The Cavaliers' (36) point win last night, 118-82, was the biggest margin in the lifetime series between the Knicks and Cavaliers. The Cavs ran out to an explosive 61-35 halftime lead, and then built on that lead in the 3rd quarter - unlike 3rd quarter gone past. Every Cavalier got into the scoring column, and the Cavs notched their 10th straight home victory of the season, while upping their record to 15-3...but this win wasn't about the numbers. Last night the Cavaliers answered a challenge, and earned valuable experience.
The challenge was from 'Kevin' who posted this comment yesterday in our preview post:
Its time to let LBJ sit more and keep him rested for later in the year. I would be very upset to see LBJ tire down the stretch due to the Long Season last year, Olympics, and playing 40+ min against the Knicks of the world.
Kevin, your point is well taken, and I was glad to see the Cavs answer that call. LBJ certainly sat for extended minutes last night, and didn't play in the 4th quarter at all, and that is certainly paramount for the reasons you stated.
Additionally, the fact that Z and Big Ben have been earning rest in games like this of late is big too. A fresh, active and effective front line can only help this quest for a title. This blow-out win saved some miles on the old legs of those two veterans, and that is a good thing. This win is also big because it allowed guys like Hickson, Sasha, and Darnell Jackson to get big minutes. Down that stretch, you never know when you'll need a guy like that to step up and contribute, and this is just creating a deeper bench, and a deeper team.