The Cleveland Cavaliers defeated the Indiana Pacers Saturday and got head coach John Beilein his first NBA win in the process.
Maybe it’s the uniform. The Cleveland Cavaliers won their home opener over Indiana 110-99 in their 90’s throwbacks.
This was a much improved performance over the season opener which saw the Cavs struggle to convert from the field. Cleveland made 50% of their field goal attempts, including 11 three-point range. The Cavaliers made 29 of 49 shots from two and were able to score 50 points in the paint.
At one point the Cavaliers were up by 24 points. This was a lead that was not expected. Yes, the Pacers were without their best player in Victor Oladipo, but Cleveland getting that type of lead was surprising.
The Cavaliers just seemed to click and that is how it is with a young team and a rookie head coach. Some games will have everything go their way. Other games will have everything go against them.
Cleveland was led by an unexpected player
The Cavaliers were led by Tristan Thompson. Thompson finished with 25 points and 13 rebounds. Thompson even made his first career three-pointer. This certainly got Kevin Love hyped up.
Kevin Love added 21 points of his own and also had 13 rebounds in the contest. Love finished one assist shy of a triple-double. Perhaps Love may be able to get a triple-double later this season.
Sexton and Garland contributed but still have room to improve
Collin Sexton did not have the best night shooting the ball (6-14), but did manage to finish with 18 points thanks to making two shots from deep and converting four of six free throw attempts.
Darius Garland scored 12 points on 5-12 shooting. The two three-pointers from Garland certainly helped, but the rookie still needs to work on being efficient when shooting the basketball.
Sexton and Garland will have plenty of opportunities as the season progresses to work on their efficiency.
Jordan Clarkson is back to being Jordan Clarkson
Jordan Clarkson bounced back from a bad opening point performance with 15 points on 5-8 from the field. This is what was expected from Clarkson this season, not the abysmal shooting performance this past Wednesday. Hopefully Clarkson will be able to build upon this outing and continue being productive in their next game.
If the Cavaliers are able to keep putting up shooting nights like this in these 90’s throwback uniforms, maybe they should wear them often.