Tuesday, November 27

Big win

The season is still young, but tonight marked a very big win for the Cavaliers.

The Cavs knocked off Boston 109-104 tonight at The Q to push their record to 9-6, extend their winning streak to four, pull into a virtual tie with Detroit, and hand the Celtics just their second loss of the season.

Fred McLeod kept commenting about how tonight's contest felt like a playoff game, and I'm inclined to agree with him. The crowd was into the game for what seemed like the first time all year, and it was mostly a half court game.

LeBron continued to build his case for MVP, with 38 points, 13 assists, and 4 boards. But the key was Drew Gooden, who added 24 points and 13 rebounds on a terrific 11 of 15 shooting.

Gooden is one of the streakiest shooters in the league, but every half dozen games or so, he gets dialed in. When this occurs, the Cavs have to recognize it and feed him until he cools off, and tonight the Cavs did just that. I've been a huge proponent of running the offense almost exclusively through James' slashing, with Gooden/Z pounding the paint when those three are on the floor, and it's amazing how much better the Cavs' shot selection becomes when Larry Hughes is "injured"...

Regardless, a huge win for the Cavs and a definite confidence-builder. I was worried that the Cavs might have problems handling the Celtics mentally after Boston beat up on them pretty badly in the preseason, but obviously those worried were dead wrong. Hopefully the Cavs remember this win if only to know that they can beat the Celtics, particularly if the two teams meet up in the playoffs.

Rumors of the Cavaliers' demise have been greatly exaggerated...

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