Mr. Cavalier Checks In from the Halfway Point of Cleveland’s Current Roadie
What’s going on, Cavalier fans? It’s A.C., checking in from the open road!
Even though we’ve split both games in Texas, I’ve liked our competitive spirit. I think they came to play and they came to play for 48 minutes in both.
It hasn’t been perfect and they ran out of steam a little against Houston, but you could tell the intensity was there for the whole game and that’s what I was impressed with.
I know we’re over a dozen games in, but the team is still trying to find their identity. We changed over half our team. And they all come from different situations. And when the lights come on for real, you revert back to what you’re used to — what you’re comfortable with. Your timing is just … different.
We might run the same play, but we run it differently. We key on certain things. So, it takes a while for all this to happen – and in the meantime, you’re doing this on the fly. So, those milliseconds that you have to think about what you’re doing is what’s throwing us off right now.
The Wine & Gold huddle up prior to their matchup with the Dallas Mavericks on Saturday night in Texas.
Photo by Courtney Shilling/Cavs.com
You can see the growth coming in spurts. That second quarter in Houston, for example, was awesome. That is how good this team can really be.
In that quarter, you saw the Jeff Green show. I mean, that young man still got a lot left in his tank – and I love him and LeBron on the floor together.
I like the way the second unit has looked this year; I like the way they come in and have a positive effect.
It looks like Dwyane Wade is really into controlling the second unit. The second unit is developing an identity. And that’s all it is.
Now, with the starters: You have to get an identity. Once you get an identity where, say, you’re going to step up your defense and get out and run. Now you have an identity that you can play off of. And that’s what they need.
Once they get that understanding of who they are, I don’t see any problem with the first or second team.
It goes back to the newness of so many different players. They don’t really understand who they are yet. We’re the Eastern Conference Champs from the last three years.
Some of these guys don’t quite get that every night, teams are gunning for us, they’re coming after us. They’ll get around as the season goes on. Like Dwyane Wade said, at some point they’re gonna get tired of being a .500 team. And when you get tired of that, you’ll play.
The starting unit is starting to play like themselves. And JR has been a huge key to that – finally finding his shot, his confidence. You can see it coming. His shot looks a lot more comfortable now.
“New York always brings out the Cavaliers’ A-game. And it’ll be no different on Monday night.”
Cavaliers Legend Austin Carr
Like I told them before the game where he got 20, I said: ‘Just shoot what you feel!’ He was thinking too much. If you feel it, shoot it. That was always my philosophy!
And they’ll get even more whole as the season moves along. The team has a timetable and they’re going to stick to it, but I’m sure the team is excited to get Tristan back and Isaiah Thomas on the floor.
Isaiah’s return will put everybody in their right position, and that’s going to mean more to camaraderie and how everybody plays the game. And Double-T’s gonna give us an inside presence which we definitely need so much. I mean, his physical presence in there with the threat of the offense getting second chance opportunities, defending the basket — all that is very much needed.
Either way, they’ll face a nice-looking Knicks team gunning to make it two straight over us on Monday.
Porzingis is a different player this year. He’s brimming with confidence. He’s confident now; he’s not tiptoeing around anymore.
He knows what he’s doing and he’s doing it well. He’s understanding the value of his height. He understands how to use that now. Last year, when he’d get caught in a compromising position, he didn’t know how to use his height. Now, he stands tall and just takes his time. He knows his position.
Porzingis understands that he’s the leader of that team and he likes it.
New York always brings out the Cavaliers’ A-game. And it’ll be no different on Monday night.