We’ve talked about the ups and downs of this NBA season a lot lately. But, even more than that, the Cavaliers are experiencing ups and downs in each and every game.
Last night against the 76ers, the Cavaliers played very well in the first half. They looked awful in the third quarter. And then, they turned on the heat in the fourth quarter to come up with a 44 point quarter, sealing the deal 123-116.
Five Cavaliers scored in double digits last night but none were more impressive than Anderson Varejao. Varejao was 10-for-10 from the field in a 23 point, 12 rebound performance. Midway through the fourth quarter, Varejao channeled his inner-LeBron and showed off vicious right-handed, tomahawk jam.
Andy had help in the backcourt as Mo Williams and Daniel Gibson teamed up for 44 points (apiece), 11 assists, and eight rebounds. Gibson was the finisher for the Cavaliers as he scored all ten points to begin a 10-2 fourth quarter run. His strengths are really being highlighted under Coach Scott’s Princeton-style offense; I’m not sure that anyone is benefitting more from having Scott around.
Mo Williams, as well, was incredible. He couldn’t seem to find his shot early in the game, going 0-for-5 from three-point range, but he attacked the rim and was able to get to the line 12 times in the game. Can you imagine how good Mo Williams can be if/when he starts knocking down his shots?
Lastly, JJ Hickson played another solid game for the Cavs. He turned in a steady 16 point-8 rebound effort in a game that he, too, struggled to find his touch. Joey Graham played significant minutes for the first time this season and notched 10 points in just under 15 minutes of work. He is still on that I’d prefer not to see on the floor. Graham is to the Cavaliers as David Delucci was to the Indians; he is just taking minutes from the younger guys.
All in all, it was a strong performance (at times) from the Cavaliers. If they can learn to string 48 minutes of focus together, they will be a force in the Eastern Conference. But can they do that? That is the question.