Monday, March 2, 2009

Another solid weekend

It was another solid weekend for our Cavaliers. On Friday they breezed to an easier-than-expected 97-86 win (highlights) over the Spurs in San Antonio. The final score really isn't indicative of just how easy it was. The Cavs were up by 23 at a couple different points early in the 4th quarter and obviously took advantage of the fact that San Antonio was missing Tim Duncan and Manu Ginobili - not that we should feel bad for any team missing its starters after all of our own injury woes. It was also nice to see the team follow up Thursday night's clunker in Houston with a solid road win against a good team, with or without all its weapons.

So the team followed up Friday's win by moving along on their brutal road trip with a visit to Atlanta last night. They played a great first half, an ugly third quarter and a not-so-tidy first 3 or 4 minutes of the fourth quarter. Facing a 7-point deficit with 4:25 remaining the Cavs had to really dig deep. Anderson Varejao hit one of his patented scary "no-no-no-YES" fallaway jumpers (as only he can), then followed that up with a three-point play to cut the deficit to 2. After a few bad possessions, Delonte West nailed a long jumper to again cut the lead to 3 with 1:24 remaining. Then Mo Williams hit what I viewed as the shot of the night when he drilled a three-pointer from the corner to tie it at 87 with 47 seconds left. Then another great defensive stop set the stage for LeBron to win it. He drew a foul with 1.6 seconds remaining, hit 1-of-2 free throws, then altered a Joe Johnson jumper that clanked off the iron as time expired. Game over, Cavs win 88-87 (highlights) in one of their signature wins of this season - one they really had no business winning, but somehow they found a way to get it done.

LBJ & the Cavs escaped with a win Sunday night in Atlanta

The good news after this one? The Cavs were able to take advantage of both the Celtics and Lakers stumbling yesterday. They now hold a half-game lead for home court advantage over the Celtics with two huge games against them still looming. And only trail the Lakers by a game (now tied in the loss column) for best record in the league. The great news from yesterday? Joe Smith was bought out of his contract with the Oklahoma City Thunder. If all goes as planned he will be set to re-sign with his former team on Wednesday morning after he clears waivers. And the bad news from yesterday? The Cavs had some severe travel problems after the game and didn't even arrive in Miami until 6:00 this morning. So it will be a tough end to a long trip but if they can somehow pull this one off it will have been an amazing trip. Go Cavs.