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) /
3 of 3
Duane Washington Jr., Phoenix Suns. (Photo by Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports) /

Cavs Duds: Three-point defense and end of half defense

There really wasn’t much to complain about with the Cavaliers last night. But, they let the Suns shoot over 50% from three-point range. While the NBA is going through an offensive revolution, letting an opponent shoot over 50% from three is not a good way to win games, especially important games. Luckily for the Cavs, Booker and Paul missed the game, or else the score might have been very different.

With rim protectors like Allen and Evan Mobley at the rim, perimeter defenders should have no problem closing out and getting in the face of opponents on the three-point line. At times, when they did that, they were able to get out on the break, but allowing a less talented team to stay in the game because of three-point shots, which is what happened at the end of the first half.

Overall, the Cavaliers dominated the first half, but only held a three-point lead at the break. With five-and-a-half minutes left in the first half, the Cavs held a 51-38 lead. From there the Cavs gave up a 16-7 run at the end of the half to cut their lead to three at the break. Again, if Paul and Booker were playing, the second half could have gone much worse.

Overall, after getting dominated by the Suns for the past couple of years, it’s nice to pick up two wins versus them in a short span of time. Yes, it was absolutely an undermanned squad in Phoenix, but the Cavaliers took care of business and kept their spot in the Eastern Conference.

Going forward, Cleveland still needs to figure out their rotation, and battle through some injuries. The return of Ricky Rubio in the future is a huge addition to the squad at an important time. With that being said, Raul Neto has played well when his name has been called, particularly in recent contests.

Next. Cavs Stock Up, Stock Down for 2nd quarter mark. dark

The Cavs will continue their road trip this week, when they take on Lauri Markkanen and the Utah Jazz on Tuesday. After that the Cavs head to face the Portland Trail Blazers on Thursday, and then close out the five-game road trip at the Minnesota Timberwolves on Saturday night.