The Cavaliers are a quarter done with the NBA regular season. Earlier this week Max Strus gave a blunt assessment saying the season has been, “average.” The reason he gave was short as well, [we are], “11-9.” After losing to the lowly Blazers and missing out on the In-Season Tournament last week, I can’t argue with the assessment.
One benefit of missing out on the In-Season Tournament is that the guys had 3 full days between games. This gave J.B. Bickerstaff some time to reflect on the first 20 games of the season and get in the gym to work on some things. And based on the 121-111 victory against the Magic, the Cavs had some very productive practices.
The Wine and Gold have a tough 4-game road trip starting on Friday night and here are 4 things to keep an eye on.
No. 1: Bench Rotation
Bickerstaff has gotten a lot of flack over being overly loyal to his starters. The core four (Mobley, Allen, Garland and Mitchell) have been used a lot and have looked gassed in some games. In the past 4 games, there have only been 7 or 8 players playing more than 10+ minutes. Furthermore, all of the starters in those 4 games averaged over 30+ minutes per game. It might be time to look down the bench to relieve the starters.
Craig Porter Jr. and Isaiah Mobley did not travel with the Cleveland Charge which might mean J.B. might be going deeper into his bench for the next 4 games. Georges Niang should get more playing time as his 3-point shot helps stretch the floor. His shooting has picked up lately in the last 10 games where he has been averaging 10.5 points per game.