Overview: The Cavs won in regulation for the first time since November 27th…against the Los Angeles Lakers. Ramon Sessions led all scorers with 32 points.
Seriously though, The Cavs just beat the Lakers bullets:
- Before getting too far ahead of ourselves, this is a Laker team that needs the All-Star break very badly. They have exactly one quality young player, and he has the knees of a 45-year old. This team was not built for seven-game road trips, and they were not in the mood to play basketball tonight.
- That said, what a performance by the Cavs. The big difference between this game and the 55-point massacre was the interior defense. Odom, Bynum, and Gasol ran a layup line against the Cavs in Los Angeles, and while the Cavs certainly had some issues inside — Pau had 30 and 20, and the Lakers had 19 offensive rebounds to the Cavs’ 26 defensive rebounds — Odom and Bynum weren’t able to do much against the Cavs at all. The Lakers were forced to rely on a bailout performance from Kobe, but he’s no longer a sure bet to deliver those performances at will — at least not in February.
- RAZOR RAMON. RAZOR RAMON. RAZOR FREAKING RAMON.
What a performance. We’ve seen it all year: if the other team isn’t going to make an effort on defense, Razor Ramon will shred them. His game is all about taking it to the basket each and every time, and he never stops coming. (This is why I started calling him “the lord of blowouts” a few months back.) The Lakers came into the Q with zero energy, and Sessions made them pay by living in the paint. Sessions scored 32 points, and only five of those points came on long jumpers. I’ve said it all year — the only time this team has looked like a functional offensive unit is when Sessions is doing his thing, and he was the guy who won the game for the Cavs tonight.
(Yes, the fact that Derek Fisher scored a season-high 19 points on 12 shots is the caveat here, but let’s not dwell on that too much right now.)
You’ve gotta love Anthony Parker. A big three late in the fourth, nine assists, quality defense, and his typical brand of smart play. The guy deserves to be traded.
Hickson shot 6-18, but he’s come a long way. First of all, his misses came in the paint instead of on the perimeter, and good things will happen if he continues to go inside. More importantly, he never let his poor shooting take him out of the game — he crashed the boards all night, and was making big plays late.
EYENGA! Great defense on Kobe, efficient scoring, and that dunk on Gasol. If he locks himself in the gym with Chris Jent this summer, he’s a keeper.
Jamison — 19 points on 18 shots, 10 rebounds, and he got torched on defense. Malkovich Malkovich.
I don’t really have much more for tonight. What a win. Have a good All-Star break, everyone.