Hope you all had a happy turkey day. In case you missed it, the Cavs picked up one of their most implausible wins in the last couple years Wednesday night. Beating the 76ers, 92-83. The game was a confirmation of the reason we watch sports, just when all seems lost, and we’re facing the existentialist dilemma of “Googling Pictures of Tanks” and calling the season in November, something amazing and unexpected happens. Thinking his last name was Lin, Jeremy Pargo played one of the best games by any guard in a Cavs uniform this season. More importantly, the Cavs played their best defense of the year Wednesday night. The Cavs held the 76ers to 36% shooting, and played good shot defense on a team that gave up only 7 turnovers. The good guys collected 40 out of 51 possible defensive rebounds. While they were not forcing turnovers, they were playing very solid individual defense, and getting back on defense, holding Philly to only 6 fast break points.
Where did this come from? Could this be the vaunted Ewing Irving Theory at work? Could the Cavs play better without Kyrie Irving (and Daniel Gibson)? With a shortened rotation of 8 players, C.J. Miles and Omri Casspi played possibly their best games off the bench, and the rest of the starters had solid contributions. In watching the game, one thing was clear. Jeremy Pargo played better defense than Kyrie Irving has all year. And the Cavs defenders as a whole were not running all over the place compensating for Irving. But, let’s be honest, The 76ers missed a lot of 3s, and the Cavs hit a lot (4-17 and 13-23, respectively), and it could have just been a bad shooting night for the 6ers.
True, Philadelphia is not an offensive juggernaut, ranked only 28th in the league with an 89.8 points per game scoring average. Tonight’s matchup, The Orlando Magic, don’t fair any better at 29th, and 89.5 ppg. So a very similar game could be in store for the Cavs. But it will be interesting to see if Pargo can keep channeling his inner 2011 Lin. Suddenly, the Orlando game is one of the most interesting games on the Cavs schedule. Who thought the play, Waiting for Pargo, could be so compelling?