The Cavaliers looked like a team who is pretty pumped up about two-time All-Star Luol Deng coming to Cleveland on Tuesday night. After news of the trade broke earlier that morning, the Cavs capitalized on a palpable buzz inside the arena by dominating the Philadelphia 76ers from start to finish. The only moments of suspense in the second half surrounded C.J. Miles and his quest to set a new standard of excellence from three-point range.
Mike Brown's team finished with five players in double figures while holding the Sixers under 40 percent shooting for the game on their way to a 111-93 victory. Kyrie Irving returned from a knee contusion to total 16 points and eight assists on 6-of-9 shooting in 30 minutes. If he had his new teammate Deng in uniform, the Cavs would have probably won by 35.
"Way to shoot it, Calvin" – Tristan Thompson
If you were watching the postgame on Fox Sports Ohio, you may have heard Tristan Thompson interview bomb C.J. Miles and Allie Clifton by dropping Fresco's government name in the background–Calvin Andre Miles, Jr. But you can just call him the Cleveland Cavalier who made the most three-pointers in one game ever. Miles had eight made three's to tie the record during the third quarter but didn't make the record-breaking shot an issue at all.
According to a source close to a neighbor Ricky Davis was watching the game with, Davis was visibily upset with Miles' lack of selfishness. But C.J. played within himself and within the flow of the game to finish with 10 three's anyway, knocking down two in the fourth quarter before making an early exit.
He also finished with a Cavaliers career high 34 points to lead all scorers. Miles set that Cavs high by one point after scoring 33 last season on December 29 against the Brooklyn Nets.
If you're bringing in an All-Star small forward who can actually score, I'll start working on my assist game. That's what I thought Dion Waiters was probably thinking on his way to an NBA career high eight assists last night.
Waiters had seven assists a handful of times as a rookie but never as many as eight. When Waiters passes the ball like he did the Cavaliers are a difficult team to defend, just as they were against Philly. That's also been the upside that Waiters has always brought to the Cavs' backcourt–if he can consistently create for himself and others from the two-guard spot things will open up like crazy.
On Tuesday, Irving matched Waiters with eight assists as well, while Matthew Dellavedova dished out six. That's 22 assists between Waiters, Irving and Delly. The Sixers, meanwhile, finished with 21 as a team.
Varejao is still grabbing all the rebounds
After tying Rick Roberson to begin the month with 25 rebounds in one game, Varejao has not stopped grabbing all of the boards. He finished with a game-high 14 last night to go along with 18 points. That brings Varejao's rebounding total for the month of January (four games) to 16.
He is currently tied with Tim Duncan at 13th in the NBA overall with 9.7 rebounds on the season. Teammate Tristan Thompson, who also finished with a double-double on Tuesday at 12 points and 10 rebounds, ranks one spot ahead of Andy and Timmy at 12th overall with an average of 9.8.
Who gets to wear No. 9?
Sources close to those who profit off NBA jersey sales all over the world have indicated that they hope Luol Deng ends up wearing No. 9 in Cleveland. The reason is simple: think Kobe switching from eight to 24.
Exactly. The amount of Delly jerseys that have already been sold with his Cavs colored nine are likely to double if he ends up allowing Luol Deng to wear his number in Cleveland and switches to another jersey number.
We'll be monitoring this situation closely and keep you posted. There's also a chance that neither Deng nor Delly actually care what number they were, so that's worth considering as well.