This really wasn’t an NBA game as much as it was some sort of glorified exhibition/feeding to the wolves ala the Harlem Globetrotters vs. the Washington Generals. The Lakers completely dominated the Cavs 112-57, handing out a the type of beat down rarely seen at this level of professional basketball. To put this game in perspective, the Lakers set a new franchise record for fewest points allowed (the previous low was 66) and won the game by their 2nd largest margin ever (2nd to a 57 point win*).
Getting too deep into this bloodbath isn’t even necessary. Before the game we spoke about the quality of the Cavs and how the injuries they’re dealing with have left them even more shorthanded than normal. All we asked was for the Lakers to come out playing hard and with focus in order to put this team away early. Mission accomplished. They outscored the Cavs 27-12 in the first frame and just continued to build on their lead from there.
The Lakers controlled the game every which way imaginable. Every starter scored in double figures, every player that got in the game had a positive plus/minus, and save for Joe Smith’s goose egg in the scoring column every Laker put the ball in the basket at least once. The Lakers made half of their three point attempts (10-20) and had 52 points in the paint (compared to 28 for the Cavs).
Defensively, the Lakers were just as dominant holding the Cavs to 29.9% shooting and an offensive rating (points per 100 possessions) of 64. The Cavs had 19 turnovers to only 12 assists while only making 23 shots from the field. When you look at their players’ plus/minus you see a -57 for Manny Harris, a -46 for Jamison, and a -43 for Mo Williams. Those numbers are astounding. The math in this game is like nothing I’ve ever seen in an NBA boxscore.
Really, after a while it was a bit sad to see how bad the Cavs were being trounced. Kobe said after the game that he didn’t feel bad for the Cavs (but that he “felt bad for Byron”), but as a fan of the game (and not just the Lakers) I can honestly say that this game reminded me of a one sided boxing match where you wish the referee would just stop the fight because one guy was getting his head caved in. Unfortunately the Cavs were at the mercy of the game clock and just had to continue to take their beating until the final buzzer with no hope of anyone throwing in the towel for them. Meanwhile the Lakers just kept providing highlight after highlight, be it an off the backboard dunk from Kobe to Bynum or a half-court buzzer beater by Shannon at the end of the third quarter. It was just one of those nights for the Cavs.
The Lakers now have a 5 game win streak and have put together dominant back to back performances. You can say that tonight was pre-determined based off the quality of opponent and I would agree to a point. But in a normal game, when you’re much better than an opponent, a 20 point win is what’s expected. Tonight the Lakers won by 55 and never let the Cavs recover or even sniff an opportunity in the game. When Phil Jackson said that his team has been “pretty focussed lately” this is what can result. Tomorrow, the Lakers see if they can carry over some of this game into a match up with the Warriors. Here’s hoping they can.
Robert Fiore says
I’d say what I thought of this if it wasn’t against the guidelines. Holy Rule One-ing Rule One, fifty-five points!
Did anyone else really enjoy that high-low bounce pass from Drew to Pau? I hadn’t seen that level of passing proficiency from Bynum before.
Reign on Parades says
Hornets losing to the Nuggets by 58 on their home court in the playoffs
Any other 50+ pt, 48 minute blow outs come to mind?
I see that Artest and Fisher somehow managed to complete a shorthanded 2-on-3 break.
That won’t happen again this season.
Wow. Really wish I hadn’t missed this game now.
Just think what we could have done with Rasul Butler suiting up.
I just wish this was against the Celtics, during the Finals.
John Morris says
I watched the 1st half and that’s all I could handle. I’m just glad to hear that nobody got hurt in the 2nd.
I felt embarrassed for the Cavs watching this game.
I feel for the Cavs… especially since that wasn’t the same team that Lebron played with. Look at the box score, most of the names weren’t on the team last year. In fact, most I have never heard of… perhaps D-leaguers?
The Dude Abides says
I’m dating myself, but I went to the 162-99 beatdown that the West-Chamberlain Lakers put on the Warriors in the early 1970s. The one thing I remember about that game was that Jimmy McMillian was high scorer for the Lakers with 22 points. That game was the biggest rout in NBA history for many years.
I think this Laker team is energized by the new defense installed by Chuck Person and Phil. It gives them something to work on and prevents boredom. Hence, last night’s blowout of a bad team. And I hate to say this because I’m a Showtime fan, but there is no way Byron should coach this Laker team. You can’t install a head coach who has no knowledge of the triangle, which is why Brian Shaw is next in line after Phil. I also have a feeling that Chuck Person will be Shaw’s #1 assistant. I’m really impressed with this new defense. Everyone is making a conscious effort to run the 3-pt shooters off the line and force them to drive into the teeth of our bigs, giving them the option of going to the hole and getting their shot blocked, or pulling up for a contested 15-20 foot jumper over Pau, or even worse, over Drew and his Inspector Gadget wingspan.
12, holy crapola you’re so frickin old :).
In other news, I checked ESPN to see the box score in the 3rd quarter and I literally thought that either 1.) my browser was broken, or 2.) ESPN had some serious technical issues. Found a stream and couldn’t believe I was watching a 50 point beatdown. Excellent defense the whole night, fairly crisp offense (not great because I started watching in the 3rd and the Lakers were up by 50..), and just great energy from all the guys.
I’m also totally in love with DC’s post game. Dude has such a great sense for the hoop, and even though it may look ugly sometimes, he seriously knows how to score in the post. If he can get himself a 10-15 foot jumper like Josh Powell and improve his defensive footwork, he’ll be at minimum a solid rotation player.
@#12 Dude, you may have a real good point there about the tweak in the D scheme forcing the guys to focus. Yeah they’re professionals but they’re humans too. Having something new to learn on top of the embarrassment from the stretch of bad play might have been just the push they needed to get the edge and focus back.
What I also like about the new D tweak is that the best option for the opponent is the inefficient long 2 or the mid range shot. Since the mid range shot is a skill that few players have, it increases the efficiency of the Lakers D.
Regarding the (+/-) stat discussed in previous threads…. this is one of those stats that doesn’t necessarily have to be useful, but it’s a fun stat. Some stats are just fun, or tell a part of the story. Looking at the (+/-) from last night definitely tells a story, and as bad as a clobbering as the Cavs got, that stat was still fun to look at. Take it for what it is. Things don’t necessarily have to be black and white, or perfectly useful, in order to appreciate them.
Turned on the game and saw the Cavs were starting Ryan Hollins and someone named Manny Harris. My first reaction was “ouch”.
Normally I don’t mind watching even the 4th quarters of Laker blowouts, but this one felt so awkward that I turned off the TV. I had wanted to see Ebanks get a little burn but there would have been no point in this game.
The Dude Abides says
@13. LOL…I was in elementary school and it was my dad’s birthday. We stayed to the very end because both my dad and I knew that prior to that game, the record was 162-100. Then a few months later, I finally didn’t cry when one of my team’s seasons was finished 😀
The Dude Abides says
@14. It’s hard to shoot over Pau when he decides to jump…and it’s hard to shoot over Drew even when he just stands there. But when both Pau and Drew are contesting shots, 30% FG shooting is always a possibility.
I’m happy to hear Shannon Brown say that the Lakers don’t feel bad about destroying the Cavs last night and he makes a good point that they are all professionals. However, as a Lakers fan, I feel pretty bad about the beating and I would like to apologize to the Cavs and to their fans. Although, I could live with feeling bad for the other team and their fans all season and playoffs if the Lakers continue to administer this sort of beatdown regularly. 😀
As a side note wouldn’t it have been easier to write the post game review by writing the score in the title, then link a youtube video of the beatdown, and under it put a caption containing the words “nuff said”? 😀
Darius Soriano says
#19. Now you tell me. I needed that information last night. 😉
I remember listening to that game on the radio (I was in 8th grade) – wasn’t lucky enough to attend in person.
Snoopy @ 7 – I think the Cavs need Rasul more …
Darius Soriano says
The Warriors game preview is up: