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Game Preview #71: Cleveland Cavaliers @ San Antonio Spurs

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I know I kinda wanted to make consecutive badass previews for these three games, but the exasperating loss, coupled with that first-ever epic PtR four game threads left me out of breath and, well, out of time. Like most of you, I, too, feel bad about that last game.

But this game against the Cleveland Cavaliers does not offer any breathers whatsoever. LeBron and his loyal subjects are carrying an impressive eight-game winning streak, and are close to locking up home court advantage throughout the playoffs. I miss the days when our Spurs were the one riding a similar wave of wins.

Without further ado, a simple preview and undying optimism - because it's free to dream and I'm delusional - after the jump.

Here is your customary Cleveland demoralizing/irritating wallpaper of the day:

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And here's a Dave Matthews song for all the Debbie Downers out there:

**Disclaimer: I STILL think I am messing up the game times, so if you have a problem with it, just put your suggestions in the comments below.

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Cleveland Cavaliers @ San Antonio Spurs
Where: AT&T Center - San Antonio, TX
When: March 26, 2010; 7:30 PM Spurs time
Watch: FSN Southwest


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How They Stack Up
25-11 Home 31-4
17-17 Road 26-11
101.1
Offense 102.3
96.5 Defense 94.7
47.2 FG% 48.7
36.5
3-pt% 38.8
74.3
FT% 72.3
42.5
Rebounds 42.6
12.8
TOs 13.1
6-4 Last 10 9-1
Lost 1
Streak Won 8
2nd, Southwest Position 1st, Central

Country/Time Zone Game Time
Argentina 10:30 AM
West Coast
5:30 PM
Philippines 8:30 PM
Central Europe 2:30 AM
Palestine/Egypt 3:30 AM
East Coast 8:30 PM
Snow Zone
6:30 PM
Perth, AUS 9:30 AM
Tokyo, JP 11:30 PM
Sydney, AUS 11:30 PM

Spurs
(42-28)
Matchups

Cavaliers
(57-15)

George Hill
Padawan

Point Guard

Mo Williams is going to give George Hill fits using screens to free himself up on offense, but after going up against top dogs like Kobe and Artest the other night and knowing he can hang with them, I think the kid is looking to bounce back.

Advantage: Spurs


Mo Williams
Gunner

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Manu Ginobili
Jedi Master

Shooting Guard

Anthony Parker has been a great pick-up for the Cavs and he's been playing his role as sort of a Bruce Bowen-type to near perfection. But Manu has been doing it all so he gets the WVATS white box.

Advantage: Spurs


Anthony Parker
My Sister Is Better Than Yours

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Richard Jefferson
Hollow Man

Small Forward

RJ stinks. LeBron is a beast. End of story.

Advantage: Cavaliers


LeBron James
The King with No Ring

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Tim Duncan
Obi Wan on the Decline

Power Forward

I know that Timmeh has been doing the other important things (rebounding, passing) even if he's being abused on both ends. However, until he shows a pulse on offense, I'd have to underrate for awhile.

Advantage: Cavaliers


Antawn Jamison
Wizardly Cavalier

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Antonio McDyess
Washed Up

Center

Dice and our big men face yet another athletic bunch of bigs who seem to have great motor, as the great Jay Bilas calls it. I think we're in trouble.

Advantage: Cavaliers


J.J. Hickson
Young 'Un

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Roger Mason Jr.
Where's My Shot?

Bench & Role Players

Pop really needs to hire a P.I. or something to look for Mase's shot. Without Manu, our bench is hardly capable of holding or building a lead on their own. The addition of Jamison and the possibility of Ilgauskas returning, not to mention Shaq who is still sidelined by injury, really solidifies the Cavs' reserve corps.

Advantage: Cavalliers


Anderson Varejao
Sideshow Bob

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Gregg Popovich
Misses Tony

Coach

It always feels good to come to work and have LeBron as an employee.

Advantage: Cavaliers


Mike Brown
I Luv LeBron
images via yahoo.com

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Other Factors

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Intangibles

Cleveland is on a roll with its 8-game win streak right now, while we wilted in our first game of a brutal schedule.

Advantage: Cavaliers

Mojo

Despite collective efforts by PtR old timers to revive it, the mojo is and will continue to remain dead.

Advantage: None

Winner:

Spurs win. Because I really need one right now. And because false hope, while leading to eventual disappointment, is still better than utter despair.

Keys To The Game

  • Make Open Shots - The good thing is, the team mostly gets the shots that it wants. The bad news? Someone broke into the Spurs' locker room and took most of the players' shooting talents.
  • Defending the Three - Like the Spurs, Cleveland can also generate their share of open looks (corner threes, anyone?), and most of the time, they make 'em. If a combination of missed Spurs shots and Cleveland catching fire ensues, I suggest we run for the fire exits.
  • How Do You Solve a Problem Like Bron-Bron? - Honestly, no one can. But at least we can try.

Strength of Schedule

Life is hard. We go on the road to Boston after this one. On the bright side, we got New Jersey after that one. Woohoo!

Cleveland will have a three-game homestand after this one, featuring the cupcake Kings and playoff-caliber games versus the surging Bucks and legit Hawks. Animals are really awesome, by the way.

Last Time They Met

Cleveland had no LeBron, no Shaq and no Jamison down the stretch and we still lost, a heartbreaking one at that - 95-97.

Some Other Reading

Cavaliers

Fear The Sword - The SBNation blog for the Cavs. It looks clean and nice.
Cavs: The Blog - Not the most creative of titles, but hey, they have good content. "Fresh Since 2008".

Spurs

48 Minutes of Hell: The best TrueHoop team blog is now even better. A must read.
Project Spurs: Check out their regular podcasts. I think they love Manu as much as we do, if that's possible.

Where to Tune In

TV

This game will NOT be aired on national TV. If you have cable or satellite, you'll have to look up your individual channel. And of course, there's always League Pass for the haves. For the have nots, read on.

Online

As always, NBA League Pass is recommended for those who are willing to pony up the cash. Most Spurs games will be broadcast there, which is especially helpful for those of us who aren't in the San Antonio area.

Please don't post links to illegal game feeds in the game thread. Links to illegal feeds are not permitted on SBNation, but you can probably find them out there on the internets if you're resourceful and desperate. In fact, nobody can stop you from googling "atdhe". You can also shoot an email to poundingtherockmail@yahoo.com for more assistance.

NBA League Pass audio is still free this year, so check it out.

Radio

If you're in the San Antonio area and aren't near a TV, tune in to WOAI (1200 AM).