Wow! I can now say with certainty that I’ve had to pinch myself at least 5 times this season. The Cavs are simply a great basketball team. Last night’s victory in Miami, and the concluding road trip, will definitely be worth looking back on in April and May (and hopefully June). When they embarked on this daunting road trip, which included 4 games in 5 nights against 4 playoff teams, 2-2 would not have been disappointing. Then, after getting torched in Houston in the first game of the trip, I wasn’t really sure what to expect in the final 3. No Tim Duncan or not, the Cavs blew the doors off the Spurs Friday night, allowing LeBron to spend another entire 4th quarter being a cheerleader on the bench. Sunday night’s game in the ATL was a definite nailbiter, and a game that previous seasons’ Cavs teams might not have had the resiliency to overcome. After having a 13 point lead in the 3rd, Atlanta’s D stiffened and the Cavs entered a haze for about a quarter and a half. Down by 5 with only a 1:30 to go, they clawed their way back thanks to huge buckets from LBJ, the Wild Thing, and MoWill (how good is this guy?). LeBron’s free throw won it, but it was Mo’s trey with 45 seconds left that was the dagger. Finally, the Cavs arrived in Miami at 7 am thanks to an icy plane in Atlanta, set to play their 4th in 5 nights on the road. Once again they found themselves down a large deficit late in the 4th quarter, and once again they proved just how special a season this is becoming. Big bucket after big bucket by LeBron and MoWill (seriously, how good???) willed the Cavs to a huge victory to finish the trip.
Mike Brown has done an incredible job with this team, and their attitude late in ball games and overall on the defensive end of the floor gives me goosebumps. The reigning Eastern Conference Coach of the Month (for the 2nd time this season) has the boys firing on all cylinders, and not looking past any opponents. With that said, Coach Brown is going to have me running suicides, because I simply cannot wait for Friday night’s showdown in Boston. Here’s hoping they can take care of business tomorrow night at home vs the Bucks, but Friday night is going to be Uge. Something tells me that KG’s knee is going to feel miraculously better before tip-off, a la Paul Pierce in the Finals last year.
Finally, Joe Smith is about set to make his triumphant return to the Cavs bench tomorrow. Couple this with the fact that Boston frantically signed Mikki Moore because they thought they wouldn’t get Smith (ha!), and that makes his arrival even sweeter. His defensive presence inside off the bench is exactly what this team needs in crunch time. Joining him in the return to the bench will be Sasha Pavlovic, whose presence on the bench will fully solidify the guard position. This all adds up to a very exciting time for us Cavs fans; Now a full game ahead of Boston for the #1 seed in the East, this ride is starting to get very, very exciting. Take a step back and appreciate how good this team really is…it’s tough not to take LeBron for granted sometimes, but when you watch him almost every game, he truly is the MVP and the best player in the universe.