The Cleveland Cavaliers are not just playing their best basketball of the season, they’re also impossible to beat at the moment, with LeBron James and Kyrie Irving doing a little bit more than before this time around.
The duo combined to score 66 points (34 for James, 32 for Irving) in a 121-115 win on the road against the Washington Wizards, a team that can’t seem to find some consistency and be back where they were expected to be at the beginning of the season. Although the Wizards didn’t make it easy on the Cavaliers and certainly more difficult than the Cavs have had in recent games, their inability to stop the 3-point shot or slow down James was too much for them, despite shooting 55.3% from the field and hitting 14 three-pointers at 58.3% from the field.
Once again, the Cavaliers didn’t need anything off their bench. Playing Tristan Thompson in the lineup does mean there’s less of a change maker coming off the sidelines, but the Cavaliers are built around keeping one of their best players on the floor anyway so the pace, in theory, never relents, and the offense doesn’t go into long minutes of stagnation. In recent games, that’s certainly been paying off for them, as David Blatt went with a seven man rotation to beat the Wizards.
Besides James and Irving, there was J.R. Smith scoring 25 points and Thompson scoring 12 points. James added 10 rebounds and 4 assists, Kevin Love scored just 9 points as he made way for hotter hands and more aggressive players, while the bench added only 10 points. WIth the offense sizzling, there really isn’t a lot needed from these guys, not even using the bench to the full extent of its strength.
For now, the league’s barometer of the Golden State Warriors isn’t something the Cavaliers should be looking at. They’re about creating some distance from everyone else in the East (which they’ve been doing quite well except for the Chicago Bulls, those pesky buggers) and even more importantly, getting Kyrie Irving back in business, which seems to be going quite well too.