In the Cleveland Cavaliers’ 109-95 win over the Chicago Bulls, Max Strus led the Cavs with 26 points on 9-22 shooting, including a 5-17 mark from three. Craig Porter Jr. and Jarrett Allen added 19 points apiece.
Well... that happened
The Cavs had one healthy guard and put forth overall good offense. Per Cleaning The Glass, they finished with an offense rating of 118.5 — nearly five points better per 100 possessions better than their season average. Some of the underlying metrics aren’t as pretty (namely the Cavs’ shooting at the rim and from three) but they nabbed a ton of offensive rebounds and took advantage of those opportunities.
Porter Jr. also deserves a ton of credit for how he played. He played nearly 40 minutes, had 19 points and 8-14 shooting from the field and had 8 assists vs. just three turnovers. For him to play this composed and controlled as a rookie is hugely impressive. If he’s not already, this is a an NBA rotation-level guard. Get this man a real NBA contract.
Considering all that has gone wrong for the Cavs this year, and how this easily could have been a loss, this is a win that speaks well of this group. This is the kind of win you only get if a team is collectively bought in and willing to give it your all to get a win.
The Cavs still need to get healthy. There are big picture issues to figure out and roster improvements to make if they want to maximize whatever this season is. But wins like this and going 4-1 since Darius Garland and Evan Mobley were ruled out are huge. Winning two out of three with no Donovan Mitchell is huge. So much going wrong this year and the Cavs being right on the edge of the top-six in the East is a win.
Up next: The Cavs are back after the holiday in Dallas Wednesday, Dec. 27 against the Mavericks. Tipoff is at 8:30 p.m.