The No. 1 thing that the Cleveland Cavaliers have been lacking in road games is energy. Friday night against the Orlando Magic, Cleveland brought it after they staggered to get things going in the first quarter.
Think it was going to be the same old song and dance, eh?
Well, this time around in Miami, the Cavaliers matched the Heat’s pace and only trailed 35-29 after the first frame. Yes, there was no defense being played in the first 12 minutes by either team and there were turnovers galore (11 combined between the two squads), but Cleveland slowly started to lose grips with the Heat in the second quarter. Down 45-56 and with Tristan Thompson heading toward the hole for what looked to be just your typical fast break, Shane Battier hit Thompson on the hand, causing the Cleveland power forward to lose control of the ball and miss the shot.
Apparently Cleveland head coach Mike Brown didn’t agree with the call:
And because he didn’t agree, two technicals were awarded to Brown for his fiery response to the refs. Regardless, Thompson should have finished strong to the basket and converted on the dunk, but he wasn’t able to finish consistently at the hoop all night long.
No matter what you think about this call, the refs were awful tonight all around, and I tend to agree with Brown and his reaction to the no-call. It was probably a accumulation of calls that caused this reaction from Brown. Hey, someone has to stand up for the defending champs receiving ALL OF THE CALLS on their home court, right?
Did this fire up the Cavs in the second half? I think so. They fought back from 19 down, something that wouldn’t have happened last year under former head coach Byron Scott. Good job, good effort, but a victory would have made this Brown rage fest sooooo much sweeter.