What We Learned: Cavs vs Pistons
The Cavs traveled to Detroit on Tuesday night in an attempt to keep their modest winning streak going. Cleveland was down by 9 after the first half, but that didn’t last long. The Cavs stormed back and won 102-93. Here’s what we learned from the win:
• LeBron is the best passing forward of all time. We can debate whether LeBron should be classified as a forward, but there is no denying the fact he can pass. He passed up Scottie Pippen for the most assists among forwards in NBA history. Congratulations LeBron!
• The Cavs can fight back from a deficit. Cleveland hasn’t been tested the last few games. This was one of the few games since the January winning streak that the Cavs have faced adversity and overcame it. It’s great rolling over teams like they did against the Wizards and Knicks, but it’s also important that the new look Cavs learn how to win tight games like this.
• James Jones can make clutch shots. Jones played 15 minutes in this one and knocked down a pair of clutch 3s in the second half. I love the chemistry Jones has with LeBron. He gave us a glimpse of what Jones can provide for the Cavs in the playoffs. Games like this make me think that Jones can provide more than just “veteran leadership”.
• Kendrick Perkins is a huge pickup. Timofey Mozgov was in foul trouble in the first half of the game. Adding Perkins gives Mozgov a chance to play more aggressively. We now have a solid backup to come in when Big T gets in foul trouble. Unfortunately Perkins didn’t get many minutes in the game on Tuesday. His minutes will go up once he gets comfortable practicing with the team. I look forward to seeing his role on the Cavs expand.
• Kevin Love can be a three point specialist. Love was 8-14 from behind the arc on Tuesday night. He hit clutch 3s just when the Cavs needed them most. He brought Cleveland back from their first half deficit. While he shouldn’t be used as primarily a three point specialist, he showed us that he can be. I love the way he was able to create room for his shot by playing the pick and pop game. That’s something I want to see him continue to do. Love finished with 24 points and 9 rebounds. You can’t ask for much more from your third scoring option.
• The Palace of Auburn Hills is still the King’s Throne. LeBron finished with 19/11/7. Those are impressive numbers, but let’s be honest that’s not amazing from LeBron. He seems to put up numbers like that on a nightly basis. The most impressive stat from Tuesday’s win was LeBron’s plus minus rating. He finished the game as a +27! The most impressive thing about it is it was only a 9 point game at the final. You have to expect a game like this from LeBron when he goes to the Palace of Auburn Hills. We all know he’s had some of his best games there.
Player of the Game: Kevin Love – 24 points and 9 boards.
The Cavs will be back in Thursday night against Golden State in what could be an NBA Finals preview.
– Jackson Flickinger
pic credit Cleveland.com