The four game losing streak ended Wednesday night as the Cavaliers took care of business on their home floor and beat the visiting Knicks by a score of 91-81.
Cavs Leaders: Points: Jamison, 15; Rebounds: Varejao, 16; Assists: Irving, 7
The Cavs basically played like crap. They went about 8 minutes in the second quarter and scored just 4 points on the New York Knicks defense. Once again, they had way too many turnovers (19) and we just all-around really sloppy. Fortunately, the Knicks are even more dysfunctional. The Knicks committed 23 turnovers and had an even more stagnant offense. Amare Stoudemire led New York with 19 fairly empty points on 19 shots. He had some nice dunks down low as no one on the Cavs can really check him, but he made some careless offensive fouls and for some reason the Knicks refuse to run pick and rolls. If they watched any film from Amare's time in Phoenix (I loved those teams, I watched them all the time), they would know that he is virtually unguardable as the roll-man on a PnR. The Knicks, however, have zero guards capable of running an effective pick and roll. That's just one of the reasons why I believe Mike D'Antoni will be fired and also why I believe he will be wrongly fired. It's not his fault that the front office assembled a roster that doesn't fit with his offensive schemes at all.
Kyrie Irving couldn't get his shot going last night. I was relatively pleased to see him instead assume the role of distributor. He dished out 7 assists and also forced the issue by driving to the basket and getting to the free throw line. It won't be very common that Irving cannot get a jumper to fall. This was just kind of an off game for him and I'm not concerned at all.
Tristan Thompson was once again held out with an ankle injury. I hope he's back and ready to go either tomorrow against New Jersey or at the very latest on Sunday in Boston when I will be in attendance.
Alonzo Gee once again played some pretty awesome defense on an elite scorer. He's done a good job against James, Kobe, and now Carmelo Anthony. Melo scored just 15 points and it took him 14 shots to do so. It was clear that Gee was frustrating Melo and the Knicks basically just packed it in by the fourth quarter.
Ryan Hollins started off hot. He started 3-3 from the floor very quickly and eventually finished 4-4. When Ryan Hollins is scoring 9 points against you, you should probably just call it quits. Oddly enough (it's not that odd), the 7-foot Hollins did not manage to grab a single rebound in 11 minutes on the floor. On the flip side, he did manage to commit 4 personal fouls; that's just as good, right?
The Cavaliers combined to shoot 14 of 26 from the free throw line. That's really pretty pathetic (53.9%). The impressive (?) thing about this stat is that it was a total team effort. No one player took more than 4 free throws and pretty much everyone was able to contribute to shooting them like Shaq with a blindfold on. If Cleveland hits their free throws, this game isn't as close as the 10-point margin may suggest.
Omri Casspi played by far his best half of the season on Wednesday night. He scored 13 points on 5 of 8 shooting including 2 of 4 from deep. Unfortunately he cut his chin open and had to receive 6 stitches before returning to the game. He's fine and will play on Friday.
Fear The Sword's Player Of The Game:
Andy V is a total beast. He grabbed 16 rebounds, 8 of which were offensive. He scored 10 points, had 4 assists, and 4 steals. He is literally everywhere and just wants it more than everybody else. There is nobody on the court on any given night that hustles more than Anderson Varejao.