CANTON, Ohio- The Cavaliers started the longest road trip of the year strong, got lazy for a few games, but still have a chance to end the trip on a two-game winning streak. Let’s review, then preview!
Cavs vs Jazz- (Tuesday, Jan 10th, 2017)- Cleveland could not stop Gordon Hayward and to top it off, the Utah Jazz beat Cleveland in two critical areas in which the Cavs usually strive in, which are assists and rebounds. The Jazz had 22 assists and 55 rebounds. Cleveland loses at Utah 92-100.
Cavs vs Trail Blazers- (Wednesday, Jan 11th, 2017)- So I’m supposed to except the excuse of Cleveland not getting to Portland at a decent time due to weather? Did those same people know that the Trail Blazers had to spend the night in Seattle? That excuse is falling on deaf ears. Portland just out-played Cleveland from start to finish. Canton, Ohio native C.J. McCollum went off for 27 points and he wasn’t alone. Allen Crabbe added 24 points. The big statistical difference for me? Once again, Cleveland failed to hit 20 assists. The Cavs had 14. How about Portland? 29. Cavs drop their second straight game 86-102.
Cavs vs Kings- (Friday, Jan 13th, 2017)- First off, let me just say this. DeMarcus Cousins continues to prove me right. He is a load to handle. It’s almost impossible to guard him once he gets position down in the paint. Then, you have to guard him outside because he’s the type of player that can hurt you from everywhere on the floor. It’s unfortunate that he can’t keep his cool and still needs to grow up. Cousins had 26 points, 11 assists and 8 rebounds. Ty Lawson also had a good game. Lawson kept Sacramento in the game late, contributing 17 points, but it was Lawson’s dribble penetration that caused Cleveland problems. Now, this game was also Kyle Korver’s coming out party, at least that’s what Cavs fans are hoping. Korver hit 18 points and some very important buckets. What I loved the most about this? Cleveland made it a point to get Korver open. Kyle Korver moves so well without the ball and is a good passer. By the way, Mike Dunleavy scored 20 points in 22 minutes. It seems he’s more comfortable down in Atlanta. Cleveland gets a nice road win over Sacramento 120-108.
PREVIEW- The Cleveland Cavaliers enter the week of January 16th, 2017 with the following records. (Overall, 29-10)- (Home, 18-3)- (Road, 11-7).
Cavs vs Warriors (34-6)- (Monday, Jan, 16th, 2017)- The Cleveland Cavaliers return to the floor where they won their first ever NBA title and ended Cleveland’s 52-year pro sports title drought. It’s Cavs vs Warriors from Oracle arena in Oakland. Game 7 of the NBA finals was one of the greatest games, not only in finals history, but in NBA history as well. I’m sure Golden State will be playing to get a little revenged from their 1-point loss back in Cleveland to the Cavs on Christmas day. But, remember, this is 1 game of 82. This game, win or lose, is not the end of the season or the world. I fully expect Golden State to win this game.
Suns (13-27) vs Cavs- (Thursday, Jan 19th, 2017)- The game in Phoenix was too close at the end. I think and hope the Cavs learned to not take the Suns lightly, even with a 24-point lead. I know the Cavs will be looking forward to getting back home.
Spurs (31-9) vs Cavs- (Saturday, Jan 21st, 2017)- This will be an excellent test for Cleveland. San Antonio has always given LeBron problems, whether it was his first stint in Cleveland or down in Miami. Why? The Spurs have a great player in Kawhi Leonard. He can score, but he’s one of the few guys that can guard James one on one, that excludes James running the floor on a fast break situation. These two teams stack up very well. I might even argue that the Spurs have a better overall team than Golden State because they actually have a bench, the Warriors do not. This should be a great game and a potential finals preview.
FINAL THOUGHTS- After the win in Sacramento, Kyle Korver admitted to still having no idea what he’s doing on the floor from a plays stand point. I do! Just keep moving and when you get the ball, let it fly. Find the screens being set for you and get ready to shoot. Korver may have the easiest role on the team. Just stand outside or run in circles till you get open and be looking for the ball.
Cleveland is still searching for a backup point guard. Cavaliers GM David Griffin has told the team and the media that he has a few ideas right now, but the time isn’t right. I’m fully confident that Griffin will make the right move. When you have the roster that Cleveland does, you don’t need a great backup, just a point guard that won’t turn the ball over, run the offense, distribute the ball and score from time to time.
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Credit all authors of images used in both article and as cover image : Nick Broulis