I felt pretty good about this one heading into the game, and stated as much during the Wine and Gold Pregame Podcast last night. The Cavs were somewhat rested coming off a week that included a few off-day practices, and essentially an intrasquad scrimmage type game against the beleaguered Washington Wizards on Wednesday. Couple that with the fact that the Nuggets were coming into last night's game riddled with injuries, highlighted by the fact that Carmelo Anthony did not play. Ty Lawson did not play either, Chauncey Billups was just getting back after missing some time, and the Birdman - while he did play - was also questionable leading up to tip-off. It looked like all the makings were there for the Cavaliers to start off their five game west coast trip on the right foot against a team that was starting Joey Graham and Aaron Afflalo - no offense to those NBA role players specifically. Only none of those things mattered in the end, and while Cleveland had their chances down the stretch, they didn't win.
On to the next one I guess...Portland on Sunday at 9pm. Join Glenn and I for a re-cap of this one, as well as a preview of the Blazers - Cavaliers match-up one hour prior to tip-off in Portland during the next live streaming of the Wine and Gold Pre-Game Podcast...
For now, allow my esteemed colleagues in Cavalier blogging to offer a few highlights as to the reasons why the Cavs fell last night for the 10th time this season...
Cavs Fall Apart Late in Loss to Nuggets, Waiting for Next Year - Jacob:
"Overall for the game, he [LeBron] took 28 field goal attempts, had eight turnovers and in the second half, shot the ball 18 times against only one assist for himself. I don’t care how many points he puts up or how well his defense/rebounding is doing, but that is not the recipe for a Cleveland victory on the road. In fact, it was the sixth time in his career including playoffs that he ended up with the magic combination of 28 FGA’s and 8 TO’s, and the Cavs are now 1-5 in those games. Poor performance by LBJ in this one, especially considering his only two three’s were in the closing seconds."
Cavs outplayed in Denver, King James Gospel - Cody:
"LeBron James poured in a game-high 35 points on a 12 of 28 showing from the field. He added 7 assists and 6 rebounds to the stat line but also recorded a team-worst 8 turnovers on the night. Mo Williams added 11 points on 3 of 7 from downtown while posting 6 assists in the losing effort. Neither Mo nor LeBron could find any sort of rhythm on the night and, as a result, the Cavaliers were dropped by an undermanned Nuggets team...Overall, the Cavaliers recorded 19 turnovers in a sloppy performance..."
Recap: Nuggets 99, Cavs 97 (Or, of High Altitudes and Low Effort Levels), Cavs: The Blog - John Krolik:
"LeBron went 6-8 at the rim, and 6-20 on shots outside of the paint. Call me crazy, but I think LeBron should’ve been a little more aggressive in this one...Defensively, the Cavs had a lot of trouble with Chauncey Billups early, who was absolutely carving Mo Williams apart. This was a game where Delonte’s move to the bench hurt the Cavs. During Chauncey’s first stretch of the first half, when Delonte wasn’t in, he scored eight points. During his second stretch of the first half, when Delonte was playing and guarding him, he didn’t score a point."