CLEVELAND, OH – Thanks to a nail-biting 104-102 win over the visiting Denver Nuggets, the Cleveland Cavaliers—despite their Eastern Conference worst 18-45 record—are not as bad as many think.
5-5 over their last 10 games—and 4-5 since J.B. Bickerstaff took over for John Beilein–the Cavs have earned some quaity wins over playoff teams such as the Wizards, Heat, Sixers and the forementioned Nuggets. Some will say that the Heat—fresh off of blowing out the Cavs by 19 on the night they retired Dwyane Wade’s jersey—were sans Jimmy Butler, and that the win over Philadelphia was becuase of Joel Embiid injuring his shoulder early in the first quarter in an effort to dismiss some of the noise that Cleveland is making, but as injuries are part of the game, it’s on to the next.
Thanks to 27 points by power forward Kevin Love, 20 from swingman Cedi Osman and point guard Collin Sexton’s 25 points, Cleveland has an intriguing mix of championship veteran leadership in Love, Tristan Thompson and Matthew Dellevedova to go along with an emerging young core lead by the aforementioned Sexton, Darius Garland, Larry Nance Jr. and Kevin Porter Jr.
While the Cavs are destined for another lottery pick this coming fall, if Cleveland is able to land a quality prospect such as Illawarra Hawks’ guard LaMelo Ball, Memphis center James Wiseman or Georgia shooting guard Anthony Edwards and perhaps a big-name free agent, then the Cavs can continue their second Post-Lebron rebuild smoothly and become competitive rather than later.