Hey, it's Larry Hughes. A healthy Larry Hughes is a beautiful thing. In 32 minutes, Hughes was 11-16 for 25 points, 3 rebounds, 3 assists, 2 blocks and a steal. Larry and LeBron hit their first 14 combined shots; when that happens you're going to beat just about everybody.
Especially a Ray Allen-less Sonic team. This was a team the Cavs should've blown out. And they did. At this point, this is what I'm looking for from this team. The Cavs lost to a Hornet team without three starters, so manhandling a hobbled Seattle team is a good sign.
The offense was NOT offensive. Except for the beginning of the third quarter the offense was on track. Players were cutting, jumpers were open and it was fun to watch. In addition to Larry's 25, LeBron dumped in 23 and big Z added 17.
That third quarter? The Cavs didn't score until almost 5 minutes into the period. They came out shooting jumpers and Brown didn't seem to want to call a time out or make a non-foul related substitution (Varejao in for a foul plagued Gooden). I'd have liked Brown to have at least called a time out and just sat there and fumed or something. Of course, it helped that the Cavs had a 19 point lead at half and Seattle didn't score for the first 3 minutes as well.
The defense stepped up. Again, this was without Ray Allen, but the Sonics only shot 36% from the field (while the Cavs tore it up at 54%). The Cavs Eric Snow guard Rashard Lewis. That speaks volumes about A) what the Cavs think of LeBron's defense and B) what they think of Eric Snows defense. The scary thing? It worked (Lewis went 3-12 and was basically a non-factor).
It's ridiculous how good LeBron can be in the post. The few times they threw it to him down low, he just dominated. The Cavs play with such a different energy when LeBron goes inside and takes it to the rim.
I was lucky enough to catch this game in person. This was my first trip to the Q this season and I learned a few things: 1) I still that Moondog. I mean, I really hate that bastard. 2) Thunderstix are awful. 3) The Q looks fantastic; the floor, the scoreboard, the seats- amazing. It's hard to believe this is the same place I saw all those Lammond Murray games. 4) Thunderstix are even more awful when they are in the hands of girls in the seats directly behind you. 5) Surprisingly, I didn't miss any of the Cavs announcers. Though I feel the need to mention UNC every five minutes for some reason.
Anyone still want Earl Watson? Anyone? Bueller...
Garbage time! Ira Newble and David Wesley got some minutes and man did they impress. Newble missed a semi-open layup. The Cavs were in garbage time mode for most of the 4th quarter but when Seattle got the lead down into the 16-15 range with about 5 minutes left, Mike Brown brought the starters back in. Well, not all the starters- Varejao stayed out there and Gooden kept his seat on the bench (make of that as you will).
Big game on Saturday. With the win over the Sonics, the Cavaliers have taken the lead of the Eastern conference and they go head to head with Orlando Saturday night. Even though it's the second night of a back-to-back, the Cavs should be well rested. The blow out was the best thing the Cavs could have asked for; Brown even managed to keep James under 40 minutes (35, which, considering the score, was still kinda high for my taste). But tomorrow night... LeBron... Dwight Howard... yes.