Overview: The Cleveland Cavaliers got their 17th win of the year against the Toronto Raptors, who are peacefully protesting defense. Baron Davis led the Cavs with 12 assists, and J.J. Hickson led the Cavs with 28 points.
And when the team should be tanking, it starts winning bullets:
Wow, the Raptors suck at defense. I had flashbacks to the beginning of the 26-game streak (which I really think of as a 38-game streak in which the Cavs did not win a regulation game), when the Cavs would simply roll over and die instantly on defense. At one point, the Cavs got a rebound and started to set up the offense, and Luke Harangody was wide open under the basket with nobody within 10 feet of him.
When Baron wanted to get into the paint, he was able to drive and dish. Hollins was left wide open for dunks. Hickson hurt himself by trying to get fancy at times, but most of the time he was able to either get to the rim or draw a foul. Sessions got layups when he wanted them. Everything that did not involve Harangody shooting jump shots or Alonzo Gee dribbling was a resounding success.
Outside of Reggie Williams making a basket every time he got it inside (?!) and some impressive bench mob performances, the Raptors didn’t have much going for them. Cavs control the game. Irving declares for the draft. Worse days to be a Cavs fan. Individual notes:
– I really don’t mind Hickson trying to get too fancy around the basket area. I don’t like him doing the step-backs from 18 — it’s one thing for him to make catch-and-shoot jumpers to keep the defense honest, but he should always be trying to get to the basket. Up-and-under moves, moves with the left hand — that’s the stuff I want to see him confident in next season.
Baron Davis: making passes, hitting threes. And the Ramon Sessions as instant offense experiment continues to be going well.
Joey Graham! I really like him, even when he’s trying to fight former state kickboxing champions. I would have been kind of interested to see what would have happened there, but I’m definitely glad nothing did happen.
Manny Harris looked a bit rusty.
Alexis Ajinca hitting a three was like the 5th-weirdest thing to happen in this game. Also, I kind of only want to watch Alexis Ajinca shooting threes now. And dang, Jerryd Bayless. He looks like Ramon Sessions after The Singularity.
Jose Calderon — living proof that PER is far from perfect.
Has anyone else noticed that the Raptors’ roster is essentially only made up of young former 1st-round picks that other teams have given up on?
Until later. Four games to go. IF THIS WAS A 700-GAME SEASON, TEAMS WOULD HAVE SOMETHING TO FEAR.