In a game that probably says more about their opposition than about where they actually are as a team, the Cavaliers got back into the win column with a dominant 129-107 win against the Phoenix Suns on Tuesday night.
The Cavs were led by Lebron James, who chipped in a fairly effortless triple-double with 28 points, 13 rebounds and 11 assists. Kyle Korver, making his first start of the season, dropped 22 points on a steady diet of wide open three-pointers.
Off the bench, Jordan Clarkson and J.R. Smith, who came off the bench after John Holland in his first game as a non-starter, led the way. Clarkson dropped 23 points while hitting five threes and Smith scored 14 points in 12 shot attempts in an aggressive outing.
It wasn’t all good for the Cavaliers though - Larry Nance was held out of the back half of the game after just 14 minutes due to a hamstring issue.
Larry Nance Jr. has a right hamstring issue. He's being held out for precautionary reasons. Namely, the Cavs are destroying the Suns and all their bigs are already hurt— Joe Vardon (@joevardon) March 14, 2018
This, of course is a bad thing, as the Cavaliers can barely suit up players to create an active roster with Nance and Ante Zizic (who played well against the Suns with 11 points on 5-5 shooting) as the sole traditional bigs on the roster that are available to play.
Ultimately, while the Cavaliers played well, it’s really hard to evaluate against the Suns. The team is stocked with G-Leaguers who have almost zero upside and highly drafted talents that have almost zero basketball IQ (here’s looking at you, Marquese Chriss.)
Devin Booker’s talented, but he turned in a mostly lifeless 17 point outing in a season that is defined much more by the team’s draft position than their on-court product.
The Cavs will (probably) be healthy at some point again this season. Unfortunately, until that day comes, it’s really hard to take much stock in their dominant wins or their embarrassing losses.
With that said, it’s a lot easier to stomach the former, and they did their jobs against the woeful Suns. The Cavs play next against the Blazers on Thursday before wrapping up their road trip in Chicago on Saturday.