Had Wednesday's game between the Cavs and Oklahoma City Thunder been a championship fight it would have been the 1988 Mike Tyson-Michael Spinks debacle that ended 1:44 into the first round.
The opening tip was the only thing the Cavs lost all night as they slammed the accelerator down on the Thunder Wednesday night at ‘The Q' and never let up until it became Oklahoma City face-saving time half way through the fourth quarter.
How badly did the Cavs beat up the Thunder? Well, in a literal sense they beat them 117-82 to run their record to 12-3. But all you really need to know about this one is that Sasha Pavlovic and J.J Hickson each played more minutes than LeBron James and The King was perfectly healthy.
It was 13-0 and 19-4 Cleveland before Oklahoma City even realized their plane had landed in Cleveland and they were expected to play an NBA game the night before Thanksgiving. The Cavs continuously forced the action against the Thunder on the second night of back-to-back games for each team. The Thunder was overwhelmed at each end of the floor.
Despite playing only 13 minutes Zydrunas Ilgauskas led the Cavaliers with 17 points on 7/9 shooting that included a three-pointer from the corner. It was that kind of night. Daniel Gibson added 15 points, LBJ and Hickson each scored 14 and everyone else that got onto the court (and that was pretty much everyone except Moon Dog) scored at least 3 points.
Chris Wilcox and Kevin Durant scored 14 and 13 points for Oklahoma City.
Not any more.
They're blitzing the teams they should blitz and they're coasting to big victories. Even with a 66-32 halftime lead the Cavaliers came out in the 3rd quarter and added to their huge lead by outscoring the Thunder 26-20 and slamming the door on any 3rd quarter doldrums. That's the mark of a very good, very confident basketball team and the Cavs are playing as well as any team in the league at this point.
West is getting after it defensively and on the offensive end he been spectacularly effective. He's above 50% from the floor on the season and has embraced the 2 guard role he assumed when Mo Williams was brought in to run the point.
I still keep praying I don't wake up and see Kevin Ollie and Jeff McInnis running the show while Davis and Miles lob horrible alley-oop passes to each other.
In Pavlovic's first minute on the floor Wednesday night he had a shot blocked, had his pocket picked on the dribble and committed a foul. I understand wanting to make sure his folks saw his name in the paper but Pavlovic is regressing before our eyes. He may be a terrific athlete and a tough cover on the practice floor, but he's not suited for inconsistent minutes and a backup role. Which is a situation made even more difficult by the fact he's not a starter either.
They Got Next
It's Golden State coming to ‘The Q' on Friday night for a 730pm tip. The Warriors will be coming off a loss to the Celtics in which they scored 67 first half points but still a found a way to cough up a 13 point lead in falling to Boston Wednesday night.
After Friday night's ballgame the Cavs will hop on a flight to Milwaukee for a 9pm local start against the Bucks.