Editor’s note: In the Two For One, Fear the Sword’s staff will spotlight three takeaways from their last game featuring two positives and one negative from the action, or vice versa.
Positive: Great games from the young guys
The Cavaliers received many great performances in their win over the Lakers. Tristan Thompson was superb with 15 points, 14 rebounds and two blocks; Alec Burks had his best game as a Cavalier with 17 points and 13 rebounds. But the performances from Cedi Osman and Collin Sexton were the most encouraging part of the evening.
Osman started strong scoring a quick eight points in the opening minutes. He finished with 20 points and eight rebounds, while Sexton contributed 17 points and three assists. Their contributions were timely and meaningful,
Outside of what pick Cleveland gets in the draft, the development of Osman and Sexton is the most important aspect of this season.
Positive: Winning with defense
This was just the sixth time the Cavs have held a team under 100 points this season. The team had the worst defense in NBA history coming into the game, and found a way to dig deep and come away with the win.
Of course some of the Lakers offensive woes were self inflicted, especially at the free throw line. However the team still came up with timely stops and made plays when they really needed it.
Negative: Poor bench contributions
While the Cavs starters were great, the team failed to get much production from it’s second unit.
Cleveland’s reserves played a total of 70 minutes, yet they only chipped in 14 total points in that time. While Jordan Clarkson had moments, scoring 9 points in his 28 minutes, the bench as a whole put way too much strain on the starters.
Cedi Osman shouldn’t have to play 42 minutes. As the team learns how to play together and works towards developing a system, getting balanced contributions from the entire supporting cast is an important part of turning this season around.