Cavs still in hunt for No. 2 seed
(Sports Network) – There are two games left on Cleveland’s regular-season
schedule and hope is still alive for the No. 2 spot in the East standings.
The Cavaliers are currently fifth in the conference, just a half game behind
the second-seeded Chicago Bulls. If the playoffs started today, LeBron James
and Co. would open a first-round series with the defending NBA champion Miami
Heat, who are fourth in the Eastern Conference.
But the postseason does not start tonight which means Cleveland’s upcoming
games against Philadelphia and Milwaukee are very important if it wants to
match up with the No. 7 team rather than the fourth.
James will lead the Cavs into Philadelphia on Tuesday for a showdown with the
76ers at the Wachovia Center. James is averaging 32.0 points, 7.0 rebounds and
8.0 assists in two games against Philadelphia this season. Tuesday’s game
between Cleveland and Philly is the fourth and final meeting of 2006-07.
The Cavs are 2-1 in the series, but the Sixers have won seven of the last 11
matchups. Cleveland has lost four of six and 13 of its last 16 at Philly.
Tonight’s game could be a trap since the Sixers have nothing to play for and
have won four of their last five games overall. The Cavs are 19-21 as the
visitor this season.
Cleveland will then return home on Wednesday for a battle with the Bucks at
Quicken Loans Arena. Milwaukee also missed the playoffs and could play
spoiler on foreign ground.
The playoff-bound Cavs are 3-0 so far in the 2006-07 series with the Bucks and
have won six straight, seven of eight and eight of the last 10 matchups.
Milwaukee has lost seven straight at Cleveland.
James is much like Moses to his squad, and has led them to at least 48 wins
for the second consecutive season. The only other time Cleveland won at least
48 games in back-to-back seasons was during the 1991-92 and 1992-93 campaigns.
The superstar James also needs 13 points and 10 assists over his final two
games to reach season averages of at least 27.0 points, 6.0 rebounds and 6.0
assists. If James hits the mark it will be his third straight season of
posting at least those averages for a season, joining the great Oscar
Robertson as the only other player in NBA history to register those
numbers for at least three consecutive years.
James has averaged 30.2 points since February 15 (26 games), and is mainly the
reason why the Cavaliers are making consecutive trips to the postseason for
the first time since a five-year playoff stretch from 1992 to 1996.
In other team notes, Larry Hughes is averaging 16.1 points and 4.5 assists
over the past eight games. Hughes also has 32 assists and just six turnovers
through his last six outings.
Chicago holds the tiebreaker over Cleveland and will close out its regular-
season schedule on Wednesday against the New Jersey Nets on the road.