Ramon Sessions is a very nice point guard and will be a great addition to a contender in the coming weeks, but this team has an electric feel when Kyrie Irving is on the floor.
Of all the things Irving did well tonight, I was most impressed with how he pushed the tempo. The Cavs haven't been a walk-it-up-the-floor type team at all this season, but coach Byron Scott keeps asking for Irving to play faster and faster.
Tonight, after a week off, he obliged. Irving pushed when the Cavs had the numbers and when they didn't. He went right at Pacers center Roy Hibbert, which perhaps startled an unsuspecting Hibbert and set the tone for the rest of the night.
The Cavs' bigger problem right now is what to do at shooting guard, since the walking boot on Daniel Gibson's left foot all but rules him out for Friday's game against the Heat. Scott will likely start Alonzo Gee, because his only other alternative is to start Ramon Sessions alongside Irving. That would leave him with Ben Uzoh, presently on a 10-day contract, as his only point guard on the bench.
Kyrie Irving 22 points, 5 assists
Semih Erden 18* points, 8^ rebounds
Ramon Sessions 13 points, 4 assists
Darren Collison 18 points, 3 assists
Roy Hibbert 17 points, 8 rebounds
David West 10 points, 10 rebounds
* - career high; ^ - season high
The Cavs held the Pacers to 38 points in the first half, a season low for a Cavs opponent.
The Cavs held the Pacers without a field goal for nearly six minutes in the second quarter, turning a 12-point lead into a 46-25 advantage with five minutes left in the half.
“A prior concussion doesn’t mean my game is going to change in any way. I’ve gone through the season attacking the basket and the concussion didn’t come from me driving to the basket.” -- Irving
“I thought both were fantastic. Kyrie looked like he didn’t miss a beat and Semih played with the energy we’ve been talking about. He played a lot more efficient.” -- Byron Scott on Irving and Erden
The Cavs (11-16) host the Miami Heat 23-7) at 7:30 p.m. on Friday.