Cleveland 99, Detroit 78

HAHAHAHAHAHA. God I hate the Pistons. Seriously, these guys always acted like they were 3-time defending champs; they were always outraged when they were whistled for calls, they always took teams lightly and always thought they could just turn it on. Nevermind the fact that they benefited from a weak conference and an imploding Laker team. Now they have A.I. (who’s game I loathe), terrible body language and no title hopes. Couldn’t have happened to a nicer bunch of whiners.

This game was a beatdown. The game was close very early on, the Cavs held a 9-8 after 5 minutes of playing. Three minutes later, they led 24-8, and that was that. The Cavs ran the Pistons off the court; they played the passing lanes (9 team steals), they shared the ball (24 assists) and they held the Pistons to just 37% shooting. The Cavs had just a single turnover at halftime, shot 56% and led by a score of 67-34. The mercy rule should’ve invoked at both halftime and the end of third. This game wasn’t close to being competitive in the second half.

We need to make a trade, huh? Oh yeah… this is how good they look with Delonte… West had 14 points in the first quarter, 20 by halftime and ended up with 25. He shot the ball extremely well, going 5-5 from behind the arc, 8-11 overall and he made all four freebies he attempted. But he wasn’t just a scorer, West also had 5 boards, 4 assists and a steal. 25-5-4 ain’t a bad return.

LeBron as both passive and aggressive (if that makes sense). There were times where LeBron would just turn on the jets and smoke Detroit. He had a couple breakaways, some crazy finishes and a freaking retarded block on A.I. But for the most part, James seemed content to set up his teammates and he didn’t have to look for his shot. James finished with 20 points on 6-13 shooting, dished out 9 assists and grabbed 5 boards. It was also nice to see him attempt just three treys the game after making eight from downtown.

I don’t get this Piston team. Hatred aside, I just don’t like this squad. Shouldn’t Iverson be coming off the bench at this point? He dominates the ball so much, that when guys like Prince, Hamilton or Sheed do finally get the ball, they just jack it up because they have no idea when it’s gonna get back to them. Meanwhile, A.I. is just doing his thing like it’s 2001. Wouldn’t it be a little better to have him come off the bench in an “instant offense” type role? Let him dominate the ball with the second unit and keep the starters doing their thing? I dunno. Like I said, I’ve never been a huge fan of Iverson’s game.

Both Z and Mo were solid. The Cavs starters were really on their game. Z was nailing his outside safety-valve jumpers and Mo did just enough to keep the defense honest (knocked down a couple treys and a transition jumper or two). Big Z finished 7-14 from the field for 16 points and 8 boards in just 23 minutes. Meanwhile, Mo had 11 points (4-9 shooting), 4 assists, 3 boards and 2 steals in just 25 minutes. I can’t stress enough how good the offense looked.

If you want any 4th quarter info, I’m not you’re guy. I’ll be honest, I didn’t watch the final period (I tivo’d the game). I already knew the final score and I saw that they went into the final 12 minutes with 88 points… So only 11 points the last period? No, thanks. J.J. Hickson played the entire last period, finishing with 2 boards and turnover (no shot attempts, nothin). With West coming back, Hickson’s minutes will probably get cut as we’ll see Wally move to the 4 in those small-ball lineups (which hopefully means we’ll get to stop seeing Wally try to guard wing players).

and finally…

Memphis at home and then weird road trip. Cleveland’s next game is Tuesday against the Grizzlies of Memphis. That shouldn’t be an issue. They then embark on a 4 game road trip, that starts out West (back-to-back against Houston and San Antonio starting Thursday) and ends on the East Coast (back-to-back against Atlanta and Miami starting Sunday). So ya, a 4-in-5 road trip. Great. The good news is that all but the Miami game will be televised nationally, so we’ll be able to get away from hammers being thrown down deep in the [insert building name here] and McLeod’s general hackery/homerism.

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