Recap: Relax. We’re Making The Playoffs.

March 4th, 2009 by John Krolik


 

Overview: 

In a taking-care-of business game outstanding for its normalness, the Cavs enjoyed a relaxing home win after a drama-filled road swing, completely stifling the Bucks defensively and crusing to a 18-point win.

Cavs-Related Bullets:

As a fan, a boring win is pretty much my favorite thing ever. As a writer, it’s less fun, but I’m still not complaining. 

The story for tonight is just how suffocating the Cavs’ defense was and how in-control and disciplined we played offensively, and the spark plug for both of those things was Delonte West, who I’m just out of superlatives for at this point. He is spectacular. He makes it all go. He is like an uncle to me. 

Delonte West absolutely gave the Milwakee Bucks the howling fantods from the opening tip to the final whistle. He was absolutely everywhere on the court tonight, especially on the defensive end, where his eight steals were actually more impressive than they look on the stat sheet because of how little he was gambling. He was picking passes coming towards his man, stripping guys clean off the dribble, snatching a pass directly out of the air, everywhere. He was all around the ball with his energy, and his toughness had him coming up with it almost every time and pushing the break. 

On offense, he was making the plays and working with the ball and making sure everything went smoothly and nobody was settling for constested jumpers, and was even working a very nice two-man game with Andy. The great thing was that he wasn’t really even shooting the ball all that well and he still had this much as a positive impact on the game. If you don’t love Delonte West, you are a bad man. 

LeBron James is pretty good too, and tonight he never had to come out of a comfortable gear, mixing in tough drives to the basket with solid playmaking, and, most notably, another fantastic display from beyond the three-point arc. He was a paragon of efficiency tonight, only taking shots form inside the paint or beyond the arc, which is exactly what you should do if the team is working well offensively and doesn’t need extra shots created. I don’t want to jinx this, but the stroke continues to look absolutely fantastic and once again he didn’t force anything tonight. His three breakdown:

1 on a catch-and-shoot after Delonte made the extra pass to an open LeBron in the corner.

1 to bail out Sasha Pavlovic as the clock expired, taking a hard dribble to the left to get space and rising, squaring, and stroking it very smoothly. 

1 on his new (awesome) move of using a hard dribble forward both to create space and get his momentum towards the basket instead of fading or stepping back. Turns out legs help jump shots!

1 step-back with the clock winding down from behind the basket, fading out of bounds, absolutely wearing Luc Richard Mbah a Moute. That was ridiculous. Perfect efficient LeBron performance tonight.

Mo punched his timecard, hit threes, 15 points, win, thank you. It is really, really nice to have a player like that. I didn’t think it would happen in my lifetime.

Wally looking like a decent scorer off the bench-he really needed a day off. 

The Kinsey Report is reading that I do not want Boobie at the moment. (In case that was weird, play freaking Tarence.)

With a rushed post-up attempt, endless activity, missed rotations, and one thunderous dunk from a stand-still position over two defenders that makes all of us drool, the “JJ Hickson, rotation player” era may be on hold for a while. We give it a teary salute. 

Bullets Of Randomness:

RJ can score.

Luc Richard Mbah a Moute and Russell Westbrook might be the best defensive backcourt in the NBA, right? How did anyone score on those guys in college?

Ramon Sessions is one of those guys that can get 8 assists without me remembering any of them. I think that’s good. 

Damon Jones!

Thing Of The Game:

Damon Jones!