The Cavaliers’ fight. Say what you would like about the loss to the Bucks on Wednesday night, one of those is that the team never rolled over. The Cavaliers were losing by 21 late into the third, only to cut the lead all the way down to six in the fourth. It was an uphill battle through three quarters as Donovan Mitchell really didn’t see his shot start falling until the fourth. If the Cavs got a decent Mitchell game, there was a serious chance that they could have extended their win streak last night.
Cavaliers back up big minutes. Tristan Thompson was tested and later proven to be taking performance-enhancing supplements resulting in a 25-game suspension. The question heading into this upcoming stretch of games is how the team would be able to grab rebounds without their main rebounding threat off the bench.
If the game last night against the Bucks is any indicator, this could be a constant struggle going forward. The true backup five for the Cavaliers against Milwaukee was Damian Jones who didn’t even grab a rebound in his nine minutes in the game. Whether the team addresses the issue internally or via the trade deadline/buyout market remains to be seen. Either way, it should be something to pay attention to going forward.
Attacking the rim against drop defense. If there is a blueprint to the Milwaukee defensive scheme it’s Brook Lopez committing to drop coverage. They were basically daring the Cavaliers to shoot their way to a victory over the Bucks. For a majority of this eight-game winning streak the Cavs rode, it would have resulted in a win. However, when the offense is stalling out and the team struggles to get into the restricted area, the offense becomes sloppy and reliant on secondary actions from a cast, who like Mitchell, was not hitting shots early in this game.
For as fun and exciting as it is when the Cavaliers go ballistic from the perimeter on a night-to-night basis, this game was a great reminder of how getting to the cup is equally as important to opening up a defense as hitting efficiently from the three-point line.