1 stud and 1 dud for Cavs in preseason win over Hawks on Wednesday

Darius Garland, Cleveland Cavaliers. (Photo by Ken Blaze-USA TODAY Sports)
Darius Garland, Cleveland Cavaliers. (Photo by Ken Blaze-USA TODAY Sports) /
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Donovan Mitchell and Darius Garland, Cleveland Cavaliers. (Photo by Ken Blaze-USA TODAY Sports) /

Heading into their third game of the 2022 preseason, the Cleveland Cavaliers were looking to bounce back, particularly from a rough showing on Monday. In their second game against the Philadelphia 76ers, with the last one at home, Cleveland had a less than stellar start, even with Joel Embiid out in that one (rest).

Now, it’s not been ideal that the Cavaliers haven’t had Evan Mobley (ankle sprain) in preseason action yet, as an aside, and in the past two preseason games, Kevin Love (knee) has not been in action. On the plus side, it’s nothing serious with Mobley, as he’s reportedly progressing nicely, and it’s the same with Love, who missed Wednesday’s preseason game against the Atlanta Hawks as well because of precaution from a banged-up knee. It’s nothing to realistically worry too much about with Love, in that realm.

As for this third preseason contest for Cleveland, they had a pretty solid performance, given the circumstances, and while it’s preseason, it was nice to see a number of guys have quality games. The Cavs defense ramped up when it had to, too, and even with Dejounte Murray hitting some tough looks, Cleveland didn’t made things easy for Trae Young in some crucial stretches, and others aside from John Collins were inconsistent. Plus, the Wine and Gold had 30 assists, and connected on 16 threes.

A few notable performers included the likes of Isaac Okoro, who was assertive in a game where he started this go-round with Caris LeVert, one of the guys he’s battling for the starting 3 spot, resting, which was great to see, even more so in the first half. Okoro finished with 16 points. He knocked in two threes, and tacked on three assists and three steals as well; there were three turnovers, but his conviction jumped out.

And along the lines of other key starting defenders, Jarrett Allen was a constant force there, despite not getting a ton of looks offensively, as he had five blocks. His interior defense was terrific.

I have to give Cedi Osman his credit, too, as he helped spark the Cavaliers off the bench, and ended up with 16 points, and canned four threes himself, and added seven rebounds. He was a game-high plus-28, and generally, it was nice to see him make an impact when the opportunity came knocking.

From there, training camp invite Mamadi Diakite continued to be give the team energy, and with extended run in the third preseason outing, he actually had a triple-double with 13 points and 11 rebounds, was a plus-17, and even knocked in two deep balls. He’s only aided his case to be a potential candidate for Cleveland’s final roster spot.

So with those things in mind, let’s take a closer look at the stud and dud for the Cavs from Wednesday’s preseason W over the Hawks.

It was close, but two players jumped out in that realm, both of which we’ll examine further here, beginning with the stud for the Wine and Gold.