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The Other Side: Cleveland Cavaliers


What? Are we really looking up at the Wizards in the standings? (Photo by Garrett W. Ellwood/NBAE via Getty Images)


The Washington Wizards and Cleveland Cavaliers meet for the first time this season, rekindling a competitive environment that some would call a rivalry. Dan Steinberg wrote all about it on the Bog, and Mary Schmitt Boyer of the Cleveland Plain Dealer touched on it this morning as well.

I know some attempt to belittle this "rivalry" because the Wizards lost all three playoff meetings, but you cannot deny the bad blood between some of the players and the fans. And, how many times does a team with fewer than 20 wins defeat a team with more than 60 victories -- twice! That's what happened last year, but again, that was last year.

The Cavaliers made several changes after their 66-win regular season didn't lead to a championship. They added Shaquille O'Neal, Anthony Parker, Jamario Moon and Leon Powe, who is out until January with a knee injury. Cleveland (2-2) has been dealing with distractions involving Delonte West, whose personal problems have made tabloid news since last summer. But here's what you should know about the Cavaliers.

1. Cleveland lost its first two games against Boston and Toronto and raised questions about the O'Neal acquisition. The Cavaliers have won their past two games, but they still don't look good with O'Neal on the floor.

2. Delonte West returned to action on Saturday and scored 13 points in his debut against the Charlotte Bobcats. The Cavaliers may have realized his importance to the team while he was gone.

3. I hadn't heard anything about this, but I recently found out that LeBron James will become a free agent next summer. Who knew? Larry Bird weighed in on the speculation and said he thought James should stay in Cleveland, but Magic Johnson said he likes the "buzz" James could generate in New York. James visits the Knicks this weekend, so expect to hear endless chatter over the next few days.


By Michael Lee  |  November 3, 2009; 3:56 PM ET
 
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Next: Wizards (2-1) at Cavaliers (2-2)

Comments

BOO cleveland, crabs suck! go wiz!

Posted by: ewww | November 3, 2009 4:37 PM | Report abuse

As much as I like Shaq and Lebron, that team is worst then last years team.

Posted by: boblas | November 3, 2009 5:07 PM | Report abuse

Four games in, it's too early to declare the Shaq experiment a failure. You don't add a guy like that to a team without there being an adjustment period.

Posted by: kalo_rama | November 3, 2009 5:25 PM | Report abuse

The Washington Wizards and Cleveland Cavaliers meet for the first time this season, rekindling a competitive environment that some would call a rivalry.

I think that the Wizzies will have to blow out the Cavs tonite and then It will be recognized as a boneyfied rivalry. And then the next meeting will attract some major BUZZ.

Posted by: VBFan | November 3, 2009 5:50 PM | Report abuse

Shaq and Phoenix never really clicked, though the components, Shaq, Stoudemire and Nash, were interesting as with Cleveland and Lebron this year. Hard to see where replacing a talented but immobile big, like Ilgauskas with Shaq at this stage in his career is going to push them over the top. Last years big man du jour for Cleveland, Ben Wallace wasn't enough.

Posted by: midlevex | November 3, 2009 6:22 PM | Report abuse

Good first quarter. Flip screwing around too much in the second with the lineups. GA in now!

How does Shaq get 7 fouls called against him when he's barely done anything but try to bull people over! BS!

Posted by: rphilli721 | November 3, 2009 7:57 PM | Report abuse

Well, it continues. No ball movement, forced shots all second quarter. When they run a nice play they score. Otherwise, Cleveland is running out on them now.

Too many blown assignments on D now. Although still fairly solid.

McGee, are you ever in the right position????

Posted by: rphilli721 | November 3, 2009 8:07 PM | Report abuse

Atrocious refereeing. Should have known. NBA refs are a joke sometimes.

Open court. Miller takes an obvious charge on LeBron. Standing in his spot for a second or two and they call the foul on Miller. Shaq decapitates Stevenson and just gets called for a regular foul. Not to mention the 10 foul calls against Shaq with about 6 really fouls.

Posted by: rphilli721 | November 3, 2009 8:20 PM | Report abuse

Watched this game on NBA League Pass and had to see the Cavs local broadcast. Worse part is that there broadcasters don't even call them out on the atrocious refereeing and dubious calls. Gibson's charge on Blatche's breakaway? Ridiculous. Cant wait for Shaq to break down so we only have to deal with Lebron's one-sidedness.

Posted by: DCinNY | November 3, 2009 9:45 PM | Report abuse

25 fouls for the CAVS.
27 fouls for the WIZARDS.
Yeah thats why they lost!

Posted by: jamisoncampbell | November 3, 2009 10:21 PM | Report abuse

OH yeah GO CAVS!

Posted by: jamisoncampbell | November 3, 2009 10:23 PM | Report abuse

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