This game was pretty fun and the Cavs are now 2-0 on this current homestand after winning 114-107 against the Grizzlies. Let’s get into it.
Jordan Clarkson was great
The Cavs needed someone to score on Friday. Collin Sexton was 2-12 and played maybe his worst offensive game of the season. Kevin Love finished with 21 points, but really didn’t make his biggest shots of the game until late. In stepped Jordan Clarkson, who scored 33 points in 30 minutes off the bench. Particularly of note, he made six of his eight three-pointers and 12 of his overall 17 shots.
This was as good as Clarkson can be. He can extremely frustrating — he often hijacks possessions and is a bad defender — but there’s no denying that Clarkson is skilled as a scorer.
Friday’s game is also the highlight clip Koby Altman should be sending to opposing GMs in an effort to move Clarkson for something of note. This is almost certainly not how trade discussions work, but it can’t hurt.
John Henson looked much very alive
This is a big year for John Henson. He’s coming off of a lost season due to an injury, battled through injuries at the start of this year and is in the last year of his contract. Nights like Friday — where he had seven blocks and four rebounds in 16 minutes off the bench — are a reminder that he can still do good things on the court.
Henson also fills a need for the Cavs: rim protection. Tristan Thompson has been awesome this year, but that’s not his best attribute. It’s certainly not Love’s, nor is it Larry Nance’s. Having a big in the rotation, and leaning on him for a few extra minutes when he’s making an impact, is a good thing to have. It also might make him tradeable — especially at a fairly low $9.7 million for this year. It makes sense for him to keep getting chances.
Collin Sexton made a big pass when it mattered
This was not a good Collin Sexton game. He was on the bench for the entire second quarter and never really felt like he was involved in anything that was working for the Cavs. But he then did this, something he almost never does: drive, not shoot and find the right man:
CLUTCH KEVIN. #BeTheFight pic.twitter.com/SBRAL8Z2xN— Cleveland Cavaliers (@cavs) December 21, 2019
Cleveland needs more of this from Sexton. To his credit, he also grabbed an offensive rebound with about 14 seconds left after Clarkson missed, got fouled and made two free throws to ice the game for the Cavs. Good on him to still contribute on a night where what he does best was not working and not helping.
The Cavs end their three-game homestand on Monday against Trae Young and the Hawks. Tipoff is at 7 p.m.