“BIG THREE” BEGINNING TO GEL AS CAVS ROLL PAST RAPTORS
By: Takudzwa Makoni
Early season troubles seem to have been forgotten as the much-ballyhooed Cleveland Cavaliers rolled into Air Canada Centre and left with a 105-91 victory over the Conference leading Toronto Raptors.
The win extends their current streak to six on the trot, with Lebron James going off for 24 points and 13 dimes. This current Cavs team, with their ‘super-team’ roster and ‘super-team’ expectations and pressure, are beginning to show the cohesion and ball-movement that rookie coach David Blatt’s European teams have been known for. Early on though, doubters could be forgiven for dismissing this team’s title hopes, as too many possessions devolved to one-on-one isolation plays late in the shot-clock.
Young point guard Kyrie Irving struggled early to try and find the balance between being a facilitator and a scorer. James’s patience, along with other shiny new addition, big-man Kevin Love’s consistency and willingness to play whatever role the moment demands, have allowed the budding superstar to find his rhythm. The Cavaliers ability to score though, has never really been in doubt. With James, Irving and Love, they field three of the top 15 players in the world. It is their role-players that will ultimately decide how far this crew will go. Despite spotty play so far, no doubt contributed to by Blatt’s line-up experimentation, Tristan Thompson’s 21-14 line, added to his characteristic hustle and physicality, will go some way to easing worries about the Cavaliers seemingly thin front line. With Dion Waiters still searching for his best form, and Mike Miller to return from injury, the rest of the league will be looking nervously over their shoulders for a Cleveland Cavaliers run at the Larry O’Brian Trophy.