The Cavs continue to roll, winning their fifth-straight game and pushing their record to 23-16. Once again, Cleveland was spearheaded by Donovan Mitchell and his 34 points, but there were contributions elsewhere too.
Stock Up: Caris LeVert, Sixth-Man of the Year
As he was against the Brooklyn Nets in Paris, Caris LeVert was integral to the Cavs’ success. Off the bench, he dropped 16 points, seven rebounds, and seven assists. Yes, he was 6-17 from the floor, which is not great. But he was 4-10 from deep and came through when they needed it most — like this shot in the fourth quarter:
The bench has been a big reason why the Cavs are on this hot streak, and LeVert is the tip of the spear for that.
Stock Up: Sam Merrill
He has his flaws, but the gravitational pull of Merrill on the offense is undeniably helpful. The sharpshooter had 15 points on 5-7 shooting and drilled four triples. After a miserable game against the Nets, Merrill bounced back nicely.
As an aside, the Cavs really pushed for taking more threes. They attempted 57 tonight, a team record. Chicago allows the most three-point attempts per game, so that could have something to do with it, but to set a record with Darius Garland out and Max Strus clearly laboring, is quite a feat. Speaking of Strus...
Stock Down: Max Strus is off
The Cavs need a healthy Max Strus, but they don’t have that right now. In 35 minutes he was 1-8 from the floor and was still hampered by that sore knee. That is an unfortunate setback for a guy who was already up and down (mostly down) shooting the ball of late. He air-balled his first attempt and was short on the first three shots from deep overall.
Stock Down: Craig Porter can’t get on the floor
A small thing, but Craig Porter Jr. still cannot get on the floor. While LeVert and Merril continue to play well, it will just be tough to get the rookie any time.