It wasn’t the prettiest game, but the Cleveland Cavaliers were able to walk away with a 103-92 win over the Orlando Magic. Evan Mobley led the way for the Cavs with 22 points. Here’s a few things we can takeaway from the win.
The Cavs made an effort to generate corner threes.
Donovan Mitchell didn’t have a great scoring night, 14 points on 5 of 19 shooting, but he was able to get the offense going early by assisting drive and kick threes like the one below.
Corner threes are one of the most efficient ways to generate offense. Last season, the Cavs were 19th in the three-point attempts from the corner and 28th in three-point percentage (34.7%). Seeing them make a concerted effort to find shooters in the corner on drive and kick type plays is encouraging and is hopefully a sign that they can make better use of this spot on the floor. Also, having someone like Mitchell who can both make defenses collapse and has the vision to hit shooters in the corners certainly helps.
Cedi Osman played well despite his outside shot not falling.
Osman’s play the last handful of seasons has ebbed and flowed with his outside shot. He’s had a fantastic first week thanks to shooting the lights out during the first three games.
His shot came back to earth against Orlando as he hit just 1 of his 5 three-point attempts. That said, he was still able to put together a solid game as he provided 14 points on 5 of 12 shooting with 7 boards, 3 assists and a block.
Osman wasn’t the player of the game by any stretch, but getting steady defensive effort and in-control offensive contributions in the half-court is stuff that the Cavs have been dying to receive from him when the shot isn’t going. Maybe it’s time to completely believe that Osman can be a good rotation piece even when his shot isn’t falling.
Jarrett Allen was the Cavs best player against Orlando.
Allen dominated the defensive end on Wednesday night. He didn’t allow the Magic to get anything easy in the half court while grabbing 16 boards.
The Magic frontcourt wasn’t able to stay in front of Allen in the pick-and-roll and struggled to contain him when he got the ball on the block. He finished with 18 points on 7 of 11 shooting.
"You can work hard and have fun. That's what @cavs basketball is all about."@_bigjayy_ joins @SerenaWinters to chat about tonight's win and gets interrupted by @spidadmitchell in the process.#LetEmKnow pic.twitter.com/gT80RN3zRu— Bally Sports Cleveland (@BallySportsCLE) October 27, 2022
Allen’s ability to keep possessions alive was one of the deciding factors as he grabbed 7 offensive boards. This led to the Cavs outscoring the Magic 19 to 9 in second chance points.
Evan Mobley looks more comfortable.
Mobley played his best basketball of the young season down the stretch of this game. He provided 17 key second half points on 7 of 12 shooting with 2 assists, a rebound and a steal.
Mobley has spent the first week of the season outside the offensive flow. He’s struggled to get opportunities in space and has not been able to use his height to his advantage against the smaller front courts of the Toronto Raptors and the Washington Wizards.
Getting the opportunity to play against a slower, more traditional front court gave Mobley a chance to showcase his shot making, speed and skill on that end. Also, the offense being in desperate need of a jolt with Mitchell, Osman and LeVert combining to go 4 of 19 from the field gave him all the opportunities he needed to showcase his skill.
It was nice to finally get a glimpse of the player we heard whispers about all off-season.
Up next: The Cavs will go on the road to take on the Boston Celtics Friday night.