What We Learned: Cavs vs Hornets

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Cavs 91

Hornets 87

The Cavs were able to grind out a win and snap their 3 game losing streak in Charlotte on Friday night. They won this game with defense and timely scoring. Here’s what we learned.

The Cavs can win a game while shooting 38% from the field. They were able to win this one because they played sound defense and held Charlotte to only 37%. That’s how the Cavs have to win without LeBron, and with him, for that matter. We don’t think of the Cavs as a defensive team, but that’s what they need to become if they want to be successful in the playoffs. They did exactly what they had to do to win this one. Granted, it was Charlotte, but a win is a win!

Miller has gone 2 straight games without scoring a single point, and he’s still in the starting lineup. Enough said.

Marion isn’t a 3 point specialist. I love Shawn Marion as a player. The Cavs desperately need the defense and energy he provides game in and game out, but he just can’t shoot three’s anymore. Tonight, he actually air balled one from distance. Matrix, you aren’t with the Suns anymore, stick to what you are good at right now!

The Cavs can win without LeBron or Kyrie carrying them to victory. Irving did have 23 points, but he wasn’t the only one scoring. He was able to get help from Love, Thompson, Waiters, and Marion. The last couple games, Kyrie hasn’t been getting help from anyone, but tonight was a different story and the end result was a solid win in Charlotte.

Waiters continues to provide a spark off the bench. Dion still isn’t efficient like we’d want him to be, but that’s not who he is or ever will be. He had 17 much needed points off the bench tonight with four big time steals. I love the energy he’s been providing on both ends of the floor in the last month or so. Keep it up Dion! You aren’t going anywhere!

Kyrie Irving is playing every game like it’s game 7 of the Finals. It seems he has developed a new sense of energy as of late. That’s all you can ask for as a fan. His defense has stepped up and he ended this contest with 4 steals. The Cavs fed off his energy and matched his effort tonight.

Kevin Love can still play like he did in Minnesota. He scored 27 points on 9/15 shooting including 3/4 from deep. Love kick started the offense by hitting 3 straight 3’s after taking a shot to the knee by Zeller, which may or may not have been exaggerated. He later hit the shot of the game that put the Cavs over the top. Here’s the shot:

https://vine.co/v/OdAu1wAjjzP

What a beauty! That’s why we brought him over here, so he can win us games like this, and contribute throughout the game and not just the first quarter. He got his offense going inside, than took it outside. He has to continue playing that way with or without LeBron. His inside game creates better opportunities for his outside game. Simple as that. He can’t just be a 3 point specialist and passively stand behind the arc and hoist up three after three. He changed that tonight and it ended in a wine and gold victory. Expect to see more of that going forward.

(pic credit: bleacherreport.com)

@CST_JacksonF

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