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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)


Game 68


Charlotte Bobcats (19-49) @ Cleveland Cavaliers (38-29)

Wednesday, March 22, 2006
Time: 4:00pm PT, 7:00pm ET
TV: WUAB, NBALP
Radio: WTAM 1100
Location: Quicken Loans Arena, Cleveland, Ohio

HEAD COACHES


PROBABLE STARTERS



CHARLOTTE BOBCATS’ BENCH


CLEVELAND CAVALIERS’ BENCH


CHARLOTTE BOBCATS’ NOTES

Knight and Felton are quicker than their Cleveland counterparts and should look to attack. They shouldn’t settle for anything. Especially Brevin Knight, who has had some fantastic games against the Cavaliers, even looking like the second coming of Magic Johnson in a couple of them.

Outwork Cleveland by pressing them and running the floor. The Bobcats have several athletic players on their team and this game could get interesting.

CLEVELAND CAVALIERS’ NOTES

Cleveland has to avoid a letdown. They’re coming off an emotional win against the Lakers and need to take the Bobcats equally as serious. Earlier in the season, sub .500 teams managed to give the Cavs trouble. Over time, Cleveland has managed to buckle down in these games and it needs to continue against the Bobcats.

Charlotte doesn’t have a lot of big men they can turn to and Cleveland has yet another game where they have a major advantage in the paint. There isn’t any reason why Cleveland should lose the battle on the boards. They need to dominate the glass, get offensive rebounds and tips.

OVERVIEW

Cleveland has just started another winning streak and seeks to continue their winning ways with the Bobcats coming to The Q. The conditions leading up to this game is much like those against the Lakers: the team will have had a few days to rest, practice and adequately scout their opposition. So the Cavs need to continue defending their homecourt.
 

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^Remy is awesome with the gamethreads, our mods really do a great job.

I don't see any way we conceivably lose this game. 3 days rest, home game against the bobcats who we destroyed last time we played them (plus we're on another streak).

Should be win # 39 :cheers:
 

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We're actually get some rest btw games: very nice.

Still don't understand how this team can come out so flat at times: it seems every single whether it is a loss or win we seem sluggish (either in the beginning of the game or after half time). We haven't put together a solid whole game effort in quite some time.
 

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Okay, well let me be the voice of concern. We are coming off of a big last minute win. We have several days off. We are playing a team we should win. This game has letdown written all over it. We have got to come out fired up, no way do we want to get behind in the first quarter. We need to really come out and hit them hard. As was already mentioned we should be able to dominate the boards.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Beacon Journal | 03/22/2006 | Focus becomes clear for Cavaliers



Focus becomes clear for Cavaliers

By Brian Windhorst
Beacon Journal sportswriter

CLEVELAND - You already can get Anderson Varejao wigs, LeBron James bobbleheads and Zydrunas Ilgauskas stretch dolls, but perhaps the Cavaliers should consider a new promotional item: Mike Brown blinders.

The team's coach is famous -- or infamous depending on the perspective -- for never looking ahead. Ask him who the Cavs play this week after tonight's home game with the Charlotte Bobcats, and he'll tell you that he genuinely does not know. Ask him what he had for lunch, and he'll refer the question to his wife.

Considering he can recite statistics, rankings and numbers like a professor at the Elias Sports Bureau, it probably is just a strategy, but nonetheless...

Asking him to evaluate the Cavs' playoff standing with 15 games to play borders on impossible. So it will be done for him.

The Detroit Pistons routinely locked up the Central Division title with a victory Tuesday over the Atlanta Hawks, meaning the best that the Cavs can do is capture the No. 4 seed and the last position that promises homecourt advantage in the first round of the playoffs. They hold a 3 ½-game lead on that spot over the Washington Wizards and a four-game lead over the Indiana Pacers.

This is not news to Brown or to Cavs players.

They can view the up-to-date standings on a large, and constantly updated board, within their locker room. So all know the task at hand and the order of things, even if they pretend they don't.

"When we become the Spurs, when we become the Pistons, when we become the Heat, then we can say at this point in the year, `We're in position to clinch this spot' or `We're in position to move up two or three notches, let's do it,' '' Brown said after practice Tuesday. "We've got to keep concentrating on our next game until we can consistently say, `We're a playoff team, we did it last year, we did it the year before and we need to finish in this spot because we know what it's like to play on somebody else's home floor in the first round.''

The Cavs play four of their next five games at home, where they are 24-10. It is an opportunity to put more space between themselves and the Wizards and Pacers, whose schedules toughen over the next several weeks.

"To get into the playoffs is one thing,'' Cavs captain Eric Snow said. "But to get homecourt advantage is definitely a goal that just about every team in this league tries to accomplish.''

All in all, locking up the No. 4 spot with a strong push down the stretch would top off a solid season. Though there have been plenty of ups and downs over the past few months, the Cavs are on the verge of securing their first playoff spot in eight years. Considering Larry Hughes will miss his 40th consecutive game with a broken finger tonight, being able to lock up homecourt can been seen as an accomplishment.

"Right now, that's the best we can do,'' guard Damon Jones said."`We just want to do the best job we can to stay in that position, not to be content with only being in that spot, but taking our game to another level, because playoff basketball is totally different.''

School spirit

James and Snow will be keeping an eye on their high schools this weekend in the state basketball championships.

James, of course, led St. Vincent-St. Mary to three state titles in his four years there. The Irish play in the Division II state semifinals Friday in Columbus.

"That's tradition, that's the only place we know we're going to play very well,'' James said. "I'm excited for them. I'm happy they got there. That shows it doesn't stop just because I left.''

Snow's Canton McKinley Bulldogs have advanced to the Division I state semifinals Friday. He and James have been able to attend some of their alma mater's games this season.

"I'm happy for those kids,'' Snow said. "Let those kids know if they work as hard as they can and do what they're asked to, they'll give themselves an opportunity to win the championship. They're a great example for the future kids to come.''
 

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The Plain Dealer




Former Cavaliers television analyst Matt Guokas, who holds a similar position with the Orlando Magic network, said on air that Ilgauskas was so upset at the lack of retaliation (after a hard foul by Rasheed Wallace) that he asked to be traded in the off-season.

Cavs’ Z up for knocking foes down

Wednesday, March 22, 2006

Burt Graeff
Plain Dealer Reporter


The Cavaliers have gained a reputation among some NBA scouts as being a team that is soft in the middle - a team that does not do enough to confront opposing players driving to the basket.

Perhaps this is why one of the loudest ovations during Sunday's 96-95 victory over the Los Angeles Lakers at The Q occurred late in the third quarter - when Lakers guard Smush Parker drove to the hoop and was clobbered by 7-3 Cavaliers center Zydrunas Ilgauskas.

It was a clean, hard foul, one that critics say is not done enough. Parker, looking stunned at what his former teammate had done, picked himself up and made one of two free throws.

Cavaliers coach Mike Brown liked what he saw. "I am not going to say that we should be going out to hurt anyone," he said, "but I know that as a head coach, we can do more of that.

"We can get better in that area."

In recent weeks, numerous opposing players - from burly power forwards to 175-pound point guards - have regularly treated the middle of the Cavaliers' defense as if it was a freeway to scoring.

It has become a rare sight to see anyone knocked off his feet.

"I agree that we have got to do more of this," Ilgauskas said. "LeBron [James] is getting hit all the time.

"You just can't go out and head-hunt, because you can't forget about playing basketball, but there are certain times in a game when you have to take a stand."

Ilgauskas was fouled as hard as any Cavalier when Detroit's Rasheed Wallace hammered him in a recent game at Auburn Hills, Mich. Five stitches were needed to close a wound in Ilgauskas' head.

When none of Ilgauskas' teammates retaliated in that game, or the one that followed a day later in Cleveland, the incident triggered league-wide speculation.

Former Cavaliers television analyst Matt Guokas, who holds a similar position with the Orlando Magic network, said on air that Ilgauskas was so upset at the lack of retaliation that he asked to be traded in the off-season.

Another report said that Ilgauskas met with team officials to voice his displeasure.

"I heard about what [Guokas] said," said Ilgauskas said. "None of that is true. I did not go to [General Manager] Danny [Ferry] asking to be traded.

"I see and talk to Danny all the time, but I never said I was mad at not being backed by my teammates. I love my teammates.

"I was mad that we lost both of those games [against the Pistons] and I was mad at the way I played."


Ilgauskas played better than most of his teammates in the two losses - getting 33 points and 24 rebounds.

Ilgauskas said he does not think there is a perception that the Cavaliers are a soft team. "I think we are doing a lot better job of contesting shots this year than we have in recent seasons," he said.

"There is a fine line in all this. You don't want to go out and pick up fouls that take you out of the game and end up hurting your team.

"You have to pick your spots."

Ilgauskas picked a spot on Sunday. Many at the soldout Q responded to it.
CAVALIERS INSIDER
Beware of another shaky road team

Wednesday, March 22, 2006

Burt Graeff
Plain Dealer Reporter


The Charlotte Bobcats bring the NBA's second-worst road record - 6-28 - to The Q tonight. It should make everyone in the Cavaliers' front office nerv- ous.

The Cavaliers are 24-10 at home, but three of the losses have been to teams - New York, Atlanta, Golden State - that rank among the league's worst on the road.

The Knicks, 6-26 away from Madison Square Garden, handed the Cavaliers a 92-84 defeat at The Q in mid-January; the Hawks, 7-25 away from Philips Arena, rolled out of Cleveland with a 100-94 victory in mid-December; the Warriors, 10-21 on the road, knocked off the Cavaliers, 99-91, at The Q in mid-February.

"Anytime you play at home," said Cavaliers coach Mike Brown, "it's good, but we have to realize that teams are going to come hard at us, whether they have a good record or not."

Magic number:

The Cavaliers' magic number to reach the playoffs for the first time in eight years is six. Any combination of six Cavaliers victories, or Bulls losses, guarantees a spot in the postseason.

"I have no idea what all the magic number stuff means," said Brown.

"All I'm concerned with is Charlotte."

It's been 13 years since the Cavaliers have won a playoff series. They defeated the New Jersey Nets in a best-of-five series in April 1993.

Sasha who?

The addition of Flip Murray has turned Sasha Pavlovic from a starter to rarely-used off the bench. The Cavaliers were 12-7 in 19 games Pavlovic started.

In 13 games that Murray was acquired from Seattle, Pavlovic has not played in five; in the eight others, he's scored 13 points in 63 minutes.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Yahoo! | NBA | Charlotte Bobcats/Cleveland Cavaliers Preview (click on picture)

 

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Re: Yahoo! | NBA | Charlotte Bobcats/Cleveland Cavaliers Preview (click on picture)

The early strategy has consisted of making James a passer and doubling him early. LeBron is finding open teammates for assists.
 

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Re: Yahoo! | NBA | Charlotte Bobcats/Cleveland Cavaliers Preview (click on picture)

Cleveland leads by twelve points at the end of the first quarter (34-22). It was a good effort, nobody was lazy or unfocused. The team looked sharp from the jump.
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
It's good Cleveland is getting the lead back up after the Bobcats cut into it. You're right that without James, we'd be in a major hole. Which makes me realize that we need a good draft. We need to do our homework, hope the right guys fall into our lap and take them.
 

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I've never seen a team go out of their way to keep other teams in games before. We miss way too many free throws and are way too careless with the ball.
 

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^ Yeah. 10 turnovers, many of which were ugly.

Cleveland leads by nine points at halftime (55-46).
 
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