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Watching the Market: Cleveland Cavaliers at Toronto Raptors

The Cavs push their winning streak to nine games with another uncompetitive blowout victory.

Cleveland Cavaliers v Toronto Raptors Photo by Vaughn Ridley/NBAE via Getty Images

The Cleveland Cavaliers just keep stomping their competition. This time, it was the Toronto Raptors who met their ire.

STOCK UP

Winning on the road isn’t as easy as the Cavaliers are making it out to be.

The Cavs have not spent consecutive days in the same city since Jan. 31 when they defeated the Detroit Pistons. The road life hasn’t slowed them down a bit, winning five straight games as the visitors. They now have the league’s best record away from home at 17-8.

Evan Mobley's three-point attempts keep on coming. The box score shows that he went 1-4 from distance, but a traveling violation wiped out what would’ve been another make at the end of the first quarter. So, you could argue he attempted five.

Mobley’s three-point attempts have fluctuated since returning from his injury. This was the third game he’s taken two or more while he’s also had two games where he hasn’t taken any. Head coach J.B. Bickerstaff said earlier this week that this would be expected as his attempts will be matchup-dependent. Even so, nights like this where he’s confidentially taking shots, even when they all don’t go in, are encouraging.

The bench continues to be a bright spot for this team as they had three reserves, Caris LeVert, Georges Niang, and Isaac Okoro who finished scoring in double figures.

The hybrid bench units have been what has set this team apart in this 17-1 stretch. We saw that again as those lineups were what caused the separation at the beginning of the second quarter that led to this game getting out of hand.

Egalitarian basketball has been something this group has bought into. Seventy-five percent of this team’s baskets were assisted on while the Cavs had eight players finish in double figures.

Donovan Mitchell has been the leader of this group and might be slowly working his way into the MVP discussion. However, his willingness to play a less ball-dominant role when the situation calls for it is rare for someone of his caliber. His 11-shot attempts on Saturday were less than both Mobley and Jarrett Allen.

Bickerstaff’s team has truly embraced strength in numbers.

The defense held an opponent to 100 or less points once again. This was the seventh time they’ve done so since New Year’s.

STOCK DOWN

Jarrett Allen wants to shoot threes, but he may be the only player on the team who should have a red light outside of Tristan Thompson. The three-pointer he attempted on Saturday didn’t hit the rim and came with nine seconds still on the shot clock. He’s now attempted a triple in each of his last three contests and none of them felt like they had a chance of falling.

Competitive basketball isn’t something you’ve seen if you tuned into a Cavs game recently. This game was no difference with the Cavs extending a 30-9 in the second quarter to take a quick 25-point lead.

Cleveland is 17-1 since Jan. 3. In that span, the same amount of games have been decided by 40 points as there have been by less than five (one), and more games have been decided by 20 or more points (eight) than by less than 10 (five)

If you go to a Cavs game, you need to get to your seat early because there’s a good chance the fourth quarter won’t be competitive.

HOLDING

Darius Garland has struggled at times to find his shot in his return to the lineup. That was no different on Saturday as he went 4-11 from the field for 14 points. In his seven games back, Garland is averaging 11.6 points with a 51.5 percent effective field goal percentage. That isn’t bad by any stretch, but we’ve come to expect more from someone as skilled as him.

That said, Garland has done a good job of buying into what has made this team successful in his absence even if he could be a little more active off-ball. His willingness to move the ball and fit into what has been working has been impressive. This was also on display on Saturday as he registered eight assists and took five threes in 29 minutes.

We haven’t seen the best version of Garland yet, but there’s reason to believe we’re getting close to witnessing it.