Happy New Year everybody!
The Cavs are finally back and back in the win column after a 104-79 win over the Orlando Magic. The Wine and Gold have had the Magic's number all season and tonight was no exception to that. The starters came out and set the tone and there was no letup throughout the night. The blowout allowed David Blatt to keep everybody's minutes low as nobody played more than 29 minutes.
Defense was a major key to the Cavs attack. The Magic starters were held to an NBA season low 20 points and it took until there was only 2:36 left in the fourth quarter for anybody on the team to reach double digits in scoring. It was a dominant performance on both ends that looked nearly effortless for most of the night.
- A lot has been made of LeBron's shooting struggles this season. While nobody is going to mistake him for Ray Allen, tonight was a good example of the difference getting catch and shoot looks can make on his efficiency. When he isn't dribbling and falling away, he's going to have a much better chance of making the shot. Who would have guessed having Kyrie Irving back would help his game?
- Speaking of Irving, he continues to look good despite still trying to find his form. He's moving around well, making good decisions and playing defense. The jumpers he is taking are the right looks, he just needs to get his shooting touch back. I feel the same way about his shooting as I did about Kevin Love early this season; good looks will eventually go down.
- It was a really solid night for the Cavs center tandem. Timofey Mozgov came off the bench with a lot of energy and provided the team with some solid minutes. Tristan Thompson was a pain in the arse for the Magic all night long. They just had no way to keep him off the boards. If the Cavs consistently get this kind of production from their centers they'll be laughing.
- The Cavs started 2016 off on the right note. Not only by winning this game, but in having a fully healthy roster. The depth of this team was really captured by Mo Williams not checking in until garbage time. Williams has been really good this season, but there simply aren't enough minutes to go around. The depth will pay major dividends this season as the team will have less trouble maintaining leads and give their starters more rest in games like tonight. Hopefully the injury woes stay in 2015 and they can move forward with a full roster.
Cavs next play Monday night as they host the Toronto Raptors. It will be their first chance to avenge a frustrating loss from earlier this season.