2 studs and 2 duds for Cavs from win over Suns on Sunday night

Donovan Mitchell, Cleveland Cavaliers. (Photo by Chris Coduto/Getty Images)
Donovan Mitchell, Cleveland Cavaliers. (Photo by Chris Coduto/Getty Images) /
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Isaac Okoro, Cleveland Cavaliers. (Photo by Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports) /

Cavs Studs: Isaac Okoro and guard play

I have a feeling that Isaac Okoro might have a bit of anxiety approaching this time of the season. While his name could feasibly be thrown into serious and non-serious trade conversations, he stood out in another start last night. Yes, the Suns were definitely short-handed but, Okoro still played great defense and brought a lot of energy from the tipoff. It was on-brand with how he’s often been playing recently, with some more offensively, in that sense.

In the first quarter he got out on the break and hit two open threes to get himself going. However, a moment that stood out to me was when the score was tied 61-61 in the third quarter and Okoro was guarding an in-bounds pass. Most NBA players might take this act off, but Okoro was right in the passer’s face, and forced a bad pass that was picked off by Mitchell, and led to a Jarrett Allen fastbreak dunk. From there, the Cavs took control.

Part of the reason Okoro was open from deep early, was the penetration and passing of guards Donovan Mitchell and Darius Garland. They combined for nearly 10 assists and Garland only had two turnovers, which is huge going forward. On top of that, both guards controlled the tempo, and kept the Cavaliers in control later on when it was especially needed.

Along with Garland and Mitchell playing well, Caris LeVert had 13 points off the bench, and Raul Neto made an instant impact whenever he stepped on the court.