The Thursday night showcase is the premiere night for the NBA. It’s when stars come out and shine on one of the biggest stages in the sport. This game did not contain the level of play the league hopes for on nights like this, but it still ended up being an entertaining game at times. The Cleveland Cavaliers were able to win the shootout against the Los Angeles Lakers 121-112.
The defensive intensity was sub-par throughout the night, as there were blown rotations on both end of the floor leading to easy scores. While the Cavs jumped passing lanes, their possession-by-possession defense was far from inspired. As a result, slashing players like Brandon Ingram and Lonzo Ball were able to shoot a much higher percentage than we are accustomed to seeing.
This game was very reminiscent of how the Cavs have played in past seasons. They knew they were the better team, and displayed effort only when it was necessary. LeBron and Love provided the team with enough firepower to get the job done, even though the team made it much more difficult than it needed to be.
- JOSE CALDERON REVENGE GAME! Calderon went 5-8 from behind the arc and 6-9 overall to give the team 17 points they wouldn’t typically expect from him. While Calderon being your third leading scorer isn’t the best way to win in 2017, it was exactly what the team needed on this night.
- The duo of Lebron James and Kevin Love were phenomenal, once again. LeBron finished with a triple double of 25 points, 12 rebounds and 12 assists. While it wasn’t his most efficient shooting night (8-18), he was still the straw that stirred the drink for the Cavs dynamic offense. Love, on the other hand, continued his career best efficiency with 28 points on 9-15 shooting and 11 rebounds.
- This was one of the worst games we have see from Dwyane Wade since he moved to the bench. He was a game-time decision, as a result of knee soreness, so it’s possible that his pain threw him off. But he looked disorientated offensively and blew several looks he would normally convert on.
- A bright spot in Thursday’s game was the energy Cedi Osman provided off the bench. With Osman being one of the only young players on the team, playing hard should be the expectation and he delivered on that. He converted both of his shots and came away with a great steal on an entry pass that lead to a fastbreak bucket for him on the other end.
- It’s probably worth noting that the Cavs starters still aren’t playing good defense. Entering tonight’s game, the starting lineup has had a defensive rating of 108.3, just behind their 27th ranked season-long rating of 107.9. What makes that even more concerning is that the only top-15 offenses they’ve played during that stretch are the Clippers, Pacers, and Knicks. Not the most promising sign for when their schedule becomes tougher again.