Dribbles: Cavs? Mavs? Yeah, They Have Plenty In Common

Random dribbles ahead of the Cavaliers’ home game against the Dallas Mavericks on Tuesday.Donovan Mitchell and JB Bickerstaff, Cleveland Cavaliers, NBA

1. This is what is known as a test. Luka Doncic, old friend Kyrie Irving, and the Mavs had won seven straight before losing on the road to Indiana the other night.

2. Dallas (33-24) has been reborn, courtesy of some deals at the trade deadline. The additions of center Daniel Gafford and power forward P.J. Washington may have been the most underrated moves of the season.

3. Meanwhile, the Cavs had lost three of four before pulling it together to beat the lowly Washington Wizards on Sunday. The Cavs haven’t been as sharp as they were when they won 17 of 18, but this is the NBA. It ebbs and it flows. 

4. What the Cavs want is to really get flowing again and a win here could assist the cause. These teams are about as evenly matched as you can get. Donovan Mitchell and Darius Garland are facing a backcourt that everyone thinks is better than they are. Let’s see what Mitchell/Garland do about it.

5. The Cavs (37-19) remain in first in the Central Division and second in the Eastern Conference, but the Milwaukee Bucks are picking up steam. At 37-21, they’ve equaled the Cavs in victories. Not a big deal, but something to watch.

6. To give you some idea of the second and third seeds in the East, if the playoffs started today, the No. 2 seed would face either Indiana, Atlanta, Chicago or Orlando, depending on the play-in tournament. The No. 3 seed would face the defending conference champion Miami Heat.

7. I know, I know. “Amico, you’re getting way ahead of yourself … it’s February.” If you’re thinking that, you’re right. But I love talking about the Cavs, and that’s a good thing since it’s part of my job. So I tend to think out loud and talk about the Cavs even when no one is listening.

8. Speaking of which, more people have been approaching to do just that over the past two or three weeks. One guy came up to me in Panera and said he enjoys watching this team MORE than the most recent LeBron James era, which also featured Irving, of course. I certainly enjoy covering them more. A whole lot less drama.

9. In case you missed it, one NBA executive told Terry Pluto of Cleveland.com that one of LeBron’s greatest achievements was keeping Kyrie focused when the two were with the Cavs. Our Ashish Mathur has the full post here.

10. I won’t be able to attend the game tonight as I have some business affairs to wrap up and then am on child duty. I hope it’s my last home miss of the season. But I’ll be watching and will have more Dribbles after. Talk to you then.

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