The Cleveland Cavaliers captured a much-needed win over a reeling Portland Trail Blazers team. Let’s recap what happened:
Nightly Notables: Strus and Mobley get it done
The Cavs have been insisting that Max Strus is more than just a three-point shooter. And well, it’s plain as day now.
Strus has done a little bit of everything since arriving in Cleveland. He delivered yet another all-around game tonight. He posted 14 points, 7 assists and 3 rebounds.
Those stats do not jump off the page but rest assured – Strus’s fingerprints were all over this victory. He fought on defense and operated the pick-and-roll at a high level with Evan Mobley. Strus finished as a +25 while Mobley ended the game +26.
The Strus-Mobley duo has been electric to start the season. Both are averaging career-highs in points, rebounds, assists, blocks and steals. Quite the opening stretch for these two.
Donovan Mitchell was also fantastic tonight, as usual. He finished with a game-high 34 points as a +22 for Cleveland.
Well, that happened…
Did I mention Max Strus was more than a three-point shooter? Sure, dishing out of the pick-and-roll is nice but… he also did this:
MAX STRUS WOW— Bleacher Report (@BleacherReport) November 16, 2023
WHAT A DUNK. pic.twitter.com/cp1iusCwE9
For those who haven’t watched Strus closely, this explosive dunk might have been a total surprise. But Strus has always had springs. This violent poster is a proper reminder of what kind of bounce he is working with.
The Cavs have not had the start to the season they hoped for. This win puts them at just 5-6.
There are still problems for this team to solve. They were barraged by three-pointers in Sacramento and have had little production from the bench (save Caris LeVert, who has had a phenomenal start to the year). This victory over a depleted Blazers team doesn’t solve everything – but it sure feels good to add to the column.
Up next, the Cavs host their first-ever In-Season Tournament game on Friday against the Detroit Pistons. Another favorable opponent could lead this Cavaliers’ team to the .500 mark.