The last two nights the Cavaliers reminded some of us of a cat that catches a mouse, brings it inside to the bathtub, and bats it around until the cat gets bored or the mouse dies.
One of these nights the mouse is going to get that cat by the throat.
It wasn't Wednesday night in Philadelphia though. The Cavs again got out to a double digit lead, again gave all of it up and again found themselves having to find the will and the energy to get back into the fight and win the ballgame in the last two minutes.
LeBron James and Mo Williams hit a couple of huge shots each down the stretch to enable the Cavaliers to slip out of Philadelphia with a 108-101 win. The good news is that the Cavaliers went on the road for the second game of a back-to-back and won the ballgame. The bad news is they let a team that's now lost nine of their last ten games to stay in it to the bitter end.
James scored 36 points in 40 minutes to go with his six rebounds and seven assists. Williams led a balanced bunch of James supporters with 12 points while the Cavs also got 10 points apiece from J.J. Hickson and Shaquille O'Neal. Once again, what energy the Cavs did exhibit came in the person of Anderson Varejao. AV scored 11 points in 28 minutes and also gathered eight rebounds. Varejao has his detractors, who are less than impressed with his flopping and with his unwillingness to ever acknowledge a foul, but Varejao's passion for the game can't be denied and neither can the life he injects into the team when he takes the court. You'd hope that enthusiasm is at some point contagious but right now you take what you can get from Varejao himself.
Andre Iguodala led Philadelphia with 26 points and he got some help from Allen Iverson and Thaddeus Young who each poured in 16 for the 76ers.
The Cavs were down three at the time and Philadelphia had a chance to make it a two possession game and put a stranglehold on momentum right up until the point Iverson made that ill-advised pass and James shockingly hit the three point shot while the rest of the Cavs were still watching from the 76ers side of the court.
Williams followed that sequence up with two straight makes, one of which was a three that gave the Cavaliers a five point lead that they wouldn't relinquish.
Six of the next eight games come against NBA powers (Dallas, Phoenix, the Lakers, Houston and Atlanta twice) and the Cavs aren't going to have the luxury of slopping around and getting a win. Especially on the road which is where they'll see Dallas, Phoenix, LA and Atlanta.
Some may see that as being a bit hard on a team that's 19-7 on the season but anyone watching this team play in the last two weeks knows it's not firing on all cylinders at the moment.
They Got Next
The Cavs are off Thursday and then meet the Milwaukee Bucks at ‘The Q' for an 8pm ESPN tip on Friday night.
After that ballgame it's off on a west coast roadie with the first stop in Dallas on Sunday night. The Christmas day match up with Kobe and the Lakers is after the Cavs visit Phoenix on Monday night and then Sacramento on Wednesday evening.