I watched this game at a deserted bar with fellow NBA blogger Eric Maroun. To my recent surprise, Eric is a Clevelander, transplanted to the northside of Indianapolis, who writes for Hardwood Paroxysm. We met tonight and quaffed a few brews. So…this recap includes the insights of your favorite, intrepid, half-attentive, dive-bar viewing blogger.
The first half featured an irregular dose of CJ Miles, who tallied 23 points. Remember how Dion Waiters looked during the Clippers game earlier this season? That was CJ during the early portion tonight, and it was awesome. Cleveland forged to a 58 – 43 lead midway through the second quarter.
Unfortunately, over a 3 minute and 39 second stretch spanning the second the third quarters, Indiana punished the Cavs with eighteen unanswered points. Prorated to forty-eight minutes, that’s a 237 to nothing ballgame, folks. The Pacers have struggled this year without Danny Granger, but the core of George Hill, Paul George, Roy Hibbert and veteran David West can still resemble the unit that caused Miami playoff struggles last year.
The Pacers lead progressively extended from there, and they won by fifteen. It was a good night to watch the game at a bar.
A few notes:
I certainly noticed that Varejao and Gee were underperforming, but had no idea that they shot 0 for 16. That is embarrassing for them, and potentially for me.
I knew CJ Miles was streaky, but has he spent his entire career bouncing between ten game stretches of -6 PER and 30 PER?
Only nine points and four assists from Kyrie, but it is major fun seeing him on-court again. I am looking forward to Dion returning also, as there is a definite dynamism to each of their playing styles.
Jeremy Pargo only played three minutes tonight, with Sloan otherwise taking his minutes. His twenty minutes resulted in five points and two assists on 43% true shooting. Did I miss the back-story behind Pargo’s benching?
Ben Hansborough attempted to rake Tristan’s eyes out. Tristan defensively swung an elbow in his direction, to which Tyler Hansborough flipped out and did a tough guy, big brother thing. TT received the T, which from my seat seemed ridiculous.
Samardo Samuels and Luke Walton combined to play 39 minutes. I can not begin to fathom this. They both did things that they do; but why couldn’t Jon Leuer get minutes this season? Luke Walton is nearing 33 and obviously has nothing to do with the Cavs’ future. Heading into the season, I figured a legal-name-change to “Luke Walton’s retiring contract” was in order. Samardo has played 105 games…we know what he is now; barely an NBA player. Jon Leuer, after offering 555 fairly useful minutes to Milwaukee last year, received a three game chance? I know those were ugly outings, but why were neither Walton or Samuels playing, and then the exact day that Leuer gets sent to Canton, suddenly a plethora of minutes open up for Kevin Jones and the aforementioned duo? Curious roster decisions…Leuer posted 15 points, 13 rebounds, and 3 steals in his second game with Canton.
Yeah, so it was that type of game; the type where one-third of a recap is spent writing about a role player on the D-League team. Friday night will be better.