On Wednesday night, the Cavs displayed depth, versatility, unselfishness and chemistry. They cut to the basket, swung the ball, hit the open man, made perimeter shots and pounded the ball underneath. It was a basketball workshop, the type of display you would expect from a team that has won 10 of its last 12 games. It’s no wonder Cavs coach Mike Brown used words like “awesome” and “fantastic” to describe his team’s performance, summing it up by saying “it was awesome to watch.” At one point in the second half, the Cavs led by 30 and it seemed like significantly more than that. Or how about this: 10 different Cavs played at least 12 minutes. There’s more, as seven Cavs reached double figures in scoring, with none going for more than 14. The Cavaliers went with the Hardwood Classic look from the Lenny Wilkens Era squad – royal blue and orange uniforms and warmups. The Q’s game operations staff had some fun with it as well – photoshopping late-’80s hairdos on the players’ headshots, pumping in ’80s tunes all night and even going with the retro-digital display on the scoreboard. Of course LeBron James broke out the long awaited Nike Air Max LeBron VII HWC Edition. UPDATE: new pics added!
Interestingly, the man who tallied those 14 points was center Zydrunas Ilgauskas, who set the franchise record for games played (724) one outing after receiving a rare (and fairly controversial) DNP-CD. “It’s terrific for him and his family that he accomplished that feat with everything he’s been through,” Brown said of the big night from the Cavs’ big man. Second year forward J.J. Hickson was next in line with 13 points (on 6-for-7 shooting), while mega-stars LeBron James and Shaquille O’Neal tallied 12 apiece. Mo Williams scored 11, and Delonte West and Anthony Parker each had 10. James also finished with a game-high 10 assists and eight rebounds. With the NBA All-Star Game in Dallas just about two-and-a-half months away, LeBron is starting to think about the Slam Dunk Contest, which he hinted he was interested in participating in this year. “Right now, I’m like 50-50,” said James. “The contest is a little wtered down. I don’t know if you can get it back to like the ’80s or ’90s, when it was more about the dunks and less about what was going on around the dunks. But we’ll see what happens.”
Photos Copyright Notice: Copyright 2009 NBAE via Getty Images. Photos by Jesse D. Garrabrant/NBAE via Getty Images, David Liam Kyle/NBAE via Getty Images, Joshua Gunter/The Plain Dealer.