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2023-24 Regular Season Thread II: March Toward Destiny

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Cavs are in a funk. Getting out toughed. Hopefully this recession ends in March
 
You obviously didn't see the debacle last night

It is actually a miracle we essentially won that game given the amount of second chances we gave them. It speaks volume on how bad that Bulls team is and how soft our bigs are.
 
Watched Knicks Warriors tonight…. Let’s just say we better beat them on Sunday. They are putrid right now
 
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True, though Allen definitely got even more abused last night, unfortunately (ok they both did).

Still, lacking guards who get rebounds at high rate doesn't help either. Was just watching a Russ click from OKC and man, he was relentless getting rebounds, I'm like, how nice that would be if Garland was that aggressive with the boards...hell, would be nice if Okoro was that aggressive with boards...
Allen was having to defend the PNR, rotate over to help, somehow keep a body on Drummond, deal with the fact that Mobley really couldn't box out Vuc, and deal with the Bulls smaller guys getting a body on him. He's a good player, but he's not a demigod.

As soon as it became apparent that the Bulls were starting Vuc and Drummond, the Cavs should've had Allen setting the high PNR (which neither Drummond nor Vuc can defend) and played off of either Garland or Mitchell.
 
Also here's the thing about the NBA. The very best teams (championship level) all have a wing/big (6'7" or above) that can create for themselves and open up the court for others. Boston has Tatum, Milwaukee has Giannis, Denver has Jokic, the Clippers have Kawhi and Paul George, and the Suns have Durant. I'd say despite the current standings those are the favorites. Having someone that tall that can initiate offense for you is such an advantage because they can see and do things that a smaller player can't. Don and Darius are both great ballhandlers and can create for themselves and other (in very different ways), but could you imagine if they had a taller wing that could take some of that pressure off of them and also create shots for them? I like our wings currently, but on the offensive end none of them have the ability to create shots. It is something I think this team is definitely missing.
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Watched Knicks Warriors tonight…. Let’s just say we better beat them on Sunday. They are putrid right now
Not necessarily. Golden State has won 12 of 15 and are on a roll. But the Knicks have lost 8 of 11, so they are definitely floundering without Robinson, Randle, and Anunoby. And two of those three wins were against Memphis and Detroit.
 
And……Donovan Mitchell shows up on the official NBA Injury Report for the Friday tilt against the Pistons as questionable with left knee soreness. IMHO this was quite predictable after his lackluster performance on Wednesday night either as a legitimate reason and/or the Cavs brass trying to insulate him somewhat. If I remember correctly, both he and/or DG have appeared on the Injury Report prior to every Pistons game. In checking , Mitchell wound up sitting out that first game against Detroit and both he and Garland played in the 2nd and 3rd affairs.


 
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Let DM rest. To me he was a negative for the first 3 quarters of last game anyway. Give Merrill some minutes. More Wade as well. Should be fine against the Pistons. Key word: should.
 
Donovan has a real injury. He was in pain near the end of the game. Hopefully it's not serious.
 
At this point the samples sizes are big enough and the numbers don't lie.

The Garland/Mitchell/Strus/Mobley/Allen unit, which is the starting lineup when everyone is healthy, is outscoring opponents by 2.7 points per 100 possessions (586 possessions this year).

The Mitchell/Strus/Okoro/Wade/Allen unit that started when Garland and Mobley were injured outscored opponents by 20.7 points in 486 possessions.

For whatever reason that second unit just works better. Actually, that's an understatement. It's like they're on different planets.

But the Cavs have a huge investment in Mobley's development. There's no way JBB can tell the front office that he's benching Mobley and starting Wade.

They also made a huge commitment to Garland and they're not going to bench him for Okoro and move Strus to guard, even though the numbers show they are better with Mitchell at the point, Strus at the 2, and Okoro at the 3.

The Cavs are going to have to continue starting Mobley and Garland and hope this unit can figure out how to score and defend better. They're averaging 114 points per 100 possessions, while the other unit is just under 124 points. Defensively, the regular starters are allowing 111 points while the Wade/Okoro group is at 103. The unit that started when Garland and Mobley were out were 10 points better offensively and 8 points better defensively.

It's amazing that the second unit is so much better offensively seeing how both Wade and Okoro are considered good defenders but offensive liabilities. And neither Allen or Strus is a shot creator. But somehow that group averages 124 points per 100. Mitchell running the offense is a powerful thing.

Bickerstaff could still start Garland and Mobley and after a few minutes sub in Wade and Okoro for them. If the starting unit we have now doesn't figure out how to score and defend better he may have to start doing that. Right now Mobley can't score beyond three feet from the rim and opponents shoot 3's over Garland like he's not there, which at 6'1", he pretty much isn't.

In the loss to the Bulls Garland was 7-for-14 on 3's and had just one turnover in 44 minutes. Mobley had 25 points, 13 rebounds, and 4 blocked shots. Both of them are starting to find their rhythm after missing six weeks, so maybe the starting unit will start beating up on some teams soon. Mitchell missed two games and has not been 100% since returning between having lost six pounds and playing on a sore knee.

I'm still holding out hope that once Garland, Mitchell, and Mobley are all 100% the starting five will figure it out and become the "Lineup of Death".

This month the Cavs play 17 games in 31 days, including a lot of strong opponents like the Knicks, Celtics, T-Wolves (twice), Denver, Philly, New Orleans, and Miami twice. It will be a great opportunity for the starting five to work on their game and figure out how to maximize their talent. JBB will have plenty of opportunity to continue to look at various combinations to see which ones work the best. This is an important month as it will be a springboard to the playoffs and the Cavs still have things to work out.
 
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We’re not getting out toughed we’re getting out thought, out executed

Getting outrebounded by fucking 40 is not about thought or execution. There is no skill in the NBA less-concerned with those things than rebounding.

Rebounding is technique and effort.
 
At this point the samples sizes are big enough and the numbers don't lie.

The Garland/Mitchell/Strus/Mobley/Allen unit, which is the starting lineup when everyone is healthy, is outscoring opponents by 2.7 points per 100 possessions (586 possessions this year).

The Mitchell/Strus/Okoro/Wade/Allen unit that started when Garland and Mobley were injured outscored opponents by 20.7 points in 486 possessions.

For whatever reason that second unit just works better. Actually, that's an understatement. It's like they're on different planets.

But the Cavs have a huge investment in Mobley's development. There's no way JBB can tell the front office that he's benching Mobley and starting Wade.

They also made a huge commitment to Garland and they're not going to bench him for Okoro and move Strus to guard, even though the numbers show they are better with Mitchell at the point, Strus at the 2, and Okoro at the 3.

The Cavs are going to have to continue starting Mobley and Garland and hope this unit can figure out how to score and defend better. They're averaging 114 points per 100 possessions, while the other unit is just under 124 points. Defensively, the regular starters are allowing 111 points while the Wade/Okoro group is at 103. The unit that started when Garland and Mobley were out were 10 points better offensively and 8 points better defensively.

It's amazing that the second unit is so much better offensively seeing how both Wade and Okoro are considered good defenders but offensive liabilities. And neither Allen or Strus is a shot creator. But somehow that group averages 124 points per 100. Mitchell running the offense is a powerful thing.

Bickerstaff could still start Garland and Mobley and after a few minutes sub in Wade and Okoro for them. If the starting unit we have now doesn't figure out how to score and defend better he may have to start doing that. Right now Mobley can't score beyond three feet from the rim and opponents shoot 3's over Garland like he's not there, which at 6'1", he pretty much isn't.

In the loss to the Bulls Garland was 7-for-14 on 3's and had just one turnover in 44 minutes. Mobley had 25 points, 13 rebounds, and 4 blocked shots. Both of them are starting to find their rhythm after missing six weeks, so maybe the starting unit will start beating up on some teams soon. Mitchell missed two games and has not been 100% since returning between having lost six pounds and playing on a sore knee.

I'm still holding out hope that once Garland, Mitchell, and Mobley are all 100% the starting five will figure it out and become the "Lineup of Death".

This month the Cavs play 17 games in 31 days, including a lot of strong opponents like the Knicks, Celtics, T-Wolves (twice), Denver, Philly, New Orleans, and Miami twice. It will be a great opportunity for the starting five to work on their game and figure out how to maximize their talent. JBB will have plenty of opportunity to continue to look at various combinations to see which ones work the best. This is an important month as it will be a springboard to the playoffs and the Cavs still have things to work out.

That net rating is worse than San Antonio's starting unit.

It's worse than Utahs.


Starting unit has been trash together all season long.
 

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