Fire Isiah? Screw that, fire Mike Brown. It was supposed to be a rough night for the Knicks (as the fans were supposed to have 'Fire Isiah' signs) but they played with energy and purpose (hey, remember those?) and simply kicked the Cavs' ass. There's a lot of things that Brown did which confused me, mostly his substitution patterns (after the way the third quarter started, I would've benched the entire five). I was also shocked that Sasha Pavlovic got off the bench after his bonehead turnover (he made a lazy bounce pass after back to Devin Brown off an inbounds pass and Nate Robinson stole it for a dunk).
LeBron was good... the rest, notsomuch. James had 32 points, 8 boards, 6 assists and 6 steals. He shot 12-21 overall, 3-6 from 3 and 5-6 from the line. Basically, he was awesome. The only other Cav to hit double figures was Drew Gooden with 11 (and he had 9 at halftime).
I'm including Fox Sports Ohio along with 'the rest'. Austin Carr went from talking about how the Knicks are team full of one-on-one players but not 3 minutes later praised them for always finding the second and third options on plays. Carr also warned the Cavs not to let the Knicks think they can win... while they were leading by 22 points in the third period. Also, for some reason FSN's scoreboard was blocking the rim on certain shots. All in all, this was not a pleasant experience.
The sad thing is, after first quarter, the game was never close. The Cavs ended the first 12 minutes of play down 31-30. Then things got ugly. The Knicks outscored them by 12 points in the second and another 4 in the third (where they got down by as many as 22). What surprised me is neither Shannon Brown or Eric Snow got any playing time, even at the end.
What kills me is that the Knicks are awful defensively and the Cavs still didn't go inside consistently. New York is last in the league in opponent field goal percentage (at 48%) and they held the Cavs to 43% shooting. The Cavs almost shot as many 3s (20) as they did free throws (21) - and they missed a lot of both (35% for 3 and 61% from the line). This is the worst defensive team in the league and the Cavs did nothing.
Never fear, the defense was just as bad too. To be fair, the Knicks are the worst offensive team in the league (8 teams score less points and two shoot worse) but they aren't good. The Cavs allowed them to shoot freaking 56% from the floor and 47% from behind the arc. There was nothing redeemable about this game at all.
I used to think point guard was the Cavs' biggest hole, but shooting guard is pretty terrible as well. Sasha Pavlovic and Larry Hughes shoot 3-10 and the only other contribution of note was Sasha's 4 boards. At this point I'm not sure which shooting guard is more painful to watch; both take questionable (at best) shots, both only play defense at times and neither contributes anything besides points. It can't bode well for Shannon Brown if he can't find playing time in this game...
I'm sick of this. I know these Knicks have given the Cavs trouble in the past, but this game was awful. Neither Zach Randolph or Eddie Curry had more than 6 boards but the Cavs still got outrebounded (41-33). They let David Lee score 22 points (17 in the first half). There's no good reason why the Cavs should be playing this way. This is the same group of guys that won 50 games last year and if anything, they should be better (Daniel Gibson's 3pt shooting and LeBron's improvement). Maybe it's lack of motivation, maybe it's poor coaching (Mike Brown gets to juggle minutes... joy) maybe its... I don't even know. They shouldn't be this bad.