The Cavs Continue to Silently Roll Along
The Cavs continue to roll along albeit very quietly, and I’m fine with it.
The Cavs steamrolled the New York Knicks last night in the Garden, one of the most iconic venues in all of sports. Final score last night was 126-109. In a game where Sexton and Garland slightly underperformed given what you expect out of them on a nightly basis scoring wise (the duo only had 24 points total, partly due to the fact that Sexton left the game with what we know now is a torn meniscus). Ricky Rubio showed up and played well, netting a new career high of 37 points on 8-of-8 shooting from three-point range.
Let’s look at what I take away from this huge win in Madison Square Garden.
Cavs Are Bought In
I love that this young team is bought into whatever JB Bickerstaff is saying at practice because it shows. On paper to start this season, you don’t think that this is a team capable of being of the proper eight playoff teams, they certainly look the part right now. Mobley has adjusted so phenomenally well to the pace and strength of the NBA game and his shooting is continuing to come along, Jarrett Allen continues to look elite and put up all-star caliber numbers and Windler, Dean Wade, and the rest of the supporting cast fill in when needed.
I cannot point to one standout player because they play TEAM BASKETBALL. This is an art that I think is lost on the modern “super team” NBA style of play. There are teams that can be successful with one star player (case and point: Miami and Phoenix in the bubble with Miami going to the Finals and Phoenix going 8-0).
Team Defense is the Name of the Game
By golly, wouldn’t you know it? This team is showing team defense is going to be what they pride themselves and the lineup has been refelcting that. The Cavs showed you that on the West Coast Swing early on when they held Denver and the LA Clippers under 90 points and holding the Clips to under 80 points, which is an incredible showing of team defense and team play on both sides. Though the Knicks scored 109 points last night, the defense showed up early to help offense gain the momentum needed to build a massive lead which always helps when you’re playing in the Garden as that place can get loud and rowdy.
So, the upcoming schedule will be tough for the Cavs, they have Washington who has also played well to start off the 2021-22 campaign, followed by the lackluster Piston who have sputtered without Cade Cunningham for most of the season. Even when Cunningham has played for Detroit this season, he has sputtered too. He is averaging 3-for-14 from the field shooting wise and 1-for-7 from three-point range. The Cavs also have a back-to-back with Boston at home. If I’m the Cavs, whatever you are doing, it’s working. Just keep quietly plugging away.
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