Dribbles: For openers, Cavs get it right
CLEVELAND – Random dribbles from the world champion Cavaliers' 117-88 dismantling of the visiting New York Knicks on Tuesday:
1. I'm not going to carry on too much here, because there are 81 more of these things to go. And that's just the regular season. But my goodness, the Cavs can move the ball.
2. As Cavs coach Tyronn Lue pointed out, his team passed for 31 assists -- and the Cavs shot the ball miserably in the first half.
3. Or as LeBron James mentioned, the Cavs could've put up 140 points had they hit shots they normally make. The open looks were there. When that happens, the ball normally finds the bottom of the net.
4. That was the case in the final two quarters. The Cavs led just 48-45 at halftime. But they erupted for 69 points in the second half, holding the Knicks to 43.
5. For an emotional team celebrating its first championship, and doing so for the first time on its own floor, the Cavs took care of business. They clearly were a little jittery at first. And the new Knicks of Derrick Rose, Joakim Noah and coach Jeff Hornacek seemed particularly determined. But in the end, talent usually wins -- and with the likes of James, Kyrie Irving (29 points) and Kevin Love (23 points, 12 rebounds), the Cavs have the edge in the star department.
6. After the game, the Cavs stood around the locker room, laughed a lot and kept an eye on the Indians in Game 1 of the World Series. As you know, the Indians went on to win, 6-0. It truly was a magical night in Cleveland.
7. James, J.R. Smith and James Jones seem particularly locked in to the Tribe's every pitch. Most of the Cavs will attend Wednesday's Game 2, also in Cleveland.
8. Jones could even be seen cheering as the Cavs huddled during a timeout and a portion of the Indians-Chicago Cubs game was shown on the Humogotron overhead. James watched and clapped as Indians worked their way out of an early-inning jam.
9. As for the Cavs' own game, just know Irving was truly remarkable. He may not grab the rebounds of a Russell Westbrook or rack up lots of assists, but Irving just makes winning plays. We may not always have said those things about him, but we sure can now.
10. Meanwhile, the Knicks look like the same old disappointing team. They have lots of parts and lots of key new faces. So we shouldn't judge them too soon. Still, it's hard to envision them getting real far should they finally get back to the postseason.
11. On the downside, both of Irving's replacements, Iman Shumpert and rookie Kay Felder, are suffering from concussion-like symptoms. Read: The Cavs are still in the market for a backup point guard.
12. For more, read my column/recap here: They call them champs, and Cavs show why.