Cavs vs. Jazz Analysis: 1/21/15

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photo: espn.com

 

I think it’s finally fair to say that the Cavs are officially on a roll.

Tonight’s win against the Jazz makes it four straight for the Cavaliers, and the fourteen point win only pushed the momentum forward more. In the 106-92 win, the Cavs took sole ownership of the fifth playoff spot in the East and prepare to take on the Charlotte Hornets in the remainder of the homestand. The win came off great play by the starters, including all five scoring at least fifteen points for the second straight game, a feat that hasn’t been accomplished since March 16, 1993 (more than 20 years ago).

The trades again seemed to pay off. Timofey Mozgov looked like Mozgov again (which no longer has a negative connotation), as he scored a soft 16 points and had 11 rebounds. Mozgov has shown his aggressiveness continuously increase throughout his short time with the Cavs so far and the former first round pick is finally living up to the hype. JR Smith didn’t perform quite as well (shooting 5-16 from the field), but did add 15 points and 7 boards.

Minus the 7 turnovers, LeBron had a great night. Showing off 26 points (including 10 from the free throw line), 9 assists, and 7 rebounds, James may have been the most impressive player of the evening. He also added 4 steals in a statistically solid defensive night when facing off against a Gordon Hayward led team.

Moreover, Kyrie Irving led the team in steals with five. He added 18 points and 4 assists as well, but most importantly, exploited Trey Burke. Burke shot 1-10 from the field and added two points with two assists. Kyrie’s defensive performance was a good sign for this season and seasons to come as Irving looks to prove himself as a dominant defending guard in the Eastern Conference.

Finally, Kevin Love played great as well. Just like Mozgov, he added a double-double tonight– his second straight. A 19 point night with 13 boards, Love’s role on the Cavs may be developing into that which was projected from him the day we traded for him. If Love can play down low and be aggressive, he’ll fit right in along Mozgov and Thompson.

Player of the Night: LeBron James, as usual. His performance stood out as the best on the team tonight, and, impressively enough, LeBron did it with a virus.

Highlight of the Night: The teamwork demonstrated on the steal to oop sequence when Irving stole the ball and finished the break with an alley-oop to Kevin Love. The play gave me chills, and I’ve been waiting for stuff like this the whole year.

Room for Improvement: Shawn Marion led our bench with six points. I don’t know what’s worse, the fact that Shawn Marion was the bench leader or the fact that it was only with six points. Step it up, backups.

Overall Analysis: The Cavs looked impressive once again and look for them to carry their newly-found aggressive play into Friday’s game against the Hornets where the Cavs go for their fifth straight win.

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