The Cleveland Cavaliers managed a 108-100 victory over the Detroit Pistons on Friday night. Cleveland posted their sixth win in twelve games and has begun to come to life following a lackluster 1-3 start. The Cavaliers will begin to prepare for a key matchup at home versus the Denver Nuggets on Sunday, before heading back out on the road for a tough road trip.
Cavaliers’ Key Performances
Darius Garland led the way for Cleveland with an impressive 28-point night. Max Strus and Evan Mobley continued to build chemistry as the duo added 18 points apiece. Mobley added 10 rebounds for a double-double and led the team with five assists.
Cleveland’s Injury Troubles
Injuries continued to hurt the Cavaliers as the team was without star guard Donovan Mitchell. Cleveland has seen a number of different starting lineups to begin their season and last night was no different. The Cavaliers are freed up to get some end-of-the-bench players some looks, but could greatly benefit from keeping their big four healthy to help their starters build chemistry.
Cleveland could be without Donovan Michell and Isaac Okoro yet again for Sunday’s game versus the Nuggets. Mitchell could miss his second straight game, while Okoro has already been ruled out for his seventh straight contest.
Evan Mobley and Max Strus have been a duo to look out for as Strus has assisted on eight Mobley baskets through Cleveland’s last two games. The Strus deal is paying dividends for the Cavaliers to start the season as the team’s key offseason signing is posting averages of 14.6 points, 5.8 rebounds and 3.7 assists. Max Strus is locked in from three, connecting on 36% of his 7.8 nightly attempts.
Cleveland is also seeing a strong emergence from Evan Mobley, as the DPOY runner-up is averaging a double-double with 16.7 points and 10.4 rebounds. He is pairing those strong numbers with 3.1 assists and 1.8 blocks per game. Mobley is also connecting on an outstanding 54% of shots, starting the season strong.
Cavaliers Looking Ahead to Nuggets Matchup
Cleveland now shifts its focus to the defending champion Denver Nuggets for a matchup in Cleveland on Sunday night. Denver currently sits and 9-3 and is coming off a 115-110 loss versus the Pelicans. Nikola Jokic is leading the way for Denver averaging nearly 30 points a night with 14.7 rebounds which leads the NBA. Jokic also sits third in the NBA in assists with 9.2.
Denver is without all-star point guard Jamal Murray, which could create a matchup the Cavaliers could look to exploit. Darius Garland is looking to build on his impressive Friday night performance and could find himself having a big night versus the Nuggets.