Dribbles: Cavs Move Ball, Buzz By Hornets For Needed Bounce Back

CLEVELAND — Random dribbles from the Cavaliers’ 115-92 win over the lowly Charlotte Hornets on Monday.Georges Niang, Cleveland Cavaliers, Miles Bridges, Charlotte Hornets

1. Nothing quite like a game against the Hornets to cure what ails ya. That’s really what this boils down to. The Cavs probably couldn’t have lost if they tried.

2. But hey, you still have to play and you still have to make sure you don’t get upset. The Cavs had lost three in a row coming into this one. They couldn’t afford to go down again.

3. Games against teams such as Charlotte can also help you start feeling good and get back into a rhythm. And boy, the Cavs could use both of things.

4. For a while, they looked lethargic after coming off that terrible loss in Miami. It was 20-all after the first quarter, and that should tell you everything you need to know about how the first 12 minutes went.

5. After that, the Cavs started to connect. As opposed to, you know, going 2-of-16 on 3-pointers, which is how they began the game.

6. Evan Mobley was particularly impressive in just his second game back from an ankle injury. He not only recorded 17 points and seven rebounds, but a career-high eight assists.

7. Overall, the Cavs (44-28) recorded a whopping 41 assists on 46 field goals. That, friends, is what’s known as teamwork. 

8. Or as coach J.B. Bickerstaff said, “That’s who we are when we’re at our best.”

9. Jarrett Allen also scored 17, with 13 rebounds, and Georges Niang buried five threes and also finished with 17. Mobley went 8-of-12 shooting, Allen was 7-of-9 and Darius Garland (15 points) came on strong late with 6-of-12. He also led the way with a team-high 10 assists.

10. Not to be forgotten were the contributions of Isaac Okoro (14 points, five boards) and Sam Merrill (12 points, 4-of-8 on threes). Caris LeVert added seven points and seven assists.

11. By the way, Marcus Morris was ejected in the first half for throwing an elbow to the throat/chin area. Until then, the Cavs had just sort of been taking their sweet time in getting going. Then Morris got tossed and they took off.

12. Bickerstaff suggested that wasn’t by accident. “It changed the game,” he said of Morris’ ejection. “Players who understand the game at that level understand what can change the game.”

13. Morris’ 10-day deal is set to expire on Thursday. I suspect the Cavs will keep him. He’s brought a nice degree of edginess.

14. Allen on the 40 assists: “When the ball’s moving, everybody’s having fun.” Now the Cavs just to remember this on Wednesday, when they play the Hornets again, this time in Charlotte.

15. Rookie forward Brandon Miller led the Hornets (17-54) with 24 points and eight rebounds. I could watch that guy play every day. He undoubtedly has a bright future and it sure doesn’t hurt that Charlotte has given him the green light to shoot.

16. Bickerstaff did address the statuses of injured starters Donovan Mitchell and Max Strus, as well as top reserve Dean Wade. “I believe we’ll have enough time to get everybody back to catch a rhythm and then get to where we want to get to,” Bickerstaff said before tipoff.

17. The Cavs remain in third place in the East, a half-game up on New York and 1.5 ahead of Orlando.

18. Finally, we have more on Mitchell and his potential future right here. As always, thanks for following along and talk to you soon.

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