Well, Cavs fans, we are at the intersection of Patience Drive, Reason Street, and Excuses Boulevard…but let’s wait until tomorrow’s outcome to talk about that.
Tonight, I will keep this brief. Anderson Varejao took a breather tonight, and T-Zell started in his place.
Cleveland hung tight early, tied after one quarter by a score of 23 to 23. Zeller struggled early with 2012 All-Star Roy Hibbert. The Big Hoya scored eight in the first stanza.
Early in the next frame, success resulted as per usual; C.J. Miles made three jumpers for seven points in 75 seconds. Also, Dion threaded a bad-ass dime to Tristan for dunk. Tyler Zeller threw down a nasty dunk, and the Cavs carried a 45 – 44 lead at the half.
The third quarter is where things started to unravel. David West, Paul George, and Roy Hibbert combined for twenty-three and Cleveland offered few amusing plays. The Pacers mounted a double-digit lead.
The fourth quarter was, ummmm, worse. The Cavs fell behind by eighteen before staging a 9-to-1 rally in the final minute.
A few notes:
This was Waiters’ best game since returning. He looked to attack, and threaded seven dimes, including the no-look gem. His shooting must improve, but the offense doesn’t generate many easy looks for him.
Zeller netted 12 points, 7 rebounds, and 2 blocks, but Hibbert + Mahinmi’s 26 points on 18 shots were largely due to his defense.
Leuer was on the active-roster, but instead we got 27 minutes, 6 points, and 3 rebounds from Samardo and Kevin Jones. I am still not completely sure why Leuer played in only three non-garbage games before bench-time.
Alas, Kyrie can not do everything; 17 points on 45% true shooting with 5 assists and 6 turnovers.
Tristan undoubtedly reigned as tonight’s MVP. 12 points, 13 rebounds and 2 blocks; he capably defended West and Hibbert, and finished a commendable amount of righty-shots. Well played, Mr. T.