With their next game 4 days away, the Cavaliers played with a lot of energy on Friday night. Tristan Thompson anchored the defense while Kyrie Irving propelled the offense early as the Cavaliers cruised to an easy victory over the Pistons on Friday night. The win makes the Cavaliers 10-2 on the season while the Pistons dropped to 6-7.
- JR Smith and LeBron James returned to the lineup after sitting out Wednesday night’s game against the Pacers. It was Smith’s first game after a three-game absence after suffering a right ankle injury sustained a week earlier in a win over the Wizards. James was back after resting in Indiana on the second night of a back-to-back.
- The Cavaliers continue to dominate, thanks in large part to the versatility of their big men. Channing Frye has been magnificent for the Cavaliers on the offensive end. It was Thompson, however, who set the tone for the Cavaliers early in the game against he Pistons. Thompson swatted shots from Aron Baynes and Jon Leuer in the first quarter, which set the tone for the Cavaliers on the defensive end.
- Irving lead the Cavaliers offense with 11 assists–7 of those assists came in the first quarter as the Cavaliers ballooned their lead to 30-19 after one quarter. The 7 assists in the quarter were the most Irving has accumulated in one quarter in his career. Irving continues to emerge as one of the best point guards in the NBA and his ability to be a distributor was on display Friday night. Irving was truly ridiculous and completely unstoppable for the Cavaliers. Irving scored 15 points in the first quarter on his way to 25 points (11-15) in the game.
- Jordan McRae seems to have taken Kay Felder’s rotational minutes. Felder had been receiving brief minutes at the end of the first and start of the second quarters. McRae has been the subject of trade rumors throughout the beginning of the season, but it seems as if the Cavaliers are still experimenting with him as part of the second unit.
- Perhaps it was the rest they will receive between now and Wednesday or perhaps it was losing on Wednesday that motivated the Cavaliers to play with such energy. Whatever it was must have worked. After starting the game down 6-0, the Cavaliers responded to take a 56-39 halftime lead. The game was perhaps summed up by a play in the third quarter when Thompson blocked a shot at the rim and Irving followed with a heat-check 30-footer that got nothing but net. At that point, the Cavaliers lead 67-41 and proceeded to win going away.