My how things can change quickly in the NBA. It just seemed like yesterday that the Cleveland Cavaliers were in a state of panic (at least to the outside world, maybe internally too though) as they were stuck at 5-7 with the worst defensive team in the NBA by far.
They were old, slow, couldn’t defend anyone and had no depth and little star power around LeBron James. While they are still old and have little in the way of star power around LeBron James (at least by 2017 standards), the Cavaliers are the hottest team in the NBA now and winners of 13 straight games.
13. STRAIGHT. WINS.
— Cleveland Cavaliers (@cavs) December 7, 2017
This ties a franchise record for the Cavaliers and has put them right back in 2nd place in the eastern conference, nipping at the heels of Kyrie Irving and the Boston Celtics, who enjoyed their own 16 game winning streak earlier this season.
So what has been the biggest reason the Cavaliers have turned it around so quickly: Defense…
During their five-game win streak, the Cavaliers are down from a defensive rating of 110 to 100.8, good enough for 8th in the league over that stretch. https://t.co/mZ9Lz3RepI
— 92.3 The Fan (@923TheFan) November 21, 2017
It looks like the Cavaliers old geezers can defend after all and have been doing it pretty well during their streak.
LeBron James being inhuman as usual has helped as well, as well as the much improved play of the bench unit, led by a revived and clearly much more comfortable Dwyane Wade.
The Cavaliers have a chance to set a new franchise mark in Indiana on Friday night.