Game 81: Pistons at Cavs
Quicken Loans Arena
Radio: WTAM-AM 1100, WMMS-FM 100.7, La Mega-FM 97.7
TV: Fox Sports Ohio
1. Talk about going through the motions. This game had no bearing on the Eastern Conference playoff race. The Cavaliers are locked into the No. 2 playoff seed. The Pistons have been eliminated from the playoff chase in Coach Stan Van Gundy's first year.
2. The Cavaliers played their starters against the Pistons. They could also start against Washington on Wednesday on Fan Appreciation Night. Guard Kyrie Irving suffered some discomfort in his right hip. It was something that has plagued him for much of the season. He started against the Pistons, but sat in the second half. It's something that will have to be closely monitored. Coach David Blatt's plan is for the starters to play vs. the Wizards just to keep their rhythm and conditioning sharp.
3. LeBron James recorded his second triple-double of the season with 21 points, 10 rebounds and 11 assists. He wouldn't commit to playing against the Wizards on Wednesday. My guess is the starters will be out there for the opening tip, but won't play their normal minutes. It's important to keep their rhythm heading into the postseason. If tonight's game was any indication, they are there.
4. They appear to be ready for the playoffs. They looked like the best team in the league tonight, especially in the first quarter. They pounded the Pistons on the boards. Detroit was ranked fourth in the league in total rebounds coming into last night's game. The Cavs destroyed them on the boards, 45-30. Cavs center Timofey Mozgov was a beast on the boards with 16 points and a game-high 13 rebounds.
5. The Cavs turned the ball over 12 times last night. That's a huge improvement from Sunday's game in Boston when they had a season-high 25 turnovers. I don't see how playing the reserves and turning the ball over that much is getting anyone ready for the playoffs.
6. The Cavs won their 30th game at The Q tonight. It's the 10th time they've won 30 or more games at home in a season. They've also won 19 of their last 20 home games.
7. The Cavs have made a franchise-record 810 3-pointers this season. They became the 11th team in NBA history to do so. The Hawks and Trail Blazers were right on the Cavs' heels and could also top the 800 mark.
8. This could be the last time the Cavaliers see power forward Greg Monroe in a Pistons' uniform. He'll be an unrestricted free agent in the offseason and is expected to sign elsewhere. It probably won't be in Cleveland, either.
UP NEXT: vs. Washington, Quicken Loans Arena, 8 p.m. Wednesday.
SF LeBron James (6-8, 250) vs. Caron Butler (6-7, 228)
C Timofey Mozgov (7-1, 250) vs. Andre Drummond (6-11, 279)
SG J.R. Smith (6-6, 225) vs. Kentavious Caldwell-Pope (6-5, 205)
Pistons - G Spencer Dinwiddie, G Brandon Jennings
James Capers, Brian Forte, Marat Kogut