The block was incredible. Just watch the video Craig tweeted out last night one more time. It’s a great way to start the day. [NBA.com]
More on Hickson, and that block: ”The good news for Cavs is that J.J. Hickson was a beast. The mitigating factor there is that Blake isn’t much of a help defender — he has all the physical tools to be a monster on the weak side, but he’s been allowed to coast defensively in Del Negro’s system. Still, J.J. has looked great for the last couple games, and he continued to look great tonight.
27 points and 14 rebounds is great news — what makes it even better is that only two of J.J.’s points came from outside of the paint. Hickson’s finally getting back to attacking. He still made some big mistakes (how big did that ridiculous travel with .5 left in the first half almost end up being?), but he’s showing why Cavs fans were so excited about him before the season.
And his defense on Blake in the post late was great. (Blake’s other major weakness — he has no moves over his right shoulder in the post. He should spend all summer working on that left hand.) And that block? WOW. WOW WOW WOW. Hickson’s 22, and he outplayed Blake on Friday. That’s good stuff.” [Cavs The Blog / John Krolik]
Streak stops at twenty-six. Looks like we’re having that parade afterall: ”Like their previous victory — against the New York Knicks — the Cavs needed overtime, but they fought as if their lives depended on it, and the Clippers fought just as hard not to be the team that ended Cleveland’s frustration. It made for thrilling theater and terrific basketball.
“It’s kind of bittersweet,” Cavs coach Byron Scott said. “I’m glad that it’s over with. But with about a minute left in the game, I looked up and said, ‘If we’d have played this hard the last game, we would have won.’ It’s great that we finally got the monkey off our backs, but I expect our guys to play this hard every single night. If we do that, then we’ll be OK.”
They were more than OK on Friday night, as the raucous crowd covered in confetti could attest. Cavs forward Antawn Jamison finished with 35 points and nine rebounds, and forward J.J. Hickson had 27 points and 14 rebounds while battling rookie sensation Blake Griffin one-on-one down the stretch.
Griffin finished with 32 points and 13 rebounds, and also took out a few chairs in the front row early in the third quarter. But he had to work for everything he got.” [Plain Dealer / MSB]
LeBron responds to a fan in Detroit last night who was talking about Valentines Day and his Mom: “With his two young sons sitting courtside, Miami Heat forward LeBron James made a personal plea to a taunting fan for decorum during the first quarter of Friday’s game against the Detroit Pistons at the Palace of Auburn Hills.
“You can say whatever you want to me, just don’t get disrespectful,” James said in a measured tone to the fan, leaning over the scorers’ table, in front of Heat broadcaster Eric Reid.
The fan had heckled James about his mother, using a Valentine’s Day reference. James waited for a stoppage in play, making his request as teammate James Jones prepared to shoot free throws.” [Sun Sentinal / Ira Winderman]
Big game for the Buckeyes at 2pm ET up in Mad Town: “This team has some amazing chemistry, and if they have a weakness, it’s at the line. I’ll take bad free throw shooting as my weakness every single time. If the Buckeyes do win, they won’t be in the clear by any stretch, but Wisconsin is certainly the biggest step on the ladder.
I’m not one to believe in fate, so I’ll just say it would be awesome if Ohio State was the first team in over 30 years to go undefeated. I should mention that I also don’t believe in jinxes.” [Eleven Warriors / Jake]
I talked with Christian Eyenga prior to the Clippers game last night about the points tracker series, his mindset heading into last night, and the Skyenga nickname. Here’s the video. [Skyenga Interview / Stepien Rules]
(AP Photo / Tony Dejak)