Quicken Loans Arena, Cleveland OH. Team Cleveland is starting to get the respect that a top tier team in the NBA deserves. Lets just hope that they can continue to withstand the heat that comes along with being considered one of the early favorites to claim an NBA title at years end.
For the second consecutive game Team Cleveland turned in a sub-par performance on their home floor against a team they should have easily overpowered. Not to take anything away from what the Heat have done so far this year, but their lack of size depth and experience is far from the stuff championship caliber teams are made of.
So the events that took place at the Q last night can only be attributed to one thing, and that is that determination, that inexplicable fire that burns in the belly of those who are told that they don't compare and can't compete with the elite in any sport.
The Miami Heat had heard all the accolades, they had heard all of the praise that has been heaped upon Team Cleveland by the talking heads from coast to coast, and they were more than up to the task. The Heat entered the Q on a four game winning streak of their own. They had already dispatched the mighty Lakers, and were in no mood to come to cold windy Cleveland and simply lay down for the Cavs.
Led by Dwyane Wades' 29 points, eight assists, four rebounds, and two steals, the resurgent heat gave the mighty Cavs all they could handle for the second straight game on their home floor.
The Heat only had three players to score in double figures, and still put up quite a fight until the Cleveland defense stiffened in the last six minutes of the fourth quarter. Whatever the cause of the recent funk Team Cleveland seems to be going through. They had better get it out of their systems before January 9th when the world champion Boston Celtics make their first visit to the Q.
If they don't they may just be in for a reality check. Come to think of it that may be just what the doctor ordered. With the exception of the game against Houston this team has seemed a bit dis-interested of late. Since their big win in Denver its almost as though they have been sleepwalking. I'm sure if the Celtics come to town and lay the smack down on them that will shock them out of their dull-drums.
But I digress a win is a win and as long as they keep on winning I should'nt have too much to complain about right?
Team Cleveland once again had five players in double figures, led by TheBraun with 33 he also contributed nine assists, six rebounds, and a block. Mo Williams added 20 points, Wild thing had another double double with 12 points and 10 rebounds, Delonte West tossed in 11, and big Z rounded out the top scorers with 10 points, six rebounds, and a block.
The Cavs were without the services of Wally Szczerbiak who sat out with a right knee contusion, the team expects him to miss about one week of action while he rests and rehabs the injury.