And just like that, POOF, it was over. The Cavaliers, behind a suffocating defense and LeBron James / Mo Williams on offense, beat the Detroit Pistons, again, by double digits, again, 99-78 to sweep the 4-game series.
In doing so, the Cavs continued their on-slaught on the record books, something they have been doing all year. By winning each game of the series by double-digits, the Wine and Gold became just the third team to do so, joining the 1980 Celtics and 2004 Indiana Pacers. Just as impressive, the team is now 5-2 ON THE ROAD when they can clinch a series. That is a huge confidence booster for a team that plays so well at home.
Of course, most anything individual has to start with the best player in the NBA. LeBron is still the guy every team says they will stop heading into every playoff series. Yet, against the Pistons, LeBron was other-worldly. Looking the part of the closer he is becoming, LeBron scored 36 points to go along with 13 rebounds and 8 assists. For the series, LeBron averaged 32.0 points, 11.3 rebounds and 7.5 assists, becoming just the third player in NBA history to average at least 30 points, 10 rebounds and seven assists in a single postseason series (Larry Bird and Oscar Robertson are the others).
James also became just the second player in NBA history to accumulate at least 1,300 points, 400 rebounds and 350 assists in his first 50 career postseason games (Oscar Robertson was the other).
As he has done in the past, Mo Williams also bounced back from a bad game on Friday Night(2 points) to be a big-time difference maker on Sunday. Mo went off for 24 points on 9-14 shooting, including 4-7 from deep. It was his best game of the series, in the clinching game, something that I hope will become a precedent as the Cavaliers move forward.
Credit Detroit for never really backing down during this series, but they just didn't have the scoring when they needed it. The loss of Chauncey Billups was a huge blow, something the Pistons never found a way to get over the entire series, and at times it seemed they knew the enevitable. They were classy in defeat, however, and face a long summer of unavoidable change.
Now the wait begins. The Cavaliers know they will play the winner of the Atlanta/Miami series. The Heat lead 2-1. That means the earliest that series could end would be Wednesday night. Should Atlanta extend, Game 7 wouldn't be played until next weekend, pushing Round 2 out until the middle of next week. While some my say that is too long, not me. Z needs the rest, so does Ben. A few days off will be a good thing for Delonte West as well, and we know LeBron could use a few days in the cold tub.
Great job by the Cavaliers doing what they were supposed to do. Now it all gets a little bit tougher, no matter who they play. The Cavs will be ready.