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Cleveland Cavaliers

Final thoughts: Cavs 105, Pistons 89

By Jason Lloyd Published: December 28, 2011

They won't all be this easy. In fact, none of them might be this easy until the Cavs play the Pistons again on Feb. 21.

I thought the Pistons were better than the Cavs before tonight, but maybe not. Whispers around Detroit are that coach Lawrence Frank is working the players too hard in practice and they might have tired legs already. Between video sessions and practice, the Pistons are working up to four hours a day. By comparison, Scott is limiting practice to about two hours.

The Cavs looked better defensively at times tonight, but the Pistons aren't a fair gauge of where this team stands. They have a couple of perimeter shooters, but no height and zero depth. Ben Wallace, Jason Maxiell, Austin Daye and Damien Wilkins played a combined 45 minutes and failed to score a single point. That's hard to do.

Kyrie Irving looked much more at ease than he did in Monday's opener and said afterward he was pressing against the Raptors. He made 5 of his first 7 shots against the Pistons and finished 5 of 9 for 14 points and seven assists.

"It was definitely a different feeling," Irving said. "Last time I wasn’t really enjoying the game. I love the game so much and the first time I wanted to be so serious, wasn’t joking around, no smile on my face. Tonight it was about having fun."

Samardo Samuels will struggle against taller centers in this league, but he has to remain the backup for now. Ryan Hollins hasn't done much well in the preseason or regular season. He didn't get off the bench tonight despite the blowout.

I was just getting ready to go after Antawn Jamison for his poor shot selections and lousy shooting percentage, but he turned in a 6 for 9 shooting night and 15 points. So that will have to wait for another day.

Six guys in double figures, shooting 57 percent from the floor and getting 56 points from the bench is a pretty good night. Now on to Friday, where a real test in the Indiana Pacers awaits.

Key stat
The Cavs scored 52 points in the paint (Samuels 17 points, Jamison 15, Anderson Varejao 10, Tristan Thompson 10).

Key stat II
The Cavs' bench outscored the Pistons' 56-25. Brandon Knight supplied 23 of the Pistons' 25 bench points.

Quotable
"I’ve still got to get in better shape. We all do. Once we’re winning, that’s when we’ll all be in good shape. There’s no better shape than winning. I’m in winning shape right now. As long as we’re winning, we’re in great shape." -- Samardo Samuels

Up next
The Cavs travel to the Indiana Pacers (2-0) on Friday. The Pacers won at Toronto on Wednesday 90-85.

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