The Cavaliers are back. They never really went anywhere, but for those fans that felt Danny Ferry was asleep at the wheel when he decided not to make a move during last week's trade deadline I am hoping last night was a blunt reminder of just how damn good this team is when they have all their players. The Cavs played extended games without Zydrunas Ilgauskas and Delonte West and still won a majority of their games. With both now back in the lineup, the Cavaliers are dominating games. Again.
Last night it was the Detroit Pistons, or at least a bunch of guys that were wearing Piston uniforms. The Cavaliers only trailed once - 2-0 - and used runs of 15-0, 13-0 and 12-0 to take a 67-34 lead at halftime. To be honest, that score wasn't an indication of the separation between the two teams.
Remember back in November when LeBron James was able to take 4th quarters off, almost every night? We could start seeing it again, with James only on the floor for 31 minutes, much to the dismay of ESPN who was carrying the prime time matchup nationally. He made the most of them, scoring 20 points, grabbing 5 rebounds and dishing out 9 assists. James also managed a block and 2 steals.
Wally Szczerbiak and Zydrunas Ilgauskas were also sharp, scoring 15 and 16 respectively and Mo Williams went back to the role of facilitator, scoring just 11 while taking only 9 shots.
The star of the show, however, was Delonte West who was playing for the first time after missing 16 games. West looked as thought he missed no time, scoring 20 in the first half, going 5-5 from long range for the game. West added 5 rebounds and 4 assists and looks as though he show no ill-effects from the layoff, a welcome sign for the Cavaliers as the head into the stretch drive.
In all, it was a dominating performance for the Cavaliers, who now lead the Pistons by 16 games in the Central. While a division title is of little consequence to the Cavaliers, it should be noted the Cavs have only 1 Division Title in their history, way back in 1976. When the Cavs clinch this divisional crown, we should all take notice.