Photo: Jeff Siner/Charlotte Observer
The deck was stacked against the Cavaliers tonight, but they certainly didn't do themselves any favors. Antawn Jamison's first game as a Cavalier, Mo Williams's first game back as starting point guard, and a back-to-back where the Cavs had to travel after an overtime loss was an absolute perfect storm for the Bobcats. They used their previous success against the Cavs to fuel 55% shooting and held the Cavaliers in check with just 39% shooting. The Cavaliers' absolute carelessness on the defensive end and poor three-point heavy shot selection allowed the Bobcats to dominate the paint 48-24 and cruise to a blowout victory, their third in four tries against Cleveland this season.
New faces all around: Antawn Jamison made his Cavalier debut, coming in off the bench for 26 minutes of playing time. More on that, ahem, showing later. Mo Williams, still on a minutes cap, returned to the starting lineup after playing 19 minutes off the bench last night, but Daniel Gibson found himself with some playing time still since Mo was limited to 25 minutes. As for the Bobcats, they pulled off a trade of their own the other day, and both Tyrus Thomas and Theo Ratliff were in uniform and played big minutes for Charlotte. In other words, this game was a bit wild in the sense that there were often 2-3 players out there who had little grasp of their new team's offensive and defensive schemes.
Yet Another Rotation Switch: Mike Brown's job over the next couple weeks is not going to be an easy one. He played 11 guys tonight, and with Zydrunas Ilgauskas potentially on his way back and Leon Powe back soon from injury, the minutes are really going to get crunched. One thing's for sure: Mike Brown will not be playing 11 guys in the playoffs when LeBron and Mo beef up their minutes. As for tonight, Jawad Williams was the guy left without minutes early since Jamario Moon returned from a DNP-CD last night in Denver to snatch 17 minutes. Daniel Gibson, as mentioned before, did get 13 minutes helping backup Mo.