Cavs Dribbles: Here comes expected rise

LeBron James, Jose Calderon and the Cavaliers made basketball mincemeat of the Pistons.

DETROIT — Random dribbles from the Cleveland Cavaliers’ 116-88 rout of the host Detroit Pistons on Monday.

1. You know things are going your way when Cedi Osman plays the entire fourth quarter and John Holland plays all but a minute of it.

2. Never heard of Osman and Holland? That’s OK. Osman barely gets off the bench and Holland was just called up from the Canton Charge, the Cavs’ affiliate in the G League. But both players were closers on this night, and the Cavs needed a game like this.

3. Boy, did they need a game like this.

4. Most people who watched felt comfortable turning it off by halftime. Or if you’re a Pistons fan, probably throwing the remote through the television.

5. That’s just how good the Cavs were from opening tip, especially LeBron James. The Cavs star scored 16 points in about the first eight minutes of the first quarter. He threw precision passes and led the charge defensively. The Cavs came out with tons of energy, and their best player was the biggest reason why.

6. James finished with 18 points and eight assists. Yes, he scored just one basket after the first quarter. He didn’t play at all in the fourth. It wasn’t necessary.

7. James on the night: “That was 48 minutes of game-planning and execution right from the beginning.”

8. Overall, James played just 27 minutes. And James’ minutes, of course, are always Cleveland’s hottest topic.

9. Cavs coach Tyronn Lue on James’ minutes: “Yeah, I hear about that all the time.”

10. You can tell Lue is tired of hearing about it, too. “I played with Michael Jordan (as a member of the Washington Wizards). He was 39-years-old and played 37 minutes a night. … Everyone is built differently.”

11. Lue didn’t stop there. He eventually walked away from the interview session, smiling and touting more former stars who played lots of minutes at an advanced age. Karl Malone, Kobe Bryant and Wilt Chamberlain were other examples he used.

12. Anyway, back to the game. The Cavs have won five straight. They have won seven of nine. They have scored at least 110 points in eight of those.

13. Think people would be raising a fuss had they just started the season like this?

14. Oh, and they now trail the Pistons by a mere a game in the Central Division. Remember, the Pistons raced to an 8-3 start, and other than the Boston Celtics, were the talk of the East. Now? Not so much.

15. Translation: Ready or not, here come the Cavs. Or so it seems.

16. Kevin Love scored 19 points and grabbed 11 rebounds, for his 11th double-double in the Cavs’ 17 games. Jae Crowder added 18 points and Jose Calderon, who started at point guard, had 14.

17. Love on the night: “It felt like us. There weren’t any lapses, there weren’t any letups.”

18. Added James: “We’re in a good groove right now. We just had a lot of flurries tonight. We had a lot of flurries, and we didn’t stop.”

19. That about covers it, as the Cavs have been moving closer to the team they think they can be. And they’ve been doing it without Tristan Thompson (calf), Derrick Rose (ankle), and of course Isaiah Thomas (hip). Iman Shumpert (knee) has also missed some time in there.

20. Bottom line? The Cavs’ still have a little ways to go, and that’s OK. They have a long way to get there, and finally, appear to be on their way.

4 Comments on "Cavs Dribbles: Here comes expected rise"

  1. I remember for decades (60s-80s) the Indians would be that team that was the talk of the town early on. Then came the June Swoon and we’d be out of the playoff hunt by July 4 at the latest. It’s good we’re on the opposite side of the tracks in recent years for both the Tribe and the Cavs.

  2. Sam, I’m absolutely stoked to see Cedi Osman get some decent minutes. 7 pts, 4 rbs in 13 minutes and some good defense. Great little cameo from him and just a snippet of what he can provide the Cavs. Surely he has to be worth 10 – 12 minutes a game every time the Cavs can hit the floor? More if the Cavs are playing like they did tonight and can rest some stars? Got to add, disappointing again from JR Smith after a short uptick in form he seems to have regressed again.

    • JR hasn’t played great but his role is different this year. He isn’t that guy just running around the perimeter to shoot the three ball all the time like years past that task has passed to Korver. Jr has been driving to the hoop a lot more than I have seen him do since joining the Cavs and is creating shots and buckets for his teammates he is contributing just not in the way we are used to seeing. When Kyrie was there the offense ran through him (when LeBron was sitting) and he created for himself or passed to a JR for three ball. Jr three percentage hasn’t been as good and he fouls to much and can be lazy at times but once he finds his groove in this new look team he should come around and if he doesn’t well we might be able to trade him somewhere we will have to see how things go.

  3. Cavs looked great last night. Excellent ball movement which resulted in guys getting open shots. I like the chemistry that is developing, but see Lue having problems managing minutes. Some guys deserve more clock(Frye, Cedi, Jose)and other guys should have their minutes reduced(JR, Shump). I still believe we need to make a trade for at least an athletic, defensive big, who has some scoring potential. I wish there was a way to get Noel and Matthews from Dallas. I would even be willing to part with Tristan and Shump.

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