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Cavs played hard in Miami, which is all I was really hoping for

The beating that Ryan and them put on him felt like way more than one win. I was actually surprised to realize he had won six of seven times already.

The team splits, however, could possibly be spun into something encouraging. 

There were only four other NBA teams he's averaged less points against for his career through seven games. So the good guys are like the fifth best team at defending the best player in the world or something. 

Awesome.

Until you realize those numbers were still 25.7 points, 6.7 rebounds and 7.0 assists. After the 30 it's probably more now too, but I'm getting ahead of myself.

His new team had won three straight heading into last night's matchup with Jeremy Pargo and the Cleveland Cavaliers. They had also won four of their last five and were 9-3 overall. The same record the Cavs would have if you reversed each number.

He was the NBA's sixth leading scorer at the moment too, on a career-high pace in the rebounding category.

Oh and he's finally playing the four, operating closer to the basket offensively than he ever did in Cleveland. Three-point attempts are way down, shots from nine feet and in way up. Did I mention he's also averaging a career-high in rebounding?

Getting sidetracked again.

As far as last night, Chris Bosh was coming in playing like the superstar they billed him as originally when the Bostrich first stepped awkwardly onto that South Beach stage.

He was up over 20 for the season, fresh off a 24 and 18 game on Wednesday in their last win.

He might have a hard time against bigger, stronger, more traditional NBA centers but the Cavs don't have any of those.

Vitaly Potapenko would not be making the trip.

It wasn't looking good.

That was my conclusion as I finalized my pregame notes for my Live Blog assignment at Bleacher Report.

The Cavaliers might lose this thing by 40. 

Dwyane was going to play they tweeted. Ray Allen is down there shooting 52 percent from three on the season.

If the Cavaliers could keep it close through the first two quarters I was going to count it as a win for Cleveland. I was questioning myself for agreeing to the assignment based on my fear that they wouldn't.

I might have to speak objectively about how exactly he and his new team are pulling the Cavaliers apart one piece at a time for two hours as things get out of hand early.

Again. Best case scenario was I only had to do that for the second half.  

Then, something awesome happened.

Not totally awesome, or course, but pretty encouraging as far as my standards of awesome are concerned. 

For some perspective, without Kyrie Irving, the Cavaliers might have the worst roster in the NBA right now. Maybe they have the fourth worst roster, or third, or sixth or something, but it's bad.

Regardless of that truth, the Cavs played hard enough last night to allow the team with the worst roster in the NBA to hang for four quarters with the craziest collection of talent in the league.

The Cavaliers bench exploded to out-score Miami's reserves 41-26. Eight players reached double figures for the game on the Cleveland side.
 
Anderson Varejao grabbed a game-high 15 rebounds to finish with two more than the Heat's starting front-court combined.
 

Dion Waiters was not afraid while being matched up against a Hall of Famer in Wade. He missed a whole bunch of shots to be sure, but came out firing 14 times to finish with 16 points.

 
Omri Casspi needed only 15 minutes to score 15 points and complete his best game to date as a Cavalier. All while violence in Israel surrounds his friends and family back home.
 
Jeremy Pargo shot a Waiters-like percentage but he finished with 16 too. He's now averaged 19.6 points in three games while playing in relief of Irving.
 
In the end, he missed that last second shot the Cavaliers desperately needed. The truth is, though, that your team should automatically lose is Jeremy Pargo is who you select to take your last shot on the road to tie or beat the best team in the NBA while time expires.
 
No offense to Jeremy, who is playing really well like I said.
 
He's playing really hard too, like all the Cavaliers did last night.
 
As a result of that effort, the natural option for me was to talk Cavaliers basketball for much of the night as I live-blogged my way through it
 
For 47 of the 48 minutes, they were the story.
 
Maybe with Irving, that story would've even ended like that game Ryan played in did. 
 
Photos: NBA.com
Brendan Bowers

About Brendan Bowers

I am the founding editor of StepienRules.com. I am also a content strategist and social media manager with Electronic Merchant Systems in Cleveland. My work has been published in SLAM Magazine, KICKS Magazine, The Locker Room Magazine, Cleveland.com, BleacherReport.com, InsideFacebook.com and elsewhere. I've also written a lot of articles that have been published here.

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