Good morning. It was fun to watch Cavalier basketball again last night. Let’s talk about a couple things that stood out from yesterday’s preseason loss against the Philadelphia 76ers.
The first sip
You don’t want to read too much into a preseason game, but the Donovan Mitchell and Darius Garland pairing worked really well together. The duo primarily shared the court in the first half which led to some really fun results. Especially in the half-court.
This is what you want to see Cleveland do to use Darius Garland and Donovan Mitchell together. Garland in pick and roll with Allen, notice it's Mitchell by himself in the weakside corner. Defense has to make a decision on that roll. pic.twitter.com/ZJR4cV8BZQ— Steve Jones Jr. (@stevejones20) October 5, 2022
Like the flow. Garland comes off a stagger and gets a dribble handoff. He has nothing, pick the picker on the weakside with Mitchell coming off. That flows into Mitchell coming off P&R, opens up a 3 for Wade. pic.twitter.com/Lprr9qx09s— Steve Jones Jr. (@stevejones20) October 5, 2022
Neither are flashy or memorable plays, but they are things the Cavs weren’t able to easily do last season given the lack of ballhandlers and dynamic scorers on the roster.
Mitchell led the Cavs in scoring with 16 points on 6 of 9 shooting with 5 assists in just under 19 minutes. Garland contributed 12 points and 4 assists on 4 of 7 shooting with 4 helpers.
The second sip
Here’s a quick rundown of other notable things from yesterday’s game:
- Kevin Love made the most of his start as he added in 9 points on 3 of 6 shooting from deep with 7 boards in 15 minutes of play.
- Caris LeVert had a solid outing as he finished with 7 points and 3 assists in just over 13 minutes of play. Having three ball-handlers on the floor who could create off-the-dribble was a fun dynamic the Cavs haven’t had in recent years.
- Dean Wade was absolutely dropped by James Harden but still found a way to have a solid outing as he canned 3 of his 5 three point attempts.
- Isaac Okoro looked more comfortable on the floor than he did last year finishing with 7 points and 3 boards.
- Mamadi Diakite made an impressive case for a roster spot as he put up 11 points and 3 blocks in 12 minutes of action.
- It was a tough outing for two-way player RJ Nembhard Jr. as he ended the night with 1 point on 0 of 7 shooting in 17 minutes.