Wow, that was actually pretty fun. The Cavs looked like an intramural team that was supposed to get killed; they had one guy who could play, a few who could shoot and a bunch of junk players. The Cavs relied on grit, lucky bounces, a guy who can shoot and LeBron. Eight guys dressed and two of 'em just showed up today. The Cavs had almost no height, they had guys playing out of position and they had to scrap and claw to get the victory.
This game alone should prove why LeBron is the MVP. James hit two free throws with 7 seconds left to give the Cavs the win. After posting back to back triple doubles, James came out and dropped 34 points, 15 boards and 8 dimes. James was doubled and tripled all night, but he never tried to do too much; he always found the open man (usually spotted up for 3). Though he made two free throws when it counted, James was just 9-14 from the line (
Damon Jones had a huge game. DJ was the beneficiary of a lot of the Wizards' double teams. Jones was 7-11 from behind the arc and finished with 27 points and 4 assists. Damon played 44 minutes and was obviously enjoying himself; the whole team seemed to play with a reckless abandon.
But let's be honest, the Wizards stink. Seriously guys, you can't guard Damon Jones? You double team LeBron, but you leave Damon open? How can you not make Devin Brown and Eric Snow shoot the ball? Hell, the Cavs, who had no size at all, outrebounded Washington 43-31. Hell, their last second play was a DeShawn "losing the beard growing contest to Drew Gooden" Stevenson isolation. I know Gilbert Arenas and Caron Bulter are hurt, but there's no reason why they should've lost this game.
The Cavs didn't get a lot of calls. Washington shot 29 free throws to the Cavs 17. In the fourth quarter (where the Wizards got some ticky-tack calls), Washington shot 18 free throws (they made 14) to the Cavaliers' 2 (LeBron made both). You'd figure the short handed team, at home, with a super-duper star might get some love, no?
Well played Billy Thomas, well played. 19 minutes, 11 3pt attempts (making 3). Well done. Brought in from the D-League, Thomas came in and gave the Cavs some not terrible minutes. He didn't do anything particularly well, but did enough things adequately to be productive. Thomas used most of his minutes chucking up wide open 3s. If he would've made a couple more, James might've had a third straight triple double.
Eric Snow should be retired. At this point I feel sorry for the guy. He's old, he can't shoot and he can't keep up with the bigger, faster players. Snow was 1-6, but the one he made was memorable. He got a nice mock cheer from the fans and then raised his arms in celebration, acknowledging his terribleness. Snow also pitched in 2 boards and an assist in 32 minutes (probably the most PT he'll see for the rest of his career).
Devin Brown was pretty effective. This guy's shots don't especially pretty, but enough of them went in Friday night. Brown had near Jason Kidd-like triple double with 10 points, 10 boards and 7 assists in 43 minutes. (Think about that- the Cavs played both Damon Jones and Devin Brown over 40 minutes. Eric Snow was over 30. LeBron James isn't the MVP because?).
Fresh blood! New players! Guards not named Larry Hughes! The new additions should debut this upcoming Sunday against Memphis. It should be a fun night for everybody; the team should be pumped with the new guys, the home crowd will be excited and (best of all) they'll be facing a terrible Memphis squad (so it should be a relatively easy win). The next big test will come Wednesday, when the Cavs travel to Boston on the second night of a back-to-back (but we probably be denied the matchup I've been waiting for all season: KG vs Varejao. I can't wait til the playoffs when KG gets thrown out of Game 3 for slugging Andy in the face).