This morning would’ve been better if the Cavs could’ve found a way to pull out the win last night. We’ll just have to make the best with what we’ve been given.
The first sip
It was great to see Darius Garland, Jarrett Allen and Evan Mobley share the floor again last night even if we didn’t get the result we wanted. Tuesday’s game was the first time the trio has played together since December 15th. The Cavs were able to tread water by going 4-4 without all members of their big three.
The Cavs are now 16-7 in games Garland, Allen and Mobley share the floor together. They are outscoring opponents by 11.6 points per 100 possessions when the trio shares the floor (not counting last night’s loss). The team also boasts a modest 107.3 offensive rating and a ridiculous 95.7 defensive rating when all three are on the floor.
Every potential move that the Cavs make will need to be judged by how it affects the young trio collectively and individually. If a player doesn’t fit with the trio, they should be moved for a one that does (I swear this is not about Collin Sexton). Only players who can compliment the trio should be brought in or kept at this point.
One of the goals for the rest of the season should be finding out what works with this trio. The Cavs have had success with Lauri Markkanen and Isaac Okoro in the starting lineup, but are those the type of players or archetypes that help the trio most? We know that Ricky Rubio fit perfectly with Garland, Allen, and Mobley, but does someone like Rajon Rondo who isn’t as capable of creating his own shot work too?
The Cavs are a good team, but they are a move or so away from being a great team both this year and possibly over the next few years. It’ll be interesting to see how Koby Altman and company view the success of this season and what they think will take this young core to the next level.
The second sip
I don’t know what it’s like to watch your child play sports, but I’m guessing it’s similar to how I feel watching Dylan Windler play basketball. I don’t love Windler like a child, but I blindly believe in his ability even though he’s given me absolutely no reason to do so. Yesterday’s game will give me just enough hope to keep believing in him for at least the rest of the season.
Windler hit two big threes in the second half to keep the Cavs close. His shot is pure enough (when he does in fact shoot it) to give you hope that maybe he is a piece that fits perfectly alongside the core trio. The rest of his game is passable that he looks like a solid rotation player when he’s able to get his shot off.
Windler would be easy to write off if he couldn’t hit his shots. But that has never been the issue which makes him all the more frustrating. I’m not sure how many more chances he will get in Cleveland but he’ll at least get one more while Isaac Okoro and Cedi Osman are out of the lineup. Maybe this is the time theoretical Windler becomes actual Windler.