Dribbles: How have Cavs won seven in row? Who knows, who cares, and when do they play again?

Random dribbles on the Cavaliers, who extended their win streak to seven games with Saturday’s 116-95 beatdown of the Atlanta Hawks on the road.Sam Merrill battles for the ball with Kobe Bufkin

1. There are a lot of theories on why the Cavs are riding an NBA-best seven-game winning streak. But the average fan doesn’t really care why. They just know the Cavs are hot — and that is cool enough.

2. Of course, coach JB Bickerstaff will tell you it starts with defense. And that’s hard to argue, given how the Cavs just held the disappointing Hawks to a season-low in points.

3. Bickerstaff on that very topic: “If you come out and set the tone defensively, and let them know it is not going to be easy, you can put yourself in position where they are chasing you all night. In the NBA, runs happen, but you’d rather be playing from in front than trying to play back into the game.”

4. And Cavs fans everywhere shouted amen.

5. One thing some Cavs fans shout is: “Yeah they’ve won seven straight games against subpar teams.” Give it a rest. Everyone else plays subpar teams, too. The Cavs are the only one that has won seven in a row.

6. I’m telling you, some people just can’t enjoy fun. Oh well. We love them, anyway.

7. At any rate, the Cavs have trailed for 35 seconds, total, over the last four games, as relayed by Chris Fedor of Cleveland.com. That, friends, is what is known as utter dominance. They jumped to a 15-4 lead against the Hawks and never let up.

8. More Bickerstaff: “We have an intent and purpose to start basketball games. It is a complete buy-in to be elite defensively. You are doing something special if you are containing a team like that in the first quarter.”

9. At some point, Darius Garland (jaw) and Evan Mobley (knee) will return from the injured list. Presumably soon, too. And that’s a good thing because at some point, the Cavs will really need both. But what they’ve done without them is inspirational. The whole organization deserves credit.

10. In case you haven’t noticed, I round up a lot of trade rumors on this site. I’ve found that you like them if they come from respected news outlets. So that leads to a lot of people asking what the Cavs might do.

11. I think the answer is either a). not a thing or b.) something that barely makes a ripple. If they can get a 3-and-D wing such as the Nets’ Royce O’Neale or Dorian Finney-Smith for next to nothing, then they’ll do it. I think, anyway. But I sure wouldn’t make a trade just to make one. Only do it if you feel it immediately puts you in title contention.

12. I don’t think that deal is out there, but Cavs president of basketball operations Koby Altman knows way more than I do. And you’ll be happy to know he’s never once asked for my advice. So … we’ll see.

13. Back to the game. You can’t help but like how the ball has moved lately, and it again was on full display against the Hawks. Donovan Mitchell and Sam Merrill led the Cavs with 18 points apiece. Mitchell finished with eight assists, Merrill with six. Dean Wade scored 17, Jarrett Allen and Georges Niang each had 14, Max Strus had 13 and Isaac Okoro 12. Allen also grabbed 11 boards.

14. The lone negative was the fact that Caris LeVert (16 ppg) missed the game with a left wrist sprain. But hey, these are the Cavs. We can’t expect the basketball gods to let them be entirely healthy. They’ve made the best of it anyway — and are now 12-3 since Garland and Mobley both went out.

15. As an aside, rookie Pete Nance made his NBA debut on Saturday after being signed to a 10-day contract. He played two scoreless minutes. We’ve now had three Nances play for Cleveland. I just hope I’m still around to see Larry Sr.’s grandkids when they do it, too.

16. The Cavs (25-15) sit in second place in the Central Division and fourth in the Eastern Conference. They visit Orlando on Monday, followed by two games in Milwaukee against the team that leads the Central.

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