With the Cleveland Cavaliers’ most recent win over the Houston Rockets followed by a home loss to the Minnesota Timberwolves, the Cavs have won two of their last four games. They have played well in all four of those games, including the loss against the Los Angeles Lakers in LeBron James’ return to Cleveland.
What is it that has made them so fun thus far?
Tristan Being Healthy
Most of last year, we can all agree that Tristan Thompson just straight up wasn’t healthy. He didn’t seemed like himself almost all year, and basically since they won the championship in 2016. So far this season, Thompson has gotten back to his regular self. Just in the nick of time honestly.
So far, Thompson has racked up 10 double-doubles so far including against the Rockets with 16 points and 20 rebounds. He got his 10th against Minnesota with 16 points and 11 rebounds. Thompson now has 12 double-digit rebounding games.
Thompson’s energy is exactly what this young team needed this season. He is averaging 11.4 points per game with 11.4 rebounds. That alone is exactly what the Cavs were missing last year and it has been noticeable. In the last four games, Thompson is averaging 16 points and 14.8 rebounds. That should damn near be good enough to be an All-Star.
Collin Sexton knows how to play basketball
Ever since George Hill’s injury put Collin Sexton into the starting lineup, he has proven any doubters wrong on how he plays the game. Sexton has been great in his starts, seemingly improving each and every game. Despite his occasional struggles with shooting, Sexton is by no means playing the Cavs out of games.
In his nine starts on the season, Sexton is averaging 18.7 points on 47.7 percent with 3.8 rebounds and 2.8 assists.
That alone should keep him in the starting lineup even when Hill finally gets healthy. Sexton brings this team a huge boost of energy that it may not have had in the games that he didn’t start in. Also, for whoever it was that said he can’t play the game is dead wrong. Back to my point. Sexton is exactly the spark they needed from the guard area. He just gets it somehow. Does he have room to improve? Absolutely.
Does he look as if he can be a star anyway? Yes indeed. Let this kid grow and he will be great.
The Bench Crew
With Sam Dekker out (thank God), Nwaba has been starting in his place and done very well. Nwaba even kept James Harden at bay when guarding him (despite that, Harden is still the reigning MVP, so he had 40 points).
Nance has been a great energy off the bench, as have Clarkson and Korver. Despite Clarkson’s mostly wild shot selection (in my opinion), it is hard to deny that he has had a good year at least on the offensive side of the ball.
Clarkson is averaging 15.5 points on 45.9 percent shooting, which is a career high currently. He is also adding 90 percent from the free throw line (career-high) with 3.2 rebounds and 2.1 assists. If he can start to pass a little more, he can really help this team grow.
Of course, Korver has been Mr. Consistent. Despite taking the lowest average of shots per game in his career, he is still hitting 46 percent of his 3-point attempts on just 54 attempts. If the Cavs aren’t going to trade him soon, they need to find ways to get him more attempts each game because he is a valuable weapon when used right. Against Minnesota, Korver saw 21 minutes and hit six-of-nine 3-point attempts for a team-high 22 points.
All-in-all, the Cavs aren’t perfect but at least they are a little more fun to watch lately. We all might have another reason why but let’s focus on the on-court product.
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