There was not much drama in the Palace of Auburn Hills on Wednesday night.
Yes, the Cavs looked like they got into the turkey and stuffing a bit early and suffered the effects of a little tryptophan intake when they let an 18 point halftime lead slide to six points late in the fourth quarter, but they woke up in time to salt away another win over the Pistons, 98-88.
That makes it eight wins in the last nine games in Detroit and runs the Cavaliers overall record to 11-4.
Raise your hand if you think you know who led the Cavaliers to their 11th win in their last 13 games.
LeBron James poured in 34 points and, for good measure, hauled down eight rebounds and dished out seven assists to Pace the Cavaliers. James abused Swedish rookie Jonas Jerebko for much of the evening and then went up, over and through Rodney Stuckey when he needed to when Jerebko couldn't handle the job.
James got a big night from Daniel Gibson who knocked down his first five shots on the evening to account for his 13 points. Gibson probably sheds a tear or two every time he has to leave that building.
Mo Williams dropped in 14 points and handed out 8 assists while Anthony Parker also helped the cause with a 4-5 shooting night including 2-2 from three-point range.
Rodney Stuckey led the Pistons with 25 points and he got some support from Charlie Villanueva who chipped in 19 points and eight rebounds. The Pistons were without the services of Tayshaun Price and Rip Hamilton who have missed the majority of the season with injuries. Their absence was offset by the fact that Cavs center Shaquille O'Neal also missed the game in Detroit, the sixth game in a row the big man has missed with an ailing shoulder.
To be fair, this is a phenomenon that the Cavs have dealt with in the past. They did this occasionally last season as well and then turned up the intensity in the first couple of playoff rounds before being overwhelmed by Orlando.
But they seem to have taken it to another level this season and, while it didn't cost them Wednesday night, it has cost them (most notably against Washington last week) at various points in the early part of this season.
The Pistons got back in the game Wednesday when the Cavs offense went stagnant and the Pistons took advantage of multiple misses and poor offensive sets by taking the ball right into the teeth of the Cavalier defense.
There's nothing wrong with tightening the screws and getting guys like Danny Green a little bit of run and experience. Some of the rim running might well stop if and when Shaq is healthy enough to set up down low but there are no guarantees that O'Neal will be a healthy and viable defender as the season goes on. The Cavs need to develop a killer's mentality when they have their feet on a team's throat. That'll keep minutes for LBJ at a reasonable level and benefit the Cavaliers down the road.
It's good to see a couple of Cavalier wing players utilize their athleticism.
They Got Next
The Cavaliers get Thanksgiving off before heading to Charlotte for a 7pm tip against the Bobcats on Friday. The game is being televised by FSN Ohio as is Saturday's 730pm clash at ‘The Q' with the Dallas Mavericks.
Lastly, Happy Thanksgiving to you and yours and have a safe holiday weekend.