Monday, January 19, 2009

Go West young Cavs...

The Cavaliers embark on their first really tough road stretch of the season tonight in Los Angeles where they face the Lakers at 10:30pm. And they do so on an up-note after beating the Hornets 92-78 (highlights) on Friday night at home. That win improved them to a perfect 20-0 at the Q and was really much-needed after the ugly loss Thursday night in Chicago.

Can we really count on this guy as we head out West?

So how did the short-handed Cavs step up and earn a relatively easy win on Friday night against a very solid Hornets team? They junked things up on defense, they slowed the pace on offense, they made their open shots, they outworked New Orleans, and of course having LeBron on your team always helps too. LBJ finished the night with 29 points, 14 rebounds, and 7 assists while playing all over the court (including logging some minutes at center). And guys like Wally Szczerbiak (14 points, 4-of-5 from three-point range) and Sasha Pavlovic (19 points and 6 rebounds in 42 minutes) really stepped up. And Mo Williams was his normal solid self, chipping in 17 points, even on an off-shooting night. And it sure was good to see Big Ben back on the court. I think his presence lifted the team emotionally, even if he only logged 14 minutes as he works to get back to 100%.

So what should we expect from this four-game swing out West? Your guess is as good as mine. Will Sasha and Wally be able to stay consistent offensively? I've seen enough Cavs basketball over the last couple years to know we can't fully depend on either one of them. Hopefully they can surprise us. There will no doubt be an increased scoring load on LeBron and Mo. But others will need to chip in if this is to be a successfull trip. And I would qualify coming home with a 2-2 record or better as a definite success. I really hate to be without two of our key guys at this important time in the season. But really, it is much better to have these injuries crop up now than in April. Go Cavs!

Browns Update: As the Steelers move on to another likely Super Bowl victory (ugh), the Browns seem to finally have found their new GM (yawn). Please just let this work out. I don't want to see another rebuilding phase for a long, long time.