The Cleveland Cavaliers have done an amazing job of taking care of business against weaker opponents. They were 12-2 against teams below .500 coming into today’s matchup with the San Antonio Spurs. The Spurs did everything in their power to pull off the upset, but it was not enough. The Cavs escaped Rocket Mortgage Fieldhouse with a 117-115 win against the Spurs, moving them to 13-2 against teams below .500 on the season.
The Wine and Gold were once again led by Jarrett Allen, who had his seventh straight double double with 29 points, and 16 rebounds, and outplayed Spurs rookie phenom Victor Wembenyama. Caris LeVert also had 23 points of his own to pace the Cavs. The win moved the Cavs to fifth in the Eastern Conference, 21-15 on the season, and 3-1 since the calendar flipped to 2024. There was a lot to take away from this one, but here are my two main takeaways from another Cavs victory.
1. The Cavs bench once again shines
The Cavs are 7-3 in their last ten games. A huge reason why that is the case is because of how good the bench has been. Prior to this ten game stretch, the Cavs ranked in the bottom five of NBA bench scoring. The Wine and Gold have completely flipped the switch, as they have led the NBA in bench scoring in the past ten games with about 49 points per game.
Against the Spurs, the bench was led once again by Caris LeVert, who had 23 points. LeVert has been one of the NBA’s best when it comes to scoring off the bench, as he ranks tenth with 15.7 PPG on the season. However, LeVert has upped his play off the bench in these last ten games, as he ranks third in the NBA during that stretch in bench scoring with 18.3 PPG. He has been the ring leader for the bench mob.
LeVert was not alone against the Spurs though, as Sam Merrill chipped in with 18 points and five three-pointers to give the Cavs a needed shooting boost. Georges Niang also had 11 points of his own, and Tristan Thompson had eight points, giving the Cavs a total of 60 points off the bench.
The team’s depth has been tested with the injuries to Darius Garland, and Evan Mobley. There were questions about who would step up, and if the Cavs would have enough contributors on a nightly basis. The bench has taken that personally, and has been the engine of this successful Cavs stretch.