It was all bout Z on Sunday. From the fans, to the vendors, to the message on the scoreboard- it was a Z fest. The most important thing for the Cavs however was getting by a scrappy Sacramento team and moving that magic number down.
Once again the Cavaliers seemed to play down to the competition. There were serious lapses on defense, particularly off of long rebounds that led to breakaways for the Kings. In the end, the Cavs clamped down and held the Kings to 4 field goals and only 14 points total in the fourth quarter. Yes, this is a trend that ideally the Cavaliers would reverse before the playoffs started, but then again the Cavs aren’t going to be facing many bad teams in the playoffs. It was their 28th win in a row against teams with records under .5oo.
LeBron James turned his game up in the second half, scoring the bulk of his 34 points after intermission. He did it with the jumper, the fade away and by driving the lane. Basically any way LeBron wanted to score he did. He was helped by Jamison’s 26 points and solid assist totals from both Mo Williams (7) and Delonte West (5).
There was no question that Cleveland was missing Andy Varejao. He was held out of the game as a precaution because of the hamstring tightness he suffered against San Antonio. Without Andy the Cavs looked a bit sluggish, and were out-rebounded (!) by Sacramento. The Cavs were one shot and done nearly the whole game. A measly 6 offensive rebounds were grabbed by Cavaliers. Andy is the master of keeping possessions alive, and without him they weren’t able to do that.
Zydrunas came off the bench to a standing ovation and scored 4 points and grabbed 6 boards. He still looked like he was trying to get his legs back to me, but didn’t play poorly.
The Cavalier that is still desperately trying to find his game is Mo Williams. Mo attempted only 6 shots in the game. He was more effective distributing the ball in this one, but still not finding his shots with Jamison on the floor. Seems like he isn’t even the third scoring option right now. He has taken a backseat to Jamison and even Hickson at times. A more aggressive approach would be a welcome change from Mo.
The Cavs reduced their magic number in the East to two games and their number to clinch the #1 seed overall to 5. For those curious, the Cavs would have to win the remaining regular season games to tie last year’s 66 win season.
(photo by Scott Shaw / The Plain Dealer)