Cavs – Bucks…sure, it’s a must win…and Cavs do 83-81

2nd Half: Where Mo Williams hits a game winner, Cavs win by two, and the moment he emerges as ‘that guy?’

Maurice Williams can have Ahmad call him Mo Gotti in the intros if he’s going to make 25-point games with the occasional game winner part of his encore to the fire-laden pregame shows. Seriously, I’d be good with it then. Regardless of what I may have posted on my twitter account seconds before the opening tip tonight.

Mo Williams only scored 4 points at halftime, but he came out with the mindset of “accepting the role” of “being that guy with the ball in his hands” not with his words but with his actions in the second half tonight. He did say that too in the postgame, I am quoting him there, so it is kinda with his words also, but the way he played meant so much more than any talk of being a leader he’s ever offered in the past.

Mo also said that he thought the Cavs “needed to win this game tonight” and he was absolutely right. They played awful on Tuesday, and heading into a stretch that includes the two teams the Cavs were watching as they made their collective ways out of the locker room on Wednesday night – MIA / ORL – at 5-9 is a lot worse than the 6-8 mark they currently have.

But more than needing this win tonight, they needed Mo to not so much actually be the guy once like he was tonight, but show that he wants to be that guy as the season moves forward. He’s the most talented player on this squad, and if he is the leader he was tonight heading out of that locker room on his way to going for 21 second half points when they needed it, helping to erase a 10-point halftime lead and also grabbing 4 rebounds with 5 assists on 11 of 22 shooting, then these Cavs will be okay. Good stuff tonight, Maurice Mo Gotti.

Another guy who shot 50% was Anthony Parker. Yep. 5 of 10 from the field for 14 points and a stellar defensive effort to boot. See, I told you AP is awesome. Brandon Jennings had 3 points on 1 of 10 shooting, John Salmons shot 6 of 14, and Maggette shot 2 of 8, and Parker had a hand in that lack of production from the MIL backcourt.

Daniel Gibson went for 12 off the bench, and seemed to be okay shoulder-wise after what loooked to me like a real serious injury. Daniel said “I have had some trouble with my shoulders this season” and jokingly added “I need to stay away from screens from now on,”  but he did seem to be fine.

He said of his attempt late that “I thought it felt good” so I’m thinking he’s okay. I know it’s not one in the same, but I walked away from standing in front of Gibson during the postgame thinking he was okay and that the injury was nothing serious. Take that medical evaluation for what it’s worth I guess.

Byron Scott also talked postgame about how “pleased he was with the defensive effort for 48 minutes tonight.”  Now I didn’t notice much of an overall sense of urgency in the first half personally, but if Coach Scott was pleased with the 48 minutes I’m good with it too. He could definetely beat me in a game of one-on-one so I’ll take his word for it.

He also said he “talked to Mo this afternoon about some things including being able to respond from games like they had last night.”  He mentioned also on that last play that it “was designed to put the ball in Mo’s hands. If he had the shot, he could take it, if there wasn’t anything there he had guys out there that he could find for an open look.” 

Mo made the shot.

I kinda think / inferred that he talked to Mo about assuming that leadership / leading scorer’s role this afternoon, but am only guessing on that. I actually did attempt to ask Mo – if you happen to catch any of the postgame stuff with Mo listen for a guy who gets about one half of a sentence out and then someone else asks another question and the guy then stops and lets the other question get answered only to never ask his question again – if Byron Scott did ask him to assume that leadership role specifically this afternoon, but I never quite got that out. I’m pretty sure he did though…and glad that Mo embraced it regardless.

Happy Thanksgiving everybody.

 

1st half: Cavs dreaming of stuffing and pumpkin pie, trail 44-34

You remember how some of you felt earlier this afternoon at work? Last day before the holiday, going through the motions on this get-a-way day perhaps, while thinking only about grubbing your face off and angling a way to avoid engaging in awkward relative talk tomorrow as the task at hand laid on your desk like a paper weight?

So yeah, that’s what the Cavs looked like to me during the first half tonight. Like they didn’t want any part of being here.

The Bucks seemed to approach the half with a similar focus, however they did just enough for the ‘diff to read -10. Correct, Parker’s buzzer beater did not count. 

An opportunity lost to be sure there. For about 16 minutes whoever – not landed – but threw the first punch would have taken a commanding lead. The Bucks eventually took that shot, kinda landed it I guess, and they’re up ten.

I saw no desperation on the Cavs side. I saw no urgency. Hopefully they’re talking about that now, and come out like they want to win this one. I know Dan Gilbert – seated courtside behind the Cavs hoop for the 1st half – sorta hopes they’d try harder than this tonight.  One more half available to do so.

Statline – Cavs leading scorer is AP with 6…five guys have 4 points (Andy, Mo, Gib, Hollins, Moon).  Bucks led by John Salmons (9), Larry Sanders has 8, Jennings has 3 points, 2 assists, Drew Gooden has 4 points 6 rebounds, Andy has 7 for the Cavs, and Mbah a Moute has 7 boards also to tie for most.  Cavs turned it over 6 times, Bucks 3.  

Pregame Ramblings: 

Cavs played last night and I didn’t feel like talking about it.  In fact, I really didn’t even watch it, which isn’t all that common for me.  I was out for a birthday celebration of sorts, had an angle at the television, but every time I looked up it the score just read: ugly, delete dvr recording and move on. 

So I did, helped by a shout-out from my buddy Rock, and here we are tonight.

Playing the Bucks tonight Q – hold your applause though – place is empty pretty much.  

Anyways, I missed B-Scott’s pregame talk, but I heard Scotty Skiles…who the junior high version of myself was kind of a big fan of trying to make my way down the little league basketball courts bouncing the ball with my right hand pretending like I was calling a play with the other.  Topic for another day I suppose, but Skiles nailed it I think for both teams coming into tonight when he said the following:

“In this game tonight, if one of these two teams aren’t playing with some desperation, that’s going to be a problem for them.  We hope that’s not us tonight.”

Andrew Bogut’s out and Cavs need to capitalize on that. 

Drew Gooden’s in the house, talking at halfcourt with Andy right now as I type this.  Cavs could use him about now. 

They won’t be .500 before Thanksgiving, but they need this one tonight if they don’t want this thing to get out of hand.  Like Skiles said, play desperate…because if Cavs fans are being real right now, they should play desperate if they’re trying to salvage any kinda of respectable record out of this 2010-11 season.  Schedule kinds gets a little weird after this. 

Joey Graham still a starter, along with JJ, AP, Andy and Mo.  Watch out for B-Jennings.

Photo Credit: NBA.com

Brendan Bowers

About Brendan Bowers

I am the founding editor of StepienRules.com. I am also a content strategist and social media manager with Electronic Merchant Systems in Cleveland. My work has been published in SLAM Magazine, KICKS Magazine, The Locker Room Magazine, Cleveland.com, BleacherReport.com, InsideFacebook.com and elsewhere. I've also written a lot of articles that have been published here.

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