Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Cavs in Portland tonight

First things first - allow me to apologize for not posting yesterday. I try to get a recap up for every Cavs game in a timely manner. But this time the neglect was not out of spite (well not totally) for the way the Cavs got handled in the second half by the Lakers, but rather because other things got in the way of my day. If I don't meet my own self-imposed deadline of noon, then a post is probably just not gonna happen that day.

Anyway, Monday night's performance is sure to have some Cavs fans urging Danny Ferry to trade Wally's expiring contract immediately. But relax, take a step back and look at the big picture and you'll see that the 105-88 loss (highlights) is not reason for panic - yet. Winning on the road in the NBA is difficult no matter the circumstances, let alone when you factor in missing 40% of your starting lineup. The Cavs made it a game for almost three quarters, but just ran out of gas at the end and got clobbered by the Lakers' big men. Missing Z in the paint and having a not-yet-fully-healthy Big Ben will do that to you. And being forced to play Lorenzen Wright and JJ Hickson in the fourth quarter isn't a recipe that will allow for a lot of success against elite teams on the road.

Things didn't go LBJ's way on Monday, but a rematch on 2/8 in the Q is looming...

The bad news? The Cavs will still be shorthanded for the rest of the road trip, which resumes tonight at 10:00pm in Portland. But the rest of the league won't be throwing the Cavs a pity party and they'll just have to fight through it. The good news? By some accounts, Big Z may be ready to return to the court on the 27th (barring any setbacks) when the Cavs return home to face the Kings. And Delonte should return right after the All-Star break, which would mean only 12 more games without him. It could be a lot worse. And Danny Ferry still has a lot of options before the February 19th trade deadline. We know he will be patient and not make any snap decisions before then. Oh, and we still have the best player in the world on the roster, capable of himself willing this team to improbable wins (as he has shown in the past with a much weaker roster).

Remember, this team is still 31-8 and, in my own humble opinion, far from peaking. Good things are ahead for us and a couple of wins on the remainder of this trip would make things look even better. Just hope for the big tease that is Sasha Pavlovic to keep up his solid play that has emerged the last two games. And hope for Wally to make his jumpers while he's still in a wine and gold uniform. This is the toughest stretch these Cavs will likely face all season and this current adversity could go a long way towards shaping the team's future.