Are you serious?! Are. You. Serious?!
For the first time in 27 tries, the Cleveland Cavaliers finally pulled it off. Just one day after being lit up by Coach Byron Scott, the Cavaliers came out to play. The game was a back-and-forth, close contest that saw 22 lead changes and 16 ties, including one that sent the game into overtime.
Mo Williams returned and made a good bit of noise. His 17 points and 14 assists were huge in the match-up but none of his points were bigger than the three he knocked down in the fourth quarter to tie the game. On that same play, JJ Hickson (who I have been very critical of all year) stepped up and swatted a dunk/shot attempt by Blake Griffin, completely changing the game and shifting momentum in favor of Cleveland. Hickson was an absolute beast all night. He matched Griffin nearly point for point, going for 27 points and 14 rebounds on the evening. His +2 efficiency rating isn’t nearly as high as I’d like to see it but I’ll take it for tonight. A win is a win at this point. I’ll take anything we can get.
Antawn Jamison, as well, was a stud on the offensive end. His 35 points were a game high and he was a pretty efficient 9-of-13 from the field. Like Hickson, his efficiency rating was a little weak at +6 for the night but I do like the effort that I saw out of him tonight. If he can take that same effort into Sunday’s game with the Wizards, Cleveland may be looking at their first win streak in a really long time.
Perhaps the most overlooked performer in this contest was Daniel Gibson. Gibson had a very quiet 17 point effort and played an excellent brand of defense. His +10 efficiency rating tied Williams for the team-best and the two reserve guards worked very, very well together.
I can’t even put into words how excited I am tonight. This time last year, a win against the Clipper wouldn’t have been a big deal. But it’s nice to get one out of the way so we can stop seeing these guys on ESPN for all the wrong reasons.
Good night, Cleveland. Check that: Great night, Cleveland!
I love these guys!