Cavs Grab Win, Send 76ers Home In Blowout Fashion

Cavs Grab Win, Send 76ers Home In Blowout Fashion

Drew Thirion
2 months ago
3 min read
Cleveland Cavaliers' Mamadi Diakite and Philadelphia 76ers' Joel Embiid look for rebound in first quarter of game

The Cavaliers bounced back last night with a blowout win over the 76ers 113-85.

Offense Leads to Defense?

Many believe that the best offense is a great defense, but in the modern NBA, I think that’s backwards. Teams are much more robust in transition or off an opponent's miss, so I think the best defense is a great offense, and the Cavaliers delivered last night.

After falling behind 9-2 early, Cleveland finished out the half on a monstrous 67-39 run, where it felt like they couldn’t miss. The Cavs were 15-29 from behind the arc and thrived in transition, as they were both throwing up and finishing lobs all night long. 

Sixers star center Joel Embiid was kept in check shooting a rough 6-for-16 on only 19 points. When Philly is missing both of their lead guards (James Harden and Tyreese Maxey) you can just pack the paint in against Embiid. 

He was getting swarmed with double teams all night and the Sixers couldn’t knock down jump shots off of those open looks he generated.

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Another Bench Player Thrives

Another key to the Cavs success last night was two-way player Mamadi Diakite’s insertion into the starting lineup. He didn’t do anything to blow anyone away, but he didn’t look out of place after playing in the G-League just two nights ago. 

Not only that, but it proves this Cavs team has depth we aren’t fully utilizing. The Cavs still rank in the bottom third of the league in bench minutes, and tonight we saw another end-of-the-bench role player step up when given the chance. 

I’m not saying Diakite should be playing 20+ minutes every night, but being a spark plug for coach Bickerstaff could be valuable.

The Heart Of The Lineup

Darius Garland and Donovan Mitchell did their thing as always, combining for 39 points on 56 percent shooting. They didn’t need to get up as many shots as usual and it was nice to see the Cavs beat a playoff team without having those two takeover.

The real surprise of the night came from Caris LeVert. Coming into tonight, he was shooting an abysmal 33 percent from the field since moving to the bench. Last night was different. LeVert dropped a team-high 22 points on 73 percent shooting.

Seeing him get to his spots and actually score was a beautiful thing. Nights like yesterday make the Caris LeVert experience so frustrating. He has such a unique way of getting open and taking high-quality looks, but they just haven’t fallen for him this year. We need to see more consistency from LeVert off the bench, but this was a nice first step. 

The Cavs looked great and their schedule is finally opening up for them. Their next six games are against teams with a combined record of 49-79. 

They have some very winnable games and have a shot to catch back up with the Bucks for that two-seed. Hopefully, Cleveland continues to get healthy and the Cavs start to get hot. It’s a long season, but stretches like these make or break a team.

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