The Cleveland Cavaliers defeated the Indiana Pacers in almost dominating fashion in a wire to wire win, setting them up for a Playoff Chase. Defeating the team with the best record in the East 90-76 with a defensive effort that may be a sign of Mike Brown winning the battle in the locker room. The team still had spurts of inconsistency on offense, but not as many. They played together as a team with 20 assists, 9 by Jarrett Jack and 6 by Matthew Dellavedova.
The 3 guard combination of Jack, Delly and Dion Waiters again carried the team but it was the contributions from all over the place that really paced the Cavaliers. 6 players scored in double figures including Jack, Delly, Waiters, Tristan Thompson, Luol Deng and Spencer Hawes. Thompson had a buffet of rebounds, 16 total, including 6 offensive. Tyler Zeller was limited by early fouls, Anderson Varejao didn’t return in the second half due to injury and yet both had a positive plus/minus score, along with Delly’s game leading +24 and Deng and Jack each with +12.
The win sets the Cavs up for the Playoff Chase in this #SeasonOfHuh as dubbed by Waiting for Next Year’s Ben Cox on Twitter. The Cavs are now 2.5 games back of the Atlanta Hawks and a game and half back of the New York Knicks as the three teams “fight” for a playoff spot. Of more importance is that the Cavs currently only sit 1 win back of both the Knicks and the Hawks. The Cavs have played 3 more games then the Hawks and 1 more game then the Knicks.
The Knicks up coming schedule is brutal with 2 games against both the Nets and Raptors as well as games against the Heat, Bulls and Wizards. The Hawks schedule also includes the Heat and Bulls as well as the Pacers and Bobcats who are currently safely in the playoffs. The Cavs on the other hand play the Bobcats at home and the Nets in the last game of the year, along with Friday’s game with the Hawks. The Nets game is by far the most difficult but could be a game against backups for the Cavs. If the Nets are set on their playoff seed they will most likely give their older team a chance to rest and play man of their 2nd unit most of the game. That doesn’t mean it will be a cakewalk but much easier for the wine and gold.
Did last night’s game surprise you? Did you forget that the Cavs should get C.J. Miles, Anthony Bennett and Kyrie Irving back in the next 2 weeks for the stretch run? Did you jump off the bandwagon? If they face the Pacers in the first round how many games do you think the Cavs can win? What do you think of this #SeasonOfHuh?