November 28, 2021

What We Learned: Cavs vs Kings

The Cavs won their 9th straight game on Friday night. They dominated every facet of the game and never gave the Kings a chance to do anything. This is becoming common place for the Cavs. We expect them to do this every night. Here’s what we learned from another impressive win by the Cavs.

Kevin Love is doing exactly what we need him to do. These are games we expect him to have. He had a game high 23 points on 9-17 shooting. He also grabbed 10 boards to go along with it. It was just another double-double night from a guy that makes it look common place. However, that’s not the case for 90% of power forwards in the league. Guys don’t have games like this on a regular basis. Love did a great job of setting the tempo again tonight for the Cavs. His big 1st quarter opened up the floor for the rest of the offense. Love is often overlooked because he doesn’t make the flashy plays like LeBron and Kyrie do, but he does everything right on the court. He is a perfect fit for this team, especially with the addition of Mozgov. The best part about him is he’s fine with being the 3rd option. You won’t see him complain. He just does whatever he has to do to win. So with that said, what power forward would you rather have in his place? I can’t think of many.

Defense wins games. The Cavs didn’t win this one with their offense, they won it with their defense. They held the Kings to 36% shooting from the floor. It’s almost impossible to hold an NBA team to that number, but that’s what the Cavs are doing. Shumpert and Smith were great on defense tonight. They’ve tightened up our backcourt and have let LeBron and Kyrie become more aggressive in the passing lanes. Mozgov is our anchor in the middle of the paint, and he’s deceptively good at defending the pick and roll. Defense is the reason the Cavs got off to such a poor start, but now it’s why we’re winning games. It’s also why the Cavs can win the championship THIS year. Hats off to David Griffin for seeing the problemes on the team and finding the perfect pieces to fix them. David Griffin, you the real MVP.

The Cavs can now win when LeBron doesn’t dominate games. He finished up with 19/7/3. Those aren’t bad numbers but those are numbers that would’ve likely resulted in a loss for the Cavs earlier in the season. The Cavs have a deep team now. One player doesn’t have to have a huge game for us to win. We don’t need heroic 55 point games every night to win. We have a solid team that can play team basketball and win games just like this one.

We don’t know when this winning streak is going to end. This could’ve easily been a trap game. The Cavs could’ve looked past the Kings, but they didn’t. They have Minnesota and Philadelphia coming up. Any team can win on any given night, but we’d all be surprised if either of those 2 teams derailed the Cavs’ streak. We can easily push this one up to 11 straight. Remember when the Cavs went to LA under .500? It feels like a long time ago doesn’t it? Well that’s what a 9 game winning streak can do for a team. Let’s keep the good times rolling.

The Cavs will be back in action Saturday night at Minnesota in Kevin Love’s homecoming (or Mike Miller’s, however you want to look at it).

Jackson Flickinger

pic credit to Cleveland.com

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