Photo: Jae C. Hong/AP
"All for one. One for all."
I put it at the end of every single Cavaliers article I write. Sure, it may be a marketing gimmick of sorts. It's also a personal reminder to myself and all those who read it of what mentality must be present for the Cavaliers to get to the promised land in June. They used that type of attitude today to absolute smother the Lakers on their home floor, where they seemed just a little too sure of their superiority for their own good. They used immensely amazing team defense, key shots from multiple players, and a physical toughness throughout the entire game to keep a safe distance from the now five-loss Lakers.
Return of the Twin Towers: We haven't seen it since the Orlando game, but the Zydrunas Ilgauskas-Shaquille O'Neal frontcourt duo made a return to action early in this game since J.J. Hickson came out of the gate just reeking of inexperience of mistake-making ability. The Cavaliers trailed 8-5 when Z checked in for J.J., and the team went on a 8-2 run with the twin 7-footers up front. For the game, the Cavaliers were +8 with the duo on the court together, and they played side-by-side for nearly ten minutes. The two worked together so well in the first quarter that Mike Brown made a smart decision, perhaps the decision of the game, in starting Z over Hickson to start the second half, which could have prevented a potential Laker surge to start the third. Neither center was fantastic offensively. O'Neal made five field goals, all dunks, in eight shot attempts, scoring 11 points and grabbing 7 rebounds in 22 minutes. Z shot just 1-of-6, but grabbed 9 rebounds to go with his 2 points and 2 assists in 30 minutes. The real story of these two was on the defensive end though. No longer are the Cavaliers powerless against the large Laker frontline.