As if a 2-8 start wasn't bad enough, Kyrie Irving was ruled out for a month earlier this week with a hand injury. News of this was absolutely terrifying, because he is one of two players (see: Anderson Varejao) that have been consistently excellent this year. Irving and Varejao have been the Cavs go-to duo this year, losing half of that tandem seemed to doom Cleveland through the holiday season. Such is why Pargo's performance Wednesday night was so important; it demonstrated the ability to win while being forced to rely on the bench. A huge hole in the Cavalier's charge this year has been the lack of bench support. Against Philly, the Cavs also saw C.J. Miles step up and posted 16 points, going 3-4 from deep in the Q. Overall, Cleveland shot 56.5% from three. Tyler Zeller also gave some tough minutes. Now let's see if this vital trio can continue to deliver.
Daniel Gibson was out for the second straight game with a sore elbow.
Alonzo Gee went 4-6 from downtown, and had 14 points. Anderson Varejao grabbed 19 boards with 10 points. Dion Waiters had 16 points and 6 assists.
The 76ers started the game hitting a dismal 12 of 45 shots, allowing the Cavs to jump out to an early lead. Cleveland pulled up by as much as 15 in the third, and then Philly started to find the back of the net. The 76ers pulled within 2 when the clock showed 3:31 left to play. The boys didn't panic, and went on a tear, scoring thirteen unanswered to close out the game. Pargo, Miles, and Waiters all hit huge shots during the run.
Once again the Cavs showed glimpses of greatness. They looked better than a 3-8 team, as surely they are. Hopefully moving forward they can do play up to their potential on a nightly basis.
Cleveland starts a three game road trip Friday in Orlando. They will also pay visits to Miami and Memphis.Tags: Anderson Varejao, Basketball, Cleveland, Cleveland Cavaliers, Jeremy Pargo, Kyrie Irvin, NBA, Philadelphia, Philadelphia 76ers, Tyler Zeller