It is nights like tonight that, as a Cavaliers fan, that really irk me. Tuesday night was the beginning of a very emotional, and equally important, home stand for the Cavaliers. Yet, you wouldn’t have been able to guess that judging by the way they performed against the Celtics.
Remember back in the season opener when the arena was buzzing and everyone in the organization was geared up for their first showdown without LeBron James in seven years. It was great. The team played great. They worked together well and legitimately looked as if they were going to be an unexpected force in the Eastern Conference.
Unfortunately, we haven’t seen that same fire throughout every minute in the last 16 games. Otherwise, we may be looking at a team whose record is much better than 7-10. But that’s the way it goes. Tuesday night, in particular, was rather frustrating because the Cavaliers certainly played like they were expecting to get waxed and were more anxious for Thursday’s game than they were focused for the game at hand.
It was unfortunate. However, maybe a valuable lesson can be learned from the 106-87 beat down they took at the hands of the senior Celtics.
With that being said, I would take a team full of Daniel Gibsons and Anderson Varejaos in a heartbeat. Those two guys come to play every single night are a lot of fun to watch. Win or lose. I won’t go as far as to say that the two of them played great. But at least they played hard. Andy notched a 16 point-12 rebound double-double effort and played rather solid defense on the other end. No surprise there. And Gibson contributed a steady 16 point performance, as well. He was flying all over the court last night trying to make something happen for this team. And I like to see that. Most impressively, Gibson has been very vocal as of late. He’s been directing traffic on the floor and getting in the ear of the officials in his spare time. While I don’t condone complaining to the officials, I like to see a guy that cares enough to calmly approach a referee after an absurd foul call. It shows that he cares a little bit.
I’ve been saying this all year but I’ll say it again: this team is going to win a large majority of their games by spreading the basketball, sharing the scoring load and playing good defense. They didn’t do any of that against the Celtics. After swinging the ball around the outside for a little while, somebody would force up a contested look. Granted, the Celtics defense is pretty darn good. But that is no excuse for playing an overload of one-on-one basketball last night. That isn’t Cavaliers basketball. And that is not going to win many games.
Nevertheless, the much anticipated return of LeBron James and the one games that has been circled on everyone’s calendar for the last four months is finally here. Tomorrow night. At the Quicken Loans Arena. This is what it’s all about, right here. Be safe and please don’t give Cleveland a bad name on Thursday night. Boo that squire out of the building but leave it at that. Take his pride. Take the victory.
All together, Cleveland!
Right Down Euclid will be hosting its first live chat of the season on Thursday night. Come on over at game time and talk Cavs (or anti-LeBron)!