It wasn't pretty. But you don't get anything extra for pretty.
The Cavs, playing what seemed like their 9th game in the last 6 days, had enough to squeak by another one of the NBA's downtrodden squads with a 98-93 win over the Knicks on Sunday night at ‘The Q'.
Mo Williams picked up the scoring mantle from LeBron James on Sunday and poured in 23 points on 8/13 shooting while also grabbing 7 rebounds. James made his presence felt despite an off night scoring the basketball. LBJ still chipped in 19 points and also had a game-high 10 assists while collecting 8 boards.
The Cavs needed some help on Sunday night from the bench and they got it from Joe Smith. In his best game since rejoining the Cavs 10 days ago Smith had 10 points and 7 rebounds. Sasha Pavlovic scored only seven points but all of them were critical, including five points down the stretch on a 3-pointer and a put back off a miss while New York was still in the ballgame and looking for the upset.
The Knicks were led by Al Harrington and Nate Robinson who scored 26 and 20 points respectively. David Lee also contributed 10 points and 14 rebounds in a losing effort.
The Knicks had 46 rebounds on the night and 17 of them (36%) were on the offensive end. Thankfully the Knicks also gave up 13 offensive rebounds to the Cavs and Joe Smith and Pavlovic took advantage of a couple of New York Box out issues for big put backs.
This club is getting it done nearly every night through different methods. In years past, if LBJ scored just 19 points the Cavs lose by 15-20 points regardless of who they play.
It doesn't get the least bit easier for Mike Brown's troops in the next week. Four more games on tap, all of them difficult for a variety of reasons.
Tuesday night it's Dwight Howard and the dangerous and talented Orlando magic visiting ‘The Q' in a 7pm tip. After that the Portland Trailblazers come to town for a Thursday night match up in Cleveland. The Cavs then welcome the Atlanta Hawks, an athletic group that gives the Cavs some issues, to Cleveland on Saturday afternoon (1pm) and then immediately fly out to face the Nets in New Jersey Sunday evening (6pm).
That's another crucible to walk through. The good news is that three of the four games are here on a court where the Cavs are 29-1. The bad news is they could use a breather of more than a day or so to rejuvenate themselves.