The Cavs ended their four-game home losing streak. They played well in the third quarter. Anthony Parker looked good charging toward the stands.
But beneath all of that are a couple of interesting position battles brewing with the Cavaliers.
Byron Scott said before the game he may have to move Antawn Jamison into the starting lineup if he keeps performing this well. Then he sat J.J. Hickson the final 18 minutes on Tuesday, although Scott insisted that was only because he liked the way the guys on the floor were playing.
Jamario Moon has given the Cavs hardly anything as the starting small forward. Scott keeps saying he's "OK" with what Moon is providing, but of course he's always looking for more out of everyone. So here comes Joey Graham for 13 points in 28 minutes, both season highs. Graham has kicked around between Toronto and Denver in his career. He was stuck behind Carmelo Anthony with the Nuggets, but now Scott seems inclined to give him a legitimate look.
"I thought Joey has been doing some real good things in practice," Scott said. "It seems to me Joey has been biding his time. He's a veteran guy who has been in this league for awhile. He's been waiting and I thought tonight was the perfect opportunity to get him in the rotation to see how he fared. And he played fantastic."
Of course, so did Moon. Perhaps aware of the rumblings about his production, and hearing the footsteps of Graham both in practice and during Tuesday's game, Moon responded with season highs of 13 points and eight rebounds.
Where all this leaves Jawad Williams remains to be seen, but Williams has done little besides score. The Cavs brought Graham in to compete for the starting job at small forward. He's off to a late start, but he seems to finally have entered the race.
Scott said before the game he wouldn't consider any lineup changes until "10, 15, 20 games" into the rotation. The Cavs are now 10 games in, so by his standards, from now on, anything is possible.
That said, Graham has to prove he can do it against a team other than the Sixers. His first extended action of the season came two weeks ago at Philadelphia and Graham responded with 10 points in 15 minutes. Scott played him the next night in Washington and he didn't do as well. Graham will have to demonstrate consistency at both ends of the floor before Scott would consider a change at small forward.
* The Cavs are 5-5 through 10 games. Not terrible, but not terrific. Scott admitted he believed the Cavs would be 7-3 after these first 10 games, which seems about right given the opponents. But the Cavs gave away victories to Toronto and New Jersey, so Scott said they'll just have to steal a couple against teams no one will give them a chance to beat. They've got three candidates coming up in the next 10 days: at New Orleans, at San Antonio and at Orlando.
* The Cavs held the Sixers to 34 of 79 shooting (43 percent), something Scott was thrilled about given the Cavs' defensive lapses this season.
* Sixers coach Doug Collins told a great story before the game about teaching Byron Scott proper technique while coaching Scott at Arizona State. "Byron had incredible physical gifts," Collins said. "I used to work with him on his footwork. He used to come off those screens, shoulders not squared, jump in the air, turn and get his shoulders squared because he had such powerful legs he could do that. I said, 'Byron that’s great except when you get tired, your shoulders are never going to get squared, so let’s work on that footwork.' We worked every day together. He was really my first student as a coach, where I really poured myself into him. And it was so gratifying for me to see him become the fourth pick in the draft, then immediately be traded to the Lakers and get a chance to play in that franchise. I’m a big Byron Scott guy. I’m not going to hide the fact that I love him and I always have."