What We Learned: Cavs vs Sixers

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The Cavs took on the lowly Philadelphia 76ers on Sunday evening. Cleveland was coming off a long stretch of road games (14 out of 19 games) and it was finally good to be back at the Q. The Cavs admittedly didn’t have their best stuff on Sunday. Cleveland failed to find the bottom of the basket in the final 4 minutes of the game and it almost cost them in the end. Philadelphia’s Nerlens Noel had a chance to win the game in the closing seconds, but he couldn’t convert. Cleveland won this one 87-86. Here’s what we learned.

• It’s good the Cavs have a couple days off before their next game. Kevin Love and Iman Shumpert both left the game with injuries. While neither one looked serious, it’s good they have a couple days off before Thursday’s game with the Heat. Cleveland as a whole didn’t look sharp in the win against Philadelphia and appeared to be lacking energy. The rest will help these guys and I expect a much sharper team on Thursday against Miami.

• Kyrie Irving doesn’t have the best memory. In the post game interview at the Q Irving said, “That was probably one of the ugliest games I’ve ever been in this building. We appreciate you sticking with us because, whew, that was terrible.” Clearly he doesn’t remember his previous three years in Cleveland. The Cavs played some awful games in the Q his first  years in the league. They’d lose to teams that were under .500 by 15 or more points on a regular basis. I’d say watching a sloppy win was a little better than watching some of those games.

• We don’t know if the Cavs are in a funk. You can make a case for Cleveland being in a bit of a lull considering their last couple games. They could’ve easily lost their recent games against the Bucks and Pacers, and are coming off a loss in their last game against the Nets. The Cavaliers didn’t make things better by barely beating an 18 win Sixers’ team by only one. But according to LeBron, the Cavs aren’t in a funk. When asked about it after the game LBJ responded by saying, “This ain’t no funk. What’s our record?” He went on to say, “This is a winning league. However you gotta do it, you do it.” The King has a point. A win is a win. That’s all that matters. Right now the Cavs sit 21 games over .500 which is a lot better than where we were in the middle of January. The Cavs are fine. Just trust LeBron on this one.

• Winning is all that matters this time of the year. With the win, Cleveland is now two and a half games up on Chicago for the second spot in the East. Coach Blatt has already expressed the importance of being the number two seed. It is imperative that the Cavs clinch the second spot as soon as possible. We all can see how tired these guys look right now. It’d be nice if we could rest some of our players for the final couple of games to make sure they’re fresh for the playoffs.

Player of the Game: Timofey Mozgov (14 points and 10 boards)

The Cavs have some much needed rest before their next game. They’ll be back in action Thursday night against the Heat on TNT. Let’s see if Cleveland can actually get a win against LeBron’s former team this time.

Jackson Flickinger

quotes credited to NBA.com
pic credit Cleveland.com

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