LeBron Crushes Cavs in Round 3

It’s just sad now. Or maybe it’s still funny. The Cavs have become the NBA’s charity case, worse than the Washington Generals because at least the Generals aren’t trying to win. The Cavs are getting to that part of the movie when head coach Martin Lawrence is at the end of his rope and needs a pep talk from an 11-year-old … During last night’s 27-point rout at the hands of LeBron James and the Heat, one Miami announcer sighed, “Oh, that woebegone look in the eyes of these Cleveland Cavaliers.” This was during a fourth-quarter run where LeBron was chilling on the bench and Dwyane Wade (34 pts, 7 rebs, 5 asts), Mike Miller (10 pts, 11 rebs), and Eddie House were taking turns pouring in buckets. (Thankfully, House resisted the urge to pull out his unit.) A few minutes later, Erik Spoelstra subbed in the garbage-time lineup of House, Miller, Carlos Arroyo, Juwan Howard and Erick Dampier, and even they outplayed the Cleveland carcasses on the court … LeBron had an easy 24 points and 8 assists, and he got the highlight dunk we were all waiting for when the Heat destroyed Cleveland that first time. The drive and cram on Christian Eyenga (LBJ’s replacement at small forward) and J.J. Hickson (his replacement as the franchise building block) was something of a statement dunk. But later on, Manny Harris caught LeBron with a two-hand dunk in transition … With 21 straight L’s under their belt, the Cavs’ next chance to snap the streak will be Wednesday against the Pacers, who were at home last night for the debut of the Frank Vogel era. Not sure if it was the Midwest winter storm warning or just the fact that the Raptors were on the schedule, but the crowd at Conseco Fieldhouse couldn’t have been more than 1,000 people … Word out of Indy is that Vogel will stay the rest of the season. So when it comes time to pick a new coach, you can bet Roy Hibbert will campaign to keep Vogel. Hibbert (24 pts, 11 rebs) got the rock early and often last night, and after Toronto got close in the fourth quarter, he shut the door with and-one layups and turnaround J’s from the left block. With nothing better to do, Pacers fans chanted “double-double” for Big Boy Roy … As the final seconds ticked down and Indiana had the W in hand, Darren Collison jacked an unnecessary three that dropped with about 0.5 left on the clock. The refs let the game end there, but while Vogel stood around waiting to shake hands with the opposing coach, Jay Triano was in the middle of the court dodging cheerleaders to argue with one ref that he’d called a timeout. The ref basically said something along the lines of “Who cares?” before a livid Triano stormed off the floor without acknowledging Vogel. According to Toronto’s announcers, Triano wanted the timeout as payback for Collison’s trey. As one announcer put it: “I think Jay was saying, ‘OK, you’re gonna play like that; we’re gonna play like this.'” … Wasn’t the better time to get all proud and send messages somewhere between tip-off and the end of the fourth quarter? What’s with all the wounded feelings now? And they say the NBA is getting soft …Read More>>

The Wizards were trying to snap their own streak of futility, going into last night’s game in Dallas with 23 straight road losses. Now it’s 24. Led by John Wall (17 pts, 10 asts) and Rashard Lewis (18 pts), Washington actually looked good in the first half, leading by double digits before Dirk Nowitzki (24 pts) sparked a run to get Dallas back in it. Then in the third quarter, Jason Terry (14 pts, 8 asts) was the key in another big Dallas run that put them ahead for good … Despite the road record hanging over their head, you have to like the Wizards’ young core. Wall is a dynamic playmaker who can score, defend and runs like a Porsche. Nick Young puts the ball in the hole more often than Tiger Woods on the putting green. Andray Blatche has size, skill, athleticism and a mean streak — he just needs to grow up and make better decisions on and off the court. And JaVale McGee can thrive in a situation where all he has to do is run, jump, block shots and tear down the rim. There’s a lot to like, a lot of parts for a coach to mold, and yet Flip Saunders spends most of every game looking like he needs a hug and some medication … E-mail from our guy E-New, a diehard Celtics fan: “I was just thinking about the worst practical joke ever while watching Yi Jianlian roam the court in Dallas. I wake up tomorrow and it was all a dream. The Ray Allen and KG trades never happened and the Celtics used the 5th pick that was in the Allen deal on Yi because Ainge liked his ‘upside.’ Instead of the last three and a half years — which by the way is the greatest thing the basketball g-ds ever did for me, including my back-to-back 3’s at Elmont High School in 1994 or meeting Larry Legend — instead I woke up to Yi, Perk, Al Jeff, Rondo and Delonte.” … Other stat lines from Monday: Blake Griffin put up 32 points, 11 rebounds and 6 assists as the Clippers beat Milwaukee; Mike Conley had 26 points and 11 dimes to lead Memphis past Orlando; Brook Lopez scored 27 points and Devin Harris handed out 18 assists in New Jersey’s upset of Denver, while Carmelo Anthony dropped 37 points in the loss; and Al Jefferson went for 21 points, 11 rebounds and 3 blocks in Utah’s win over Charlotte … Jimmer Fredette was in the building for that Jazz game. If you’re running that franchise, and you know Jerry Sloan isn’t going to go for any form of tanking whatsoever, aren’t you already devising your plan to trade up or down or whatever you have to do to bring Jimmer home in the NBA Draft? This is a bigger lock than when we thought Tim Tebow was going to the Jaguars … We’re out like Flip’s nerves …