Cavs prevail another close one

LeBron made the big shot to send it to overtime and made a great pass to Ilgauskas in the final seconds of the extra period to help seal the deal for the Cavaliers as they beat the Houston Rockets 104-102 Sunday afternoon. Damon Jones continued his hot streak, hitting 5 of 6 from beyond the arc and scoring a season-high 22 points as the Cavs won their fifth straight. Yao Ming, who finished with 27 for the Rockets, gave the Cavaliers all they could handle but it was the Wine and Gold who came out victorious.

It finally seems like the Cavaliers are figuring out how to win at the end of games. Home or away, it appears they have no fear when it comes down to crunch time. LeBron is starting to take charge and is really becoming a team leader for us which is huge at this point in the season.

“Going through games like this should really help us to be able to close it the right way,” Cavs coach Mike Brown said. “To execute it offensively and defensively at the end is huge.”

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Pivotal season awaits Broussard

Cleveland Indians first basemen Ben Broussard is facing a do or die situation this season with the Tribe. Broussard, who batted .255 with 19 home runs and 68 RBI last season, has been given the starting first base job the last couple years simply because the Indians didn’t have a better option. But with highly regarded prospect Ryan Garko close to major league ready, Broussard is going to be under close watch this season.

Whether he is feeling the pressure or not, Ben knows he needs to improve and has worked hard in the offseason with hitting coach Derek Shelton on his mental approach to the game. The 29-year-old lefty has struggled putting up consistent power numbers over his career. First base is considered a power position and Broussard’s numbers are well below that of your typical American League first basemen. He has shown in his short Major League career that he can be productive in streaks but has been unable to sustain it for an entire season. His on-base percentage and batting average were close to last among American League first basemen last season and he has shown he is susceptible to the strikeout.

Perhaps an offseason of greater preparation and film study can get Broussard back to his 2004 form when he hit .275 and drove in 82 runs. If Benny continues to struggle, we may see Garko in an Indians uniform sooner rather than later.

Strong fourth quarter propels Cavs to another win

The Cavaliers won their fourth straight game Friday night and are inching closer to securing a playoff spot. LeBron James led the Cavs with 36 points as they beat the Boston Celtics 94-82 at the Q. The Cavs got some much needed support from their bench, outscoring the Celtics 22-11. Donyell Marshall provided the spark, scoring 12 points on four three-pointers.

“We’re learning to close out games,” said Marshall. “Winning games like this shows we’re a playoff team”.

We need to continue to take care of business, especially at home, in order to hold on to that critical fourth seed. And let’s hope Marshall and Damon Jones stay hot because their production off the bench is going to be crucial come playoff time.

Ninth career triple-double, first game-winner for LeBron

After continually being criticized for never being able to hit a game winning shot, LeBron James finally got that monkey off his back during the Cavaliers’ thrilling 120-118 overtime victory over the Charlotte Bobcats Wednesday night. With time winding down and the game tied, LeBron, who finished with 37 points, pulled up for a mid-range jumper to give the Cavaliers their third straight win. Not to be overlooked, Flip Murray was the man again late in fourth quarter, hitting a three-pointer from the corner as time expired to send the game to overtime. This guy continues to hit big shots at key times for the Cavs.

Hopefully Wednesday’s game winning heroics by LeBron will shut up the critics once and for all. And how about that outstanding pass by James to Flip at the end of regulation.

Indians are strong, but need to start fast

The Cleveland Indians find themselves in the same situation as their neighboring Cavaliers. They are both in a division that has the World Champions. The Indians are currently ranked behind the Chicago White Sox’s in the early polls, although the wild card is a very attainable goal. The most critical factor for this young team and Coach Eric Wedge is to not “start slow’.

The last couple years, Cleveland and Coach Wedge have started slow and spent the entire season making up ground. The talent and parity in the American League will not allow them to do that and still be competitive this year. It is critical for Cleveland to get out of the blocks fast and put the pressure on the Chicago early. The success of team will be based on the success of C. C. Sabathia as our number one starter, a position he has struggled with his entire career. The first month of the season will shape the entire year.

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