The Cleveland Cavaliers started arguably the toughest part of their schedule with a great team win against the Phoenix Suns. The Cavs on a night where all but one player scored beat the Suns 110 to 101.
It has been a struggle this season for Cleveland to have a game where multiple individuals perform at a high level. Normally, the offense runs through one individual and more times than not that person is point guard Kyrie Irving.
Last night in Phoenix, the Cavs opened their three-game west road trip by finally playing as a team. Six players scored in double figures with Irving’s 23 points leading the way. Center Spencer Hawes got off to a hot start with 17 first quarter points and finished with 19 points along with six
rebounds. Forwards Luol Deng and Tristan Thompson added to the Cavs great offensive night with 18 and 13 points, respectively.
The team will now travel to California to face the Golden State Warriors on Friday and the Los Angeles Clippers on Sunday. Cleveland has lost six games in a row to the Warriors. The last time the two teams faced off the Warriors came out of Cleveland with an overtime victory. Guard Stephen Curry, who finished with 29 points and 11 assists, was able to out duel Irving’s 27 points and nine assists.
Cleveland luckily will face a Warrior team without guard Klay Thompson. Cavaliers’ guard Jarrett Jack will return to Oracle Arena to face his old team for the first time. Jack, who was recently moved into the starting lineup, has been playing better and should be pumped up to play his old team.
The Cavs will then travel down the coast to play the Clippers for the second time this season. In December, Cleveland beat the Clippers 88 to 82. Los Angeles riding a nine game win streak is the hottest team in the NBA right now.
Cleveland, if they play like they did in Phoenix, will be able to steal one and possibly both of these games. Although people might not think the Cavs can keep pace with these two teams, they have proven to play well against Los Angeles and Golden State.
After traveling out west, the Cavs will then come home for a three-game home stand against some of the NBA’s best. The Cavs will play the Miami Heat on Tuesday and the Oklahoma City Thunder on Thursday.
The Heat has had their way against the Cavs over the past couple years and beat the Cavs twice already this year. Miami trying to catch the Indiana Pacers for the top spot will be playing with an emotionally fueled LeBron James as he faces off against his old team.
The Thunder will then come to town, looking to avenge their lost to the Cavs last month. Forward Kevin Durant and company will be on their “A-game” as they look to close in on the San Antonio Spurs for the top spot in the West.
It is important for the Cavs to win out west before they face the Heat and the Thunder. A successful road trip will boast Cleveland’s confidence before they face two teams fighting for home court advantage through out the playoffs.