3 things Cavs fans are missing out on seeing as result of hiatus

Cleveland Cavaliers big man Kevin Love and Cleveland guard Collin Sexton talk in-game. (Photo by Jason Miller/Getty Images)
Cleveland Cavaliers big man Kevin Love and Cleveland guard Collin Sexton talk in-game. (Photo by Jason Miller/Getty Images) /
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Cleveland Cavaliers
Cleveland Cavaliers wing Cedi Osman talks with Cleveland head coach J.B. Bickerstaff in-game. (Photo by Jason Miller/Getty Images) /

Could the Cavs keep up their better overall play under Bickerstaff?

The first thing Cavs fans are missing out on seeing as a result of the hiatus is could the Wine and Gold keep up their better overall play with Bickerstaff at the helm?

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I know this is sort of general, but considering the Cavs have a 19-46 record thus far in the 2019-20 season, and with how John Beilein was clearly an awful fit as the prior head coach (and has since been re-assigned to an unspecified role within the organization), it was a positive to see the Cavs be much more consistently competitive game-to-game post-All-Star.

In that stretch, Cleveland was sixth in the NBA in assist rate and 10th in effective field goal shooting.

They also at least had a considerably better net rating of minus-3.2 as compared to the rest of the season at minus-7.9 (which is the second-worst on the year), as is indicated by NBA.com.

The Wine and Gold were banged up in a number of instances, too.

That was most notably, in relation to Darius Garland (groin strain), Andre Drummond (calf strain), Tristan Thompson (knee contusion and then eye abrasion) and Kevin Porter Jr. (concussion) all missing three or more games individually post-All-Star leading up to the season’s suspension.

Even with that being the case, though, the Cavs saw seemingly even more growth from Collin Sexton, who was tearing it up, with 25.5 points and 4.2 assists in that span. Along with that, Matthew Dellavedova filled it very well with Garland sidelined, as Delly led the Wine and Gold with 5.5 assists per outing then and got players such as Kevin Love, Sexton and Cedi Osman the ball in their go-to spots.

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Clearly, to me, if a team-friendly deal is possible and whenever the upcoming free agency period is, the expiring Dellavedova should be re-signed by Cleveland.

Plus, Larry Nance Jr., who even showed some real ability to play the 3 in meaningful minutes for Bickerstaff, was continuing to show he’s one of Cleveland’s best overall players, and it’s evident that Love and others really have taken to Bickerstaff, in terms of their connection on and off the floor.

Perhaps that played into Collin Sexton saying he believes the Cavs are going to make the postseason next year in a recent interview (the interview with Forbes‘ Morten Jensen was before the season’s suspension, for reference), but I see that as being really lofty.

So again, though, while it was only an 11-game sample size and the Cavs were due to play 17 more games (and it’s uncertain what will play out down the road), it’s still unfortunate that Cavs fans are missing out on seeing if the Wine and Gold could remain competitive post-All-Star or if they eventually would see a ton of L’s pile up again like earlier in the season.

The second thing we’re missing out on seeing is how a certain duo was going to progress in terms of their on-floor chemistry.