This is getting pretty fun. The Cavs out-everythinged the Thunder- this game was never remotely close. Cleveland jumped out to a 13 point lead and never looked back. Six Cavaliers scored in double figures (led by Zydrunas’s 17) and their lead ballooned up to 42. None of the starters reached 30 minutes and three of ’em (Z, Wallace and James) didn’t get to 20.
Defense, defense, defense. Ben Wallace sets the tone and everyone else responds. Big Ben got another two blocks and both LeBron and J.J. Hickson finished with 3 (and LeBron’s last one was absolutely stupid- he punched that thing into the stands). No matter the score, the Cavs were working hard guarding the Thunder and crashing the boards.
Everyone played great (well, except maybe Sasha). The Cavs shot 60% as a team, blocked 10 shots, out-rebounded the Thunder 46-28 and held Oklahoma to just 35% shooting. The only things that didn’t go right were Gibson’s 3 point shooting (1-6) and Pavlovic mediocre-ness (1-3 FG, 2-7 FT (including an air ball), 1 assist and 0 boards).
Hickson is starting to look comfortable. If there’s a story of the game it’s J.J.; the rookie poured in 14 points on a variety of dunks (6-12 FG), grabbed 6 boards and swatted 3 shots. Hickson is playing with at on of confidence and having these big leads will really help his development. In one particular sequence, he blocked a shot (leading to fast break) then ran the floor and received an alley-oop for his effort. If he can playing with this kind of confidence, he’ll add just another layer to this Cavaliers team.
and finally (yup, wrapping up already)…
They haven’t played the greatest teams, but the Cavs have done all you could ask. They’re beating teams they should beat and now they’re blowing out bad teams. You can’t ask for a better start to a 4-in-5 stretch (so much rest for the starters). The scary thing is, the longer that this team plays together, the better they’re going to get. Folks, forget about 2010, don’t focus on what might happen in two years– this is a really good basketball team. These guys are off to the best start in franchise history. Enjoy it.