solid play and lead the Cleveland Cavaliers to their ninth consecutive victory when they visit the Indiana Pacers.

James scored 36 points for the second straight game and Larry Hughes added 25 as the Cavs extended their winning streak with a 115-93 victory over the Boston Celtics on Tuesday night.

The 20-year-old has connected on over 57 percent of his field goals (48-for-84) over the last four games, and is averaging 31.3 points during that span. Cleveland has posted 113.5 points in those contests.

"We're on a great roll," James said. "For the first time I feel great because our team is playing real well."

Cleveland has won eight straight for the first time since a 10-game winning streak from Nov. 21-Dec. 11, 1997, when James was in middle school. The Cavs' 9-2 start is their best since the 1976-77 team opened with the same record.

"We don't feel like we should lose," Hughes said. "That's LeBron's mentality and it's trickling down to everybody."

James and Hughes, who signed with Cleveland as a free agent during the summer, have combined for 134 points in the last two games.

"I'm not having to call much," Cavs first-year coach Mike Brown said. "It's LeBron, it's Larry, it's LeBron, it's Larry. And everybody else is feeding off those two guys."

If the Cavs beat the Pacers, they'll return to Cleveland for a two-game homestand with a chance to match the team-record 11-game win streak set during the 1988-89 season. Cleveland is 6-0 at Quicken Loans Arena this season.

Indiana is looking to win three straight for the first time this season after beating Charlotte and Houston in the first two games of its four-game homestand.

Ron Artest scored nine of his 24 points in the fourth quarter and the Pacers took advantage of Tracy McGrady's absence in Sunday's 85-74 win over the Rockets. Artest made five of 16 shots from the field in the first three quarters but went 4-for-4 in the fourth.

"I think Ron is playing really well," Pacers coach Rick Carlisle said. "He got off to a slow start offensively tonight, but let the game come to him when we needed it."

Indiana allowed its lowest point total of the season, held Houston to 41 percent shooting (29-for-71) and forced 19 turnovers.

"That was one of our better sustained defensive efforts," Carlisle said. "That's one we've got to keep building on."

Cleveland has lost its last six visits to Indianapolis since a 111-99 win on April 8, 2002.

STANDINGS (through Nov. 22): Cavaliers - 1st place (tied), Central Division. Pacers - 3rd place, 2 GB, Central Division.

PROBABLE STARTERS: Cavaliers - F James, F Drew Gooden, C Zydrunas Ilgauskas, G Eric Snow, G Hughes. Pacers - F Artest, F Jermaine O'Neal, C Scot Pollard, G Stephen Jackson, G Jamaal Tinsley.

TEAM LEADERS: Cavaliers - James, 28.4 ppg; Gooden, 9.7 rpg; Hughes and James, 4.4 apg. Pacers - O'Neal, 21.6 ppg and 10.3 rpg; Tinsley, 6.1 apg.

2004-05 SEASON SERIES: Pacers, 3-1.

LAST MEETING: April 6; Pacers, 98-77. At Indianapolis, Jackson scored 23 points for the Pacers, who never looked back after holding the Cavs to 10 points in the second quarter.

ROAD/HOME RECORDS: Cavaliers - 3-2 on the road; Pacers - 4-1 at home.
 

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Discussion Starter #19
Beacon Journal | 11/24/2005 | Pacers to put Cavs through their paces

^ Thanks. Best of luck to you as well.


Pacers to put Cavs through their paces

Trip to Indiana to show the true level of respect

By Brian Windhorst
Beacon Journal sportswriter


CLEVELAND - As they've struggled for respectability over the last few seasons, the Cavaliers have fancied themselves as a rival of the Indiana Pacers.

Geographically and division-wise, it was true; in NBA reality it wasn't.

The truth is the Cavs can continue to blow out teams on their home floor -- as they have done routinely during their current eight-game win streak -- but they won't really join the ranks of the elite until they can prove they are on the same level as the Pacers (6-3) maintain.

Which is why tonight's nationally televised game at Conseco Fieldhouse will be a giant measuring stick of just how far the Cavs, and LeBron James, have come.
It will be a stiff test, their best since a blowout loss in the season's second game in San Antonio. For James, it will be a chance to see just how far he's come since being a rookie when he lines up against one of the league's premier defenders in Ron Artest.

During James' rookie season, Artest gave him the stiffest test of any defender, physically hassling him at every turn. Last season, they only met once before Artest was suspended for the season. Figure the TNT cameras will be focused on their every move.

“It's been a great match-up for the last two years,'' Pacers coach Rick Carlisle told reporters. “LeBron has so many dimensions to his game; it's the ultimate test for a great defensive player.''

And maybe the ultimate test for James, who has been at the top of his game. After being named the Eastern Conference Player of the Week on Monday, James scored 36 points in the victory over the Celtics on Tuesday.

James said he ranks Artest as one of the best defenders at his position in the NBA and perhaps the most physical who guards him, but said he doesn't view it as a rivalry.

“I haven't looked at it as a rivalry, I try to approach every game the same way,'' James said. “Sometimes I feel it a little bit and I want to step up my game; when there's a challenge I mentally step up my game.''

If the Cavs are going to get to where they want to go, which is the top of the ultra-competitive Central Division, they are going to have to eventually learn to beat the Pacers, which they have only done twice in the eight meetings since James has joined the team.

“It could be a great matchup for years and years,'' said Artest, who was named the Defensive Player of the Year in 2004. “A guy like me can limit him, but you have to have good team defense.''

Jones sits

Cavs guard Damon Jones did not practice Wednesday after spraining his left ankle in the second quarter of Tuesday's win over Boston. The Cavs have listed him as questionable for tonight's game.

“I've never missed a game in my eight-year career because of injury,'' Jones said. “That streak is something I would like to keep going and I'm very proud of.''

If Jones can't play, coach Mike Brown said he might use Larry Hughes as his backup point guard or go with Mike Wilks as he did on Tuesday.

Dribbles

The Cavs held a team Thanksgiving dinner on Wednesday night after flying to Indianapolis. Several players brought family members.... Brown spent the last two years as an assistant coach with the Pacers, but has refused to put any extra emphasis on this game.... Over the last two games, James and Hughes have scored a combined 134 points.
 

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Discussion Starter #20
Limping Jones still uncertain for Pacers


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CAVALIERS INSIDER
Limping Jones still uncertain for Pacers

Thursday, November 24, 2005

Branson Wright
Plain Dealer Reporter


Damon Jones' injured ankle did not let the point guard practice on Wednesday and he is listed as probable for tonight's game against the Indiana Pacers.

In the second quarter against the Celtics on Tuesday, Jones rolled his ankle while helping to defend a Ricky Davis drive. Jones had to be assisted off the court and watched the second half in street clothes on the bench. Following the game, Jones said that he will not rush coming back but added he has never missed a game due to injury and wants to keep that streak intact.

Jones, who signed with the Cavs as a free agent during the off-season, is averaging 8.7 points per game as one of the team's best outside shooters.

f Jones can't go, Mike Wilks will likely back up Eric Snow, or Larry Hughes will see some action at the point guard position.

Miller time:

Former NBA great Reggie Miller said LeBron James' incredible start makes him the leading MVP candidate.

"Definitely, if you have to pick an MVP this year [based on] the first 10 or 11 games, LeBron would probably come out of everyone's mouth," Miller said during a conference call earlier this week. "He's playing unbelievably. Not only that, but he has his team believing and playing well."

Miller said the off-season additions have all worked for the Cavaliers.

"I know they've added some guys like Larry Hughes, but the pick-up I'm really high about is Donyell Marshall," Miller said. "He spreads the floor for them and it gives LeBron and Larry Hughes the opportunity to drive. [Marshall] draws the big men away from the paint because of his shooting."

Big time:

The Cavs' 123 points on Philadelphia last weekend was the franchise best since March 25, 2003, when the Cavs scored 124 at Golden State. Since 1991, the team is 40-2 when it scores more than 120 points.
 
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