I guess you can't expect to win when you dig yourself a 15 point hole in the first half, but for a minute there it really felt like the Trail Blazers, lead by Brandon Roy and the suddenly dependable Martell Webster, were going to find a way to pull this one out. Portland made one more shot than Cleveland, shot a better percentage from the field and only turned the ball over eight times. That's usually enough to get a W.
But shooting 65 percent from the line was a killer. So was being outrebounded 42-32. And going 5-for-20 (though a few of those were of the late game desperation variety) from three hurts, especially when you have to depend on outside shooting due to a severe lack of size in the post.
Anyone outside of Cleveland know who Jawad Williams was before tonight? He was the unknown Trail Blazers momentum killer tonight. You know LeBron is going to get his, Mo Williams is going to knock down open shots due to LeBron and Andy Varejao is going to do his best Raggedy Andy impression, but you don't figure Jawad Williams is going to hit two huge three-pointers on the way to 10 points. Heck, I didn't even know who he was until the second three-pointer. I thought he was Joe Smith until I saw him jump more than three inches off the floor.
So a tough loss, but not all that unexpected. The Cavs have the size and depth to give an injury-depleted (lost count of how many times I've used that phrase this season) Trail Blazers squad fits. Asking Juwan Howard, LaMarcus Aldridge (who had the quietest 18 and 13 ever recorded) and Jeff Pendergraph to guard Shaq, Big Z and Andy V is unfair. And that's not even to speak of LeBron. Or Jawad Williams.