The Cavaliers had to do something after an embarrassing performance against the Brooklyn Nets and 10 consecutive losses. Tristan Thompson said that the team needed to bring constant energy and do something about it. Well Tristan did something about it.
The second year power forward had a career night against the depleted front line of the Boston Celtics. He dropped 29 points and 17 rebounds to lead the Cavs to a 97-91 win in Boston.
Kyrie Irving shot just 4 of 20 from the floor and it was obvious that the Celtics gameplanned specifically to slow him down. They brought constant double teams and shut off his lanes to the basket. Unfortunately for them, the double teams seemed to draw players away from the basket and towards Irving. That allowed Kyrie to find teammates for easy buckets and opened up plenty of room for the Cavs to feast on the offensive glass. Tristan had 7 offensive boards and the Cavs had 15 as a team.
Shavlik Randolph played well for the Celtics. That was weird. Terrence WIlliams played great defense on Kyrie Irving. Avery Bradley was quite physical with Kyrie. He did that last time these two teams played, but it got him into foul trouble in that game. Tonight, the refs didn't seem to have a problem with him bumping Kyrie on the perimeter. It clearly frustrated Kyrie and he forced some bad shots. Fortunately, his teammates did enough to get the win despite his poor shooting performance.
The Cavs defense picked up big time in the second half. They held Boston to just 32.4% (14 of 43) shooting in the second half. That's nice to see.
It was awesome to see the team come out with great energy and intensity in a game that they really needed to win. The players were fed up with the collapses and poor defense, so they did something about it. Interestingly enough, it required that Walton and Marreese Speights not play much for the defense to really improve.
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