Dribbles: Cavs Put It All Together, Blast Boston, And Now It’s All Tied Up

Random dribbles following the Cavaliers’ beauty of a 118-94 road romp over the Boston Celtics in Game 2 of their second-round playoff series on Thursday. …Evan Mobley, Cleveland Cavaliers, NBA

1. It’s official. The Cavaliers have their biggest playoff win since You Know Who was here.

2. It also just happened to be their first playoff victory on the road since, yes, LeBron James was on the team. That also just happened to take place in Boston (Game 7, Eastern Conference Finals).

3. But hey, what do you know? The Cavs finally put together a complete game. And these are the types of things that can happen when they do.

4. For starters, the defense was as good as ever. The Cavs were flying all around the floor. That’s really been the case for the majority of the playoffs. But they took it to another level in this one.

5. Offensively, wow. That was about as good as it gets. I don’t know if we’ve seen that from the Cavs since … what? January? That right there was what coach J.B. Bickerstaff means when he talks about “Cavaliers Basketball.”

  1. It was the opposite of Game 1 in Boston and all those ugly losses at Orlando in the first round. “We were extremely confident, even after Game 1,” Donovan Mitchell told ESPN. “Now just continue to build on it and protect home court.”

  2. Yep, Mitchell is right. We’re tied at 1-all and headed back to Cleveland for Game 3 on Saturday night. Think The Rock will be a-rockin’?

6. This one was again a whole lot of Mitchell (29 points, seven rebounds, eight assists), but plenty of the other guys. For instance, Evan Mobley was fantastic in the first half on his way to 21 points and 10 rebounds. He finally seemed to be in something resembling a real offensive flow, despite needing to fight off some foul trouble.

7. Then there was Caris LeVert, who the Cavs really need to be a spark off the bench. He lived and breathed that role on Thursday, going for 21 points and six rebounds.

8. Darius Garland (14 points, seven boards), Max Strus (12 points, six boards) and Isaac Okoro (12 points, 5-of-6 shooting, tons of defense) all gave underrated and vital performances as well.

9. Oh, and let’s not forget Tristan Thompson. He played 10 minutes and scored one point. Not exactly a banner night if you’re just reading the box score. But man, he had the Celtics seeing Green — as he filled in for Mobley and fought for every inch near the hoop.

10. For the first time this postseason, the Cavs had six players in double figures. They outscored the Celtics by a whopping 60-44 in the paint. And the 94 points scored by the Celtics were their second-fewest of the year, regular-season included (they had 91, April 9, at Milwaukee).

11. By the way, Mitchell joined James as the only Cavaliers with five straight playoff games of at least 25 points.

12. Meanwhile, Jayson Tatum (25 points) and Jaylen Brown (19) each went 7-of-17 from the field. So the Cavs made sure the two Celtics stars had to work to get on the scoreboard. Also, so much for Derrick White turning into the next Stephen Curry — as White finished just 1-of-8 on 3-pointers after lighting it up.

13. By the way, word is that Dean Wade should be ready to go for Game 3. And if not Game 3, then Game 4 on Monday. Wade last played His best game of the year came in the Cavaliers’ one regular-season win over the Celtics.

14. Anyway, Mitchell never gets too down after the losses, and he stayed even-keel after this big win. “This game means nothing if we don’t take care of home court,” he told reporters.

15. Yes, he’s right about that one. “We have a group that sticks together and believes in each other,” Mitchell said. “We’ve been through so much, so why stop now?”

16. So, yeah, the Cavs may have found something here. Many of us already had written them off. But this is why you play the games. They came out, they were aggressive, they took what they wanted. Still, without the injured Jarrett Allen to boot. And after two games, perhaps surprisingly, we now have ourselves a series.

17. Bickerstaff with the final word: “Our focus was we needed to be better than we were the first game. Our guys took that to heart. I thought our guys executed our game plan tonight to a T.”

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  1. I did not think they had that in them. Hats off to them. Well done CAVS. And Darius Garland had 7 rebounds..great to see some fight from him. Celtics seem to be missing a certain spark. They are probably more talented than CAVS but they miss the Grant Williams and Marcus Smart attitude I think. Look at that Sam .. a positive post from me.

    • Haha love it Joy! Hopefully they will give you reason to write positive posts more often! 🙂 – Sam

  2. Also what happens when the guards aren’t mugged as they allowed Orlando to do. Looks more like basketball now.

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