Photo: Bill Kostroun/AP
The Cavaliers didn't say it, but their play demonstrated it. If they played their game, winning would not be an issue in the least bit. Doing more than enough for the victory, the Cavaliers did a pretty good job defending and created more than enough scoring and transition opportunities with several solid frontcourt performances, crushing the Nets in their last trip to the Izod Center ever. The Cavaliers played this game like they expected to win and were looking for their next challenge, extending their winning streak to five games with twenty games left to play.
No centers, one point guard: First, the Cavaliers are left without a true center in the absence of Shaquille O'Neal and Zydrunas Ilgauskas. Then, tonight, both Daniel Gibson and Delonte West were inactive for the game for personal reasons. Gibson's girlfriend, Keyshia Cole, gave birth to the couple's son, Daniel Hiram Gibson Jr., late last night, and he was with his family for tonight's game. Meanwhile, Delonte was held out for the same thing that has kept him sidelined periodically throughout the season, emotional issues. However, it appears that the Cavs hope to have him for Detroit on Friday, and they are very understanding about Delonte's path to recovery. The fact that this is the first game that Delonte has missed for this reasons in a long while is a testament to his improvement. What it did though was leave Mo Williams as the team's only real active point guard. For the Nets, they were without shooting guard Courtney Lee.
Make that no point guards: Of course, Mo Williams picked up two quick fouls in the first three minutes of the game, forcing Mike Brown to look down his bench and see no point guards. Luckily for him, LeBron James had heard that tale a time or two already this season. Brown went to Jamario Moon, and James slid over to the point, and the Cavaliers athletic lineup was off and running. Moon had two transition dunks in the blink of an eye, and the Cavaliers had built a substantial lead. With an athletic lineup of LeBron, Moon, Hickson, and Jamison, the Cavaliers can really push the ball and cause all kinds of matchup difficulties. I personally think that Moon will benefit from this quicker pace, and that Mike Brown should reward him with playing time over Jawad Williams in this setup.