Dribbles: Cavs showing what it means to click
Random dribbles on the Cavaliers' 128-90 annihilation of the visiting Dallas Mavericks on Friday:
1. The Cavs have now made basketball mincemeat of the Mavericks and Trail Blazers in back-to-back games. They've moved the ball, shot extremely well, and done whatever they wanted to do offensively.
2. Defensively, they haven't always been great. But they've been good enough. And let's be honest, it's not always easy to stay locked in when know you can score with your eyes shut.
3. LeBron James has played 1,000 regular-season games and the Cavs (12-2) are the first team in league history to make 20 3-pointers in back-to-back games, per Elias. Ain't life grand?
4. Kevin Love scored 27 points (and grabbed 10 rebounds) one game after going for 40. Kyrie Irving scored 25. James went for 19, with 11 assists. And Tristan Thompson had one of those underrated lines that only Thompson can have -- 11 points, 4-of-5 shooting, 12 boards.
5. Translation: The Cavs' starters are in a remarkable rhythm. Interestingly, it's been Love's turn to lead the way.
6. For the first week or so, Irving was the one erupting in the scoring column. Now, he's getting 25 and people are barely noticing. That's just how good Irving has been -- and how great Love has been lately.
7. Meanwhile, James has spent the first month of the season doing his best Larry Bird impersonation. By that, I mean James appears as content to pass out of double teams as he is to get open looks.
8. LeBron has always been unselfish, but like Bird once did, LeBron is just playing mind games and toying with opponents. He's relying less on his athleticism (though that is clearly still a major weapon) and more on his mind. That's what makes LeBron perhaps the greatest forward in history. He can pick you apart via brains or brawn.
9. Yeah, I know. J.R. Smith was just 1-of-11 shooting. Worse, he went 1-of-10 on 3-pointers. But let's save our concern for another night. Smith is always himself, and that means he very well could go 8-of-10 next game. That's just J.R.
10. Love is a combined 15-of-21 on threes over the past two games. He told reporters: "I'm shooting the shots that are there, not hesitating and catching a rhythm. It's been there the last two games and all season long."
11. Five of the Cavs' next six games are on the road. The lone home game in that stretch takes place Thursday vs. the Los Angeles Clippers, who currently sit at 14-3. So the schedule is about to get tougher. But if the Cavs keep this up, it won't matter if they play games on the moon.