I said it earlier and I’ll say it again: this team will only win games when they play good, team basketball on both ends of the floor. They no longer have a superstar to bail them out of sloppy performances in the fourth quarter. Each possession is important; each win is important. And Tuesday night’s win over the New Jersey Nets was a great, important win for this team. It extended their winning streak to three games and pushed their record above .500 for the first time this season.
Already, this season has seen a number of players step up to lead the Cavaliers to a much-needed victory. Daniel Gibson and JJ Hickson carried the load in an opening night victory over the defending Eastern Conference champions. Mo Williams teamed up with Gibson to lead the team in their weekend road trip against the 76ers and the Wizards. And, on Tuesday night, Antawn Jamison came up huge.
In his return from injury, Jamison knocked down 6-of-10 shots for 15 points while snagging eight rebounds. Unfortunately, however, Jamison has made it very clear that he is not happy with his role off the bench this season. A few more games like this and he may be shipped elsewhere for some young talent.
JJ Hickson kept the Cavaliers in the game throughout the first three quarters as he notched his first double-double of the season. Hickson put up 18 points and snagged 10 rebounds in an impressive effort.
Gibson and Ramon Sessions were a combined 11-for-21 from the field with 29 points and nine assists for Coach Byron Scott’s backcourt. Sessions, in particular, played a key role in a strong fourth quarter rally for the Cavaliers.
As I’m sure you all have figured out this season, I am (and will continue to be) extremely patient with this new-look Cavaliers roster. It takes time to build a championship team. And I am confident that Coach Scott is going to bring that to Cleveland sometime in the near future.
However, with that being said, the one thing I will not let slide is poor free throw shooting. I can make more than nine out of 17 free throws, so forgive me for expecting the Cavaliers – a professional basketball team – to knock down more than 53% of their attempts.
All in all, it was another great win for the Cavaliers. They’ll be in action again tomorrow night against the Nets back at the Q where they’ll look to push their win-streak to four.