Overview: In a deeply strange game, the Cavs were able to come from behind and beat the Memphis Grizzlies thanks to a 30-16 third quarter. The Cavaliers were able to win despite giving up 32 first-quarter points and going the first nine minutes of the fourth quarter without a field goal. Mo Williams led the way for the Cavs with 25 points and 12 assists.
I definitely thought this game was going to get ugly. The Cavs looked atrocious on offense early, and weren’t playing much defense either. The Grizzlies were working harder for their looks than the Pacers, Spurs, or Magic had to, but still managed to score 32 first-quarter points while shooting 64% from the field.
Then the Cavs started to tighten things up on the defensive end, and were able to cut the lead to single digits going into halftime.
In the third quarter, something magical happened. The Cavs actually started to play the kind of defense they need to play in order to be a successful running team and win basketball games. The team got stops, forced turnovers, ran hard when they got rebounds, and completely turned the game around with some tough defense and aggressive offense.
In the fourth, the team went into “okay, Mo, figure this out” mode on offense, which led to zero field goals for the first nine minutes of the quarter, but they played enough defense to keep the game close. Down the stretch, J.J. and Mo came up with some crucial baskets, and that was all she wrote. Great win for the Cavs.
- Not many individual notes for the Cavs tonight, but I’d be remiss if I didn’t mention Mo’s great night. He was asked to do it all, and he responded by hitting every shot he got a decent look at and making some beautiful passes en route to a 25/12 line.
- I thought Hickson was all but done after he missed those first four shots, but he stepped up when Jamison struggled and made some great plays around the basket to get the Cavs a win. Hopefully he can carry that confidence over. I also liked that his big shots came from the paint — the pull-ups and fadeaways are nice, but J.J. was made 6’10 for a reason.
- Varejao’s offense has been MIA for a little while, but he’s still a dynamo defensively. Two steals, two blocks, and he held Marc Gasol to 2-8 from the field.
That’s all for me tonight. Great win. Enjoy the rest of the weekend.