Earlier this evening, Mary Schmitt Boyer of the Plain Dearler reported that “Former teammates Anderson Varejao and Anthony Parker were in a group, along with strength and conditioning coach Stan Kellers, that visited with Ilgauskas after the team arrived here [New Jeresey] Tuesday night. Ilgauskas has a place in New York City and has been spending time there since his release by the Wizards.”
And according to a couple follow-up reports I’ve also stumbled across, it appears the Cavs found a group of guys who referred to themselves as the ‘Nets’ to work out with at the IZOD center on Wednesday night while in town visiting Z. I didn’t get a chance to talk to any of the Cavaliers players about that work-out, but I heard it went well, and most of the players were pleased with the opportunity to both break a sweat, and work through some offensive sets without the interruption of defense.Which is basically all Wednesday night’s game against the worst NBA team I’ve ever seen was.
While I was hoping for a 29-point win – to give the Cavaliers a combined margin in back-to-back nights against the Knicks and the Nets of 60 – I was forced to settle for a 50 point margin in those last two games by way of a 111-92 win tonight. The game was over after the first quarter as the Cavs jumped out to a 35-15 lead, even though the Nets did outscore them by 1 the rest of the way to finish with a 19 point loss.
LeBron had 26-14 and 7 but my favorite two plays were his ‘lay-in style’ dunks, the second of which drew boos from the Nets fans who at this point just want something to get excited about. And LeBron refused to give it to them, even though he did add a thunderous slam that looked more like a Josh Cribbs kick-off return later in the game. But if you’re a team that needs a three-game winning streak to get to nine total wins, you only get so many highlights from the King on a given night. He needs to save those for respectable teams…like the Clippers.
Besides LeBron, J.J. Hickson turned in a game of noteworthy achievement. He seems to have a new confidence about him these days after being tagged ‘the guy nobody wanted to trade.’ He followed up a stellar outing against the Knicks with a line that read 20 points and 13 rebounds over 26 minutes, and he also played good defense against Brook Lopez in his time against him tonight. For as bad as the Nets are, Lopez is at worst decent, and Hickson did a better than decent job against him inside. Decent also describes the way Mo played tonight going for 16 and 6 on 5 of 12 shooting. Not horrible, but he definitely needs to take a couple steps forward to be the guy the Cavs need him to be, and hopefully he can over the next couple weeks. Decent thirdly describes Antawn Jamison’s output tonight. 23 shot attempts is quite a few, especially if you’re only going to score 19. Hickson took 14 to get to 20 as a comparison. But nevertheless, tonight was just a work-out, and there’s not all that many takeaways from game like this. On to the next one I guess, as a certain owner of that team says, its Snuggie time Friday.