So why again is it that the best team in the NBA has to make a trade? All this Cavs team has done so far this season - as its currently constructed - is post the best record in the NBA to date, won the last five games in a row, and beat Kobe Bryant's Lakers, Kevin Durant's Thunder, and Dwayne Wade's Heat (92-91) - without their second leading scorer (Mo Williams) - in the last three games consecutively. Looks to me like this team's as legit a title contender as any in the league right now.
Not to mention that the Cavaliers back-up PG (Delonte West) - and best defender - was out too during these last two games. And all the third stringer (Daniel Gibson) does is comes in and hit a monster three against the Thunder, and follow that up by scoring 15 tonight against the Heat on 5 of 10 shooting. And I know he doesn't play good defense, but he's the 3rd string PG. The other guys will be back soon, and the Cavaliers will then add Leon Powe to the mix. And I know Jamison, Stoudemire, Igoudala, and all those other guys are good, but so are the Cavs. I say keep this squad together, and see how far LeBron can go with them. He took a team of stiffs to the NBA finals, and these guys aren't stiffs.
LeBron vs. Wade: 32 apiece, but LeBron gets the win...
I have to say I'd find this match-up even more spectacular than it already is if the NBA did away with bylaw 139.46 in the addendum to the NBA rule book which reads: "Dwayne Wade cannot be touched, breathed on, distracted, or bothered in anyway while on the basketball court for the duration of an NBA game." Not taking anything away from the third best player in the game (LeBron, Kobe, Wade), but its a bylaw that gets enforced way too much by today's officials.
That said, the first half of tonight's game was spectacular. Punch for punch, pitch for pitch, or whatever other non-basketball sports analogy you want to use. LeBron and Wade were two heavyweights going at it, and for a half, it was awesome. And so was the ending. The shot attempt by LeBron, prior to his steal, was awful. But his steal was amazing, and the FT's were as clutch as ever. I don't know what Mo and Delonte were doing at the time on the sidelines either btw, but it looked hilarious. And its also hilarious to think that LeBron's not going to win the MVP again this year, because he will. He's a better player than he was last year...and that's scary.
Collection of thoughts on the 92-91 win
If you would have told me that two starters - Parker and Hickson - would combine for 2 points on the night, I'd have told you the Cavs probably lose.
If you would have told me Wade would have 30 in the first half, I'd have told you he'd go for 50+ on the night...instead he scored 32.
Beasley posted his average exactly tonight going for 16 points, 7 rebounds (averages 16.2 and 6.7).
Daniel Gibson doesn't play great defense, but he does have a propensity to hit huge shots (hitting one late in the 4th tonight against Miami). Which would you rather have out of a role player if you had to pick one?
LeBron scored 37, 37, and 32 in each of the last three games...he's ridiculous.
How about Shaq in the role of second leading scorer? He was tonight (19 pts), and he was on Saturday (22 pts). They might have been force feeding him a bit too much tonight, but I think he could continue to handle that role during the playoffs if Mo goes south.
The forgotten man - Jamario Moon - is back, being eased into things tonight by way of 6 minutes of action. He's another guy the Cavaliers have been winning without, and I'd say he's a top 8 player for this team. Gonna be bigger than you think to get him back.
Minnesota on Wednesday, followed by Indiana, the Clippers, and Memphis...gotta think at least 3 wins in there...should be four though really.