What We Learned: Cavs vs Bulls

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greenwichtimes.com
greenwichtimes.com

The Cavs impressed us for the 3rd straight game on Monday night. They were able to take down the Bulls for the 2nd straight time this season. There was a lot to like about this win. Here’s what we learned.

The Cavs can dominate the paint against anybody, even the Bulls. The Bulls were without Noah, but that doesn’t diminish what the Cavs were able to accomplish. The Cavs outscored the Bulls by 16 in the paint and out rebounded them by 5. Mozgov showed us how big of a pickup he was for us. He finished with 15 points and 15 boards.

The Cavs played a full 48 minutes for the 3rd straight game. Slow starts have plagued the Cavs all year, but that wasn’t the case tonight. The Cavs controlled this one from start to finish. The defense set the tempo early in the game, and the offense followed behind it shortly. Hopefully they keep playing complete games like this so I don’t have to include stuff like this in my articles.

Kyrie Irving can be a facilitator when he wants to be. We don’t think of Kyrie as a facilitator, but he really can be. When Kyrie is sharing the ball like this, you know the offense is doing well. This means that Kyrie is doing more than just trying to take defenders off the dribble. But unlike most point guards, he can have 12 assists and still light up the scoreboard. He finished this one with 18 points and 12 assists.

LeBron is continuing to play on an elite level. He’s played like this ever since he’s returned from his 2 week absence. Right now he’s the best player in basketball and it’s not even close. Call me biased or a homer, but it’s true. He’s the best player on the planet and for the first time this year he’s actually playing like it.

David Blatt can’t catch. Tony Snell put the pass right on the money and Blatt still couldn’t come down with it. C’mon Coach…

The Cavs can win because of defense. The defense is the reason they won this one by so much. They held the Bulls to 38% from the floor. Adding Mozgov has done wonders for them defensively. The Cavs officially have someone that locks down the paint. We don’t think of J.R. Smith as a perimeter defender either, but he’s done a good job thus far. The best part is we don’t even have Shumpert yet! I can’t wait to see what he does for our defense. The one thing that does concern me is they continue to give up open threes. The Bulls were 8-16 from deep. That’s an area that needs to be addressed.

The Cavs can beat anyone in the league right now. The Cavs won 2 straight games against elite NBA teams. I love the way they beat them, too. They showed us on Friday that they can outscore the Clippers, and on Monday they proved they could play better defense than the Bulls. I’m not trying to make too much from two games in January, but you can’t help but get excited for the potential of this team. If they can keep playing like this (and that’s a big if) they can win the championship this year. The sky truly is the limit for the Cavs.

The Cavs will be back in action Wednesday against the Jazz. Let’s keep this winning streak going.

@CST_JacksonF

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