Cleveland Cavaliers dominate at home vs undermanned opponent
The Cleveland Cavaliers return to the winning column with a dominant 122-99 victory over an undermanned LA Clippers team. Following another disappointing collapse on the road, the Cavs bounced back hard to secure a massive win at the Rocket Mortgage Fieldhouse.
With the bench being of little help as the team struggled in the previous games, Cedi Osman rose to the occasion for Turkish Heritage Night to tie his career-high of 29 points while draining all of his seven three-point attempts en route to a ‘Cavalanche’ win at home.
Cleveland took full advantage of the absence of key Clippers Kawhi Leonard, Paul George, and Reggie Jackson–who all sat out as part of their infamous ‘load management’ schemes–building a 40-point advantage in the third period without ever trailing in the game.
Apart from Osman, Darius Garland, Jarrett Allen, and Caris LeVert, all finished in double-figures without breaking much of a sweat. First-time All-Star starter and undoubted superstar of the team Donovan Mitchell (groin) returned to the lineup to add 11 points, also in limited minutes.
The Cavs need to be consistent going forward
Consistency is still an issue for this young team. Apart from having three consecutive victories en route to what was a promising start to 2023, the Cavs have yet to be able to tally any other winning streaks and have only gone 9-7 since ringing in the new year.
Alternating between wins and losses is not a mark of a legitimate playoff-contending team, and head coach J.B. Bickerstaff and the rest of the coaching staff need to figure out a way to pick it back up if they are to avoid the risk of falling all the way back into the play-in territory.
Remember how they struggled during the second half of the season last year despite a promising start? While many were happy that the team technically reached the postseason, failing to reach the Playoffs this year will be a completely different story. Perhaps the front office might also consider making some player movements ahead of the nearing NBA trade deadline to help boost the team into a legit top-four team.
Fortunately, the Cleveland Cavaliers will host two more games in the confines of the Rocket Mortgage Fieldhouse in an attempt to spark another win steak, the first of which will be against the Miami Heat on January 31st.