NBA Trades: Jamison Debuts for Cavaliers with Worst Game of His Career

Hadarii JonesSenior Writer IFebruary 20, 2010

CLEVELAND - APRIL 21:  Antawn Jamison #4 of the Washington Wizards looks on from the bench late in the game while playing the Cleveland Cavaliers in Game Two of the Eastern Conference Quarterfinals during the 2008 NBA Playoffs at Quicken Loans Arena April 21, 2008 in Cleveland, Ohio. Cleveland won the game 116-86. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement.  (Photo by Gregory Shamus/Getty Images)
Gregory Shamus/Getty Images

Although the Cleveland Cavaliers have the best record in the NBA it would serve them well to avoid the Charlotte Bobcats in the postseason, because after Friday night's win it appears the Bobcats have the Cavaliers' number.

Charlotte's 110-93 win captured the season series from Cleveland, and new Cavalier acquisition, Antawn Jamison, began his career with his new team in less than stellar fashion, shooting 0-12 from the field and finishing with two points.

It is only Jamison's first game, and although it represents the worst in his career, he was able to joke with LeBron James about it afterwards, and offered his solemn word it wouldn't happen again.

Cleveland's troubles with the Bobcats however, are no joking matter, and their domination of the Cavaliers this season exposes matchup problems which doomed the team in last years' Eastern Conference Finals.

The swap involving Zydrunas Iglauskas and Jamison also incurred another issue for the Cavaliers and the Bobcats exposed that problem by out-rebounding the Cavs 47-37, and controlling the game in the paint.

The Cavaliers got smaller with the deal, and the Bobcats were able to use that to their advantage as Cleveland had no answer for the trio of Stephen Jackson, Gerald Wallace, and Boris Diaw, who scored 29, 17, and 18 points respectively.

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All three players are in the 6'7" to 6'10" range and all have perimeter skills which the Cavaliers were unable to defend with their vast, but limited group of reserves.

Additionally, Wallace nor Jackson hold any fear of James in their hearts, and they took turns harassing him on the defensive end and making James work hard on the offensive end.

If Cleveland fails to re-sign Iglauskas once his 30 day limit is reached, then they can expect these types of games on a regular basis, because Iglauskas paired with Shaquille O'Neal gave the Cavaliers a distinct advantage in the paint.

The Los Angeles Lakers are the only other team in the league capable of utilizing two skilled seven footers during the course of a game, and that length creates obvious problems for opponents.

Cleveland no longer has that luxury and Jamison may be a decent rebounder, but that part of his game is diminished when he is paired with players who are big and athletic enough to stay with him.

Granted, there are few teams in the Eastern Conference who can throw such talented players as Wallace and Jackson at LeBron on a nightly basis, but during the course of a seven game series this has to be a concern.

Jamison's offense is sure to come and the Cavaliers will benefit from it, but in attempting to improve their team, they may have turned the clock back to a place they would rather not see.