Wednesday, January 14, 2009

LBJ shines in Memphis

Even missing two starters (Big Ben and Z) the Cavaliers continued their winning ways last night with a relatively easy 102-87 win in Memphis (highlights). Lorenzen Wright started in place of Wallace and Andy got his customary start in place of Z. We know how things will go with Andy playing more minutes - he has been outstanding so far this year and last night was more of the same consistency. Wright on the other hand... well, there's a reason he usually doesn't shed his warmups. Thankfully LeBron was able to ratchet his play up even another notch on his way to his second triple-double of the year. In 40 minutes the King had an eye-popping stat line of 30 points, 11 rebounds, 10 assists, 3 steals and a block, including a vast array of dunks and a ridiculous circus shot while being fouled in the 4th quarter.

LeBron just being LeBron on Tuesday night

LeBron also had some nice help from his backcourt with Delonte, Mo, and Boobie all having nice scoring nights. That trio combined to shoot 16-for-24 from the field, including 9-of-12 from "deep in the Fedex Forum" as Austin Carr reminded us about 70 times. That was good for 46 points between the three of them of 67% shooting. When the Cavs are making open shots like that I'm not sure there is any team in the league that can beat them.

I also wanted to point out that the Cavs held the Grizzlies' rookie phenom O.J. Mayo to just 6 points on the night, his lowest output of the year. And LeBron kept Rudy Gay in check with just 10 points on 5-for-18 shooting. This is becoming quite a common theme for LBJ on the defensive side this year and is just another reason why it would be an absolute crime if he doesn't win the league MVP award this season. The only downer on the night was that Darius Miles was able to get 13 points (his first points in three years in a regular season game), but even that had a silver lining as he is just one game appearance away from really hurting the Trail Blazers' available cap space over the next two summers.

So the Cavs travel to Chicago to take on the Bulls tomorrow night at 8:00, somehow the fourth and final time the two division foes will play this year and we're not even close to the All-Star break. At times I wonder if the NBA schedule makers are on crack when they assemble these things prior to the season...