The Cavs cruise to an easy victory against the Nash-less Suns behind a career-high 44 points from Mo Williams.
When Mo’s got it going like he does tonight, just pack it up and go home. He can’t be stopped when he’s this hot. How do you stop a guy who does most of his damage off long jumpers on the dribble? Hint: you do not. While Mo’s perimeter-orientedness doesn’t make him the most consistent of scorers (he’s been awful in our two losses), his impeccable perimeter game and ability to go to it and have confidence with it mean that when Mo is this hot, it’s just over. 44 points in 40 minutes on 26 shots, for a TS% of 82%. DO YOU SEE HOW PATHETIC IT IS THAT WE ACTUALLY LOST WHEN LEBRON PUT UP MORE POINTS ON A BETTER PERCENTAGE?
But anyways, the breakdown. 17 of his 18 baskets were on jump shots, and if you look at the shot chart you can see the tight clustering that accompanies a go-to move: the Suns denied the middle and gave him the wings off the screen-roll, where Mo was content to pull up and drain the shots all night long, and a 7-9 performance from deep is never bad. What’s amazing is that Mo missed as many free throws (1-3) as threes in this one. Please email me the next time somebody scores 44 on 80%+ TS with 3 of their points coming on layups or free throws. This may be the best perimeter game in the NBA right here. Oh, and 7 assists for Mo.
LeBron had almost a perfectly average night, with 26, 6, and 6 on 59% TS. 4-11 on jumpers, a departure from last night’s 8-13 performance with 4 threes, but he continued to show the better-looking stroke, although he bricked some wide-open shots very, very badly, which suggests he’s not quite confident with it yet-I pray he keeps up with his jumper over the All-Star break, because it actually does look like he’s close to really figuring something out. Oh, who am I kidding.
Andy continues to show signs of life, with a 6-8 performance and 5 boards in 21 minutes. He’s really an energy guy.
Bagel for Z. Yikes. The All-Star break is coming at the right time for the big fella.
Also enjoying a tasty bagel was JJ Hickson, who couldn’t get anything in 14 minutes. With him and Wally combining to go 4-16 in the game, I’m thinking it’ll be tricky to turn them into A’Mar’E StouDem-ir’e.
Wally: -14. Boobie: +25. That we were that much better with a guy who went 3-7 and does nothing well other than shoot on the floor is a little disturbing.
Bullets Of Randomness:
After watching our bigs brick mid-range Js and fumble passes around the basket and fail to make cuts these last couple games, my gift to myself is that I’m going to entertain an Amare pipe dream until the deadline passes, REASONABILITY BE DAMNED. As for e.e. stoudemire, you can see how he struggles without Nash and shooters around him-he doesn’t make very strong moves standing still in traffic and isn’t very confident with his left, so he tosses up a lot more Andy-like slop off-balance than somebody as talented as him should. The numbers bear this out-he went from 62% on “close” shots last season to 52% on the same shots this season.
Still, his athleticism, hands, mid-range J, and ability to run the floor have me absolutely drooling. God, we’d be an offensive juggernaut with him next to LeBron. And do you really want me to believe that he’d be worse defensively than Ben Wallace is offensively? Plus, MB and his system are known for turning players like this around: Z, Mo, and even LeBron, Boobie, and Wally have all had reputations as defensive liabilities throughout their career, but MB’s managed to make all of them into elite defenders. And it’s not like @mare doesn’t have the talent to be one. I’ll stop kidding myself now.
The 9-year old in me died a little inside when Shaq had a quiet 11 in 38 minutes. I barely noticed him out there.
How sweet was LeBron drawing a charge?
I’m keeping this recap relatively simple because I like that this was an easy win, and I’ll see everybody after the all-star break. If you have ideas for what All-Star related content you’d like to see here over the break, don’t be afraid to give a holler or a comment.
Thing of the Game:
“German Studies” by the Breeders. Sidekick steps up and does it himself. I’m not posting “Cannonball,” because that song is sacred to me and will not be posted after a regular-season win.