The Cleveland Cavaliers started a 4 game road trip Wednesday Night against the OKC Thunder. Hopefully, the 128-120 loss to the Thunder is not a signal of things to come. The good news is, there are no back-to-backs on this road trip. In addition, the Cavs take a break from in-season tournament games (the first one didn’t go well) until November 17th. If the Cavaliers can find good form, this road trip should be a successful one.
More of the same against Thunder
The first time against the Thunder did not go well (108-105 Loss). Once again, OKC had their way with the Cavaliers, setting the pace and getting easy shots when they wanted. Shai Gilgeous-Alexander showed why he is a budding NBA Superstar by scoring 43 points and cutting up the Cavs’ defense all night. In short, the road trip did not start well.
Keys for a Successful Road Trip
– Max Strus’ Three Point Shooting: Since Strus’ strong start to the season, his 3PT% in the last 4 games before tonight is just 21.7%. Max’s outside shooting brings another element to this offense, but it needs to be better going forward.
– Avoiding the bad quarter: In 3 of the 4 losses for the Cavaliers, they have had a stinker quarter of less than 20 points. In part, this might be due to having new players integrate into the system and having Coach JB Bickerstaff figure out rotations.
– Defense: Creating steals/ turnovers and getting easy buckets will be key on the road. If the Cavs can generate transition points like they did in the Warriors win, a successful road trip may be in order.
Despite some incredible contributions from individuals in this early season, the Cavaliers as a team have not performed well. JB & company needs to stick to the keys for a successful road trip, otherwise, it might get ugly fast.