Cleveland Cavaliers are searching for an offensive boost in the wrong places

Brooklyn Nets v Cleveland Cavaliers
Brooklyn Nets v Cleveland Cavaliers / Jason Miller/GettyImages

The infirmity-ridden Cleveland Cavaliers came up short in Minnesota against the Timberwolves 91-104, giving up 13 offensive rebounds which turned into 18 second-chance points in favor of the hosts.

Once again, the Cavaliers were missing Donovan Mitchell, Evan Mobley, Max Strus and Dean Wade. Only Mobley travelled with the team, suggesting an impending return for the young star. No player has an official timetable, though.

When asked post-game about what could be done to create more offense for the Cleveland Cavaliers, coach J.B. Bickerstaff weighed in with a candid answer.

"It starts with attacking the paint. We have to create some sort of a rotation… We got to try to beat our man, get to the paint, force some help and then move it, rotate and then get the looks we are trying to create"

J.B. Bickerstaff

The Cavaliers need to make changes and trust in their secret weapon

Considering the unit’s dire situation - trying to get as healthy as possible for the playoffs without burning out Jarrett Allen and Darius Garland - the operative move is replacing Georges Niang in the rotation for Craig Porter Jr.. Opponents attack the G-Wagon (Niang) like mechanics preying on a 10-plus-year-old vehicle as soon as it enters the lot, addressing everything wrong with it. In the loss to the Timberwolves, his weak corner protection was exploited twice in the fourth quarter.

Despite the rookie not having Niang’s long-range accuracy, he is a much better option at creating for himself, and the unit needs his ability to force overreactions in the lane. Additionally, Porter pulls down 6.2 rebounds per 36 minutes. It would be a boost if the Cavs’ offense featured another player at this moment who can rip and run the open court as soon as he pulls down a defensive rebound.

With Marcus Morris, Sr. being the latest arrival, Niang’s role should become more expendable than it is now. The former is a decent sharpshooter, logging 37.8 percent of his career attempted triples and is a better rebounder who brings an attitude edge the latter cannot match. His bigger and stronger frame makes him a more suitable screener in spite of Niang having enough acreage to shield rivals.

Making sure the team gets juice out of Tristan Thompson is essential, too. Considering the group needs more offense, when he isn’t setting screens, he needs to be hovering the dunker spot as much as possible, waiting for a lob or putback.

There is no substitute for losing Grade A firepower to the injury bug, but for the last dozen games of the regular season, the objective is to find combinations that work.

Before Bickerstaff's presser ended, he said, “We can’t ask one person to fill the void of all the guys that we’re missing. So it’s everybody just has to tick up a little bit more.”

The Cavaliers only have a dozen games left before the postseason to find a rhythm amid countless injuries. Their next chance to get it together will take place against in the Miami Heat on Sunday, March 24 in the Kaseya Center before returning to Cleveland to host the Charlotte Hornets.

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