Dribbles: Cavs roaring, soaring and tons of fun
Random dribbles on the Cavaliers' 130-86 basketball annihilation of the host Boston Celtics in Game 2 of the Eastern Conference finals Friday.
1. It feels like history was made 217 times in this game, and all of it favored the Cavaliers.
2. I can tell you this: I don't know much about stats, but I didn't need anyone to tell me the Cavs' 72-31 halftime lead was the largest in NBA playoff history. The Cavs were flying all over the court. The Celtics looked like something out of the pre-shot clock era.
3. After Game 1, LeBron James (30 points) said the Cavs could play better. I wasn't sure I believed him. They won Game 1 going away. They won this in about four minutes. It's safe to say LeBron knows basketball.
4. Still, not even LeBron seemed able to explain what happened in Game 2. "I'm a guy who lives in the moment," he told reporters in Boston. "We're just in a great groove, and I'm happy to be a part of that groove."
5. I'm not about to list all of the Cavs' accomplishments here. But we did list most in our quick recap.
6. OK, I'll repeat a few so you don't need to jump all over the site. First, LeBron is 20-0 when he holds a 2-0 series lead. Second, the Cavs are also undefeated in such situations.
7. Following two blowout wins in Boston, it feels like LeBron and the Cavs are up 227-0. It likely doesn't just feel that way to the Cavs, but to the Celtics, too. Did you know the Celtics never even led in either game? Wow, man. Wow.
8. Kyrie Irving (23 points) rediscovered his touch for a night, finishing 8-of-11 from the floor. The game looked easy for him again. Also, Kevin Love practically seemed invisible, yet still ended up with 21.
9. And saying Love seemed invisible wasn't intended as a knock. Just the opposite. Instead, the Cavs dominated so thoroughly, Love wasn't really needed. Still, he played about as well as you can ask, and he did so for a second straight game. On top of shooting 7-of-14, he pulled down a game-high 12 rebounds in 27 minutes.
10. There's really not a negative thing you can say about this. Not one. "I just feeling like we're in a great place," Irving told reporters, and it's hard to disagree.
11. Even J.R. Smith was extremely efficient after just sort of being out there in Game 1. On Friday, Smith finished with nine points on 4-of-5 shooting and grabbed seven rebounds. He also had another outstanding night defending the perimeter.
12. Smith also addressed the NBA MVP race after the game -- as the league announced three finalists (Kawhi Leonard, James Harden and Russell Westbrook) beforehand. LeBron was not on the list.
13. Smith just sort of smiled and tilted his head to the said. "I ain't goinna say nothing," he told the media. "I think (James' play) speaks for itself. It's almost like when Michael Jordan played. He could've won it every year, but they wanted to give it to someone else."
14. Still, Smith added, "I'm glad it's this way." By that, he meant that the whole MVP thing may cause LeBron to be even more determined. (If you can imagine that.)
15. On the other side, Celtics guard Isaiah Thomas went 0-of-6 and scored two measly points. The Cavs have done quite a number on opposing stars. Thomas' status is unknown for Game 3. He injured his hip, sat out the second half and was taken to the hospital.
16. The Cavs are irritating Thomas much the same way they did Toronto's DeMar DeRozan in the first two games. It will be interesting to see how they try to manage Golden State stars Kevin Durant and Steph Curry in the Finals.
17. Yeah, I said it.
18. Overall, the Cavs are playing hard and playing smart -- and showing that when they care, they are the type of team that can defend its crown. The Celtics aren't a terrible team, not by stretch. But the Cavs sure are making them look that way.
19. Finally, this game reminds me of 1991, when the Cavs of Brad Daugherty, Larry Nance and Mark Price beat the Miami Heat by 68 points. Interestingly, a young bench-warming guard by the name of Steve Kerr had to beg coach Lenny Wilkens to let him play in the fourth quarter. "Come on, coach," Kerr said from his seat on the bench. "Not even I can blow THIS lead."