Dribbles: Unity, D keep Cavs sizzling

CLEVELAND — Random dribbles from the Cleveland Cavaliers’ 108-97 hammer job of the visiting Miami Heat on Tuesday.

1. The Cavs are just having fun right now. They are just cohesive on both ends, playing the game with pure joy, and even getting a few laughs at LeBron James’ expense.

2. James, of course, was ejected for the first time in his career. It happened near the end of the third quarter. Kevin Love said he’s heard players say a lot worse than what James said. But for whatever reason, officiating crew chief Kane Fitzgerald decided to give LeBron the old heave-ho.

3. Why do I get the feeling Fitzgerald should start mapping out some bus routes to G-League games?

4. Anyway, the Cavs could sort of laugh it off, because this one was pretty much exactly that — a laugher in which they led by as many as 34 points. It wasn’t totally 48 minutes of garbage time, but it was close.

5. Cavs coach Tyronn Lue would only smile widely and say LeBron deserved to get tossed. “You want me to go against the ref?” Lue asked, referencing the idea he could get fined. “Nope.”

6. Interestingly, I was talking with the other writers after the game, and we all sort of laughed over how Love had a fantastic night with 38 points — yet LeBron still somehow found a way to steal the headlines. And LeBron didn’t even have to try. But when he gets thrown out of a game for the first time ever, well, that becomes the game’s hottest topic.

7. LeBron offered plenty of interesting takes on the tech and about the no-calls he faces on a regular basis. He still seemed irritated over the whole thing after the game. You can read what he said in my earlier story here.

8. Meanwhile, Love on his fantastic night: “I hit a couple shots inside on putbacks, made some moves and was able to get the free-throw line (he made 14-of-17) and hit a couple of my threes (he went 4-of-8). … It wasn’t just me. I thought guys were getting good shots and playing good basketball.”

9. As I mentioned in the earlier post, Dwyane Wade (16 points) has also seemingly found his Cavs comfort zone. “He took it in his hands, got the guys in our sets, and had that second unit playing well again,” Love said.

10. So, the Cavs have won nine in a row and 10 of 11. You knew that. But did you also know they are 6-0 when holding opponents to less than 100 points?

11. LeBron on the defense: “In order for us to win long-term, we’ve got to defend. We’re going to move the ball and get everyone involved offensively, but defensively we have to be in tune with the game plan. We’ve been doing that, from the start of the game all the way to the very end.”

12. Finally, the Cavs have made at least 10 threes in each of the past 10 games. “We’re playing the right way,” Lue said. “We’re moving the basketball and moving bodies.”

2 Comments on "Dribbles: Unity, D keep Cavs sizzling"

  1. Obviously any team that wants a crack at a title has to have a good D and the Cavs are finding out how to do that with the personal they have. But to me… and this is odd coming from me as I’m big on D, but I find the change in Offensive strategy has caught me awe struck. No longer are the Cavs a picknroll drive and kick iso team. They’ve put in the weave, motion along with J cuts, C cuts, Diagonal cuts out of the P&R… I mean it’s getting very impressive! They’ve put away some good defensive teams this year. And they have the numbers to prove it.

    • Nice post, agreed. Hopefully IT can integrate into this new offensive system. K Love had a real breakthrough last night. Awesome to see. And we are also seeing the value of Calderon. Depth goes a long way. Wade has turned into the Cavs player we all thought he could be.

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