After their first 3 game losing streak in years our Cavs have used the last 6 games to pick the sky back up and hoist it upward where it belongs. The Cavs of course are doing so minus a few large pieces, literally and figuratively. Much like our last streak we are finding ways to win games without key pieces of our rotation and people are stepping up all over the place. The Cavs are continuing their offensive onslaught following up a February in which they averaged 107 points per contest. During the win streak the Cavs are averaging 112 pts and shooting over 52% from the field. A lot of the offensive success is due in part because Lebron, to go along with his unbelieveable scoring ability, has channeled his inner Steve Nash and has averaged 10.5 assists for February and has averaged just about 10 over the last 6 games with a 4.5/1 Assist-to-Turnover ratio. Incredible for a guy who handles the ball as much as he does.
Here are some more observations from the past 6 games:
Anthony Parker doesn’t shoot much…AP over this stretch is shooting 45% from beyond the arc. My only complaint is that he doesn’t get enough shots up. He plays 29 mins a game and should get more than 5 or so shots per game considering he’s 4th in the league in 3 pt shooting. Atleast he gets more looks at the hoop than number 2 in the league, the new papa Daniel Gibson.
Mo is still easing in….Mo is shooting a solid 45% from 3 pt land since he declared himself “back “before a national audience in Boston. He’s averaging 13 and 6 assists with a limited number of turnovers and has displayed some clutch shooting when the Cavs have needed it. With that said, he still has to work himself back into his game that he developed throughout the course of the season. He was playing more aggressively off the dribble using floaters and even posting opposing PG’s up before his injury. Since his return 60% of his shots have been 3’s as compared to only 42% for the season as a whole.
Delonte’s contributions…..he’s averaging a solid 12 pts, 4 rebs, and 4 assists and shooting 50% overall. Considering he’s one of our primary ballhanders his most important stat may be that he hasn’t committed a turnover since February 23rd.
Lebron James shoots a lot of threes…
Enough in fact to be 4th in all of the NBA in 3 pointers attempted.
You have to take the good with the bad. We’ve seen Lebron go on tears from out there to change ballgames. We’ve also seen him take some ill-advised threes at times during critical stretches in 4th quarters. It is what it is. All I’m saying is that over the last 6 games when he’s taken shots inside that arc he’s made 61% of them. And over the course of the season he’s shot 56% from 2 point range. Pretty darn good for a player who spends most of his time on the perimeter.
Turnovers are down…The Cavs are only averaging just under 12 turnovers per game and have a 2.3/1 assist-to-turnover ratio. Lebron is at 4.5/1. Mo is at 2.3/1 and West is at a whopping 6.7/1. The Cavs ballhandlers are getting it done plain and simple.
JJ wouldn’t give up his spot….after his DNP vs NO he came back and helped turn the tide in the Celtics game. He and West showed great chemistry, similar to what Lebron and JJ have. He’s averaging 11 and 6 since the diesel went down and has shot 60% from the field and 11-13 from the line. He lost some run last night vs Detroit but has played solid over this stretch.
Antawn settling in…..He’s still struggling from long range since joining the Wine n Gold shooting only 27% on his 3 pt attempts. But he’s a much better post player and scrappier around the hoop than I remember. He’s hitting 56% of his 2 point attempts during the win streak and is making noticeable improvements on defense. He definitely showed some bad habits defensively in his first few games. Coming from Washington I could hardly blame him but he’s bought in and you can tell. He’ll never be a lock down defender but his rotations have been very good of late. He also has shown the ability to get hot and go on mini runs as he did to start the 2nd half in Boston and did again last night vs Detroit scoring 7 straight to take the Cavs from down 2 to up 5.
Shaq and Z…for all the playing time they’re missing with their teammates are getting a LOT of rest.
Andy keeps plugging along….he’s averaging 13 and 8 over the last 6 and shooting 75% from the field. He continues to play incredibly well off of Lebron and is even knocking down his FT’s. He’s 9-12 during this stretch. He also has been taking care of the ball having only 4 turnovers since 2/19.
We’ll see just how far this current streak can go but one thing’s for sure: The Cavs have rebounded nicely since their headscratching week following the all star break. They’ve reclaimed a 3 game lead for the best in the biz and seem locked into the #1 seed in the East. Coach Brown has to use these last weeks to play around with his rotations and warm up to big Z when he returns. Shaq seems confident in his return in 6 weeks and that would definitely be a blessing to have him back a little bit before we truly need him. As I always end these rants, when you have 23, or 6, you always have a chance.