298: Turning the Corners

1h 7m | Nov 20, 2023

What a difference a week makes. After a moribund loss to the Kings last Sunday, the Cavs bounced back in a big way, winning three straight. To be fair, two of those wins were against two of the worst teams in the Association: Portland and Detroit, but it all becomes moot when you win against the defending Champions without killing the poor soul doing the Man vs. Nuggets challenge.

Cleveland delivered a convincing victory against Denver Sunday, and most importantly, Jarrett Allen looked healthy and explosive again. JA outplayed Jokic with a 15-5-5 night, and sent Jokic to the bench in the early third. Jarrett was clearing getting under the big man’s skin, and after scoring on Jokic four straight times to start the third, Allen drew two consecutive offensive fouls – one of them flagrant – which earned the Joker five fouls and a seat on the pine. It was great to see JA back to his old self and the big-to-big game was in full effect, starting out with Evan and Allen in a 4-5 pick and roll.

Elated about the win streak and Kevin Love’s and LeBron James’ return to Cleveland this week, Nate, Chris, and Eli piled in the podcast booth to gush over the win and take stock of the week. First up, Max Strus who came into Sunday night’s game leading the NBA in on-off differential, and has been a very solid starter all week. Add to that Mobley who’s averaged 16/11/4 over the last week with two stocks. Darius Garland has similarly turned a corner too, shooting over 40% from deep over the last five games, and is hopefully getting his turnovers down.

The guys discussed the key to the Cavs turning the corner, and many theories were floated. Did the Cavs just need to beat up on some scrubs to get their confidence back? Is it just Garland (26/3/6 Sunday) and Allen getting health? Have the Cavs been winning because Craig Porter Junior and Dean Wade have been supplanting Garland? CPJ was a monster, Sunday: 21/4/4 on an array of moves to the basket and pull-ups. Add three stocks and one turnover in 25 minutes, and Craig looks like a keeper.

Meanwhile, Dean Wade quietly put up a double digit rebounding night, and the Cavs killed Denver on the glass. Everyone seems to be doing their part to rebound, and its showing. Dean wade though has been a huge key: he gobbles up rebounds and hits corner threes. The guys discussed whether Okoro should be in the rotation when he returns, whether that rotation should include Niang, and if Ice can play the four.

Finally, the guys looked ahead to the coming week, which features some Cleveland royalty returning to the shores of Lake Erie. A regular 2015 reunion might be in the offing with TT, LeBron, and Kev all in town within a day of each other. The guys roasted Nate about his wife’s Kevin Love obsession, gave us their favorite thanksgiving food, and picked their MVPs for the week. All-in-all, we have a lot to be thankful for.

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