Thursday, February 11, 2010

Cavs vs. Magic

So the streak has reached 12 after a couple of not-so-pretty wins over the lowly Knicks and Nets on Saturday and Tuesday. I'd like to attribute the sloppy play to boredom (we were up by 24 over NY and 17 over NJ) in the midst of a long winning streak, but the defensive lapses are a cause for concern. The Cavs pride themselves in owning the best defensive field goal percentage in the league and had held the opposition to sub-50% shooting in all but 3 of their 51 games prior to these last two. And oddly enough, all 5 of those +50% shooting nights for the opponent have led to wins for the Cavs. I guess when you're good enough, you can even overcome a hot shooting night from the other guys. And I've said all along that this Cavaliers team can win in a variety of ways.

Which leads us to tonight's game - a showdown against the team that caused all kinds of matchup fits for the Cavs in last year's Eastern Conference Finals. The Magic have played much better of late, winning 10 of their last 12 and surging into the 2nd spot in the East. They are currently six games behind the Cavs for the top spot in the conference and would like nothing more than to come into the Q in the last game before the All-Star break and avenge their November loss to the wine and gold.

Of course the Cavs are still shorthanded without Mo, but will possibly have Delonte back in uniform for tonight's matchup. Personally, I'd rather see Redz just sit out one more game and then enjoy the 7 days off before next Tuesday's game against Denver. But if he does return to the court tonight it will be nice to have his defense out there against Orlando's perimeter guys. I will be at the Q for this one and will be looking forward to scouting the Magic with Vince Carter. I've maintained all-along that going VC instead of Turkoglu was a huge mistake for them and I'm looking forward to watching Carter off the ball... something you just can't do when watching on TV.

Hopefully we can run this streak to 13, slip into the All-Star break and grab some much-needed rest, and most importantly - get healthy. And with the trade deadline now just a week away, we should have some more interesting things to talk about besides water fountains at the Q. Sometimes I shake my head at what actually becomes a newsworthy story. Go Cavs.

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