After putting on quite a show on Sunday afternoon in Chicago, the Cavaliers returned to the Q and looked good. Not great. But good. And they escaped with a 96-94 victory against the stubborn Bulls.
LeBron James barely missed a second consecutive triple-double as he went for 19 points, ten rebounds and nine assists. It was a solid performance by the King but certainly nothing like the otherworldly performance that he put together on Sunday. The only bad news for Cavs’ fans is that LeBron was forced to shoot a free throw left-handed due to a re aggravation of a right elbow injury that has been lingering for several weeks now. Nothing serious (according to LeBron) but definitely something to keep an eye on for Saturday night’s matchup with the Boston Celtics.
Antawn Jamison was great in the first half en route to a 25 point performance but scored only five of those points in the second half. I’m not real sure why but Cleveland seemed to shy away from the Jamison-James pick-and-roll offense that worked in the first 24 minutes. And Shaquille O’Neal returned to his dominate form during stretches of Tuesday night’s finale. He completely bullied Chicago’s frontline and did exactly what he was brought in to do – get his team in the bonus and the opposition in foul trouble. For those of you that watched the game: How about that strong finish through Brad Miller followed by some sort of odd Diesel Boogie TM (that nearly knocked Andy’s head right off his shoulders) and repeated exclamations of the words Get off of me!?
And what would a Gospel recap be without the inclusion of the Tenacious Two: Delonte West and Anderson Varejao. The duo combined for 21 points and nine rebounds off the pine for Mike Brown’s squad while turning in a rather impressive performance on the defensive end as well. Jamario Moon continued his steady production in a seven point effort on 3-of-4 from the field.
All around, it certainly wasn’t the masterpiece-type performance the Cavs showed off on Sunday afternoon. But, at the end of the day, it got the job done and the Cavaliers will be moving on to face the Celtics – Game 1 on Saturday night. For those of you following at home, that’s a three day rest for the King and his nagging elbow.