Cleveland— Over the past summer, the Cleveland Cavaliers management came up with a plan with which they were looking to rebound this season.Not at
Cleveland— Over the past summer, the Cleveland Cavaliers management came up with a plan with which they were looking to rebound this season.
Not at this rate. Not so fast.
They were supposed to have another year of rebuilding, rubbing off on a team with a young and talented point guard. If things went well, maybe they could sneak into the NBA playoff mini-tournament.
But the situation changed.
Cleveland, a team that won just 22 games and that hurt to watch them play last season and whose Vegas gamblers and gamblers only hoped they were slightly better, boast a 17-12 record to place fourth in the conference. East.
You didn’t see this change coming, did you? Nobody saw it coming.
Off to an impressive start, the Cavs have dominated the teams with their defense led by rookie Evan Mobley. The rookie forward is the type of player with whom the franchise seeks to definitively forget the LeBron James era.
“I don’t think people are going to say it, but I think everyone is a little surprised,” Cavs power forward Jarrett Allen said a bit hesitantly after Monday’s 105-94 win over the Miami Heat. It was Cleveland’s fourth straight win and eighth in 10 games.
The element of surprise is dissipating.
With each double-digit win – Cleveland’s last eight wins have been at least 11 points apart – whether at home or on the road, this group is gaining confidence as well as well-earned respect in the league thanks to the philosophy of the coach JB Bickerstaff.
“This is not a passing success, what they are accomplishing,” admitted Heat coach Erik Spoelstra before the Cavs surpassed his team for the second time in 11 days. “They are committed, they have an identity and JB has done a great job putting together that defense.”
As a team with characteristics of the NBA past, the Cavs depend on defense to win.
The Cavs began Tuesday allowing 101.9 points per game, the second-best mark in the league behind Golden State. On Monday they held a team to less than 100 points for the 12th time this season.
Mobley’s impact cannot be overestimated.
The third pick in the draft plays like a 10-year veteran and keeps getting better. He averages 13.8 points, 8.3 rebounds, 2.5 assists and 1.8 blocks. He stands out as the favorite to be named Rookie of the Year.
There is more to these Cavs. They share the ball and the glory.
On Tuesday, December 14, 2021, Golden State Warriors point guard Stephen Curry became the king of 3-pointers in NBA history with his 2,974th long-range basket. (Mary Altaffer)
His record came at Madison Square Garden, where Curry had already reached one of the major milestones in his career. On February 27, 2013, he hit 11 triples and totaled 54 points. (Mary Altaffer)
Curry dropped former guard Ray Allen, who posted 2,793 in an 18-season career, at second on the all-time list. The brand lasted for 10 years (2011),
In the photo, Curry hugs Ray Allen, who witnessed the moment the Golden State star surpassed his record for 3s. (Mary Altaffer)
Basketball Hall of Famer Reggie Miller now ranks third with 2,560. He held the mark for 13 seasons. (JOHN HARRELL)
Current Brooklyn Nets guard James Harden is fourth with 2,509 3s and counting. (Carlos Osorio)
Kyle Korver finished his career with 2,450 3-pointers for fifth place all-time.