Recap: Cavs 113, Knicks 106 (Winning Plays)

This season has made Cavs fans change how they watch the game. Nothing is as it seems when the team you root for is just battling to land in the bottom of the standings in hopes of landing a high draft pick. Someone can put up forty points and it means nothing. Even a 25 point game can mean nothing. Someone on the team has to score, and you have to wonder what they’re giving up elsewhere on the floor.

The point: Jordan Clarkson put up 29 points on 12-21 shooting to go with two assists, and five rebounds. He was +10. Rodney Hood got himself 23 points hitting 9-14 and grabbing five boards. He was -8. Collin Sexton had 19 points, but he also had just two assists compared to five turnovers and was -15.

Those guys got “buckets.” That’s easy to see.

Yet, the Cavs didn’t get the win tonight because of them, they won despite them. Fortunately, the Cavs landed back old faithful earlier this week in their trade with the Bucks. Yup, I’m talking about Matthew Dellavedova. Delly put up 15 on 4-7 shooting hitting 3-5 from deep while dishing out three assists. Yet, he was probably the most important Cav this evening. He tied with Larry Nance to be +15 for the outing. Nance also had a great evening handing out seven dimes, grabbing 11 boards, and netting three blocks and three steals.

Towards the end of this game, the Cavs looked like they were going to snatch defeat from the jaws of victory. With 1:43 left to play, the Cavs led 105-99 and Jordan Clarkson ended up taking an ill-advised 19 foot jumper that Kevin Knox of the Knicks blocked. The Knicks ran it down and managed to get two points after Emmanuel Mudiay was fouled. Clarkson blackholed the ball on the following possession, and Knox ended up hitting a 3-pointer after the miss. The following play Alec Burks buried himself under the rack and forced up a shot with the Cavs offense leaning heavily in under the 3-line. The Knicks tipped the ball out and Knox managed to run it down for a dunk to put the Knicks up 106-105.

Just like that, three ill-adivised shots got the Knicks back into things.

Fortunately, Rodney managed to hit a contested turnaround jumper over two defenders after a spin move to give the Cavs the lead again with just 23.7 to go. The Knicks called a timeout and ran a screen play for Mudiay.

This is where having a guy that just knows how to win helped Cleveland out. You know who I’m talking about. Delly drew the Mudiay assignment out of the timeout and fell behind him when he was screened. However, he fought back, and knowing he was on Mudiay’s back, just jumped straight up from behind while Nance contested the shot from the front. Mudiay missed it and the Cavs got the ball back to essentially win the game as the Knicks fouled Cedi Osman to go down 109-106 after the free throws were hit. Nance ripped a steal the next play when Delly shadowed Mudiay’s every move while he desperately tried to inbound the ball. The free throws Delly then hit insured victory.

Early in the evening it didn’t seem like the Cavs were going to need  the winning plays of Delly or  Nance to get out safe. In the first quarter, the Cavs traded buckets with the Knicks early on. Hood kept Cleveland going scoring 13, hitting two 3s, and getting a nice bucket at the rack after faking out Noah Vonleh. The offense had good looks, they just weren’t falling. Channing Frye missed three wide opens 3s. His spacing did help though. Cleveland didn’t rely on as many mid-range looks as usual.

The Cavs built their lead when the bench checked in. Clarkson and Delly combined for 13. Delly hit both of his 3s. They continually pushed the pace; the ball was zipping around with Nance and Delly running things. Look at the LeBron-esque pass Nance whipped to David Nwaba in the corner for a 3-ball

The Cavs went on a 19-8 run to end the quarter ahead 39-23. Kevin Knox scored ten of his 20 in the first.

The second quarter didn’t go as great, but Clarkson put up 11 and Sexton put up nine to keep the lead from dissolving. Sexton  had a couple of tough finishes. Look at this one where Clarkson finds him on the move and he finishes above Mudiay.

Enes Kanter scored nine and was a big part of the Knicks outscoring the Cavs 23-16 in the second part of the action. No one on Cleveland could contain Kanter when he got down low. The doubles just weren’t working. Kanter finished the evening with 20 points on 8-12 shooting. He also had ten boards. The Cavs entered the locker room ahead 65-54.

The Cavs fell apart in the third quarter, when they were outscored 32-21. The Knicks started things out with a 13-2 run to tie it up. They were running and finding a lot of looks before the Cavs defense could get set. The Cavs offense was feeding into this; they weren’t moving the ball well and weren’t hitting anything. It was a lot of one pass and shoot stuff. And, even when their shots were good they weren’t dropping. They took nine 3s. Four of them were ill-advised chucks, but they managed to hit just one of their other five that were open.

The Knicks shot 61% in the quarter. Tim Hardaway Jr. had eight. He had 20 for the evening and went 4-9 from deep. Frank Ntilikina had seven of his 16 in this frame. The teams entered the fourth quarter tied at 86.

The Knicks and Cavs went back and forth for much of the final frame, but the Cavs seemed to have their mojo back to start with Nance and Delly leading things. Jared Blossomgame opened the action with a dunk. Then Nance found Clarkson for a layup. The Cavs also did a good job defensively holding the Knicks to 32% shooting in the quarter. Clarkson even hit a what should have been the game winner off a Nance screen with 2:27 left to put the Cavs up 105-99. As we know, it wasn’t a winner, but it was a good go ahead bucket, nonetheless.

Gripes

1.The Cavs let Franky Long Arms and Emmauel Mudiay go off a little bit. Those two certainly aren’t scorers and combined for 32 points and 11 dimes. Knox got 19. Honestly though, those guys hit tough shots and they weren’t super efficient.

2. Enes Kanter put on a clinic at times with his action around the rim. It took the Cavs a little longer than it should have to slow him. He had a very easy 20 points, but the fact that he didn’t score in the fourth says that the Cavs adjusted as the game went on.

3. The Cavs allowed the Knicks to shoot 40.7% from deep for 11 3s. They could have done a better job at running them off the 3-line.

4. Cedi Osman is still struggling. He put up just six points and grabbed five boards. He had two nice drives, but other than that he didn’t do much. His 3-ball isn’t falling right now. He was 0-4 from deep.

Hypes

1. I’m a Delly guy. I’ve got no shame in admitting it. He played a wonderful game and was huge part of why the Cavs the were able to close this game out tonight.

2.Larry Drew may have stumbled onto something with the bench grouping of Nwaba, Nance, and Delly. They were a team high +14 when they shared the floor this game. The team shot 58.3% during their runs. The ball moved with ease. The team played an NBA level offense.

3. At first, I was skeptical as to why Channing started over Nance, but I think it worked out. His spacing opened up driving lanes for the starters. Sexton had his best quarter at the rim with Frye starting. He wasn’t settling for long twos as often. When Kevin Love returns, we may see a totally different shot profile from Young Bull.

Sexton first quarter shot chart

4. The Cavs went 10-34 from beyond the arc. Ten makes isn’t all that good, but taking 34 3s is good. If the Cavs shot 34 3s every night, they would place top ten in the league for attempts. You can only make the 3s you take.

5. The Cavs won the rebounding battle 51-43, which is impressive considering their leading rebounder, Tristan Thompson, is out.

6.The two G-league players that the team picked up, Jalen Jones and Jaron Blossomgame, don’t look like standout players, but they fit in. Both run the floor with or without the ball and have a nose for going to the rack, which is something Larry Drew can work with moving forward.

7. The Cavs face the Bucks on Friday. The Greek Freak will be back, so it will be a really tough game.

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CLF
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CLF
1 month 9 days ago

Bridges with a 3 at the half!!! Also, agree with McHale… it’s insane how DeAndre Jordan’s all of a sudden a good FT shooter.

MikeO
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MikeO
1 month 8 days ago

Same as DRose suddenly being a good three shooter. I still expect Rose to crater from three, but we’ll see…

CLF
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CLF
1 month 9 days ago

LOL… I guess the only team the Suns can really beat are the Mavs this year LMAOOO

Scotch
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Scotch
1 month 9 days ago

Any realistic destinations for KLove that would net us multiple good picks?

Jason
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Jason
1 month 9 days ago

50 pt triple double for Harden. Yowza. Good game. Rockets over LA.

Jason
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Jason
1 month 9 days ago

Harden going off on the Lakers. That House kid looks like a keeper for them. Knight played a little tonight. Looked real rusty.

Ten ThOsman Maniacs
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Ten ThOsman Maniacs
1 month 9 days ago

Verrrrry much enjoyed that dagger 3 he put right in Lebron’s eye from like 30ft

NOMAD
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NOMAD
1 month 9 days ago

AGREE ON CEDI — ( SAME WITH SEXTON )—-1ST YEAR —–NEED TIME TO ” WORK/ PROCESS ” THRU MISTAKES —DEVELOP SKILLS / ETC.——–MENTIONED EARLIER FRUSTRATED WITH THE LACK OF MIN’S FOR ANTE —–WE ARE NOT GOING TO THE PLAYOFFS —–ARE IN REBUILD MODE——-ANTE NEEDS TIME / EXPOSURE TO DEVELOP AND ALSO FOR THE CAVS TO BE ABLE TO ACCURATELY EVALUATE HIS POTENTIAL / FUTURE ……………IS HE STILL SOMEWHAT HURT—-IF NOT DREW –(ESPECIALLY WITH T.T. OUT )–HAS GOT TO GET HIM 12 -16 MIN’S / GAME …………………….” FREE ANTE “

CLF
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CLF
1 month 9 days ago

Great point David about Frye, KLOVE, and Sexton…. I made the same point in the live thread about how Sexton finished better around the rim last night. And Frye had 3 WIDE open looks he just flat out missed. You’ve got me hyped to see Sexton and KLOVE on the floor working together.

Jason
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Jason
1 month 9 days ago

PHX gets Dallas at home with the Mavs on a b2b. Bulls a roadie in Mexico City vs Orlando. Potential winnables.

Four letter had a piece on trades they want to see. Cavs had two: Burks and Hood to NO for Solomon Hill ($12.2 & $12.7 next) & lotto protected first plus JR to Houston for Knight ($14.6/$15.6) and Chriss (UFA after this) and lotto protected first.

I think both teams might prefer KCW, or Ariza, or Ellington. Everyone cannot kand Ariza.

Nate Smith
Admin
1 month 9 days ago

For those Cedi detractors. He still has plenty of time to develop. Needs a better coaching staff.

Jason
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Jason
1 month 9 days ago

I think the staff is fine.

He needs legit #1 to play off of. Whether Love is still that guy I do not know. But Cedi is in his first year of consistent PT. Way too early to make conclusions about his potential.

CLF
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CLF
1 month 9 days ago

I’d say the coaching staff may be failing to see that Cedi is miscast as spot up 4 who’s undersized and doesn’t rebound particularly well.

I think the best way to use Cedi is how they use Hood and Clarkson… as scorers attacking the basket off the dribble. And I think there’s the enhanced benefit of Cedi’s length and vision in those situations. I would like to see the adjustment by the staff, especially if Hood or Clarkson are traded.

Nate Smith
Admin
1 month 9 days ago

I don’t see him being miscast. I don’t think they want to play him at the four. They just don’t have a choice.

Jason
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Jason
1 month 9 days ago

Yep. I think playing him at the four helps him in P&R because he has a quikness edge. But he does not help much as a spot up guy.

But he is smallish. He is a fine rebounder for his size. But if you get a real big guy/4 on him (Griffin, Horford/Aldridge/Davis as a 4), then he is in trouble.

CLF
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CLF
1 month 9 days ago

Yup… that’s what I was getting at…. it was really ugly watching him struggle on the defensive boards at times last night… no fault of his own, just not that type of player.

Jason
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Jason
1 month 9 days ago

Or Sabonis.

CLF
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CLF
1 month 9 days ago

Agreed that they don’t have many options with KLOVE being out.

Jason
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Jason
1 month 9 days ago

Aside from the guy running the defense.

Nate Smith
Admin
1 month 9 days ago

Sure. Why not?

Jason
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Jason
1 month 9 days ago

Wonder what that means for DeRo & Smokin’ Joe.

JRL
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JRL
1 month 9 days ago

A steal by Brooklyn.

Jason
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Jason
1 month 9 days ago

Knicks signed Trier to an NBA deal today. A guy I would have loved the Cavs to target after he went undrafted, or nab with a 2nd round buy in. (2nd rounders have value!) . Had to cut Baker to make room.

Now they do not quite have max level room for next year. Perhaps a path to get Frankie Long arms?

EvilGenius
Admin
1 month 9 days ago

Phil Hubbard
Member
Phil Hubbard
1 month 9 days ago

Would be funny if Delly helps the Cavs squeeze into the playoffs and he gets to run horns rub all day against Toronto again.

ChrisKorvalier
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ChrisKorvalier
1 month 9 days ago

We would have to sweep Toronto or it wouldn’t be worth it. :)

ChrisKorvalier
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ChrisKorvalier
1 month 9 days ago

Delly is gonna help this team in a lot of ways. I’m so glad he’s back. This was a great game to watch. Nice recap and photo choice, David.

Jason
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Jason
1 month 9 days ago

Great recap. But do give Hood a bit a credit, that shot at the end was a winning play. We do not win without it, or Clarkson & Sexton scoring efficiently in the first half.

As for the draft, I think it is going to be hard to climb out of the bottom 5 (PHX, ATL, CHI, NY) and as Nate said the odds are pretty flat amongst those (1-3 14%, 4 12.5%, 5 10.5%).

We are improving some but more deals could come and Love/TT are likely out another month. The Bulls are also getting healthier, Booker is out in PHX and an Ariza deal has to net them help at PG, Collins’ return has ATL playing decent recently, and NY was down 3 rotation guys in addition to Zinger.

See where we stand when Love gets back & the schedule eases up (1/19). I would expect the gap between 5th & 6th to be too wide to bridge at that point.

CLF
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CLF
1 month 9 days ago

Yup… unnecessary shot to say they won despite them. The biggest error IMO was that Sexton and Burks didn’t feed or play off of Hood as they should’ve in the 3rd quarter.

NOMAD
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NOMAD
1 month 9 days ago

AGREE WITH YOU NATE —–WORST TEAMS AREN’T GARANTEED ——-IT IS NIGHT AND DAY WHEN YOU HAVE DELLY RUNNING THE OFFENSE ——-AGAIN HOPE THAT RUBS OFF ON SOME OTHER PLAYERS –ESPECIALLY SEXTON

Nate Smith
Admin
1 month 9 days ago

Not worried about the draft positioning. Odds are so much flatter this year.

NOMAD
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NOMAD
1 month 9 days ago

STILL SOMEWHAT DISSAPPOINTED IN NOT SEEING ANTE GET SOME MIN’S –( THOUGHT THAT WOULD CHANGE WITH DREW COACHING )—-IT IS ONE THING IF HE IS INJURED —-IF NOT THE KID HAS TO PLAY / WE ARE IN REBUILD MODE CORRECT —-EVALUATE THE YOUNG TALENT —–OTHERWISE CAN SEE HIM REGRESS / LOSE CONFIDENCE / OR LET HIM AT LEAST GET SOME RUN DOWN IN CANTON

NOMAD
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NOMAD
1 month 9 days ago

WATCHED THE REPLAY——DELLY ‘S DEFENSE ON THAT IN BOUNDS PLAY WAS “SPECIAL ” —–YOU JUST HAVE TO LOVE HOW HE DOES ALL THE LITTLE THINGS SO WELL ——-COLLIN PLEASE TAKE NOTICE / LEARN HOW DELLY RUNS AN OFFENSE ——-HOPING CEDI CAN GET BACK TO HIS GAME / GET SOME CONFIDENCE BACK—-MAYBE THROW HIM IN THERE WITH LNJ / DELLY WITH THE 2ND GROUP——JASON YOU HAVE YOUR WORK CUT OUT POSTING OUR DRAFT SLOT / YEP ZION MIGHT BE IN JEOPARDY NOW —-MAY HAVE TO START LOOKING AT 5-6 DRAFT SPOTS

Vintage
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Vintage
1 month 9 days ago

Delly may take us out of Zion contention..

JMay
Editor
1 month 9 days ago

I’m still on the RJ Barrett train. That dude can straight up score. I’ll be pleased if we can get him.

Ben Werth
Editor
1 month 9 days ago

I take Zion 10 times out of 10 if given the choice. He is only scratching the surface. Barrett is about made. Fringe All-Star. Zion will be All-NBA.

Jason
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Jason
1 month 9 days ago

Agreed. Though he is more scorer than shooter. Poor from the FT line scares me a bit. Not sold on Zion being Barkley (or even Larry Johnson). Either would help us a ton, though.

But I do not see this draft as an n of 1 type draft (LeBron, Duncan, Shaq, Robinson, Embiid, Kareem, etc).

JMay
Editor
1 month 9 days ago

I believe he shoots a decent clip from beyond the arc, correct? I’ve seen him take and make some NBA threes in the several Duke games I’ve watched this year.

Leo
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Leo
1 month 10 days ago

having Delly back to operate the 2nd unit more efficiently will do wonders for this team. Even with Clarkson jacking up shots and stuff, at least he will be forced to run some type of offense with Delly at the point.

Cedi is not really good, especially if he can’t score. In order to make it in the NBA you have to either score or rebound/defend at elite level. He really doesn’t do any of the three particularly well. I know he’s a favorite on this blog, but I think giving more minutes to Nwaba and Burks will give Cavs chance to win games and be more competitive.

Jason
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Jason
1 month 9 days ago

I think Cedi is being asked to do too much before he is ready. He is a bench guy on a decent team. Heck, when we are healthy, he probably comes off the bench here.

Starters: Sexton, Burks, Hood, Love, TT
Bench: Delly, Clarkson, Nwaba, Cedi, Nance, Henson.
Deep bench: Frye, Zizic
Two-ways: Jones, Blossomgame

JudeElysium
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JudeElysium
1 month 10 days ago
Cedi has been in a slump lately. His game still relies too much on his confidence and he gets shaken easily. He does still have the skillset and potential to be a remarkable player however. In the nba we tend to jump to conclusions WAY too quickly and stick a fork in a player after a few bad games. It’s too easy to jump back on the bandwagon when they swing up again and nobody remembers who was down on who a month ago. In game one of the season Id argue Cedi outplayed Kawhi. He scored 7 less points (24 to17) but took 12 less shots to do it. Kawhi outrebounded cedi 12 to 10, but cedi out assisted him 4 to 2 and out stole him 2 to 0. Back then Cedi had Kevin Love to take the focus off of him and he hadn’t really been scouted yet. He’s had a mix of good and bad since then, but he’s adjusting to being a young go to guy on a young inexperienced team. Now he has more to learn. The guy barely got playing time last year and is still way behind a most other 2nd year… Read more »
JudeElysium
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JudeElysium
1 month 9 days ago

How quickly careers can change, even after we think we know all a player has to offer…

TV63
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TV63
1 month 10 days ago

Enjoyed your time and effort putting this very good recap together! Thank you! I like watching the post game show after Cavs games. They demonstrated all the accumulation of good plays Delly did last night that equals to more Cav possessions. Each of those hard fought possessions gives the team more chances to win. In the last moments, they showed how he disrupted the in bound pass on 3 Knick players which led to Nance getting the ball back. What I loved seeing is how his intensity is infectious to the other players to play tenacious defense. You could see that with Nance. There is so much for these young guys to learn from a player like Delly.

When he left, our defense was never the same. There wasn’t a player that had that same passion to embrace it like he did.

Ten ThOsman Maniacs
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Ten ThOsman Maniacs
1 month 10 days ago

For all the talk about how Delly does things that “don’t show up in the box score”, it should be noted that he’s been one of the worst PGs in the league by RPM the past 3 years. 42nd (just looking at PGs) in 2016, 62nd in 2017, and 72nd this year.

John B
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John B
1 month 9 days ago

He isn’t great as just a catch and shoot guy which is what he is relegated to in iso offenses. He works better in a team concept where guys are moving to fill spaces in the lane, rolling, or moving around the perimeter. Four guys standing around waiting for a superstar to do something does not really utilize his skills. He may even be a net negative in that type of offense.

That is likely where he negative RPM comes from. Let him run a second unit with active, cutters, rollers, and passers and you get what he did when he and Dion lineups were outplaying lineups with Kyrie and what we saw passing wise last night.

TV63
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TV63
1 month 10 days ago

Boo Talk about a Debbie Downer moment.

Ten ThOsman Maniacs
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Ten ThOsman Maniacs
1 month 10 days ago

Sorry! I’m always a little wary of the “fan favorite” “plays the game the right way” type comments.

JMay
Editor
1 month 10 days ago

Wasn’t he pretty much always higher than Kyrie in RPM when they were both on the team? Or am I thinking of another statistic?

TV63
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TV63
1 month 10 days ago

How long have you been on Cavs the Blog? There is an enormous history with Delly before Lebron days.

TV63
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TV63
1 month 10 days ago

It would take to long to explain how he made “Hercules group” better

John B
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John B
1 month 9 days ago

Wasn’t the herculoids before Delly? Livingston, Ellington, Walton, Speights.

scotch
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scotch
1 month 10 days ago

Also…I’m glad Delly is back for a lot of our younger guys…especially Cedi. Delly finds ways to impact a game outside scoring in so many ways…he will definitely have poor shooting nights and will definitely defend poorly against elite athletic competition some nights. But he won’t throw in the towel even when we’re down by 40.

He and TT and Channing will be vital examples to the Sextons and Osmans and G-Leaguers on the cavs roster to be professional. No matter what…play to win whether you’re outclassed or not. We don’t go up 2-1 in the 2015 finals without Delly’s professionalism. And we definitely don’t make Al Horford’s wife as angry with Delly. Those are equally important Cavs’ moments.

ChrisKorvalier
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ChrisKorvalier
1 month 9 days ago

Haha, you mean Al Horford’s sister.

scotch
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scotch
1 month 10 days ago

DWood this is a great recap. You didn’t get too high on anyone..but you made some great points.

Your best point is that Delly and Nance move the ball like they play for Poppovich…and Nwaba moves his body like he is ?Kyle Korver or JJ Reddick. Put those three on the court with anyone not named Clarkson, and we have a recipe for scoring easy buckets.

The biggest question for me after dealing with Lue for the past 3 seasons…does our coach actually get that information and see the benefit? Or was it a happy accident that won’t be seen again?

John B
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John B
1 month 10 days ago

Man it is cool as hell to see two guys that are able to run an offense play together in Nance and Delly. As for for Delly, watching fundamentally sound players on both ends really is so fun.

Great recap.

John B
Guest
John B
1 month 10 days ago

Livingston Walton 2.0.

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