Amico: Cavs sharp, and maybe rest can await

Cavaliers forward LeBron James scored 17 points and passed for nine assists in three quarters. (AP)

Random dribbles on the Cavaliers’ 109-80 dismantling of the host Bucks on Tuesday.

1. It’s already been written 100 times I’m sure, but this is what happens when the ball moves around LeBron James. You drive, you kick, you make shots, you play off your four-time MVP.

2. On Tuesday, that was the Cavs, and they were at their finest.

3. This was little more than 48 minutes of utter garbage time, as J.R. Smith (21 points, 7-of-11 on 3-pointers) came out on fire and his teammates immediately joined the fun. This is how the Cavs should look against a young and struggling opponent.

4. In the process, Smith became the Cavs’ single-season leader in threes with 197. (The previous mark of 192 was held by Wesley Person.)

5. Kevin Love scored 17 points, including 15 in the first quarter. James went for 17 points and nine assists and sat out the fourth. Kyrie Irving scored 15 and only took nine shots.

6. Imagine that. None of the Big Three hits 18 points and the Cavs win by 29.

7. I’m certainly not suggesting the Cavs make a habit of that. But it does show how well things can go when everyone is getting touches and good looks at the basket.

8. Love on the win: “We feel like we’re making steps. (It’s a) trust factor. Guys are stepping up, making plays, making shots.”

9. Love added that the Cavs are at their best when they “respect the game.” It’s a phrase he seems to be turning a lot these days. “When we keep our foot on the gas pedal, we’re a better team,” he said.

10. The Cavs were also excellent defensively, forcing the young Bucks into silly turnovers and shots that had little hope. I feel sort of bad for the Bucks. Everyone thought they were a team on the rise — including me. But youth can be fickle, huh?

11. Speaking of D, the Cavs improved to 16-0 when holding opponents to less than 40 percent shooting.

12. If I’m Cavs coach Tyronn Lue, I’m resting LeBron, Kyrie, Love and probably even Smith for Wednesday’s game at the Pacers. I mean, why not?

13. The Cavs (56-22) still lead the Raptors by 3.5 games for first in the East. I don’t think there’s any way they blow it. Plus, if the Pacers win, they’ll increase their chances of getting the No. 7 seed. I’d rather the Pistons end up No. 8.

14. I’m not suggesting the Cavs throw the game. Nor am I insisting that resting the starters is what Lue should do. I’m just telling you what I would do. But there’s a reason Lue is an NBA coach and I do … well, whatever this is.

15. Either way, the Cavs will have a nice two-day break before visiting the Bulls on Saturday. After that, it’s two home games — and then, yes, the playoffs. Hard to believe, but it’s true. And the Cavs appear to be on their way to their best basketball yet.

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