For the first time in 16 years, the Cavaliers are 4-0. Oh, they’re also the defending world champions for the first time in franchise history.
It’s safe to say it’s been a pretty good few months for Cleveland’s pro basketball team.
The latest win-win-and-win-some-more situation took place Tuesday, when the host Cavs raced past the defenseless (and boy, do we mean defenseless) Houston Rockets.
Final score: Cavs 128, Rockets 120.
No, the game did not go into overtime. The two teams combined for 248 all on their own, in regulation, in a game that was played at the speed of a hurried hare.
Welcome back to the NBA, Rockets coach Mike D’Antoni.
The Rockets say they are determined to start defending. But as the Houston Chronicle so accurately put it, a lot of people are determined to start dieting, too. It’s just easier to keep putting it off.
Kyrie Irving was the biggest beneficiary for the Cavs. He scored a season-high 32 points on 10-of-19 shooting. He also went 8-of-8 on free throws. About the only thing he didn’t do was rescue the Cleveland Indians from a World Series Game 7.
But hey, don’t blame Kyrie. He never got the chance.
“Kyrie is great, he’s got it all,” D’Antoni told reporters. “All you can do is hope he misses shots.”
Ah, yes. Hope. That’s about as far as it goes when it comes to Houston’s D.
Still, the Rockets (2-2) clearly feel and look much better now that they’ve lifted the burden that is (current Atlanta center) Dwight Howard.
This is James’ Harden’s team now, always really was. It’s just that D’Antoni has made it extremely clear Harden will have the ball in his hands and do with it as he pleases. No questions shall be asked.
So this was a good win for the Cavs against a quality opponent.
They’ve won seven in a row if you go back to last season’s finals. Best of all, they’ve only looked partially interested in the last two — and still finished on top.
“It’s all about executing down the stretch,” Irving told reporters. “That’s not necessarily hard for us.”
Gosh, it sure isn’t. Not these days, and not for these Cavaliers.
LeBron James added 19 points, 13 rebounds and eight assists — and it’s starting to seem as if the King of Cleveland Basketball is on a mission to compile a triple-double in all 82 games. James may not always get one, but it sure should be fun watching him try.
Kevin Love finished with 24 points and was credited with sparking the Cavs’ defensive turnaround. J.R. Smith scored an underrated 15.
Harden was brilliant for the Rockets, erupting for 41 points and a whopping 15 assists, and being the sole reason his team could dream.
He’s happier and so are the Rockets. Just not as happy as the Cavs.