Cavs 101, Raptors 83
Was I the only one embarrassed when the Raptors started the game showing zone? Or when Lebron dunked twice against a zone defense? Or when Szczerbiak hit 2 of his first 3 treys (the guy doesn’t jump, and it’s not like he’s a threat to drive past you) against a zone defense? Or being down 37-15 at the end of the 1st quarter? How about those offensive yellow uniforms the Cavs had on?
How about starting the three bigs together? I couldn’t believe my eyes when I saw that. Haven’t we established that Bargnani is a center, needs to be played at center, needs regular minutes at center to develop properly? I suspect Triano is at the end of his wits. What is he, 11-22? Nothing he is doing is making this team better. The only positive outcome of his being coach has been the development of Bargnani (which I really feel was independent of anything he did) and him giving Graham the green light without having to looking over his shoulder. The kid has improved and actually has some trade value (not sure how much value, but he has some).
Anyways, the game started with the Raptors playing zone defense. First possession, Wally nails a trey without jumping. Alarms should have been going off violently. It wasn’t like Lebron penetrated kicked the ball out, which got swung to an open Szczerbiak. He was standing there with the ball, no one on the Cavs was cutting or anything, and he just popped a trey. In fact, the first three Cavs possessions were of him popping a trey (2 of 3). That was it, game over. The Raptors never came within 6 the rest of the game, and trailed by double digits most of the time.
How disgusting was that first quarter:
Raptors scored 15 points
LeBron scored 16 points
They don’t call him the King for nothing, but this had to be a new high for him (and a new low for the Raptors).
Back to the Big-Three situation; when is this failed experiment going to stop. Seriously. A couple minute stretch in the middle of the game to give a different look is one thing, but to start the game with it, come on man. I can’t remember this ever working, ever. Bargnani needs to be at 5 for his game to check in, otherwise he lost defensively, and since the rest of his game comes as a result…big donut for VL.
I guess the joke of the night was that it was the Big-Three that kept fighting. I mean, there was no help from anywhere else. No one was hitting shots, running the break, attacking the glass. Bosh was hot from the perimeter, O’Neal was banging in the blocks and VL was on the glass, lil bit of synergy, but at that point, I would have taken anything.
The most upsetting play for me came in the first when Moon, fresh off the bench, stepped in and jacked a trey in transition that had no chance of going in. I really don’t like the guy, he sucks and has no business taking minutes away from Graham and Kapono. In fact, Graham was the player of the game for me for the defense he played on LeBron and the energy he brought to the game. If you would have asked me about him before the season, I would have said he would be out of the league as soon as his contract expires, but to his credit, he has responded to the opportunity Triano/BryCo have given him, yay.
I mean, there isn’t much to analyze here:
- The Cavs are an elite team – the Raptors aren’t
- The Cavs can dig in and play break-neck defense – the Raptors can’t
- The Cavs have players who can step up and win games for them – the Raptors don’t
- Bosh grabbed 3 freaking rebounds, 2 of them coming in the first quarter
There were a couple positives from the game:
Played 24 Minutes
Usually we get only 12 minutes out of this crew, but they won the 2nd and 3rd quarters with some gritty-boring basketball. Had the 1st quarter not been such a disaster, the game might have turned out differently.
I thought VL played reasonably well considering he wasn’t getting his regular burn. His shot wasn’t falling, but he crashed the boards and pulled down 10 of them, including 3 offensive. Chip in 10 points, and it wasn’t that bad a night considering.
Keep playing like that, and Riley may not insist on a 1st round pick to be included in the swap for Marion. I’m a sucker for low-post basketball, so when I see HO attacking with his back to the basket, I get nostalgic.
8 assists with JC starting and logging big minutes? Is the transformation officially finished, can we call you Ron Harper?
I won a bill betting the spread.
Next up: The Lakers
Take what Dynosty said yesterday, change up the names to reflect: LA Lakers, Kobe Bryant, Pau Gasol, Derek Fisher, etc. Then swap out the cheerleader for a hottie, in this case we present to you Erica who is a 1st year Laker Girl.
- Currently studying public relations at Loyola
- Works out
- Enjoys snow skiing. No joke, it says snow skiing. In LA you have to distinguish between partying and hitting the slopes.
- Is a cook
- Likes Bikram Yoga (the one where the room is hot)
More Laker Girl resources:
This process must be the only one Jerry Buss still manages, can’t blame him now can we?
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