Short-handed again with Sasha Pavlovic out with the flu, the Cavs were nevertheless able to get out to a commanding early lead against the Raptors, only to let them back in the game in the second half and eventually put the team away. LeBron went for 33 and got 9 threes from the combination of Wally, Mo, and Boobie.
Okay, who else got caught thinking 62 when LeBron started out with 16 points on 6 shots (two threes and two and-1s-that would be a TS% of 150%.) against a seemingly ridiculously porous Toronto defense? Spot-up threes, a mid-post turnaround, moving without the ball for layups, it all looked pretty nice in that early going. Then he went the second half without getting a field goal, although he was able to get himself to the line (and make all of them!) in the fourth quarter.
I’m torn by what this means. LBJ spent much of the third allowing the ball to be forced out of his hands and setting up his teammates for what were ultimately misses, while Kobe kept his hot hand going by continuing to break out his go-to moves for basket after basket. LeBron can’t hit you for 60 by just popping up from 20 over and over again, which is both a good and a bad thing-he can be taken out of the game to a degree, but he always plays more fundamental basketball by searching for lanes instead of spots for himself. It’s just a different scoring philosiphy. I shall ponder this and hope for 62 tomorrow night.
Wally to the rescue! 15/4/3 on only 10 shots and being active to get himself open looks? That looks like a real NBA shooting guard out there! He freed himself for more open looks in the opening minutes than I’ve seen him do at any stretch in a Cavs uni.
Boobie!!! Hit those threes! Although if we’re 4-5 from deep, and 2-6 from 2, should we maybe not put the ball on the floor as much?
Mo’s playmaking, especially in the early going, made up for his only so-so outside shooting tonight.
Really an off-night for the whole frontcourt, with JJ Hickson’s 8 on 4-5 shooting making him the leading scorer. I hope Z’s 100% after going on that ankle.
44 minutes for Wally. I am serious. 14 for Andy because of foul trouble.
Bullets of Randomness:
Great job by the Cavs on Jose Calderon tonight. Holding the league’s most efficient scorer at point guard (TS 62% on the year) to 1-9 from the field. By the way, if LBJ shot free throws like Calderon, he’d average 2 more points a game. Okay, you can do that for a lot of players.
CB4’s midrange J is pretty money, isn’t it? I’m not sure if I’m sold on him as a superstar yet-3 rebounds was not good, and he doesn’t like to operate down low all that much. If you think there’s a chance we get him before this deadline, you have lost your mind.
The strategy was to let JON and Bosh have their points and close out on the shooters, and it worked.
Play of the Game:
LeBron’s block of Bosh’s dunk. That was ridiculous.
Thing of the Game: