Cleveland’s Finest: LeBron James destroys the Knicks again

By: 03.02.10

If the Cleveland team that showed up Monday night routinely shows up this May/June, there’s no way LeBron doesn’t win his first NBA championship in 2010. Yeah, they were playing the Knicks. Still, the Cavs would’ve been tough for the ’80s Pistons to stop last night with the way they passed, moved without the ball, and played D — plus everybody had an extra spring in their step like it was Midnight Madness on a college campus … LeBron (22 pts, 7 rebs, 7 asts) had about 3-4 dunks in the first quarter, then in the second he hit some other level of craziness: Delonte West was leading a 2-on-1 break with LeBron and tossed an over-the-head lob that LeBron caught, brought down to his ankles, then hammered in backwards like Harold Miner. Maybe the most athletic play any NBA player has made all season, however the dunk didn’t even count because Delonte had been fouled on the toss. No problem. On the very next play, Delonte cut backdoor and got a perfectly-placed pass before elevating on T-Mac and dunking on him with two hands … The Cavs were knocking on a 50-piecing in the fourth before the Knicks finished strong to make it a respectable 31-point margin. By halftime, the Cavs were just trying sh*t out. Jamario Moon was imitating Magic Johnson with his passes, Delonte (15 pts) was popping off Jordan fadeaways, and Antawn Jamison (17 pts, 12 rebs) was having a contest with himself to see how crazy of an angle he could make a shot from … Austin Carr is funny and kind of cruel. He gets this semi-evil laugh whenever LeBron dunks on somebody or swats their shot. When Delonte shook Eddie House and dunked on him, Carr said, “Delonte already had him in the office. That time he took him to the copy machine!” … Somebody should investigate a possible plot among the League’s older point guards to take out Derrick Rose. First Earl Watson banged D-Rose’s left knee, then Mike Bibby cut Rose down last night with a knee-on-knee collision on the right side. When Rose got hurt in the first quarter against Atlanta it initially looked worse than the one against Indiana, but he came back in the second quarter and finished with 24 points. Rose couldn’t stop the Bulls from getting ran in the fourth quarter, though … Chicago finally found a use for Jerome James. When Rose got hurt, one of the assistant coaches summoned Jerome (in a suit) over in case Rose needed to be carried out … Another unfortunate outcome of the Rose injury? On the same play, Josh Smith (17 pts, 18 rebs) caught a ridiculous alley-oop dunk plus the foul over some poor guy. But the Chicago broadcast was so preoccupied with Rose, they never even showed a replay or really mentioned the play at all … Mo Evans hit a shot from behind the backboard that was tougher than what you’ve seen from LeBron or Larry Bird because (1) It was contested; James Johnson was so close to Mo he could count his nose hairs, and (2) Evans was falling down going to his right, as opposed to a square-shouldered look at the basket. But Mo’s shot won’t get half the attention or YouTube hits as ‘Bron or Bird because he’s just some guy … OK, so the NBA definitely pulled back on that whole dress code thing and didn’t tell anybody, right? LeBron showed up to the arena last night looking like Usher in the All-Star ads, and Joakim Noah was on the bench wearing basically a really nice hoodie … The Nuggets are known to play up or down to their competition, but usually they don’t go up and down within the same game. In the first quarter of Suns/Nuggets, Denver looked like they were gonna roll: Chauncey Billups (21 pts) was too strong for Steve Nash, and Nene was too fast for Robin Lopez. In the second quarter Phoenix’s backups came in (led by Channing Frye and Goran Dragic), they slapped on a zone D, and proceeded to outscore the Nuggets 33-11 in the quarter to set the tone for a decisive win … Suns announcer Eddie Johnson on Grant Hill: “The speed doesn’t go away, the brakes go away. That’s why he falls down a lot.” That actually makes a lot of sense … Other stat lines from Monday: Jameer Nelson had 22 points and 10 assists to lead Orlando past Philly; Aaron Brooks and Kevin Martin scored 28 apiece in Houston’s blowout of Toronto; Baron Davis posted 19 points and 12 dimes (and barely missed the ugly triple-double with 9 turnovers) as the Clippers upset the Jazz; Tim Duncan‘s 22 and 9 boards helped the Spurs beat New Orleans; Dirk Nowitzki dropped 27 and 13 to beat Charlotte; and Brandon Roy‘s 25 points got the Blazers past Memphis … With The G.O.A.T. about to take over the Charlotte Bobcats, we’re thinking he may want to re-name the team that was originally named after Bob Johnson. Since yesterday we’ve been taking your suggestions on a new name for the ‘Cats; we’ll announce the winner at 12:30 p.m. Eastern time this afternoon … We’re out like the Knicks’ heart …

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