Quantcast 2009-2010 Cleveland Cavaliers: Cavs vs Pistons

 

Cavs look to step it up tonight at the Palace of Auburn Hills

 

 

Tonight the Cavs look to take their winning ways to 3 hours from home, to the Palace of Auburn hills to take on the Pistons. The Cavs (10-4), fresh off of a 3 day break will be facing the Pistons (5-9) , who have struggled to find their feet after signing big man Charlie Villanueva and Guard/Forward Ben Gordon during free agency last season. The Cavs are coming off a win last Saturday against the 76ers, and the Pistons are looking to end a 5 game losing skid. To their credit, they have lost to tough teams, losing to the Suns, Lakers, Jazz, Blazers, and the Mavs. The Cavs have won 7 of 8 dating back to the stellar performance LeBron and co. put on at the Garden in NYC.

 

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The Cavs will be without Leon Powe, who continues to rehab that knee injury he suffered last year with Boston. After refusing to inject him with cortisone, the Cavs will have their Witness Protection (shaq) back in the lineup, after missing 5 games with a strained right shoulder that he suffered trying to block Mario Chalmers in the 111-104 win in Miami a little over a week ago. The Pistons will be without Tayshaun Prince, and Will Bynum is listed day-to-day.



Keys to the Game

JJ Hickson has to continue to get better. He is averaging 15 points and 5 boards over the last 5 games. With Shaq in the low post with him, he should be able to get dump off passes from Shaq when he is doubled.

The Cavs offense and Pistons offense will look eerily similar, and that is because offensive mastermind, John Kuester (ex-Cavs assistant coach, and Mike Browns’ Offensive Coordinator last year) is now the Pistons Head Coach. The Cavs offense has been stagnant in the middle quarters this season, which is due to the hurry up and wait offense they’ve been implementing. Running up to the offensive end, and then stopping and dribbling for 18 seconds is not going to put points on the board like a well oiled offense will, so the Cavs need to run plays, move without the ball, and box out and get boards and try to get transition baskets whenever possible.

 

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Shaq and Z are the 2 best centers on the floor, and Mike Brown has to take advantage of this. Charlie V Big Ben Wallace and Kwame Brown can’t hang with these 2, so hopefully Shaq and Z can get big nights tonight, to try to get them both on a roll. Z has not been the Z of old this year, averaging 7 and 6 this year, almost half of his career averages.

The final key to victory tonight: Defense, Defense, Defense! Too often the Cavs get big leads then let the other team climb back in it, giving them momentum. The Cavs need to clench their fists and knock teams out of it early, so that they can rest their starters and give Darnell Jackson and Danny Green amongst others a chance

Based on what I have seen as of late, I look for this game to be too close for comfort. I am going with the Cavs to win this one by a score of 99-87, but the game will be a lot closer than those numbers indicate.

 

By: Joe Goodale
Pro Basketball Fans Cleveland Cavaliers Correspondent


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