The Cleveland Cavaliers celebrated their first double-digit win in 30 days over the Charlotte Bobcats on Tuesday night at Quicken Loans Arena. The Cavaliers won 103-90, completing their season sweep of the Bobcats.With the Cavs win they are now longer on the losing side of things and with the Bobcats loss they extended their losing streak to 13 games. Good thing the Cavaliers didn’t blow it against these guys.
The Cavaliers went on a 23-4 run to start the second half, mostly with the lineup of Luke Walton, Omri Casspi, Semih Erden, Lester Hudson and Donald Sloan. With that said, the Cavs bench played great tonight, which was expected because the Bobcats bench has been notorious all season long. Leading the way for the 44 bench points that the Cavaliers scored were Lester Hudson, who had a team-high 25 points, and Omri Casspi, who had 12 points.
Another stunning fact about the late-bloomer Hudson’s game was that the Cavaliers were +27 when he was on the court. His presence was crucial for the Cavaliers victory, as he managed to log 36 minutes off the bench in which he dished out six assists. Hudson helped a lot in helping the Cavaliers to their 16th 100-point game this season.
However, when scoring 100 points or more the Cavaliers are only 9-7,indicating that the Cavaliers defense is very shaky. The Cavaliers are not a dominating team, meaning they can’t hang with the best teams and they like to keep pace with teams that have the same skill set as themselves. The Cavaliers have really only had two dominating games this season, winning by 16 points in the second and fifth game of the season.
Since those wins came so early in the season it’s a good indicator that the Cavaliers were a lot healthier in the early beginnings of the season, but no w they are relying on bench players to take on starting roles. It’s been a tough streak for the Cavaliers, but these young studs are getting accustomed to the NBA and showing that they can compete against some of the best players.
The Bobcats were a perfect challenge for players like Donald Sloan and Lester Hudson, who scored four and 25 points respectively. Those players forced the Bobcats into working the paint to score points because the Cavaliers shut down their three-point shooting, holding them to 27.3 percent.
Forcing the Bobcats to go inside was also a favorable matchup for the Cavaliers, as their big men scored a combined 12 points on the night. The Cavs out rebounded the Bobcats 45-32 as they also collected 14 offensive boards.
Despite the pesky and physical defense, the Cavaliers bench carried the load as five bench players led the team to have a plus rating. Walton (+11), Casspi (+13), Erden (+15), Hudson (+27) and Samardo Samuels (+7). These players helped the Cavaliers go on a fourth-quarter run, proving that even their backup players can close out a game.
Even though Cleveland was without Anderson Varejao, Kyrie Irving and Daniel Gibson for the sixth straight game, they still managed to beat a team that could go down as one of the NBA’s worst if they lost the rest of the season. The competitive edge that the Cavaliers are displaying each night is very appropriate. It’s just fact that the Cavs are shorthanded, so watching bench players get extended minutes and prove themselves as roster players is exciting news for next season.
The Cavaliers will try and add to their one-game winning streak against the Indiana Pacers Wednesday night at 7. Let’s see if the Cavaliers can keep up with a playoff team.