Launched very well in the 2022/23 fiscal year last month, with eight wins in nine games to start, the Cavaliers then stalled at the start of November, losing five in a row, including four away, with a gap average less than 7 points only. Closely contested matches, therefore, that the Cleveland troops had failed to tilt in their favor, the fault for ends of games that were too imprecise, or even sometimes missed as against the Kings, on both sides of the field.
Logically, Donovan Mitchell’s teammates are therefore pleased to have erased these errors in recent days, during an ongoing series of four consecutive successes, the most recent last night against Portland.
A game in which the Cavs led in the score for 40 of 48 minutes, securing the victory for good quite early, from the start of the fourth quarter, with a 10-2 fatal to the Blazers.
” We have the feeling, match after match, to come up with better conclusions » thus judged Jarrett Allen, strong man of the success of his team with 24 points and 13 rebounds. ” When you look at our away losing streak, we lost because we let our guard down, we lowered our intensity. In the last four games, at home, we have managed to keep our lead. We make the right choices, and that makes the difference. »
The contribution of Lamar Stevens
JB Bickerstaff said he was delighted to have found a good defensive base, while the Cavaliers now point to third place in the league in “defensive rating” (108.7 points against 100 possessions).
” I found us good [ce soir] “Added the Cleveland coach, before highlighting, quite rightly, the contribution of Lamar Stevens in this area for now six games in the five major. ” There is not a duel that he does not consider favorable for him. And at the end of matches, when you have to accelerate one last time, alongside guys like Donovan [Mitchell] and Darius [Garland] who can create for themselves and for others, we need a player who can make stops. He found his place [avec les titulaires]. The trio he forms with Jarrett [Allen] and Evan [Mobley] does damage in defense. We are still looking for the right balance with him in the major five, but he is doing very well so far. »
Then the technician also congratulated the other aspect of this regained success, the attack, very effective with 55% of shots converted against Portland, and fourth best in the league over the whole season (116.7 points scored on 100 possessions ).
” I liked our tempo control, the fact that we played at our own pace. I repeat, but our previous missed ends of matches served as lessons for us. [Les Blazers], at the end, made a ‘run’ to return to -12 it seems to me. But our guys didn’t panic, they followed the game plan, and we were able to increase our gap again. We continue to learn how to finish our matches well, but tonight we did a good job he concludes.
Next game, to try to bring the series to five wins? A duel at the top of the Eastern Conference with the Bucks, who have the same total of victories (12), but one loss less…