It's Halloween and there is quite a fright going through the NBA. Delonte West returned to the Cavaliers tonight and the results were immediate and ultra-effective. Delonte plays with an edge and attitude that the Cavs were missing the first 3 games of the season. It was back tonight and the Cavs looked much more comfortable - especially in the 2nd half.
West played 22 minutes in his return to the floor - scoring 13 points on 5-7 shooting. So much of what West does, however, isn't found on a stat sheet. His tenacious defense, constantly getting a hand on the ball, deflecting passes - all of it is what West brings to the floor. He did so tonight - and the Cavs followed his lead.
West came off the bench tonight, but to be honest it seemed the team looked at its best when West was on the floor with the other starters - Shaq, LeBron, Mo and Andy - in the 4th quarter. It's a role that fits West better and I'd imagine he will get back his starting spot soon.
Tonight was one of those rare nights when LeBron James took a backseat to his teammates. LeBron scored just 14 points on 5-11 shooting. James added 7 rebounds and 9 assists. Mo Williams was once again hot - scoring 24 points on 9-14 shooting, including 5-8 from deep. Williams, after struggling through the first 2 games of the season, has rediscovered his All-Star form that past couple of nights.
It wasn't anything spectacular - both teams were coming off games last night - but it was the type of win the Cavaliers of 2008-09 were accustomed to.
The Wine and Gold now sit at 2-2. Interestingly enough, the Cavaliers were 2-2 after 4 games last season. We move on to November feeling pretty good about the Cavaliers and where they are headed.