What We Learned: Cavs vs Raptors



The Cavs were able to put together a complete game against the Raptors to pull out their 6th win in a row. They played great in the second end of a back to back. This was arguably the best team win they’ve had this entire season. They were able to pull this one out with solid defense and a complete team effort, especially late in the game. Here are a couple things we can take away from tonight’s game.

• The Cavs are able to hold an early lead against a good team. Just a couple weeks ago the Cavs played the Raptors in Cleveland and got out to an 18 point lead in the 1st quarter, but were not able to hold it until halftime. That was not the case this time around. The Cavs were able to keep the Raptors at arm’s length throughout most of the game. They let Toronto creep a little closer in the fourth, but quickly got the large lead back.

• The Cavs can close out games, against elite opponents. The Raptors have the best record in the Eastern Conference, but the Cavs proved they were the better team. Down the stretch, the Cavs were able to make plays when they mattered most. Kyrie Irving came up with a crucial block on Kyle Lowry late in the fourth quarter, while LeBron and Tristan Thompson were the ones that closed it out on the offensive end.

• James Jones was able to produce off the bench in the first minutes he got in a game that wasn’t a blowout. Jones hit both of the threes that he took. He can space the floor similar to Miller. He isn’t great at defense, but if you give him an open 3 he’ll most likely make it. I expect him to keep getting minutes like this while Miller is out. He is a true pro who will perform when asked too. His veteran presence is beneficial on and off the court.

• LeBron is becoming the distributor on this team. He led the Cavs with 24 points and 13 assists. He realizes that he doesn’t have to be the one scoring every night for this team to win. Last night it was Kyrie that had the hot hand, tonight it was Thompson. LeBron is doing a good job of recognizing who has the hot hand, and getting him the ball. Plus, when he needs to score for this team, he usually will come through.

• Tristan Thompson played an outstanding game back in his home country! He was forced to step up because Andy got into early foul trouble, and he did. He finished the game with 21 points and 14 rebounds, including 9 offensive rebounds! He scored 15 of his 21 points in the 4th quarter to close this one out. He showed us once again the tremendous potential he has, as he did in the Chicago game a month ago. If he begins to play like this more consistently, not only will he get more minutes, but he will get paid A LOT of money.


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