Random dribbles on the Cavaliers’ 111-85 hammer job of the host Heat on Wednesday …
1. Last time the Cavs won in Miami? Try Jan. 25, 2010.
2. Rookie forward Evan Mobley: “2010? I was 9 years old.”
3. In 2010, LeBron James hadn’t even left Cleveland — the first time. Twitter was barely a thing. Facebook was still mostly for college students. Daily newspapers still had a fighting chance.
4. Translation: It was a long, long time ago, seemingly in a land far away.
5. But so far, these Cavs are special. They are getting contributions from everyone. Someone knew seemingly steps up every night. These Cavs are young, but they are confident.
6. These Cavs (12-10) have a couple of All-Star candidates in Jarrett Allen and Darius Garland. They have the frontrunner for Rookie of the Year in Mobley. They have a coach who is bringing it all together in J.B. Bickerstaff.
7. And it’s been about a decade (or more) since they’ve been this inspirational, so easy to admire. If you have something negative to say about these Cavs, well, you’re just nitpicking.
8. On this night, the Cavs faced a Miami team that was down two stars in swingman Jimmy Butler (tail bone) and power forward Bam Adebayo (thumb surgery). But all that meant was the Cavs could have tried to cruise — which is never a good idea on the road. Instead, they stepped on the gas.
9. They included an early 14-0 run in the first quarter in which they took the lead. They never gave it back up. The Heat (13-9) looked defeated before the middle of the second quarter.
10. “We wanted to set the tone,” Allen said. “We all know they’re down a couple of star players, but that’s no excuse for us to go out there and be lackadaisical. We went out there and threw the first punch and we took it home.”
11. Allen speaks the truth, as the Cavs dominated in nearly every area. Again, in Miami. And remember, this came two nights after they blasted the Mavericks in Dallas.
12. Cleveland went 16-of-31 shooting on 3-pointers. It led 61-43 at halftime. Then it opened the third quarter on an 18-4 run. This wasn’t just a win. It was a basketball bloodbath.
13. Bickerstaff on the victory: “We knew that we had a job to do and that’s the way how we approached the game. There can’t be any letdown when you’re playing a team that carries the reputation that the Miami Heat carry. Our guys were aware of that and they went out with a business-like approach and got the job done.”
14. Forever and ever amen.
15. Kevin Love was exceptional with 22 points off the bench. He hit two threes during the aforementioned first-quarter surge, and finished 6-of-8 from beyond the arc for the game.
16. Every once in a while, we are seeing the Love of old. The fact that he’s only relied on to do it in reserve is what makes it acceptable. He doesn’t need to be great every game while coming off the bench. Just sometimes. This year, he’s done that.
17. Allen added 19 points and 11 rebounds. Mobley also had a double-double with 17 and 11, respectively. Garland scored 16. Even Lamar Stevens got in on the fun with 12 points, three rebounds, two assists and a couple of blocked shots. Isaac Okoro added 10 points.
18. And for the record, this isn’t just the Cavs’ first win in Miami since 2010. This is also their first time they’ve been above .500 after 22 games without LeBron on the roster since 2000-01.
19. With the way things are going in LA, maybe LeBron should demand a trade to the Cavs. Because everything sure is going great in Cleveland.
20. Final word from former NBA center and current analyst Kendrick Perkins in the tweet below …
This young Cavs team is really about that life! This young Big 3 of Garland, Mobley and Allen is really going to be a problem for the rest of the league. The future is NOW for Cleveland! Carry the hell on…
— Kendrick Perkins (@KendrickPerkins) December 2, 2021