Photo: Chris Young/AP
After a fantastic victory over the Celtics in Boston, where some of the best Cavalier defense all season was played to cool off the scorching Celtics, the defense took the night off north of the border in Toronto. Luckily for the Cavs, the Raptors' defensive fortitude was just as poor, and when the Cavaliers did play solid D in overtime, it was enough to propel them to their third straight victory. Six Cavaliers were in double digit scoring, and the Cavalier offense continues to incorporate Antawn Jamison more and more, making them stronger and more capable than ever before.
Deci-Z-ion?: A report surfaced earlier in the day from WKNR's Michael Reghi that a source informed him that Z had made his decision to sign with the Cavaliers after the mandatory 30-day wait following his trade to the Wizards. It's pretty much been a forgone conclusion that Z would return, and Shaq's significant thumb injury may have just wrapped that return up 100 percent. If Shaq requires surgery on the thumb, Z would be the team's starting center for the last three weeks of the regular season after his return.
Going into the post not required: Shaq missed his first game with the thumb injury, but the Cavaliers were fortunate that Toronto's Chris Bosh missed his fourth straight with an ankle sprain. Without the two post presences, there was not much need for post feeds and inside-out action. In fact, nearly the entire game was played on the perimeter on both sides. This lead to a lot of back-and-forth transition, the triple digit scores, and the tariff on defense.