What We Learned: Cavs vs Blazers

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The Cavs we’re able to beat a good team without LeBron in what was the most exciting game of the year. Kyrie Irving carried the Cavs to victory while scoring an NBA season high 55 points! The Cavs winning streak is now at 8 games. Here’s what we learned.

• While the Cavs interior defense has improved, they still have some work to do. Portland’s Lamarcus Aldridge scored 38 points. He dominated when he was on the floor. Aldridge is one of the best forwards in the league, but that isn’t an excuse. The Cavs will have a hard time going deep in the playoffs if forwards can do this to the defense. Having said that, I would like to point out that this is the first time a big has had a game like this in a while. The defense is improving, but it’s not quite there yet.

• Kyrie Irving has been playing great defense recently. His defense was overshadowed by his 55 points, but it shouldn’t have. He was outstanding. He was able to hold one of the best point guards in the Western Conference, Damian Lillard, to only 14 points on 4-19 shooting. To put that in perspective, Lillard is averaging 22 points per game while shooting 43%. We all know Kyrie is an elite scorer, but he’s showing us he can be more than that.

• The Cavs are able to win without LeBron. The Cavs we’re only 1-8 without LeBron going into this game, but they’ve grown a lot during this winning streak. They’ve proven to themselves that they can win without LeBron. The most impressive part about this game was the Cavs we’re able to win, while not getting anything from Kevin Love. I thought going into this one that Love and Irving would be forced to carry them, but that wasn’t the case. This shows just how much deeper this team is now. All this came against a Western Conference team that came into this one with a record of 32-13. I also loved how LeBron was Kyrie’s biggest supporter. I like how LBJ has taken Kyrie under his wing and mentored him. They have great chemistry on and off the court. That’s exactly what you want to see from your team’s superstars.

• Uncle Drew gets buckets! Kyrie Irving finished this one with an NBA season high 55 points on 17-36 shooting. No true Cavs fans should be surprised that Kyrie scored over 50 points. We know how good of a scorer he is, but I was impressed with the way he did it. Kyrie closed this game out. He made big shot after big shot for the Cavs including the game winning 3 with just 6 seconds left in the game. Everyone on the floor knew who was taking the shot, but that didn’t matter. They couldn’t do anything about it if they wanted to. He was fearless on Wednesday night, and that’s exactly what you want to see. Kyrie showed us he is a closer. This was easily the best game of his career. So does anyone out there think he shouldn’t be on the all star team? Yeah I didn’t think so.

The Cavs will look to push their winning streak to 9 against Sacremento on Friday. LeBron is already listed as doubtful for the game, but the Cavs showed us tonight they can win without him. It’s a good time to be a Cavs fan isn’t it?

Jackson Flickinger

pic credit Cleveland.com

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