What We Learned: Cavs and Mavericks
The Cavaliers looked impressive again on Tuesday night against the Dallas Mavericks. They embarrassed them on their home court 127-94 thanks in part to a 41 point 2nd quarter. Here’s what we learned from the win.
• LeBron is the leading assist maker in Cavalier history. He passed up Mark Price on Tuesday night. He said before the game that, “I want to stay right there with the legend (Price). I’m not passing again.” Well LeBron lied, he did pass again. I like how LeBron showed respect to a Cavalier legend. That’s something we all can appreciate.
• Everyone in the starting lineup can score more than 16 points. Timofey Mozgov was the lowest scoring starter for the Cavs with 17 points. It was great to see everyone on the Cavs starting lineup contribute like this. To put that in perspective, Dallas’ leading scorer (Chandler Parsons) had 18 points. Everyone besides Mozgov in the starting lineup scored more than the Mavs’ leading scorer. Yeah, this offense is dangerous.
• The Cavs’ defense can stop good offenses. Dallas only shot 41% from the field on Tuesday night. That’s good defense given who their opponent was. We’ve all been critical of Kevin Love’s defense throughout the season, but there was nothing to be critical about it on Tuesday night. He held Dirk Nowitzki to only 13 points on 3 of 10 shooting. I just want to see more solid nights like that from Love. Also it was a solid game from Kyrie. He limited Rondo to only 3 assists and 4 points.
• Cleveland can adapt to any style of play. The Cavaliers have beat teams in many different ways this season. We’ve seen them grind out wins against teams like the Bulls. We also watched them outscore teams like the Clippers. We’ve even seen them destroy teams in the paint like the Raptors. Well Tuesday night they outgunned Dallas. They played the Mavericks brand of basketball, and were better at it. The Wine and Gold showed the Mavs what a true up-tempo offense looks like. The Cavs shot over 50% from the floor including 47% from behind the arc. That’s what the Mavericks usually do to other teams. I love how the Cavs can adapt to different styles of basketball and still beat teams. Cleveland showed us on Tuesday night why they are a match-up nightmare for any opposing team.
• We may never see LeBron in a headband again. For the 2nd game in a row the King took the court without his crown (the headband). I honestly can’t get use to him not wearing it, but you can’t argue with the results. He finished with 27/8/7 and hit 4 of his 6 3’s. The biggest thing about his stat line was his 2 turnovers. We want to see more games like that. That’s what stood out to me. He did a great job of protecting the ball. Did I mention he did all that in less than 30 minutes? Overall it was an outstanding day for the Akron native.
Player of the Game: LBJ (27 points, 8 assists, 7 boards, and 0 headbands)
The Cavs will be back in action Thursday night against the Spurs. Let’s see if LeBron will be able to atone for his late-game turnover against the Spurs from earlier this year. It should be a fun one to watch.
pic credit cleveland.com