They say box scores don’t tell the whole story. Behind The Box Score is a new series where from time to time we will attempt to look behind the box score and tell more of the complete story of what happened in the game.
Basketball is a game of runs. That was certainly the case in this game. The Cavaliers jumped out to an early 18-point lead, but in the 2nd quarter the Knicks came all the way back. In previous seasons the Cavaliers might have folded up, but in this game the team dug in and pushed the lead back to 18 in the second half. The Knicks would close to within 13 again in the fourth quarter, but Kyrie Irving went back to work and the Cavaliers put the Knicks away for good.
For Kyrie, this game was hopefully a breakout game for him. After struggling for most of this season, Kyrie found himself facing one of his favorite teams to play, and he took advantage. He looked aggressive early, attacking the rim, pushing the tempo and looking to keep the offense engaged. This was one of his better games on defense as well. Hopefully this isn’t a one night exception, but instead the start of Kyrie’s return to All-Star form.
The Cavs have been an up and down team this year, but they find themselves now winners in four of their last five games and have really played pretty solid basketball in five of the last seven. It’s probably no coincidence that five of the last seven games have been at home, and sure, the Knicks are a struggling basketball team right now. But the Cavs still deserve credit for fighting to turn this season around. If they can ever figure out how to bring the same effort on the road, things will really start to turn around. [Read more...]