Defense still prevails in the NBA and if more teams played it, maybe they would be able to better compete with the league's offensive juggernauts. On a night where Cleveland’s Big Three combined for 97 points, 49 by Kyrie Irving, the high-scoring contest between Cleveland and New Orleans was decided by defense, and a magnificent block by a guy who was a Top 3 player on the court on Monday night.
No, it wasn’t LeBron. Your highness was actually the victim of the great defensive play by Terrence Jones, who not only magnificently blocked a crucial driving layup by King James with three minutes left in the game, but also chipped in a career-high 36 points to lead the Pelicans (18-27) to a 124-122 upset of the defending World Champions on Sunday.
Usually the NBA highlights are lit with images of LeBron making key defensive plays late in the game. Who can forget "the block heard around the world" in Game 7 of last year's NBA finals, when LeBron ran the court and blocked Andre Iguodala's layup that would have given Golden State a 91-89 lead with 1:50 left and actually shifted the momentum of the game in Cleveland's favor?
Well, last night David beat Goliath on the court and at the rim. Jones’ block kept the momentum in New Orleans' favor and showed the possibilities of what can happen when a team with less talent plays inspired basketball for 40 minutes. And more importantly, just a reminder to fans that LeBron James is indeed human and sometimes he loses the one-on-one matchup too.