Overview: With the Grizzlies’ offense absolutely stifled by the Cavaliers for 48 minutes, the Cavs were able to cruise to an easy win despite no starter having a particularly notable offensive performance. Daniel Gibson went for a team-high 19 as LeBron James sat the entire fourth quarter for the second game in a row. Delonte West did not play.
Well, when your defense is this good, sometimes your offense can get away with taking the night off. I’ve been running around all day, so I wasn’t able to really study this one hard enough to find storylines jumping out at me, so just bear with my observations on this one.
LeBron was again able to lock it into cruise control for most of the night and find seams and play under control rather than having to lock it into overdrive and relentlessly attack or force jumpers-he only made one jump shot tonight. Again, he looked to set up his teammates more than not, finishing with 8 assists against only 10 shots from the field.
Mo Williams was feeling it too, looking to either make plays or knock down shots when he was able to get his feet set, and the result was a very nice little line even with his mid-range game not working.
Delonte missing a game with wrist soreness and the declaration that this might go on for a while was definitely more disturbing than not, but we did get to see some of Tarence Kinsey’s energy, off-ball cuts, and defense in action. Today’s “Tarence Kinsey doing Tarence Kinsey things” moment was definitely his dive cut to set up a LeBron jump-stop dunk. I miss Lonts, though.
Hey, we got some Boobie! He was in balance, in rythym, and didn’t hesitate to launch, and even hit some heat-check type 20-footers he shouldn’t be taking. The spin was nice, but because Boobie’s a guy who dribbles with his head down, I get worried when he gets successful returns on his drives. Let’s carry this over, Boobie. We’re going to need you in the playoffs.
I WANT JJ HICKSON PLAYING MORE, NOT ROBERT HORRY’S CORPSE. He was active on absolutely every loose ball and grabbed 9 boards, 3 offensive, sprung up to absolutely destroy two shots(one was called back on a goaltend), and is absolutely exploding towards that cup.
Andy didn’t have the best game, but he did have my favorite play of the night when he cut from the weak-side to get a layup behind a LeBron post-up. Good things happen with LeBron in the post.
Wally: 1-5, 2 points. It’s going to be a roller coaster ride, folks. The 6 assists were nice.
Bullets of Randomness:
Yeah, nobody on Memphis looked really that good at all tonight, although Mike Conley is seriously fast and even hit 3-5 from deep tonight. What it comes down to with these little guards is if they can finish at the rim at the NBA level, and Conley hasn’t shown that he can yet, as he’s under 50% on his shots at the rim this year.
THERE WILL BE NOTHING BAD SAID ON THIS SITE ABOUT OJ MAYO, WHO IS A GOD AMONG MEN.
Actually, Warrick looked nice, although somebody please tell these guys that shooting college threes in the NBA doesn’t get you anywhere-either learn to take it behind the line or move your game into true mid-range.
Yes, I did write a complimentary essay about Rajon Rondo on FreeDarko today, although I believe Mo Williams is even more effective while being less unique. Remember, I did it because I hate Cleveland, and Henry linked to it because we’re complicit a conspiracy to get the Cavs moved to Bristol and for LeBron to go to the Knicks and host a variety show with Scott Van Pelt.
Thing of the Game:
“Ecstacy of Gold Remix” by Nas over a Derrick Rose highlight clip. If you weren’t scintillated by this game, here’s a hearty dose of amazing on every level. Enjoy.