Cavaliers Head To Portland After Beating Timberwolves 98-87

There are two separate ways you can look at this 4-3 start by the Cleveland Cavaliers. One of those ways is to say that the Cavaliers started with this exact same record through seven games last year only to then go on and redefine NBA awfulness and ineptitude from that point forward. 

The other way you can look at it, which is also supported by statistical data to some degree, is to instead say that the Cavs are currently on pace to win 37 of the 66 games they’re slated to play this season. And to win all 37 of those games by double digit margins of victory too. 

I am going to wait until at least the Cavaliers come home after this seven game trip to start looking much more into all that.  For now, I’m just enjoying the moment. That lay-up was awesome last night, Mr. Irving. 

Cleveland Cavaliers' Kyrie Irving does a reverse layup in the first half of an NBA basketball game against the Cleveland Cavaliers, Friday, Jan. 6, 2012, in Minneapolis.
For more on Friday’s Cavaliers win at Minnesota, here are some thoughts from BP over at WFNY posted earlier today:

Byron Scott’s club methodically ground down the Wolves over the first three plus quarters, building an 18 point lead in the fourth and cruising comfortably to their second road win of the season. The Cavaliers took the lead in the final minute of the first quarter and, aside from the few short runs by the Wolves, never really looked back.

Much of the hype coming into the game focused on the rookie point guard matchup between Kyrie Irving and Ricky Rubio. Irving, along with veteran Ramon Sessions, got the better of the Minny backcourt all evening. Irving finished with 14 points, five rebounds, and five assists from the starting point guard spot. The rookie had a season-high turnover night, however, giving it away seven times.

Those kinds of turnover margins are expected from a rookie point guard, and certainly part of the process as Wizards fans are finding out in much more frustrating circumstances with John Wall. Number two pick Derrick Williams finished with 12 points for the Wolves.

The Blazers will be real tough on Sunday night though. Know that, Cleveland. It’s nearly an unwinnable game for these Cavaliers on paper too.

However, after flying all the way out to Oregon, the Cavs will get what results in sort of an off day today as they prep for the Blazers tomorrow night.  And that game in Portland isn’t until 6pm their time either, so the Cavs will get the best chance possible, on a roadtrip like this, to get their legs underneath them at least.

The chances of actually then winning would be even better if somehow LaMarcus Aldridge, Gerald Wallace, Ray Felton, and Nicholas Batum decided to skip Sunday’s game and all go skiing together for some reason though.

Assuming they don’t, here are some thoughts from Phil over at Crossover Chronicles detailing just how good the Blazers are actually playing so far this season.

A great illustration of those reasons from DocFunk is also included as well to get you ready for Sunday’s Cavs / Blazers game:

Right now, Portland is playing the best basketball in the Western Conference, and I don’t think it’s even close. What’s funny is that it was really hard to see this coming. Before the season even started, the Blazers lost Brandon Roy, who had been one of the faces of the franchise for years. They are also still waiting to see a healthy Greg Oden. Everyone knew LaMarcus Aldridge was going to play well, but his health was in question too. The state of this team was way up in the air, but things have seemed to fall into place beautifully in the first few games of this season.

DocFunk offers up one possible explanation:


Men In Black imagery aside, there is something really magical about this team. They just seem to play really well together. I think everyone would agree that the Blazers were a decent team last year, well that was when they were 24th in the league in points per game. This year they’re all the way up to 4th in scoring. A lot of that is due to the high-tempo game they play. New point guard Raymond Felton is crazy fast and loves to push the ball, as does Gerald Wallace. If you haven’t watched a Blazers game yet this year, you should, and I dare you to tell me they’re not a fun team to watch.

Cavs Tip off 9pm ET on Sunday looking to go 5-3 by way of a huge upset over the Blazers. Believeland.

Brendan Bowers

About Brendan Bowers

I am the founding editor of StepienRules.com. I am also a content strategist and social media manager with Electronic Merchant Systems in Cleveland. My work has been published in SLAM Magazine, KICKS Magazine, The Locker Room Magazine, Cleveland.com, BleacherReport.com, InsideFacebook.com and elsewhere. I've also written a lot of articles that have been published here.

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