Mission accomplished. The Cavaliers want to take care of business against the Detroit Pistons. They want to make sure the proud bunch from Michigan doesn't gain confidence, especially at The Q. Call it a job well done for the home team after a methodical 102-84 victory. The Cavs lead the best-of-7 first round series 1-0.
It was one of those games that has become so familiar during the season. Much like a boa constrictor, the Cavaliers don't kill quickly, choosing instead to slowly squeeze the life out of their prey. Simply look at the +/- from each quarter and you'll see what I am talking about -
1st - +5
2nd - +7
3rd - +1
4th - +5
Nothing mind-boggling, just a fundamental beatdown of an inferior opponent.
For the Cavs, the recipe is simple, a well-rested LeBron James will play 48 minutes if necessary to win ballgames. That is a tremendous advantage to have. Luckily for Cleveland, he wasn't needed more than 41, his norm in regular seasons past. LeBron made the most of all 41 minutes, scoring 38 points, grabbing 8 boards and dishing out 7 assists. He was also a +22 on the scoreboard when on the floor.
Joe Smith was huge off the bench for the Cavs with 13 points. The game also saw a clearly less than 100% Ben Wallace return. Whether or not he can be a factor in the playoffs remains to be seen as Ben was noticeably limping.
Zydrunas Ilgauskas, Delonte West and Mo Williams each scored 12 points, with Z grabbing 10 rebounds.
What is scary, if you are a Pistons fan at least, is the Cavs won by 18 and, for the most part, didn't play all that well. Detroit shot well over 50% most of the game before the Cavaliers tightened the clamps late in the 4th quarter during a 15-2 run that sealed the deal.
Mo Williams had what would be considered a poor game, shooting 5-14 from the field, including just 2-7 from deep. You have to expect Mo will bounce back in Game 2.
There were some bright spots for the Pistons, including Rodney Stuckey who poured in 20 points to lead Detroit. He needed 21 shots to do it, however, and no other Pistons regular scored more than 15.
The perfect wait to get the Playoffs started for the Cavs. A steady, consistent performance at home that ends with a big win.
Game 2 comes at you Tuesday Night.