This Cavs team might have a shot.
Improving to 33-21, after being 19-20 less than a month ago, the Cleveland Cavaliers just might be contenders. There has been no shortage of silly storylines, of course, but the fact remains that this Cavs team has won 14 of their last 15 games. That's pretty good. It's also a team that employs LeBron James, Kevin Love, and Kyrie Irving.
Tonight's win, though, was as much about the supporting cast. Timofey Mozgov and Tristan Thompson took turns finishing off set ups from Irving, James, J.R. Smith, and just about anyone. The two Cavalier bigs combined for 37 points on 16-19 shooting, some rebounds, and pretty good defense; Chris Bosh finished just 5-17 from the field for Miami.
In the first half in particular the Cavs made it a priority to get out in transition. Mozgov was throwing lobs to LeBron James, Tristan Thompson was filling the lane, J.R. Smith was finishing off 75 foot sliders (the baseball pitch) from Kevin Love. It was insane. And fun.
Kevin Love had a great first quarter and was playing well in general until an errant hand to the face from Mario Chalmers knocked him out of the game. It was described as a right eye injury, and it sounds like there is a good chance he will be available on Thursday against the Chicago Bulls. It was a bit of a bummer, if only for the reason that Love was a stabilizing force while Irving and James at times tried to do too much offensively.
Iman Shumpert was everything the Cavs hoped they acquired tonight. He hit open threes, he did some light creating. He pushed the ball in transition. When he makes three point shots, he's ridiculously valuable.
All the Cavs can do is win games. They're doing just that. See you tomorrow.