Photo: Chuck Burton/AP
It must've been something in Dan Gilbert's wife's turkey, stuffing, or cranberry sauce in Detroit. Whatever it was, it left the Cavaliers wearing cement sneakers most of the evening as they tryptophaned their way through a first half where Gerald Wallace, Stephen Jackson, and the Bobcat bench looked like they skipped Thanksgiving dinner altogether. The Cavaliers trailed by as much as 24 in the third quarter before waking up and cutting the defecit to just five in the final minute with fourth quarter lockdown stops. But, their own fourth quarter cold streak did them in as they fell seven points short in Time Warner Cable Arena tonight.
Shaq in action: After missing six straight games, Shaquille O'Neal returned to the starting center role. It was apparent early that the Cavaliers had a tough time getting O'Neal readjusted. In Shaq's last two games against Orlando and Miami, the Cavaliers were finally starting to get things figured out with Shaq. Those six games he missed have regressed things back to the early season struggles. In the second half, Shaq got more touches and a little bit more rhythm, but he missed a few easy buckets and his effect at the defensive end was not great. O'Neal finished with 11 points and 8 rebounds on 5-of-11 shooting in 30 minutes. I feel Mike Brown played O'Neal a little bit too much tonight, especially in the fourth quarter, but Brown continues to tinker with his rotations, particularly in crunch time. It's obvious in his nine man rotation (which does not include Delonte West), Jamario Moon and Anderson Varejao are the main options off the bench and Daniel Gibson and Zydrunas Ilgauskas are the second-tier subs.