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The Cavaliers, the revelation team in the NBA

In this Wednesday, Dec. 8, 2021 photo, Evan Mobley of the Cleveland Cavaliers throws the ball over Nikola Vucevic of the Chicago Bulls. On Wednesd



In this Wednesday, Dec. 8, 2021 photo, Evan Mobley of the Cleveland Cavaliers throws the ball over Nikola Vucevic of the Chicago Bulls.  On Wednesday, December 15, 2021, the Cavs surprised the league.  This is supposed to be a rebuilding year, but the team is fourth in the Eastern Conference, thanks in part to the defense and strong performance of rookie Evan Mobley.  (AP Photo / Tony Dejak)

In this Wednesday, Dec. 8, 2021 photo, Evan Mobley of the Cleveland Cavaliers throws the ball over Nikola Vucevic of the Chicago Bulls. On Wednesday, December 15, 2021, the Cavs surprised the league. This is supposed to be a rebuilding year, but the team is fourth in the Eastern Conference, thanks in part to the defense and strong performance of rookie Evan Mobley. (AP Photo / Tony Dejak)

In this Wednesday, Dec. 8, 2021 photo, Evan Mobley of the Cleveland Cavaliers throws the ball over Nikola Vucevic of the Chicago Bulls. On Wednesday, December 15, 2021, the Cavs surprised the league. This is supposed to be a rebuilding year, but the team is fourth in the Eastern Conference, thanks in part to the defense and strong performance of rookie Evan Mobley. (AP Photo / Tony Dejak)

CLEVELAND (AP) – Over the past summer, the Cleveland Cavaliers’ management laid out a plan they were looking to rebound from 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.