This is an instant classic video. Lebron James going nuts on the city of Cleveland – Hulk Hogan style!
Coming out of the halftime break, the Cavaliers were in a tad bit of trouble against a terrible team Tuesday night. Yet LeBron James was jovial and smiling as he reported to the floor.
He must’ve known something others didn’t.
Picking up the slack for two starters being out, James put together one of his trademark all-around efforts to fuel a 102-87 victory over the Memphis Grizzlies. The Cavs (30-6) now have a three-game winning streak.
“You don’t want to let young teams hang around,” James said. “So I wanted to turn it up and be the aggressor. Once I get going it is tough for teams to stop us.”
James pieced together his second triple double of the season and the 19th of his career with 30 points, 11 rebounds and 10 assists. The centerpiece was that third quarter, when James personally took an uncomfortable game and turned it into one of those Cavs chucklers.
He scored 17 points in the third with three assists and four rebounds with a flurry of masculine drives to the hoop. After just nine points in the first half as the Cavs allowed the Grizzlies (11-27) to stay rather close, James sensed it was time to seize control.
He did it by attacking,” Cavs coach Mike Brown said. “He took it upon himself to get us going the right way.”
He picked up a loose ball and raced for a two-handed dunk. He performed a textbook crossover dribble on Rudy Gay, leaving him in the dust on the way to a reserve jam and then picked up foul after foul in a march to the line. At one point he scored nine consecutive points.
Besides all the points, James’ rebounds were needed without Ben Wallace, who missed the game with the flu, and Zydrunas Ilgauskas (ankle). He helped win the rebounding battle and also did a respectable job defending Gay, who came in averaging 19 points a game but had trouble dealing with James’ length as he missed 13-of-18 shots and finished with 10 points.
Delonte West also rose to the occasion. He scored 19 points with six rebounds and four assists but that’s only the half of it. West was all over Grizzlies rookie O.J. Mayo, who is the team’s leading scorer at just under 20 points a game.
West didn’t give Mayo much space on the outside while denying him penetration on drives. Mayo managed just nine points and spent much of the night in foul trouble.
Combined with Mo Williams, who had 16 points and three assists, the Cavs’ backcourt made up nicely for the depleted frontcourt.
So did J.J. Hickson, who has been getting more responsibility as injuries pile up and so do his minutes. He had some rough moments early on, but was effective in the second half as the Cavs pushed the lead out. He finished with nine points and seven rebounds.
Daniel Gibson also had a good effort off the bench with 11 points with 3-of-4 3-pointers. It was one of the best 3-point shooting nights of the season for the Cavs, who made 12-of-21.
Kyle Lowry led the Grizzlies with 25 points, 15 from the foul line. Darius Miles scored 11 points in 11 minutes off the bench.
“Knowing that two of our vet guys were were out we all had to step it up,” James said. “We didn’t have B or Z but everybody helped out.”
At 30-6 for a .833 win percentage the Cleveland Cavs are on fire! And that has to do with Mr. 27 points per game King LeBron James. The Cavs are 8 games up on the Pistons in the Central, and now a game ahead of the Celtics. The Lakers are the only team in the NBA with a better record; at 31-6.
Keep up the domination LBJ and the Cavs!
Add LeBron James’ “crab dribble” to the lengthy list of talking points in the Cavaliers-Wizards rivalry.
“I’ll have to check in my book to see what a ‘crab dribble’ is. I’m not quite sure,” Washington interim coach Ed Tapscott said with a smile Monday. “I do know that we don’t seem to get away with very many of them, whatever they are.”
James and the rest of the Cavaliers were given Monday off by coach Mike Brown, so the world will have to wait for more thoughts from them as to whether The Chosen One did, indeed, travel a day earlier when driving for a potential tying basket in the closing seconds of Cleveland’s 80-77 loss at Washington.
Referee Bill Spooner waved off the play and called the violation. Asked to clarify his ruling, Spooner wrote in an e-mail to a pool reporter: “3 steps on the move to the basket. Basic travel call.”
The NBA did not immediately respond to a request from The Associated Press to comment on whether Spooner made the correct call.
On Sunday, James said it was a “bad call” and that “they need to look at it and they need to understand that’s not a travel.”
In giving his take on what happened, James said: “I watched it again, and I took a ‘crab dribble,’ which is a hesitation dribble, and then two steps.”
Asked Monday if he knows what a “crab dribble” is, Wizards All-Star forward Antawn Jamison said, “I know what a traveling is. … I think we all know what traveling is.”
Washington’s other All-Star forward, Caron Butler, gave a similar answer.
“‘Crab dribble’ is when you, uh, travel,” Butler said. “That’s the hottest thing on the market right now.”
Turning to a more serious explanation, Butler said he thought James switched his pivot foot.
“I couldn’t do it in AAU, I couldn’t do it in college,” Butler said, “and obviously I can’t do it now.”
The Cavs will take on the Denver Nuggets tonight.
The last time LeBron took on the Nuggets he was able to pour in 22 points, 8 rebounds, and 11 assists.
In his career, 11 games, LBJ is averaging 23.2, 7.4 assists and 6.6 rebounds a game.
Tonight – we say 37 points, 12 rebounds, and 6 assists as Cleveland moves to 22-4!
Cavaliers coach Mike Brown was more emotional than usual after his team blew a double-figure halftime lead last month against the Detroit Pistons in Auburn Hills.
Call it disappointment. Call it anger. He didn’t mince words when criticizing his team or himself.
By the way, that’s the last time the Cavs lost.
”Our guys knew that they could have played better and we all stunk that night, including myself,” Brown said. ”When you let games like that slip away or you let people take something from you, it’s not a good feeling, especially without a true fight back.”
In the interim, with the exception of the game Saturday against the Milwaukee Bucks, the Cavs have shown intensity on the court and improved play from the bench while blowing out opponents.
”We played well against Detroit in the first half, then we got lackadaisical, thinking we were just going through the motions another game and win like we’d been winning, and we didn’t,” Cavs center Zydrunas Ilgauskas said. ”It was a real
good reality shot for all of us, I think.”
The Cavs arrived in Auburn Hills on an eight-game winning streak with victories against some of the league’s lower-tier teams and left humbled.
”We learned that we can’t just turn it on and off against the good teams,” Ilgauskas said.
”We learned from our mistakes in Detroit, but we’re going to continue to play the same way whether we won or lost that game,” LeBron James said. ”We’ve been playing the same intense basketball.”
Brown said it helps that the lesson came early in the season.
”Our guys, I think, are smart enough to understand they have a chance to be very good this year,” he said. ”Good teams are going to try to take that from them. Now they have to figure out how we can avoid that happening. How can we be the ones going in and taking things from people on their floor or on our floor.”
What they have taken in the past five games has come with apparent ease, winning games by an average of 19 points.
James knows the Cavs still have to establish themselves more.
”It’s only the first month of the season,” he said. ”We’ve got to continue to get better. We’ve got to continue to go out there and defend. We can’t have any slippage.”
How do they do maintain the intensity? It comes down to reality, Ilgauskas said.
”We had a good month, [but] we haven’t won anything. We haven’t won the division,” he said. ”We haven’t won the conference, we haven’t won anything. It’s really nothing to be proud of, to be honest with you. We played well, obviously. We all know that.
”But just as easy, if you can take it easy, it can be a three-, four-, five-game losing streak. We have bigger goals than that. We want to be playing in June, and we want to put ourselves in a position to have home court in the playoffs.”
Circus in town?
James has no intention of turning away from the media circus surrounding his ”imminent” free agency when the New York media show up to cover the Knicks. In games in New Jersey and New York City last week, much was made about comments that James made.
”I’m going to answer the questions whenever they come, but it’s not such a big deal to me,” he said. ”They’re going to come, and as soon as I say I’m not going to talk about it anymore, that’s when they’re really going to come, so I’m going to answer them and move on like I’ve been doing.”
A bonus could come tonight in playing the Knicks.
If the Cavs win, they will achieve their best home start in franchise history.
A few months back Lebron made a small statement by wearing a Yankees cap to publicly disgrace the Indians. This was no accident. Our guy is simply a Yankees fan. So, last week when Lebron showed up on the Cowboys sidelines while they were playing the Browns in Cleveland – it came as no surprise. James has been a huge Cowboy fan since he was little.
Get over it Cavs fans. He plays for the Cavs but he does not like the Indians or the Browns. Doesn’t mean he hates you all as fans. He just has his favorite teams and now he is in a position to publicly display that love. Keep rockin Lebron!