Caris LeVert had his first good game in what felt like ages. He scored 26 points, his highest outing since Nov. 8th. He was aggressive attacking the hoop. Converting layups inside and forcing his way to the free throw line a team-high six times.
The Cavaliers haven’t enjoyed much depth in the scoring department. Their bench is accounting for the 4th fewest points per game in the NBA. LeVert, who is their most talented scorer in the second unit, could alleviate this pain if he gets himself going.
Currently, LeVert is in the midst of his least efficient three-point shooting season. This is a contrast to last year – when he shot a career-best 39%. Tonight? LeVert shot 3-of-6 from deep. Hopefully, this trend continues upward.
Another Cavs’ bench player in need of a good game, Isaac Okoro was the only member of the team to finish as a positive in the plus/minus department. Okoro scored 7 points, grabbed 4 rebounds, dished 2 assists and disrupted numerous Boston plays to finish as a +4 in 18 minutes.
Okoro is still searching for his role with the second unit. A night like tonight shows how he can be useful. Attacking closeouts, playing competent defense and burying his only three-point attempt.
The Cavs are trying to play a more team-oriented brand of basketball this season. Tonight was a step in the wrong direction, reverting to isolation ball and neglecting Jarrett Allen entirely.
Allen finished the game with 8 points on 4-7 shooting. In a game that was begging Cleveland to attack the paint, the team did a poor job finding their big man. In fairness, Allen himself could have been more assertive establishing positions to catch the ball.
Nevertheless, the Cavs ended tonight’s game with 21 assists and 16 turnovers. This is a trend they need to address. Cleveland is turning the ball over at the 10th-highest rate this season while ranking 24th in assists.
This was a painful game all around. Though, Dean Wade’s open three-pointers might have been the most painful aspect. He shot 1-5 on almost exclusively clean looks. Each one felt like a backbreaker for Cleveland – and a jolt of energy for Boston.
Wade is one of the few switchable defenders on the roster and a necessity in the rotation with Evan Mobley sidelined. Let’s hope Mobley is back in the fold soon enough – or Wade starts to knock down those open looks.