Solid. That's the one word that sums this game up. Solid. The Cavs gave a solid effort on the defensive end and they did most everything right on the offensive.
And they ran. The Cavaliers actively looked to push the ball up the court and it led to some easy buckets and let them set up the offense just a little bit earlier. This is how I'd like to see them run- they don't have to be the Suns, but push the ball after misses and turnovers. For instance, LeBron got an easy hoop off of a full court drive. We're they going crazy? No, but they ran within their means.
They didn't rely on LeBron. The Cavs had five players in double figures: Z and Pavlovic had 16, Hughes had 15, Gooden had 13 and LeBron finished with 11. I'm not going to lie, it's nice to see the Cavs get a good win without relying on LeBron. The ball moved around the court and the Cavs attacked the basket. They only shot 41% from the floor and just 25% from three; not great numbers but it's nice to see a solid win without them having to be hot.
Pigs flew. LeBron played 'just' 36 minutes. This is down from his usual 41. I harp on this a lot and I really do think this is important. 36 minutes isn't exactly low (that's what Dirk Nowitzki averages) but it is nice to see him a decent amount under 40.
More LeBron. 11 points, 7 boards and 3 assists, not exactly spectacular numbers, but not bad either. He was just 4-13 from the field, but a few of those misses came off of drive that could've/would've/should've gotten James to the foul line (where he was only 2-2).
The young kids. Gibson played pretty well, he didn't shoot much (his two 3s were the Cavs first 6 points) and he finished with zero assists. Simply having him out there changes the way teams guard the Cavaliers, but I'm not gonna lie, it'd be nice to see him set up some of his teammates every once in awhile. Sasha Pavlovic continued his strong play, scoring 16 points and grabbing 5 boards. Hell, we even had a Shannon Brown sighting (which means I can start clamoring for him to play again. I think we're all looking forward to that).
The big men played well. Z had a classic 16-16 game and even had 4 assists. Not too shabby. The bulk of Drew Gooden's 13 points came in the second half and he also had 5 rebounds, all in just 20 minutes of court time. The Cavs ran the offense through Z early on (he got the assists on Gibson's two 3s) and, combined with the effort to push the ball, it really paid off.
Hughes scored 15 and still managed to bug me. 15 points (5-12 shooting), 4 assists and 3 boards. Not exactly a bad game or even bad effort. Hughes seemed engaged and active most of the time but his shot selection still left much to be desired. The man takes too many jumpshots; they went in against the Clippers, but that doesn't exactly make it right.
A lot of those jumpers came in the third period. Both Hughes and James came out firing after halftime. Why does this happen? They play great, team oriented first half and then they come out the second half hoisting jumpers. The Cavs had 28 points in the paint in the first half and just 4 in the third quarter. Makes sense to me.
Nice way to bounce back from the Detroit game. The Cavs have had a few days off and we've seen a lot of stories about the offense (or lack thereof) and there's been some grumbling from the players. It was good to see the Cavs get a big, comfortable win after their time off and that the offense ran smoothly. Sure it's just the Clippers, but let's hope that the Cavs can build off this and play well against the Heat on Friday