Dribbles: Cavs Brewing Up Something Special? Sure Feels That Way

Random dribbles on the Cavaliers and their three-game winning streak …

1. I’m hesitant to get overly excited about the Cavs, just because. I mean, we’re not used to them being good without LeBron James on the team. So I won’t blame you if you’re finding all this hard to believe.Darius Garland

2. Granted, the Cavs are just 6-4. It’s not like they’re 10-0. But it’s HOW they look, as opposed to the actual record.

3. And most people assumed they’d be about 2-8 right now. I know I sure did. That’s just typically the way it goes with young rosters. And everyone in the starting lineup (when healthy) is between the ages of 20 and 24.

4. Not only that, but the Cavs are winning in a different fashion than last season. For instance, they edged the Raptors in a fantastic game Friday in Toronto, 102-101. In that game, Collin Sexton had just nine points.

5. Yes, Sexton, the team’s leading scorer this season and last. Difference is, he is averaging about 7 points less this year. So the Cavs have other methods of getting it done. 

6. There’s a lot of talk about Sexton in Cleveland, and there seem to be two camps — those who say he’s a future All-Star, and those who think he should either be traded or come off the bench. But I say just give it time. Live in the moment and enjoy this team for what it is today.

7. All that matters is the Cavs are balanced and capable of scoring in a number of ways. One day the main man may be Sexton. Another day it may be Jarrett Allen or Darius Garland. Rising rookie Evan Mobley is always in the mix. None of it really matters. What’s important is the Cavs are playing the right way and often being rewarded for it.

8. In other words, it’s easy to ask, hey, how are the Cavs doing all this? My answer is simple — who knows, who cares and when can we watch them play again?

9. It’s easy to praise and blame the coach, but I never thought J.B. Bickerstaff has done a bad job, even when the wheels came off last season. In my estimation, Bickerstaff has always made the absolute most of the hand (and lineup) he’s been dealt. This year, he’s doing a bang-up job even without a completely healthy roster.

10. Bickerstaff has the players’ attention and respect. In the NBA, that’s more important than strategy. You can be an excellent tactician, but if you can’t get your message across, you may as well be selling insurance instead.

11. Consider this about the Cavs start, too — they have already played a whopping seven road games. That means just three at home. They also already completed one of their two West Coast swings. And they are 6-4, and an impressive 4-3 on the road.

12. Compare that with the high-profile Lakers. They’re 5-4 overall, but have played just TWO on the road (entering Saturday night). One was an overtime win over the so-so Spurs. The other was a loss to the lowly Thunder. They also lost to the Thunder in LA. The Cavs are 4-3 on the road. The Lakers are 4-3 at home.

13. Bickerstaff on the season to this point: “There’s something special brewing in that locker room. Everybody wants to be a part of it.”

14. So am I hesitant about a team that won 19, 19 and 22 games in each of the past three seasons, respectively? Of course. But I’m trying to practice what I am telling you. And that’s not to look too far ahead, not to look at what’s behind, and just enjoy each game as it comes. Right now, these Cavs are making all that awful easy.

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