The king is dead.
Long live the king.
That's what comes to mind after watching the Cavs hit the afterburners in the 4th quarter of their game against Detroit in The Palace of Auburn Hills on Sunday. The Cavs kept Detroit in their sights for three quarters and then watched Mo Williams and Daniel Gibson get hot enough to overcome an 8 point Pistons lead in the 4th quarter of a 90-80 win.
That Gibson, Williams and the Cavs did their 4th quarter damage while LeBron James was resting to begin the 4th quarter speaks long and hard to the depth of this Cavaliers squad. It also opens up a 12 game cushion separating the Cavs from the Pistons in the Eastern Conference's Central Division.
The Pistons once were king.
Now they're just another team. And a struggling, old one at that. Feel free to buy your Central Division Championship gear at this time. You'll probably need a bigger sized shirt or sweatshirt since you last ordered such gear. It's been 33 years after all.
James checked back into the 4th quarter action in time to score 8 points in the quarter on his way to a 33-point and 8 assist day. William chipped in 22 points and hauled down 7 boards to support.
Detroit got 22 points from Allen Iverson and 16 from Richard Hamilton.
It's never pretty watching the Prom Queen get old and ugly. Unless the Prom Queen is Deeeetroit baskeetttbaaaaallll. Then it's more than just a little bit enjoyable.
But a closer look at the game would tell a completely different story. Varejao played what may have been his most active, efficient and productive game of the season on Sunday afternoon in Detroit.
Not only did AV grab six rebounds but he kept multiple offensive possessions alive with three offensive boards and multiple back taps. He was also a human screen setting machine all day, especially in the critical 4th quarter. It's always nice to see Varejao scoring on back cuts and off the pick and roll but the work he did Sunday without the basketball in his hands was as unselfish and productive as it was crucial in determining the outcome of the ballgame.
That's a huge component to the Cavs offense. Creating seams that Mo Williams, LBJ and others can get into was a component that was lacking when Z was down with an injury. It's even more critical when playing a team with some size and the Lakers and Orlando will likely see a completely different Cavalier offense when they come to Cleveland.
They Got Next
It's Toronto on Tuesday night (7:00 PM) at ‘The Q', a quick trip to New York on Wednesday night (7:30 PM) and then the Lakers make their lone appearance of the season in Cleveland next Sunday (3:30 PM on ABC). The Lakers will be missing Andrew Bynum who injured a knee the other night and I likely out for a few weeks. Turnabout is fair play. Let's see how the Lakers respond next Sunday when the Cavs have Z and the Lakers are missing Bynum.