Cleveland 98, Atlanta 84

LeBron saved their sorry asses. James salvaged an otherwise unwatchable game by scoring 32 of his 36 points in the second half (19 in the fourth quarter… which was the also 19 of the Cavs final 22 points). You may be wondering if he did this while in some kind of offensive flow. Well… no. There was a lot of dribbling around and pulling up for jumpers. But hey, they went in.

Drew Gooden bugs the hell out of me. Gooden got lost on defense countless times (I’m pretty sure he still doesn’t know that Josh Smith is left handed), played some terrible point guard (yup) and jumped on every pump fake thrown his way. His stats were decent (13 and 7) but I wasn’t impressed.

Mike Brown also bugs the hell out of me. How Drew Gooden stayed in the game was beyond me. How the Cavs scored any points is beyond me (scratch that, LeBron went off). The Cavs offense was extremely sloppy (they started 2008 off with two straight turnovers) and no one seemed to give a crap for most of the game. For some reason Sasha Pavlovic and Anderson Varejao both received more shots than Z (1-4 in just 27 minutes) even though Ilgauskas has 5 inches on anyone guarding him.

I think we’ve found an offense worse than the Cavaliers. My god this game was ugly. The fact that the Cavs were even close to chalupa territory is a minor miracle (and how the final stats show that they were over 50% from the floor is beyond me). Neither team had 20 points during the second quarter and they didn’t cross the 40 point barrier until after halftime (and the Hawks didn’t cross 50 until there were 5 minutes left in the third).

Speaking of minor miracles… The Cavs played the Hawks and Tyron Lue didn’t go off. Thank god.

This was my first Cavs game of the year. Man, I forgot how much I hate Moondog (and I mean really hate). The Cavs had some guys walking around the concourse before the game carrying signs urging fans to vote some Cavs into the All-Star Game… I had a good chuckle every time the guy carrying the Hughes sign walked by. Also, the Q scoreboard totally didn’t accept my ‘trade larry hughes’ text at halftime. Lame (I really hope those marriage proposals were jokes…).

To be fair, Hughes wasn’t bad this game. He wasn’t even mediocre. He was… good? Hughes had 14 points, 4 assists and 3 boards. The best part is, he shot 6-10 from the field (60%!? Trade him now!). Hughes had a huge jumper under 3 minutes to put the Cavs up 3.

Sasha Pavlovic is still struggling. He had some moments of competenceness (some nice drives, a decent pass or two). But he also had moments of Sashaness (3 turnovers and yet another offensive foul). Overall, he had 7 points (2-6 FG, 3-4 FT) but he did pitch in 6 boards and 4 assists. At least both he and Hughes filled up other columns in the box score…

The Cavs actually got some points from the bench. Daniel Gibson (11 points) nailed some jumpers (which isn’t surprising) and so did Anderson Varejao (which is). Varejao gave the Cavs 8 points and Devin Brown gave them 6. Sure, only three guys off the Cavalier bench scored… but the Hawks only had two (Josh Childress and Lue) off their bench put the ball in the hole.

and finally…

Can they win two in a row… please? The Kings come into town on Friday and that should be a very winnable game (plus, future Cavalier savior Mike Bibby could be in town). But honestly, who knows with this team. Frankly, the only reason they beat the (not lowly anymore) Hawks is because LeBron started burying hand-in-the-face jumpers halfway through the fourth quarter. I really have no idea what to expect from this team night in and night out.

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