Cavaliers Preview Game #69: Pacers at Cavs

Indiana Pacers (22-45) vs
Cleveland Cavaliers (53-15)
Quicken Loans Arena, Cleveland, OH
Wednesday, March 17, 2010
7:00 PM EST

This final stretch of games in March is the last little lull for the Cavaliers this season. With games against Atlanta (twice), Orlando, Boston, and Toronto in April, the rest of this month is the last chance to really play around with lineups, give guys rest, and see further get acquainted to what all you can do with Antawn Jamison in your lineup. Tonight’s game is a home against one of the absolute worst teams in the NBA who happen to be without their best player and superstar (and yes, if you’ve seen Danny Granger play, you know he’s a superstar whether the fans and media realize it or not), so it should be an easy win, right? Well, Indiana did just beat the Bobcats, a team the Cavaliers cannot beat, last night with Granger in for most of the game. So just remember, this is still a game between professionals and anyone can win if you let them hang around long enough.  

Projected Starting Lineups

Indiana Pacers:

-G Earl Watson (7.6 ppg, 4.6 apg, 1.3 spg, 10.49 PER)
-G Brandon Rush (9.1 ppg, 1.3 apg, .392 3P%, 9.54 PER)
-F Dahntay Jones (10.6 ppg, 1.9 apg, .129 3P%, 10.56 PER)
-F Troy Murphy (14.0 ppg, 9.9 rpg, 0.5 bpg, 17.40 PER)
-C Roy Hibbert (11.2 ppg, 5.8 rpg, 1.7 bpg, 16.12 PER)

Key Reserves: Mike Dunleavy, Luther Head, AJ Price, Josh McRoberts, Solomon Jones

Injuries: Danny Granger (out), Jeff Foster (out), TJ Ford (out), Tyler Hansbrough (out)

Cleveland Cavaliers:

-G Mo Williams (15.9 ppg, 5.1 apg, 1.1 spg, 15.55 PER)
-G Anthony Parker (7.2 ppg, 1.7 apg, .438 3P%, 9.56 PER)
-F LeBron James (29.9 ppg, 7.2 rpg, 8.6 apg, 31.73 PER)
-F Antawn Jamison (19.6 ppg, 8.7 rpg, 0.3 bpg, 17.51 PER)
-C JJ Hickson (7.7 ppg, 4.5 rpg, 0.5 bpg, 14.50 PER)

Key Reserves: Anderson Varejao, Delonte West, Jamario Moon, Jawad Williams, Leon Powe

Injuries: Shaquille O’Neal (out), Sebastian Telfair (out)

Previous Matchups

  1. Cleveland 105 at Indiana 95 – 11/20/09 [box]
  2. Cleveland 94 at Indiana 73 – 11/29/09 [box]

Future Matchups

  1. Fri, Apr 9 at Cleveland

Game Notes

Indiana has a good amount of size, particularly with Hibbert and Murphy. With the way Troy Murphy plays, he’s actually a half way decent matchup for Jamison. Murphy’s first step may be slow, but he’s deceiving with it and he likes to try to sneak by opponents to get into the lane. Otherwise, he’s staying outside and launching jumpers. Jamison’s charge is to just be mindful of Murphy’s attempts to drive. If Murphy’s on, he’s going to make a lot of shots and that’s something you have to live with as a defense. So there’s no reason to make things any easier for him whatsoever by letting him drive from time to time.

As for Hibbert, this is going to be a severe test of Hickson’s ability. Hickson did a great job on Tim Duncan the other night, showing he can matchup with bigger opponents, and Hibbert’s lack of athleticism is a plus for JJ. However, Hibbert’s size and strength is going to be a handful for JJ. If the Pacers can get Hibbert unleashed, it will free up room for Murphy, Rush, and Dunleavy to score a lot of points. We know the Cavaliers have been playing just lousy defense for over a month, now, so Indiana could give Cleveland more problems than anyone realizes. As usual, though, it will all be based on the effort Cleveland gives in the 4th quarter, which is usually off the charts.

Vegas Line

Cleveland (-14.5)
Over/Under 209.0

  • boogeyman

    Go Cavaliers hopefully a route that way LBJ and some other guys can get some rest while the others get some more playing time.

  • dgriff13

    I saw Delonte was out tonight with a knee issue? Via Windy on twitter.

  • ClevelandSouth

    Sidebar: Cleveland High School Regional games live on

    Go Cards.

    Is it possible for both Eds and Iggy to lose the same game? That’d be nice.

  • stin4u

    Let’s hope we don’t play down to the competition tonight

  • DCBucks

    Watching the game. I’m not convinced that Fred and Austin are two of the dumbest humans in Cleveland.

  • stin4u

    Need to pick up on the Defensive end

  • Eli

    Time for an Irish Pirate jig. Nice third quarter.

  • stin4u

    bad fourth so far lol

  • boogeyman

    It’s all about LeBron James take him off the Cavaliers and they’d be lucky to make the playoffs.

  • Jaythetruth

    A W 4 A M V P

    Goodnight Cleveland. Back2Back MVPLBJ


  • EZ

    Man, it’s eerie how consistent Jamison is. Most of the Cavs get their averages amid high and low swings but (aside from the Charlotte game) it seems like every time I look at the box score AJ is right around 17/9.

  • Christopher

    @ Boogey

    You are seriously not intelligent when it comes to sports. I mean you are really a nationally spoon fed moron. And I know this because of all your “ESPN says” comments.

    This team without LeBron is a playoff team with aspirations of being stronger. We have the deepest team in the NBA and all you can say is ” without LeBron”.

    If you really want to get into “without Lebron” conversation you have to totally change your point of view, because this team would play with a completely different.

    Study up on how team atheltics actually work and come back with some stronger game because posting here with a stupid ace nam and avatar will not get you anywhere.

    Go Cavaliers (not Lebron James)

  • stin4u

    man Christopher goin below the belt!

  • boogeyman

    @12 Hey Christopher unlike you I won’t stoop to insults but I’ll forget more about sports then you’ll probably ever know.

    Btw I post daily on a variety of subjects I’m not just some random visitor who posts calling someone else a moron but you try and have a nice day now because you certainly appear to need it!

  • Ike

    Troy Murphy played like he’s mad the Cavs didn’t trade for him.

  • Matt#2

    I think, and maybe this is what you mean, that the Cavs might recover one or two years out from Lebron departing for another city. I think Ferry’s pretty savvy like that. But I don’t think there is enough on the roster to recover from an injury to Lebron to contend.

  • MaimLarry

    Here’s the thing. Without Kobe, the Lakers are not as good. Without Howard, the Magic are not as good. Without Pierce, the Celtics are not as good.

    Really good players make their teams a lot better. Saying “The Cavaliers are nothing without LeBron” is like saying “A hamburger with no meat would taste bad”. It’s obvious. LeBron is (arguably) the best player in the game. Take him off any team, and that team is not as good.

  • EZ

    I think Christopher was reacting to a little bit of hyperbole. The Cavs aren’t a bad team without Lebron. They just aren’t championship contenders. But the fact is, currently the Raptors are looking to make the playoffs with a losing record. I really do believe that this team, without Lebron, could post a .500 record and challenge for the 8th seed in the East. They’d have to change how they play, of course, but I think they could post some good wins over some mid-tier teams.

  • 5KMD

    Are we talking about the Cavs without Lebron’s contract or without Lebron?

    Because if Lebron takes his contract with him, DF could do a lot with that money to “replace” him. There is a lot of talent on the Cavs sans LBJ.

    Now, if you would just remove Lebron from the Cavs without any other changes, than yes, they would not be very good. But that’s because this team was constructed since day 1 to play off of Lebron.

  • Christopher

    @ Boogeyman and the entire WFNY community,

    never let your friend look at your iPhone in a bar.

    I apologize for my “moron” friend who I let see my phone and how awesome the WFNY shortcut on the front screen.

    I am an avid fan of this website and it’s posters and would never call someone’s personal opinion to the floor like that.

    Boogeyman – again my apologies and please know I have a completely heinous payback in mind for my “pal”.

  • DCBucks

    @20 You may want to check your account balances in lieu of your “pals” access to your iphone..

  • boogeyman

    @20 No apology necessary I don’t pay much attention until I’m insulted and then I always respond. We can all disagree and give our opinions but the insults should be left at the door. If I’ve insulted anyone my apologies wasn’t my intention. Have a nice day. :)